Saturday, November 6, 2010

"MR. N" ... Can Pursuing the AMERICAN DREAM become an AMERICAN NIGHTMARE? ...

This posting will be the first of what I hope to be another mini series for this journal to look at American's pursuing that American Dream in 21st century America. And the gentleman who inspired this, also encouraged me to write his story here, but ... he asked only to not use his name, but I am permitted to use the letter "N" which is the first letter of his first name. We met roughly 6 year's ago I reckon, back when I worked security on the street in Uptown Dallas' West Village ... a nightclub and entertainment district in Central Dallas ... he worked for a small valet company parking folk's car's part time at night's and weekend's. He is not a US citizen ... YET ... however, when it come's to loving this country and respecting it ... he is actually more patriotic than many born and bred American's I have met ... so for this reason since this series will be about American's ... I CONSIDER him an American, beside's, he became a die hard Dallas Cowboys fan after I introduced him to the game of football. He is the type of guy ... that would worry over a measley traffic ticket and automatically never challenge it ... thinking he was wrong, whether he is or not. He is so spit and polish and straight arrow ... that he make's me look like a villian or commie! He come's from the City of Casablanca in the country of Morocco . He is married to a beautiful young lady from also his country, has one son with her that will turn I reckon 4 yrs old december (born and raised Texan in Dallas I may add) if I recall correctly. Their ethnicity and language of course is Arabic, both in their early to mid 30's. He has taught me so much about his culture, language, and also gave me my first and only Quran and explained to me in detail one on one what everything mean's at my request only ... as far as applying to culture and why it is incorporated into government in some countries as well. I in return have explained to him everything I could about America and it's culture, including my particular spiritualism in detail ... he nicknamed me a few year's back ... "The Teacher" ... saying the reason is because of how much I taught him about America that helped him.

Since Mr.N was a teenager ... his dream was to come to America and be a criminal defense lawyer ... he loved old school American show's like "Perry Mason", which is ancient re- run's to us ... but popular to one from his country. Mr.N even got his bachelor's in law before he left Casablanca, that he earned himself while driving a cab on the street's during the night. He loved America so much ... that in college during talk of democracy and individual right's and such ... extremist's cornered him a couple time's and beat him up, simply just because he suggested and asked what is so wrong about keeping religion out of politic's? ... even once threatened to kill him, holding him against a wall with a knife to his throat. He paid his money to get his name thrown into a type of lottery pool, to put it simple and short, where you basically get a chance at being able to come to America if you get chosen ... which thousand's and thousand's of Moroccon's pay into, with what little money they have, just to be able to pursue what they know as the "American Dream". He got lucky one day ... got chosen/ pulled ... passed through the 2nd phase, got the sponsor here in a North Dallas suburban city and came straight here (later going back to visit and marry and bring his wife here). He has never complained once about a thing in this country, and just simply believe's that hard work and devotion pay's. He dont want to become rich or anything even close ... just to become a middle class familia man and simply own a modest house and practice law ... that's his dream.

He has been working 3 part time job's, day's, night's, and even weekend's. None of which have any benefit's or paid sick leave, vacation, or offer health insurance ... so after the birth of his son ... he started feeling concern. I even advised him of some government programme's that he may qualify for ... such as food stamp's, W.I.C. for women/ children ... but he didnt like the idea of that. I only suggested this for a couple reason's ... because he work's quite a few hour's, the overall average pay he get's amount's to approximately $10 an hour for all 3 job's, he hasnt been able to raise tuition cost's for the university he want's to get into (but loan's and government may help with that I reckon), and also has some paper shuffling to work out concerning his degree from back home, because of the country difference's as far as law, had to take some classes at a small community college to learn his english better (his english is actually fine to me, yet his sentence's when he speak's may sound different than what he is expressing, if that make's any sense ... but I became accustomed to them, so he sound's fine to me), which he paid himself. His wife took a part time job as a store clerk ... however ... having the baby realized that the cost of daycare outweighed what she was making, so went back to being a stay at home mom ... daycare for the child was just so high, even trying to use babysitter's in their apartment complex to cut cost's, because their complex has several hundred unit's and almost all tenant's are immigrant's from their country and nearby countries. But that didnt even cut it as far as cost's Vs. salaries.

Even though Mr.N is not a registered voter ... he liked the then candidate Obama, who he knew I was also a supporter of. He wont criticize though either party in this country because he feel's he has no right to voice until he become's a citizen, even though after knowing me so long, he tend's to talk much more freely with me politically. Understand also ... he doesnt communicate with many American Texan's ... his apartment complex and neighborhood are basically all like him culturally, and folk's that are strange in any country feel at first more connected with those of their language and culture, American's abroad are the same way, etc. But what was a lil suprising to him was the complexity of government ... he has lost interest, because frankly to him ... it is a confusing mess ... and he even wonder's how anything can get done with so much conflict he has seen though tele ad's, and campaigning? He has been a lil concerned over the new health care talk ... and told me, that he worries about cost's, because between rent, car payment's, and basic expenses, looking at some of the cost's and premium's he found out about concern's him, if we will be forced to all buy from these companies in a couple year's. There hasnt been any raises, even though he has managed to stay employed, the rent get's a lil increase every year and a half or so when you sign a new lease ... and he has had to spend the saving's he was planning to try to use for a downpayment on just a modest home. He was worried about being penalized for not having coverage, or getting in some sort of legal trouble ... and so many like him worry only because they are in a foreign country and fear if they cant cut the mustard they can get booted out. I assured him to not worry anything about that, and he can ALWAY'S count on me to help him concerning these issue's. First of all ... this country is a tad more compassionate as well than where he come's from as far as government. Also for the record, Morocco is not some horrid terrible government structure, and very America friendly, so dont misunderstand me on government, it's considered as a Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy , I am just saying it has it's own unique flavour, with their own difference's from us.

One night he told me how much he love's Dallas and America and how long he has wanted to come to America and earn the "dream" ... but he said ... the one thing he never thought of ... is what everything cost's in this country. He just never expected it to cost so much to live I reckon ... financially he feel's caught in a web at time's, or maybe a nightmare instead of a dream ... but he still has that ambition, and refuses right now any social help, and now is starting to realize how the credit system work's ... even has accumulated some good ole all American debt ... but nothing too large ... But he also said that I warned him of the credit thing, so he should have expected that ... what really caught him offguard the most was the fine print and rate's of interest, etc, and Obama and democrat's has been working on improving that drastically with the recent credit reform's. Other than that, him and his familia is in good health, and his lil boy can visit a neighborhood clinic for check up's, shot's and such. He still work's his ass off, and still pursue's that dream that he believe's is at least better than what he had back in his native country.

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