Growing up in New England, we bought into the shiny picture of America sold to us in our schools. America stands on the side of right. America saved the world. America leads, and the rest follow.
Within 5 years, Oswald shot JFK. James Earl Ray shot MLK, and Sirhan Sirhan shot RFK. A large swatch of our country still tried to divide itself by skin colour. A war fought for no reason ignited in Southeast Asia. American companies exploited resources and people around the world.
And me, a transsexual lesbian feminist, I buried that part of me somewhere near the centre of this planet. To do otherwise meant the possibility of commitment to a mental institution or worse. I read books like Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee. I learned America, so haughty at times in its view of Germany, harboured its own genocidal action.
Which brings me to now, and part of why I write this after two years of non-posting.
Somehow we elected the most unqualified individual to ever run for president. Somehow, we elected a person who advocates grabbing women by the crotch and shaming us, who mocks disabled persons, who has done a plethora of uncouth things. I cannot even begin to list a hundredth of his abhorrent actions and advocacy.
Many of us believe our democracy is in grave danger. That same early education that taught us America never wrong also taught us that democracy was in our souls, a part of us. With this in my head as I watch our country piss it away, it shouldn’t surprise me, but it does.
We never tackled the issues we needed to tackle. Instead, we buried them. I’m a human rights investigator. I hear stories every day that would turn stomachs upside down and hair white, stories of Americans warring on other Americans.
My final point, and what set me off. Fresh off what looked like a victory at Standing Rock, now comes word the coming Trump administration wants to privatise tribal lands that hold monetizable resources, a repeat of 19th century behaviour.
I’m sickened by what my country has done to others and to itself. I want an America I can believe in, an America where all of its inhabitants are equal and involved in our governance. An America that considers war failure and our people precious to the one. An America that values education here and around the world, an America that appreciates immigrants and the refugees that come to us for help. I wish to see an America that makes human rights a national sacrament.