Many of you have read what Dr. Ben Carson, now the United Secretary of Health and Human Services said about slaves being immigrants. Sorry the sarcasm meter is having a fit.
I will be as serious as I can possibly be with this, though my warped sense of humor will find its way in. Yes, Monty Python’s Life of Brian is useful to steer this.
Picture this as a story. A twelve year old boy, I’ll call him Kofi, is working the land in what is now Sierra Leone. It’s hard work hoeing the land in the hot sun. His already hard day was made harder, when two twenty somethings grabbed Kofi and held him down. A third man buckled shackles on his wrists and ankles.
Kofi looked at them as though they were crazy. “If this is a joke, it’s not funny, take this off!”
The man who set the shackles, lifted him up roughly and marched him into a line with other people. They were yoked together and pointed on trails heading toward the setting sun.
Kofi, was always warned about venturing away from the safety of the village. Here, he didn’t even disobey and he was in trouble.
For several days, they marched, until they came to Bunce Island, and the large fort built by Europeans.
Another black man, dressed differently, stood in front, with a whip. He called out to the crowd, “We are taking you as immigrants, to a new land, where your dreams can come true.”
Most just stared. Kofi may only be twelve years old, but he has more common sense then many, including and possibly especially the man speaking. He called out, “Oh really? If we are going to a land where dreams come true, why the chains? Why did you have to knock me down and drag me for days to this place?”
Several men knocked him down. Kofi got up and just glared. The man continued. “My name is Dr. Ben Carson, I am the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and after a medical exam, those ships will take you to the Promised Land.”
Kofi muttered, “The only promised land is letting me go home.”
He met the first white men, he’d ever seen. They grabbed him and felt him over to see how healthy he was. “Do I fascinate you?” Kofi snarled at one.
Dr. Carson went up to Kofi. “You don’t yet realize the opportunity you’re being given to go to a land of dreams.”
“Yeah, well you didn’t answer my question the first time, if it is such a dream place, why am I wearing iron?”
“Insolent boy!” Dr. Carson smacked Kofi across his face. “Throw this brat in the hold!”
After a miserable voyage across water, Kofi could not fathom, he was landed in Charleston, South Carolina and brought to a nearby plantation.
At night, Kofi had plenty of time to think about home and the similar landscape and heat to where he was now. Now let me get this straight, he thought. I keep hoping to wake up from this so called dream. The only immigrant dream here, is I am working for some people who have no blood, I am doing the same work as I would at home, except I’m not benefiting. Some immigrant dream this turned out to be. Dr. Carson says he covers Housing and Urban Development. I had to build my own housing, and what is urban? I would love to see him again to see what I can do to him. Immigrant dream? You have to wonder about some people.