When I got out of bed the morning of May 31, 2020 after a sleepless night, I knew I had to do something.
I didn’t know what. Or what I would say.
I saw the protests and the riots. I had heard all the accusations about racism, racial injustice, and police brutality. I was horrified by what happened to Mr. George Floyd. But I was also horrified about what was happening to my adopted country, my beloved America.
And I just couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t keep it inside.
So I went to one of these protests and I did the most American thing I could think of: I told the protesters exactly what I thought.
I admit it—I wasn’t very diplomatic.
Maybe that’s why my remarks went viral. You can find them easily on YouTube.
Many people admired me for what I said. Many hated me. I don’t care either way. I didn’t do this for me. I did it for America, the greatest country in the world.
And I know what I’m talking about.
I was born in Cameroon, a country in West Africa. My family lived day to day, simply trying to survive. When I hear people talk about corruption and civil rights abuses here in the US, I shake my head. They never lived in Cameroon—or anywhere within a thousand miles of Cameroon, that’s for sure.
I came to the United States for what I could never have in my native land: freedom and happiness, the opportunity to get a good education, to earn a good living, to build a good life for myself. And that’s exactly what I’ve done. That’s what America has allowed me to do. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
Since coming to the United States, I have trained in nursing and worked as a visiting nurse assistant. Recently, I received my master’s in health care administration, and I am now working as a health care executive.
My career ambition is to close the gap in health care outcomes and design new and better strategies to ensure that under-served populations get the health care services they need. I also serve as a reservist in the United States Air Force. And yes, I look forward to getting married and starting a family.
My life is grounded in a simple truth: There’s no better place to live for anyone, of any race, than America. And everybody outside of America knows it. That’s why they line up, like I did, at US embassies around the world, hoping for a chance to come here to live and work. This is truly the land of opportunity.
So, don’t go around trashing it. I don’t care where you come from. Or what your complaint is. Or what your skin color is. I’m not having it.
And that brings me back to May 31st and that park in Washington, DC.
Mr. Floyd should not have died as he did. But make no mistakes: Black Lives Matter and their allies are using George Floyd’s death to split Americans apart at the very moment we should be coming together. They are striking at the heart of this country—twisting the knife of white guilt with one hand, and black resentment with the other.
These protests are not about empowering black people. They are about disempowering black people.
Because when the fires stop burning, all that remains is hopelessness, anger, and shame. That’s not empowerment. That’s oppression.
Look at the innocent victims—the business owners, many of them black, who have lost their life’s work to looting and arson. What are they supposed to do now? Who cleans up the graffiti and the shattered glass? Who rebuilds? Who, after seeing their dreams go up in smoke, even wants to?
Every week in Chicago, New York, Baltimore, Washington, DC, black criminals kill black men, women and children—children. Do you know the name of a single one of them? Why don’t their lives matter? Where are the protests for them? Why do we only get angry when a white police officer kills a black man, while dozens of our brothers and sisters are mowed down every weekend in our neighborhoods?
Black Lives Matter and its supporters, with their bottomless obsession with racism, pretend to be leading us to a better future. But in fact, they are sending us into a spiral of self-destruction.
It was an intense struggle for me to get to America. I love it too much to stand aside and watch it be torn apart. Stand with me.
I am not oppressed.
I am not a victim.
I am a free American.
I’m Nestride Yumga for Prager University.