Green Card Director’s Statement
Considered the “melting pot” of the world, the United States has a long history of welcoming diverse peoples. For centuries, the American Dream of prosperity and freedom has drawn immigrants to this land of opportunity. This is especially true for those escaping violence in their home country. But the shock of arriving in America rarely matches the dream of America. Marginalized because of race, legal status or culture, immigrants often struggle to make a living, finding themselves at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder. Efforts to rise in status are thwarted by those who are threatened by their presence. Racism rears its ugly head as ethnic groups are stigmatized through racial slurs, jokes and separation.
Green Card takes an honest look at racism, culture and immigration around the world. We see that many of the ways foreigners were spoken about a century ago echo what we hear today. This play does not shy away from the harsh language inflicted on immigrants or the brutality many endured. We see the ways we ourselves are implicated in the violence of stereotyping.
My hope is that Green Card helps us see the perspectives of people struggling to find a better life. In this election season, when it is tempting to divide ourselves based on political allegiances, may we instead draw close to the weak or hurting and pledge our first allegiance to God’s kingdom which rules over all.
Laura Kraybill, November 2012