Last night we were “invaded” by hundreds of “birthright” children. . .almost all accompanied by beaming parents. You know, the kind of parents who translate uncontainable pride into pragmatic responsibility for the safety of each of their children.
As the stream of little ones, and occasionally the not so little, bounded up my sidewalk and onto my porch, questions raced, in a thought stream of my own, across my mind. Who are these people, parents and kiddos? How did they get to my house? How do they fit into my world?
The answers aren’t so hard to ascertain. Virtually all of the little ones, having been born in the United States, belong to this nation as citizens. The same is true for many of the parents I engaged at my front door. Of course, many are not citizens. . . yet.
The children fill our public schools, adding a rich, unsurprising, qualitative diversity to classrooms across the city. The ancestry of many dates back to colonial days and beyond. They represent the hope and the future of our nation. More and more, these children add the priority of academics to a deeply engrained expectation of and appreciation for hard work.
But, what about the parents? Who are these people?
· They are the laborers who build our highways and bridges.
· They work construction projects that result in the changing skyline of our city.
· They clean our homes and businesses and hotels.
· They maintain our properties.
· They prepare and serve our meals.
· They teach and care for our children.
They work in our hospitals and provide love and care when we are ill.
· They conceive breakthrough products and processes.
· They park our cars.
· They apply their craftsmanship to our homes and buildings.
· They remodel houses, maintain plumbing, make bricklaying look fun!
· They love music.
· They are community organizers and political leaders.
· They care for one another.
· They love their families.
In short, they are just people like the rest of us.
And like the vast, vast bulk of the rest of us, they are not rapists, thieves, drug dealers, violent murderers or gang members.
The majority of those I saw last evening likely are citizens. Those who aren’t seek only a better life for themselves and their children. Kinda like me and my children and grandchildren.
So, I’m thinking, why would anyone want to get rid of these wonderful people? Especially since our nation is aging, and it’s population is not growing outside the immigrant community.
No, for me I’m feeling appreciation, gratitude and great hope as I think about who paid me a visit last evening on Halloween. Frankly, I’m pretty sold on the so-called “browning of America!”