Dear President Elect,
I am a brown immigrant living out my days in what is now your fiefdom. I think that you consider me an acceptable shade of brown. You did say “I am a big fan of Hindu, and I am a big fan of India” (charmingly reductio-ing the richness and complexity of my homeland ad absurdum, as is your wont). I am here legally, and I have been quietly making a living and a life in the land of Motherhood and Apple Pie, diligently pursuing my FIRE plan.
Then along came Your Rightness. And lo and behold, Your Rightness is President Elect. I’ll be honest with you, I was less than thrilled with the results of this election. However, I have always been a glass at least 82% full kind of person, so I fed myself all sorts of comforting cliches, decided to give Your Rightness the benefit of the doubt, and to keep on keeping on.
Alas, my keeping on was rudely interrupted about forty eight hours after you accepted the crown. My sister is visiting this land of Motherhood and Apple Pie for a conference. Said conference is being held in California. On the night of the 10th, my sister and her colleagues dined at an outdoor restaurant, after a busy day of successful conferencing. She messaged me mid-dinner to say, “A truck just passed us with guys leaning out of the window screaming ‘White power! Donald Trump!’ That same night my mother called to say that Indian friends of theirs in Atlanta had had a bad day. A car carrying two white morons trailed their car and then repeatedly rear-ended it, yelling racial obscenities out the window the whole time.
That night as I put Toddler BITA to bed I tried to imagine her growing up in a country where the norm was ignorant asshats yelling racial slurs at my ‘mixed breed’ daughter and my daughter growing up feeling grateful that all they did was yell. When my Toddler’s emotions start to get the better of her she lies on the floor, face down, little butt in the air, and says, with just the right amount of pathos, “I’m getting sad.” She stays like that until she feels better. I felt like doing the same, but I suspect that that will be a hard position to hold for four years.
Your Rightness, I hope that now that you have been handed the keys to the kingdom, you will show us all that the size of your heart and brain is inversely proportional to the size of your hands. I hope that you will encourage the more rabid of your fans to crawl back under the rocks whence they came. But I do want you to understand this, Your Rightness. I am not afraid. You will not scare me into believing that this is your country and not mine. I am an immigrant, from a family of immigrants. I know you don’t think much of my kind, but we are a hardy lot. We can make America great again. God knows, we have done it before. And if immigrants are tough, an immigrant on FIRE is indeed a thing not to be taken lightly. I love being here, I love contributing to this country, and this society. But I don’t have to be here. I can leave just as quickly as I came. You know what FI means? It means that you need me more than I need you. It is an empowering feeling, to know that if it comes down to taking a stand, the BITAs can choose to do so. Or we can choose to prioritize our family and our immediate happiness, because, as the Frugal Vagabond points out, The Earth Awaits. The important thing is that because we chose FIRE, we have a choice. We will not have to cower and buckle down and keep our noses clean.
Your Rightness, may you live long and prosper, and may your reign be remembered fondly by history. The BITAs will be watching and even rooting for you. If, however, it turns out that the the asshats are going to run the show, we can take ourselves and our dirty noses off to beautiful Amsterdam, where there are myriad canals and even more freedoms.