Only through a public reckoning with our terminology can we get to the truth of the United States, which is that we are a nation of homes, not a homeland. Homeland today is a loaded phrase, empty of content while laced with sentimentality and bigotry. Instead, let us reclaim from the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal," the foundation of Dr. King’s Beloved Community. There is no Department of Homeland Security in the Beloved Community. Instead, our security strengthens or weakens only as a measure of our communality.
Dorian Gray's logic – “What did it matter what happened to the coloured image on the canvas? He would be safe. That was everything.” – is precisely the logic of the gated community. In this morality tale, a social system based on greed and buttressed by fear and repression renders no one, whether within or outside the gate, truly safe. How do we shape desirable communities for all people?