Citizen U.S.A.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Documentary film-maker, Alexandra Pelosi, talks about stopping by naturalization ceremonies in all fifty U.S. states in her new film, and what she learned about our "melting pot."


Alexandra Pelosi

Comments [29]

Eddie Brown from New York, N.Y.

What absolute nonsense. Few people, regardless of their political affiliation, claim this country doesn't "need or want immigrants." However, many do acknowledge that tens of millions of people violating immigration law (Regardless of what color they are or if they did or did not swim across a river) is illegal for a very good reason. One of several of those reasons is that the wish and desire to have a better life for one self and one's family is the wish and desire of virtually every human being on planet earth. And why if immigration law didn't control the massive amounts of humanity that wish to enter the country to seek employment, the current U.S. population would be ohhh, somewhere around a billion or so..give or take. For crying out loud, How dumb does Polosi think other people are?

Jun. 27 2011 08:46 PM

Gary, it might not be your bag, but You should see the british comedy "The Infidel", about a muslim family man who discovers, when going trough his deceased mothers apartement, that he was adopted and actually is a ... jew. Great scenes when a jewish neighbour is teaching him to be more jewish.

And refering to neighbours, what happned at work or what someone told You is called anecdotal evidence, is often worthless in an argument but, wich politicians know very well, is perfect for manipulation.

Jun. 27 2011 06:50 PM
Gary from queens

Dear Naturalized Citizen,

I agree with you that each person prefers to be exposed to their familiar culture and religion. I'm an athiest who has written on the subject in 2005:
"The Pledge is not For Our Children" at

I caution religious conservatives that their majority status should not be abused. Because there are Muslim enclaves who would use those abuses as justification for their own abuse. I support a high wall of separation. So your assumptions about me are incorrect.

I am a couch potato, but I do get out and talk to Muslims. A few years ago, my pakistani next door neighbor was a large family. The mother was prohibited from speaking to me---a male---by islamic dictum. Same for the daughters. The father refused to even look at me, because I was a Jew. Even a secular atheist jew! But I had long conversations with his 20 yr old son.

And i've tried speaking to other muslims. If you ever tried, you would know that communicating with unassimilated muslim immigrants is almost impossible. Islam has koranic commandments about Muslims is a non muslim majority country. Read it and learn how wrong you are.

Beyond me and your ad hominems, there's another point to consider. Shariah is now recognized as law in the UK. read the article. But to your other point, while many immigrants want their culture to be more dominant, there is only one which (1) DEMANDS IT, and (2) contains civil and human rights doctrines expressely inconsistent with our Constitution.

Jun. 27 2011 12:14 PM
April from Manhattan

Three things I wish had been discussed: one, I find it awful that members of the communist party aren't allowed to immigrate. And it's immortal to not allow the mentally ill into the country. It's an illness! A sign of the terrible stigmatization of the mentally ill in this country now. Third is the snobby comment by the filmmaker that "flyover country" is now more "interesting" since there is more diversity of nation of origin. Has she ever lived in flyover country, or just visited Memphis and found folks from all over? I love diversity of all kinds. Have seen Indians (native American and from India) running gas stations in Appalachia. East Indians run hotels and motels all over the country. In the sixties there was a Chinese place in Asheville that served fried ice berg lettuce. In the days of "On the Road by Kerouac", people used to meet farmers and other odd, (to bicoastal), folks on their way across the continent, on back roads, not the bland view from Interstates, and not stereotype people as Bill Maher does so offensively, as "rubes", "hicks", hillbillies", "red necks", "crackers". It seems the only group it's politically correct to loathe and make fun of is Christian evangelicals. I'm not fond of Hassids who think I'm "impure" even when postmenopausal, Muslims who believe women should hide their faces and stay inside. I'm not the only person who feels this way about Bill Maher. Wish I could introduce him to Orlie Tedder, a self professed atheist up in the NC mountains. Now, sadly, no longer with us. No one gave him any grief. My brother wrote his Phd dissertation there in the mid sixties, with hair to his shoulders. The neighbors would say "You might think we're kinda funny, but once you get to know us, I think you'll find we're alright." Invitations were extended for dinner of meat, multiple side dishes of veggies from the garden, with dessert of four pies, all homemade on a wood stove. Yes, there was racism, because unlike the Piedmont, no blacks up there. Most don't believe in Evolution. Is it possible they know something we don't? There's racism everywhere. Blacks are heading South again. African Americans tell me here there's racism in every borough and upstate. The Times article on the reverse migration didn't mention Giuliani killing an unarmed black man every two weeks. Back to the point, the provincialism of New Yorkers and LA LA Landers never ceases to amaze me. The rest of the country is a cultural desert. Even though almost all of the forms of American musical innovations started from African Americans in the South. A couple of weeks ago, the variety of local beers in Saxapahaw NC on a recent trip was wider and better than anything around here. Get a grip.

