I am the grandson of an immigrant from a despised country. My paternal grandfather left Russia, or more likely Belarus in today’s terms to seek a better life in America. He landed here in 1905 and got work in Rochester NY in the men’s clothing industry. He was a cutter, the first step in the process of making a coat is to cut the pattern from the raw material. Eventually he started his own shop cutting men’s coats. The story is long and convoluted and not particularly germane to the next step, My grandmother came over and met him and they married and had my father, Emanuel (Mannie). Mannie got a Bachelors Degree and Master of Science in Chemistry from the University of Rochester. After serving in the army in England in WWII, which was after I was born, he started up a a couple of businesses. Ultimately he created Nalge Co to manufacture plastic bottles and other equipment for laboratories of all sorts. You may be familiar with the Nalgene Water Bottle so many people carry around. That was a byproduct of the business.
His siblings went on to degrees as well, his sister became a nurse and served on the hospital trains from the front in the European Theater and his younger brother graduated from PT Boat training as the war ended. He went on to get a PhD in Physics and has had a remarkable career, he continues to attend meetings now into his 90’s
Mannie’s two children have advanced degrees and have continued to contribute to the welfare of the communities they belong to. The grandchildren sport PhD’s and and their own successful enterprises. Needless to say the country would be poorer in some small measure had Isadore Goldberg, nee Sklaroff, been prevented from immigrating because he came from a “shit hole” country.
Another point, drive through Appalachia and you will find people living in conditions no better than those other places he was condemning. Coal miners work the mines because there is no other work for them, not because they love the mines. Take a tour of a mine that has been cleaned up for tourism and tell me how much you would have to be paid to spend your working life down there, and a short life it would be. Read about life in Appalachia and tell me that immigrants from there would be welcome in the country envisioned by him.
I have avoided politics in this blog for a long time. I cannot be silent like the Republican leadership, I cannot contain myself any longer.
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