Racist Email Distorts Patriotism

April 27, 2009 by Jessica Acee · 3 Comments
Filed under: American Identity, Immigration 

Hilary Clinton spent three hours in Lebanon Sunday morning and passed along a message of support saying, “You have been through too much and it is only right that you are given a chance to make your own decisions”. Lebanon’s upcoming elections in June could see Hezbollah winning a larger slice of the political pie.

Just two generations removed from the immigrant’s story and still my stomach is tied up over Lebanon’s upcoming elections. I have never even set foot on its soil but I have spent countless summer evenings listening to my grandmother and aunts talk about their home and what it meant for them to leave. And what it means to look back. Read more

Gun Violence and American Identity

April 8, 2009 by Rev. David L. Ostendorf · Comment
Filed under: American Identity 

Fifty-three people are dead in 25 days of mass shootings in the U.S, from March 1 through April 5.

While reasons for the shootings are and will be argued endlessly by the commentariat, the Binghamton, New York massacre at the American Civic Association goes to the heart of the American gun culture that fed and led even a struggling, gun-licensed immigrant to rectify his grievances via mass murder. The levels of tragic irony in the Binghamton shootings are virtually incomprehensible. Among Jiverly Wong’s victims was Layla Khalil, who had survived three bombings in her native, war-torn Iraq. Other victims were from China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Haiti, and Pakistan, living and working their way into the proverbial American dream. Instead, they died in the violent nightmare of American identity.

Jiverly Wong was an American citizen who had apparently been in the country long enough to learn that at the heart of the nation’s identity is its gun culture and an incipient inclination to settle wrongs, slights, grievances, and territories with deadly force. From the founding to the frontier to the future, American identity is wrapped up in gun violence, shrouded in the endlessly argued Second Amendment, and defended to the death by true believers, fearful and fearsome in their zealotry. Read more