America has long touted its unique willingness to welcome the people of the earth to this special country where opportunities abound and where hard work and ingenuity can yield limitless riches and lifelong, personal satisfaction.
Even with the specter of slavery, sexism, racial intolerance, religious oppression and classism rooted deep within our soil, the United States has been able to convince the rest of the world that there’s no place better to live, work and play than “America the Beautiful.”
Of course, Blacks have known such rhetoric was nothing more than false advertising or as Dr. King once said, “a promissory note … an uncashed check.” But others have bought into America’s hypocrisy and risked their very lives in order to stake their claim on our so-called pristine shores.
Now, a new group of young men and women, some 800,000 undocumented immigrants, have learned the truth — the welcoming mat yanked from beneath their feet replaced by unfamiliar feelings of dread and fear.
The Dreamers, as they’re often described, despite holding well-paying jobs, owning homes, or matriculating at colleges and universities, received notice that they should prepare to pack up their belongings and return to their parents’ native lands — countries that for some are little more than images once shared in bedtime stories.
President Trump, in rescinding President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [DACA] and passing the buck to Congress who could, but probably will not, pass legislation that would allow these young adults to remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation, has made it clear — our borders are now closed, as are our hearts.
When the countdown ends in March of 2018, we wonder what will become of the Dreamers — youth who once believed that unlike any other country on the planet, that America was the place where dreams could come true no matter how far back in the race one may have started.
Perhaps they should have read the unedited history books before putting too much trust in the endless hyperbole. Black folk and Native Americans, among others, could have shown them a different kind of truth.
Still, you have to admit, it all sounds really nice. But only fairy tales have happy endings … in America.