by Tony Farkas
Sunday was the 10th anniversary of my mother’s death, so she already was heavy on my mind these last couple of weeks, especially when I was able to visit her grave in New Mexico recently.
My mother was something special. Everyone’s mother is, but for me, her journey was especially poignant, since she had to overcome hardships such as German and Allied bombings in World War II, Russian evil as they swept across Eastern Europe in conquest under the guise of being allied with the U.S., boat rides to Ellis Island and the subsequent citizenship process, and ridicule and hardship that comes with being right off the boat.
Even her name, Czarika, was changed because the immigration folks couldn’t pronounce it, and dubbed her Charlotte (it’s really Sarah, but hey, it’s America).
She embraced this country, though, 100 percent, and even though she was proud of her Hungarian heritage, she was more American than most Americans I knew, even serving as a civilian in the U.S. Air Force, and even became the first civilian head of Social Actions at Cannon Air Force Base.
The makeup of this country is of people with similar stories and similar circumstances, all coming together, differences and all, in the “melting pot” of American society.
It was incredibly puzzling, then, to hear our vaunted leader essentially tell half of this nation they were evil and must be destroyed, while at the same time claiming that we’re all about unity.
If you’re unaware, President Biden warned the country that MAGA (Make America Great Again) Republicans represent “an extremism that threatens the very foundation of our republic.”
He also said that Donald Trump was driving the Republican Party to that kind of platform — taking American society back to the Stone Age while completely disrespecting the Constitution by eliminating free speech, the right to choose, the right to privacy and the right (?) to contraception.
For a leader to put out that kind of divisive rhetoric, while simultaneously calling for unity (under questionable optics, such as being backed by uniformed Marines and a stage bathed in ominous red light) makes the people who became part of this country seem foolish for their beliefs, since they came here believing they would be embraced, since that’s supposed to be what we’re about.
Apparently, no longer. It’s OK to come here, as our porous border suggests, but only if you think (and donate and vote) to the powers that be. It’s no longer OK to have different beliefs, or to be what many perceive, the old guard of immigrants and leaders who regardless of color are white power brokers, eager to crush everyone under the bootheel of capitalism.
Change some of the nouns, and what you really have is exactly what my mother, and millions of others, were fleeing when they left their homelands, and the kind of hate and rhetoric that led to Rameses, and Hitler, and Stalin, and Pol Pot, etc., etc., ad nauseum.
The old saying about the pen being mightier than the sword has been proven time and again, mostly with disastrous results. There are words and ideas out there, though, that can heal and unite. Let’s try some of those.