How many 100 percent, pure blood Native Americans do I have reading, right now? I’m genuinely curious.
As we all get further away from our roots, pinpointing the particulars of our origins tends to fade from certainty to guesstimates.
The reality is, most of us living in the United States today are a beautiful patchwork of varied racial and national roots.
I recently did one of those DNA tests that are supposed to track down ancestry through a saliva sample. In the most accurate of terms, if there is any validity to these things, you can refer to me as Heinz 57, at this point.
There were some surprises.
My results were 36 percent Scandinavian, 31 percent Irish, 14 percent Great Britain, 10 percent African (with 5 percent from Nigeria, and the rest distributed among the Congo, Benin, Togo, and Libya), 3 percent Russian, and a wide smattering among the Iberian Peninsula and Western Europe.
I had 1 percent Native American in my DNA profile.
I am a mutt; A beautiful, beloved by an almighty God, collection of many different peoples and places, and I’m pretty happy about that.
I’m also uniquely, unapologetically American.
Part of being American is understanding that it took a little of everybody from everywhere to make this nation what it is.
So, yeah. Fox News personality Laura Ingraham really stepped in it, Wednesday night.
Ingraham was in the process of doing a segment on Democratic House candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Ocasio-Cortez, not the swiftest or brightest candidate Democrats could offer up, is getting a pass because she wants to make everything in the nation paid for by the government, a move the socialist faction of the left can totally get behind.
Millennials fail to see the actual cost of getting everything “free,” as evidenced by Freebie Barbie’s inability to adequately explain how her proposed programs would be funded.
Ingraham was having some fun with Ocasio-Cortez’s description in a podcast interview of how the face of the nation has changed over the last few decades, including with a declining upper middle class.
“She’s kind of right in a general sense,” Ingraham said after mocking Ocasio-Cortez’s comments.
“In some parts of the country it does seem like the America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore,” Ingraham continued. “Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they’re changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like.
“Now much of this is related to both illegal and, in some cases, legal immigration that of course progressives love,” she added.
You know, She’s not entirely wrong, at least in saying that things are changing.
I’ll even go as far as to defend her right to be concerned.
It’s not the “look” of the nation that is a problem presented by immigration. Ingraham’s failure is in adequately expressing that.
Immigration in the early, formative years of the nation was different.
Those who came here had a singular goal of freedom. They shared the dream of America. They wanted opportunity. They wanted to embrace and embody the American dream – freedom of religion, freedom to speak and be heard by their government. They wanted to belong.
Today’s immigrants seem to want all the perks, but they also want separate communities within the greater structure of the nation.We have to be honest and open about this. We shouldn’t run from the debate.
There are some cultures that clash with a free republic. The question becomes how do we deal with incompatible cultures, while maintaining the freedoms we were built upon?
It becomes harder to have those conversations openly when you have loyalists on either side making it a partisan issue.
“Remember the old Democrats — maybe some of them Ocasio-Cortez is referring to — they used to think that borders mattered,” she said. “But the new activists believe enforcing immigration laws is essentially an ongoing human rights violation.”
Borders do matter. The immigration laws that have long been on the books are adequate and fair, but the nipping, tucking, adding, and subverting that have gone on for several decades now have distorted what was intended, and yes, it has all been for partisan purposes.
What former President Obama did with DACA was scandalous. What President Trump has done with everything from the “zero tolerance” policy that has separated families to a recently announced position that would punish legal immigrants that use public assistance, such as food stamps, is just vile.
That vileness makes Ingraham’s slavish praise of Trump ring awful and wrong, on so many levels.
Ingraham praised Trump in her remarks for bringing out “uncomfortable” truths about the country. She also said it was time for Congress to take action on immigration.
“The president can be so persuasive, so give us the whole truth, Mr. President, the good, the bad and, yes, the uncomfortable,” she said.
“This is a national emergency, and he must demand that Congress act now. There is something slipping away in this country, and it’s not about race or ethnicity. It’s what was once a common understanding by both parties that American citizenship is a privilege, and one that at a minimum requires respect for the rule of law and loyalty to our constitution.”
I don’t disagree with the need for respect for the rule of law or loyalty to the Constitution. What I disagree with is the notion that everything President Trump is doing is for our good.
Trump is taking direction from Stephen Miller, as far as his immigration policy, and much of it is heartless, pulling away from everything that has made our shores a welcome refuge, and meant to shape a policy that is exclusive, not inclusive.
Was Ingraham suggesting that the problem was with the race or ethnicity of immigrants?
I don’t think so. She’s an adoptive mother to 3 kids, some from Guatemala, one of the very nations affected by Trump’s immigration policies.
Was she right?
I don’t think this is an issue that anyone is going to get 100 percent right, at this point, and the fear is that we may be too far gone, too beholden to our emotions over the issue, and too partisan in our loyalties.