America August 2017

Reflecting on my recent USA trip which took me by road across the states of Florida, Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

It was truly an amazing experience.

I am grateful for the love and assistance bestowed upon me by family members, friends and persons whom I encountered on the trip.

Special thanks to Yvan James, Karen Makvandi, Tyeis Car-James who taught me about “educational procrastination” the things you can learn from and 11 year old, Cheryl Rolle, Racquel Raae, Aliya Mehmmet, Roz Bowers, Connie and Louis Robinson, my aunt Valdeen Dill-Roberts, my cousins Michelle and little Emily Rose, my friend Norman Patrick, who drove from Indianapolis to meet me in Nashville Tennessee, his son Jordaen and his wife Charmaine who treated me like a prince.

I can never forget the man whose name I do not remember, a “white man” who helped me to change my busted tire at night, in the middle of “nowhere” he came along when specters of ghastly things which happened to people in my situation were beginning to crowd my mind.

Faith Pressley, the young lady who engaged me in conversation on the Blue Ridge Parkway drive, she was someone reaching out to a total stranger, eager to share with me her love for the awesome beauty of the mountains which so fascinated me.

The group of policemen (white policemen) in a North Carolina restaurant who engaged me in conversation, wanting me to enjoy my visit to North Carolina and America on a whole.

The ever so amiable receptionist at the Allegheny Inn in Sparta North Carolina, the wonderful staff of the Comfort Suites chain who were so accommodating to me whenever I retreated from the road to spend the night before moving on when the night transformed into another day.

The lady at the Welcome Centre in Clinton Tennessee, who recommended places of interest for me to visit.

Margaret Lee Sparkman from Jamaica whom I had not seen for over 40 years, it was so refreshing having lunch with her and reminiscing about the homeland, the people we both knew, where they are and what they are doing etc.

I look back with loving mindfulness of Cherokee that beautiful little town on the banks of the Oconaluftee River in North Carolina.

The people in the many restaurants who patiently tolerated and tried to accommodate my unusual requests for meals.

The Lake Worth Branch of Enterprise Car Rental, for allowing me to use the car on my last day in America without charging me, for waiving the fees for dropping the car off at another location and for not charging be for the busted tire.

There was one negative experience, where I received open and undisguised hostility from two “white front desk staff” at a Holiday Inn Express somewhere in Tennessee or North Carolina, well I did look scruffy and unkempt and probably looked as if I could not possible afford the room rate!!.

All righted itself, the people at the Comfort Suites lovingly welcomed me and treated me as if I was really human and not a loathsome alien.

I purposefully used the “race” classification because sometimes we get so locked into an inordinate and mole sighted view of other races that we cannot appreciate anything good done by the people of the race we are antagonistic towards.

The people at the Holiday Inn Express who were nasty to me, were white people from a known racist state but the man who helped me with a busted tire at night was also a white man from a southern state known for its racism.

Many if not most of the people who came out to stand up to the White Supremacists, Neo Nazis and KKK in Virginia were white people.

As a Baha’i, I do not condone any form of racism, I also do not support retaliatory racism because that takes us back exactly to where we should be trying to get away from.

The amalgamation of sinews, cells and bones, known as the body and bears the distinction of colour is nothing but a receptacle for our spirits, or whatever we choose to call that intelligence which indissolubly binds us to the chain of the only race, the human race.

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