Purcell's backbone on 'English First' is rare in these times
By WALTER T. SEARCY III
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This storm, like others before it, shall ultimately subside as we again, albeit grudgingly, welcome the enriching qualities of difference. We will embrace them and incorporate them into the ever- changing canvas we call America the beautiful, as we have ultimately done with every immigrant wave, whether through Jamestown or Ellis Island, through Miami or San Francisco.
Have we forgotten how and why this country was built and on whose backs this construction occurred, notwithstanding the displacement of those who were here before us? Of course, our effort to slam the door shut, now that we are in, is not new.
Every group has been critical of those who have arrived later than they did. The politically persecuted Anglo-Germanic populi were not very sensitive to those who fled withering grape and olive vines in Southern Italy or potato famines on the Emerald Isle. Nor did Italians and Irish think that those from Eastern Europe, Jew or Gentile, were good for anything but ready targets for billy clubs or fleecing scams. Unity among them came only in their opinions of those of us, the Africans, in our second migration, this time from the fields of woe behind the cotton curtain to teeming urban centers.
This has not been a great season for leadership in the polyglot of our country. We have favored fences over bridges and appear to the world as a spoiled bully with gunboats in too many ports. But in Nashville, silence was an option and a leader stepped up and spoke out. So to the mayor of Nashville who has chosen to resist the rush to the rear, the sound and fury that signifies nothing: Atta boy!