NYC: What Is it about You?
On the way downtown, I checked out my Google News and saw that there were shootings around the country and random acts of brutality abroad.
I am not apologizing for Columbus's exploitation of the Caribbean islanders. I am not apologizing for anything. I was not there, and I did not do it. My ancestors didn't take anything from anybody in the New World until the Mayflower dropped anchor not two hundred years later. And I am not apologizing for what they did wrong because I did not do it. I am saying that I am in awe of their audacity and their ability to imagine a new way of being. Because here we are with a New York where kids can walk around in their Halloween costumes and receive candy from strangers with good, big hearts. Here, gay couples can fawn over each other in Central Park, and it's all good. Here, Muslims with DSLRs can photograph me and my family in the same park, and we didn't freak out. Here, women who subject themselves to Sharia law and enshroud themselves in layers of veils can tend their children alongside self-respecting Western women who take making eye contact for granted, and it's all good. Here, every race, creed, and color, can show up and live life and it's all good.
To the Muslim gentlemen who assumed the right to photograph me and my family, I say this: Don't tread on me. Thank Allah for the privilege of being where you are: in the free world. I know I thank my God for the hard-won privilege.