Overheard at ORD: what about us Americans?

A few minutes ago, I was sitting near two men in their 50s at an airport in Chicago. They were talking current events, headlines. The economy, the dollar. One was wearing a Cleveland Indians jersey. The other denim shorts.

Their light banter, over light beers, drifted to immigrants. There was no vitriol, just frustration. Can’t turn them away, need to be kind to the less fortunate, one said, with a little sarcasm. What about us Americans, said the other.

I sat less than an arms length away, an immigrant of sorts, wearing my expensive shoes, tapping away on emails about this or that business plan.

They have good reason to resent me, I suppose. I’m a member of the white collar, executive, upper class. The class responsible – at least politically – for stagnant wages and a deficit of great ideas. The educated sons and daughters of immigrants entrusted with growing the pie and not just our own slices.