Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Bush Administration and The Borg

The Bush administration is starting to remind me of the Borg. Do you remember the Borg - the evil race that was half human and half machine on Star Trek: The Next Generation? They flew into inhabited areas and said, “Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.” The world is supposed to be patterned a certain way and there is no room for dissenting thought.

I’ve been watching, listening and reading about immigration reform lately. How can you not? It’s everywhere and I listen to the experts speak about the security of our borders on one side and the experts on the other side talking about labor shortages and humanitarian efforts.

Here’s the truth. I haven’t quite formulated my entire opinion on immigration yet. There are aspects of border security that I do understand though I do wince at the thought of miles of fencing and armed soldiers.

What I do know is that there is a culture of fear developing within our borders that started with 9/11 and has been fanned by the current administration. It encourages people to fear people who are different than them or different from the majority. My son and I are immigrants and we are not a part of the majority. I wonder what this will mean for us?

In the mean time, there is suddenly a huge push for things like stopping immigration and making English our national language. Here are my opinions:

Immigration Reform – I understand the need for security, but I have to wonder how much of what we are doing really increases our security. As we alienate more and more of the world – aren’t we increasing our chances of attack? When we isolate ourselves, we lose out on all of the things that we can learn from other cultures and we become a disembodied symbol to the people around the world instead of people who live in a country. We are a country born of immigrants. It’s what has made us such an interesting place to live. Can we afford to forget where we came from?

National Language – There was an uproar across the country when some of the protestors sang “The Star Spangled Banner” in Spanish. I admit, I was initially taken aback by it, but then I started wondering why it bothered me. Was it any different than the way some of our pop stars have changed and (in my opinion) butchered our anthem in the name of artistic license? Yes, if you are wondering, I am a purist when it comes to something as important as the national anthem. Why do we need a national language though? English really has become the default language of choice here in the United States, but why should it be “official”? Languages are beautiful. Why don’t we embrace them all?

For the record, resistance is not futile and I have no plans of being assimilated.

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