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Celebrating the 4th of July with my American boyfriend at an American burger joint.

Last Monday was mine and my boyfriend’s three year anniversary, as well as a public holiday, so we decided to spend the night in Macau. We went to see the Thriller show at the newly opened Parisian, had a few drinks and eggs tarts, then called it a night in a sweet ass room at Hard Rock that I got on discount. We woke up early in the morning, ordered overpriced room service and settled in to watch the second presidential debate.

Oh dear God, no no no. Was I watching CNN or Jerry Springer? Did Trump threaten to imprison Clinton if he won? Did Hillary answer a question about policy by talking about a movie she saw? It was madness. This election season has been dragging on for what, 18 months? and it seems to be getting more ridiculous with each passing day.

I’ve been getting shit for my Americanness since I first left home. It was more or less good natured in Ecuador, and mostly people just joked about American imperialism (Latin America has a ton of reasons to hate the US, from the potentially CIA backed coup in Chile, to fucking up in Guatemala, we’ve done a lot of really shitty things to them).

The people who get the most angry about my Americanness are almost always other Westerners from English speaking countries – the Canadians who started bitching me out about America’s health care system when I introduced myself, the Brits who got on my case about gun control, and the Aussie guy at a hostel in Barcelona who launched into a tirade about our election process as I was trying to unpack my backpack.

That asshole also snored so badly that I couldn’t sleep, making me vow to never, ever stay in the dorms again.

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American store in Barcelona filled with pancake syrup and Coors Light, so y’know, the basics.

The ironic thing about all this is that when people start putting me down about this stuff, I tend to agree with them. Hell yeah, our health care system is fucked up. I’m totally in favor of banning all guns, and our process to choose a president is like one long reality show. It doesn’t stop people when I tell them my views, and I’ve said “I’ve heard all this before and I would rather not talk about it,” but it doesn’t work.

In my point of view, this election is showing off the shittiest aspects of America. It’s taking all the negative things that people already think about us and confirming them on a worldwide level. It’s showing that Americans really are racist, sexist blowhards, and that politics is nothing more than rich old white people screaming over each other.

I have to thank this election for one thing, though: it’s opened my eyes to a lot of racism that I knew still existed, but had never seen before. I’m a white suburban girl and I was never really exposed to the racist acts that still occur on a daily basis. Suddenly, there’s this bloated orange guy on TV calling Mexicans rapists, demanding to ban an entire religion from entering the US, and suggesting that “all black people live in hell.” Meanwhile, the news station kissing his ass decides to send a reporter to New York’s Chinatown to ask a bunch of misguided questions based off stereotypes and make fun of people who can’t speak English. And worse yet, there’s millions of people supporting this shit, holding up signs saying “Build the wall!” and worse. It’s mind boggling, and incredibly depressing, that even though we’re supposed to have made so much progress in the last 50 years, so many things are exactly the same. We’re the country that’s supposed to be a melting pot, priding ourselves on accepting the tired, the poor, and the hungry, and we’re treating so many of our own like 2nd class citizens. Why is citizenship tiered?

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Representing my adopted home.

I was born in America and I spent 23 years there. I miss so many things about it and have so many great memories and get super excited whenever I get to go home, but my perception of my country is being clouded over and poisoned. In many ways, I’m ashamed of where I’m from.

Do you guys remember when we thought Bush was the devil and Romney’s “Binders full of women?” Those look like the good old days now.

-D

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