I find it hard to believe that in these days of political correctness to do the "right thing" is considered to be “wrong". It is a pity, but that's the way it is.
I am an American citizen but I am also an immigrant like millions of those who compose this great country, and I have felt in my own flesh the effects of racism, xenophobia and nativism that have always existed in our society.
“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.”
After much thought on the subject, I realized that our society is overtaken by fear (an acronym for Fear is Forgetting Everything is All Right), fear of the unknown, fear to the “culture and customs” of immigrants from another country who settled in the U.S.
I do not blame the American people, in general, because it is a complex problem. The information that they have access to almost immediately has not been sufficient to "inform" the people of America about the truth of the immigrants in the U.S.
There are prejudices and “misconceptions" about what truly is an immigrant, of course, the society in general, blame immigrants “for everything bad that happens (or may occur in this country).
If you see a person of Mexican origin, certain Americans assume that it is a person without an education, lazy, takes advantage of the system, probably undocumented, does not speak English (and never will), does not pay taxes, has many children, is noisy, like’s to party, gets drunk, and likes to play and watch soccer.
In the same way each and every one of the groups that have immigrated to the United States bring with them their "labels" according to what the media or even Hollywood has projected on them.
If they see a:
Irish = Drunk, German = Racist, Pakistani = Taxi Driver, Colombian = trafficker of Cocaine, Muslim = Terrorist, Asian = Nerd, etc. Obviously these perceptions are wrong.
The problem is that certain members of our society have preserved these "labels" and some immigrants have not been "accustomed to accept" the host society in the U.S.
It's not a question of "guilt” it’s about FIXING THE SYSTEM, it is to raise awareness of American society as a whole (including immigrants) that we need to change that perception.
Let's start by "recognizing” that as immigrants in the United States, we do not always "recognize our civic duties". I know of many people of Mexican origin, (my fellow countrymen) that even "qualifying" in order to become "Citizens” they just DO NOT do it.
Thousands of them DO NOT SPEAK ENGLISH, so they are unaware of the laws that regulate and fail to comply with the same.
For this reason, I came to the task of creating this campaign to which I have called: "FIX-IT" to society in general, and that means:
"Freedom to Ignore Xenophobia Immigrants Trusted"
“FIX-IT.ORG” IS AN ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO: EDUCATE, FOSTER UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTANCE
OF TOLERANCE, TO CHANGE THE NEGATIVE PERCEPTION OF CERTAIN AMERICANS
TOWARDS ALL IMMIGRANTS.
I would like to call attention to certain Americans, to recognize the great contributions of many immigrants in this country and for immigrants to be aware and that if they make a decision to immigrate to this country, we must commit ourselves to this society that has accepted us, and we must comply with the laws, rules, regulations norms and customs of this society.
Being Mexican, I don´t need to forget my traditions, my language or my culture.
This is not to say that I do not want to: Learn English, history of this country, to fulfill my civic and social obligations, to respect American traditions and contribute to the extent of my abilities and knowledge to this society to which I now belong.
I suggest in this campaign:
- Disseminate information on the contributions of immigrants in this society
- Invite the immigrant community to learn English
- Invite the knowledge of American history and culture
- Promote the integration of children in Scout groups and Boy's and Girl's clubs, as we are the only country that has separate gendered scouts
- Promoting community work
- Invite civic participation
- Invite the immigrant community to become citizens
- After becoming a Citizen, register to vote
- Encourage participation as a jury member
-Promoting political participation (organizers, administrators, candidates and officials)
We need to create a campaign that addresses both sides of the issues so that Americans do not feel "threatened" thinking that we are going to transform the U.S. into a copy of the countries from which we came, and for the immigrant community "with the knowledge" that they "must" be integrated into the American "culture" because this is the country which we as immigrants decided to immigrate and has accepted us.
If immigrants are integrated in the American way, the Americans are not going to fear us, thus we can be "living" on equal terms of acceptance and we all benefit.
They would recognize our great contributions, and we would learn to live according to American ways.
We can then proudly celebrate the 4 of July or any other date to be celebrated in our countries of origin.
Until we as immigrants are all aware that if we make the decision to immigrate to a different country from which we were born, we "need" to integrate and accept their culture in order to expect equal treatment and LIVE TOGETHER IN HARMONY AND WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION = "TOLERANCE FOR ALL"
Up to now as an immigrant society we have failed in this subject. We have to change it. It is time to MAKE A CHANGE. We must take the lead and change our image and how we are perceived. If we do not act now we are wasting valuable time for us, for our children and above all: FOR THE COUNTRY TO WHICH WE NOW BELONG.
The longer we take to create this change the more it will be painful for everyone. It is better to be pro-active and not reactive.
I believe that this is an urgent campaign that needs to be exposed to Americans and for immigrants like me. I'm going to do this campaign because it needs to succeed in its goal towards changing the perception of how immigrants are seen in the eyes of America. However, the question remains, will the people listen?
I understand now that it seems that this issue has been ignored for a long time; however we are generating new interest in this very important issue. I have hope that we will be closer to that point where immigrants will be accepted without fear. If Immigrant Americans don't speak of this to the American society, in general, we will not be able to change things. The future and the destiny of our country is in the hands of all citizens together as Americans without labels.
I INVITE YOU TO JOIN THIS CAMPAIGN AND MAKE “VIRAL” THE MOVEMENT IN OUR SOCIAL NETWORKS, PERSONAL, EMPLOYMENT AND/OR STUDENTS.
DR. JUAN M. BRIBIESCA