TODD: One of my favorite statistics about America: We’re 5% of the world’s population; we’ve taken in 20% of the world’s displaced peoples. And those people who were taken, unless they are in Congress (I know you know who I mean) are very grateful for that, and they make the very most of what it is to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. So many people. Our EIB High Note today is about overcoming great odds.
In 2017, Tani Adewumi and his family fled Nigeria as refugees to escape attacks on Christian families like theirs. They lived in a homeless shelter in Manhattan. With the help of a local pastor, Tani and his brother started attending school, where they were first exposed to the game of chess. They played together in the shelter, and Tani quickly rose to the level of chess National Master, making him the 28th youngest person to achieve such a title in the United States.
TANI: I got into it when my brother, he started teaching me chess, but he didn’t teach me the right moves.
MOTHER: I’m so proud of him.
TODD: Absolutely. Something that Team EIB tells me Rush would have loved about this is when Tani first completed his first tournament he got the lowest score of anyone. He could have fallen back on all of the excuses, but he didn’t. He kept working — all while living in a homeless shelter — and one year later, he took home the state championship trophy after beating 73rd of New York’s best players in grades K through 3. Way to go, Tani. Way to go, America! We continue to be the lifeboat of the world, which is why flooding the lifeboat is an act of cruelty.
It’s not an act of kindness.