To begin, I’m assuming of the people who read this blog, there are some that are quite liberal, some who are conservative, and some that fall in that vast space that we so trivially call “in the middle.” To add to this, I don’t frankly care about your politics as it relates to extra-biblical maters, but that being said, I think this post may rattle a few of your preverbal cages and to that I am sorry.
I (Randy) am three months into living in a new culture and trying to learn a new language. Some days are better than others and I certainly know more Spanish after 10 AM or three cups of coffee, whichever comes later. To put a single word on this experience, it is infuriating. Gone are the days I can strike up a conversation with a stranger and skillfully direct the chat through the ebbs and flows of human discourse from talking about the weather to discussing more meaningful topics such as the existence of a good Creator to how to raise a wild 6 year old.
I think I know what you’re thinking, “boohoo, poor Randy, how about you get over yourself and stop whining.” And while this is a much needed rebuke, the end result of my missing the opportunity to use my gift of gab leads me to think of the thousands, if not millions of non-English speakers currently living in the United States. You see here in the Dominican Republic, and I’m assuming probably most everywhere else in the world, people long to learn the language of unheard of wealth, namely English. In their mind English is a golden key that unlocks a hidden fortune, that all they need do is master this foreign tongue and start living the lush life of luxury. But for those living in America who can’t eloquintly speak the language that brings the touch of Midas to their lives, they are often seen as leaches on a government that “should be looking out for it’s own.”
When I go to the store, people smile at me, stroke my kids’ blonde hair, wonder what I must be doing outside of my homeland, and sheepishly try out the handful of English words they’ve learned over the years. They believe me to be rich simply because I am from a country completely devoid of the cats Fievel spoke of. I’m betting this experience isn’t shared by a Columbian dishwasher living in East Oakland, or a Equatorian physics teacher who now works as a janitor at a public school in Phoenix, or a Mexican migrant worker going to yet another town in what is yet another springtime so he can pick some more apples all with the hope that the money he sends back to his family in the Yucatan is enough to pay for his 18 year old college freshman’s books this semester. What hits me over and over as I sing my despondencies into the cup of my sweet sweet mango nectar, is how awful it must be for these non-English speakers in the US.
So please, please try not to hate people or insert them into the fictionally derived narrative that states that all illegal immigrants are somehow involved in selling or manufacturing narcotics. Try not to suppose they’re bad people or good people, as if there were such a thing apart from God’s grace, but try to remember that they’re are simply: people. I’m not calling you to change your politics in anyway, I’m simply asking you to have some common decency and try to be helpful to someone who is feels generally lost most of their day. Think about it. Think if you were born into a place where it was nearly impossible for you to provide for your family. Think about if you were raised in a country where you can’t go out at night, not in the bad areas, but in any area. Think about if you moved to a new place with a new culture and had to learn a new language, but the locals in this new place treated you as second class.
This blog post is simply about me extending a call for mercy. Please give it a try.