Commentary Jamaica Magazine

Immigrant – Loud and Proud!

I have been ranting about the Republicans and this whole health care debacle to my circle of friends (online and offline). In the same way that it is taboo for me as a black person to talk critically about black people, apparently, there is the same feeling that those of us not born in this nation having no right to talk about this nation. In the same way that it is taboo for me as a black person to talk critically about black people, apparently, there is the same feeling that those of us not born in this nation having no right to talk about this nation. A bigger load of drivel and poppycock I’ve yet to see. Guess what, I have as much right if not more to criticize. You know why? Because unlike those who just happened to be born here, we who are immigrants made a conscious decision to come and live here. We unlike native born citizens, had to fight for the right to be here and be screened like criminals for the right to call the US home. Every legal immigrant is finger printed, TB tested and made to take a series of shots in order to qualify to become a resident. We are probably healthier and less prone to disease than US born natives because we undergo such close scrutiny. As such I object to anyone calling my loyalty to this country into question. While Jamaica will always be the land of my birth, I had a choice to return to my birth country but I chose to live here and contribute to this nation. AND before anyone gets on their high horse, my Jamaican friends, who live on the island, live a much better lifestyle than I do. I can’t afford to have a housekeeper or send my son to private school in this country; had I lived in Jamaica, I probably could have. So let’s keep this in proper perspective shall we. Good.

Now back to this healthcare issue. We have spent in excess of $30 billion dollars on the war following 9-11. Do you feel any safer than you did before? Every day we hear about new terrorist plots foiled and sneaker bombers captured, and people gate crashing the white house parties. So really how safe are we? Yet, people are balking at spending 10 billion over 10 years (not today people, over 10 years) to ensure that we have a healthy nation, children are insured, medication is cheaper and some 32 million people will have insurance. And since I’m a taxpayer AND a homeowner and pay significantly more into the tax base than many US born citizens, and actively support many US born citizens with my tax dollars, I believe I have a right to say exactly what I feel like saying. If you don’t want to hear, stick your fingers in your ears, it seems to be something that many of us who were both born and elected to live here seem very apt to do. Wimps.

The new health bill is by no means perfect. It does not solve all issues; but at the very least, it’s a start. Can we not all agree to this. Can we not all see how this will benefit us in the long run. We need to take a leaf out of history and realize that this is how we got Medicare, Medicaid and Social security and look how we rely upon these tools as critical to our nation. Healthcare reform will be similar to these measures. We need to accept responsibility to take care of those who are unable to take care of themselves. And if you consider that democratic socialism then so be it. That is the nation that we all were born into an inherited… a nation that has these programs to take care of others..why then are we balking at one more?

A few weeks ago, I railed against my race for their behavior, why would anyone think I wouldn’t rail also against my adopted nation. No-one loves America more than I do. But loving something means being able to admit it’s good things as well as its flaws. And how dare anyone question my loyalty or my dedication just because I’m able to be an adult and see the good, the bad and the ugly. Because I love America, I feel it is my right to defend it against enemies BOTH foreign and domestic. A friend of mine objected to us saying that there are many of our leaders (read Republicans) are currently an embarrasment. She felt that we didn’t love the nation, because we were critical…since when does criticism equate to dislike or disloyalty. We are critical because we are very unhappy and dissapointed in this land that we have adopted as our home. That is not determined by birth, but by the simple ability to look and made critical decisions. It doesn’t matter where you are born…this is our home and we are taxpayers and contributors to this nation and we have a right to call a spade a spade. …

She also advocated that we pray for our nation and those who fight to destroy it (read foreigners). Okay, so I understand and get that. But right now the ones destroying the nation…are the enemies…domestic NOT foreign. Also prayer without purpose is useless. We need to stop asking God for help when we aren’t doing anything to help ourselves. God will only step in when we at least attempt to try to help oursevles. The poor (and I use this term not literally) deity must be rolling his eyes in disgust and annoyance that those who are made in his image and spend so much time finding ways to degrade others also made in his image. This makes us not only a disgrace to ourselves and our nation, must more importantly, we are a disgrace to our maker.

So I don’t care whose corn I mash in the next few weeks. I plan to yell from the mountain tops when these yokels who are throwing rocks and calling in death threats and generally behave like assinine toads are encouraged by the equally stupid republican leadership. I plan to berate them for not berating those who are advocating violence and perpetrating said violence. There is no country that needs education more than this nation; because those who are behaving with the collective age of their shoe size need to spend some time studying the history of this nation and realize that there is nothing happening today that hasn’t happened before. What amazes me is that it is those less privileged who are raging against the machine. We who can afford to shell out hundreds a month in healthcare are calm, yet they who will benefit are behaving like the sky has suddenly fallen in. Idiots!!!

But as a democrat, all this hoopla kinda makes me happy because what the Republicans don’t seem to realize is that Obama is not the usual democrat. He’s going to use this misbehavior as leverage to counteract and counterbalance every single thing he wishes to accomplish. He’s pushed through what no-one else could do in the last 20 years. The man is amazing – not perfect – but amazing in his ability to stay the course and not get distracted by the rhetoric and the slings and arrows thrown at him. Now for him I will pray because he’s going to need A LOT of it to make it through the next two years.

About the author

S. M.Williams