America is Mine! America is Yours!
edited: Wednesday, May 11, 2005
By Uriah J. Fields
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Wednesday, December 08, 2004
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Let the real American stand up and be counted. Let the real American dare to speak his/her own thoughts and reveal his/her own identity.
This is My America Too
This is my America too.
I will not be silent and stand idly by
when America is under siege by
some Americans who work day and night to deny freedom to all Amercans.
This is my America too.
And I want the fiendish ideologues to know America is worth fighting for
and I am willing and ready to fight to extend freedom and justice for all Americans.
So let the word go forth I will not surrender to fiendish ideologues now or tomorrow who feign being
patriotic Americans while questioning my patriotism.
This is my America too.
In Twenty-first Century America the matter of who is an American was highlighted during the first Presidential Election of the Third Millennium when American values were emphasized with equal emphasis placed on what was considered to be disvalues, purportedly held by lesser or unAmerican Americans. According to those speaking the loudest and disseminating the most propaganda about values this writer is not considered to be a good American, maybe, not even a person worthy to be called an American, certainly not a person entitled to the right to challenge those espousing values and their virtures as is being expressed in this discourse.
Those self-acclaimed value-spouting pontificators who claim to be the real Americans assert that they have the inalienable and exclusive right to determine what is right or good, not just for themselves but for other people, including what should be permissible behavior for other Americans. Self-identity labels they use to define themselves include: patriotic, conservative, red-blooded (another way of saying that they are white or Anglo Saxon) and Christian, particularly, evangelical Christians. But there are many Americans who consider themselves to be Christians who are not evangelical Christians. Black Christians, in particular, who most of the so-called red-blooded American Christians have historically considered to be inferior are aware that many white Christians continue to hold the same views about them as did their ancestors, many of whom used the Bible to validate and justify their claim that blacks are inferior.
Just in case the reader, didn't know it, I am an American of African descent who like other people of my compextion are called by various names that include, black, African-American and Negro, the latter being a name that has fallen into disuse and considered by black people to be inappropriate. No one can think of America without thinking about race. In America race is more American than apple pie or baseball. Reflecting on history let us go back to 1621 when the first ship load of Africans were brought to Jamestown (in Virginia) and made slaves. This was the beginning of a horrific practice that continued for 244 years orchestrating a massive influx of kidnapped Africans to America. For nearly two decades after the Civil War, during Black Reconstruction, the military enforced black freedom. When the military left the South the Ku Klux Klan launched a violent assault on black people, taking their property and lynching them. With a Southerner, Andrew Johnson as President, following the assassination of President Lincoln, the Federal Government ceased to have any interest in protecting black people or in equipping them with guns so they could have protected themselves which they would have done if they had been adequately armed. The United States Supreme Court ruled in the 1896 "Plessy v. Ferguson" decision that segregation was constitutional, hence legal. During the next fifty-eight years Black American lives under a system of legal segegation until 1954 when the Supreme Court ruled in the "Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka" case that "separate but equal" was unconstitutional. It is needless to say because it is well-known, that not only did the public schools in the South, with few exceptions, incuding the present, remain segregated but public schools in the North are more segregated than they were fifty years ago.
The new Civil rights Movement began in the mid- and late nineteen fifties with the Montgomery Bus Boycott. ( I participated in that boycott, having served as Martin Luther King, Jr.'s first civil rights secretary. King was elected president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, the organization that provided leadership for the 381-day long boycott). Following the bus boycott there were sit-ins in restaurants and other public facilities in a number of Southern cities, a struggle to secure the right for disfranchised blacks to vote, (although after much persistence I became a registered voter in Montgomery, Alabama in 1954 at a time when it was extremely difficult for a black person to register to vote in the South), the nonviolent freedom marches and violent responses by white racists that included white law enforcement officers, Congress's enachtment of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that replaced a voting rights bill that body had passed the previous year that was not worth the paper it was written on because it called upon States to allow blacks to vote but contained no enforcement powers, Congress's passage of legislation that outlawed discrimination in public places such as restarurants and theaters, enactment of Open Housing legislation and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968 that occurred while he was in Memphis participating in a march staged by black sanitation workers who were demanding economic justice.
The aforementined occurences had to do with black people in general who sometimes refer to themselves as "us." A common saying among blacks is : "It is not the bus; it's us!" Whether the "b" precedes us as in bus or "A" follows us as in U.S.A., it remains that "it is mostly about us." W. E. B. Dubois, at the beginning of the last centruy, said, "The problem of the Twentieth Century is the color-line." It remains for the Twenty -First Century that "the problem, at least one of the major problems, is the color-line. Race just won't go away and racists just won't change their attitude about white supremacy that is expressed in their suppression of black people even as they gloat about their world super-power mystique.
