I had for the first time yesterday, this shuddering feeling of what the US means to most people in the world. It came at a strange moment, I was reading the recently released State Department Human Rights Report. I looked at the eagle emblem, the stiff two dimensional picture which appears on the dollar bill, and I suddenly felt repulsed and intimidated, I felt like I was looking back at the US through the eyes of a faraway marginalized person. The reason I say this was “strange” is because there was a certain feeling of physical distance and detachment, and eerie analogy would be like looking down at one’s body during a near death experience. Looking down at a white body, the eagle with its rigor mortis grip on the arrows on the olive branch.
Somehow being here surrounded by dirty children, mud and malaria, with TVs number increasing faster than latrines, I begin to realize what it means to look at the US from here. As long as you just accept that this clean, orderly place on TV is like somekind of afterlife, somekind of heaven that you aren’t yet permitted to experience, then you can go on. But if you question why the white men on TV live such a comfortable existence, why they have the power to tell you what’s just and unjust, then you will be consumed by a certain smoldering rage. You will watch the profits made on your streets and the products imported into your ports, and see the money boomerang out, back to that heaven. Maybe you will realize how far you are from that heaven, even when you are only a 2 hour plane ride. What do you do? You will become a criminal by thought or by action.