Diversity in the making

I am often amazed when I ride the T at the variety of languages I hear.  I can’t identify them all, but a lot of students will mix in American Slang.  In my office people speak Korean, Spanish, Turkish, Chinese and Vietnamese and I speak a little Japanese.  On my own staff I have Turkish and Spanish.  This is the new Boston.

In the Boston Globe this morning was a story about 27 people who became citizens yesterday on the U.S.S. Constitution.

Yesterday, on the deck of the world’s oldest commissioned warship that is still afloat, on the birthday of the country, the country’s newest citizens — 17 women and 10 men from 20 countries — were the guests of honor. They included a young Moroccan woman who won a visa through the green card lottery and now works as a housekeeper in a Boston hotel; a Brazilian woman from Medford who just finished basic training in the Army National Guard; a Wellesley College human rights leader and Harvard Law School graduate from Sri Lanka; and a husband and wife, born in India, who met at the University of Southern California and now live with their son in Newton.

The immigrants came from Barbados, Brazil, Cameroon, Cape Verde, China, France, Guyana, India, Ireland, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Morocco, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom.

Lianne Smith and Luke Wanami, who just became a US citizen, left the USS Constitution after the ceremony yesterday.

I know that many people are opposed to immigration reform.  And I don’t deny that these 27 did things right.  But there are many children of illegals who should be granted citizenship if they will serve in the military, the Peace Corps, City Year or go to college.  What the new citizens from the Constitution achieved yesterday, needs to be available to many more.

The State of the Obama Presidency

All of our expectations were so high when Barack Obama took office 18 months ago.  He was going to fix the economy, end the wars in Iraq and Afganistan, give us health care reform, fix the schools, walk on water….

After 8 years of George W. and after the wasted Clinton years, we progressives were ready.  So where are we now?  This Doonesbury cartoon says its all.

We are like his kids and think he can do anything.  Unfortunately, there is the Senate to deal with and the fall elections which still look difficult for the Democrats.  I’m hoping they can just hang on to enough seats to keep control and Obama’s agenda has a fighting chance.