Now, back to myself, to me personally. While I cannot speak of myself in regard to America without speaking of race and black Americans as a group, in the remainder of this discourse I want to focus on my status and relationship to America. Stated simply and forthrightly it is: "This is my America too." I can say this notwithstanding that many Americans do not consider me to be an American or as American as those who prize themselves in being red-blooded Americans. Of course, my blood is red too, I am "A-positive" to boot. It sounds like I am at the top of the blood line,
This is my America too even though my ancestors did not come to America on the Mayflower but on a slave ship. The people of my race and my immediate family played a part in making America, America. During the Revolutionary War Crispus Attucks, a black man was the first of five men killed by British soldiers in the Boston Massacre. Like myself (Uriah), my three brothers wore the military uniform: Henry during World War II, David and myself during the Korean War and Jonathan during the Vietnam War. I have a stake in America and I proudly lay claim to America. "This is my America too."
I confess that in America it is not all about race, but race colors my world and that of most Americans. Americans are not color-blind. While would or should they be when racism is alive, well and highly visible, despite numerous attempts, sometimes hideous ones, to cover it up or masquerade it in a somewhat palatable form. Indeed, racism is a malady. Neither the playing field or working field is level. White supremacy continues to be in vogue. Like my ancestors, not least among them being my paternal gandfather who had a greater influence on my life than any other man, now in the September of my life, I keep tiptoeing with dignity and with a determination to never accept inferiority or mediocrity as the measure of my person. How can I be inferior or ordinary when I am a child of God.
There is no way for me to be less than another person. I cannot be less than God's masterpiece and humanity's best.
Because "This is my America too" I will contiune to fight and live to help my America become better - America the more beautiful. I am glad to be an American. I am America. Don't even think about me leaving America or giving up on America. I stake my claim on America. I will remain here until my transition is actuated and even then my presence will be revealed in the lives of people I have touched in meaningful ways. They will share me with others no less than I have shared with others, including my grandfather, with truth-seekers who wanted to better understand themselves, especially their unique heritage embedded, in part, in their DNA.
(Your comments on this article will be appreciated, pro or con).
Copyright 2004 by Uriah J. Fields
Web Site: uriahfieleds.freehomepage.com
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|Reviewed by Joseph* OneLight*®
You may quote me on this:
Human slavery is the most evil act of any society.
"How can I be inferior or ordinary when I am a child of God.
There is no way for me to be less than another person. I cannot be less than God's masterpiece and humanity's best."
To me, this says it all, regardless of race. So, do you also consider "whites" to be Children of God?
We cannot change the past but we can forge the future. I say, let's live NOW, peacefully together, ALL races! I am 1/2 Lithuanian and the rest of my blood is a mix of Swedish, Irish and German. This is My America too! My ancestors also suffered.
|Reviewed by Tracey L. O' Very (Reader)
|A --- top of the line blood huh? That's good I like that.: ) the way I see it as my relatives didn't come over here till the late 1800's and early 1900's that people are people and racism is only kept alive by those who refuse to see that the most colorful people really are the "white" man We're as colorful as the rainbow so why colored is ??? I don't know. But we need to learn to look past the extrior even within ourselves and know that it is the soul that God takes not the shell surrounding it and that makes the person who they are. And the "White Man theory" is We turn red when we're angry, brown when we tan, green when we're sick, and grey when we die. SO we are the Most colorful ones. : ) And the color of our skin comes from the climates that our ancestory was "born" into to adapt and better protect us from the elements of "weather" As long as those keep this alive in themselves and towards others this will never go away. as the saying goes "let it go" Like you said too the slaves were freed during Abraham Lincoln's time and the segregation is over too. I think that if everyone would let the ancestory part of the "American term" go that would help alot too as you say an African American. Which is it? African or American. I'm by blood lines,Irish, Swedish, English and Indian but I let all that pre part go. I am an AMERICAN! You are an AMERICAN!
America is Mine! America is Yours! We are all human beings. End of story as far as I see it.
Have a wonderful Day everyday
|Reviewed by Sandy Knauer
|Great article, Mr. Fields! Like you, I find it interesting that many who are screaming for values demonstrate no values in the process. I was sickened by a lot of what I saw from these people during this past election(sic) - people shouting about values while they carried hate signs and campaigned to kill thousands more. Makes no sense at all, and I'm happy to see more people speaking out about the hypocrisy. We can take back America and Christianity, if we try hard enough.|
|Reviewed by Judy Lloyd (Reader)
|I am so glad that you mentioned Crispus Attucks very few people in my generation knew that he was among the first killed in the American Revelution. That is why black history is important for all the books. You have written a great piece here. Hope you have a good day.|