Jun. 27 2011 11:58 AM
Naturalized Citizen

Gary, you seem to have an armchair quarterback's view of Islam. Why don't you get off the couch and go meet some of your fellow (Muslim) Americans? There are enough Christians in the US who seem to think their particular theology trumps the constitution - this is a problem with religion, period. Just listen to Dolan's recent comments over same-sex marriage.

As for the riots in Europe (as I suppose you're refering to France in particular) they have not been documented to be about Sharia law. This is a diversionary issue - there is no chance that Sharia law will be enshrined in US legal codes (or those of Europe, for that matter).

Now, I know you're hiding behind the couch now, worried about the coming Muslim invasion of the US, but try to get out there into the world and learn a little.

Jun. 27 2011 11:39 AM
Gary from queens

Dear "Naturalized Citizen"

Seems you forgot why America is exceptional among nations. Here's a reminder:

Jun. 27 2011 11:36 AM
Gary from queens

Dear "Naturalized Citizen"

The requirement to study US history and civics doesnt trump the cultural indoctrination a muslim receives in the native Muslim country.

Your comment that "often leads to additional reading and learning" is incredibly naive and misinformed. The supremacist doctrine of Islam and written in the quoran is very explicit----no muslim can accept the domination of another religion and culture (Islam is a theology and a culture/political system).

Read the article. Jews for example never demand that the secular authority recognize it's laws. Muslims are. There are riots in the streets in europe over this issue. And you claim it's a "made up issue"? If this was solely about my "misplaced sense of Amercian Exceptionalism", then please explain why native europeans are finally revolting against the encroachment of Islamism that's threatening their culture and laws?

Jun. 27 2011 11:22 AM


You read my mind.

The NPR interview she did is out there but not on Fresh Air. Why? Because he was such a repugnant lout.

And, according to him, he invented the pencil sharpener and the moonwalk. Huge ego.

Gene Simmons is hardly someone I'd put out there as a paragon of naturalization. If I were right wing, I wouldn't be advertising the fact that Simmons agrees with me politically.

Jun. 27 2011 11:05 AM
kp from NJ

The caller is wrong...the Civil War was not about 'states rights'....that is revisionist history....the Civil War was fought because some Americans thought is was OK to own another person and enslave them.

Jun. 27 2011 11:02 AM
Patrick from Newark, NJ

Brian, why did you keep calling illegal aliens "immigrants?" It's not that we don't like "immigrants," we don't like people breaking the immigration laws as we are a nation of laws. If laws are not upheld then we have chaos.

Jun. 27 2011 11:02 AM
David from Summit, NJ

The most shocking thing we had to do during the naturalization ceremony was to sing Lee Greenwood's "Proud to be an American." Not the anthem, not God bless America. The full sized cardboard cut outs of President Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama that we were encouraged to take pictures with were also pretty appalling. Still, it's a great story to share with my US - born friends. This was two summers ago in Newark.

Jun. 27 2011 10:59 AM
Oscar from Ny

Hey gary from queens,,i dont think its just muslims but every individual person in this world that thinks that there culture or race is the best... just that some are more xtremes than otherss

Jun. 27 2011 10:58 AM
benjoya from brooklyn

yes, gene simmons is a wonderful american. i especially admire the way he sent pictures to his mother of the thousands of groupies he had sex with. and to think we wouldn't have this treasure as a citizen if they had toilet paper in israel.

Jun. 27 2011 10:58 AM
mk from brooklyn, ny

I naturalized Sept/Oct 2010.
I was surprised to be asked IF I would participate in armed forced if asked.

