Kevin Cullen = Rebelde.
Today, the Boston Globe columnist wrote a stunning piece called “Heroes on our shores”. We have read it about three times already, and you should read the whole piece here. Cullen completely gets it, this whole anti-immigrant tone that the Boston Marathon bombings has generated, either through the media or through politicians who have used this tragedy for political purposes.
Cullen’s gritty style triumphs in this piece, and these two following excerpts particularly stand out for us. Here is the first one:
But using that atrocity to score cheap, partisan political points is more than tawdry. It exploits a national tragedy, and local suffering, to the point that it dishonors the dead. It dishonors the wounded and our heroic first responders and our marvelous medical community who saved so many lives, many of whom are the children and grandchildren of immigrants.
For all you who think that what happened on Patriots Day means we should seal up our borders and turn inward and look at foreigners with suspicion, congratulations, because you are doing exactly what the bombers wanted.
They wanted to divide us.
They wanted us to turn on each other.
But we didn’t do that. We didn’t turn on each other. We turned, as Governor Patrick put it, toward each other. The firefighters from Engine 7, the police officers from District 4, the EMTs and paramedics from the city’s Emergency Medical Services, ran toward the explosions. They didn’t check people’s identification before they decided whose life to save. They didn’t save Americans first, and foreigners second.
The doctors and nurses and all the great medical people who triaged the wounded in the tent on Boylston Street didn’t ask the wounded for their passports before they saved their lives. The people who received the wounded at our hospitals didn’t ask the nationality of their patients before sticking an IV in their arms.
Remember that iconic photo of the guy in the cowboy hat, pinching Jeff Bauman’s femoral artery shut so he wouldn’t bleed to death? That guy in the cowboy hat is named Carlos Arredondo. When I saw him at the Celtics game on Sunday I gave him a hug. When they put Carlos’s image up on the jumbotron, the Garden went crazy.
Carlos Arredondo was an illegal immigrant from Costa Rica. After his son, a Marine, was killed in action in Iraq, Carlos was granted American citizenship. That’s a high price to pay for legal residency. And I guess there are some people in this world who think Carlos should have been deported.
I’m glad he wasn’t deported. Jeff Bauman is alive because he wasn’t deported.
And here is the conclusion:
…Contrary to the xenophobic, small-minded prattling of tabloids and talk shows, most immigrants come here to work, to have a better life, to breathe in the freedom and the opportunity that is at the root of this nation’s greatness. The vast majority are not here to mooch off the rest of us. They want the same life we have. They are, no matter where they come from, aspirational Americans.
We are a nation of immigrants, and we have allowed our immigration system to descend into a shambles. A fine legacy to the attack on us by immigrants who spurned our tolerance and generosity would be to make life better for the vast majority of immigrants who love this country as much as the native born.
Kevin Cullen keeps it real, as he always has and will continue to do so. You can follow him on Twitter at @GlobeCullen.