Nativist bigotry is nothing new. But there is another, more generous America.
That is what I give thanks for: an America willing to embrace immigrants with puzzling accents. I give thanks as well that this thread of magnanimity has, mostly, triumphed over the other thread represented by the Know-Nothings, the anti-Catholic riots, the Chinese Exclusion Act, the exclusion of Jewish refugees like Anne Frank, the internment of Japanese-Americans, the Muslim ban and this year, the separation of immigrant families at the Mexican border. Such ugliness has left a series of stains on our history,
I’m grateful for that, because he became my father. One of the things I’m grateful for this Thanksgiving is the warm welcome that America extended to a man born 100 years ago in what is now Ukraine. Wladyslaw Krzysztofowicz was born into an Armenian family in a dangerous region; you might think of it as the Honduras of its day.