I’m a Native of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican tribe and I’m proud of that. Nathan Phillips, a tribal elder, and Vietnam veteran, was the man who stood in D.C., playing his drum, while little racist teenagers made fun of him. He was proudly displaying his indigenous culture and playing his drum through their hate. The way Nathan Phillips was treated brought back the thought to me of how America is not yet great, nor has it been. He had a lot more patience than I would have, if I was in his position. He handled it very well. My grandma used to be a civil rights activist for Native rights, in the 1970’s. She is an inspiration to me, and I think she is partly where I get my passion for change from. I will continue my passion, march, and bang on my drum, through the hate that I, and many people are facing in America today.
So, to those teenagers, Trump supporters, people scared of immigrants, and all of the other xenophobic and racist people reading this post, is America great again? Of course it is not! But when was it great? When the white man stole the land from my ancestors? When slavery was legal? When women couldn’t even vote? When black people couldn’t even drink out of the same water fountain of white people?
America is not great, yet, and it cannot be great again because to be great again, you would have had to be great in the first place. So, are you going to say to me to get out of my country then? If I don’t like it here, then why don’t I leave? Well, there is one great thing about the U.S. and that is it’s democracy, that gives me freedom of speech to say that, no, no America is not great, it is far from it. This country gives me the freedom to dress how I want and practice my religion, and the same freedom to write this article. In other countries, I would not have these freedoms. Think of if the Natives of America put up a wall, and were not accepting to the immigrants that came to America, none of you would be in this country to enjoy this country and all of it’s flaws.
Building a wall will not achieve a better country. Just like building emotional walls, those walls are put up by fear, just like the one on the Mexican border, but in the long run, a wall protects you from nothing. There is always way around, over, under, or through it. So, work on strategies that will work for both you and the person you are trying to build up a wall against. When in the end, you will learn that building bridges is far more rewarding that putting up a wall and missing out on all of the amazing things, cultures, and people you could experience.
So, no, America is not great, yet, but it can be. Unfortunately, this administration has made is worse. It brought back out racism and hate, that was always there but hiding but this administration pushed it to manifest to a cesspool that was here sixty years ago, as if we are going back in time and not forward. No one can change the past of what happened in this country but together, we could achieve greatness for a better future, and move forward.