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Reader Opinion: Diversity is our strength

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I love my country and I love what it stands for -- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Justice for all. But I feel this isn’t always true for everyone. For instance, native people who were pushed out of their homes and, when they fought back, were killed, harassed, incarcerated and called savages and then almost decimated by their white neighbors; African people kidnapped from their land and enslaved to build this land and when freed are told they don’t belong here. To this day their descendants are told to go back where they came from.

Emma Lazarus' poem “The New Colossus” speaks of a land where all are welcome but our present government says welcome only if you have the money and can support yourself. This is not the land I was told was America. I’ve always been proud to call this my home but I’m ashamed that we aren’t the people we say we are. We mouth the words and then shut the door. Let's be the people that Emma Lazarus spoke of, the people who welcome all and turn away none. Let's be the people who can admit wrong and make reparations and amends where due. Let's be the shining light we tell the world we are. Let’s realize diversity is our strength not a weakness. We are a mosaic, a mulligan stew, crazy quilt. We are a nation of many not one. I heard it said that a bundle of sticks is stronger than one. Our motto is E pluribus Unum -- "of many one." We are joined together by a piece of paper, our Constitution. We recognize people -- all people -- not ethnicities. Let’s be a nation of one that welcomes all. Let’s be freedom in its purest form, let’s be proud to say we are Americans.

Michael Wedding

Brainerd

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