If you are a white person in America your ancestors were immigrants to this country. Black Hawk, the war leader of the Sauk American Indian tribe in this area in the early 19th century is portrayed in his autobiography as bewildered by the clash of cultures, merely trying to preserve his people’s way of life.
I think some of our own fear about immigrants in this country is our projecting onto people and cultures we do not know, and our guilt about our history of deception, deportation, and violence toward Native Americans.
We assume because we did not act cooperatively, others who come to our shores will not act cooperatively. American mid-19th century poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said "People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character."
I believe diversity is strength. We advance as a society when we collaborate. Many of our advances have come from immigrants. We become stronger when we are more diverse. We should not fear diversity, we should embrace it.
There is a better way, a way of building bridges, a way of inclusion, a way of compassionate action. Undocumented children who came to this country are no different than my grandfather who came to this country as a child. His family had hopes and dreams of a better life, and America provided that for our family. We should do the same for the DACA dreamers.
Rev. Jay Wolin
Editor’s note: Wolin is minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Quad-Cities