September 4, 2014

I’d rather teach refugee kids than Americans who hate refugee kids

Matt Amaral, Teach 4 Real - It deeply saddens me that there are people in this country who hate seven-year olds. It is befuddling. It is offensive. It is crazy. And even if you do hate seven-year olds, what is even more amazing is to hate a seven-year old so much that you make a sign, drive to where the scared seven-year olds are, and yell at them for being homeless and alone. I don’t remember Jesus doing something like that in the Bible...

...No matter how you feel about immigrants coming to this country illegally, (like the Puritans did), I thought we could all agree that when a small child makes his or her way into what is supposed to be the greatest country on earth, alone, scared, hungry, and lost, that even if you think they should be sent back immediately to wherever they came from, that you don’t hate the seven-year old.

... Here in California, you can look around and see what happens when you work with the people who emigrate here from the South. We’ve been welcoming immigrants for decades now (okay, it hasn’t always been smooth, but compared to most states it’s like a water slide of assimilation). We allow people without papers to have driver’s licenses. We help them pay for college. We do these things because we don’t just automatically assume people from Central America are all scum. We actually think they are people just like us. You should come over here and check it out.

.... I grew up in California, and I am a soccer player. I was always the one white kid on the all-Latino team, and because of this many of my teammates and friends were just like these refugee kids. Many didn’t speak English, and came over here in a van. Some were born here. Some came over on a plane and were only supposed to stay for 90 days, but they never knew that because they were like four when their parents flew them here and they found out later they were illegal.

But I look at these guys today and it just hasn’t panned out like that. My boy from the ghetto of Oakland is a great example. He lived in the deep ghetto, by the Coliseum, a couple blocks from BART. The last time I was visiting his family I got sick from the taco truck on International. Even the food over there will try and kill you. He went to the ghettoest high school in Oakland where teachers sometimes locked the doors and tried to fight kids. His first language was Spanish, and he was your typical ELL kid in a room full of ELL students. Well, he’s now a principal, married and has a daughter.

Another buddy of mine was the one who came here on a plane when he was four and never went back. He is an elementary school teacher, the nicest guy you’ll ever meet, married with a kid. Does it matter if he is a citizen?

My other buddy’s wife used to go to the special ELL school across the street from where I went to high school. It was a small little school our district sent all the ELL kids to. I really think people in this country look at all the dark kids walking through the doors of a school like that and think none of them are going to make it. My buddy’s wife now works for the Social Security Office and has two college degrees. She didn’t even start speaking English until she was 13.

So the next time you see pictures of a bunch of Latinos in an ELL class, just remember that those kids are going to be principals, government workers, and many of them are going to college. My illegal honors student who walked across the desert of Arizona is going to be a doctor. He just finished his first four years at a UC.



Capt. America said...

Every immigrant takes a job from a US citizen. Immigration must stop altogether right now.

Anonymous said...

Sam, I'm surprised that you put that rubbish in. It's similar to the natalist anti-Choice canard (you've heard it, I'm sure) "then you'd have killed Beethoven"

- there are no 7yos coming here alone, so he's trying to impose guilt with at least one lie.

- contrary to his claim, he IS a "Latino". Amaral is a Portuguese name - we have many people of that name on the south shore of Mass.

Cherry Street Philisophy said...

It is absolute bovine manure that every immigrant takes a job from a US citizen. It is beyond asinine to purport that 57,000 (500,000 or even 5,000,000) refugee children represent a threat or burden to this once great nation.

The immigrant serves as the strawman argument of diversionary propaganda that hides the loss of our jobs by the neo-liberal financial theory exemplified by NAFTA, GATT, CAFTA and other so called "free trade" agreements.

These "trade" agreements have arguably done as great or greater economical damage to the countries of Central and Southern American as well as our immediate neighbor Mexico then our own self inflicted wounds and certainly have exacerbated the situation in these countries along with our overt and covert political meddling.

Capitalism (free movement of capital) monetary policy is conflated with the free enterprise system that this country was based on.

In light of the perversion of economic policy from the original capital as quantified in Adam Smiths Wealth of Nations, by the financial interests that have devalued our currency and the institutions of our society, we can hardly even call ourselves capitalistic.

Democracy (or Federalism if you will) does not equate with capitalism; the two often are mutually exclusive. Government cannot be run as a business; the goals and outcomes of the two are not the same.

There is no such thing as a "free market" or "Free trade": they are ideals (like Aristotle's crystal spheres or Socrates perfect mirror world).

We are a nation of immigrants; the ant-immigrant meme serves to pit "us against them" while the banksters and those who hide in the shadows wielding the true power laugh all the way to the bank.