Monday, October 2, 2023

#275 / A Phenomenal Culture Of Welcoming


Pictured above is our "Wall" at the United States' border with Mexico, as seen from Nogales, Arizona.  Mexico is right on the other side. I took the picture in May, 2021, and I was appalled. I have never forgotten my visit to that border, and the statement that this border wall represents. 

This picture documents how our fear and rejection has been made into a barrier of concrete and steel, with the razor wall making clear that the penalty for trying to come across that border will likely be death. Most recently, Texas has installed a floating barrier-wall in the Rio Grande River, also including razor wire. The news story from which I took the image below said this:

The Mexican government reported for the first time Wednesday that a body was spotted along the floating barrier that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott installed recently in the Rio Grande, across from Eagle Pass, Texas. Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department said authorities were trying to recover the body, and did not know the person’s nationality or the cause of death. Many had warned about the danger of the barrier, because it is designed to make it more difficult for migrants to climb over or swim under it.

You probably remember the statement that the United States has, historically, provided to those who would want to come here from another country: 

In the early 1900s, Georgina Shuyler was one of many to point out that the statue’s proximity to Ellis Island, and its visibility for ships and boats coming ashore, made it a powerful, welcoming symbol for immigrants entering the United States. In response to this new interpretation, the words from Emma Lazarus’s poem The New Colossus were famously etched into a plaque at the base of the statue in 1903, including the words: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.” It became recognized as a symbol of America’s rich multicultural history, founded by people from around the world.

I thought to write this blog posting about the topic of immigration because, as is so often true, a single phrase from a newspaper article caught my attention. The article was authored by David Oshinsky, who is director of the Division of Medical Humanities at NYU Grossman School of Medicine and a professor in the NYU Department of History. The article appeared in the Saturday-Sunday, September 30 - October 1 edition of The Wall Street Journal, and was titled: "The Nobel Prizes Need A Makeover." In his article, Oshinsky noted the disproportionate number of Nobel Prizes that have been awarded to Americans:

If one were to make a composite of the typical Nobel Prize winner in science, it would be a middle-aged American man, nurtured in elite surroundings, whose eureka moment occurred about 15 years or so before winning the prize. The U.S. has dominated these competitions, winning close to half the science Nobels since 1901...
America’s dominance can be partly attributed, in fact, to its role as a haven for scientists seeking freedom and opportunity. What began as a trickle in the 1930s with the arrival of refugees from Nazism became a steady stream by the 1960s, as the U.S. liberalized its more restrictive immigration laws. Since then, the number of Nobels in science won by Americans born elsewhere has skyrocketed. Immigrants have accounted for close to 40% of the prizes awarded to Americans in the 21st century. “The U.S. has built a phenomenal culture of welcoming,” says Stefano Bertuzzi, an Italian √©migr√© who heads the American Society for Microbiology (emphasis added).
Please let me say that I endorse the thought that a "culture of welcoming" is a positive for this nation. Wouldn't you agree?

Let's not forget that!

1 comment:

  1. first we destabilize a poor country leading to poverty and violence. Then when the people who are in severe danger try to leave and seek asylum at our borders, we torture them, take their children from them, keep them in concentration camps, allow them to starve to death waiting for help that never arrives. What a cruel country we reside and pay taxes in.


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