Dear President Elect

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.

 

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20 thoughts on “Dear President Elect”

  1. Nicely written! I am sorry your family had to endure such troubles this past week. I hope that things will die down but I imagine it will take some time as indicted by someone yelling “Fuck Trump” to me as I entered the Dollar Tree this everning. I’m wasnt sure if it was in solidarity considering I was safety pin free and in work out pants – but I can only assume it was due to my skin color that they felt compelled to due so… As I turned to see the offenders they slowed down to wave at me and yelled it again. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that despite what I look like, I am a 4th generation born USA citizen with Italian blood. I often get mistaken otherwise which is the highest honor for me – women from India are gorgeous!! Anyway, I’ll accept their socially awkward tick as hope that some people are willing to speak on behalf of those who won’t or can’t. I also hope that this helps to show that there are many out there who disagree with his policies and are happy to be vocal about it…I only hope the next people your family run into are like the guys who shouted to me today. Two dudes trying to connect with those who have been wronged during this campaign. I wish peace for your family and for the US as a whole.

    1. That made me laugh. What well meaning idiots those guys were! Thanks Miss Mazuma for the reminder that there is always humour to be found, even in the most seemingly unfunny situations. And as long as we can laugh, we can hope.

  2. Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. BITA (you made me look up Bayalis, that’s two degrees of nerd pop culture humor right there!) for the kind mention! Congrats also on being the first to use the new embed code for Amsterdam, fun!

    Like you, I’m watching cautiously, but hoping for the best. My family is half non-caucasians and minorities in several other ways as well. It’s hard to think of hatefulness becoming normalized in the home we have known all our lives. Despite our love for travel, it’s hard to imagine a day where we wouldn’t want to be Americans. So… we’ll hope for success and prosperity for all, and be willing to seek happiness wherever it may be.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I’m a big fan of The Earth Awaits (like you didn’t already know that), so this feels like a celebrity visit : ). The embed code was super easy to use.

      I’m with you and with hope. I still run into so much kindness and plain old sensible IRL and online that I can’t really believe the hate is going to take over.

  3. Glad to meet you!

    I’m American born, first generation of a family of immigrants, and it makes my blood boil that someone who has grown up with a silver spoon in his mouth, never lacked for anything, and lied his way to the top in business and now to the White House has the power to press for hate and bigotry as the theme of the land. Friends are already seeing an increase in harassment, even more than before, and we see the racists and misogynists are emboldened. It makes me mad, and as much as I anticipate our financial freedom meaning we don’t need to stay here, I’m determined to stay and fight. This is our home just as much as it is his. We have certainly contributed more to it by way of taxes than he has! Good people are going to suffer and die without the solidarity of those who are able and “safe” but willing to help his targets, if for no other reason than because it’s common decency, and because there are so many parallels to the rise of fascism in history. I hope it doesn’t get that far but I suspect it’ll only be prevented if we’re all standing together from day one, like now, and saying this isn’t acceptable.

    1. I think that that is key “as much as I anticipate our financial freedom meaning we don’t need to stay here, I’m determined to stay and fight.” The choice is important. Having staying being one option amongst others is key.

      I remain hopeful. This country has so many good people. And they aren’t shy about speaking out loud.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Love this so much. Thanks for being so open and honest. It’s so important that we do this, more so than ever. Because many, many good people are also insulted from hate in that they don’t experience racism firsthand or witness good friends experience it. And knowing how it affects loved ones is what will help educate and turn the tide. I live in California in a very diverse area so I don’t feel afraid here but honestly, I about fell off my chair hearing about your sister’s horrible experience. I hope he heeds your call and that we, collectively, make him do it too.

    1. I am so glad I posted this. The results brought out the crazies, but posts like this, and others all over the internet, have brought out the really great people too – the ones that remind me why I do love it here. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. My wife is Iranian and thankfully hasn’t had any negative experiences around here but clearly there are others like your sister that haven’t been as fortunate. Here’s hoping the negativity from this presidential dies down quickly and we can move together as a country.

  6. Stories like this are infuriating. I am trying to stay optimistic for the future. While there are idiots among us, there are a lot of good people as well. This country isn’t perfect but I hope that the good outshines the bad in these coming years.

  7. This is what I was afraid of with him getting elected. Emboldening of all the racist, misoginist redneck ass clowns that I grew up around. It was infuriating then, and even more so now that they have a fresh breath of life with our new president and his hitler-esque chief strategist saying it’s ok to be like this. Ugh…

    I hope we don’t turn the clock back 40 years or more to behaviors that were deemed okay then. I can hope for the best and stand in solidarity with those who are being oppressed, harassed, and treated poorly, although I won’t go to the extreme of Miss Mazuma’s “supporter” lol.

    1. Her supporters were awesome! Somewhat dimwitted, but awesome.

      Online communities like this, people like you, and the people I am surrounded by in real life give me hope – they offer solid evidence of all the good in this country.

  8. Thank you for writing this, a beautifully thoughtful and powerful message.
    I am infuriated at the ignorant, racist, dumb people in this country who feel emboldened by trump. I am equally infuriated by his ineffective response of “stop it.” Those are words you speak to your 4 year old when he’s flicking peas across the table, not to violent, racist asses. He doesn’t have a clue, not a clue. I fear for the next four years (if he lasts that long)

    1. Thank you Mrs. Pie. I was hesitant about putting this out there, but I am so glad that I did. The responses I have received have done much to strengthen my faith in this country.

  9. There is just no place for shit like this. None at all. If you want to hate on someone, at least pick out some characteristic that they weren’t born with/have no control over.

    As a skinny white dude who has never endured anything like this, I admit that I can’t relate. However, I have a couple Indian friends who told me some horrible stories from their childhoods. As terrible as it sounds though, it must be 100x worse to actually experience.

    Hopefully it all dies down when these bonebrains have to go back to their jobs (if they are employed) scrubbing toilets at the gas station.

    1. Gah. I just found this comment lurking in my Trash. I will swear blind that I never deleted it. F-ing wordpress.

      The nastiness does seem to have quieted down around these parts, so that is something to be grateful for. With any luck, less than four years more to go!

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