Friday, June 18, 2010

Mis information is ugly on a beautiful lady

Last night I went to the graduation screening for Spring Term Graduates of  my school The Art Institute of Portland, They hold it at an old theater that screens many artistic and independent films called the Hollywood Theater, it is in an area that is named Hollywood  here in Portland.

I've been to 4 of these and 3 out of 4 of these screenings were great. They are free - or by donation. The donation goes to the students who are graduating. I got there early and didn't see many people that I know or talk to regularly. So I went straight in and sat down next to an older lady that said she was also by herself.  It was a perfect seat in the center and center again.  We started chatting and she was just delightful. I asked if her grand child was showing a film and she said no. She said that she was an actress, an aspiring actress. Being that I went back to college so late in life I really admire her. We joked how we are both trouble makers. I really enjoyed talking to her. During the screening we saw a wonderful recreation of the Portland Japanese internment camps and it brought up the point of how families were thrown in to these camps and even though their children were citizens born on US Soil that they were in these camps and often those same US citizen children were asked to serve in the war.

After all the films were done we talked a bit more. She was saying how wonderful the film was. and I agreed because it brought tears to my eyes.  And I said very simply how "It reminds me of the situation in Arizona and how people are saying that they should take away birthright citizenship."

She said, "Well THAAT I UNDERSTAND".  I paused and waited to see what she was going to say. And somehow god and the universe wanted me stuck in that situation.  The theater was clearing out but on both ends of the isle people were standing and talking so that we could not get out. It was that heightened sense you get with a climax of emotions. We both didn't want to be there but we couldn't stop, we were on polar opposites of the situation. She said, "Its terrible in Arizona, that's different than this".

I said,  "How is that different? Birthright citizen ship is the basis of our society?"

 "Well THOSE Mexicans are just walking across the border down there and they have to do something about it. " She stammered for a moment.  "My husband and I had to come through ellis island and have all the paperwork. We had to come in documented. " I think now about that statement and how wonderful it was that people could just show up at the ocean border (ellis island) and just stand in line and get in. Boat after boat of people just showed up.  They didn't have pre arranged visa's they just bought a ticket and sailed over. People with certain level of tickets and above were inspected on the ship and released.   See history of ellis island http://www.ellisisland.org/genealogy/ellis_island_history.asp

She was trying to make a point that if you came in documented it is much different. I ask how is it so different? Mexicans cannot just walk across the border?  But Ellis island people just walked off a ship answered questions and were now Americans. Then she had children. Should their children not be american citizens?  Someone prove me wrong. What really happened at Ellis island. Did they just show up and answer 26 questions and then get released a few hours later with papers. In mexico there is no way to do anything like that. First off 99% of the time there is no way to even come to visit. Without a job pre arranged, or a close family member there is no way to come. If someone decides to come illegally they have to risk their lives, walk through the desert or be subjected to inhume treatment by human traffickers. and this costs between 2 thousand and 5 thousand dollars that has to be paid before the person will be held captive until released. And still people do it so they can make a better life. Read the ellis island information, why did those people come? because of economic reasons in their own countries, how is that any freakin different?