It’s weird to leave home, and try to recreate it somewhere else, Oceans apart. It’s weird to swear allegiance to a matriarch you’ve never met, and who lived in a different country an ocean away. It’s bizarre to have to call this new place home, because one border away from you, another country has decided that your country of birth is evil. This all adds up, you know. It takes a toll on you. It makes you doubt your own loyalties, and worse, it makes you hate the place you come from. That place, so far away and so backward, with outdated traditions and oppressive laws. Only, people are still living there, making the best of life, and they probably don’t give a shit what I think about them or their way of life. Or maybe they do.
I blame colonialism, imperialism, and white supremacy for making me hate the tone of my skin and the shape of my nose. I blame them for treating my country and my people like pawns in a drawn-out game of political chess. I blame them for making me leave a country that had luscious green forests and deserts dry as sea salt. I blame them for debasing a whole diaspora, treating them like dirt, and making them wish for a helping hand to crush whatever is left of my country and call it freedom. I hate them for co-opting the word freedom in their think tanks and their 9-o’clock-news, and charging the fee of everything we hold dear, including our dignity, in order to get it. I hate them for isolating us, and making us feel like it’s our own fault that we have an oppressive government. I hate them for how they treat their own people. More than anything, I hate them for making me feel like I have no option but to stay here and endure. Every government is evil, but there is something truly debased about oppressing countries beyond your borders. The US has an image problem. Inside me lives the idea they’ve created of themselves, and the reality that I’ve learned about over time. I thought it was silly and regressive to chant “death to America”. But if that means their government, I can’t help but sympathize. The meddling in foreign elections, the funding of armed militia around the world, the wars, the hostile takeover of entire industries, national resources, and governments. I don’t know. Have empires always been this evil? And if so, why the fuck have we put up with them for so long?
I mean, this is the same government that dropped two nuclear bombs on densely populated cities in Japan! The party that allowed that is still going full steam! How are we allowing all this? And why does anything they say deserve any credit at this point? They appoint old white guy after old white guy to govern an entire country, where women and people of colour are barely represented in their politics! What is this messed up version of modern patriarchy that we’re collectively allowing, and what can we do about it? There has to be alternative!
Maybe there are. Maybe there are poorer countries that are resisting the pull of the empire by whatever means they can. It’s not to glorify their governments. But maybe, even beyond that, there are futures we can imagine where we don’t have to choose between one oppressive government and another. I can’t see the path from here to there, but I don’t have to. It’s not a one-person job. It’ll take the work of brilliant, imaginative people who really fucking hate oppression, and believe that it’s possible to end it! We were not made to be governed! We were made to cooperate and collaborate. And besides being a deterrent for war, governments help this cooperation in no way whatsoever. They do not help it in any way that wouldn’t be possible without them. When they’ll be gone, immigration will be obsolete, and I won’t write about how confusing it is to leave Iran to live in Canada, a country that has strong ties to two of the biggest manipulator and war mongers in this world, the US and UK governments. We can do better than that. No political system works smoothly. There is no political system without significant corruption, and no, we don’t have to put up with it. I’m grateful to have arrived at this conclusion, because I don’t want to confuse the good living situation I have in Canada for love and acceptance. Those things require understanding, and so much work. All the Canadian government has done is some social accounting, and decided that we’d be a net positive in their ledger, economically. The rest was luck and the kindness of people we met along the way.
But we’re more than numbers, and I’m more than my citizenship. I’m also a thorn in the making, hoping to inconvenience and annoy the shit out of the entire institution whenever I can. I don’t have allegiance to anything but the people. Here, in Canada. And back there, in Iran. In Palestine. Everywhere. I don’t care if it’s awkward or ostracizing. It’s a hell of a lot better than any purpose or identity I’ve picked up along the way. The most marginalized and oppressed are often in the right, and if I can’t be on their side, then I don’t want any part of it!