Many years ago, an immigrant family found itself transitioning from a culture where having children was an economic necessity to one where having children was a costly expense. This transition proved too difficult. It robbed the family of its potential vibrancy, left it loveless and quarrelsome, and treated its children as valueless. I was one of its children.
I was vermin.
In school, the offspring from established and privileged families of this new competitive culture, brimming with bravado and contempt for the hardships of others, often took pleasure in abusing less fortunate children who had neither the confidence nor the courage to resist. I was one of those children.
I was vermin.
As adults, some underprivileged children managed to achieve a level of success in this new competitive culture through sheer will, skill, and defiance against those who surreptitiously sought to derail that success. I had become one of those adults.
But, I was still vermin.
Later in life, after the daily struggles of school and work had subsided, these former underprivileged children continued meeting resistance from contemporaries of more fortunate upbringing. Their skin might be too brown, their speech might sound too ethnic, their spirituality (or lack of it) might be too unpopular, their appearance might be too plain, their mannerisms might be too obscure, and their lifestyles might be too unconventional. I am one of those former underprivileged children.
I am vermin.
America, you see, needs its vermin. Without them, the nation’s ruling WACCOs (White American Conservative Christian Orthodoxy) would soon turn on each other; and that, my dear readers, would forever topple this Land of the Free.
Robert A. Vella