I had recently returned from an international trip to a developing country when the POTUS made his ridiculous statement about “sh**thole” countries and wondered why we didn't receive more immigrants from Norway. As an American, I’d like to apologize to all those who have immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti or Africa. I also extend an apology to those still living in the countries the President mentioned who were offended by his comments. You have every right to be offended. Please don’t think every one in the U.S. shares his narrow minded opinion.
Just a few months ago, I was in Sweden for the first time. All around me was white skin as far as the eye could see. As I traveled to various sites in and around Stockholm and walked its city center, I wondered what it would be like to live in a place where nearly everyone looked and behaved like everyone else. The Swedes seemed pretty content yet I was happy to return to the Twin Cities in Minnesota where immigrants thrive and where numerous ethic heritages are preserved. I have been privileged to travel not only to Sweden, but to a multitude of places in our world. I have seen and experienced many different people groups and cultures and still marvel at how people, regardless their country of origin, are so much the same and yet so different at the same time.
Impressionist paintings have always been my favorite artistic genre. I love how the many shades and colors swirl together to to create beauty. Can you imagine if artists painted only in white? What if God had created only white flowers? What if all birds were only white? That’s how I’d feel about a world of only white people.
I appreciate my Scandinavian heritage; how solid and stoic the northern Europeans often are in their approach to life. Nevertheless, I don’t want the entire world to look or act like that. What’s more, I certainly don’t want all my food to be white! Please, give me some colorful curries, spicy salsa and a colorful mix of salad greens and veggies. Our world is filled with an abundance of differing skin color, culture, and people. In the same way, there are no end of ways to show respect to others and participate in life's celebrations. The world is a beautiful blend of color, smell, and taste and experience. I want to see and learn as much of this world and its people as I possibly can in the years ahead. That includes experiencing even those places our President would dismiss as sh**hole countries. Everyone, including Hatians, Somalis, Nepalese, Guatamalans and a host of others, has something to offer and a new perspective to teach those of us willing to live with our eyes and hearts wide open.