Random Recollection

Thank the country, be grateful

Yatindra Bhatnagar

Gratitude is a virtue. Being thankful to whatever we have makes us feel good. The abundant gifts of nature, the heroic struggle of the founders, and later the people we elected who continued the fight for us and gave us the life and opportunities, are unique in the world. And loving the nation, its laws, its traditions, its history, and values makes us all proud of the country we live in.

Yes, no country, no person, no life, is perfect. If you find some, please let me know. 

Yet, many of those who were born here and those saved from tyranny, chaos, poverty and persecution have forgotten to be grateful and to thank the country. They, instead, want to destroy its history, culture, values, and achievement, and ignore the unlimited opportunities America has extended to the whole world. They are totally ungrateful, but still want to have more, and to come and work here. They call America racist, but want to live and prosper here. And they come from all over the world and think they have the birthright to come to America.

Even a misguided and/or mischievous United Nations has declared ‘migration is a human right.’

American leaders fought for freedom, individual initiative, helpful laws, innovation, prosperity, entrepreneurship, security and happiness for themselves and others who worked with, and for, them. America even fought for other countries, liberated them, protected them and helped them to achieve great heights of economic development.

America is on the forefront of ‘acceptance.’ It welcomes you with open arms. Not many countries are as large-hearted as this one. America has become a mini-world, a myriad of colors and cultures, a melting pot of different traditions and ethnic variations. It accepts even those whose original countries export, defend, promote and themselves resort to terrorism and destruction of other countries, including America.

Yet, the United States shelters and welcomes even those who come as refugees and turn terrorists. Those who fled their own countries, took refuge here, rose to positions of power and yet denounce and deride the history, tradition, values and culture of this country. How disgusting!

I, a legal immigrant who loves America, have seen and experienced all. I continue to watch what’s happening and in my own modest way raise my voice against this newer trend in the name of racism, inequality and discrimination.

Suffice it to say that if there was ‘systemic racism,’ as the new anti-America slogan is prevalent, there would have been no Barack Obama as President and no big black world champion athletes representing the United States. And yet, many of those very people denounce the US.

I was invited from India, to join the Multi-National Foreign Journalist Project of the State Department run and managed by Indiana University, Bloomington, IN for decades. This was to help Journalists from all over the world to learn, contribute, and become better in their life and career. Initially, dozens of Germans and Koreans came to jump-start their career and contribute to the profession that had lost many because of World War II and the Korean War. Later the project was open to all.  

America accepted me as I was, gave me the opportunities to learn, see, travel, meet and write. I was able to meet great editors of newspapers and radio-TV, work for a couple of noted papers for three weeks each, shared home and meals with average American families, and did some radio programs. Judges invited me to hearings in their courts, and celebrated Christmas to suit my convenience. The Sheriff of Tarrant County (Texas) made me an Honorary Deputy Sheriff at a special function. I had cowboy boots and hat to commemorate the event. That can happen only here, in America.   

Sadly, some of those in the mainstream media are no longer independent and ideal newspapers – the voice of the people – but are mouthpiece of partisan politics and promoters of fake, distorted, misleading, and divisive news and views. THEN, they told me that THEY were big business, NOW BIG Business controls them. No wonder they have lost touch with the people; do not reflect reality, don’t help in nation-building. They only propagate destructive and divisive policies and try to bring down some whom they, or their masters, don’t like.

Of course, there are people who help others, even go out of their way to do it, They don’t expect or get any reward. They outnumber others.     

Let me concentrate on one particular subject of the current unrest: The Police. There are some bad apples among all of us - but a systematic tirade against those who help, protect and serve day-in and day-out, putting their own lives on the line every day, is totally unacceptable, unwarranted and counter-productive.

There are numerous cases every day where Cops (firefighters, first responders and paramedics etc.) personally rescue people in distress, help the needy with own money, console crying kids by hugging them and offering candies, even help deliver babies on the road, in cars etc. 

These are rarely highlighted and often ignored by the mainstream biased and politicized media. 

There was a Cop who helped push my stalled car to a side street, and then noticing my fused break light, fixed it and did not give me a ticket. When I thanked him profusely, he just said smiling, "we don't go about arresting (and shooting) people, we also help them.” 

In another case help came around 2 a.m. one night when I was returning home with my wife, daughter and little grandson and on the highway got a flat tire.  It was scary but in a couple minutes a Cop appeared, told me not to worry, called for roadside assistance and left. He reappeared to let me know that assistance was on its way. 

Meantime, another patrol car drove by just stopping for a couple minutes to check on us. Then the first Cop returned to check and saw us safely on our way but not before the tow-truck had fixed the problem. The Cops did not let us feel we were alone and unprotected,   

Only somebody with an ulterior motive and a hidden agenda would join the ‘war’ against the Police and this country that deserve our love and gratitude. I was born in India, but America is my home for the last about 37 years and I love this country. I love its people, its acceptance, and the opportunities it gives to all, even to those who habitually play the race card and bring disaster. Some riot, burn, loot, shoot, destroy and ‘occupy.’ Some kneel when the National Anthem is played; some burn the flag – the symbol and the pride of the nation. Some topple the statues of national heroes, eminent explorers and leaders. Some even go to the extreme extent and shout Death to America. Disgusting and disgraceful!

10/31/20