Dual citizenship

Dear President Trump,

How was your 4th of July? Mine was pretty mixed. We have a tradition of having people over on the 4th for a potluck and then most of us walk to the park across the street where we can see fireworks off in the distance. We had our party, as usual, and really it went very well. The foods were all good and people enjoyed hanging out talking and laughing with each other. All day leading up to it though, I was feeling morose and edgy. Most of it was fueled by my growing sense of just how messed up our original premises were at the founding of our country and how far we have to go to correct them. I’ve known since I was a child that the wording and intent of the Declaration of Independence was to proclaim equality for all white men but until you became president and I’ve felt compelled to study all this and pay a lot more attention to the implications of this set up, I could pretty easily put it aside and just enjoy the pageantry of the 4th. You’ve probably surmised I’m not all that good at small talk so adding to my tension all day was my worry that I’d be super heavy and not be able to let people enjoy themselves. I think I ended up striking a balance by listening more than talking and slipping in just a few political comments and suggestions for books.

I was also bummed out yesterday reading our Washington State House Representative Pramila Jayapal’s Op Ed in the NYT about how she had to renounce her Indian citizenship in order to claim her US citizenship. Again, I’ve known for a long time this is required of people but it just seems so primitive and backwards that someone has to prove their loyalty to the US in such an extreme way. Plenty of other countries allow dual citizenship and I wish we were a mature enough nation not to be threatened by these kinds of arrangements for people who want to join us. I know there’s plenty to be grateful for and I don’t always see the glass as only a quarter full but all this is weighing heavily.

Here’s our blessing for tonight:

May we be safe together in this world.
May we be happy to welcome the stranger.
May we be healthy and empowered to deal with our shortcomings.
May our lives unfold and intersect peacefully.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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