Saturday, June 15, 2013

Caucasion confessions

My last post was a little on the thin side for for me. I've been working on a post for Fathers day. Game 4 of the NBA finals figured in there as well.
While I won't bore you people with the game, armchair jocks with better sports knowledge can club you into submission. 
I want to talk about something that happened just before the game.
Sebastian De La Cruz, a 10 year old mariachi singer performed the national anthem. Dressed in traditional mariachi garb, he belted out the Star Spangled Banner.
I didn't see anything wrong with that and he did a great performance.

Then the trolls came out and the feces laden twitters were said.
So what did the Spurs do? They invited him back to sing at the next game. Mad props for that.
Taking a quick look at my cliff notes. 
The boy is American. 
His dad served in the Navy.
He made it to the semi-finals on Americas Got Talent.
Would the same people have said something if a German man dressed in leiderhosen came out and sang? By the way, a polka-tized Star Spangled Banner would be hysterical to see.
I Brought this up in a previous post: Hispanics are the fastest growing 'minority' in the US, So what?
We all came from somewhere else to live in America. Human memory is very short.

This could have happened a century or two ago:
Two Irishmen were walking down the road near their village. One turned to the other and said something like this:
'Seamus, I hear there's work and a chance to start a family over in America.'
'You know,' said the other. 'You're right. it'll be hard work. We'll die starving and alone if we stay here. I'd rather go where there's a fighting chance.'

No one has ever come to America on a whim.
"Oh Pierre, I'm feeling like I want to be an American from now on." said no Frenchmen ever.

 If you love where you're born, and can scrape together a living. You tend to stay put.
Many people fail to grasp the basic economics of the situation.
If there were jobs in Mexico and none in the US, don't you think we'd be the ones swimming across the stream?
My wife is having trouble finding a teaching job here in Texas. There are many reasons for that, but if a job offer materialized in another state, don't you think we'd grab it?
If other states have jobs in your field, wouldn't you move there?

Exposure to other cultures is also a factor. I'm fairly certain none of my ancestors were of Italian decent.
But I wish they were.
As a youth, I was witness to a lot of Italian culture. Food. Family. Beliefs. Culture.
My respect for all things Italian only grew as I matured.
I lucked out by befriending several people who were Italian. The memories and stories they told I will cherish forever. 
While working at Disney World, I shared an apartment with Stephano Cherchi, a native of Florence. Many discussions and shared memories were had, and I enjoyed having Stephano as a friend. After we left our shared apartment, I fell on some hard times. Stephano called me asking for a favor and I was too embarrassed of my situation to help him. That was wrong of me. If I ever ran into him again, I promised myself I'd make it up to him. He's a good person and my life was better for knowing him.

So here I am, years down the line. A bit older, perhaps a bit wiser. When I see pictures of people trying to cross the border. I don't see people looking for hand outs. I see desperate people looking for a fighting chance to live.

First and foremost: they are people. Humans. Would I shovel a ditch or clean toilets in order to support my family?
Bet your ass I would.
Now I won't deny there are people who abuse the system, but in all my travels, all the people I've met, a fighting chance is all that is asked for.

Bums at the street corner will never get change from me. Occasionally I will scold them, berate and tell them to go get help.
My family were having lunch at Burger King one day. A man came up to our table and held a sign up.
the sign read: I'm deaf and hungry, please help me.
Using sign language, I responded. Have you no pride? I'm deaf too. I work. I fight. I don't give up.
Surprise formed on his face. 
Do you take drugs or drink? I asked in ASL.
He responded 'yes'.
I told him to lay off the stuff, it'll kill him. Then I wrote down the name of the deaf center here in town. If he got there, they would send him to where he could get help.
Way long ago, I came out of a grocery store in El Paso. Outside there was a homeless man holding a rusted out gas can. He was asking for change so he could get some gas. The whole situation was funny because I could clearly see the holes in the can.
I said; "I've got a gas card and the Diamond Shamrock is just over there. C'mon, I'll fill you up."
He said, "Naw, naw. That's alright. Just give me the money."
Nope. You want booze? Drugs? Can't help you.
I've filled people's gas cans when they're truly down and out. I will get out of my car and help you push yours uphill.
You want to drink yourself stupid or shoot up? You're on your own.
I give hand ups, not hand outs.

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