Editor, the Advocate:
Dustin Starrak’s guest column in the Aug. 5 edition of the Advocate declared that “We are all immigrants.” I assure you, I am not. I am not a “dash-American.” I am a native American. Merriam-Webster says you are native to the place you were born. I was born in the Bronx.
Mr. Starrak details his ancestry from Africa to Europe. I have great respect for my own ancestors, especially my grandfathers. Both came, penniless, to America, from Ireland. They pushed carts in New York City selling trinkets. One became a technician for Tom Edison. The other became the Fire Chief of Newark, N.J. My dad went to Cornell and was an Army Officer from New Guinea to Leyte and later, a business executive. My mom, the daughter of Irish immigrants too, was an Army Nurse. My grandfathers would be greatly disappointed if we declared ourselves something less than Americans. They suffered much to become Americans, not “dash-Americans.”
Mr. Starrak says we “must unite as one race, under one creed, which is love.” Wise words. But I am also educated enough to recognize the horrors of Babi Yar, traveled enough to have visited Dachau, old enough to remember Pol Pot, experienced enough to have seen a pile of disemboweled children at Tal Afar filled with explosives to be used as IED’s, and amiable enough to have made a friend of my I-T (Interpreter-Translator) in Baghdad whose fiancé was murdered by Saddam’s sons Uday and Qusay. I was present when we drained a lake at BIAP (Baghdad International Airport) and found about 450 other young women who had been murdered by the brothers. Mr. Starrak seems a bit out of place in the real world. I love my family too much to leave them helpless before the threats of Iranian and North Korean nukes and Chinese and Russian expansionism. We simply cannot afford any more events like the Rape of Nanking, the Surrender of Europe at Munich, or the slaughter of the Holocaust.
While we have much to learn from the teachings of Jesus, Saint Francis, and Mother Theresa, we should never forget the lessons learned from the actions of Neville Chamberlain, the events in Nanking when the Japanese took over, or what happened at Auschwitz.
As Ben Franklin noted: “We’ve spawned a new race… rougher, simpler, more violent, more enterprising, less refined, we’re a new nationality.”
No, Mr. Starrak. We are not all immigrants.
Bob Coleman, Victoria