Friday, September 21, 2012

Danged Foreigners!

So, hubby had a bit of a "to-do" at work yesterday--or after work, actually. A coworker is moving on to another agency, and they were throwing a farewell party. The problem with farewell parties in Washington DC is that they sometimes wind you up missing your bus. Catching a later bus. Which fails to connect you in time with your homebound conveyance. So, instead of being home at 7 pm (or even catching the 7:18 from Falls Church), my husband wasn't going to be home until well after 10 pm.

Until Akim.

Akim, who is new to the area, was also stuck at the bus stop. Upon learning that he was in for another couple of hours wait, he called his wife to pick him up. He then approached my husband and offered him a ride.

Just like that. Just that easy, Akim from Western Africa gave my family two hours we wouldn't have had. Gave us dinner at an almost decent hour, gave us time to catch a documentary on Netflix, gave my husband a little more time to sleep last night. He and his family gave my husband conversation and warmth and kindness. They asked nothing in return.

Danged foreigners, bringing their kind ways to our society! Nasty immigrants, spreading their "lend a hand" ideology! We laugh, but there really is a strong anti-immigrant/anti-foreigner vibe in this country, and it's shameful. My grandparents were immigrants, and they, too, were greeted with finger-pointing and scapegoating. Damned Irish! Dirty Italians!

While Akim's English was impeccable (accented, but wonderful), many immigrants do struggle with learning English. Hey, it's a hard language to learn! Instead of pointing fingers and wearing nasty t-shirts with snotty "This is America, Speak English" slogans, why not volunteer at an ESL language center? Why not tutor an immigrant in reading and writing? I know, being a mean-spirited asshole is easier, but is it really more rewarding? If you think immigrants are a problem, step up and help them be Americans. That involves lending a hand, not patrolling a border with a shotgun.

Anyway, I've meandered a bit here. Just wanted to say THANK YOU to Akim and his family. You rocked our world!

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