Not all that long ago, my husband Frank was driving us over the Q Bridge when local news radio hit a nerve. East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. was being inundated by taco deliveries in response to an insensitive comment he made about his Latino constituents. The issue on the table was racial profiling, and call-ins on both sides of immigration were going at it.
Frank got irritated and barked at the radio, “Who cares where you come from? I come from the world, that’s where I come from!”
I bought this domain the day after.
For the past few years I’ve daydreamed about what a world-affirming website titled IComeFromtheWorld.com might accomplish. People around the world are united by Humanity. Sustainability. Economy. And the mere happenstance of birth on Earth.
Yet the bully of intolerance is insidious the world over and now it has ignited a firestorm right here in my beloved country. Discrimination seems to be deepening against one’s ethnicity, gender, sexuality, physical or mental disabilities, health issues, marital status, job status, and more. The discourse on social and traditional media is building to a crescendo and I can hear Lin-Manuel Miranda’s voice channeling Alexander Hamilton, “There will be a revolution in this century!”
Frank and I offer this site as a Voice for people around the world and especially in our own country to which the world flows since its inception 240 years ago.
Personally, my identity is intrinsically tied to the identity of my nation, as both were forged by the fervent building blocks of immigration. How proud I was to have a distinct Italian name while growing up in a multicultural neighborhood on Long Island, traveling into Brooklyn every Sunday to visit four grandparents who exuded gratitude daily for their new lives in America. How charmed I was by my mom, who weaved the Polish, Jewish, Irish, and German traditions of her childhood neighbors into our holidays and daily lives, and how captivated by my father, who dropped out of high school to join the marines, escape death thrice on one fateful day in Korea, and come home to marry his high school sweetheart and live a gracious life for another 49 years.
Along the way my parents raised a psychologist, an attorney, and a writer, and taught each of us by example that the gift of giving was greater than any gifts of receipt.
It is this heritage above all others that make America great. It is our better understanding of each other and our neighbors around the world that will make not just America, but the Earth we all live on, greater.
We all have our stories. We want to hear yours. Share today.
— Lisa Calderone-Perrelli
Lisa Calderone & Frank Perrelli, Jr. come from the world, currently living along the Connecticut shoreline. Lisa received her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University in 2011 and is the founding editor of the program’s first literary journal, Mason’s Road, that ran from 2010-2015. Frank has been enjoying a hands-on connection with the Earth as a landscaper for over 20 years. You can reach Lisa & Frank at icomefromtheworld(at)gmail(dot)com.