Immigration And The ‘True American’

A tale of blood and forgiveness out of Texas that goes to the heart of America’s immigration challenge. Tracking the “True American.”

Supporters of immigration reform protest outside as House Speaker John Boehner addresses the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Monday, May 12, 2014, in San Antonio. (AP)

Supporters of immigration reform protest outside as House Speaker John Boehner addresses the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Monday, May 12, 2014, in San Antonio. (AP)

Ten days after 9/11, tattoed Texan Mark Stroman shot Bangladeshi immigrant, Muslim, Raisuddin Bhuiyan in a mini-mart outside Dallas.  He wanted to kill him, and others, in revenge for 9/11.  Bhuiyan did not die.  He went on to forgive Mark Stroman.  To fight for Stroman’s life when he was on death row.  And to learn a lot about the hard side of American life.  The immigrant ended up doing well, and feeling sorry for his assailant.  Isolated, angry, lonely.  This hour On Point:  Beneath the immigration debate, a tale of blood and forgiveness out of Texas.

— Tom Ashbrook


Anand Giridharadas, columnist for the New York Times. Author of the new book “The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas.” Also author of “India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation’s Remaking.” (@anandwrites)

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: Book review: ‘The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas’ — “Trained as an air force fighter pilot in his native Bangladesh, accustomed to the rhythms of armed robberies from working nights at the Buckner Food Mart, Bhuiyan got the sense that the man in front of him was not there for the $150 Bhuiyan had taken out of the cash register. He stepped back and turned his head, and then he experienced what felt like a million bees stinging the side of his face.”

The Wall Street Journal: Book Review: ‘The True American’ by Anand Giridharadas — “The title of Mr. Giridhadaras’s book is of course pointedly ambiguous. Stroman, the self-described True American, sees himself as having risen directly from a noble national tradition of action and self-reliance. He never seems to quite purge himself of the idea that his savage vendetta against innocent dark-skinned people was a patriotic act. Yet he is poignantly capable of recognizing and reacting to Mr. Bhuyian’s forgiveness and vastness of spirit, ‘the first act of kindness that I’ve ever known.'”

MSNBC: John Boehner still working on immigration reform as time runs out — “Republicans are close to working out a plan for immigration reform, House Speaker John Boehner said Monday. Just don’t expect a vote on it anytime soon. Boehner, who has chided his caucus in recent weeks for their reluctance to pass legislation on the issue, said that many in his party were still too upset with President Obama’s performance in office to take any action at all.”

Read An Excerpt From “The True American” By Anand Giridharadas

See The #TrueAmerican Hashtag At Work On Twitter

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