Sunday, August 15, 2010

Death of the American Dream

S. Paul Forrest

It is astounding to me the level of xenophobic propelled action taking place in reaction to the development of an Islamic Community Center near Ground Zero.  I have seen numerous postings on Facebook and Self-declared Righteous Politicians touting the immorality of it by using images of the 9-11 attacks as bait for the hate hungry.  When will we start acting like America again?

I remember growing up in a small community where the Pledge of Allegiance was said each morning without fail, and we were vehemently taught that America was the land of opportunity where even the poorest of men (or women) could become whatever they wanted.  As I grew up, I had visions in my head of the Statue of Liberty and that wonderful quote:

                 “”Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
                   With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
                   Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
                   The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
                   Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
                   I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

To me, this quote was more than just an etching on a plaque in a place I would probably never go; it was a message, a beacon that meant all were welcome in this country no matter how poor or downtrodden. This held great significance for me. You see, I was born and raised in a hippie culture to parents who were immigrants.

Some of you probably are envisioning turban-wrapped Arabs or poor Slovenians, Cubans, Haitians paddling or smuggling themselves into this country type of immigrants.  No, they came over from England on the Queen Mary (Third Class, of course)  and established a life in America with great hope and anticipation that, someday, they would enjoy the famous American Dream.

I have watched the news, read the blogs, and participated in Facebook debates on this subject.  I have weighed the positives and negatives on all sides of the issue and still I cannot find rational thought.

Maybe I am an eternal pessimist, but I cannot seem to find where America is in these discussions.

On the Right we have the "Keep America Whole” statements where the argument turns to the Bush Era political paranoia based on the ideal that America is an Elitist State that should benefit only those who are worthy.  Then there is the Liberal side where the poor should get everything and the rich should carry the burden (both views are seriously misguided).  I hear the Christian argument where the Muslim invasion is a sin and we should arm ourselves to the hilt to prevent Jihad.  I also hear the Muslim side which is rarely reported by mainstream media.

Many may not be aware, and FoxNews does not help in this matter by spreading falsities about it, but the average Muslim-American does not support what Al-Qaeda is doing.  They did not support the 9-11 attacks and they do not think America is evil.  If they did, why would they fly flags at their businesses and homes?  Why would they come to this country?  If you answered because they are trying to infiltrate the US, you have much to learn and even more to remember about this Country.

These people are here for the same reasons my parents came here, to live and prosper under the cloak of the greatest country on Earth.  They are entitled to the same benefits we all are.  It is written in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
This is a moving and inspirational piece of writing.  It is the backbone of this, our country, the United States of America.  Who are we today to take that away?  Who are we to stand in protest of a religious institution sacred to an immigrant people at the base of the Statue of Liberty (and not a stone's throw from Philadelphia where the Declaration was written), stripping those people of that American Dream?

Which of you will stand in front of a classroom filled with starry-eyed children who believe that this country stands for all, and opportunity is there for them, one and all, no matter their race, creed or religion, and tell them the American Dream is dead?  Which of you will stand and be so anti-human as to tell these children and those abroad suffering untold tragedy that this country is no longer the beacon of the world?  Which of you wants to do that?

When you stand against a people wanting to take advantage of all this country stands for, you do just that.  You are killing everything that this, My United States of America, is about.  We did not come this far through the struggles of war, slavery, womens' rights, and equal rights just to have a group of xenophobic zealots take it all away.  I believe in this country and it truly breaks my heart to see so many joining the slow march toward the Death of the American Dream.

Related Article:
Glass houses in the Liberty Movement: Sovereignty for me but not for you

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Judi said...

You are correct when you state "the average Muslim-American does not support what Al-Qaeda is doing".

I've recently spoken to a friend in Jordan, a Muslim woman, who told me that they are "all so very very sorry what has happened", and they condone none of it. She tells me : "and You know what ? we true Muslims feel so sorry for that catastrophy ... It is not a mulsim thing at all ... and we believe that Jews are behind it not muslims (God Knows) ... but if they are muslims we, Allah, and the prophet disown them because they killed innocent people who did nothing for them which is something islam forbids ... Americans who disagree with the mosque idea also have the right to .. It is not easy for them to accept such a horrible thing that had happened to their beloved, and related ones ... God bless the deceaceds' souls ... and the alive ones's heart :)

A. Magnus Publius said...

The people protesting a mosque being erected in New York City are anti-American scumbags and traitors. None of those people ever held the government to account for standing down NORAD to allow the hijackers to successfully dominate U.S. airspace unchallenged. All those trillions spent on defenses and not a single shot was fired in our defense. You would think the French were running our air defenses on 9/11 but even the French would have scrambled fighters in a timely fashion.

