I am an American raised son of Mexican immigrants. I am grateful to God for our country. I am grateful for its Founders, its people and the patriots and peacemakers who fight daily to make our country stronger. I am filled with great pride and an undying gratitude for a country that was born out of violent times. It is a testament to the idea that a free and united people can beat back tyranny.
The “land of the free and the home of the brave” is a country unlike any other. It is why millions of immigrants have fought to reach her shores. It is why America holds a special place in the hearts and minds of people yearning for freedom and opportunity. Even with all of her flaws, the United States offers hope and gives everyone the chance to achieve their dreams.
That is why I call the U.S. my one and true home.
I love America and invite all Americans who cherish freedom and opportunity to take a stand. Stand up against the violent protesters, history revisionists, anarchists, and sowers of hate who want to undo 244 years of progress in one fell swoop with petulant, warlike tactics.
Let me be perfectly clear — our country allows for peaceful protests and gatherings. Our Constitution guarantees its citizens, even those with extreme viewpoints, can express themselves without political reprisal or fearing for their lives. However, that is not what we are seeing on the streets of Portland, Seattle or other major cities. We are seeing civil unrest that has given way to deaths, violence, and looting. The aim of violent protesters is to sow discord and they will stop at nothing to achieve their goals.
People who act in this barbaric fashion are diametrically opposed to what our country represents. The violent protesters (can you even call them protestors at this point?) do not love America. If they did, they would not look to destroy our country but to make her better.
I understand that life here is not perfect. Clearly, we need reforms at various levels. We also need to take a closer look at ourselves and how we perpetuate erroneous beliefs that threaten our unity as a nation.
I know that that racism and discrimination are real. I have experienced and witnessed both firsthand here. Not just here but also in Mexico and other parts of the world.
Before we convict our country and raze it to the ground, consider this: what is working? How much progress has our country achieved? How far have people of color come in recent years? Do not be fooled by those who spew hatred and lies to advance an Anti-American agenda. The big lie is that our nation is no longer exceptional. Supposedly, our citizens can no longer achieve the American Dream. That is unless they get behind socialist politicians who plan to redistribute resources according to their own interests and their big government agenda. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Think of the contributions America has made to the world in less than 250 years. We have done more than countries with longer histories and larger populations. Transitioning from an agricultural to an industrial based economy has allowed us to achieve major breakthroughs in science, engineering and the arts. It is nothing short of amazing. American are a different breed. Our innovation, drive, grit, determination, and the idea that nothing is impossible for anyone, no matter their background sets us apart.
The key ingredient in our secret sauce is having a government that respects the roles that individuals and the private sector can play in creating a strong economy. Prior to COVID-19, key groups benefited from the Trump administration’s moves to lower taxes, cut regulations, renegotiate bad trade deals, and help launch businesses. During that time, Latinos and African Americans achieved record employment. Latinos started businesses in large numbers and were on an upward trajectory. That is a fact.
At this critical juncture, we need to get beyond violent and hateful acts. We must find ways to heal our nation–socially and economically. We must commit to building something better.There are people, families, and entire communities who are depending on us to succeed. Poverty and lack of opportunity knows no race; it does not discriminate.
We can not let violent protesters shame us into believing our past transgressions wholly define who we are today. We should make our future selves proud. Let’s act so that we can look back on this time and see that we came out better, stronger, more united than ever. It is what we do. When Americans fall, we get back up with the determination to build something even better.
I implore you to reject the politics of terror and fear that violent radicals have adopted to wage war against the freedoms and liberties we cherish. Our message must be clear: Your hate is not welcome here. I believe in the United States of America, so I am standing up for her. If you love her as much as I do, I hope you will, too.
A version of this article originally appeared in RealClearPolitics.com