A Week in the Life of Gustavo

"Seems to think that if he fails to write, la migra will find him."--OC Weekly More merriment available at ronmaydon@yahoo.com

terça-feira, junho 04, 2002

¿Ya se está hacienda la situación media-loca, no?

It pains me to read your column about immigrants who choose to root against their adopted country in the World Cup games. It's not their allegiance to the homeland soccer team that concerns me. I quote from your column: "At its essence, rooting against the American soccer team symbolizes resistance to being absorbed into a country whose populace and government do not always do the right thing -- especially against the immigrants and their home countries." (Who determines whether what America does is the "right" thing?) My ancestors were also immigrants at one time, but they chose to assimilate and become a part of what we once learned was a "melting pot." I believe much of our country's challenge with immigration stems from the desire to "celebrate diversity" and resist absorption into the American culture. While it is wonderful to remember our roots and hold fast to family tradition and culture, what made America great were the immigrants who came before us and worked toward creating "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." The more hyphenated-American we become, the more divisive we become! So root for whichever soccer team you choose, but remember that "bettering America" takes a unified effort, not a stratified one.
(And you'll note that the United States Soccer team is a melting pot of its own!) Go USA!

My response

Thank you for your comments. When I wrote the part that you quoted from my article, I did not mean it as immigrant resistance towards assimilation. Assimilation is an unstoppable force in American history that turns everyone into part of the "melting pot." I meant it as a healthy dose of skepticism towards policies in this country that might make these immigrants angry, such as the status of their legality, foreign policy, and the economy. In saying this, I am not asserting my own opinions towards these issues; I am stating what I believe to be salient reasons to express some resistance towards blind acceptance of everything this country has to offer.

We must remember that a healthy democracy is built on this skepticism. And I am certain that these immigrants will turn out like every other immigrant that has migrated to these shores--Americans. Give them time and they will be. Thank you once again for your comments.
So what are you saying in today's letter to editor (open forum)? Are you saying Latinos are proud to live, work, stay, etc... But are so proud to root against Americans in every possible way given an opportunity. Some groups have been gone from the mother land so long that they aren't able to make the same connection. But this is the land where you can root against it and you probably won't disappear or die for it. So root root root.

My response

Not Latinos; immigrants (all immigrants, not just Latinos). The distinction is important to grasp the meaning of my article. And I agree with your assimilation analysis; let time pass and these immigrant rooters will become Americans themselves. Thank you for your remarks.

And two weird ones that I didn't respond to due to their brevity...

I don't think we're likely to get bent out of shape over soccer in this country anytime soon. Or start a war over it, for that matter.
Your assertion:

"Few of these immigrants will be cheering for the United States -- a fact that many nonimmigrant Americans see as tantamount to treason"

.... is a bunch of crap.

Most Americans don't even know there is a World Cup let alone that we have a national team. We just don't care about the sport - call it a cultural quirk - we have our own sports to follow. Immigrants and anybody else for that matter, are free to cheer for anybody they want. We don't care. So have beer, have some fun, lighten up.
I post them as they come. And they're a'comin like Peter North...