Archive for November, 2007

Immigrant Blessings, part 3:: the Republic

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to sit in on the San Diego Board of Education’s monthly meeting. Our church, Ethnos, had been invited to become an official partner with Doyle Elementary School, and part of this meeting involved the acknowledgment and approval of all new partners, and so I was there. It was quite an experience, to see some public officials, whom I had elected, in action. It was neat, too, to note the racial diversity of the Board- Asian, African American, Latino, Jewish, and more. Oh, and I had to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, something I had not done in quite some time (more on this below).

A regular part of the meeting involved an “open microphone time” where anyone in the public could come and communicate with the Board. All sorts of interesting issues were brought up during this time.

One in particular made the audience a little uncomfortable, from what I could tell. It was a Caucasian war veteran who went up and began to denounce the public school system for not doing a better job keeping African American youth out of prison. Most people thought he was “off his rocker.” In fact, after the meeting some people began to bring this up with me. I don’t know if their social background influenced there perspective, but I have a feeling it may have (they were WASP in their 60s).

“But the amazing thing is, you have a place to say these sort of things to public officials without the fear of getting put in prison. I think it’s actually an amazing thing. Just think about places all over the world where you can’t do this sort of thing,” I replied.

Which got me thinking about the Pledge of Allegiance, the Flag, and “the Republic, for which it stands…”

It may not be perfect, but there are some definite blessings to being a part of this Republic.