It’s not the US. It’s us.

Nejoud Al Yagout – — Photo by Djinane Alsuwayeh

America has been a scapegoat for eons. Whenever anything happens, we blame it on Americans: The government, the food industry, the pharmaceutical industry and the arms industry. Everything originates in America, we insist. But we forget that America is made up of citizens from all over the globe and from all the continents (except maybe Antarctica). So, perhaps, America is merely a microcosm of our entire humanity; and so whatever we see is always on a grander scale in America.
Today, an American is originally a European, an African, a Latin American, a Native American, an Italian, an Arab, an Indian, a Chinese or an Asian. And when you have so many nationalities and continents representing one nation, it’s bound to be great at everything – even great at conflicts!

In essence, when we go to war with America, we are at war with ourselves; and when America goes to war with the rest of the world, it is at war with itself. We forget, though, that on a more positive note, all humanitarian movements are also fought on a grander scale in America – the civil rights movement, women’s rights, gay marriage and racial equality.
Even today, America is uncovering sex scandals and exposing the detrimental effects of a patriarchy that is losing its grip. This is something to be celebrated, as it is a signpost for all countries to address sexual harassment, discrimination and the exploitation of women. This may look like America is crumbling, but this is actually a step forward. We will see the magic eventually. The tree of authenticity always bears sweet fruits. And whichever way America goes, the world gets affected somehow.

And this is why we all watch America closely. Though we ridicule Americans, we still emulate what they wear, we emulate the American dialect and we love American movies and TV shows. And as with all love affairs, the flipside of the coin, unfortunately, is hate. And everyone loves to hate America. It’s so easy to have someone to blame, isn’t it?
If we could look beyond our love and hate of America, we will see that – like any other country in the world – it is made up of individuals. And individuals regardless of citizenship are both racist and inclusive, aggressive and kind, belligerent and peaceful.

Still, when we blame America for the problems of the world, we are one step closer to self-reflection. And we are one step closer to realizing that anything that happens is the fault of humanity, collectively. Let’s look a little more closely as to who is really to blame for the chaos on the planet – us yes each and every one of us on this planet and not the US alone. Wherever we go, we take our mess with us. Yet, as long as there is hope, there is a possibility for transformation. We have hope for America, because we have hope for ourselves!

By Nejoud Al-Yagout
local@kuwaittimes.com

This article was published on 01/02/2018