When you build a wall, you always wall out far more than you wall in. You wall out more understanding, more love, more forgiveness, and more peace. There is always more of everything on the outside than there is on the inside.
America is a nation of immigrants, made up of several peoples, cultures. and religions; all interdependent on each other. Some of us willed to come here, and others were brought here against our will. With the exception of the Indians, we all came here from somewhere else.
My country has been wrong about a lot of things. It put Indians on reservations to die. It mined the harbors of Nicaragua, blockaded the ports of Cuba and, in violation on international law, invaded the sovereign territories of Granada, Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Nonetheless, it is the only country that I know, or every will know.
Shortly after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the devotees of the civil rights advocated the melting pot theory; a theory which suggested the assimilation of America’s inhabitants into one single homogeneous group, and all the minority groups should take on the values, interests, and tastes of the dominate society. Unfortunately, the melting pot never really meted.
Comedian, Dick Gregory, said, “Whites said to the rest of us, “Get like us.” So the more white we became, the more right we became. White values were the right values, and right values were the white values.
The lighter the skin, keener the nose, straighter the hair, and thinner the lips, the more acceptable we were to whites, and the more acceptable we were to each ourselves Therefore, we hated what whites hated, and loved what whites loved. Even in segregated situations, we only selected light skinned women in beauty contest, and only women who looked more like whites, won.
In my lifetime, I have been abused, misused, and mistreated in this country, but it is the only country that i know, and I have no interest in leaving. I did not choose America as preferable to other countries. I was reared in America. I grew up here. I went to school here; public and private. Africa is my heritage, but America is my experience. So, I neither deny my heritage nor my experience. I appreciate my heritage. I am an African, and proud of it. I live in America, and accept the possibilities of my experience here. With all of its faults, I have no interest in leaving America. It is more than land and water. It’s a dream. In the words of President Obama, we must now make it a “More perfect Union.”
America is the greatest country in the world; at least that is what I have always been taught, and believed. Even though I know no other country with which to compare it, people are trying to break in here, but nobody is trying to break out. Nobody is trying to break out.
1619 North Lee Street
Valdosta, Georgia 31602