Entries in diversity (1)




 Usa, Flag, America, American

America – “The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”

I remember sitting on the front steps of our house in Chicago waiting for it to get dark enough for my dad to light the sparklers, those wire sticks that when lit produced tiny explosions of light that hissed and if you weren’t careful spat hot licks of fire onto your hands and bare legs.  Everyone in the neighborhood was outside or would be shortly.  Some neighbors had firecrackers ready to ignite and some had railroad flares set into the ground that would glow a hot white or red. Neighborhoods across the country were doing these same things, getting ready to celebrate America’s Birthday!


I grew up in a neighborhood that was heavily populated by German and Lithuanian families.  Many of the older members of the households barely spoke English and relied on their children and their grandchildren to help them communicate but we all got along – except this one woman who was just a crabby old bat.  But that’s another story. When Jerry and I moved to suburban Chicago to start a family we were surrounded by neighbors of various ethnic backgrounds – Russian Jews, Chinese, African American, etc. 


We had a friend that was an actor from Spain, two friends who were journalists who fled Cuba early on during the Castro regime; a young friend was a French Armenian who wanted to be a well known hairdresser like his older brother.  Once he practiced on Jerry, giving him a haircut that resulted in Jerry losing the tip of his ear. Another friend was sent to America as a child after watching her mother being raped and killed by German soldiers in occupied France during the Second World War. A student/aspiring theater actor introduced us to the AIDs epidemic as we watched him fade away before he had a chance to play a staring role. 


Diversity is what America is.  We are a mixture of all nationalities, religions, races and political beliefs; this, I believe, is what makes this country strong.  In past years other countries have labeled us a nation of cowboys, loud-mouthed, uncouth barbarians who answer threats with action. Maybe we did but those same countries thought twice before pissing us off. 


Our strength lately has been ebbing at home and abroad, in part because we have been allowing our differences to divide us instead of making us stronger.  We are taking away certain freedoms from one to give to another in an attempt to be politically correct or to quell the louder noise of one group over others. Yes, we are different but we all need to stop destroying that gift so many people have fought and died to give us.  We owe our independence to those who united together to gain our freedom from England and to those who protect us today. 


Just like any large family we will always find something to fight over but when it comes to America, love it or leave it!