It has taken 37 years to come to terms with our relationship. And I am still tortured by it.
How strange, the feeling of relief and fear I feel every time I return to your shores? As the plane descends on New England, I am overcome with emotion–love for the deep, dark ocean shoreline, joy at seeing those I love most–but also anxiety. The abrupt, military questioning of your border guards, the suspicious way I am questioned–how I hate that. You are my mother! After all this time…how could you treat me like that?
And this, more than anything, characterizes our relationship. A love/hate relationship. How I love the amnesty you’ve shown the masses coming to the shores, the progress in humanities and sciences, the passion of your people to push forward.
If it weren’t for your violence and lack of humanity, I would never doubt you. But violence is the hallmark of your history–it shaped the borders and still determines the size of the military and prisons around the country. You show no mercy to the poor or the indigent. How I hate that.
But you are my mother–only I can say this. When others utter these words, I am filled with anger. And honestly, I will come home. Because these other places aren’t the paradise I wished for either.
Oh America–do something great again, so I can defend my choice to return to you.