This I believe that no matter what I do I cannot be an American…..
Neither can the many thousands of immigrants that take the pledge of citizenship.
I believe that even though I took the oath and swore to protect the United States, I am still not American.
I have learned to adapt to this changing America from when I drive to when I board a plane to when I would like to protest something as simple as giving my seat to another passenger on the plane by the airline.
I loved this country pre 9/11 now I fear this country. Yes, I live in constant fear – a fear of being constantly scrutinized, watched and tracked.
From where I work and how I am teased, to when I travel, to when I stand in a “Q” at the local Whole foods post 9/11 all eyes are on me. I am quite used to that now the different color of my skin is neither white nor black. Against the advice in the “Borat” film I will still keep my moustache but I am not Un American. The current anti immigration back lash is more than what it seems just watching the news. It is out there every where and every day on the road when you drive, by both the cops and the fellow drivers.
I would go back to my place of birth, but I believe the whole world is governed by America. So even if I lived in Tim buck tu the imperial power would establish a strategic interest and influence my life and that of my family. If American companies can make the Amazonian Indians wear T-shirts and sell Cola this can demonstrate how deep the strategic interests can go. That strategic interest may be in the form of an oil company, a union carbide plant, a uranium mine, a cola plant or a call center.
However one big advantage of moving back is that you blend in with your own kind and you are not singled out unless you may be Moslem even there.
I am singled out for a secondary inspection and finger printed to match my passport, when I come to my so called American home. Will my children feel the same way about being American when they see me finger printed, photographed thru the glass door? How do you explain to a 7 yr old and 4 yr old that they are doing this to keep America safe and your father happens to be of the wrong color? Will the perspective remain the same when they are older and fight for this nation in its on going wars. Perhaps in JFK’s words “see not how badly this country suspects you but, see what you can still do for this country in spite of that treatment?”
This I believe that one man can change the world. This may be true for the world. However America is not the world and I cannot change it. America is a collective like the Borg in the star-trek those who look different get tagged by the imperial force.
America needs to be safer from a vegetarian, non violent, non Moslem US citizen and similar people of the wrong color.
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