I’ve been waiting for this moment, the moment when a statement would be the perfect opportunity for this article; it finally arrived. I saw this post today and saw it as a sign.
And just for the record, Melania Trump did not say this statement. However, there are many who agree with it. This article is written just for them.
“Go back”…my first reply is, “you first” and that goes for anyone who is not Native American. Furthermore, those who most directly impacted by the pipeline issue are in fact Native American; they have every right to complain about the continued destruction of their land. The only reason anyone believes they are Indians is because of the MISTAKE made by the equally horrible Christopher Columbus.
America was built by refugees, immigrants seeking religious freedom and fair political representation. Ironically, they inflicted the same mistreatment on those they encountered when they arrived.
To make matters worse, the slave trade. It’s true, African-American history began with slavery, but BLACK history began long before the tyranny. Black history includes kings and queens. It includes inventions and architecture. It pre-dates but includes revolutionaries during slavery, the civil war, civil rights. Furthermore, black history did not end when the Obamas left The White House; it became stronger. The Obamas are America. They are the everyman who “started from the bottom and now they’re here”. He from a single-parent home and she from the South-side of Chicago. Both, attending Ivy League schools, becoming lawyers, making history all the way to the White House. They truly embody what the American Dream should be all about.
I realize that the Founding Fathers wrote the constitution with particular people in mind. Unfortunately/Fortunately, they did not include pictures of their intended audience. Those who already inhabited this country deserve the same rights listed in the great document because they are human. The people transported to this land deserve the same rights listed because they are human. People who have voluntarily and legally come to this country deserve the same rights listed because they are human and furthermore, most like those who made that list of rights.
For the record, we are all immigrants in one way or another unless we are Native Americans. Furthermore, I might be willing to “go back”…if only I knew where to return. But thanks to the wonderful record-keeping during the Middle Passage…I have no idea.
Nicole A Schmidt is an internationally-acclaimed educator currently teaching English China, documenting her experiences along the way. Also a published YA poet/author, she continues to reach out to and advocate for those who cannot do so for themselves. Traveling to China, like other endeavors and accomplishments, was/is not only her chance of a lifetime, but an opportunity to empower teens and young adults of color to pursue chances of their own lifetimes.