Just what are the values at play in the U.S.? I just attended a class observing a group of immigrants learning English in NYC. The students came from Cuba, Turkey, Korea, Japan, Italy, Brazil. All of them hope to acquire a green card in the future. All of them want to stay. Speaking with some of them, they said the transition in thinking, speaking and feeling in English has been difficult. Some of their jobs are shitty, some of them are good. And I think about the values they came here with, and then the principles of NYC in particular. Yeah, this city is money obsessed, this city is image obssessed, but this city is a representation of the not really, real U.S. We take comfort in that here, we look upon the diversity as one of the great things in general about NYC. But those people in the U.S. would have very little tolerance for the people in class today. They would encourage them to assimlate into their value system, become Christian, attend church regularly, oppose rights stated in the philosophical document of our country. That is, fundamentally, the problem with middle America. The terrorist threat is not their fear, their fear is of difference. They are xenophobic, they are comfortable umongst their own, and only their own. They do not like to become too personal or thoughtful when it comes to decision-making. They have shallow hearts which can't see beyond their county limits, let alone globally. The catastrophe of September a few years ago touched them in the way that Oprah touches all of us at times, but it doesn't truly dictate one's feelings on a day to day basis. It is this removal from the outside world that is going to haunt America for years to come. The people of this country are forgetting what they need to remember, that we are in a vast world of different idelogies, of different belief systems. A courageous act within the U.S. can now be defined as going shopping smewhere other than Wal-Mart or the mall.
Yet, there are waves of people entering this country for their economic and idealistic futures. The ideals of the great country are being skewered in drastic ways in most states. If only these people entered the U.S. in Nebraska, or Wyoming I wonder what they would think of us. Being looked at in a suspicious manner, asked to convert and dismantle their belief systems, to respect ideologies created by a Puritanical establishment with little more to care about than their own peronal gain masked in caring and kindness for all humans. To be removed from diverse human interaction, as is the case in so many red states, is only forcing the country to become something it is not. It is not a landscape such as that in Kansas, with rows upon rows, and acres upon acres of the same scenery. It is that and much more, it moves from desert, to tropical, to frigid to arid, to and fro. It does feel as if now, the country is slipping backwards, falling into an abyss where a belief system is impossible to create with 275 million people of different backgrounds. A Bush/neocon value system can never be upheld in a country of such great diversity as the U.S. Can it?????????