This morning, I was up early thinking about all the great benefits of living in the good old United States of America. I came to the US when I was just 11 years old from Jamaica with my family. Since then, we have all become naturalized US citizens.
Living in Kingston, Jamaica’s capital city, under then President Michael Manley who was a hard core socialist (and a very good friend of Fidel Castro), I saw the county change from a democratic ideal to a semi-socialist ideal.
I saw all the changes that came with that.
Basically, I watched the economy collapse and the crime rate skyrocket. I had school friends who were murdered. My family’s store was robbed and a family friend (who was a cop) shot to death in front of my father, trying to upend the robbery while it was in progress.
I can tell you first hand what it feels like to walk into a grocery store and see nothing on the shelves to buy.
I recall vividly the “states or emergency” when the Jamaican government literally put Kingston under curfew. If you were caught on the streets at night, you were in BIG TROUBLE.
Do not get me wrong, Jamaica was also a beautiful place to grow up. But the memories of Kingston in lock down makes me so glad to live in the US. I am proud to live in a country were rule of law means something and we have a Constitution that we hold dear. I am proud to be part of the justice system. I am proud to be a lawyer.
So an early Happy Birthday America.
May you flag fly free forever!