The other day I attended a meeting in which the audience was asked to raise hands if their parents were immigrants, if their grandparents were immigrants, or even if they knew immigrants. The response was close to 100%. We truly are a nation of immigrants.
I never really thought about that in personal terms. My paternal grandfather immigrated from Finland to Michigan. He remarried, and his second wife, my step-grandmother, spoke not a word of English. His manual labor as an iron miner enabled my father to get a college education. My father and mother valued education above all else because education enabled their participation in the American dream. And there never was any thought that their sons would do other than attend college and be “outstanding in your field” as my mother put it.
So like many others I am the grandson of immigrants. But I never thought that there was anything unusual about my heritage. That, you see, was because of my faith in what America is and what America does and who Americans are. Sure, there have been tears in that fabric, always some group we tried to turn away from our shores. But in the long view, my faith in America held strong because our nation managed to be a beacon to the rest of the world. With the election of Donald Trump that faith is shaken.
Keith Olberman is much harsher in his GQ video from “The Resistance” series reviewed by the Huffington Post, Emotional Keith Olbermann Apologizes To The World For ‘Traitor’ Trump. “Donald Trump has branded himself a traitor to everything this country has stood for.”
Keith Olbermann has a message for the global community: We’re sorry.
“Donald Trump has branded himself a traitor to everything this country has stood for. We have already acted against him in the streets and in the courts,” the liberal commentator said in his latest “The Resistance” segment for GQ. “We will remove him. We will welcome you again.”
Olbermann also spoke about America’s long history as a sanctuary for the world’s immigrants and refugees, and drew parallels between Trump’s immigrant grandfather and his own immigrant great-great grandfather.
Toward the end of the video, Olbermann seemed on the verge of tears as he quoted “The New Colossus,” the Emma Lazarus poem written for the Statue of Liberty and engraved in bronze inside its pedestal.
Let us hope that, if we reframe Olberman’s assertion into a question, we can answer in the negative and reaffirm our nation as “the light of the world” that still burns strong.
h/t Miriam Lindmeier for the HuffPost alert.