Sunday, June 04, 2017

Where the American Dream is Alive and Well

We hear much about the American Dream becoming increasingly unobtainable.  There is some truth to the story line and most of it comes from decades of Republican efforts to undermine the social safety net and to take from the working and middle classes and give even more benefits to the extremely wealthy.  Add to this the GOP refusal to face modernity, including climate change and it is a recipe for disaster for many.  Sadly, the willingness of far too many whites to fall for GOP class to racism and religious based bigotry has only helped to exacerbate the negative impact on large numbers of Americans.

But the American Dream is still alive and attainable.  Where do you find it?  In the nation's immigrant communities.  This is where one finds a respect for education and great efforts to learn and gain degrees.  Perhaps most importantly, this is where a willingness to move to find opportunity and a dedication to hard work still flourishes. The immigrant community that I know best is the Indian/Hindu community from which I have many clients.  Last night the husband and I went to a house warming party for an Indian-American client's spectacular new home (it was an amazing party, by the way).  As expected, numerous other clients were among the guests.  Many of these individuals were not born in America, arrived with little other than a desire to better themselves and their families, and shared a willingness to attain an education and work hard.  Our host noted that for him, America is truly a wonderful country where hard work could still move one ahead and allow one to find success.  The same stories can be found in other many other immigrant communities, including the Hispanic community. As the post yesterday on the disability epidemic in with rural America, far too many whites - the majority of whom voted for Trump and the GOP - have forgotten what is known and valued by our immigrant communities.  I feel truly blessed to have come to know the Indian-American community.

Another aspect that struck us last night was that we as an openly gay couple were completely welcomed.  Sadly, in many circles in Hampton Roads such is still often not the case.   Rather than judge people by their character and contributions to the community, the "godly Christians" reject those who are different be it in terms of skin color, faith or sexual orientation.  These "Christians" act in a manner the opposite of the Gospel message they pretend to worship. Indeed, my own quest for the American dream too a huge hit when I was forced from a large local law firm for being gay. The powers that be at the firm did  not want to upset the sensibilities of their "conservative clients."  Thankfully, things are back on a positive track for me - in no small part due to the Indian-American community's embrace of me. 

To truly make America great again, we need more hard working immigrants who put a premium on education and fewer Trump-voting whites.  

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