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We Need Immigration to Remain Strong

We Need Immigration to Remain Strong

As sheltered an enclave as the university campus is, it would take a veritable hermit not to be aware of the emergence of immigration as an important national issue. It is so ubiquitous that even the locals might know something about it; their town, after all, is prepared to evict some immigrants from overcrowded housing. Perhaps, though, your exposure to the issue is cursory, and maybe, like many Americans, you lean to the right in your views on it. After all, it seems quite logical that if hordes of people keep streaming across our borders unchecked, there is bound to be some unhealthy social and economic consequences. Sure, we would like to let in anyone who needs opportunity and who wants to be an American, but this wouldn’t be practical.

This, however, is an oversimplification. One of the most overused and incorrect ideas about immigration is that its proponents have only emotional arguments on their side. However, immigrants actually contribute to our nation more than they take from it.

The issue of immigration was brought to the front burner of national politics in the early 1990’s, when California Governor Pete Wilson sponsored Proposition 187 – a bill which sought to deny public education, non-emergency health care and welfare to illegal immigrants. Not only did an astonishing sixty percent of Californians voted for it, its anti-immigrant discourse was in fact the key to Wilson’s win in the gubernatorial election.

The event was shocking to many; a lot of Americans never imagined that ideas as draconian and reactionary as these would move to the forefront of American politics. Unfortunately, 187 was just the beginning. In the past Presidential election…

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…s. Fueled by racist stereotypes, Mexican immigrants are dismissed as lazy, uncouth, and prone to depravity; fueled by ignorance, they are assumed to be parasites on the American welfare system.

Proper solutions to economic and social problems in America will only come once we learn to transcend these weaknesses and temper our emotional reactions to our country’s ailments. Americans of every stripe must be aware of the kinship they share with every other person who believes in this country and all it stands for. Rather than heap blame on others, we must take the time to study and understand our problems and then attempt to find a solution that is equitable to all involved. Then, perhaps, our focus would shift away from blaming “outsiders” on issues like immigration and towards confronting issues like race that cause us to act in such a barbaric manner.

The Importance of Religion to American Slaves

The Importance of Religion to American Slaves

Whether one notices or not, each person has the right to make choices concerning

his or her life. Being able to make these decisions is a God-given right that

vibrates in the heart of every human being who claims possession and mastery

over his or her own self. However, for slaves, this concept did not exist, and

they became the property of someone else with no place to call their own. For

this reason, many slaves turned to religion to comfort them in their darkest

hour, to help them gain the strength to continue in their struggles, and to hope

that a day would come when they would rise above their condition to a better

place. For slave-owners, the Bible became a place where the institution of

slavery was justified, but for the slaves, Christianity became a symbol of

redemption in which they envisioned a future free from bondage, and if earthly

escape was not possible, their faith would be rewarded in the afterlife,

securing them a home of their own in a free heaven.

While many white slave owners discouraged slaves from learning the Bible for

fear it would encourage slaves to seek freedom, slaves, nevertheless, felt the

Bible was their source for obtaining earthly freedom; thus “their persistent

hope for the future was tied to their faith in God.” (Stammering Tongue, 57).

Their convictions gave them the ounce of hope they needed to believe that there

was a better life awaiting them. “The Spirit of the Lord allowed black slaves to

transcend the horizon of their immediate experiences and to hope for a future in

which they would be free.” (Stammering Tongue, 60). In Frederick Douglass’


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…ome of his own in a free heaven.


Cut Loose Your Stammering Tongue: Black Theology in the Slave Narratives. Ed. D.

Hopkins and G. Cummings. New York: Orbis Books, 1991.

Douglass, Frederick. “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American

Slave.” The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter. 3rd ed.

Vol. 1. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1998. 1762-1813.

Escott, Paul D. Slavery Remembered. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina

Press, 1979.

Raboteau, Albert J. Slave Religion. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978.

Stowe, Harriet B. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The Heath Anthology of American Literature.

Ed. Paul Lauter. 3rd ed. Vol. 1. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998.


Wilmore, Gayraud S. Black Religion and Black Radicalism. Garden City:

Doubleday and Co., Inc., 1972.

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