FROG HOSPITAL - November 26, 2018
By Fred Owens
Immigration to America was Never Easy
It's possible to become an American, but it's never been easy. Newcomers were given the worst jobs and lived in the worst neighborhoods. They were mocked and abused and worse, People said they looked funny and they couldn't speak English and their food smelled awful. People said much worse than that, but over a period of time, we got used to them, and they became like us, and we became a little like them. But it was always difficult.....It was never easy.
There is a trouble at the San Ysidro crossing between San Diego and Tijuana. We can let the migrants in or we can turn them back. We can grant them asylum or we can put them on a plane back to Honduras. I'm not proposing a solution, but I do want to pose a context. Immigration has never been easy. There was no golden age when newcomers were welcomed with blessings and open arms. It was always tough. The Yankee kids beat up the Irish kids until the Irish kids became cops and then the Irish kids beat up the Jewish kids, and so it went. The Chinese were treated worse, and the African slaves worst of all. But it was the promise of a better life that made it happen -- those long, harrowing journeys and those hopes.
And we can do better. We can get better at welcoming strangers to join our culture. They can become like us and we can become a little like them. It just takes time. It starts out rough and then it gets smoother.
But one thing is sure. The trouble at the border is a difficult situation and Trump will make it worse. He will take a problem and turn it into a crisis. He will take a crisis and turn it into a war. There must be a way for calmer people to act and prevent a crisis and a war.
Thanksgiving and Driving Through Malibu
We had a swell Thanksgiving with Laurie's family in Manhattan Beach. I sat in the TV room and watched football games with Sam. Sam is Laurie's brother's wife's brother. Got that? Sam was born in Japan and came to California as a child. He is eighty years old
I would guess and he pretends he doesn't speak English. The first six years with Sam we watched the game together in silence, in full appreciation of the calm atmosphere while the other relatives screamed with joy and laughter in the living room.
But this year Sam and I began to talk. He offered me a beer, and went to fetch it. He offered me some edamame beans which he had cooked himself. His English vocabulary is very limited but good enough, and his smile is genuine, so we are friends now. Actually we were always friends even during the silent years, enjoying a mutual love for Beer and Football.
(Regarding the football game -- I did actually rise to do a few kitchen chores, cleared dirty plates, took out the trash, etc.)
On Friday after Thanksgiving we visited my sister and my son and two of my nieces in Venice Beach. We walked to a restaurant and had brunch.
Then we drove up the coast through Malibu. The Malibu fire is out, but the blackened hill sides come right down to the highway and go on for ten miles and more. It will grow back if it ever rains. The homes destroyed and the lives lost -- I'm glad we saw it. We got back to Santa Barbara by dinner time and ate leftover turkey and pumpkin pie.