Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907.
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
Theodore Roosevelt 1907
Every American citizen needs to read this!
KEEP THIS MOVING
Normally I ignore these things but when she sends me these issue based emails I tend to get a bit touchy. The last one was about English as the national language. So I decided to take a break from my packing and what not to click respond all:
Everyone seems to forget that this was country was built on the backs of immigrants. Keep in mind that the genealogy you are working on contains people who emigrated here who I am sure did not speak perfect English. Perhaps we should look at the fact that many of the people who come here are often better educated that most Americans – don’t believe me look for The Tonight Show’s Jay Leno doing a bit where he asks naturally born Americans simple facts that every American should know and note that most of them can not answer them. I am sure if search google you find it. Here are some examples:
Grade School Knowledge: http://www.nbc.com/The_Tonight_Show_wit
Astronomy and Pluto: http://www.nbc.com/The_Tonight_Show_wit
Election Day: http://www.nbc.com/The_Tonight_Show_wit
Woman’s History: http://www.nbc.com/The_Tonight_Show_wit
Some of these are pretty simple and we all laugh at this type of ignorance because it’s funny to watch people make fools of themselves. While I do not watch The Tonight Show regularly I have seen instances where Mr. Leno asks everyday Americans questions from the test that is given to people who want to become citizens of the United States, which can be found here: http://www.floydpinkerton.net/fun/immig
It is amazing that we focus on these minute things: English as a national language, matters of religion and the government, and the price of gasoline to name a few. This message speaks of equality and against discrimination yet look at the country – we are still a country that discriminates based on color, sex, and gender – there is still a racial divide. We look at people of Muslim background with suspicion. We look at black people with suspicion – FYI Buffalo is one of the most segregated cities in the country: http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/stor
What does this say? We have stereotypes for everyone black, white, yellow, brown. People walk done the streets of Buffalo and if a homeless person comes up to them the immediate assumption is that the person must be a drug addict or alcoholic and either walk faster or try to ignore them to set out conscious’s at ease. I, myself, am guilty of this when I have gone to New York City. In fact one day a man came up to me and outright asked me “I am homeless. Could I have a dollar so that I could get a beer?” To say that I was taken aback by his honesty would be an understatement. American children do not get equal education. Speaking as someone whose parents had the foresight to send him to a public school, I consider myself lucky since the high school I would have gone to is quite possibly one of the worst in the region, if not the state. We complain about the state of youth behavior and how the current generation has no respect for their elders and yet look at their babysitters: the video gaming systems, the internet, and the television. Parents now do not focus on their children or their family – in some cases it’s because they need more than one job to make ends meet – in others it is because they believe that there are more important things, such as their social lives. And for this we sit and wonder how and why there is such fascination with the Paris Hiltons, Brittney Spears, and Anna Nicole Smiths of the world. I remember growing up in an environment where I had a strict regimen of choirs, homework and discipline. If I got caught disobeying, slacking or lying, there were consequences. And sure I caused my fair share of crap for my parents but I learned and it is that discipline that shaped who I am today.
We speak of moral values and family traditions with such authority and yet these are things we learned from our parents who learned it from their parents and if we keep back-tracking these are immigrant values. We speak of moral authority and values and yet we are all bark and no bite. The divorce rate in the country is anywhere between 40 and 60% (depending on your source), yet we declare marriage as being sanctified. We read articles in newspapers about human rights violations in China, the Middle East, and elsewhere yet we fail to notice the human rights violations here. People complain about the state of the government and corruption yet we have the ability to write those officials we elected, that is if we voted; of course most of us don’t since less than 50% of Americans participate in even the major elections.
I am sure that there are many things you do not agree with me about but that is the beauty of being an American citizen we can speak our minds, disagree on many things from politics, to morality, to religion, to many other things. These people come to this country in search of a better life – look at the immigrants and where a majority of them are coming from then look at the immigration laws that this country has, which in my opinion are outdated. This is not to say that I think that we should let illegal immigrants come into the country under the guise of fake IDs and Social Security numbers. But what does it say about a country that was built on the backs of immigrants when that same country builds a wall on its borders?
I could easily go on and on but instead I will end this with some other things that were said by Theodore Roosevelt:
“Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far”
But more importantly: “Avoid the base hypocrisy of condemning in one man what you pass over in silence when committed by another.”