|How DID you grow up, Mr. Mayor?|
What is apparent to me, in Mr. Giuliani's comments, is that it is he - Giuliani - who does not like America. America's once Mayor,does not like what America has become, and is chastising the President for not reveling in its halcyon post World War II past, one that he and his Republican cohorts still cherish. Giuliani's claims that Barack Hussein Obama didn't "grow up" like most Americans somehow makes the President seem other than ... can he say the same to the millions of other immigrants who did not grow up in America? Are they any less American?
According to Giuliani: yes.
According to Giuliani, there's only one way to grow up in America.
|America Accepts Everyone, Mr. Giuliani. Even You.|
What a difference four decades makes. Now, Giuliani would have you believing he was part of the White Anglo-Saxon Ozzie and Harriet family.
What does Mr. Giuliani say to the children of parents in our Armed Forces and our diplomatic missions who live in secluded American communities, going to American schools in foreign countries? Are they not American? What does Mr. Giuliani say to the Japanese gardeners populating California in the 1940s and '50s, who tended people's gardens and lawns, but whose children grew up speaking fluent English--yet were put in concentration camps in the USA? Were they not Americans, too?
Oh, right. They were Americans.
Just the wrong Americans.
Was Elvis Presley an American, growing up singing and gyrating his hips like a Black man?
What was America before the African slaves brought watermelon, yams, okra, and any number of "foreign" foods to the American natives' shores?
What does it mean when an Indian woman wears a sari, or a Muslim woman wears a hijab? Does that make them any less American? When Catholic women wore scarves on their heads when attending mass, were they less American?
What does it mean to "grow up like us?" Mr. Giuliani thinks it means living in a community whose only foreign food was Chinese take-out and whose only foreign language knowledge was the words "Adios muchacho." That was fifty years ago. And Giuliani and his ilk want all of us to go back there.
The Giuliani faction of the Republican party is like overweight men who still talk about their high- school touchdowns as if they were yesterday. We all grow old. And America will always change.
This President understands that.
Barack Hussein Obama, in name alone, is a bridge from the past to the future. He knows that his Presidency is a harbinger of a real recognition that the storytellers have not scribed: this country belongs to no one and everyone. We are learning that being American is a state of mind, and those minds can beg to differ about what it means to be an American. And that's why a faction of the Republican party does not like this President. And the very reason why I love him.
Mr. Giuliani is upset. That he isn't Presidential material, and that his own greatness as America's Mayor has been eclipsed by a two-term President who speaks and communicates to the world with respect and equality, not the superior might that White means right.
And where are the voices of Italian Americans who could silence Giuliani?
They are exercising the privilege of being White now, something this half-White President cannot do.
Shame on Giuliani.