THE SONIC BOOMER
Let me apologize in advance for getting into politics, but I simply do not understand the problem this country is having with immigrants, particularly Hispanics. I can only speak for myself, but I have yet to run into a Spanish-speaking person who is anything but friendly and helpful. Today, I went to throw some trash into the Dumpster, and the people who own the Mexican restaurant next door rushed to my aid. I didn’t need aid; I didn’t ask for aid; they just did it.
In fact, other than jumping in to help whenever they can, the Hispanics I know seem to be minding their own business, which is a big plus in my book.
Perhaps I should be minding my own business instead of blathering on about it, but maybe these people could use a little white bread like me speaking out on their behalf. After all, the chances of me being deported are slim. And why? Because my grandparents came over by boat when the inscription on the base of the Statue of Liberty still meant what it said. They didn’t speak the language; they didn’t know the customs; they just knew they had to get the heck out of where they were.
Of course, little did we Americans know how popular America was to become. America was, is and always will be great. I’ve visited other countries. Loved them. Couldn’t wait to get home.
The United States, being one of the newer countries, took what it learned from the immigrants who were pouring in and cobbled it together into this amazing, unique nation. Did the Pilgrims say, “Love it and leave it alone?” No. Were there bumperstickers on every covered wagon saying, “We don’t care how you did it in the old country?” No. We were fortunate enough to be able to learn from other nations’ mistakes. Nevertheless, today we feel threatened by other cultures. Not love but fear makes the world go round.
We’re scared of Arabs while eating couscous. We’re worried about Hispanics while they’re pruning our hedges. And don’t get me started on Asians. Having an Asian kid turn up at a math competition strikes terror in our hearts.
Is it just possible that we could acknowledge that another country’s thousands of years of traditions and culture might just enhance our own? People say that the French hate us, but I have had nothing but positive experiences with the French people I have met, both here and in France. And who doesn’t love French fashion and design?
The biggest argument I can see, assuming of course that downright racism does not exist, is that immigrants put a strain on our social services. We got too big, too fast. Our advertising campaign outdid itself.
Well, folks, that is our problem. We Americans have to solve that problem, and the answer is not to stem the tide of hopefuls. If there’s one thing I’ve learned by living in Florida, we always want the gate to swing shut behind us. Once we’re in, no one else should be allowed, because we want things to stay just like they were when we chose to live here.
I’m sure the people who got here right before us, the ones who worked to make things so attractive, felt the same way. But here we are. And here they come.
Welcome to our country, and as FP&L told me post-hurricane, we are working on a solution and appreciate your patience.