Friday, March 31, 2006

Warsaw, LA, and History

Senator McCain says that the huge demonstrations and support for immigrants that have graced this country recently become a defining moment in American history. By chance, this morning I was reading an excerpt from a new biography of Pope John Paul II which described the enormous outpouring of Poles in Warsaw's victory Square during his first papal visit to his homeland and the historic consequences of that visit. (In a nice point, the author describes the then Communist leader, Edward Gierek, watching the spectacle in secret from a hotel room overlooking the Square and the workers in the offices of the Party leaning out their windows to see history being made.) Now again a seismic event has changed the political and moral atmosphere in the US about immigrants. Like its unworthy predecessors in Eastern Europe, the practioners of the politics of repression and greed have had to watch from the sidelines as something swept by on the streets, revealing them to be so solidly on the wrong side of history and morality.