I’m tired of feeling like, as an american, I alone am responsible for the whole world’s problems.
I’m tired of having to make excuses for the ignorant face the media paints on my country.
I’m tired of feeling like I must know every single detail of american politics, or else I am just another ignorant american.
I’m tired of having people whose own countries have committed the same or far worse atrocities criticize me for being american.
I’m tired of feeling like I need all the answers
I’m tired of having to pretend I am different than the rest of america so I don’t get treated poorly
I’m tired of feeling ashamed of my country.
I’m tired of people constantly asking me “Obama or Clinton” as if it were a given that I am a member of the Democratic party
I don’t know everything about my government, nor do I know everything about its previous international relations strategies, war policies and health care industry. I don’t know everything about the elections or campaigning or super delegates.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve sat down at a table of strangers, and once they hear my accent, or get wind of my nationality, I can actually see their faces change. They challenge me. They think it’s fun, like it’s a game. They make me feel like I have to represent an entire country- a country so much bigger than their own, and so much more complicated. They don’t care that we’re all different, that it’s impossible to generalize a country as big as mine. They don’t care that some of us are ashamed, some of us are angry, and some of us are proud. All they care about is making a point to sound more educated than the american. Most of the times it makes me so angry that I can’t even say anything. I can feel my throat tense and I’ve got so many words to say to them, but I don’t. Out of fear of being seen as that “belligerent american”who can’t participate in civilized debate.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy a little political discussion. I’m always interested in the views of others, even if I disagree, because I know I can learn from them. It’s just those times where it gets personal, when I can feel everyone in the room looking at me like I’m somehow personally responsible for all the evil things in this world. There isn’t even a word for how I feel when that happens.
The truth is, much to the dismay of the rest of the world, being american feels just the same as being canadian or british or australian. In the end, we’re all just trying to get by as best we can. Nationality has nothing to do with it.