Cultural Stew

You wouldn’t know it to look at my face,

martha 271

but I’m part Native American. No. Really.

You would probably guess I’m German or English. And you’d be right on either count. I’m probably a lot of other things as well. I really need to do that spit test.

My grandfather’s mother was full-blooded Native American. Chickasaw? We think. No one knows for sure. She’s not listed on any census and I can’t find her in the Native American registry. But she existed. So that makes me 1/8 Native American. Something that I’m proud of. I don’t know why, but I am. It’s never been something to be ashamed of. Maybe because I look white and no one ever treated me in a negative way (racially). I had other factors though that called attention to being different. Overweight. Artistic. Sensitive. Not much money. And I was made fun of for those things. Minor compared to racism.

I wonder, in the late 19th century when great-grandma met great-grandpa and married, and had several children, did they encounter racism? Disapproval, bias, difficulty? I hope not. But probably. In Oklahoma at the time, maybe it was more common to see mixed couples? I don’t know. That story is lost to our family. Unfortunately.

My family came to this country for opportunity. They were allowed in. The other part of my family was already here! There have been mistakes on all sides, but the American government killed the Native Americans, ground them into dust and pushed them into tiny groups. In fact, our country has a pretty bloody history. Not one to be proud of, IMO. Not all of it anyway.

My family left Germany before the war. Danke Gott! But some extended family may have stayed, don’t know, probably. Know where they came from before Germany? France.

All that being said, I can’t imagine excluding someone because they need a place to go. Or especially when they were born in America or were brought here at a very young age. Jesus didn’t hold people at arm’s length. Jesus loved sinners, Samaritans (considered dirty foreigners by Judeans) and people of all kinds. I understand there are limited resources and other considerations, but IMO the politicians setting policy that don’t consider immigrants as people are not Christians.

God included everyone in salvation. Not just Israel. Where would we be if He built a wall around the Promised Land?

Some of the nicest, hardest-working, finest, most moral people I have ever met have been immigrants. So why is this an issue now?

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