Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Patrick Kennedy

I'm the first to admit that I do not know a lot about history. Unfortunately, a lot of those facts I learned in my history classes have just faded from my brain. Now I wish I could remember more of them. I wish that I would have paid attention more in class because history is important and dare I say interesting! Reading about the first Kennedy that immigrated to the United States in 1849 I re-learned about the intense persecution that these immigrants suffered. Patrick Kennedy dealt with the famine and persecution in Ireland only to travel to the United States in a "death ship" sharing a 6x6 space with 12 other individuals. These "coffins" were not cleaned during the voyage, there were no bathrooms, there was no way to bathe or even change clothes. Then once in the USA being ridiculed and considered on the bottom rung of society just for being Irish and Catholic. I had forgotten how bad it was for the immigrants coming to the US, especially the Irish. This makes me wonder about todays immigrants and what they have to deal with. Sure, we like to think we have moved past this type of stereotyping and thinking in our society and welcome immigrants with open arms into our county, but do we? I hear derogatory and even racist comments about Muslim, Mexican, Middle-Eastern and Arab immigrants more often than I care to. The Natavist movement has caught like wildfire all over the country...This frustrates me to no end, but more so it makes me sad. I would have hoped that we could be an open and loving country that would welcome diversity as a strength rather than a weakness. To live up to our reputation of the American Dream. Yet it seems that deep seeded prejudices are slow to change so maybe we, the citizens of this country, just need more time to observe and learn. To see that we are all apart of humanity, equal and worthy.


1 comment:

  1. I love what you say about paying more attention in history classes. I was just deemed a "history nerd" because all i do these days is read biographies and study up on my history. It's like all of a sudden I care about how we got to where we are today and where we might be headed.