Dear Mr. President,
So, you are trying to implement neighborhood diversity? (Watch video here) I understand that to you, diversity is the answer to every American problem, however I need to tell you why this will not work. Why do you ask? Because I am living this scenario out right now! I live in a very affluent neighborhood with my extended family after being forced out of our home due to warfare. So, I guess you could call me a “refugee.” We live in a neighborhood that we would not be able to afford a house in now or maybe ever in our lifetime.
Let me tell you how it makes us “middle class/poor folk” feel when we live in these neighborhoods.
IT’S AWFUL. I wasn’t born to as much money as many others were in this neighborhood, was raised by a single mother foreigner who nationalized here in the 80’s and well, I just really dislike living among this “dream upper class.”
I don’t hate them or their neighborhoods or their money. I am glad they enjoy where they live… but I just don’t fit in and I am fine with that. I am not ashamed that I don’t want to live in this type of neighborhood. I am not embarrassed of not having ever lived in one these subdivisions before either. I like diversity, but I like it when someone comes by it honestly instead of through government compulsory.
With this agenda, you will not make any of these people understand my struggles in my life of having grown up with different cultural backgrounds. This won’t make them understand my worldview if it’s forced on them, the same way it’s not really helping me like their neighborhoods and way of life because this situation was basically forced on us.
We have found a way to co-exist, it isn’t fun and it came at a very high price… but I promise you, none of the changes happened because of them learning anything from me or me from them. All it did was prove to both of us that we live where we live as an extension and expression of our identity and suburbia is not a part of who I am.
I am not “white America” but I don’t hate America. I want to preserve it. I love much of what it stands for and you, Mr. President are trying to destroy every fiber of it.
We, my family, went through a very lonely period in this neighborhood and still have loneliness. It has taken some painful concerted efforts to get past the obvious surface differences in our outlooks and preconceived judgments, but there have been some victories, but only because it took really maturity on many people’s parts to overcome personal biases and anger. It’s not a fun scenario for either party. While I am very grateful for having a roof over my head, I actually can’t wait to get out of this “class of neighborhood and return to those whom I would consider, “my people.” Back to people whom I feel could relate to my economic concerns, who I can talk about our losses and failures while I will not feeling judged, looked down on or paranoid about those feelings, even if I am not actually being judged by them.
But don’t think I don’t have the class, education and etiquette to keep up with these folks! You see, I also grew up in four and five start hotels across the nation (some of the hotels that you have probably stayed in as President) because of my mother’s job. I know proper table manners, both European and American style. I have met celebrities and politicians because of living in these hotels while my mother worked housekeeping and know how to mind my manners like any proper first-generation European knows.
I’ve also been to governors’ homes and had dinners with high ranking academic officers and military personnel. Those are my favorite learning experiences, but again, there isn’t much relating only gleaning of perceptions and ideas. However, I am smart enough to know that not every interaction is for relational purposes….
But neighborhoods are intended for relationships, physical communes that are supposed to create a sense of camaraderie and care for a common geological good.
However, having “middle-class/working poor” me living in their 1% subdivision hasn’t changed their hearts but that isn’t my job. Nor do I want it to be. I am forced to care for and love a neighborhood that I don’t identify with because it’s the only roof I have at this point. So the only one doing the heart change in me at this point to truly show and practice love this little geographical island is the calling of Yeshua on my being, not because of a government ordinance.
But you don’t believe in that apparently. You don’t believe that there are other ways to create community change except through communistic avenues as defined by Marx or Lenin. But I assure you, there are many “socialistic” aspects of the Bible that you, Mr. President are unaware of.
But I am afraid its too late for that…
As president, you are not God. And trying to humble and expand the horizons of wealthy people because of your disdain for them, let me tell you, you are going to be good at one thing in your presidency: Attempting to start the next American civil war. Your attempt to bring rich people low in this manner will only breed further contempt. I sincerely hope that you lead by example once you leave office. I hope you buy a house in the $120,000-$150,000 range and live among average Americans who have never been president. See how well you fit in and how comfortable it makes you AND everyone else. And I don’t want to hear about the security risks it would pose for your family, because you are imposing security risks for ours and I will explain why.
See how many friends you can make and how many real friendships are formed in return. Observe how you feel when you try and talk about some of the difficulties you had while being president and see if you aren’t mocked or shamed because of it. Try this little social experiment with you and your family first as the First Family, then tell me how much of a positive social impact this has on you. Oh and remember the children that you are placing in the communities. You are setting them up for bullying, depression which can then lead to suicidal and/or homicidal ideation. It will create such feelings of anger and discontent that people will feel extremely out of control of their own lives that they will do anything that they can to fee like they have some bit of control over their lives through just about any means necessary. I want you think about that. Any means necessary. (You see, I used to be a therapist to those that were suicidal and homicidal. I specialized in deescalation skills and after-care for failed suicide attempts. These are the exact circumstances that create more social and internal tension leading to more unwanted behaviors and higher crime rates.)
But a midst all of this, we will use this agenda as an opportunity to return to valuing community in our lives. True community with true friendships based on common values and systems of beliefs. We will take this challenge as a way of relating to Jesus in loving our neighbor as our self, no matter how different they are or how much we disagree with them.
So we, the American people, will rise above your feeble attempts to make us hate one another and will see through your facade that money and economic status mean everything to us because we are more than a nation that cares about money. We care about people. We care about the quality of lives of people and improving the quality of life does not always mean a better neighborhood.
It means making us feel autonomous. Making us less angry at everyone and everything around us. It means helping Americans not feel so out of control of their own lives, causing them to want to commit crimes like robbery, murder and use drugs to escape their worsening realities. Getting to the “heart” of the problem so to speak, will make once dangerous neighborhoods a safer place. Its been done before like this and it can be done again. (Just ask me how.)
Because America is reevaluating itself and her priorities. We are seeing that money isn’t everything, it doesn’t always buy safety when nuclear bombs are being built, it doesn’t always buy happiness when we are sincerely concerned about even having a future. And we know it will only go so far in an economic collapse, because if history repeats itself as it so often does, the government will buy our assets and gold through imminent domain for minimum price, then make it illegal to own any, then make you broker than you were before, leaving no choice but for a government created solution.
We will rise above your lies of money being the be all end all to life. We will not buy into having a better neighborhood will make us happier because we will feel even more isolated than we already do because of your slavish push for efficiency in the work place and the high demands placed on the American working people. The “9-5 Job” no longer exists and part-time jobs are more common now because of the strenuous demands for insurance. We are miserable in our jobs which makes us miserable in our homes which makes us want to buy things we can’t afford to make us feel better for a day. Get it?
American’s are too emotionally exhausted to have or invest in new friendships, too broke to enjoy art of any kind, too scared to even watch films any more because most of them hit too close to home to the fears rising up inside us all and too tired to care much about anything other than their families and their well-being at this point.
Further isolation through this agenda is not the answer. Finding common ground is. Please stop for once and listen to we the people, the people you seem to be communicating so much hate toward.
A non-white, working-poor mother raised by a divorced single-mother immigrant from Europe who loves America because she is my nation even though I may not have much in common with her or live her “American Dream”
She represents freedom ….
but this is happening to her more and more through your leadership choices….
©Olivia Reid, 2015