Friday, May 24, 2013 4:47 AM
Published on: Thursday, December 06, 2012
By Brian J. Karem
During the last few decades I will confess to obtaining some of my stories while sitting in the barber chair waiting for a haircut.
When it was rumored the mayor in a Texas city was engaged in some extra-marital activity, it was while on that barber chair I first heard the news I would later report to a larger audience. I learned of the raid on a Waco, Texas cult compound in a similar manner – as well as the early deployment of troops in what would become operation “Desert Shield” and then “Desert Storm.”
I hope I never lose all my hair for I fear I’ll lose some vital connections.
The latest on the haircut circuit has to do with the county’s recent choice to become county council president.
Councilmember Nancy Navarro is now county council president and Craig Rice is now the county council vice president.
Navarro, a Hispanic woman, spoke in Spanish on the radio recently – and that prompted some not-so-courteous responses at the local barber shop.
Craig Rice is a black male, and that also prompted some less-than-courteous comments.
It is prompting me to be extremely blunt.
If you’re one of those people who doesn’t like Hispanics in our country, state, county, city or your neighborhood – get over it. That ship has sailed. I do not want nor do I care to hear about how “they are damaging” the American Dream.
I won’t go through all the clichéd comments about how we’re all sons and daughters of immigrants, but I will note that comments regarding immigrants ruining the country are replete in our country’s history since its inception. It was said of the Italians, the Irish, Scots, Blacks, Lebanese, etc. Everyone came over here from a different culture and spoke the old-world language. Two generations down the road, everyone had melted into the great melting pot and you couldn’t tell my looking or listening to anyone if they were the sons of recent or not-so-recent immigrants. Some of those second-generation Americans are some of the people today griping about the new wave of immigrants. Hypocrisy is rampant.
But, let’s not discount the other side of that coin either. Some of the complaints regarding some members of the Hispanic culture ring true. There are people who believe they are entitled and people who don’t want to become part of the melting pot. Of course that situation is hardly unique to those of Hispanic descent.
However, in so much as people believe Navarro is pandering to a selected subset of our population by speaking Spanish publicly, she must strive to be inclusive. She represents everyone – not just Hispanics.
This problem is part of the larger ongoing struggle in the U.S.
We have broken ourselves off into little groups. We are liberals. We are conservatives. We are “God fearing” and we are atheists. We are hyphenated Americans. We fail to stress our common interests and are more intent on defending our minority interests.
In so much as minorities have historically been given the short end of the stick, we should strive to maintain a level playing field. It is government of, by and for all people.
But it’s not a government pandering to hyphenated Americans.
I am not a Lebanese-American of the second generation, or a Catholic-American, or a white-male American. I’m merely an American. So is everyone else who wants to call the U.S. home.
While it is now popular in revisionist history to look upon the founding fathers as slave owners and hypocrites, the words written on paper in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are worthy of praise, study and striving to achieve.
We’re all human. We all make mistakes. However the ideals upon which the country was founded remain immutably true.
As I’ve often been fond of saying, the state motto of Kentucky is well worth remembering, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.”
So long as the county council leaders remember this, we will be fine. So long as the residents of this county live this way, we’ll be even better.
Good luck to all of us in 2013.
Posted By: perryrants On: 12/8/2012
revisionist history to look upon the founding fathers as slave owners and hypocrites, huh? how is the fact that some were indeed slave owners revisionists?