Sean Doolittle and Eireann Dolan are Wonderful Humans

In case you missed it in the flurry of family activity, the haze of tryptophan, or the buzz of wine (guilty on all three counts), outstanding Americans Sean Doolittle, pitcher for the Oakland A’s, and Eireann Dolan, his girlfriend, hosted 17 Syrian refugee families for Thanksgiving this year in Chicago, sending a message of goodwill and generosity that would make Ms. Liberty proud.

Eireann Dolan wrote a heartfelt piece on her blog about her reasons for hosting the families. It’s worth a click. Any child of an immigrant can relate. Come to think of it, unless you’re full blooded Native American, you’re a child of an immigrant too.


As she quoted in her piece:

“Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise.” –William Butler Yeats

We try to give you breaking news when can, but in this case, eh, so what if we’re a little late? Good news can be hard to find–take it whenever and wherever you can get it.


41 thoughts on “Sean Doolittle and Eireann Dolan are Wonderful Humans

    1. I assume you mean “American”, as there is no evidence that Americans are more hospitable, welcoming, or humane than others. We’re probably not even in the top 1/2 thanks to “Christians”.


      1. There aren’t a whole lot of nations that define themselves on the huddled masses yearning to breathe free stuff, as opposed to common linguistic or cultural ties that go back centuries. The melting pot might be a myth, but it’s more of a welcoming story than most nations offer.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Historio just captured my thoughts. Its not that I think we live up to the values we espouse. Its that we espouse them to begin with. So its special to me when someone makes it more than just words.


      3. My point was that it is JUST a story. A huge portion of our population doesn’t want huddled masses, especially ones that don’t speak English, or that aren’t Christian….going so far as to choose to be scared of them and label them terrorists…despite the fact that most acts of terrorism in the US are committed by white people that were born here and not by immigrants.

        I mean, much of the US aren’t even welcoming to US citizens that aren’t cookie cutter versions of the people already there.


        1. We get it, lions. You’re a pessimist. Jesus, I’m goddamned Pollyanna next to you.

          It’s not just a story. As Dolan put it, “Hearts and minds are changed through small actions that we all have the ability to take every single day.”


        2. Well, yeah, Dolan is right….but as you read her story, you were recently reminded that the US has never actually been welcoming.

          What I take exception to is owning a lie. I would love it if Americans WERE actually welcoming….instead, we claim to be despite never having been so. It is the owning of the lie to claim we are better than we are that annoys me. It feels like white-washing our own history.


        1. First one needs to recognize the need for change, which will not come from assuming an identity that we all know has always been a lie.

          There is no history of being welcoming to immigrants in this country…by definition (i.e. our actions) it has never been an “American Value”…our values are defined by our actions, not our words…Sorry, just assumed that you would be pro-historical accuracy.


        2. “First one needs to recognize the need for change, which will not come from assuming an identity that we all know has always been a lie.”

          If some of us assume the identity of being welcoming to refugees and immigrants by acting welcoming towards them–providing to charities that welcome them, volunteering our skills etc.–it won’t create the change we want? Be the change you want to see.

          My grandmother came to this country over 50 years ago in 1963. She was illiterate and couldn’t speak a word of English. She died illiterate and still couldn’t speak a good English sentence. She was treated kindly by Americans and were it not for that kindness, my family would not have been able to succeed. The woman who gave her first job in spite of having no skills and became a good friend. The teachers and tutors who took the time to patiently teach me English. I was born in the US, but I only heard Spanish until I attended school. The tax dollars and donations from your parents that paid for PBS and further reinforced those lessons with Sesame Street and Electric Company. There were many others. I know many immigrant groups are treated with distrust but there are many good Americans who helped too–sometimes it was those “brainwashed religious lemmings”–and their stories are forgotten. Yes, I personally dealt with racism and sexism along the way. My parents’ Dominican culture is also very racist and sexist. There’s no escaping that. But I won’t forget the good people.


      4. I have a tita and tito (don’t know the English term for this lol) living there in San Diego for more than 8 years now. And my parents and I have been chatting with them using my dads PC webcam for like a very long time. Both my tita and tito are living nicely there in the US though, and I don’t recall them having a hard time living there when we are talking as a family.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s improved for legal immigrants who come into established communities. Sometimes it’s the subtle things. When my Filipina co-worker has her baby referred to as “China doll”, I cringe. I don’t know how my co-worker feels about it, but it’s a terrible term referring to the stereotypical submissiveness of Asian women. If you want to say the baby is beautiful, say she’s beautiful. And she’s not Chinese, not one bit.


      5. I also think its more complicated than “foreigners bad”. There is an adjustment period for any group coming in. I doubt anyone cares now if someone Irish, Catholic, German, Italian or Jew migrates to the US. But at one point they all were the other, the enemy. The same was true of other groups, and as time goes on the stupidity of viewing them as a threat is demonstrated.

        My grandparents were Sicilian immigrants. People outside their community treated them like crap, and they worked the shittiest jobs. But nowadays no one realizes that I am Sicilian, in fact few people even realize that its a distinct ethnic group, I’m just a pasta-loving Italian to them. I’ve never in my life heard anti-Sicilian sentiment, but when they came into this country they lived in Detroit and were generally hated.

        I have faith that the day will come when Hispanics, Asians and other groups are treated as ‘Americans’. I believe it is inevitable, and I think the USA is one of the best equipped countries in the world to make that happen. Mostly because we are not ethnically or even culturally defined as a nation. Something few other nations can claim.


