I haven’t been political here much, if at all.
I am an extremely political person. I am liberal. I am a life-long Democrat. I speak out against the government, as is my First Amendment right as an American citizen. I have voted in every election since turning 18. I take my children to vote with me. My husband and I discuss politics in the house daily. My children are probably more politically aware than most children their ages.
I am horrified by what this country has become. I am horrified by what the Pretender-In-Chief has done to America. He has broken the law. He engaged in efforts with Russia to ensure victory in the 2016 election. He puts children in cages and separates families at the border. He ensures the wealth gap. He dismantles policies that deal with the environment, immigration, LGBTQ rights, etc. He tweets to fire people. He is racist. He is anti-Semitic. He is xenophobic. He is awful.
I read a post by a friend on Facebook last night. It was striking, honest. I amended it, and humbly place it here.
I am not a first generation American.
My grandparents & parents were born and raised in New York. I lived in New York until I was almost 15.
Three of my four great-grandparents were born in America. I’m the third generation born in America on my dad’s side & the fifth on my mom’s side. My family all came through Ellis Island. I have ancestors who changed their names there because they sounded “too Jewish.”
The United States is a great country that has serious problems and has never reached its fullest potential. Yet.
I complain about the U.S. all the time, about racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, corruption, welfare for the rich at the expense of the poor, health care, the insurance industry, the police, politicians, environmental issues, gun violence, a plethora of policies and people and a whole bunch more.
I complain because I want the country to be better. I vote, I raise my kids with values and awareness. I have protested, marched, donated money, blogged, supported friends and others expressing complaint and solutions… I complain more than anything, as is my right.
Will someone tell me to go back to any one of the European countries from which my family came if I express my complaints about the United States? No? Why?
Oh, yeah. I’m white.
But, outwardly as inwardly, I’m also a Jew. A practicing Jew. If I protest something the American government is doing, something I vehemently disapprove of, will I be told, like many fellow Jews have been told throughout history, go back to where I came from? And where is that? Some might say it’s Israel, a place I have visited once in 1999, but where I’ve never lived. For others, it would be somewhere in the oh-so-welcoming-to-Jews Europe.
I am not a first generation American. I belong here as much as you do, even if you came on the Mayflower.
I complain about America. There are some things about this country I hate, even though I love it.
I will continue to complain about America because I want it to get better. I will support the right of any American to do the same.