When I was 15 years old I got my green card.
I was excited.
I was living in America for the first time, and I was on the road to becoming an American.
As a young child in Scotland and England, I grew up with a grandmother who loved Country music, and line danced. My cousins and friends revered American culture, film, music. American accents were both funny, and, as we got older, sexy.
As I got older I spent many years in American military communities around the world, surrounded by Americans who loved their country. Who talked about it like it was everything, who would literally lay down their lives for it when called to do so.
The prospect of now becoming a part of that global family; there was a sense of belonging to something big, and hopeful, and better.
When I was 20, I chose to finalize my citizenship and become a naturalized American citizen.
In a post 9/11 world, the procedures had changed. They were more difficult, things were decidedly less friendly, I was nervous, but I was reminded of the excitement I felt at 15.
I walked out of the DHS office with a smile on my face. Proud to officially be an American.
11 yrs later, I look around me at the country I chose. The country I was proud to call mine. The country that is so far removed from the youthful awe I once had for it, that I do not recognize it.
I am ashamed.
Today, as it always has been if we are perfectly honest, my country is a place that sends it’s children to war and abandons them when they come home broken.
Today, my country is a place where those employed to “protect” us are murdering Americans in the streets by the thousands.
Today my country is a place poised to elect a leader who would turn away the poor, tired, huddled masses because of the color of their skin and the name by which they call God.
Today, my country is a place where we have resigned ourselves to the fact that every few months our children will be slaughtered in their classrooms by men with guns.
Today, my country is a place where people bend over backwards to prove a child, in a park, playing with a toy deserved to be murdered while armed men invade government property and go unchecked.
America, you are broken.