Tuesday, November 08, 2016
My mother and father were immigrants to this country. They didn't flee persecution, but they did come for a better life in the United States. Growing up during and after World War II in Scotland and England, things were not always easy, but they certainly had it way better than many of our nation's immigrants. My immigrant parents came to this country as white English speakers, whose accents were met with delight rather than derision. The same is true for my immigrant husband (from Scotland).
My parents were proud Americans. They loved this country. They were also proud of their British/Irish heritage. No one ever made them choose. It seemed they were the "acceptable" kind of immigrants. My parents loved America, and they VOTED. Every year, every election, no matter how big or small, how significant in other people's eyes. They voted. They believed it was their duty as citizens. I grew up visiting the polls with my mother. I was shown first-hand how important a duty, responsibility, and privilege it is, as an American, to vote.
My father passed away in March of 2008. He never got to see our nation's first African-American President take office. My mother did. But then Mom passed away two years ago. She never got to vote for the first female candidate for President (but I KNOW she would have).
Our area has permanent vote-by-mail voting. We always drop off our ballots rather then sending them in the post. In honor of my parents, I voted over a week ago. In honor of all the immigrants, perhaps especially the ones who have been made to feel unwelcome, or who have been expected to throw away their heritage, blend in, and pretend they aren't from somewhere else, I cast my vote for the candidate who cares about ALL people.
I hope you will honor all of our nation's immigrant ancestors, as well as the people who were brought here against their will in ships, and the ones who were driven off their lands, and the future Americans who will risk everything they have, including their lives, for a taste of our freedoms, and VOTE.