Edward Bender yells in front of the Masjid Jamaat Al-Mumineen Mosque as he and others attempt to have the mosque closed. Protesters from groups like the Tea Party, Americans Against Hate and Citizens of Margate made their views heard.
Photo: Joe Readle (Getty Images)

America is angry.

Conservatives are mad for the same reasons they wanted to oust Obama, Muslims, immigrants and anyone who doesn’t support the Russia-fellating, rust-colored dotard in chief: They want their county back.

Progressives believe Trump is destroying “their country” and the only thing that can save us are safety pins, pink pussy hats or politely resisting (not like that belligerent Maxine Waters). All of the outrage on the left and right both stem from one fact:

White people built this country.

People who purchase their mayonnaise, jeans and running shoes all from one store have no reservations about reminding the world of their ownership of the country regardless of which side of the aisle they stand.

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Or, better yet, watch this video mastermix of white people explaining that they built this country:

Many white people believe their forefathers and whatever values they now hold are what built this country. Some of them (the liberals, the allies and the Democrats) are more than willing to share their inheritance but only if they can act as administrators of the estate.

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They will acknowledge that white supremacy still exists and then try to convince you that the only person who can move America forward is an old white man (Bernie Sanders) or an old white woman (Hillary Clinton).

They will tell you the only way to change a 400-year-old system of oppression is to do the same things they did to create a the 400-year-old-system of oppression. They have faith in the American democracy because they have seen it work for them. Only for them. They place their trust and loyalty in the American values because  America was built to work for them. Only for them.

Because they built it that way.


I live in a house.

I love my house. After viewing dozens of prospective residences, I finally settled on a home that had one previous owner. After I moved in, I noticed that there was a leak in the kitchen sink. I replaced the white wall-to-wall carpet with wood floors. I ripped out the puke green Formica countertops that matched the green and white wallpaper. I remodeled the bathrooms. I finished the attic and turned it into a studio for my daughter. I turned the basement into a mancave.

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Although it was not perfect, I chose to live here.

One day, the previous owners of the home came to pick up some mail. They marveled at the remodeling and proudly explained how the house was built to his own specifications. I knew he hadn’t hammered the nails, installed the drywall and laid the carpet.

But it was my house now. Thanks to cousins and uncles who taught me how to build things, I had actually done the work with my own hands and I was proud of it. So I showed him what I had done with the house he built.

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“Damn,” he said half-jokingly as he looked around. “I think I want my house back.”


America is a house.

To live in a house constructed from one’s own imagination must be a beautiful thing. Unlike every other segment of this nation’s population, black people in America are the only ones who didn’t choose to live in this house. We were unwilling participants in this construction project. But more than any other group in America, we have been responsible for its upkeep because we live here, too.

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It is our blood and sweat that is mixed into America’s foundation. It is our bodies that have served disproportionately in America’s armed forces. We took the first bullet in the Revolutionary War. We picked the cotton that made America an economic superpower. It is our bodies that give this country its military might.

We fought the Nazis that kept us free and scored the touchdowns that make America cheer. We gave America civil rights and every single form of American music. White women want black women’s lips, hips and resilience. The whole country wants our soul. We taught this country how to dance, sing, run, jump and win. We gave America Prince, a President and a King.

And we did it for free.

Yes, they may have built it. But this is our country.

Even though we poured the foundation and hammered the nails, America is constructed from a white dream. They were the original owners of this flawed house and black people have been trying to fix it ever since. We were the workers whose hands constructed this country.

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When they say they “built this” country, they are totally oblivious to the design flaws. White people telling black people, Muslims and immigrants how “white people built this country” is like Ford screaming “We built this Pinto!” while blaming the shitty engine and terrible design on the workers in the factory.

If we made a list of everything that needed fixing in America, we’d have to go all away to the back to when 50 white men declared their independence and proclaimed that they would build a new land based on the fact that every single human being deserved life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

41 of those 50 men owned slaves.

George Washington pushed for abolition but still beat, whipped and hunted down escaped slaves until the day he died owning 123 slaves. Thomas Jefferson called slavery a “moral depravity” and “hideous blot.” When he left this earth, he owned 130 slaves.

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They believed slavery was morally wrong but still participated. They never intended for women to vote. They slaughtered the native Americans. They raped our great grandmothers. They lynched our grandfathers. The men who built this country believed in “liberty and justice” but ignored the part that said, “for all.”

The whole of America was never free until white people lost the deadliest war in American history in an attempt to hold on to slavery. They bombed buses, children and churches so their kids wouldn’t sit next to black children in the schools they built, eat next to us in their diners or watch movies alongside negroes in their theaters.

Although America is the richest country in the world, poverty remains because the American dream rests on the foundation that greed is a necessary motivation for success. Half of this country would rather watch an infant starve than give it food stamps or welfare. They want their paychecks. Their money.

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America wades in the blood of mass shootings and gunfire in social studies class because they refuse to deviate from their 200-year old original blueprint. This country tolerates abhorrent gun violence because the second amendment gave them the right to own their guns and you will have to take them from their cold, dead hands.

The injustice that feeds mass incarceration comes from a flawed Constitution they wrote. The education gap persists because of the history of segregated school systems built to their specifications. Wage inequality is due to their adherence to free-market capitalism, sexism and racism.

They built it that way.

Yet, they would have you believe that immigrants, blacks and non-Christians are what is wrong with America and getting rid of us—whether through deportation, travel bans, prisons or police bullets—would make this country great again.

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But the flaw is in the design. This is the house they wanted. They were the architects. We were simply the ones who changed the blueprint and did all the remodeling. We are still trying to fix the leaks and undo their shoddy handiwork.

If white people want credit for building this country, then they also have to take the blame for constructing a system of oppression and white supremacy. They don’t get praise for their forefathers’ accomplishments without accountability for their ancestors’ atrocities.

The inequality is theirs alone. They built racism in the foundation. Inequality is in the structure. Poverty is part of their plan. They want it all back because they are afraid we will tear down the parts that have always worked for them. Only them.

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White people built this country.

But this is our country.

It does not belong to them anymore. We are the ones who made it valuable. We paid the price in blood. In sweat. In tears. In bruised backs and calloused hands.

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Black people have no more affinity for America than I do for my house or my car. If white people want their country back, give us reparations. Pay us for our work, our time, our lynched bodies, our stolen art, our enslaved ancestors, our murdered children and our kidnapped cousins.

Or go back to Wypipostan and get the fuck out of our country.

See? We fixed it for you.