President J. F Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, had delivered a speech on 26 June 1963 at ‘Rathaus Schöneberg’ in West-Berlin, Germany. It was a time when former Soviet Union had erected a wall between East and West Berlin, dividing this famous German city and its families into two.
United States had then taken a fierce position against the “Berlin Wall. Kennedy’s address was presented during a five-nation tour of Western Europe. His final lines resounded across the world; he had said:
”Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect. But we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us. It is an offense, not only against history but an offense against humanity separating families, husband and wives and brother and sisters and dividing a people who wish to be joined together’’
But today American president, Donald Trump is erecting a wall at the US-Mexican border at the cost of $41 billion. Few Americans or people anywhere remember that most of what is now Texas and California and other large areas in south of the United States were conquered or forcibly acquired from the state of Mexico as early in history as middle 19th century. The borders drawn across Mexico and the United States also divide history, families and communities. Trump’s wall also threatens the existence of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NAFTA).
Kennedy had then said: “Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect”, his words then resonated with the Americans of 1960’s, who were secure and confident about themselves and their destiny. Now 53 years later, another generation of Americans that has elected Donald Trump is afraid of the world, and of globalization which its previous generations had encouraged and forced the world to accept.
Land of Immigrants turns against the Refugees?
America has always celebrated itself as a land of immigrants and refugees. A huge confident nation, history’s melting pot that opened its shores to all kinds of people running away from tyranny, oppression and poverty. Layer after layer of immigrants first from Europe, then from Asia and Latin America had enriched its soil, added to its mosaic and sustained its creativity.
read more: Watch Video – Out of democracy comes tyranny
Kennedy had then said: “Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect”, his words then resonated with the Americans of 1960’s, who were secure and confident about themselves and their destiny.
Now America under Trump is closing its shores and airports to people running from instability, chaos and oppression – forces unleashed upon them mostly as a result of American actions after 9/11. Surely history has moved ahead; America has panicked under the forces it unleashed and the world is moving towards an uncertain future.