In God We Trust, but in fear we reside. Langston said a dream deferred dries up like a raisin or festers like a sore, and fester is what our country is doing. I have often defied the label of idealist, for a long time I thought I was someone who thought of myself as someone who saw the glass as half empty. And I have been that person. For a long time I had that attitude after a near death experience. It was a life devoid of joy, happiness stewing in my despair, disdain and pessimism . I was bitter, and displeased with humanity. Because of that accident I became more patient with humanity and what it means to be human. So, it is from this place, the place that I have I write this open letter.
And when I say dear America I mean all of America, the America that houses Neo-Nazi’s, white nationalists, Pan-Africanists, black nationalists, white knights, Asians who are mad about being confused with being natural mathematicians, Hispanics who aren’t really Hispanic, but are south American, Dominicans and Puerto Ricans . . . to those who we found here, America calls them Native Americans and Indians, when they are the indigenous people of this land. The America that includes the stolen land of Mexicans who we ask to prove that they are worthy of living in a land that belonged to them once, decades, years, centuries ago. The America that includes the immigrants that people assume are “natives, the indigenous” white immigrants, the Irish, the English, the Czechs, the Italians, the Germans, the America that is only America because of all the strains of culture I have included in this letter.
It would be nice if you could make whites understand what it is like to be born in a skin that is ostracized and degraded and demeaned from the moment you can take a breath on your own, but we can’t. It would be nice to understand the pain that middle, and working class white men and women feel because they feel like they are being outmaneuvered in “their” own country, but the pain of being of color keeps us from seeing that. It would be nice to decide that Mexicans should just stay where they are because they are not welcomed, but they also probably would hope you could understand the despair that must include leaving everything you know, your friends and family, all because you have envisioned there is a place where you can give your child and family the best opportunity. It would be nice if we could understand why economics so often is decided by race, why black men, and the indigenous are three times more likely to die at the hands of police than white men though they only make up sixteen percent of the population in this country. It would be nice if the rich and wealthy understood that trickle-down economics doesn’t work whether you’re white, Asian, black, or Hispanic. Imagine a world where it was not vital for us all to agree, but just understand.
I understand that southerners revere their history, that those very monuments that are being taken down all over the country has sentimental meaning. But if they could only see and feel others’ pain of having leaders either exterminated or kept out of history books keeps the average person of color from being able to identify or even want to listen to that. For my white Americans your hero reminds us of a time that kept us in bondage against our will, a history you will never know anything about. The lack of understanding causes others pain, this will be the death of our America. My black people if we do not allow white people to be themselves, white, we will never progress as a nation, and yes being a Pan-Africanist sounds great . . . except for one thing, there is no Pan-African land to inhabit. Fact is you’re stuck with white people. See when white people say something you think is “racist” the answer is not to get all bent out of shape because they uttered it, without the frank honesty there can never be a way to get to the core of the problem. Instead of calling for everyone’s resignation and marching perhaps we need to try some different things. Now don’t get me wrong, do I want to go black panther, hell yea, but I know that the hole in the titanic didn’t sink the side with the hole, it sunk the whole ship.
Most people have one thing in common no matter what the color of their skin, the job they hold, the religion they practice or sexual orientation and that is that their family and their children have the best of everything. That their children and family be safe.
I don’t need a white nationalist to like me, but what a white nationalist needs to realize is what is and isn’t realistic, I don’t need white people to agree with how it feels to be black, but what America needs is for one side of the aisle to listen to the other. If we don’t, this country will sink, rich, wealthy, working class, middle upper, impoverished, working poor, black, Hispanic, white, indigenous, Asian . . . you won’t have to worry about a stock market, or if the latest car is good on gas, this country will go up in flames.
Dear America, you are coming apart at the seams with no plan, on a replacement garment to inhabit. This America where we stand, sit, kneel and salute is the only land we have. Like a sinking boat, we live and die together there is no us vs. them, you vs. me, white vs. black, Puerto Ricans vs Dominican, Trinidadian vs Jamaican , there is only the future for or children that we hope will treat them .