Thursday, November 28, 2013

My Thanksgiving Resolution

I know it's early in the season for resolutions, but this one seems particularly appropriate on this holiday when we celebrate being in the USA -- a land we took from the native people who lived here before us.

Watch this video:

It's inspired me:

I'm going to stop using the term "illegal alien" and start using "undocumented immigrant" instead.

"Undocumented Immigrant" highlights our shared humanity. And really, unless you're a Native American, you (like me) are an immigrant to this country.

And I doubt all our ancestor's "documents" meant that much to the native people who watched Columbus arrive, or to the tribes betrayed by President Andrew Jackson and forced to march in the Trail of Tears West of the Mississippi river. (80,000 marched. 10,000 died.) And then we put that guy on the twenty dollar bill.

The history of how this country came to be is fraught with injustice and undocumented immigration. I think it's responsible to acknowledge that fact, and also to acknowledge how thankful I am to live in this country, and to be an American. Recognizing my privilege, I want to be an ally and stand up for those who aren't lucky enough to have the correct documents.


p.s. - My thanks to Chris for sharing this video with me, and for the idea of changing the language we use to speak of people like Jose Antonio Vargas.

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