What does it mean to be an American? We must remember that that the name America identifies millions of people on two major continents of the earth.God had blessed this land and this people, located between two great oceans filled with food and with a bounty of animals and clean air, water and resources. Canada the United States and Mexico all call themselves American and neighbors on the continent of North America. South America has many countries, and as the major recipient of the African Diaspora, who are also entilted to be called American. South America, especially Brazil, has yet to reveal the major accomplishments of her multicultural peoples. The peoples of the many countries in the Americas love and respect their country as much as we, living in the United States respect ours. We should be very cautious about talking about putting up walls between land that is not ours. Half of the people living in the United States are immigrants from European countries, and Americans on the North and South American continent find it offensive when Europeans discuss preventing them from travel to and from the land of their forefathers.

The United States must find modern and respectful ways of living with her American neighbors. The age of the 400 year rein of Europe is over and major adjustments are taking place in the world in terms of economic transformation and climate change, the United States may find that she needs her neighbors in this Hemisphere. A major shift in the climate droping temperatures below freezing may find the countries in North America seeking shelter from the cold from our sisters and brothers south of the border. It would be hoped that no one would have built a wall preventing those seeking the warmth from the sun and preventing border crossing.

The British North American Colonies, which later became the United States of America brought something new to this land, which has seen 10,000 sun rises. First we must accept the fact that it was not a lost land but a place celebrating an exciting and rich history. The Colonies settled here because of what the land had to offer. Let us not forget what we found, when we the stranger landed on these shores. Because of the spirit of the diverse populations there was a welcome the stranger hand extended. It is a Cherokee belief that the Great Spirit created the earth for all of the peoples of the earth to share. As a people not having to worry about food and shelter, the pipe of peace and friendship was extended to the stranger.  The Cherokee having traveled to these lands over 10,000 years ago from Asia, knew what it meant to have a place of welcome after a long journey. The welcome pipe was lit and in the beginning there was peace and harmony. Over time, the stranger from the land of a thousands wars decided that the land of the Buffalo should be transferred to unseen nations located across the great bodies of water and the resources of this land should belong to others. Many strange beliefs began to come to these welcoming shores, beliefs expressing the value of a human soul. Civilization came to North America, and with civilization came the belief that one man had the right to own another man and keep him in bondage. The Nations of a thousand wars sent  gods of entitlement and transported men to serve these gods as slaves. Over time, the continent of North America would see wars for independence and wars for freedom, as man continues to search for that deeper meaning of what does it really mean to identify with the idea of who and what is an American and what is expected of someone who identifies as an American. 

What does it mean to say I am an American?   Birth in this land makes us legal and gives us legal rights to benefits, but what makes us American? America is not just a piece of geography; America is a Spirit, the Spirit of the better man in the stage of becoming. We act the way we do because of who we are. It is up to us, we the people to make and keep America great. Every group that has come to this country has experienced challenges in human behavior. People do not like change and they do not like differences. America is about change and difference, we encourage it and we support it. Originally, all of us came over here in boats, some of black and white, and some in chains. This new experiment of God welcomes the world and its complexities and diversities. Slavery in this new land was white and black, each man has served his time in servitude, indenture and property ownership of human flesh, America, has survived her bad times. No man is any better than any other man, and no religious scripture or belief more accepted by God than other writings. America has her struggles because the best and the brightest did not come to these new hostile lands. The country’s greatness comes from what they did and are doing with the lemons of the world. It is here that lemons become lemonade. It is here that lives are transformed; it is here in America where the Lazarus of the world are called back to the world of the living.

America is the classroom of the world. It is here that the world comes to learn how to live with each other. It is here that the children of Abraham learn how to put down the Torah, the Bible and the Koran and talk to each other. It is here that our children attend the same schools, and our wives and mothers shop at the same supermarkets for the same cuts of meat from the animals that God placed on the earth. It is here that our husband, brothers, sons and yes daughters, go out into the market place working as doctors, lawyers, scientist, technologist, engineers, mathamaticians, and teachers, to learn the skills of commerce and wealth. America influences the world, a world at conflict can live as a people at peace in the land between the two oceans. We thank the Cherokee for this gift of life; we thank the Scott Irish for the struggle for independence from the past; we thank the African for the wisdom of the ancient years, and the strength to endure the struggles and pain associated with growth. We do not know where God will lead the United States of America, but whereever it is it will be to the glory of the living God.

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