Jun. 27 2011 10:56 AM
Judith from Upper West Side

Tell Terry Gross how great a person Gene Simmons is!

Jun. 27 2011 10:55 AM
Kabir from New York, NY

I believe Superman was invented in Canada, and metropolis was originally modeled after Toronto.

Jun. 27 2011 10:55 AM

I have a friend who just because a naturalized American citizen. He went through the process so it would be easier to travel between Europe and America. Apparently if you are in America on a green card you can't get back into America if you have been gone for more than six months.

Jun. 27 2011 10:54 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

No, Fox News doesn't say that, Pelosi.
Barack Obama says that.
This movie is sooooo pathetic.

By the way, Gene Simmons is now a CONSERVATIVE, RIGHT WING PRO-ISRAEL American.

He loves this country....negating your earlier statement.

Jun. 27 2011 10:54 AM
Ggg from Manhattan

She just implied that Communists are not of good moral character. I find that offensive.

Jun. 27 2011 10:54 AM

Did I hear that those who "swim across the river" cannot find the cure to cancer or make a significant contribution? What a stereotpe?

Jun. 27 2011 10:54 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Pelosi just said, "The Right Wing doesn't want immigrants in this country..."

Oh, please.
More left wing drivel.
Why did I hope for more?

Jun. 27 2011 10:53 AM
Robert from NYC

Ask her if she still believes that only we have toilet paper!

Jun. 27 2011 10:53 AM
Robert from NYC

Poverina, poor thing, she sounds like Nancy Pelosi. I'm sure she's a lovely person but she does sounds like Nancy, clipped quick speech.

Jun. 27 2011 10:53 AM
Naturalized Citizen

@ Gary. I think you'll find the average American is far more politically naive than a recent naturalized Citizen. The naturaliztion process requires some study of US History & Civics, and often leads to additional reading and learning. Also, the recently naturalized Citizen does not enter with a misplaced sense of Amercian Exceptionalism which makes the likes of you so scared of Muslims, with your made-up issues like Sharia law.

Jun. 27 2011 10:53 AM
LISA VIVES from New York City

Has Ms. Pelosi ever lived in a 3rd world country where there is no running water, where you are target practice for paramilitaries or drug lords, where your country's resources are robbed and you don't see a cent, where you've had the same president for 40 years? Sounds like she hasn't or thinks no one know this either...

Jun. 27 2011 10:53 AM
Gary from queens

Alexandra Pelosi's mother, the former Speaker, sees naturalization ceremonies as occassions to recruit new voters.

Why? Because new voters are naive politically to the extent that they believe the Democrat party promotes their interests.

But besides creating ethnic ghettos of unassimilated immigrants, and the threat that poses to nationalism, there's another concern which Democrats are blind to.

I'm referring to the one immigrant group whose novel aim is to change the culture of their generous host country. No other immigrants except Muslims migrate to another country wishing to change that country, instead of adapt to it. It makes one wonder why they wanted to immigrate in the first place.

This phenomenon is described in August 2010 in "Sharia Law in Canada and Britain" By Eileen F. Toplansky, at

Pelosi's people are proudly marching us backwards in time, because cultural diversity is their God. That diversity will last until sharia law takes over.

Jun. 27 2011 10:35 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Please ask Pelosi what America these new citizens actually think they are joining, since it is politically incorrect these days to celebrate any one culture over another? Our culture now is that we have no identifiable's too "exclusionist" and someone might feel like a victim.
Did she ask what they think when Obama says "your country was just as good as fact, we're very racist here?" Seriously, why would anyone come to a country whose leader is so deeply, unconsciously ambivalent about the merits of his own people?

Jun. 27 2011 09:58 AM
Joel Hubbard from Smithtown

My family came to America in the mid 1600's my wonderful wife became a naturalized citizen of this republic in the 1990's! The ceremonies moved me to tears, all Americans should see, learn and know what really makes this fragile experiment in representative democracy truly great.The people that leave kith and kin and all they know to begin again it is humbling just to see amazing for America.

Jun. 27 2011 09:23 AM
Patrick from Bronx

I wonder if the immigration authorities make a bigger fuss of naturalization ceremonies than they used to. It seems that way.

Jun. 27 2011 06:10 AM

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