Archived: MULTICOLOR AMERICA by Sonia Aquino Billings

The United States of America is known for its diversity. It was founded by immigrants from many countries around the world. Many people came to this promising land to conquer it from the Native Americans. Some people came voluntarily, others by force. No matter the reason, a nation was founded with a multicolor population. When I read the declaration of independence, I found that the founding fathers of this nation believed that all people were created equal by God. However, there is discrimination based on the color of the person’s skin.

People have been fighting for equality for over 100 years. It is interesting how over 200 years from its birth, citizens of this country continue to make contributions and make differences regardless of the color of their skin.  I wonder where some white skinned people get the idea of superiority merely based on skin color? I am one more immigrant who came to call this nation my new country and pledged allegiance to it. I respect the laws and everything this country represents. To the nations of the world, the United States of America represents freedom, democracy, and wealth. Internally non-white citizens experience discrimination based merely on skin color. I am in college studying to reach my life goals, I listen to my classmates telling their stories of prejudicial encounters, and I understand their feelings because I have been there myself. In the past I worked the window of a Post Office in Weld County, the majority of customers were decent respectful human beings; however, there were a few representations of the population that expressed their hate towards me based merely on my golden skin color. Some went to the extreme to ask me to call my supervisor just to complain because I was working there. I moved on to another job where I faced the curiosity of some people toward “my kind”, there curiosity emphasized through comments to find out if we were stupid or only different.  I did not experience this from any black, brown, yellow or red person, only white.

I wonder, where all this racism came from. At the beginning of time God created one man and one woman from whom all people descend. When I read my bible, I found that there was a time when everyone was part of the same community until the tower of Babel was built resulting in different languages being created and separate groups creating different cultures, allowing this separation to populate the earth (Genesis 11:9). Different regions with different weather patterns were occupied for different people and over time diversity was the norm. It is a puzzle to me how some people with white skin developed the idea of superiority. I don’t mean to generalize a whole race because every race is diverse in their way of thinking, there is a multitude of white people who are decent souls. However, there is a minority of whites who believe they have the right to express their hate towards any non-white human being.  I think we are all equal with the same God given rights.  We should not accept or stay silent when we see these acts of racism.

It is not easy to immigrate to United States as an adult in the modern era. People have made a life in their native country, have degrees and experience that mean noting in this country. The vast majority of immigrants found themselves working as cleaning staff, hoping for a better future for their kids. In the cleaning industry it is easy to find people from all professions including architects, engineers, lawyers, pastors, whose credentials are not recognized and have to start over, aspiring to find the peace they yearn for their children.

There is a need for change, this 2020 has been difficult for the whole world, many lives have been lost, it is time to appreciate life, any life, be peaceful to one another, and life is too short to waste it hating people. This year has taught us how vulnerable we are. If you are alive today, and you are one of those who hates other colors of skin, try appreciating life, any life, and you will have a better quality of life for yourself. Respect for the rights of others is peace.

Sonia Aquino Billings is a native of El Salvador in Central America. Growing up during a civil war in her Country led her to appreciate life and pursue an atmosphere of peace. Graduating from a Theology school, she gained pastoral experience in her native country by leading a family service at a local church while working full time as a business representative. Moving to United States with her family about 10 years ago she has adjusted to a new culture and way of life. She has always felt a calling to write and using real life examples of the struggles of women gained from her pastoral experience. Billings is the author of the book “A Woman’s Beauty”. She has found that writing is a good way to externalize ideas and feelings that a reader can identify with. In that effort, she writes a daily devotional for women in her Facebook page, “A Woman’s Beauty”. Concurrently working as a paraprofessional for special education at a local high school she has found a passion for working with special needs kids, deciding to enroll at Aims Community College to pursue a career in education. She was inspired by her mother who was a career educator founding many schools in rural El Salvador.