It seems from day one, from the beginning of our awareness of the negative effects of what has been deemed to be progress, one looming concern with unmitigated climate degradation was immigration.
Today, as was predicted, more and more areas of the globe are unable to sustain life, and those most impacted are people from countries with the lowest carbon footprint.
Mass immigration was predictable, is predictable, and is the reality. And it must be addressed fairly, justly, and with compassion.
Unless you are a descendant of a Native American, or one whose ancestors were kidnapped and brought here as slaves, you are a descendant of immigrants, people who moved to this continent for a better life.
Unfortunately, many of our ancestors showed no compassion for the original inhabitants, murdering most, relegating survivors to subsist on barren reservations, and doing their best to wipe out any trace of their culture.
Is it our fear that we will be overrun, that we will lose our identity? Will that fear hinder our compassionate and caring response to those forced to flee their homes.
They come not to conquer, but simply to live.
Our response might be to alter our lifestyles, to learn from our new neighbors, to give up some of our western, first world, wasteful ways.
What will we do? What will be our response? I don’t know, but I do know that if our actions are based on suspicion and fear, our future looks bleak.
This month some things to consider:
- Who is the “average” American?
- What religion is that person?
- What does she, he, they, look like?
- What is the person’s hair color, skin tone or height?
- What is the average income?
- How many years of schooling has that person had?
- How does the average person feel about those of other “races”?
(Remember that the concept of race is a lie; while ethnicity is real and there are minor differences between ethnic groups, there is no such thing as “race,” only racism.)
And lastly, on a scale of one to ten, how well do you think the “average” person is addressing climate change?
So this month, take a worldview, aware that many of us are in a minority, leading lives of privilege and a sense of entitlement beyond the ken of most of the inhabitants of this earth.
And so falls to us immeasurable responsibility.
The United States Welcomes You
by *Tracy K. Smith
Why and by whose power were you sent?
What do you see that you may wish to steal?
Why this dancing? Why do your dark bodies
Drink up all the light? What are you demanding
That we feel? Have you stolen something? Then
What is that leaping in your chest? What is
The nature of your mission? Do you seek
To offer a confession? Have you anything to do
With others brought by us to harm? Then
Why are you afraid? And why do you invade
Our night, hands raised, eyes wide, mute
As ghosts? Is there something you wish to confess?
Is this some enigmatic type of test? What if we
Fail? How and to whom do we address our appeal?
*Tracy K. (born April 16, 1972) is an American poet and educator. She served as the 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States from 2017 to 2019.
Thank you for being on this journey.
Wishing peace and health to you and your loved ones.
Till next time,