Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Battle Cry of the Anguished American Immigrant!….by Robert M. Katzman

 

To me, being an American is an idea.

A concept. An agreement of equals.

A willingness to tolerate the differences in others, and a celebration of the beauty of cultural diversity.

While maybe originally, ours was a government,

 

Of the Protestants, By the Protestants and For the Protestants”

 

We’re bigger than that today.  A numerically insignificant People like my own family, Jews, now represent less than 2% of the total American population, but I believe that our Constitution includes me when I read it.  I don’t live in fear, here.

Soon, there will be more Moslems in America than Jews, but I don’t care.  They came here to escape the same killing chaos that brought my family here, as well as looking for a new start and a fair chance to become successful.  I welcome them.  Besides, when the hating is missing, they may remember that we’re linguistic cousins who speak two versions of the same Semitic language, as do the Assyrians, who are Christian Arabs.

I’m happy to live in a country where the African-American and Hispanic populations overwhelm my own culture, because diversity doesn’t threaten me.  I like living in a country where being different doesn’t limit you, like being Cypriot, Cambodian, Armenian, Ethiopean, Gypsy, Kazak, Slovakian or Bulgarian.  Or Chechen, Bosnian or Somali.

The prospect of learning Spanish because the ever evolving tide of immigration and history now favor Latin America is not intimidating, because it will soon be the principal “American” language and my grandchildren will speak it fluently and wonder why I’m inept at it, like my immigrant grandparents whom were native speakers of Yiddish and found English to be daunting.

Damn frustrating English, impossible to spell but so rich in variety for songwriters and poets, has only been the lingua franca of North America for about three hundred plus years.

A speck in time.

(Read on …)

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