From One American to Another
By. Raimondo Graziano
~Written around the 2016 Presidential Election
I’d like to respectfully ask any supporter of the Presidents to respectfully explain to me, why this is so? I’ll give you the courtesy of assuming you are not ignorant to the state of the world, if you’d do for me the same, and please let’s all have for a moment in this season of vitriolic rhetoric and anger; empathy and compassion. Leaving out the fact that Mr. Kahn’s son fought and died for his country, Mr. Kahn has been a citizen of this country for over thirty years. Firstly. Explain to me what Mr. Khan, a man who cited the constitution, our nations guiding document of conduct, order and law, in remarks made last year at a speech decrying the calls for a ‘total shutdown of Muslim immigration’ – which is unconstitutional, and there’s no argument otherwise – explain to me, what he has done to illicit a response such as this.
Secondly. In what country that calls itself a democracy, a country meant for all peoples, a country regardless of color, race, creed, religion, orientation, political beliefs or otherwise – in what country are our rights and privileges under ‘review’? Certainly, not these United States. Certainly not a nation born in the conflagration of war, a war to break from a tyrannical hold on a people’s thousands of miles away from a crown that no longer cared, a war of ideas; ideas centered on freedom, autonomy of people, life, liberty and the pursuit of a person’s individual happiness. Certainly not a nation that for all its wrongs and misgivings has been a beacon of hope; and whose shores are looked on as that of the shores of opportunity and freedom itself.
Most definitely not the nation whose defining, most iconic homage to our promise reads, with silent lips, torch of freedom and the hope of all peoples in hand: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Certainly not this nation. Certainly not the country I know, the country I hold in my heart. So please, respectfully tell me – and keep in mind all the good this nation has done for those who we did not call countrymen, friends; keep in mind the example our country has set to the Western democracies of this planet for centuries past. Keep in mind, especially, the countless men and women who have died in defense of these ideals – who’ve left family, friends and the comfort of their homes, the comfort and security this nation affords us all, to make the greatest of sacrifices.
Keep in mind those that have died in the pangs of slavery, whether in chains or fighting to break them, for those who died for the rights of women to vote, for those who have died fighting for the civil rights denied to our fellow countrymen, our brothers and sisters not in blood, but in common relation to this land, here. For all who have perished and devoted their very being to progress. Keep that in mind and please tell me – Who are we, what have we become, and where in god’s name are we headed?