As immigration reform and the pathway to citizenship are moving forward, an educator tells his idea for teaching kids about what's really American.
Why is "foreign" such a problematic word? In the recent presidential campaign, it was a negative label used by Mitt Romney to tar and feather Barack Obama. President Obama has foreign ideas, he said. It was already a worn out trope that Mr. Obama's not American. “He’s different!” True – just like the rest of us. Which means, we shouldn't be so schizophrenic about what's foreign and what's American. Obama seems to be getting it right now, stressing the talents and skills that immigrants offer the American talent pool – talents we should enfranchise, not deport.
It’s a commonplace to say, “We are a nation of immigrants.” We can all tell a family story whose arc originates somewhere else on the planet. Many of us are several generations away from the actual immigrant experience; some of us are new arrivals. We forget the strength of our history and how to embrace it. After all, what is an American?
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