Saturday, March 17, 2018

St Patrick's Day

They came to America in the droves. They fled a despotic colonial government, famine, disease, and poverty. There were refugees, fleeing torture, imprisonment, and death over politics or civil war. They came in large numbers. They brought their religion.  

The immigrants settled in squalid impoverished areas of large cities. They took the worst jobs available, jobs no one else wanted to do. They lived in poverty. 

Due to their large numbers in such a short period of time, they were harshly discriminated against. Xenophobia was rife. They were feared foreigners pledging their allegiance to a foreign religious leader. They were taking jobs and food out of the mouths of American-born, whatever that means.

 They came to America. They came for a better life. They came to live in poverty because poverty here was better than where they came from. They faced harsh xenophobia.

They set down roots, raised families, assimilated, and became Americans. In some cases, they took control of the politics of the cities they called home.

Signs could be seen at hiring halls, "No Irish need apply." Others were in lodging houses, "No Dogs. No Irish."

Today is St. Patrick's Day. A day Irish-Americans celebrate their heritage and culture. Celebrate St. Patrick's day with a drink or two. Then, think about how we can fix a horribly broken system.

Others still come today. From all over the globe. All races and religions. They come for a better life. Wars, other conflicts, political upheaval, despotism, poverty, pogroms, worldwide depression, and other issues, has displaced tens of millions of people, a whole collective melting pot of humanity. For something called freedom. They are proud of who they are, where they came from, and want to live as they always have. They are no different than many others who came before them. Proud of their ethnicity, religion, customs, and traditions. The new immigrants face the same xenophobia as the others before them. The rhetoric is as inflammatory now as it was then. The demagogue Know-Nothings are as vocal now as in the past.   

Some nativists, criticize people coming here, legally and illegally, to escape poverty, tyranny, strife, famines, and the panoply of man-made and natural disasters that crush people. 

Instead of blaming immigrants and refugees for their plight, we should point our fingers and direct our wrath at politicians.
To all the peoples who came to and who built America.
Adapted from here

No comments: