Letter: Freedoms abound in the United States

Cries, protests and demonstrations about injustices of racial discrimination prompt review of little known and seldom taught history. For several hundred years black Barbary Coast Pirates terrorized port cities of Europe, kidnapped, abused, auctioned or held for ransom up to 1.25 million white slaves. For 30 years after our Revolutionary War, the U.S. government paid up to 20 percent of annual revenues to those North African corsairs who seized our ships and held for ransom our sea merchants. That is until President George Washington established our U.S. Navy and engaged U.S. Marines. Meanwhile, black Africans sold their own to white slave traders.

Injustice and racial bias along with animalistic survival of the fittest has vexed the human race since day one among all countries. No nation or color has a corner on slavery. But what other nation sacrificed the blood of thousands during a Civil War to establish a sense of racial equality? Where else do so many professional athletes have such luxury to earn millions? Why do foreigners clamber for U.S. citizenship and ashamed citizens stay?

I believe while our United States is not perfect or ideal, it still is the best country for the freedoms we profess and enjoy. Moreover, while a guest resident in China, I respectfully stood during their national anthem. To do otherwise would have been insulting.

For thousands of years genuflecting was considered an act of submission or worship. While I love my country, I do not love it more than my God who has blessed it.

Tim Bickel

Cedar Rapids

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