The following statement is from the Whitfield-Manjiro Friendship Society: https://whitfield-manjiro.org
WE ARE ALL MIXTURES
History shows that we are all mixtures of many diverse make-ups from the world population. People often find rationale to categorize other individuals as being typically X or Y based on their geographic/ cultural up-bringing, their color or their accents.
The USA is looked upon as an opportunity for all comers to have a chance to enhance their lives and that of their families. Our constitution offers the same freedoms and treatments to all who become part of the “USA dream”.
The combination of the contributions of every new group has made this country rich and desirable based on its diversity and acceptance.
During this past year we have witnessed the shocking news of many other citizens being attacked or murdered based upon their race, gender or beliefs. These attackers tend to hold other people responsible as the cause of something with which they have no personal relationship. Unfortunately, we have seen rising occasions of random acts of violence against totally innocent individuals wrongly associated with a perceived problem.
One of the best solutions for this negativism might be for all of us to recognize the inherent worth of each of our fellow citizens and cherish their contributions to our society.
We should do whatever is within our power to counter-act these senseless attacks. One thing we can all do is to consider a “random act of kindness” to someone who least expects it. Hopefully it might become contagious which would be a welcome relief to the society as a whole.
As an example, Capt. Whitfield showed a significant act of kindness to Manjiro when he invited him to come to the USA to acquire his first education. When Manjiro arrived in Fairhaven in 1843 he was generally accepted by the local population and his immense contributions to Japan upon his return showed the possibilities from a formerly unschooled peasant. He introduced navigation, whaling, the English language and many other items of value to the Japanese. His contributions earned him the rank of samurai (totally unusual for a person of lower class).
For the past 32 years we have enjoyed and celebrated our “sister city” status with his home-town, Tosashimizu. The hundreds of citizens of both countries who have exchanged visits feel very much “at home” in the other country. Any “differences” are sought and appreciated.
We wish this type of relationship on all citizens of the USA with all the others who have sought the richness and freedom of this country.
Gerald P. Rooney, President and CEO
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