Do I hate America? That’s the question that I am asked routinely whenever I criticize American politics. It’s as if the concept of free speech exists for certain things but not to criticize the country’s politics. If that’s the case, then why have free speech? Or, is it that only Americans can criticize the country’s policies but not immigrants? Then again, why have free speech? Usually, together with the question about whether I hate America is the admonishment that if I didn’t like it then I should just leave.
The simple truth is that if I hated America, I wouldn’t bother to criticize its politics and its policies.
It is because I like America that I want it to be a better place for everyone, Americans and immigrants alike. I want America to be inclusive. I do not want America to be divided.
It is my belief that America is stronger and better because of its multiculturalism and not despite it.
Rather, the question should be, why do you like America so much?
The answer is simple.
Because in spite of the minority xenophobes that argue assimilation or argue that they want immigrants as long as they come to the country legally without clearly understanding what that means, there is a great majority that understands that immigrants make America, well, America.
Those that ask if I hate America are the same ones itching to jump in on the comments section and prove me wrong by arguing that they are not racist, nor do they discriminate against darker-skinned people just because they want immigrants to follow the law. It is the same group of people who argue that it’s not racist to want border security for Americans or that Americans don’t want America to become another third-world country.
It is the group that sees an America citizen detained by ICE as an undocumented immigrant as an “inconvenience” that must be accepted to protect Americans. It is the same group of people that see nothing wrong with arguing for The Wall on the southern border conveniently ignoring the oceans, the northern border and the airports that allow terrorists into the country.
So, do I hate America?
Nope, instead I care about America enough to care about where it is going as a country. I care enough to challenge the notion that America is worse off because of immigrants. I care enough to want Americans to be horrified that American citizens can be detained by the Border Patrol simply for speaking Spanish. I care enough to be angry that American citizens can be arrested by ICE because of the color of their skin.
So, no I do not hate America. On the contrary, I care enough to get involved in its politics.