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Dear America: As You Heal, Think Of The World’s Healing Too

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Dear America, 

Congratulations for throwing that orange man-child out of office, it’s been a nerve-wracking 4 years for decent humans beings on Earth.

America, your citizens have never been so polarised but neither have they been so active in discourse and action – this election could be the beginning of a long and important conversation that Americans needed to have for you to truly heal. Please don’t disappoint.

I’ve never seen eye to eye with your foreign policy, because you’re a Superpower and I am an iconoclast. But I get it, like any country, Machiavellian global Realpolitik frames your rhetoric and decisions – if my country was a superpower, it would have done the same. But your actions on foreign soil are often brutal, unfair, and unjust – you must reconsider your positions in the countries where your role is simply oppression under the garb of democracy. An infantile President has showed you the ugly face of violence, injustice, and inequality; you have shivered in the tyranny of its shadow – this could be your chance to undo it at home as well as abroad. I am not an idealist, but I do think a more conscientious foreign policy (as much as politics allows) is certainly a possibility.

America, you are such a contradiction. A land of opportunities, secularism and pluralism. Yet your people are overworked and your corporations nauseatingly get richer due to unregulated Capitalism. You still suffer from Christian nationalism, and white supremacists are keeping racism alive in you. Despite your technological and scientific supremacy, there are states (not coincidentally pro-Trump, Republican, and Confederate) that constantly rank poorly in health, education and human rights indices. These are the states where you will find many anti vaxxers, child marriages, and the poorly educated. America, in you I have seen the beauty of diversity and tolerance, but also the ugliness of racial and economic inequality.

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Two headlines during the elections have resonated with me:

“America, congratulations Trump should have lost by a landslide, the fact that he didn’t speaks volumes.” – The Guardian

“Even if Biden wins it’s Trump’s America now” – Foreign Policy

These headlines epitomise the elephant in the room that you have shortsightedly swept under the carpet for too long. America, you have a white nationalist Christian supremacist problem. These are the remnants of the Civil War you thought you had won. These Americans are the leftovers of the very Confederates who opposed the abolition of slavery – and there are too many of them, as much as a whole half of you. And there are enough of these people to vote an ignorant, narcissist and opportunist brat into office.

It is time to introspect, and ponder over the legacy of your ancestors from Christopher Columbus to the Founding Fathers, you must accept that these were imperfect men of their times, many of whom have been painted too favourably over the passage of history. And maybe it’s time to look at what you know now, in the present, that these men didn’t know decades ago, and make decisions based on this understanding.

America, I neither fault you for, nor absolve you of your past crimes; all Empires before the second World War were built on violence and subjugation of a native population. It is one of the darkest realities of our history- we were ignorant, primitive and simply didn’t know better. But in the 21st Century, you have been and will continue to be judged on your actions in other countries, and your stance on climate change, gun control, gender and sexual equality, and economic welfare of your people and your fellow global citizens.

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Congratulations again America, not because you voted another white man to office yet again, but that you voted against a racist tyrant, and because you voted in a second generation immigrant female Vice President of African and South Asian descent. I congratulate you on the reelection of women of colour belonging to different faiths and having non-heteronormative sexualities. I congratulate you for people like Stacy Abrams, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and countless others whose passion inspires and gives hope to your more conscientious citizens- I believe there are many.

America, you have your work cut out for you, and there is a lot to be done. But as you heal internally and make amends, think of the world’s healing too, and do right by it.

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Naya Daur