Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Nuff' Said?

I don't normally do this, but this was forwarded to me in an email by a very good friend yesterday and I thought you all would like it... I couldn't agree more and very eloquently said.

My wife, Rosemary, wrote a wonderful letter to the editor of the OC Register (Orange County, CA) which, of course, was not printed. So, I Decided to "print" it myself by sending it out on the Internet. Pass it along if you feel so inclined.
(signed) Dave LaBonte
Written in response to a series of letters to the editor in the Orange County Register:
Dear Editor:
So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one,suggests we should tear down the Statute of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry. Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer.

Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.They had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into one culture. Nothing was handed to them. No free lunches, no welfare, no labor laws to protect them.

All they had were the skills and craftsmanship they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity. Most of their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy, France and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any thought about what country their parents had come from.They were Americans fighting Hitler, Mussolini and the Emperor of Japan. They were defending the United States of America as one people. When we liberated France, no one in those villages were looking for the French-American or the German American or the Irish American. The people of France saw only Americans. And we carried one flag that represented one country. Not one of those immigrant sons would have thought about picking up another country's flag and waving it to represent who they were. It would have been a disgrace to their parents who had sacrificed so much to be here. These immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl.

And here we are in 2006 with a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules; one that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in the early 1900s deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those waving foreign country flags.

And for that suggestion about taking down the Statute of Liberty, it happens to mean a lot to the citizens who are voting on the immigration bill. I wouldn't start talking about dismantling the United States just yet.
(signed) Rosemary LaBonte


cmk said...

Very good.

Just to piss the PC people off, I have toyed with the idea of checking 'other' on forms I have filled out. Then I would write in the blank 'Finnish-American.' After all, I am 'only' a second-generation American, so I MUST honor my mother country!

Leazwell said...

I got that same e-mail yesterday. Here, here!

honkeie2 said...

Amen I say amen brother and another AMEN.... American by birth proud by choice.

AlaskaJen said...

Unfortunately the author of this letter failed to acknowledge that some of the ethnic tension in this country can be attributed to forcible assimilation of the wave of immigrants in the 1900s into a mold of what we thought 'American values' were. Our country is far richer for their contribution, but by denying them the right to maintain the connections to their home country and the rich culture and traditions that they were coming from, we set ourselves up for the backlash that we are currently experiencing. If you read immigrant history written by those that were living it at the time, it wasn't quite the noble experience this author is describing. Many immigrants had their names changed, not by choice, but by lazy officials who couldn't be bothered to come up with a reasonable interpretation. Many children were subjected to corporal punishment in schools when they such much as uttered a non-English word.

A prime example is that right now in the towns in Maine today’s schoolchildren have the opportunity to learn about their French-Canadian heritage. In an article published recently in the NYT (or it might have been the Christian Science Monitor) the parents of these kids were regretting that they had never had that opportunity when they were in school. They were beaten for speaking French. No wonder our government, under the auspices of Homeland Security, will more or less fund the education of anyone who will learn a second language to the point of fluency because our intelligence gathering and analysis abilities have been severely compromised by the dearth of bilingual speakers within our own country.

This is not a history that we should be proud of and actively emulate within the context of our current immigration challenges.

Ranger Tom said...

Alaska Jen: You are very correct. This was maybe just a little too simplistic, but it's what I think most Americans think right now.

I remember vividly the stories my grandmother told of comming to this country and seeing signs posted all over reading: "Irish need not apply..."

Everyone:And you though you's see PC stuff here? LOL

Lisa said...

Are you serious? Someone wants to get rid of the Statue of Liberty?

cantellya said...

This post is awesome. The writer's point is boldly spoken, as well as Alaska Jen. I agree that those immigrants had to work their butts off & were poorly paid and poorly treated, my great-grandparents among them. So much to say about this subject, so I'll stop here. However, where is it written that people are entitled to "something for nothing?"

Okie said...

Amen, Rosemary.

Christopher Parker said...

Not only is Alaska Jen correct that earlier immigrants to this country were not well treated, but many didn't just "melt" into the US and sever ties to their old countries.

The "troubles" in Ireland were signficantly worsened by funding for the IRA from the Irish immigrant community in the US.

It's a sterotype, but what about mob connections that spanned the Atlantic in the Italian community.

Certainly the British immiagrants in this country when it started maintained a strong connection that is still reflected in our countries strong relationship with the UK.

I'm not taking a position on how things should be now, just noting that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

ltcmdduke said...

It seems that people that do not agree with the article, seem to forget the main point. Those hardy and great people did it the right way: "They came here legally". to paraphrase the Ranger "NUFF Said".

A de-jected & dis-allusioned old vet from WW II; Korea & Vietnam!

This is America! Our language is English. If you want to live here learn our customs and ways. If not get the hell out and go back to whatever dirt bag country you came from!

I'm from the so called great generation, where millions of us were willing to die for this nation because we loved it. We died at Omaha Beach; Casablanca; Iwo Jima; Guadacanal and Leyte Gulf.

Right now we have the finest fighting force in the world trying to give millions of people the things we have and take for granted, the right of Freedom!

I suggest that the people of this nation take "PC" and change it from "Politically Correct" to "Patriotic Country."

That way we might continue to survive as the Greatest Nation in the World!