The Conspiracy

I Have a Dream: The American Tragedy

“I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal’…I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.”—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I was in my seventh grade literature class the first time I remember hearing these words. Seated between friends who were Chinese, Indian, Mexican, White, and African American, I felt these words depicted the beautiful and diverse community in which I lived. And I knew it. I knew how lucky I was to live in such a place, to share a childhood and an education with friends from all over the world. The diversity of Skokie had a huge impact on the woman I am today. The choices I have made, the paths I will follow. I am grateful and therefore an advocate for immigrant rights. I want my children to grow up in a place just like Skokie; I want everyone to have the chance to live in such a diverse community as I did.  That is why I jumped for joy when “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was repealed, and mourned bitterly when the “DREAM Act” was shot down.

America has forgotten her origins. Nearly all of her inhabitants can trace their histories beyond her boarders. Most Americans come from all over the world. That is what makes our culture so fascinating and wonderful, but it will cease to be so if we close our minds and our hearts to our fellow immigrants. Everyone deserves a chance at liberty, at the American Dream, and by denying Mexican immigrants the means to become citizens; we rob them of the chance to have a better life. The very sort of life our ancestors sought for themselves and their children. When we make a place for them in our society, we will build a better country for future generations.

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