Refugees/ Don’t Hate Me (7:31)
From the beginning America has been a hodgepodge of sundry, and diverging groups. It is what makes us great. Two, three hundred years ago, (and even last week) It was the best, the brightest, that came here.
It was the adventures, the free thinkers, the risk takers that came here. It was the debtors, the n’er-do-wells looking to start over, the extremists, the fanatics, the radicals the persecuted, the prospectors that longed for the salvation of a new beginning.
It was the draft dodgers, the exiled intellectuals, the starving, and the industrious. THE REFUGEES
In 1776, there were two and a half million non native people in what is now the United States. No nationality held a clear majority and twenty percent were of African decent. (More than from any single country in Europe)
At one point it could be argued that Swahili was the most spoken tongue in the western hemisphere. Granted, they did not come here willingly, It is one of our greatest shames that it has taken us so long to realize the gifts they had to offer. For even though Africans were subjugated for most of their history in the western hemisphere - their contributions to what makes America great is immeasurable.
And, the same is true of the contributions of those who have been the most mistreated, The Native Americans, The Chinese and The Mexicans.
Most of our great achievements have been at the behest of the newcomer ... the outcast... the refugee.
It was the new-comer, the immigrant the refugee... that put his body on the line - against armed private militia - in the struggle to give us the eight hour day. It was the newcomer, the immigrant, the refugee that swelled the ranks of the Union Army and put an end to slavery by the barrel of a gun. It was the newcomer, the immigrant, the refugee - educated in our universities that sat in Houston, TX and Cape Canaveral as we put a human on the moon.
It takes a great deal of courage and gumption to come to a new land and begin again. And when ya get here - the one thing ya still got is that courage and gumption.
Even today. It is what makes us great.
Even if it is what we fear the most.
Many fear the new comer. But I say what does the new comer have to offer?
We are all after all, newcomers. We are still so young, and so big. Europeans poke fun at us saying we think two hundred years is a long time - yet they think two hundred miles is a long way. Our American trailblazers have conquered great distances with a mule and an axil.
Only a great and inspired people could do that.
Yes, What we have done with that history has not always been pretty.
No people’s history is pretty.
Perhaps if our history were pretty it would surely be that... History
Pretty people don’t last. and in America it has often been the ugliest of the ugly that prevail. And prevail we do.
But today, I choose to celebrate what is great about our country.
"This Country was built on the backs of Draft Dodgers." - U. Utah Phillips
Chandler: Spoken Word
Paul Benoit: Guitar Vocals
Tige DeCoster: Bass
Hugh Sutton: Organ
Dan Weber: Drums
Recorded Mixed and Mastered at Lost and Found by Blake Harkins
Chandler recorded at the Monkey House by Ira Marlowe