History and How to Make it

This blog post was inspired by a recent situation in which the president of our country, in a tirade which is typical of political incorrectness we have come to expect during his administration, suggested that several congresswomen of color go back to their countries of origin and help out.

The comment was officially condemned by the House of Representatives, and now Ms. Ilhan Omar has written an article in which she also condemns the president's statement. I feel that, after the house has taken taxpayer money to make a statement, that Ms. Omar's post may not be necessary. However; that is my opinion as someone with a long legacy of being American.

Ms. Omar does not necessarily represent the same history and culture of Americans of color who have lived here and raised families for many generations. Ms. Omar's cultural history is much more recent, and relates to being refugees from another country. If Ms. Omar wishes to assist with more global issues, it might be quite helpful for her to delve a little into her ancestral past, so that perhaps the country she came from has at least a chance of, one day, becoming great.

We all have unique perspectives to offer, here in USA. Some of us are bound into the history of this country, and some of us are newer.

My history includes a touch of Native American, so yes that ancestry is bound in somewhere within this continent's Mother Earth. It's a little further east (Virginia, to be precise) yet it is indeed part of the extended contiguous continental dirt of our land.

We also have immigration in our family, from centuries past, and I have been told at one time that the women in my family were eligible for membership in DAR (if we wished to be) based on an ancestor who was in the revolutionary war on the American side.

That ancestor was not a "mover and shaker" and I highly doubt he hobnobbed with princely president George W or that Adams fellow. He was fairly low ranking, a corporal if I recall, and probably just did what he was told to do. Married twice, survived the war and had kids who lived on. Eventually, centuries later, I was born.

I don't believe he held slaves. Wasn't rich enough, I suppose, and there are no records of anyone in my natural family line buying or selling slaves, despite that we are white and from the South Eastern (aka "Southern") states.

We have no records of anyone in our family taking either side of the American civil war, which happened during my Great Grandparent's generation. Despite the demolition of the south by northern soldiers, our family apparently felt that the issues weren't worth fighting over.

Portrait of my Grandmother as a child, by my Great Grandfather, who was a photographer
My Grandmother as a child
Portrait by my Great Grandfather, who was a photographer

In my grandmother's era, our family lived like gypsies and travelled in a wagon; horse-drawn when times were good. My grandmother was born in that wagon, and she spent her childhood going from town to town as her father sold portrait photography and piano tuning to the wealthy families in the region. Nobody knows why our ancestors were homeless. We only know it was a lifestyle they accepted as being normal for that time in our nation's Southern history.

In later years, my extended family played jazz music; people of all colors came together sometimes, for maybe the first time in public, to play jazz, and that legacy of color being immaterial to proficiency in American music lives on to this day.

My family raised me to be impressed with the accomplishments that people have and share with each other, not to obsess over anyone's color. There are good people and bad people of every race and every nationality. It's our talents and interests that bond us together, and that makes us different from people who only know how to bond on racial or color bases.

More recently, an immigrant from England married into our American family during my generation. History repeated itself, as we were read children's books by someone with a wonderful English accent, who demonstrated an organized and reliable work ethic, and taught us a few things we'd forgotten. Our generation, descended from humble English immigrants and the descendants of kings, somehow earned our very own, personal Merlin.

As kids, we fell in love with the Beatles, experienced the British music "invasion" of the era, discovered Elton John and later Harry Potter emerged. At one beautiful period in time, we returned to England and enjoyed a guided tour given by an English native. Now we may observe and field comments, online and from afar, on the reality of the Harry-Meghan era (or is it the Meghan-Harry era?)

Returning to our national and ethnic roots, or have them return to us, can be very healing and enlightening. It can be a very good thing, and that idea is one worth exploring, in my opinion.

One thing I don't know, and cannot know on a personal basis, is anything about Ms. Omar's ancestry and nation of origin, except for what I read and understand from the media. Ms. Omar holds those keys in ways that nobody else in America does, based on her position in this country at this time. And, in some way, Ms. Omar has a soul path which may be very different from my soul path. In ways that are not yet clear, her soul path may be very important and even vital to world peace and the future history of this country. Think about that for a moment.

Whether or not our elected president is politically correct in how he says things, there is always a drop of wisdom to be found, when we respect the office of the presidency. I believe Ms. Omar can do much better than whining and complaining about our president's words, after he has already been officially reprimanded by a government entity of this country. Maybe Ms. Omar's country of origin really does need some help, or else she wouldn't be here. I believe there is some truth in our president's statement.

Bonding purely on the basis of color at a national level is of very limited value, given that Ms. Omar is very unique in her background and what she potentially has to offer. Focusing too much along lines of similarity in color and gender may be seen, interpreted and potentially targeted as being as exclusionary and, by that nature, divisive.

Let us all hope we all find and excelle in our soul's work in the best possible way we can, individually and indivisibly and sometimes invisibly, and for all concerned, with liberty and the right to the pursuit of happiness. Or whatever that document says.