Friday, 09 November 2018 13:03

We Owe Immigrants Our Gratitude and Homage — for Their Unique Gifts

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Vision Statement: Our mission is to reawaken the genuine American spirit of living in a good, great, and growing nation of free individuals.

Mission Statement: We uphold American Liberty, prosperity, constitutional law, and humble government.

We Owe Immigrants Our Gratitude and Homage — for Their Unique Gifts

Robert Russell Jr. — Editorial

Robert Russell Jr. is the founder of R.R. & Associates, a group that promotes conservative causes throughout America. Robert has been working intensely this year with Religion and Society, the foundation that publishes the St. Croix Review, and has brought us fresh view and a wealth of enthusiasm.  

In 1966, Angus MacDonald, an Australian by birth and an immigrant to America, discovered Stillwater, Minnesota. He had completed his life-long journey to find his personal paradise, at last!

Angus MacDonald was an American citizen, a Ph.D. graduate of Columbia University, an ordained Christian minister, a published and recognized scholar, and writer, a husband and father — and also a man whose life from birth to adulthood in Australia had given him a unique richness he was ready to give to his adopted nation.

Angus spent the remainder of his life presenting that gift, to the thousands of his fellow Americans with whom he became a friend, teacher, philosopher and neighbor.

Some 80 million individuals from all corners of the globe preceded and succeeded Angus via a similar path. They presented their own gifts from their native soils and peoples to their adopted land. Together, they represent one of America’s strongest building blocks. And together we have built the most unique society ever known in human history. It began with the first ship landing at Plymouth through the newcomers who officially became citizens yesterday in a local American courthouse.

Representatives of all peoples of the world are now “we Americans.” They’ve given us their languages, ethnicities, talents, skills, hopes, dreams, and customs. Yet in a very real sense, “we’ve only just begun.”

We who read these words are the fortunate inheritors of those millions of “gifts of selves” that each immigrant has added to the melting pot called simply “America.”

Angus MacDonald lived the role of such an American. He was recorded as a “naturalized” American. We enclose the word, “naturalized” in quotations. The word, American, is left without. Because . . .

We are one people — Immigrants and their unique contributions to the Liberties that preserve America.

Immigration, one of America’s most important issues and constant needs, has become something of a mystery, an unwanted obligation, or you-name-the-negative-force in today’s America. Its focus has been the American/Mexican border since the late 1980s, or early 1990s, with little attention to the peoples immigrating from elsewhere in the world, other than those with ill-intent from Middle Eastern nations.

When we Americans celebrated our Nation’s 200th Anniversary in 1976, there were supreme celebrations, especially in July, and focused on Independence Day. The central celebration took place in Philadelphia, featuring a fourteen-hour parade of representatives from the fifty states, through the heart of the city. Over two million Americans came to experience the event. Marian Anderson, an operatic soprano of the day, famous the world over — a black American — sang the National Anthem in its official rendering at Independence Hall.

Marian was the first black American to sing for such a prestigious national event. It vibrated, all across America. Her singing was a culmination of America’s intention to make equality for all a reality in America.

For Americans who are dedicated to integration, Miss Anderson’s performance was an exhilarating moment, never to be forgotten. It flashed across all TV screens. It made the front page of all the newspapers. Together we rejoiced in her achievement.

On that same day some fifteen million Americans lined the main streets of Philadelphia for the great parade. Each state’s segment was a parade unto itself. High school bands had been selected to march — and they rehearsed for an entire year before the celebration. Celebrities from each state rode on platforms-on-wheels. Historic tableaus floated down the route, each more beautiful than the next. The millions of Americans along the parade route sang and applauded, shed tears of joy and sadness as well — and we were all lined up together, people from everywhere, being friends with Americans from everywhere — all cheering.

Temperatures neared 100 degrees. A thunderstorm slowed the parade’s pace for a short while. But the show never stopped, nor did the joy and love of country.

We live in a time when such events and achievements receive little attention or respect. In today’s American parlance, they are “past things” that need not be done anymore, because in the words of the Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, “We aren’t going to make America great again. America was never that great.”

Today we have riots and marches endlessly across America. There are endless protests reflecting the new style of American politics — a politics of accusation that sees America as an oppressing nation in history of the world.

This is not the occasion to discuss the influences that have put Americans in this awkward national position. We should identify them and consciously go about eradicating them.

It is the time to remind ourselves who we are, who Founded our nation and why, and who, after the Founding, put down stakes to live, grow, learn, love, get educated, build, succeed, prosper, build a family, educate and train the family, enjoy the family, enjoy the resulting prosperity and accomplishment — to look back and say: American Liberty made this possible.

We have sadly put American Liberty down the list of importance, and focused most of our attention on that which ails us: the wrong thinking; crude ideas; dissipating intentions and habits; greed for greed’s sake; and reduction of humanity to animalistic existences around the world.

For most of us, our personal observations tell us these negative influences are not in our own backyards. “They’re in the news and on TV but not right here.” Wrong. Most of us live all too near these terrible influences: influences all too often associated with a nationality that is not American. This contrived America is a repudiation of America and American Liberty.

Simply stated, we must return to the American traditions experienced and exemplified during America’s first 200 years. Not the least was our welcoming of all peoples, from all nations and backgrounds and races, to the nation that will celebrate its revitalization in 2026. The historic greatness and traditions of American immigration must be the focus.

The Impact of American Immigration

Immigration has not “saved” America. Immigration has “fed” America.

Immigrants have arrived on our shores bringing faiths, traditions, hopes, experiences, proven ways of doing things, languages, arts, traditions, music, theatre, sports, arenas, architecture, recipes, crops, farming methods, raw materials, traditions, literature, sayings, folk tales. This is the list of good that never will end. Nor should it! This is the list that depends on one critical centerpiece: a fellow human being, an immigrant, a hopeful new American who sees and yearns for American Liberty. One who has a new love affair with the rule of law and a free economy.

The immigrant desperately hopes to contribute whatever he or she can to strengthen that living prize called Liberty, a privileged jewel shared by each and every American, ultimately gaining it for himself. He soon discovers that Americans on every street in every town will welcome his hopes and dreams and the things in their lives from their home country that bred their hopes and dreams for Liberty.

Suffice it to say that the moment they land on American soil and begin their quest for American citizenship, immigrants begin to contribute their values to the great volume of American Visions of Liberty, just as did our Founders. In each immigrant there is a magic, a new spark, and another ounce of strength bolstering American Liberty as each one becomes “an offspring of the Founders,” a dedicated American.

As we prepare to celebrate 250 years as the nation called the United States of America, we recognize anew the great value of Liberty. It is a new value to the immigrant. A continual flow of immigrants seeking American Citizenship and Liberty will guarantee that American Liberty is a new idea. Our obligation is to preserve it as such. Our obligation is to preserve the flow of eager immigrants seeking it more than they seek life itself.

Thus, American immigrants continue to become our future and to re-awaken us about protecting and ever-strengthening our greatest gift: American Liberty.     *

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