Wednesday, May 30, 2007


The following is a comment posted in the blog of Andres Oppenheimer from The Miami Herald. It is in a way a little redundant with my last posting but it does add some additional concepts to the immigration debate. Enjoy!
Mousqueton said ...

It is pretty clear, from the reading of some comments in this blog, that many of you do not understand what America is all about.


It was the French Revolution (1789 - 1799) that gave the world the concept of social freedom. While the French Revolution originally adopted the American concept of freedom from our Declaration of Independence and was included by Robespierre in his "Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen", eventually this concept was influenced by the socialists of the time and became a trilogy epitomized by the motto "Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité". The motto and the concept was officially adopted in 1848 and later included in the constitutions of 1946 and 1958. For the French there is no freedom without equality (Equalité) and fraternity (Fraternité). Their concept of freedom is pretty much from its inception a social concept; there is no freedom outside of society. This concept has endured the test of time and even today, every Frenchman, regardless of their political ideology, will live and die by this principle.

We Americans in turn, gave the world a more simple but certainly audacious concept of freedom. A concept that was proclaimed to the world in a simple and straight forward document with very few but, certainly, most poetical words.

… “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” …

This is our legacy to the world and to human kind. We gave the world the concept of “individual freedom”. A concept of freedom that stands alone on its own merits because it is not a creation of our intellect or society but indeed the will of our creator; whomever you may deem that to be.

A concept of freedom that is all inclusive and, further, has no boundaries; a concept of freedom with no social, political, religious, economic, educational and/or racial conditions and/or limitations.

Everything else in America, except arguably for baseball and certainly rock and roll, has been assimilated by us from other cultures and societies. Even our language is foreign; English is a Germanic language an as a matter of fact the name of the language itself derives from “Englisc” which is the name of the language that the Angles tribes, originally from Engel, spoke during the fifth century.

Our concept of freedom though is absolutely unique and our commitment to live by this concept is guarded by the souls of our soldiers in Arlington as well as the Normandy Cemetery and Memorial in France.

This is who we are and it is under the shining light of this principle that we should seek the solution to the very real but over simplified and certainly intentionally manipulated immigration problem.

The immigration problem is a human, economic, security and cultural problem. We have to look at each side of the problem individually and come up with solutions that address each part of the problem without corrupting the essence of who we are and what we believe.

The high standard of our freedom concept is what makes America special and the vital force that has built the most prosperous land on earth. It is not easy to live by that standard though and at times we tend to drift away.

In the last couple years we have drifted away from our principles further than any time before in our entire history. As a matter of fact, we have endured a vicious and deliberate campaign by feverish conservative and self serving forces to make us believe that empty slogans, misleading information, lies, a culture of secrecy, assassinations, kidnappings, tortures and the violation of civil rights are righteous tools of our democracy because they are for the good and protection of the people.

Indeed we have been led to believe that the language and excuse of every single totalitarian government and dictatorship in the history of mankind is an adequate language and guideline for our democracy.

We have also endured and continue to endure a relentless campaign against the so called “illegal immigrants” that promotes shameful and openly discriminatory “know nothings” arguments of the past as well as solutions that negate our concept of freedom as an adequate conceptual framework for the immigration debate.

We have come very close to becoming what we despise and in doing so we have neglected the basic principles of freedom and democracy in which we believe and for which so many Americans have died.

Today, as always before, the American people, who are the real custodians of our identity, are raising their voices against this massive propaganda scheme and our politicians have started to realize that, “we, the people” want to go back to the safe harbor of our freedoms and beliefs.

In this context, the farewell words of Cindy Sheehan today - the soldier's mother who galvanized an anti-war movement with her month long protest outside President Bush's ranch - are indeed eloquent.

…“Good-bye America ... you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can't make you be that country unless you want it. "It's up to you now."…
She also said that the most devastating conclusion she has reached ….

"was that Casey did indeed die for nothing ... killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think." …

It is pity that even though educated and fluent in English some of your readers do not have the least idea of what we are and what we stand for. Further it is amazing that they pride themselves of believing in principles that are alien to America.

We do not believe in different shades and grades of freedom. We believe that the single concept of freedom that has allowed your Cuban American reader to enjoy the good life in the US applies to everyone. How to reconcile this principle with the necessary measures we need to take in order to solve the multiple problems generated by immigration is the challenge we need to face.

It makes me think though; maybe we are better off with the ignorant immigrants. At least they do not seem to pose the kind of threat to our principles, beliefs and values that the educated migrants do.

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