[Ian ended his speech:]

Now, I don’t know how you’re going to receive this, and again my words are my own and not Nokia’s, but if you will give me two more minutes, I’m going to say what I’ve been thinking.

In this country we have the word “illegal” and we apply it to immigration. We have been speaking of people who come to the United States as illegals and of building borders between the United States and these “illegals,” and of turning them away entirely.

I do not understand this.


It is time for this country to awake and get to know its neighbors to the south. It is time for us to understand them and to understand why they come here. It is time for for us to stop using the word “illegal” and to understand them as humans.

If we do not wish them to come here for opportunity, it is time for our country to invest in our neighbors to the south and to strenghten them. It is time for us to recognize them as partners, and not opponents. It is time for the United States to share the means of its prosperity with the world.

[[… and more; I am putting too much of my diction into Ian’s words, and if I go on, it would be me speaking, not Ian…]

Ian closed to a standing ovation. In the informal discussion which ensued, Gov. Collins shared with us her memories of the process of bringing Toyota to Kentucky, the intense criticisms she received, the bumperstickers which said “no Japanese.” She told us that, twenty years ago, when she said similar words here, when she had looked at the crowd and said the word “Japanese,” she had seen the crowd tense and raise their spines.

She had said what she needed to say anyway. Today, she is greeted by crowds when she visits Japan, and our state is known better in Japan than it is known by most of our fellow Americans, and similar words receive not hatred and racism, but applause and hope for our common future.

How far we have come, and how far we have to go.

[note that Ian’s forty-five minute speech was made impromtu from three general points scribbled on a half-page]
————–

[add follow-up discussion: 3:35p April 13th, with the Czech Council from Chicago: his dismay that the US has considered the path of forced racial deportation that led to the last great war, and his hopes and fears]

[add: end of tour of ASC: “our philosophy and policy is to do what is right”; HR: “best place I have worked in 20 years”; {plus wage discussion}– {surely we can beat 45% markup on temp labour!}] [cf. Fletcher metrics and wage policy]

[cf.: John Warniak: Google is the most important company to the auto industry; motto, “don’t be evil”]

[add: street discussion in Lexington/UK, later in the night]

[add: Rogelio’s vision for beyond NAFTA and multi-lateralism, as poorly as I understand it]

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