An excellent choice for 4th-of-July podcast listening would be Maine, Africa on Radio Open Source. The intro:
We went to Portland, Maine, this week to meet newcomers from Central Africa, Angolans and Congolese asking for U.S. asylum. Fox News hit the panic button two weeks ago: their line was that Maine is being overrun, inundated by African migrants. On a long day in Portland, however, we found nobody sounding scared.
I’ve noticed the strong African influence in Portland when visiting, and wondered: “Why is that?” The answer is that Maine’s population is stable but aging. Immigrants are needed, and the state welcomes them.
A couple of moments in this podcast stopped me in my tracks.
With mayor Ethan Strimling:
“You know what, we don’t consider you somebody else’s problem, we consider you our opportunity.”
And with a woman interviewed on the street:
Chris Lydon: “How did Portland get to be so welcoming?”
Interviewee: “We’re Americans.”
Not everyone’s on board. There’s an anti-immigrant minority, but it is a minority. Most of the people in Portland, it seems, look backward to their own immigrant roots and forward to a future that embraces an influx of world cultures.
On this Independence Day I choose to believe that a national majority feels the same way, and will prevail.