It’s me. I know we’ve never met and who knows if we ever will (I hope we will), and I know I don’t know really know you except for what your TV shows have shown me over the decades. I know your language, your history, and I read your blogs, newspapers, and I’ve always listened to your music (NO ONE here knew who My Chemical Romance or Taylor Swift was when I was 16). But I don’t really know you. At least, I hope I don’t because what I’ve seen… I don’t like it.
You used to be a dream. The dream everyone wished to come true.
You showed us a model to follow, something to aspire to: your celebrities, your takeouts (do people really eat that much takeouts or are your TV shows misleading?), your superhero movies, your rap, your dancers, your white picket fenced houses and your families with those blindingly white and straight teeth. Even your politicians were good looking and charming, believable even if they were actors, and with smiles and speeches that are legendary.
Sure, your past, although very short, hasn’t always been perfect: you were the home of the slaves, you caged the Native people of your land, you made wars, you killed people, and until 50-40 years ago African American people weren’t worthy of sitting next to white people.
But things changed: no more slavery, no more segregation, no more limits. Or so it seemed from the outside.
You helped Europe winning 2 wars, not without suffering some important losses of your own. You became the (a bit hostile) home for Irish and Italian people who were starving, and you gave them a job, food, the chance to live and make a life for themselves. You were The Melting Pot of cultures, ethnicities, colors, flavors, scents, and nature. You were free, just like your iconic statue, and you were young and beautiful. An optimistic teenager who wants to do things its own way.
Now you’re not beautiful. You are scared, vulnerable, weak. And not because of terrorists or immigrants: may I remind you that your Founding Fathers were immigrants? You are growing up, getting old, but alas not wiser. You seem lost, you don’t know what to do, which path you should follow, just like a fresh graduate from college who realizes (s)he doesn’t know what to do with his life. And so you flip your arms aimlessly like a drowning man just to keep afloat, not to get anywhere in particular.
You are hanging out with the wrong kids, with bad companies, with people who assure you they got it covered and they know what to do: you will be fine WE PROMISE, you will be healthy WE PROMISE, you will be happy WE PROMISE, you will be safe WE PROMISE. Just like people promised the Titanic would never sink. We will be great again, WE PROMISE. Just grab ‘em by the pussy, and everything will be alright.
Just shove your problems (climate change, racism, immigration, unemployment, medical care) under the rug, insult the disable man, belittle the woman in front of you, never talk about anything concrete, speak only with slogans and mantras, shout as loud as you can and tell people that everything will magically be alright, because WE PROMISE.
You saw great Presidents guide you to success and power, how can you settle for this now? You have so many talented and intelligent young people (even though your educational system needs some SERIOUS improvement) that can’t wait to hustle and be part of a country that they love. Why don’t you listen to them? Why don’t you give them a chance?
I’m from Europe, and from here, you don’t look that good anymore America. You are under a sort of spell, that makes you think that something brown and unpleasant is chocolate. Open your eyes: it’s not.
Hate will not make you great. Nor will fear. Collaboration, cooperation, compassion, love, and altruism will make you great. I dare say, greater.
Stop being a nightmare America, and be our dream once again.
– A girl waiting for America to be great again