When the European explorers ventured out from their home ports centuries ago, they were looking for a shortcut to the Far East for trading purposes.  In the early 1500’s Amerigo Vespucci determined that the lands he and his crew encountered on a westbound expedition was an entirely new continent which, in 1507, was named America in his honor by Martin Waldsemuller, a German cartographer. In 1565 the first surviving settlement in North America was established in St. Augustine, Florida by the Spanish admiral Pedro Melendez de Aviles.  The site of New York City was originally explored by Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524 but was settled as New Amsterdam by the Dutch in 1609.  Virginia came into existence in 1607 when Jamestown was established by the Virginia Company of London, England. Among the settlers were colonists from Poland and Germany.  The Pilgrims landed on the coast of what would become Massachusetts in 1620.  In 1682, the French named the area near the mouth of the Mississippi River Louisiana in honor of King Louis XIV and the first settlement was established near present-day Biloxi, Mississippi in 1699. During its infancy African slaves, human beings, were forcefully removed from their homelands and reluctantly settled into this new world. This country was created by a melting pot of various countries and cultures! The current inhabitants of this fair land should keep in mind the fact that the only original citizens of the United States of America were the Native Americans who, after the immigrants asserted their dominance on this continent, stripped them of their ancestral lands and settled them onto reservations. What the conservative public is now calling “Patriotism” was originally labeled Nativism over a century ago.  After this country passed adolescence, the former immigrants decided anyone new wishing to reside in the USA was suspect.  The Irish were frowned upon during the 1840’s.  In the late 1800’s, those living on the West coast forced an immigration restriction originally from China and, in the early 1900’s from Japan as well.  In the 20th century, the Nativists targeted Jews, Germans, Italians and Poles.  The Sister and I are third generation Americans on our Mother’s side.  Our predecessors emigrated to this country to escape pogroms in Russia and were looking for a better life.  We’re second generation on our Father’s side as our ancestors were looking for a better life as well.  The last family member to pass through Ellis Island was our paternal grandfather.  He had been conscripted by the German army and was forced to fight in WWI.  He was looking for peace and a better life.  The current Nativists aka the “Patriots” and their leader in Washington have chosen new groups to exclude from this country.  It’s the Mexicans and Muslims turn at the plate.  Will they succeed and enter the country where the streets are “paved with gold” only time will tell.  Will the wall be built separating this country from its Southern neighbor?  Only if the Isolationists are successful. It is unfortunate the citizens of this country have forgotten about the birthing pains of the land they claim to love so much! It’s richer with all the various elements blended into its soul.  The “Patriots,” if they pursue this route, will dilute and stagnate our growth.


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