Welcome to the USA

Written by Montez Louria
Art by Lara Jameson

Welcome to a day in the life of an American. When we are not mourning a mass shooting, we are mourning the murder victims of brutal state-sanctioned violence. From police to border patrol agents, there is never a dull moment for BIPOC communities just trying to make it to and from work, the grocery store, school, or home. 

These communities are constantly trying to exist without reaping more trauma, but that’s hard to do when every week there is a new name added to the Missing Persons’ list, the list of Black people murdered by police, the list of Asian persons being victimized for being Asian, or the list of people, even children, injured or fatally wounded by gun violence. Almost every day, we are in mourning. When you aren’t thinking about the current incident, the past will and does always come back to haunt you, but don’t let that stop you from embracing and becoming an “American.” 

There are a few simple rules to follow when you are an American. Remember, we have “free speech” here. It can be disguised as comedy or a statement made by someone labeled as a “genius,” no matter how hateful. America is full of geniuses and… scientists, which brings me to rule number one.

  1. We can debunk modern medicine with a Google search.
    • (Who needs vaccines when you can mix lavender, elderberry, ashwagandha, and lemons?)
  2. We mourn.
    • (On Sundays, especially. That is where we can release all of our “thoughts and prayers.” Which leads to the next rule:)
  3. We value church and we pray.
    • (So much so that we let it inform social and political decisions that affect many, many lives.)
  4. We LOVE football.
    • (America’s second most dominant religion.)
  5. We work and work and work and work.
    • (Thank you, Henry Ford, for revolutionizing the workday.)
  6. We believe in higher education.
    • (We want an educated society, so we ask 17- to 19-year-olds to leave an institution where they have to ask to use the bathroom and borrow THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of dollars from the government to afford higher education. Then we make them pay it back with “small” interest rates.)
  7. We don’t get sick. We can’t get sick.
    • (Who needs healthcare when you can pray the pain away?)
  8. We don’t have a history… or, at least, want to remember it.
    • (We are such a young country with more “ground” to… cover.)
  9. We the people… but not really.
    • (We are a democracy!… Most days.)
  10. We get really mad.
    • (Like the Hulk said, “You don’t want to know what happens when we’re angry…” [See the Second Amendment]. [Google the Sand Creek Massacre], to name a few examples.)
  11. We love the flag.
    • (Although mass producing and wearing it is technically unconstitutional, you will see it EVERYWHERE. And every Fourth of July, Old Navy has enough attire for the red, white, and blue galas we all have to attend.)
  12. We love ALL people.
    • (Specifically our boys in blue but… not those other  people… or those people… or those people either.)

Twelve simple rules for being an American.