Hilbert Morales | EL OBSERVADOR
Photo Credit: Unsplash

“The most effective way to destroy a people’s community to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” This is my revised version of George Orwell’s original statement.

Dolores Huerta recently sent out an email stating:
“Dear Hilbert, when you’re celebrating Thanksgiving this week, add one more thing to pause to give thanks for —the Brady Bill and Brady Background Checks!

The Brady Bill was signed into law on November 30, 1993. The landmark law established our nation’s background check system on gun sales. It was named for White House Press Secretary Jim Brady, who was shot during the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan.

The fight to pass the Brady Bill, led by Jim and his wife Sarah, took six votes over seven years and three presidencies. Jim and Sarah’s work paid off. To date, background checks have stopped over 3.5 million gun sales by prohibited purchasers — helping save countless lives. That is truly something to be thankful for!

But even as we cherish the lives saved, we know that too many Thanksgiving tables will have empty chairs, as families mourn gun violence victims. It doesn’t have to be this way. Legislation to expand background checks to cover all gun sales is sitting on Sen. Mitch McConnell’s desk. Urge Mitch McConnell to act today!”

EO encourages you to contact your local city council member. Ask them to craft a city ordinance which makes local gun violence a misdemeanor and to promote mitigation of all violence. Especially domestic violence.

Often, domestic violence involves gun violence. Available data reveal that an estranged wife has a very high probability that she will be shot by her partner in their home if that home has a hand-weapon in it. This is reason enough to encourage any and all homes not to have a gun in the home. Having that gun stored in a locked drawer or cabinet often slows down its use.

Often violence is acted out by an individual who has never learned to control his/her emotions which may result in inadvertent physical actions. Each individual needs to acquire the discipline which leads to discussion and negotiation prior to using violence to win an argument. Learn at least one de-escalation method and use it when appropriate.

The avoidance of physical violence is enhanced if an individual decides to engage de-escalation methods when appropriate.

History records many fights which dealt with issues that could have been mitigated by negotiated discussions. One’s understanding of the need to negotiate more often is obtained by reading more history. Quite often, what was involved was crop failure, the need for lebensraum (living space), and the use of violence to impose an ideological approach to an issue. The Crusades and America’s Civil War (1864) both involved ideologies. Religion in the first case and the abolition of slavery in the second.

In addition, economic issues along with droughts and migration of people are also often used to avoid violence. The actions taken always involve persons and their families to locations thought to be safe, secure and permit employment.

America today is a national community whose history involves the migration of families from Northern Europe, Africa, Asia, Central and South America. The result is having communities which have connections to the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, several African nations like Nigeria, and several Asian nations such as Vietnam, Japan, Korea, and China.

During the 1800’s the Irish migrated because of the potato crop failure. Many Mexicans and other Central and South Americans migrated here to escape involvement with civil wars, abusive drug syndicates, and lack of local job employment opportunities.

The historic first group of immigrants were fur traders who came to North America to obtain beaver furs. Their commerce was responsible for the near extermination of beavers. Recently, a local community’s city council enacted ordinances which protect those beavers which recently moved in and built a beaver dam across a creek within the city limits.

Hispanic-Latinos migrated north from Mexico, Central and South America to the United States to seek a better life and safety. Asians, especially the Chinese, were not wanted as immigrants by America, but their labor was used to build many infrastructures (tunnels, railroad bed, levees, etc.).

The 7th Calvary and 3rd Calvary collected the Iroquois Nation and forced them to leave their lands along the Atlantic Coast from New York to Florida. These Native Americans were escorted to Reservations located in Oklahoma, Texas, and other Southwestern states where reservations were established.

Much of these movements were justified by a white-supremacist ideology termed “Manifest Destiny”.

Think about all the conflicts all over the world today which have resulted in millions of refugee populations. For example, the current Syrian Conflicts have resulted in 3,000,000 refugees who are trying to migrate into northern European nations and elsewhere.

All of these migrations contain individual families whose migration history is being lost because each generation does not become informed.

In my own family, I recently came across the documents which established that my mother and father legally migrated into America back during 1910. Their portal of entry was El Paso, Texas/Cuidad Juárez, Coahuila, Mexico. Their motivation was to escape the 1910 Mexican Civil War. Once the Morales family was settled down, my parents assisted several relatives with their efforts to migrate into America. Their motivation was economic because there were not enough well-paying jobs available in Mexico. And it was difficult to transcend the social levels which existed then.

People will migrate to any location which offers an opportunity to improve the family living standard. Access to opportunity, education and fair, equal treatment in society are big attractions.

Make an effort to create opportunities for the elders of your family to tell their stories. Many elders endured deprivation, bias, prejudice, and bigotry in order to relocate so that their children had a more favorable opportunity to become educated and achieve the “American Dream” of success.

While America’s democracy is not perfect it is being improved, which is why many migrate here. Those migrants need to be encouraged to tell their personal experiences acquired during their migration. Those family histories are part of your developmental history. That history is lost when it is not passed on from one generation to the next. The outcome is a destruction of your prior community as you acculturate to become fully Americanized.

These days, diversity has become a reality which is responsible for many good things being enabled. We, the diverse people, have different insights and perspectives. These traits are already known to be basic to being innovative and creative. Silicon Valley would not be the center of innovation and creativity without its diversity.

We are learning to live together. We must respect each other’s dignity. The outcome is a community having much resilience and flexibility. The mixed marriages have children who possess hybrid vigor.

And, what is required is that each of us has obtained some sense of our prior family history which establishes the feeling that we belong here. In addition, we must allow our children to learn well their family history while encouraging them to also learn to become effective skilled individuals whose services are of value to local industry. Knowing howis as essential as knowing who.

Keep in mind that it is a woman, usually the mother, who first teaches her child language and logic; right and wrong; along with relationship skills. The father is also involved as the supporter and provider. And it does take a community to assist and support parents in the development of the next generation.

There is a historical as well as a biological cycle to this family process. It is a good thing to know your personal history because that made you who you are today (now). Be thankful and appreciative so that you responsibly support the cycle of life you are engaged in today.