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Invisible walls in San Francisco


I recently saw a documentary about the Great Wall of China.
What an unbelievable work, that still remains after centuries.
Maybe you donít know but, without zooming in, itís the only man made object thatís visible from a satellite.

There was another famous wall. The Berlin Wall. After the end of the cold war, it was torn down as one of the last tangible divisions between two different worlds.

All the walls in the world, sooner or later, are destined to be torn down. But these are visible walls and by this basic characteristic, they can be recognized. On the other hand, there are other walls, much harder to tear down because they are ÖÖÖÖÖÖINVISIBLE.

These are walls between different cultures, different races, different religions or different social levels and not in Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran, but in our society, in our daily lives here in San Francisco!

In my free time I like to walk in the city and itís unbelievable how clearly recognizable these walls are, even though apparently invisible.
If you walk down Filmore St., when you cross Post, by magic, white people disappear. You see only Afro-Americans and itís not something that happens gradually over a few blocks. It happens in a few yards!

If you walk on Mission St., for many miles you have the clear sensation of being in Mexico because there are only Latinos.

China Town is another town for real that doesnít have anything to do with San Francisco and is not just there for the joy of the tourists. Itís a piece of China moved here!

America is a dream come true, thanks to people who came here from all parts of the world, some centuries ago, some last generation, some, like me, just a few years ago. But after 7 years, I feel like an American. Iím an American who was born in Italy, IíM NOT an Italian who lives in America! Itís not about green cards, visas or citizenship. Itís not about the bureaucratic aspect. Itís something you feel in your mind and in your heart. So, I feel myself to be an American.

This having been said, every American has the permission to tell me: ďListen, Gianni, we welcomed you with our arms wide open. If you like it here, good, but if you donít like it, you can go back to Italy whenever you want!Ē If this can rightfully be said to an Italian, it could be said to Frenchmen, Germans, Spaniards, English, Mexicans and Chinese too!

We are all American and if we donít like it here, we can go back to our country tomorrow morning instead of bringing a piece of our country here! If we left our country it means that something was wrong there. So why bring that here?

Coming to soccer, I believe that, like every other sport, it has to unite different cultures, religions and races, and not be another reason for division.

How is it possible that there are Soccer Leagues made of only Catholic high schools? How is it possible that there are Soccer Leagues made only of Jewish high schools?

If we keep this invisible wall between us, when will we all become Americans? I hope that the various Youth Soccer Leagues, promote much more integration. Something that's in tune with a multiracial society as American Society is. For example a certain number of players on each team on the field from different races, so one day we will see Afro-American parents, cheer for a Chinese kid who just scored. That way, it will be easy to come together, meet different cultures, embrace other traditions and maybe share pizza, tacos, sushi and hamburgers on the field after the game.


Coach Gianni
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Posted on 14 Dec 2005 by coachgianni
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