        1. I agree in principle. I think the social issues are 2-fold.

          1) People evolved in a clan-type system. Like it or not, people project positive traits on those that look like them and negative traits onto those that look different. Every group does this and they don’t need to be taught to do it.

          2) As the economy stagnates, the hostility toward groups considered to be “them” will grow.

          I admire your faith, but there are parts of the US that have been inhabited by people of Mexican descent or by people of Asian descent since before those places were states…and those people still don’t get a fair shake.


        2. I’m already treated as American, aren’t I? Is there more? A U.S. Passport made of gold? A secret handshake? A password to the executive lounge? You fuckers have been holding out on me, haven’t you?

          Liked by 1 person

      6. Paper, no one is arguing that the US hasn’t been hostile to immigrants. They are making a different claim — and you’re just so bound up in your pessimistic narrative that you refuse to acknowledge any other. Our country is different in that we are not tied together by Viking heritage that goes back centuries or cultural habits that date to ancient Chinese dynasties, etc. What we have in common is simply our mutual obligation to a Constitution and set of principles — and whatever your background, if you share that, it is enough to make you “American” — you don’t have to have grandparents born here or family that has inhabited the same land for several generations to qualify as a citizen. If you ask the French what makes one French, you’re not going to get an answer like that — you’re going to get something about their culture etc. In fact, a lot of the countries that have done better than us at accepting some of the recent refugees have struggled to define themselves thanks to their changing demographics (and, for the French, from colonialism as well). This is a problem they are trying to resolve precisely because they do define themselves by culture or language instead of political principles. Our situation is different because you don’t actually have to speak a certain language or belong to an official religion to belong. You get so caught up in the fact that we have not always done well in living up to those values, that you are missing the importance of the principles being our political tie to begin with. This is all we have that connects us, really — and that’s what Reflex is referencing.

        My point about change is that when people do actually live up to the best of our professed values, we ought to celebrate that. It shows that we can do better. It’s not enough to know there is a problem; you have to know that the solution is there and achievable as well. Otherwise, there’s grousing but no change. You certainly aren’t the only one here familiar with our society’s track record with immigrants, but you are being the only one who refuses to see this as a sign of our better lights.

        As for the FU part: I don’t accuse you of being “unscientific” when I think you aren’t being logical, and I’ll thank you not to try to judge my “historical accuracy” — particularly since you don’t even know what that is (even if you read my blog regularly — shameless plug! 😉 ). For one thing, history is not — as you laypeople like to think — a body of facts. It is a practice, just as much as being a scientist is. Being a historian is more than having an encyclopedic knowledge of facts. It’s about investigating and weighing evidence and then putting information together in a narrative — because that’s how we understand history as temporal beings. Historical accuracy is much more than using facts that are “true” (whatever that means). It’s about helping us understand ourselves. Anyone who has seen what dementia does to people knows how central memory is to who we are. People’s consciousness is literally tied up in that. What historians do, then, is help our society understand itself and the choices we make — and it’s much more than that “doomed to repeat the past” BS. You are raised to be acculturated to a way of thinking and behaving, and studying history helps you critically assess how it came to be this way (and sometimes helps us re-imagine our options then). So for you, who loves to snark about the evils of [sports] narratives, to suggest that I’m the one who struggles with historical understanding or undervalues it is insulting and laughable. I am very good at my practice, and I’m not going to be insulted about it by someone who doesn’t know what they are talking about. Your focus on one particular view of your peers hardly makes you fluent in history or superior in using it properly.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Ren, kung tayo ang magkausap sa site na ito, puwede ba ako magsalita ng tagalog? May inimbita kasi akong mga kaibigan ko sa site na to at marami sa kanila ang hindi masyado makintindi ng English. Nagdududa kasi sila sa akin kung ikaw ba daw talaga si Ren… alam ko sa ngayon, nagtitingin yun sila sa baseball site na to. Sige naman o, please? 😯😯😯

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Translation:

        Ren, if we are together on this site, I can speak Tagalog? Because you invite my friends to my site and many of them are not so much makintindi of English. Because they doubt me if you ever really said Ren … I know now, that they nagtitingin site to baseball. Go ahead or turn, please? 😯

        Thanks google!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. “Hindi sila makaintindi”, “nagtitingin sila sa site na to ngayon”

        Achaela said that some of her friends are visiting and looking into this HBC site but can’t understand English that much, so she asked me that the two of us should speak our native language here if we’re having a conversation (I told her to only do that if it’s in one of my articles, though).


      4. IMO, people should feel welcome to comment in whichever language they are most comfortable using…it may restrict the number of people that can read the comments without a translator, but it is better (again, IMO) for a subset of people to effectively interact than for there to be no interaction among those people at all.

        Plus, many online translators are fairly good now, good enough to often successfully convey the gist of comments if other people want to know what is being said.

        I mean, you see Canadians on here commenting in Canadian all the time even though most of us can’t understand it.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. I’ve never understood people who get upset when commentators use other languages. If you can’t read it or copy into Google Translate that’s your problem. Besides, if you want them to understand english, getting them on websites that are primarily english will assist them greatly.

        Bring it on. I’ve never really read Tagalog!


  1. Great story. Ms. Dolan’s blog piece is particularly well-written and moving. We seem to be experiencing some moral rot in this country of late. I’m glad to see someone step up and set a good example of what our human values should be.

    Liked by 2 people

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