/ October 27, 2023
[The following, penned by Simon Ateba, chief White House correspondent for Today News Africa, was posted to LinkedIn on Oct. 25.]
Many people born in the United States of America who have never lived in another country often do not know what makes America great. It's not the subway in New York City or Washington D.C. The one in Dubai is cleaner, safer, and more efficient. It's not safety. Americans kill each other daily more than in most other developed nations in the world. It's not intelligence. America ranks lower when it comes to math and science than many developed nations with fewer resources. It's not even kindness. Canadians are believed to be kinder than Americans, and Nigerians, who have far fewer resources than Americans, are more generous than many people in Silicon Valley.
What makes America greater than virtually any nation on the planet is the First Amendment, which leads to freedom, democracy, and capitalism.
The First Amendment is the fundamental difference between America and Saudi Arabia, where a man has been sentenced to death for posting on social media.
Freedom is the most important thing to protect because everything else — democracy, innovation, and creativity — flows from there.
Freedom means that in the United States of America, people are free to worship one God or to worship no God, to praise the person in power or to insult them, to hire and fire their leader instead of having one king or queen like in some countries or kingdoms.
I have, therefore, been surprised that many people in the United States who claim to support freedom and the First Amendment have suddenly been calling for people to be canceled, arrested, and banned for peaceful pro-Palestine or pro-Israeli rallies.
The families of many of those people immigrated to the United States from other countries with draconian regimes. But now, they would like to turn the US into those nations from which they came.
Some of the most outrageous things I have read come from immigrants who now deceive themselves into believing that they are more American than other Americans. Some have even shown more allegiance to other nations where there is no freedom than to the United States. They brand anyone who disagrees with them as a hater, pretending that they are objective, when all that I have seen is just people being pro-this or pro-that, anti-this or anti-that, instead of acknowledging that in the long run, no one wins these wars, and the United States should not stop being a free country because of a foreign conflict or COVID.
There is a reason why you relocated to the United States and not Russia or China or even Israel, Palestine, or Ukraine. There is also a reason why you decided to live in the United States if you were born here instead of moving to another country. It's because none of the countries come even close to the United States regarding what makes the US powerful: Freedom!
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