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A Salute to Immigrants

The United States is a nation of immigrants.

The vast majority of you reading this are descended from immigrants (aside from those few who are Native American). I know I am. My paternal grandfather came over from Italy as a child. My maternal grandfather was Irish-American, a Brady whose own ancestors hailed from Oldcastle in County Meath. My paternal grandmother was half German and half Welsh. My maternal grandmother had French and English ancestry. I am a mongrel to the bone. In short, American.

Wherever they came from, and whenever they made the crossing, all of my immigrant ancestors faced hardships, poverty, and discrimination when they came here. They came looking for freedom, they came looking for a better life. And they found it, or made it... and in the process they stopped being Irish or Italian or German and became Americans.

The process is still going on today. Men and women dreaming of a better life still look to America, and cross oceans and deserts by whatever means they can to find that better life. They face hardships and discrimination as well. Not everyone welcomes them. Some talk of walls, of keeping people out, of sending them back. My ancestors faced the same sort of talk. So did yours. It's an old old story, as old as our republic. Millard Fillmore is dead and forgotten, but the Know Nothing Party is alive and well today, under other names. They still know nothing.

But some of us remember where we came from. Some of us remember that it was the immigrants, those tired poor huddled masses, who made America great to begin with.

From September 23 to September 30, the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe will proudly be screening five great films about immigration and the immigrant experience. A mix of old films and new films, featuring a wide range of actors of all races, colors, and ethnicities, by some of cinema's finest writers and directors. Comedy, drama, terror; immigrants have known it all, and these movies will reflect that. Some are among my own favorite movies. Others I have yet to see.

Here are the trailers for the films we'll be screening:

MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON


THE LOST CITY


AVALON


DESIERTO


SIN NOMBRE


Check the Jean Cocteau website for dates and showtimes.

In addition to the films themselves, we plan to feature some appearances by the actors, directors, and some of our local political figures, talking about the movies, their own families, the issues surrounding immigration, and the like. We'll have more details on that as the dates firm up. But I know I will be kicking things off myself on Friday, September 23.

And as a way of welcoming our newest Americans, during the entire week, admission to all shows will be FREE for anyone who can show us a green card.

(And while I cannot promise a taco truck on every corner, we do hope to have a wide variety of food trucks turning up in front of the JCC at peak times, offering all sorts of tasty treats).

Comments

grrm
Sep. 11th, 2016 02:19 pm (UTC)
RE: Noticing
Ah... I don't know about the racial makeup of the LiveJournal community, but my own readership as a whole is definitely NOT "as white as the GOP." The crowds that show up for my signings seem very representative of the US population -- all ages, races, religions, colors, sexes, genders, etc.
Red Zen
Sep. 12th, 2016 08:33 am (UTC)
Re: Noticing
America is about 3/4's white, and the GOP about 9/10's white.

Livejournal users often have user pictures. It's easy enough to scroll through posts. Very white.

Google image searches for grrm book signing look nothing like a 75% 25% mix. Not even 90/10%.
https://www.google.com/search?q=grrm+book+signing

Are you saying that these pics are unrepresentative of what you see when you sign, though? That could be.
moon_flower666
Sep. 13th, 2016 12:54 am (UTC)
Re: Noticing
Give it a brake. What's your point? Where are you going with this? Who cares what colour the readers are, we are all human.
gman109
Sep. 12th, 2016 05:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Noticing
It's fantastic that your work is loved across so many cultures and races - I think that is probably something you should be most proud of, bringing people of all flags, creeds, and colors together. I've only attended one con, and was blown away by the diversity, as I'm mixed race myself, and felt completely at home.

Re the GOP, it can seem to be the "white man's party", but that CAN be changed, I think that it's going to die, and hopefully something better and more noble will arise from those ashes. After what the Democratic party did to Bernie, I'll NEVER forgive them, and consider those people who took away from America their best, BEST chance to move forward in so many areas, to be priority enemy number 1 for me.

I don't mind talking politics in this space, I try to avoid it completely on the net in most cases, but have always had very intelligent, fair, and balanced discussions with you George here, and others as well. Through the first puppy gate thing last year to other issues, I've always respected what you've written, and while not in lock step with everthing you say, certainly agree with most of it.

Peace be with you today. I'll be down in NM next month, and bring by that RX7 stereo deck.

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George R.R. Martin
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