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The Promise Land Essay

1460 words - 6 pages

Commonalities sometimes bring different groups of people together. In this case, Eleazar S. Fernandez’s captivating article on the parallels of Exodus and Filipino-Americans’ struggle to chase the American Dream intrigued me most and urged me to write this critical response paper. This article sharply reminded me of my purpose for being in the United Sates and what my ultimate goals are in this promise land. The book of Exodus can be regarded as promising and liberating for immigrants chasing the American dream but is still flawed.
Even though, considered as an African-American, I begin to read the book of Exodus from an African’s perspective. I mention this because even though somewhat ...view middle of the document...

The result amazed me in the sense that it felt as if I could have written or at the least collaborated with Fernandez on points made in the article.
The first sentence of this article completely caught me off-guard as it states “In recent years a host of material has been written questioning the biblical exodus-from-Egypt narrative as the paradigmatic narrative for oppressed and marginalized communities” (Fernandez 242). This opening sentence caught my attention because I have never thought of the story of Moses liberating his people as one that can be applied or viewed as relevant in the modern world. The very next sentence immediately opened my mind to a whole new perspective on the story I have heard and read many times before. “When viewed from the perspective of those who identify with the plights of the Canaanites, this liberating narrative becomes an exodus-conquest narrative and hence a narrative of terror” (Fernandez 242). A scene of Africans played through my mind as I replaced white skinned Canaanites with my dark skinned ancestors. I make this assumption because we are taught to identify biblical characters and pupils as white skinned usually promoted by media and films. Never once have there been a biblical film or documentary portrayed with any other skin color but white. Envisioning a mass of dark skinned pupils walking through the sea, parted by a dark skinned individual. Fernandez then makes a startling point in that “For Filipino Americans, Exodus from their homeland has meant release from poverty and fatalism—an exodus toward a land of wealth and opportunity” (Fernandez 244). For Africans that have migrated to the United States (The Promise Land), exodus is a legitimate narrative in which they can believe and have keep their faith. “And I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptian, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey” (Exodus 3:8). Prior to moving the promise land, I had dreams of children my age playing in the streets on sunny days complimented by a brighter and bluer sky. I envisioned greener grass, happy community gatherings with the smell of BBQ in the air. The very first day I landed in the United State, my family and I had to sleep at the airport because of flight delays in New York. My mother did not have a trace of English in her vocabulary so we were immediately taken advantage off by a black man who offered for us to use his cell phone to call my father. He took twenty dollars from my mother who was only on the phone for less than five minutes. This goes to show that the oppressed and marginalized (Random black man) will not hesitate to have someone else take their place. After this seemingly “Good Samaritan” left, we embarked on the confusing journey of figuring out how the shuttle system worked at the New York airport. We found ourselves dragging our luggage in the cold New York night, across a bridge to the other side of the vast airport....

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