Gregg Martin

Gregg Martin

Ringgold, GA

I am 52 years old, white, male, and a retired navy chief petty officer. Although always aware of the need for change in our country’s immigration system, my interest started becoming acute after I heard about the Bracero Program that started at the beginning of World War II and lasted until 1964. The program came about when the United States approached Mexico for help during the critical labor shortage caused by the United States’ entry into the war, and without Mexico’s help, practically every one of America’s crops would have rotted in the field for lack of anyone to harvest them. I wanted to learn more about this significant piece of our American history and started researching. Each book or article I read would reference another event or period in the history between Mexico and America, and before long I had studied the entire history between Mexico and America from the moment Mexico won her independence from Spain up until today. What I learned was that my country has unjustly treated Hispanics for a very long time, exploiting or rejecting them, depending upon the state of our economy and whether or not we needed their labor. It has long been one of my firm convictions that if you are aware of a problem but don’t do anything to help resolve it, you are in fact part of that problem. I am now aware of a problem…a very big problem…one that is growing worse, not better, and one that is destroying our country. That problem is ignorance of history and of the fact that the Hispanic population of our country—documented or otherwise—has played an enormous part in making our United States the wonderful country that it is. This ignorance is distorting the perceptions of my fellow Americans and allowing the passing of unconscionable legislation such as the new law in Arizona that essentially mandates racial profiling. Another one of my unshakable convictions is that the overwhelming majority of Americans desperately want to do the right thing at all costs. Ignorance of the facts as well as being influenced by the lies and misinformation being promulgated by a small but very vocal minority has caused good people to do the wrong thing. Knowing this, I have no choice but to work for change. If I didn’t, I would then be part of the problem…and I have too much self-respect and respect for my fellow Americans to allow that. For this reason, I’ve put what I’ve learned on the web at www.mexicoandamerica.com

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