A few weeks ago, I read the story of a man from Africa who lived in the United States for awhile, on a student visa.
When he and his wife decided to have children, they agreed to live in their country of origin rather than moving to the U.S. because, as poor as their home country was, at least their family wouldn’t have to deal with America’s rampant racism.
“We had a big discussion whether to raise [our son] in Africa or move to the states. We both grew up in Ghana. But I got my PhD in West Virginia, so moving to America was an option. The job opportunities would certainly be better there. Both of us are professors, and you’d probably laugh if you knew what we got paid here. Healthcare would be better too. You don’t hear of people dying in America because they can’t find an open hospital bed. But despite these things, we decided to raise our son here. Because he’d never have to think about the color of his skin. We never have to explain what it means to be black. Or the rules of being black. One day in West Virginia I got an Amber Alert on my phone. All it said was: ‘tall black male.’ I was the only one in sight so I nearly panicked. Then another day I was walking back to my dormitory. I’d just finished teaching a course. Someone drove by in a red truck, threw a hamburger at my head, and called me the ‘N Word.’ It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I don’t want to explain that stuff to my child. It’s exhausting to be conscious of your skin all the time. You either become militant or you become defeated. And I understand why it happens, but extremes of anything aren’t good.”
Do the thousands of people marching North toward the United States know about this reality?
Seriously– do the hopeful migrants in the caravan know how TERRIBLE it is to be a Person of Color in the United States?
Sometimes there are Amber Alerts that say “tall black male.” And sometimes there’s the N-Word.
If you don’t understand how scary this is–just take it from the dozens of AMERICANS who agreed with this man’s decision to stay in Ghana with his son:
-“I fear for my son’s well being every single day. I traveled to Rwanda last summer for 2 weeks. Never once was I nervous being white there. America has it all wrong…”
-“Living in WV it disgusts me how some of the backwood hicks talk and act towards people of color. I was raised in a military family and have been all over the world and this place is by far filled with the most narrow minded, racist people I’ve ever encountered.”
-“I remember my first time visiting the motherland in Rwanda and I cried. I didn’t have to think about being discriminated against for being black. When the cop cars drove past I knew they weren’t coming after me. No one followed me in stores… Coming back to the states was hard. I think about going back everyday.”
-“This is why they kneel during the national anthem. Maybe someday the racism in our country won’t outweigh all of the positives the US has to offer.”
See? Racism outweighs ALL the positives…
Is this the America the “dreamers” want to live in?
If so, just wait! I haven’t even mentioned the misogyny and rape culture, yet!
You don’t have to look far to find women talking about how hard it is knowing they’re going to be sexually assaulted at any moment.
And God forbid if a person identifies as “LGBTQ.” They can’t even have parades around here without people saying rude stuff!
I guess my point is: the people in a caravan of migrants would have to be very, very desperate to walk thousands of miles in hopes of being taken in by an orange dictator, where innocent citizens fear being shot by police or groped by politicians every, single day.
I mean, I’ve heard that we just elected an attempted rapist to the Supreme Court!
Do the migrants know about these things???
If we truly care about the well-being of poor, displaced sojourners, I think we should warn them about all the danger and suffering they’re going to encounter when they get here!
Shouldn’t someone tell them we’re in the middle of our own #resistance right now? Do they know about the psychological turmoil that makes us long for a place where we don’t have to think about our gender or skin color all the time?
(Gee whiz, we’re exhausted!)
If we want to slow the tide of mass immigration, then we should speak the truth to the caravan of people–the same way we speak when someone hands us a pink hat and a piece of cardboard.
Don’t wait until the Dreamers have secured the right to vote in the U.S.A. before filling their minds with ideas about how awful it is.
Tell them now.
Tell them how very, very hard it is to live here NOW.