To answer all the hate that seems to be running rampant in our country, I implore every person who calls himself an American to do one important thing: research your family’s roots.

My two brothers and I were raised by my paternal grandparents in New Orleans during the 1960s. I noticed that we didn’t visit many other families. I’d always ask my grandmother why that was, and she’d answer that I shouldn’t ask questions because I don’t need to know. Back then, New Orleans was home to just 10 or 12 other “Dearie” families, and we all were related.

I’ve always wanted to know my family’s history, and being told not to ask questions didn’t stop me from wanting to know. When I turned 25, I went to visit her, and again I’d ask those same questions of her, but this time I wanted an answer. She popped up out of her chair and said “your grandfather was a Jew”! I just answered “so what.” Back in those days, you were forbidden to marry out of your faith. She was a Sicilian Catholic and was shunned by her family. My grandfather’s mother’s maiden name was Falk, and this in theory made him a Jew, even though he never attended a synagogue.

So this made me dig even deeper into our family history. I found other bloodlines in the “mix” which made up the blood flowing through my veins. My research shows I’m part Irish, Scottish, Russian, French, Jewish, Swedish, English, Italian and probably five or six others I’ve yet to discover. Bigotry among our family members caused one great-great grandfather to move his family to San Diego. Some members in his family in turn married Mexicans, so we can add that into our formula of what gives us life.

So when I see all these “Americans” filled with hate and the violence against each other that follows, all I keep asking myself is “I wonder if they know what nationalities make up the blood flowing through their veins?” So, with all that said, I’d like to ask those who hate: “Please let me know which group out of the eight or nine that make up my blood do I get to hate”? In today’s America, there are fewer and fewer “pure-breeds,” and I feel that if more Americans knew the different bloods flowing in their veins, then there’d be a lot less hate in our country.

Dennis M. Dearie

retired electrician

Greenwell Springs