It’s Okay, USA
A letter from a Non-American Who Spent 3/4 of her stay in New York trying to figure out how the Subway works
Disclaimer — This does not contain well thought out political arguments or an intellectual debate on what just happened. There are random puppy pictures and The Office quotes, so please, do not expect anything more from this.
“Your gayness does not define you. Your Mexican-ness is what defines you to me. And I think we should celebrate Oscar’s Mexicanity.”
- Michael Scott
The choice of a majority of your disillusioned population does not define you. Your ability to welcome and accept people from different nations, faiths, religions and genders is what defines you to me. Also, your Mexican-ness kind of defines you. And I think we should celebrate who you are.
I still remember when I came to the States for the first time when I was 14. My brother and I were so excited to be in the land of M&Ms, Skittles our favourite WWE stars and music bands we had heard one song of, and thought we were their biggest fans to have walked the face of this planet.
When we went to see the Statue of Liberty, we stupidly tried to enter our great-grandparent’s names in the Ellis Island registry before realizing that it did not contain the names of every human being in the world like we thought it did, it only had details of US immigrants. But we went ahead and typed in random names for the next ten minutes after realizing it and people around us looked mildly amused as two excited Indian kids typed in weird combination of names and laughed at all the outcomes.
What I, an outsider who has been lucky enough to visit your country a few times, want to tell you all is that USA is more than Trump. It is more than Clinton.
For me, USA is that kind and tired woman who used her iPhone app to direct me to the right subway station outside Rockefeller center despite both her kids yelling and tugging at her in different directions. It is the guide at NASA who patiently answered all our questions and even as a kid, I saw how proud he was of what his country’s space agency had achieved.
It is every person at every store I have visited who patiently helped me when I struggled with cents and nickles. It is that man who was kind enough to offer to take a picture of me posing in front of the Rocky statue in Philadelphia when he realized how much I sucked at taking a selfie holding a bicep curl pose.
It is every kid and adult who has entered the Natural History Museum and lost it after seeing the dinosaur bones. It is every person who has re-lived civilization’s advancements by simply walking through the corridors of the Met. I got to see how movies are really made in Universal Studios and seeing a vast expanse of water in a movie has always left me suspicious and full of doubt as a result of that experience.
USA is an independent candidate yelling about the incumbent President who is residing a few feet away inside the White House. Liberty and freedom will always be with the American citizens. Anybody trying to take that away from them will end up on the front page of The Onion and an episode of Last Week Tonight.
USA is land of people, places, and experiences and nobody can take that away from the country — not even its President. It looks dark right now, and American citizens have earned the right to be upset. However, I hope you all know that the world will be there for you. Even when the rain starts to fall.
As long as you have your sense of humour (The right spelling of humor, in case you were confused), your freedom of speech and your unflinching ability to make memes in the face of the worst that can happen to your country, you will be okay.
The Obama and Biden memes and the SNL video I saw are proof that you are slowly understanding what just happened. Acceptance will take a while, and we want to reassure you that we will listen to you, as you vent on the internet. And we will accept mediocre memes for the duration of Trump’s presidency because we know that your stress and anger can affect the output of the disarmingly funny meme that you hope to make.
And please, start preparing for the re-election four years down the line because you know what they say — Fool me once, strike once. Fool me twice, strike three.
Until then, here. Gray. Labor. Humor. Color. They will all be valid words for the next four years.
“My whole life I believed that America was number one, that was the saying. Not America is number two. England is number two. “
-Michael Scott, a man who would have preferred Toby to Trump.