Politicians and uninformed leaders are fond of saying that immigrants built this country, as a tenet of civil religion and political rhetoric. Such hyperbole is very misleading and is an affront to the accurate truth. This narrative, favorable to voluntary immigrants, obscures the truth about involuntary immigrants who suffered and subsidized this nation for more than 200 years without freedom and remuneration. The truth is African American slaves built this country before and alongside voluntary immigrants. Politicians and others cannot obscure this truth before any intelligent citizens. One sign of the lack or restitution and repentance is any attempt to minimize or ignore the sacrifices of the descendants of African Americans, who suffered to build the infrastructure of this nation.
African American slaves have always been the unsung heroes of this nation, especially since they were kidnapped by nefarious culprits without decent legal remedies. Rather than immigrate for their own peculiar interests, African Americans were exploited and systematically robbed of the just recompence of their unrequited labor. This historical narrative ought to be acknowledged with the highest honor, for it involved centuries of stolen, subsidized labors that have been underemphasized by generations of voluntary immigrants who subsequently inherited the benefits of that exploitation. Worse yet, African Americans must always refute the stupid idiocy of white supremacy, the lunacy of racism, and the ridiculous foolishness of reverse discrimination.
Exodus 1 records that there arose in Egypt a generation that forgot how Joseph (a slave) rescued that civilization from horrible destruction. They ignored history, leading eventually to attempted genocide. Think about it! Collective forgetfulness can lead to tragic consequences. How could this ever happen to an informed or grateful populace? First, that society must minimize the contributions of those who sacrificed for the good of others. Secondly, they must suppress gratitude by cancelling truthful memorials, propagandizing dominant ethnic mythologies, obscuring historic rituals, ignoring substantive evidence, and demonizing the talents of those who were the actual heroes. Such a religious or moral cocktail of deception produces the radiation of racial superiority rather than the dignity and humility of integrity. Leaders must then propagate such marginalization in culture, education, and social institutions.
In the United States, I have observed this entire social process, whether intentional or benign, actualized in political debates, academic circles, and media discourse (including social media platforms). African Americans are often denigrated and ignored by this society, blamed for the deprivations initiated by the structures and laws of a society that oppressed them. Obviously, this behavior bites the hands that sacrificed to bless all voluntary immigrants. Even greater than the mythological narratives surrounding the Founding Fathers is the redemptive sufferings of African American slaves: involuntary immigrants. Their patriotic sacrifices demonstrate the greater love that is forever spiritual and redemptive.
Neither organized labor, voluntary immigrants, or anybody else has made greater contributions to build this nation than African American slaves and their progeny. I speak up for them always.