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The Way Forward: I get It

“If a man like Malcolm X could change and repudiate racism, if I myself and other former Muslims can change, if young whites can change, then there is hope for America.” Eldridge Cleaver

Not too long ago, I wrote something on Facebook about racism, and one of my contacts who happens to be African-American told me outright that I was not born here and I do not understand anything about racism. This person is not the only one who has told me that. I have not yet earned the right to speak on this issue because I do not understand it. We are one human family, and it will be unfair for me to write a book about such a sensitive issue like this without mentioning the African-American situation. After all, it is not me, but Martin Luther King, Jr. who said,

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”

As a little boy growing up in Africa, learning about the transatlantic and trans-Sahara slave trade and the horrors that our people were subjected to, it did not occur to me that I will one day write about these issues. In middle and high school, we studied about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement; little did I know that I will migrate to the United States of America and become part of the country.

The day I gave up my Cameroonian citizenship and embraced the United States of America as my new country, I also embraced her history with the good, the bad, and the ugly sides, and I care enough to bring solutions to the table.

If I do not add my own perspective as somebody who is looking at what is going on in the country from a uniquely different perspective, I will be letting down my new country, and it will be extremely unfortunate if I did that. I am here for a time such as this, and just like Joseph in Egypt, he did not hold back when the country was facing a serious problem. He proposed a solution.

All I am doing here is presenting a solution that I think will move the country forward. The word of God is our only hope, and it will deliver what we need as a country and the world at large to navigate through this darkness that is threatening to engulf all of us.

I, too, have a lot at stake because I am an American now and raising children in this country. When thinking about the type of country I want my children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be raised in, I think of the day when we will drop skin color as a basis for classifying and identifying each other. I dream of a day when there are no more hyphenated Americans, just “Americans” because that is who we are. I have told many people whenever I have the chance that we do not talk to each other enough and we are allowing ignorance to divide us. This is my attempt to initiate that conversation. You may not agree with everything I have said here but, at least, keep an open mind and let us have a dialogue.

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