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A letter to Americans

  • Published at 12:02 am November 21st, 2016
  • Last updated at 02:28 pm November 21st, 2016
A letter to Americans

Dear Americans,

How are you? We come before you with a heavy heart and a deep dark apprehension today. Like Dante’s purgatory, an ominous cloud of black smoke seems to be covering us all. For the longest period of time, your country, The United States of America, stood tall. It stood as the champion of human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and a land of opportunity.

For a very long period in history and, mostly after the Second World War, the US was the light at the end of the tunnel for immigrants across the world. The world respected your system of democracy, social balance, and fair governance. Although your system had some flaws, it nonetheless provided a safe haven for many who were fleeing persecution, tyranny, and injustice.

Millions called the new land their new home. The newly arrived different demographics never really respected each other, but they coexisted with the common dream of capitalistic pleasure.  There was an underlying respect for decency and common sense regardless of your political beliefs and, often, you voted for the best person, even if that person belonged to a different party.

Dear Americans, your society of equal justice, inscribed in the doctrine “all men are created equal,” was respected by many people around the world. When you said, “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free …” a new conscience of humanity beckoned.

Dear Americans, now you have elected a man as your president who heralds racism, misogyny, and demagoguery.

He used every single trick in the book to use hate against each other and to conquer by inciting division. This marks a clear turning point in your history. This is a clear indication that most of you no longer believe in an open arm invitation to the rest of the world.

Actually, most of the countries around the world have much less tolerance for “foreigners.” Hence, the prosperity rates of immigrants in most countries are very low. But you were different. In your country, an immigrant could become a governor -- the son of a Kenyan could become a president, and a penniless vagabond a millionaire.

Dear Americans, now, you have let us all down.

There is something seriously wrong with your society if you can elect a man like Donald Trump to be your president. So, all you Trump supporters, all you arrogant Hillary supporters, all of you in the liberal media who are completely detached from the reality, and all you social liberals spewing self-righteousness from your ivory towers and thumping your ideology onto everyone and calling Trump supporters “stupid” -- words cannot express my ire for any of you.

None of those who chose Trump are from another country. They are your own countrymen that you forgot to talk to, the ones you forgot to educate or care for. So, instead of insulting them constantly and thinking you are superior to them, go back to the drawing board. Figure out where it all went wrong. Figure out how to fix it.

Dear Americans, most of the people in the world do not wish harm upon you. Even though Donald Trump became your president and ISIS is having a field day in their recruitment centres, most people in this world simply want to live in peace

Dear Americans, believe me, the rest of the world is not perfect, we have as many flawed systems and flawed leaders as you have, maybe much more than you. Some of us even ask, why we should bother with the US election and Donald Trump when there are so many things wrong with us. As valid as this question is, it is also true that what happens in your country affects us all.

You are still the super power and you have the nuclear arsenal to wipe out every living thing in this world a few hundred times over. The decisions your congress makes on the Middle East has direct relation to whether a terrorist will set himself off near me or not. You need to come out of your bubble and realise that we live in an increasingly inter-connected world and your actions have major consequences in our lives.

If you don’t study geography and hold your politicians accountable, millions die in Palestine. If you don’t study world economics and impose trade barriers willy-nilly, millions of garment workers and their families starve. If you aren’t aware of climate change being an actual threat, the sea level rises and endangers millions.

Dear Americans, the beauty, or nightmare, of democracy rests in its unpredictability and fractured nature. A lot of you are blaming the failure of your campaign on the Electoral College system. Again, if majority of you wanted to get rid of the Electoral College, you would have done it in the last 240 years of your existence.

You have given up your right to say “not my president” -- you cannot just blame the system when you backed the horse that didn’t win the race. Now, you cannot say, “Oh I didn’t vote for Trump, so I don’t deserve any blame,” like crybabies. The democratic system does not bestow praise or blame upon a selected few, the pride or humiliation has to be accepted by all.

Dear Americans, contrary to what your media projects, most of the people in the world do not wish harm upon you. Even though Donald Trump became your president and ISIS is having a field day in their recruitment centres, most people in this world simply want to live in peace.

The minorities in your country just want to live their lives with dignity. America is not just a social experiment -- millions of families live and work and contribute to a greater good, including Muslims, Mexicans, gays, African Americans, and Trump supporters. If you don’t respect each other, who will?

All we want to see is a healthy America that treats its own citizens and the rest of the world with due respect and kindness.

Salam. Shalom. Peace.

Sincerely,

The rest of the world.

Fawaz Rob teaches at the Department of Architecture at North South University.