A missionary friend of mine, Ben Pehrson, who lives in Papua New Guinea and helps translate the Bible for native tribes, found this while researching his heritage. I love that it is written about the immigrants who formed our country one hundred years ago.
Ben says, “I share it here as it was published in the Fairbanks Daily News – Miner on June 9th, 1920. Although some of the terminology is clearly 100 years old, I still resonate with the overall thought, especially the last line…”
by Frank Crane
At the risk of being deported, or of being raided and having my penknife taken from me as a dangerous weapon, I wish to state that I like Immigrants.
As far as I can trace, my ancestry is all American, and I was reared in the good old mud of Sangamon County, Illinois. Americans are my folks, and of course the best ever, but all the same some of the meanest white folks I ever knew were 100 percent American.
I love Negroes. They’re full of laughs, kind of hearts, loyal, and tender-hearted. They are pure human. Negro sunshine has done much toward making the world a happier place to live in.
I love Italians. I have lived in Italy, and a kinder, gentler folk do not exist on earth. I boarded with Signora Cippolini in Florence, and a more motherly, wholesome, and sweet-souled woman would be hard to find. No people love children and music and laughter more than the Italians.
I love the French. They have the supreme instinct for the two things that most enrich life–taste and joy. My sister used to say that if she had been born over again she would want to be born in France. And there is another saying which many appreciate that every man has two native lands, his own and France.
I love the British. At heart they are sound stock. No race has a deeper sense of decency, fair play, order, and justice.
I love the Irish. Who does not? Warm, witty, impulsive, generous, brave–“nothing’s too good for the Irish.”
I love the Germans. Oh, I know about the war and all that, but I also know enough to distinguish between a people and a diseased patriotism which tradition and wrong ideas forced upon them. I have lived with Germans, worked with them, played with them, eaten with them, drunk with them. And those I have known were genial, intelligent, kind, and good.
I love the Chinese and Japanese and all the Orientals. To me they are intensely interesting. They present our common humanity from a different angle. I can understand how some are fascinated by the East and want to live there.
I love the Swedes and Norwegians and Danes and Dutch and Poles and Russians. Some of them have made the best and most intelligent American citizens I have known. I have many delightful friends among them.
I love the Scotch and the Welsh and Portuguese, and would like to spend a long time in their countries.
My great regret is that life is too short to live in every land a while.
When I get to heaven I shall have time to learn all their languages and get acquainted with this my humanity in all its wonderful phases.
I am glad I am an American; I am gladder I am a Human Being.
I like that strange race, the Jews. No race is keener of mind, more idealistic of spirit, more loyal and loving.
And I don’t think I have to hate all other folks to prove I love my own.