Sunday, June 17, 2007

They're Here, They're Near, Get Used To Them

This is the real Sunday posting.

A young lady, perhaps still a teen, just walked by; the usual uniform: jeans and a print shirt not tucked in. And what’s that? A black head covering with just her face showing? I think I’ve seen the young Muslim American woman of 2007 wearing the religious version of the beachside bikini: just enough to cover what has to be covered to satisfy the law. And she’s alone, as well.

We have the world’s biggest to-do around these parts about Hispanics moving in. The “here now” people are starting to get violent against the “coming now” folks. The “here nows” say, “Our grandparents came over and learned English; these people should, too.” They carefully forget that their grandparents never learned a word; it was their children who picked up the new language, same as is happening now. The next generation, as is happening with the Muslim girl, becomes Americanized rather quickly.

We have this tendency to dislike the new. “This is the way we are,” self-appointed spokesfolks say. “We have our ways.” So the new arena almost wasn’t built. “Arena No” bumper stickers proliferated on cars and, although it did get built, it was built smaller than planned because the bond issue ended up missing its mark. It turned out to be immensely popular and people like me want to bar entrance to anyone who had an “Arena No” sticker on their car.

The Muslims are here, the Hispanics are here, the Arena is here. Get used to it.


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