Many years ago my cousin married a man in the Air Force and for much of his career they moved from base to base. Their son was born while the family lived in Tripoli, Libya (Northern Africa). When he was about 10 the family lived in Southern Virginia and his classmates asked him where he was from. But when he told them he was born in Africa they refused to believe him. “You can’t be from Africa. You’re not Black.” Full disclosure: they didn’t use the word “Black” but you get the point.
In 2006 Virginia Republican Senator George Allen ran for reelection. As is the custom, Mr. Allen’s opponent hired a young man to follow his campaign and report back. The man, S.R. Sidarth, was born and raised in Virginia but was dark skinned as his parents immigrated from India. When Mr. Allen learned of Mr. Sidarth at a rally he said this to the crowd: “This fellow here over here with the yellow shirt, Macaca, or whatever his name is. He’s with my opponent… Let’s give a welcome to Macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.”
Both groups assumed that your skin color was determined by where you were born and that you have to be white to be a “real” American when biology tells us that skin color is determined by our DNA. And our Constitution tells us that a person is an American (citizen) by either being born here or by becoming naturalized.
I’m writing this now because of recent violent incidents against the AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) communities over the false belief that COVID 19 is their fault. They are often told to “go back to where you belong.” Because of the shape of their eyes they are perceived to not belong.
But immigrants from China have been coming since the 1850s and their story is nearly identical to the European immigrants around the same time. They worked hard at jobs that others wouldn’t take, they raised their families, and wanted nothing more than a better life.
The next Asian person you meet may well be a 4th or 5th generation American. And even if he’s not, COVID 19 didn’t come because he was Asian, but because the virus found a host. The virus spread because of Americans who refused to take precautions (mask, distance, etc.). It may be easier and more fashionable to blame Asians, but the only way out of this pandemic is to stop the spread of the virus, not find someone to blame.
By the way, I “look like” an American but two of my four grandparents were born in Canada.
Today we learned that President Biden’s COVID-19 plan passed both houses of Congress and he will sign the bill into law in the next day or so.
By any measure it’s been a hard year. In late 2019 we learned about a virus that began in China and soon made its way around the globe. This time last year the its spread and lethality alarmed us enough to shut down large parts of the economy. Restaurants and gyms shut down, schools largely switched to distance learning, and many retail stores began to offer only services only by delivery.
As expected many people, largely those at the bottom of the economy, lost their jobs. Those who could work from home did this, but they were primarily those in the middle to top of the economy.
In fairness, the previous (Republican) President signed legislation to provide direct assistance and increased unemployment benefits but they were temporary. Now that our President is a Democrat, the Republican party has suddenly decided to care about the amount of money the government is spending.
They argue that the bill provides assistance that goes beyond help for COVID-19. They claim that this bill provides a “wish list of the liberal agenda”.
Speaking as a Democrat, I plead guilty. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t just caused the death of 500,000 Americans, it has also devastated our economy.
If this bill provides us with the ability to inoculate us against the virus, I’m on board. And if it also allows business to stay in business, if it allows the unemployed to continue to provide food and housing to themselves and their families, I’m also on board with that.
If you disagree with me and if you claim to be Christian, please give me your argument in light of Matthew, chapter 5.
I write this a little over six weeks after Donald Trump left the White House. He left without acknowledging his defeat to President Joseph Biden or attending President Biden’s inauguration. Trump is determined to spend the rest of his life claiming he won the election and was cheated out of a 2nd term.
This past weekend he spoke at a conference for conservative Republicans (CPAC) and hinted that he would attempt to regain the White House in 2024.
I began the Trump Chronicles shortly after he won in 2016. His election horrified most of us and I determined to write a blog that called him to account. In those four years I wrote 153 blog posts that called out his his lies, his prejudices, and his determination to profit on the backs of all of us.
Simply put, I’m tired of writing about him. I don’t know his future but I pray that he will pay for his crimes against the American people. If his behavior places him in prison I will not rejoice but will instead feel relieved. I doubt I’ll write about him again.