TCS: Gold Mountain, Golden Door

Good Morning!

Coffee cup

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Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum, so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.
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America. For over 240 years, that word has meant Hope to poor people around the world. Hope for a better life, it not for themselves, then for their children.

However hard the journey was to get here, if you did get in and you worked hard, anything was possible.

We’ve so frequently failed to live up to that ideal — discrimination against the newest wave of immigrants has been repeated over and over again. Often the next-to-last-to-arrive try to drive down the ones just getting here.

Prohibiting immigration entirely from certain countries because of entrenched bigotry and racism isn’t new.

Yet over and over again, immigrants have brought new ideas, great food and music, become leaders and innovators, built the cities and towns, grown and harvested our crops, fought and died for our country  — made America stronger.

And not just the people who came by choice — people who were kidnapped or lured with trickery and false promises; people chained in overcrowded, stinking holds, then sold into slavery; all of them built this country too.



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Here are the new hopefuls, wanting to come through the Golden Door, the people we are supposed to fear because maybe they’re terrorists:


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What Changes

by Naomi Shihab Nye

My father’s hopes travel with me
years after he died. Someday
we will learn how to live.  All of us
surviving without violence
never stop dreaming how to cure it.
What changes? Crossing a small street
in Doha Souk, nut shops shuttered,
a handkerchief lies crumpled in the street,
maroon and white, like one my father had,
from Jordan.  Perfectly placed
in his pocket under his smile, for years.
He would have given it to anyone.
How do we continue all these days?


Steps

by Naomi Shihab Nye

A man letters the sign for his grocery
in Arabic and English.
Paint dries more quickly in English.
The thick swoops and curls of Arabic letters
stay moist and glistening
till tomorrow when the children
show up jingling their dimes.

They have learned the currency of the New World,
carrying wishes for gum and candies
shaped like fish.
They float through the streets,
diving deep to the bottom,
nosing rich layers of crusted shell.

One of these children will tell a story
that keeps her people alive.
We don’t know yet which one she is.
Girl in the red sweater dangling a book bag,
sister with eyes pinned to the barrel
of pumpkin seeds.
They are lettering the sidewalk with their steps.

They are separate and together and a little bit late.
Carrying a creased note, “Don’t forget.”
Who wrote it? They’ve already forgotten.
A purple fish sticks to the back of the throat.
Their long laughs are boats they will ride and ride,
making the shadows that cross each other’s smiles.

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So out of the many questions I’m struggling with this morning, here are two:

Who are we now?

Who do we want to be?

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Naomi Shihab Nye (1952 — ), was born in St.Louis, Missouri; daughter of a father who came to America as a Palestinian refuge, and a born-in-America mother. “I grew up in St. Louis in a tiny house full of large music – Mahalia Jackson and Marian Anderson singing majestically on the stereo, my German-American mother fingering ‘The Lost Chord’ on the piano as golden light sank through trees, my Palestinian father trilling in Arabic in the shower each dawn.” During her teens, Shihab Nye lived in Ramallah in Palestine, the Old City in Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas, where she later received BAs in English and World Religions from Trinity University.

About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 45 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband and a bewildered Border Collie.
This entry was posted in Immigrants, Poetry, Racism, Short Video, The Coffee Shop and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to TCS: Gold Mountain, Golden Door

  1. Russell says:

    We are the World. I think the Judges did the correct thing. I read an article that to ensure that they did, US Marshalls were put on notice. Hopefully there will not be a show down with DHS and CBP.

    I read, that Turley said the Judges were wrong. I also read that Trump does not stairs. He will not go up the stairs and when he goes down he holds the rails. This must be hard, because he hates germs. Also last week, Theresa Mats was walking down an incline and Trump held onto her for dear life.

    • Keep pushing the meme that Trump is an overweight elderly man. That is a true statement, but keep referring to him as elderly. Frank Luntz is not the only guy around who understands the psychological power of key words.

      I noticed that coming down the air stars of AF One, he looked like a sack full of doorknobs. Compare that to the dapper and fit appearance of Obama, both Bushes, and Clinton. Reagan was always one of the best dressed men in the country. I am sure Trump buys expensive suits, but looks as if he buys them at Men’s Warehouse.

      • wordcloud9 says:

        I think I’m going to call him America’s Oldest Living Domestic Terrorist.

        All those Senators and Congresspeople better start remembering the oath they took to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC, because we’ve got one in the Oval Office – who clearly crossed his fingers behind his back when he took his oath of office.

        • wordcloud9 says:

          The initials work too – O.L.D.-T.

          • websterisback says:

            Ok,

            Just read OLDT just pulled the mentioning of the Judiciary on the Whitehouse web site and the Judiciary’s link just states, “thank you for your interest in the subject.”

            I guess he is at war with the Sct now.

  2. Webster caught it just before I did. Over at Daily Kos, front page reporter Walter Einenkel has the story, along with a screengrab image of the URL from where the listing for the Judicial branch used to be.

    The new White House website no longer lists the ‘judicial branch’ as one of the three pillars of gov

    • wordcloud9 says:

      It’s getting easier just to list who AOLDT ISN’T at war with than to name all the entities he’s fighting.

      • It is back, but hard to find. They also changed some of the wording around. they took this paragraph and moved it way down the page.

        “Article III of the Constitution of the United States guarantees that every person accused of wrongdoing has the right to a fair trial before a competent judge and a jury of one’s peers.”

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