The fact of the matter is that most republicans are nothing but Nazis who aren't man enough to wear their swastika armbands, and the democrats are nothing but Soviets with the same lack of manhood regarding the sickle and hammer. Neither party truly supports America or its people, they only support the Wall Street elites. Whomsoever Wall Street tells them to hate, they will hate...

defenestration01 said...

I thought the American Dream was becoming rich enough to buy a boatload of slaves... silly me...

srm4649 said...

You will be the last to know how wrong you are about Islam, the religion of peace. Let's see what we have in common. Four wives if you can afford it, Males divorce females, keep the children, the house, all de money, no attoney fees and throw your raggety old lady back in the street. 72 virgins in Heaven if I blow myself up for the good of the cause. Have you seen the cover of Time magazine with the disfigured 18 year old girl who's sin was running away from step parents who were abusing her. Sharia Law is for the infidel as well. What's killing the American Dream is the politics of envy and the corruption of both poltical parties.

You don't have to be rich to own slaves, you just need to own all the guns. Freedom is not free.

Reuben said...

This nation was founded on christian principles, not muslim. You cannot seperate church and state; if you do you go against why this nation was founded. Islam was not, is not and never will be part of why we are a great nation, or why we were founded.

Jim said...

Um, isn't the phrase:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. "
in direct conflict with the belief in Sharia law? How can we allow freedom to people who beliefs are that our beliefs are false. If it was only a religious question, I'd say it's nobody's business. However these beliefs are what our laws are based on as well. Does religious freedom excuse one from complying with the 'social contract' (whatever THAT is)?

Anonymous said...

You are completely off when you state "the average Muslim-American does not support what Al-Qaeda is doing".

Over 80% of Muslims who have been given residency permits and citizenship in England and America, including European countries have shown to support some form of radical Islam. And what else? They would not jump in and support America in case of a war or other events when a citizen chips in for his country. How many Ahmeds out of millions of Muslim Americans do you find enrolled in the US Army, for example?...
In addition, the crime rates from Muslim immigrants are staggering. In Scandinavia where Muslims constitute only 1% of the population, they commit over 70% of the nations most violent rapes and murders.

The founder of the Ground Zero mosque calls one of Islams most radical imam's a "moderate" Muslim. How can anyone not be concerned with it? No one needs interfaith centers in this country or in Europe. It is in Medina, the most intolerant part of the world, where an interfaith center should be built.

Don't be naive about Islam and the Muslim world. Its an extremely dangerous society, a dangerous mindset. I lived many years in Islamic countries and after that experience, I am completely against too much Muslim immigration here, or supporting any sharia laws in this country. Muslims want to rule and once they are the majority they take over with violence. In England their Muslim population is enormous and are now a cause of constant violence and problems. They no longer want to accept more Muslims.

Your views are imaginary and deny the realities of the world: not all people are Americans and want to or think like American pioneers. Its a very narrow and generalized opinion to have that simply because YOU believe in the constitution everyone else will to.

Watch daytime shows from the middle east and what mindset goes on over there:

sforrest said...

I trully feel sorry for your obviously subjective view. You seriously should apply for employ at FOX. By your logic, we could demonise any culture or race for that matter, based on statistics and the prevalence of crime in particular areas. By your methods, we should hate anyone in the ghetto, in the South (because once they represented evil, in the shallow swamps of Louisiana because during Katrina some looters killed others, and in Oklahoma since that is where Tim McVie was from. You have a disturbingly narrow and bigoted view mr. anonymous. I feel rather sad that your view is exactly the reason Islam extremists declared jihad. You are part of the problem not the solution.

Anonymous said...

"I feel rather sad that your view is exactly the reason Islam extremists declared jihad."
perhaps your sentence would be better written as:
"I feel rather sad that your view is exactly the reason Islam extremists declared EXTREMIST 'jihad'."
Please read about what Jihad is at:

Anonymous said...

I agree with this post. Most of the idiots who started the anti-mosque movement are jews who want to stoke anti-Muslim paranoia. No one really thought about the planned mosque until jew hate-blogger Pamela Geller started a hissy fit. Then David Horowitz, Debbie Shussler, Daniel Pipes, Abe Foxman (ADL), and the usual suspects chimed in. Personally I'd like to see the jews booted out of America. Just check their American Jewish Committee yearbook annual reports, beginning in 1890 or so. As soon as these radicals got of the boat they worked diligently to kick God out of schools and public life, and started several anarchist and Communist groups.

Anonymous said...

Light and darkness can't exist at the same place at the same time.

Anonymous said...

Let's all remember that Democrats formed the KKK, denied civil rights, and have Planned Parenthood to reduce the black population. None of that is the American Dream, yet for some reason we allow them to stay here and carry it.

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