America, despite its lofty ideals of freedom and diversity, can sometimes be described as “do as I say, not as I do”.
Our immigration policy history is not as welcoming as we might think. Added to the list of these policies is President Trump’s new immigration policy, if Congress agrees to codify it into law, will be one more blemish on the lofty ideals that we claim to be proud of.
Unless someone can say that they have Native American ancestry (and even their ancestors had to come from somewhere else), we are all immigrants. Most Americans can trace their family back to someone who chose to leave their family and their homeland for a new life in America. That is the first issue that I have with the proposed amendment to the immigration policy. The second is a reply to the b*llsh*t excuse that has been used for generations to prevent new immigrants from coming into the country: they will take our jobs. While some new immigrants may have a professional background and a degree, many others have to start from scratch. Find me an American citizen who wants to spend their days picking vegetables under a hot sun or washing dishes in a restaurant and earning minimum wage. That person is unlikely to be found.
I could go on, but I think Stephen Colbert’s response and satirical revision of Emma Lazarus’s The New Colossus in response to the new proposed policy says it all.
Change often comes not when we stay in our own little bubble, but when we step out of our bubbles and into the Real World.
The Real World is the mother of the reality genre as we know it to be today and MTV’s longest running program. Premiering in 1992, the premise is simple: take a group of diverse young people who have never met before, have them live together for a short time, film them while they live together and see what happens.
No topic was off limits: sex, religion, prejudice, abortion, etc. While the original season was filmed in New York City, the show has since traveled all over the US and to parts of Europe. Over it’s 25 year history, the Real World has been the career spring-board for a handful of alumni: Jacinda Barrett and Jamie Chung both have successful acting careers. Sean Duffy, who has represented the state of Wisconsin in the House Of Representatives since 2010.
One could argue, that like every other reality television show, it is a little contrived and as scripted as a non-reality television program. But, at the same time, the show spoke to its teenage/early 20’s audience because the cast was the same age as the audience. To have a television show, when you’re at the age when you are starting to form your own opinions and build your life in your way, speak to you in a way that is unique to your age group is powerful and potentially life changing.