There is no country like America. There is not. Not one. . . .
I mean, I’m the one who got off the plane and here I am, here in the former capital of the Confederacy for goodness sake. I am second in command. Second in command. I’m a black woman. I am not first-generation American. I am still the immigrant.
As I said, I’m a black woman, immigrant, and what else can you say to me that would say, well, “racism, racism, racism”? How do you explain me? I’m not an outlier. I’m not a one-off. The opportunities are here.
Are we denying that there have been problems, that there has been slavery, that there has been racism, or that there has been segregation, and redlining, and blue codes, and all this stuff? No, we’re not denying any of that. We just said, I sit here second in command of the former capital of the Confederacy.
And while America may not be what she’s supposed to be, as we have a saying in church, “I may not be what I’m supposed to be, but I ain’t what I used to be.” That’s America. She may not be what she’s supposed to be, but she ain’t what she used to be. It is not, as I’ve said before, 1963 when my father came at the height of the civil rights movement.
By the way, Jamaicans have been coming and other people have been coming, who are black, to America since the 1900s, when it was way worse for us. But we understood that we could make the best of what we had, and we’ve been doing that. . . .
I am an overcomer, many black people are overcomers. We could say to ourselves, “They threw this in our path, but we’ve overcome that. They threw that in our path, but we overcome that.” And we’re going to keep overcoming. We’re going to keep striving. . . .
But the constant black versus white versus Asian versus Hispanic—who wants to live like that? No. So, we need to teach our children all of history—the good, the bad, the ugly—because one thing we learned from history, as someone said, is that we don’t learn from history. But then, we’re going to keep going, we’re going to keep striving, because our children need a hope and a future. And to keep looking back, there is nothing back there. The future is ahead.