Image: Jasper Johns "Flag" via Wikipedia
Let me say in this letter, first and foremost, that I love you. The USA is a wonderful country, with landscapes and people unlike any in the world. You have a great sense of pride, whether it be from achievements, from establishments of social justices, or fighting rightly for the freedoms of others. You hold your head high and say to the rest of the world "Look at me, I am worthy." What you were once was a role model for other countries worldwide, a beacon of hope and prosperity, and a stalwart of justice. You should be proud.
I love you because you are my birthplace, the place I grew up in for my very early years, the place that spawned my brother, my parents, my grandparents and all my family as far as can be remembered and beyond. I took my first steps on your soil, uttered my first word in your air, ate my first meal from your spoils, and started my education on how to be human within your institutions. I hold you dearly in my heart for without you I could not exist. For this I owe you a debt of gratitude.
I love you, because within your shores you contain some of my heroes, people who I look up to as mentors and contemporaries, and you have spawned great thinkers, great activists, and great leaders. You created great things from little, and you still continue to achieve. For this, I still hold you in high esteem.
But something has changed between us.
While you remain the home to many I love, and are still brave and proud, you've fallen prey to a sickness. This is not a physical illness, nor is it a forced disability. It's a sickness in your politics, and in the people who wish to rule over you. These people, though not in power yet, wish to impose a stupidity on the masses, based in lies, untruths and deceit. These people have managed to take the anger that the masses feel and direct it upon others within the country. The words "Justice for all", now a mere platitude, are bandied about by people who wish to see "privilege for the few". With a bible in one hand, a handgun in the other, and with a voice louder than all the others, these people wave the stars and stripes, YOUR stars and stripes, and claim to know whats best for you, while all the time seeking to take away justices and liberties that were bestowed upon them by their forefathers. Control over women and their reproductive organs, restricting rights to same-sex-attracted people, and installing biblical fallacies as part of public education; these are the only words I hear you say anymore. These people seek to destroy everything that you were built upon. This is your sickness.
You never tell me you love me. You never stand up for the rights of the downtrodden anymore. Your actions are transparent to me, yet you dress it all up as your "God given destiny". It seems to me that you've fallen into a bad crowd. Even you, who it seems I've lost the fight to keep, should see that now. This makes me very sad indeed.
I cannot stand by and watch you get sicker by the day.
I hope that someday the voices of those of your people who truly stand up for human decency, as denoted by nothing but being human, can be heard above the cacophony of the "God-willed" and the biblically driven tyrants. I hope that one day you can look upon this period of your life with shame, but can move forward to become the place you always promised you would be.
I know I am distanced from you now. Although we haven't seen each other for over 20 years, my heart is still with you, on your shores. But until that day, the day you realise that you are not well, I will start seeing other countries. You really need some help, and I can't help you until you admit that you need help.
Martin S Pribble
PS: You can keep the Don McLean CD I gave you. I never really liked it anyhow.