Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan
I’m afraid to come back. I’m terrified. Not like my other posts where I will simply miss Japan and the person I am here, but because my home country feels like a war zone.
Growing up until now I’ve always heard stories of people running away from their countries to find safety. I always thought it was incredibly heart breaking. In elementary school as we grow up, we are taught America is this land of dreams. A place where everyone is welcome and safe and has the opportunity to be free and choose a life of their own.
The older I become, I realize this is a bunch of lies. My country that I’m supposed to be proud of doesn’t deserve my pride. Through all that America has been through in it’s short run as a country,
it seems it’s people have learned nothing. There is still discrimination on a wide scale, mass shootings, many of which happening with in the past few years. A place where people get messed
up on things like “bath salts” and attack others.
Of course every country has its low points, but this country… This country that should stand for so much seems to be declining.
During my time abroad I wake up to a lot of tragedy these days. Days like to today it’s even hard to drag myself to class when it seems like there are more important things to focus on. I miss class
and I think… how can we just go on with a normal structured day and act like nothing is wrong? My friend told me he is afraid to visit America because of his race. He was born an American. He
has an American passport. But because of his background he is afraid to return simply to see his family.
I’m afraid. I’m afraid that I will leave my apartment one night to buy a drink from 7/11 and just happen that a friend or myself gets shot down for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
My freshman year at WMU I remember laughing when we got notifications of gunman on campus. My young mind wanted to laugh these things away in order to not be afraid. But now it just disgusts me. Places of education, concerts, celebrations… should we be worried about when the next murder will be?
I read many things of people being afraid to speak their minds now because they worry about being a target for some deranged moron. I think we need to embrace this fear. It’s more important
than ever to speak up. The world can change if we make it. And the more hate that comes, the more it fuel our fire for peace.
I’m terrified to come back to America. But I won’t silence who I am and I won’t stop living and hoping others will inspire change themselves.