Nationality Name-Calling

I am in no way claiming that I have any understanding of others’ experiences, but I am trying to understand where others’ feelings come from.

hqdefaultWe’ve heard a lot of talk this election, and, by golly ms. molly I am so tired of it. If I ever hear the words “Clinton” or “Trump” again I might scream. (Although, no one would be able to hear me, because everyone else would already be screaming.)

But something interesting has happened lately. We’ve all heard the talk about moving to Canada. I’ve said it myself. Because, well, I just really really like Canada’s form of government. Way more than I like the U.S.’s, and this isn’t something that randomly sprung up. I’ve always thought Canada was pretty awesome when it came to disability accessibility, the way they treat their native population, and healthcare.

article-2327212-19d6c97b000005dc-60_634x334But now Canadians are getting kind of ticked. I’ve read lots of stuff about Canadians (not all, mind you, just some) feeling they don’t want the “American Whiny Trash” moving north just because they don’t like something. I’ve read lots of comments about them not wanting us to come and ruin their country.

Which is fine. It’s totally their opinion and I see they have valid concerns.

But when I imagine my family in Canada I see my husband working at a University. He is an incredible teacher, a well-respected researcher, and truly believes in the importance of his work.

I imagine my children being kind. Just like they are here. I imagine registering myself as a certified foster parent, and perhaps feeling more willing to take children with more pressing medical needs because special needs is more accepted and visible there. I imagine feeling proud of the clean streets Canada is so famous for, and I imagine picking up trash and recycling when I see it, just like I do here. I also imagine hiking across the country on the Great Trail because that is number 3 on my bucket list.

justin-trudeau-prime-minister-canadaSo. As an American, who really thinks Canada has got their snowflakes together, (not to mention the hottest prime minister this planet has ever seen), I felt kinda sad when so many Canadians¬†assumed I would come and wreck everything. That I was a bad problem that needed to be kept out. That I was, I don’t know, a leech? A wart? A human being that wasn’t worth having around?

I wanted to write back and say “I’m not like that!” But, I didn’t, because, if you never do anything in your life, make sure it is refusing to respond to comment boards. (Yikes!)

And then I thought, “I wonder how other people feel?”

I am a white American woman. With education, and with the necessary finances to support my family. So my encounters with being automatically labeled as “trash” have been few.

So how does it feel to be someone not in my shoes? Perhaps someone with other labels? Perhaps someone who has more prejudice cards stacked against them?

And I felt sad. I wish everyone had a chance to make a personal statement first thing, and that they couldn’t get pocketed into what was expected of them based on things not in their control.

leafI wish I could go to Canada and say, “Hey guys! I’m Kayleen. I get that there are people who do annoying things. And I get that there are Americans who do annoying things, but please hear me out before you call me ‘Trash.’ Because I’ve been a fan for a long time.”

And I wish every citizen in our country did that, too, and pretty much every person in the world.

Because as far as I am concerned, there is not one person who should be called “Trash.”

 

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