(Fred Weinberg) – What is the difference between some illegal aliens from below our Southern border, some immigrants from the Middle East and my grandparents who came through Ellis Island after World War One, fleeing the onset of the Nazi Party?
In a word, assimilation.
When my grandparents came here, they mostly spoke Yiddish and they knew three things about America. The first thing they knew is that they would not likely be killed because of their religion. The second was that the key to success in America was knowledge. And the third? This is the land of opportunity and it was theirs for the taking.
When their children—my parents—were born, they made sure that they attended the pre-World War Two New York City public school system every day it was open to get as much of that knowledge as they could.
And, as my parents grew up, their parents spoke to them in Yiddish and they answered in English. Within one generation, my grandparents had raised two college graduates who relocated from New York City to the Midwest. One became the Dean of the College of Engineering at Bradley University and the other became a first-grade teacher.
We grew up, my sisters and I, in a house my father built and paid for with a 20 year VA mortgage (he enlisted in the Navy in World War Two) and—to the day my parents died, they loved this country and the opportunities it had given their parents, themselves and, most importantly, my sisters and I.
That is the way America is supposed to work. My grandparents assimilated into the America which we all know and love.
So, when La Raza wraps demonstrators in a Mexican flag and burns the American flag, when they tell us that the Western United States really belongs to Mexico, when Mexico gets upset because we wish to enforce our border, the issue is not racism or xenophobia but rather their lack of desire to assimilate into America.
When Muslims come here and tell us that we should be subject to Sharia law, again, the issue is not racism or xenophobia but rather their lack of desire to assimilate into America.
As a people, we Americans don’t mind you bringing a little of your culture with you.
But we do draw the line at being told we have to bend to it.
And bending includes treating women and gay people as second or third class citizens. In some Muslim countries, women can’t drive, go to school and are completely controlled by men. And gay men, as well as lesbians, are thrown to their deaths from the roofs of buildings.
When my grandparents came to America, they came because America was the land of opportunity. They WANTED to become Americans. They WANTED to work hard and prosper.
They were GRATEFUL for the opportunities their new home presented.
Those are the people we want as immigrants. Those are the people that President Trump wants to come through the door in his wall.
The people that the President—and most of us—do NOT want coming through that wall are people who are criminals and do not appreciate the concept of a democratic republic which is the longest lived experiment in self-government in history.
In short, if you are going to become a resident of the United States, you better want to become an American and all that entails. Just like my grandparents.
And we—through our President—have every right to demand that.
If some so-called Federal Judge wants to change those rules, he better resign his lifetime appointment and run for Congress. Because those are the only people who can change the law under our system.
The word you are looking for is assimilation.
And anyone who wants to come here without assimilating should go back to wherever he or she came from.
If that makes me xenophobic, so be it. I wish I could ask Samuel and Mary Weinberg and Sadie and Ben Jaffe what they think.
But they did their job too well. I don’t speak Yiddish well enough to actually ask them, were they still alive. And that’s what America is all about.
Mr. Weinberg is publisher of the Penny Press. Get to know more about him by visiting www.PennyPressNV.com.www.PennyPressNV.com.