Thursday, December 3, 2020

Voices of Franklin: Alan R Earls - The most diverse slate of Town Council candidates?

I have heard it remarked by several people during the course of the current campaign for our lone open Town Council seat, that" it's nice to see some diversity among the candidates." The commentators have not said what they mean, but I think I know. And perhaps they are also referring to the fact that I believe two of us can claim a Latino identity! Of course, others may score us low on diversity, since all four candidates appear to self-identify as men.

Be that as it may, I really would prefer that people think in terms of the truer diversity our candidacies represent, namely diversity of experience, outlook, and ideas. We have a budding expert on government, an IT professional, a PhD researcher and entrepreneur, and a writer to choose from.  And, I suspect that short litany of characteristics doesn't begin to properly credit the diversity in thought that we represent.

Returning to the more conventional view of diversity and identity politics, I would have to say that my own "identity" as Latino is neither comfortable nor meaningful. My grandparents, from whom that identity springs, were grateful to leave "the old country" and never looked back. Not that they didn't carry a heritage with them but they viewed language and ethnicity as incidentals, which love of family and capacity for personal growth trumped entirely.

Their story was one of enthusiasm for a new national identity. They had found their promised land and spent a lifetime embracing it and loving it.  So, even though the experts in Washington call me Latino, I will continue to think of myself as the proud descendant of immigrants who voted for democracy over autocracy, and opportunity and economic freedom over autarky and a corporative dictatorship. They became American, and I am the proud heir of their choice.


Alan Earls

Candidate for Town Council
Independent Writer


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