Politics, News

My relationship status with America: it’s complicated.

Our unresolved issues make the words "liberty and justice for all" seem like a lie.

What is the best way to explain this? You see, everything was fine (or so I thought so) until a few years ago things just didn’t feel right anymore. I mean the discrimination, the double standards, the whitewashing, and ugh, so much more. Sure I have opportunities, but the inequality is sickening!

Oh, wait.

Let’s back up here. Me and patriotism are on edge. Now, don’t go out and call me an “anti-American,” but how can I love a country that doesn’t love me? Do I get the rights and privileges that come with being a citizen? Yes. Do I deal with racism and sexism? Yes.

This is a pretty toxic relationship.

I don’t feel safe in this country.

Compared to white people and other people of color, the rate of black people getting killed is three times higher. In their lifetime, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped.

And how about the fact a random person can grab a gun without a background check? There are almost 400 million firearms in the United States—outnumbering the population of people. During a domestic violence situation, being around a gun makes it 500% more likely for a homicide to happen.

How can you push that all aside and say “Don’t you just love this wonderful nation?” If you saw a video of a black woman named Sandra Bland forced out of her car by an officer and then three days later heard that she was found dead in her cell would you proudly yell “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”?

Am I the only one who feels this way?

I’ve talked about these serious issues with my parents but I haven’t out loud said, “How do I answer why I love this country? Do I love this country?”

To all the hardcore patriotic citizens painted in red, white, and blue from head to toe I am probably a ‘threat’ for thinking these ‘dangerous’ thoughts. What’s wrong in doing so? I didn’t even mention a quarter of our unresolved issues.

Doesn’t it make you think, too?

At the same time, I can’t say I hate the U.S.

*Thousands of loyal U.S. citizens let out their patriotic sighs, for the world is balanced once again*

My parents came to this nation in hopes to live freely and better along with their future children to be surrounded by people, places, and opportunities that weren’t available to them.

I do take this gift for granted.

My views, my friends, my family, my education, my dreams, are a part of me and I wouldn’t be the same if I wasn’t born here. Some of my heroes from here are the reason why I believe I can do more than stay at home. If I grew up anywhere else, I’d be different—not in an alter-ego type way.

Yet, with all of these problems, the words “Liberty and justice for all” seem like a lie. How can this country say that “they hold these truths self-evident, that all men are created equal” if an officer can get away without being charged for any of the seven charges against him for murdering Freddie Gray? The U.S. spends the most on the military, cuts funding for schools, creates an environment enough for racists to publicly harass POC, and keeps the Second Amendment alive.

And on the side, they do unnecessary stuff like this:

Yes, we protested for no more raw cookie dough. Thank you for doing what matters.

I’m not telling you to sit at home and don’t go to that BBQ on July 4th. Go ahead and enjoy waving the U.S. flag as you recite our national pledge!

I’m just saying I’m not going to stand here and act like nothing is wrong.