Leaving America For the “Warmth of Others Suns”
What if there’s no longer a future for us or our children in the USA?
Impossible to retrieve or preserve from potential loss or destruction.
90% of the time, I’m an optimist. Then again, I might be optimistic about that number. Still, I generally tend to believe that with the right motivation, millions of workers — both inside and outside the home— will stand up and topple this corrupt system standing on their backs. Then there are those days where I sadly or resolutely resign myself to a future in another country. After this last tragedy, today was the latter.
Last Wednesday, as two Indian men were having a drink at a Kansas bar, they were fired upon by Adam Purinton, a radicalized xenophobe. By the time the smoke cleared, Srinivas Kuchibhotla was dead, and his friend, Alok Madasani, was wounded. A third man, Ian Grillot, was shot when he tried to disarm Purinton.
Purinton had been accosting Mr. Kuchibhotla and Mr. Madasani, asking them where they were from and if they had their documentation. I cannot begin to explain how white supremacist that act was, in and of itself. I’ll get into that some other time, however. Purinton was convinced he had shot two Muslims. Both Mr. Kuchibhotla and Mr. Madasani were here in the United States legally and worked for Garmin.
This tragedy is not getting the attention in the news that it deserves. The fact that this hate crime is getting widespread attention in India is ignored. As is the fact that Mr. Kuchibhotla’s wife had been urging him to consider going back to India.
The same people who call for all Muslims, African-Americans, or some other marginalized group to stand up and decry the act of one individual are silent. There are no calls for widespread condemnation by all white Americans or all Trump supporters. Before you say I’m not being fair, remember that anytime one Black Lives Matter supporter, or anyone BLM-adjacent thrice removed, does anything but bow down and play/be dead, not only is BLM held responsible, all black people are somehow culpable.
While I don’t believe that scores of Trump supporters and other conservatives coming out to condemn this act mean a damn thing, I do believe that there are certain individuals in power who ensure that a section of the population stays irrationally mad at all times. If they aren’t angry, they aren’t of any use. They might get to know their neighbors of different faiths, cultures, sexual orientations, races, genders, etc. if they’re not angry. That doesn’t translate into campaign funds, political hegemony, or anything material for them, so they eagerly nourish the beast of Toxic Whiteness with propaganda and misinformation.
It’s the American way, after all…
I spend my time reading a lot of history. The United States is a young country, but it’s also old enough to know better. I admit that lately I often wonder if those who have our country in a stranglehold, beholden to their will and their avarice, will ever let go. It is through socialism and my Christian faith that I have hope… On most days.
There used to be a time where the thought of our children living abroad terrified me. This is their home. I imagined them living close to us as we got older and frailer. That’s many, many years from now, but I’m a mother. It’s what we do. Lately, though, the thought of the kids making their lives in the United States worries me.
I’ve already told my children to think of their lives the way Christopher Nolan conceived of Interstellar. One character says that mankind may have been born on Earth, but it was not meant to die here. In my darkest hours, when my faith has been exhausted, I’ve thought of expatriation in those terms.
I love living in the United States. This is a great country. Not because of its military might, mind you, but for what it means — and meant — to so many people. Still, that doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t love it elsewhere. We would not have access to the perks of living in America, but we also wouldn’t have to worry about being shot down in the streets like a dog, or worse, shot while drinking a whiskey and minding our own damned business.
Is it any wonder why I sometimes consider “the warmth of other suns” after every person of color or LGBTQ person’s death at the hands of some bigot, terrorist, and/or homophobe?
After 240 years, America still can’t escape the bony clutches of the corrupt, racist, avaricious, homophobic, and patriarchal capitalist class run by oligarchs afraid of their own inevitable loss of predominance. You would think that after close to 300 years in business, we would know that shooting unarmed people if you’re a cop is bad, everyone should get the rightful wages they are owed, gays are people too, healthcare is a right, and that books, not guns, should be our national treasure. Yet, here we are…
The oligarchs have won a pivotal battle with Trump’s election via agitation and deception. They have weaponized the ticking time bombs of toxic white rage and the irrationality it brings. Add Betsy DeVos overseeing the education of our children to that equation and America seems content to go into that “good night” just like so many of the fallen empires before it.
These forces have conspired to keep the contemptible status quo — this middling primacy disguised as American exceptionalism — going for as long as humanly possible.
We can make an America that is fully inclusive and egalitarian for all. I don’t know if we’ll succeed or if we’ll fail. I can’t see into the future. I do know that if we do fail, for the first time in my life, I can see a future for me and my family in another country and, honestly, that’s alright, too.