I grew up in Czechoslovakia under a communist regime. I have experienced what it is like to live in a society where citizens have no rights or freedoms. For the last three decades, I have been very fortunate to live in the United States. To this day, it still seems so incredibly unbelievable, that I live in America, the symbol of freedom and strength, and the world’s beacon of hope… I will always be grateful to all American taxpayers whose tax contributions made it possible for my family to come here and enjoy the great place that generations of Americans have built.
After my arrival to California, I used to marvel at the kind of a bumper sticker that read something like: “AMERICA – LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT.” I certainly love America and if I can help it, I am not leaving it. But over the years, I realized that there was another interpretation to those words I used to love to quote. You could interpret the part about leaving America as leaving it alone.
The longer I lived here, the more I saw that majority of Americans were leaving America alone. And as everything else that has been just left alone, America seems to fall apart. I am not one of those people who think that America is doomed but I do think that America is doomed if it stays the course.
Another thing I came to realize was that I was also leaving America alone. As I begun to see some disturbing parallels between political developments in the United States and those of pre-communist Czechoslovakia, I would vent to some friends about it – but I did not engage in any meaningful way to change things.
I am embarrassed to admit that after all those years I have lived here, I am still not an American citizen. I think it is time for me to get going on truly becoming a full blown American and become a citizen – and to share the perspective of current events that Americans who grew up here do not – and cannot have.
For the lack of better idea about how to contribute, I am starting this blog.
I love this country – and I am The Immigrant.