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Copyright 2009-2010 by
Mary Brotherton
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Inside my Brain

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Monday, March 10, 2003

This got my attention If you want to know what concerns me today, take time to read this article that I found in the New York Times Online: Africa's Lost Tribe Discovers American Way. Suddenly my day to day concerns seem very trivial. I had a taco salad with vitamin fortified juice for lunch today, and before the day ends, I will find a bit of chocolate to have melting in my mouth. An entire people have been cruelly persecuted by their own countrymen for centuries, and now they have to learn a new lifestyle and adopt a new culture. I don't think I will ever complain about cleaning my toilets again.

I worry about these people. Even though they have been persecuted all of their lives, and they understand that generations past have been persecuted, they still hold onto their right to human dignity. They have led simple lives, out of necessity, and now they will be brought to the great melting pot of the world. What will become of their culture? What will happen to the brothers and sisters - the cousins, the aunts, uncles, and grandparents in this tribe? Will they be allowed to maintain their familial connections, or will they be scattered to the four corners of this great land of ours?

Having just completed a move that was of my own volition, I can relate to what must be going through their minds as they clutch their few possessions. They haven't a clue what awaits them here. I wonder why they are being translocated to large cities, when they are so accustomed to the rural life? I moved from a small semi-rural town into a large city, and I consider myself to be well enough educated, more or less sophisticated, and rather knowledgeable. I endured culture shock, and I only moved five hours inland! I will be praying for the Somalian Bantu people. Once they arrive in the land of "milk and honey", they might find themselves wondering about the wisdom of their agreement to move. I fear that they will not find the tolerance they dream of. I worry that they will want to resort to their bushes and deserts rather than being able to cope with what awaits them here. I pray that they will all be able to be strong; that they will find good support systems for themselves; that they do not continue to live in poverty in a new land; and that they all can learn to speak English fluently so that they are never misunderstood again.