Obama’s Race Speech: A Response from a Rwandan

29 03 2008

There are things that move me and then there are things that move me to action. This YouTube clip of this young man who grew up n Rwanda and left when he was a young boy because of the genocide and his experience in America with racism will make you want to move, move to change this nation. Move to change those around you. Move to make this world a better place. Move to heal the chasm that swallows us up when we try to join hands to narrow it and move to unite this nation.

Is it possible? Can America with its dirty seedy past be healed? Can America, a country that started by eradicating a nation of people who were friendly and on the backs of a people stolen from their homeland and brought to another in chains, be healed?

I am not an idealist, I have never been, I have seen hate in the eyes of black, brown, yellow and white but I have also seen hope and understanding in those same eyes. Despite my cynical heart, somehow I believe it is possible for us to be just America without all the hyphens. I believe the hyphens divide us, I believe those hyphens are strategically placed to make us feel as if we will never truly be an American. It is those hyphens that divide us not our race, our skin or our cultures.

When I lived in Europe, no one had hyphens in their ethnic title. They weren’t Afro-Italian or German-Italian. They were Italian. Although subcultures existed people were proud to be apart of the larger culture without giving up or not celebrating their own.

I have been saying this for years now and watching this video and experiencing this young man’s pain, tears and even joy; there is nothing more in this world that I wish to be right now, except JUST American.

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