Shining Light on the hill

Despite the fact that my father and his brothers could not speak English when they arrived from Sicily in seven years they owned the second largest laundry in New Jersey.They knew nothing about business,had no management theories, but had great instincts and worked tirelessly to make the business grow.I can recall being asked if “Mafia” money was involved in backing them because of course everyone who came from Italy was directly connected to the” mob”.This common slur despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of Italian Americans never had even a parking ticket lingered on for decades.

The Irish faced this type of stereotype and there were signs on businesses that read”Irish need not apply.”People of color to this day bear some of the beliefs that cast them as freeloaders and robbers of 7-11 stores.Every racial and ethnic group has gone through this, and when we make any group “the Other”an avalanche of bile and prejudice is unleashed.

We are living in an age of uncertainty, and we all want a sense of control to quell our fears.This is certainly understandable, but casting aside the fundamental beliefs that made this country great is not the answer.Branding every Muslim with the label of terrorist not only hurts them, it demeans the most sacred beliefs of this wonderful Democracy.We have had many stumbles along the way like slavery,the incarceration of innocent Japanese but eventually we get back to the quest of the shining light on the hill.Let’s not let the voices of racism kindle our fears because we as Americans are better than that .

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