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The freedom America helped us have

This was the sunset view from where I am parked tonight at an Indiana truck stop. Trucks are coming in, fueling, looking for a place to park, some of them leaving again. It is business as usual. Or is it?

Beyond this horizon American cities are burning. People are hurting. And frankly, I am hurting too. I love this country with all its energy, ideas and innovation, its can-do mentality, its diversity, its super cool cities, its awesome trucks and trains and its polite, and genuinely kind and cool people. One of whom was murdered the other day.

Some are calling it 'the few bad apples' in the police force, so as to explain away why this murder could happen - as an incident. Others, backed up with the actual data to prove it, call it systemic racism, not just in policing but in society at large, leading all the way back to this country's original sin, as the history of slavery is often referred to.

I'm here as an outsider, a Dutch guy who is a permanent resident of Canada and driving a truck for a living. I'm taking it all in but I am not taking part in any of the protests. I am here to do my job and to deliver the goods.

In addition, I could argue that today’s challenges are all domestic problems and that they should be left for the Americans themselves to deal with.

The freedom America helped us have

But as a child of a country whose freedom while I grew up there as a kid, was guaranteed by America, I can't not say anything. I can't stay silent. I cannot leave that same awesome freedom that America helped us have, go unused by saying nothing. Racism is wrong.

Just like Germany went through a process to come to terms with a very dark chapter in its past, and like South Africa did as well, I’m hoping that America can also start to come to peace with its people and its history - in which the Dutch played their part also, by the way, transporting slaves to the Americas.

We, as the rest of the world, must not give up on this great country, especially not now. We must use our freedom to hang in there with America and support, pray, talk, write, listen, stand and connect with the American people.

This country has meant more to us, especially us in the West, than most of us realize. America is bigger than just America; it typically leads the world. America typically means the world to most of us in the world. Our bond should hold and we must support our American friends in their struggle for what is morally and humanly just: freedom and equalityfor all.

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