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Linda Colvard Dorian

My two wonderful granddaughters are biracial. When my older granddaughter, Maysen, was almost 3, we were reading “The Ugly Duckling.” I didn’t remember that the ugly duckling was black, and the other ducklings were yellow.

Maysen looked at me with her beautiful brown eyes and said, “Nana, would it be better if I were a different color?”

I held her tight and said she was the perfect color, the color God made her, and I would cry my heart out if she were any different.

I want to fight for an America where no child — black, tan, white or brown — will ever ask her Nana if she should be a different color. Let’s all fight together for this.

Racism is not an American value. It is contrary to everything our country stands for.

Our original sin is slavery, and it is something we have yet to fully acknowledge, whose lasting effects we have yet to deal with effectively and completely.

A divided country fought to settle this question in the 1860s, when it was decided that we were one country with separate states.

Color is at the heart of racism: the color of one’s skin.

Brown is a good color and something to be proud of, just like tan, black and other gradations of color and white.

Our country was settled mostly by white Western Europeans, a heritage we grew up to be proud of. But, of course, we stole this country from Native Americans who had been here for many generations. We drove them off their land onto reservations.

African Americans, whose skin is dark, were brought to this country, not of their own free will, but in the slaveholds of ships that brought them mostly to Southern ports where they were sold into slavery, without regard to keeping family members together, so these brown people could do the hard labor required in an agricultural economy that defined the South.

Although our country settled the question of slavery through bloody conflict of brother against brother, we find ourselves today with our country’s leader defaming four brown female elected members of Congress, telling them to go back to the countries they came from if they don’t like the United States (three of them were born in the U.S.), and accusing them of supporting terrorists when there is no support for such a claim.

The constituents who elected these four members of Congress chose them by a democratic election. These people chose these representatives to speak for them, and these representatives are entitled to speak the truth as they know it. One can agree or disagree, but they have a right to speak about changes they believe should be made — without being told to leave the country.

Dividing our country and defining a person’s rights based on the color of his or her skin is a pathway to destruction of our democracy. This is not the America I believe in.

Everyone of good faith and support for our democracy has an obligation to speak out against the language our president has used against these women.

That language speaks of a country that is only for the white people who live in it. Members of Congress — in both parties — who voted to repudiate the president’s comments are to be congratulated.

— Colvard Dorian is a resident of DeLand.