Donald Trump recently tweeted about four Progressive Democratic Congresswomen known as ‘the squad’: “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” This tweet, as with many of this other public statement, caused outrage among Democrats and Republicans alike. Sparking the hashtag, #racistinchief, this type of divisive rhetoric continues to divide people across political lines on the issues of immigration. As an immigrant herself, we spoke with Dr. Leanh Nguyen. Quynh Nguyen is a classical pianist interviewed by Dr. Leanh Nguyen, who brings visibility to the positive, community building, aspects of immigration.
Dr. Leanh Nguyen was born in war-torn Vietnam and escaped to Europe as a refugee of Communism, emigrating to the United States to pursue a post secondary education. As mentioned, in her podcast “On Living”, Leanh Nguyen interviewed Quynh Nguyen, a classical pianist based in New York City.
For Quynh Nguyen, music had always been a huge part of her life, intertwined with living itself. When she is consciously thinking about music, performing, or teaching it, it is all about expressing her internal self. Aiming to connect with the audience, Quynh hopes to be able to say something meaningful. Reviewing her journey to America, Quynh was always supported and surrounded by music.
The conditions in which she was born in Vietnam, were what she called an ‘abnormal time’. There was no electricity, no clean water, and her favorite thing to do was to play music in the dark. Music had the ability to transport her into another world. She first went abroad when she was 11, and when she came back, she was luckily awarded a full scholarship at age 13 or 14. At this time, she was living without her parents in a foreign country.
Multiculturalism and diversity are important in an inclusive community because they encourage a dialogue between radically different cultures that have radically different perspectives. Differences aside, whether it is Leanh Nguyen or Quynh Nguyen, humans’ beings strive to provide the best they can for their family, and to live in a peaceful and harmonious a world as possible. Allowing everyone the opportunity to live a life of equality and purpose is a goal that benefits us all and are the conditions that allowed Quynh Nguyen to become so highly regarded in her musical practice both locally and abroad.
There is a lot of research to support the positive affects that immigrants have on local and national economies. Dr. Leanh Nguyen explained that immigrants boost wages, expand the economy, and are more likely to start businesses than the average US citizen. Additionally, immigrants are far less likely to use social support programs like welfare than the average US citizen, and that includes undocumented immigrants who pay more in taxes than they receive benefits.
In summary, immigrants travel to new countries for a variety of reasons, to seek opportunity, to reunite with family and friends, to fulfill a dream. Refugees and asylum seekers, on other hand, travel to new countries to escape life-threatening situations. In all cases, Dr. Leanh Nguyen explains that people looking to resettle in a new country are seeking a better life, just as people have done for millennia. Creating an environment, both legally and socially, where they’re allowed to build a new life is a way to promote the general betterment of humanity.