An Ungrateful American

There exists this idea, for many, that if what you come from is “better than” what I come from, and you manage to find, and attempt to solve problems in your life, you, my friend, are ungrateful. Consider your parents when, perhaps, you talk about the unfairness of the racial bias you experience at school, and they respond with how much worse it was when they moved to this country and that you should be more grateful. Do you understand the idea I am referring to? Your life could be worse, so stop being a brat. But, is it fair to say, that I should accept a certain amount of injustice, or wrong, because others have and still are experiencing worse? Or should it be that all injustice is wrong? and that the idea of what I’m experiencing being wrong and what others experience as wrong are not mutually exclusive. I imagine it is also a matter of perspective; If you stepped out of Iraq  and landed in Baton Rouge, you might be very happy with that change. But if you moved, from Canada to Baton Rouge, this change may not be so welcome. Is the Canadian wrong for wanting change in Baton Rouge, or should they listen to the person from Iraq and just be more grateful?

I ask this question because, on social media yesterday, I asked my 1,096 friends which countries they are thinking of moving to. I, personally, have been planning to leave for years and I have friends who have been doing the same. As a Black, Gay person, I often have a very difficult time navigating the American Imperialist White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy; from having my life threatened while walking down the street, to having people like me killed for being who they are (be it gay or black) with little to no consequence, to dealing with the constant, everyday racial bias, to wanting something different out of life.  After a few commenters shared the places they have been dreaming of moving to, an acquaintance commented, “tbh though, I’m not gonna move anywhere. Moved here from Indonesia, I like this country. Of course there are a lot of thing that this country could and should do better but overall it’s a lot batter than where I used to live. Too bad there are so many ungrateful American citizens here.

My question is, am I allowed to pursue my happiness or does my desired happiness make me ungrateful?


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