Current mood: indefatigable
i’ve been thinking a lot about being American. and a lot about being Araby. America will get through this, even if i feel afraid sometimes; afraid sometimes because my mother is from Jordan and my father is from Palestine; because i grew up speaking Arabic and eating Arabic. because i look Arabic. my mother and my father toiled relentlessly to take advantage of America’s elusive promises. i am a testament to their success. fuck anyone who tries to take that away from me. i toil relentlessly to NOT inherit the commonplace prejudices of their childhood, the proud valiant resentment of Jews and Muslims.
immigration is inherent in American identity. our immigrants are our truest Americans; from day one, and ever since. we came for the Land. this Land is your Land, this Land is my Land. we love the Land. that is what strengthens America. THAT is why American is the only nationality you can become, because all you have to do is love the Land.
this country’s strength is predicated on the actions of its immigrants. from John Winthrop to the founding fathers to the ex post facto Native Americans to congressmen to Andrew Carnegie to movie stars to restaurateurs. this country constantly brings in and fertilizes new ideas. new generations set foot here with new ideas, always testing the strength of the past and forging the future. it sounds lofty and poetic, but it encompasses corporate oligarchies as well as the free flow of information.
it takes strong people to come here, to dig in and grow here. people come from all over the world – the whole fucking globe. the Japanese study us as a culture. being well versed in American culture makes you more valuable in the Japanese job market. American culture is just a genre of information and customs, hamburgers, westerns, blockbuster movies, protests, assimilation, capitalism, apple pie, porn. it’s awe-inspiring. besides, immigration is big business.
what do i know?
By Michael Penn
Release date: 15 September, 1992