Posted on April 26, 2021

Black Voices: When Is It Time to Leave America?

Stefan Townes, Indiana Daily Student, April 18, 2021

It seems pointless to say, but the United States was never a home for Black people. You don’t need to hear much about the history of this country to realize that.

From slavery and the Civil War, to segregation and the Civil Rights Movement, and now police brutality and the prison-to-school pipeline, the lives of Black people have always been at risk in this country.

I like many before me have to ask: when is it time to leave the home of the free?


The ideas of this country are centered around harming others in the name of progress, such as the theft of land from Native Americans or justifying slavery because of economic growth. The actions of the United States include pointless wars, forcing citizens into internment camps and even killing its own citizens.


It’s become obvious, over the span of over 200 years that Black lives are not valued here. {snip}


So why stay here?


Well, it feels like an injustice to leave.

{snip} I have no loyalty to this country, but I have loyalty to those who fought and died for my right to even write this down. They couldn’t have known where I would end up, but they were willing to face the worst horrors of this country to ensure I could be more free than they were.

But that wasn’t enough. Their deaths, injuries, servitude and all of their sacrifices weren’t enough to make this country a home.

It’s an unfair situation — it’s not that they didn’t do enough, but rather that this country is too powerful an enemy.

I can’t and don’t blame my cultural ancestors for doing their absolute best, for putting their lives on the line, but this country is still not a home for Black people. It may be hard to find a home anywhere on this planet, but if it does exist, it’s not in the United States of America.