To the Editor:
There has been so much said about the Brazilian students being allowed to wear Brazilian colors at graduation, that this may be a little overkill. However, I feel that we are overlooking some things. First of all, to counter what some Brazilian Americans have said, all of us do not equate the word “immigrant” with the words “illegal immigrants.” And that really has nothing to do with the problem, anyway.
If we, as a community, decide that Brazilian American students have the right to wear Brazilian colors at their graduation to show their pride in the fact that they came here from Brazil and have overcome many obstacles to be graduated from an American high school, perhaps we have changed a rule for the better. On the other hand, if we make this decision, we should also realize that the students in high school here have many different national backgrounds, not only Brazilian. What of the Portugese who came here generations ago to settle here and who also faced many obstacles and hardships in order to remain and become loyal American citizens? What of the Italians, Irish, Greeks, and those of other ethnic backgrounds? Have they not also a reason to be proud of their heritage? I, myself, am descended from Pilgrims who came to settle a new land and weathered terrible winters, starvation, and illlness in order to help build a new country.
Perhaps, instead of the dark purple gowns, it would be a wonderful treat in the future to see the gowns embellished with colorful scarves of other nationalities. It would make a statement that we are a land of many immigrants who have come together to make a whole, who have come together to continue to help build a better future for our country. I think that graduates can be proud of their heritage and still be Americans.