This morning I watched an interview segment on a Sunday news program to commemorate the fallen in last year’s assault on police officers where five Dallas police officers were murdered and seven others wounded. David Brown, former Dallas Police Chief, closed the interview with a story. Brown was a product of Busing and racial desegregation. As a young boy, Brown was bused to an all-white school where he met a white classmate who invited Brown home to have dinner with his family.
David Brown’s whole perspective about race was changed by that single act of random kindness that included a couple of pot pies for dinner. “God knows,” Brown contemplated, “what I would think about people had Mike not invited me home for dinner.” The greatest move that we could ever make for our country and for ourselves is exactly to participate in that type of inclusive civility.
Walls are never good. Discriminating bans are never good. Building bridges is much better because it allows us to find out that the migrant, that foreign invader from another neighborhood, from another part of the world, that person that is so much different from us is not to be feared but actually turns out to be our best friend. It’s a priceless discovery because it is the solution to making our country and the world a better place.
Migrants have friends and family in other parts of the world who will hear stories similar to the story Police Chief Brown told. It will be the real “Voice of America.” That story will be retold and heard around the world. That is the real key to making America great and it has always been the key to America’s greatness from the very beginning when we declared “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”
So, next time you are inclined to jump on a bandwagon that preaches division and divisiveness, jump off and invite someone from the other side to dinner instead.