American Elections 2016

I don’t talk politics. I always feel that I don’t know enough; aren’t educated enough; that the processes of the world politics are too complicated for me to grasp after watching couple YouTube videos; that I don’t know enough history behind current situation – to place any sort of judgement.

I also don’t invite any political discussion. 

My INFJ brain operates on the level of emotions; feelings; basic human rights; decency. And even in those questions I never want to make a categorical statement; I’m always worried to miss a point, and an angle, to fail to hear another side, another voice.

But I’ll tell you this:

There is a reason why I always feel horribly uncomfortable when people make a comment about my accent; when they ask me where I’m from; when the question of heritage and childhood arises. It’s because I’m ashamed to be Russian. 

I’m not ashamed to have read those fairy tales as a kid; or of my childhood with my Granny; or of the wonderful Russian literature I read, or films I watched.

I’m ashamed to say that I’m associated with the country that in its history has Stalin, and the Holodomor; and Gulags; and years of the Repressions; and the Pogroms. 

When a person asks me, where I’m from, I say, “I was born in Russia, but…” and then I give some details of my later life. I studied French, I went to Nice, I’ve been to Egypt; I live in Canada.

When a person says ‘I’m Serbian,’ ‘My parents are Hungarian,’ ‘I’m Ukrainian Canadian,’ I always feel this sharp pain in the ribs on my left side. My brain starts screaming, ‘I am Russian, and I was born in a country that did horrible things to yours.” (And continues to do, by the way.)

I am not naive. I don’t think I’m personally responsible for the atrocities the Russian soldiers committed during the WWII, or the concetration camps. I also don’t care which country a person I speak to was born in, what their nationality, race, sexuality, or gender is. 

But I’m ashamed to be Russian. And I feel it acutely every day.

And today I think I’d be ashamed to be American.

Not because the country elected a rapist and a sexual predator as a President. That’s my INFJ personality screaming in terror, and all my personal triggers making me vomit and curl in a ball, pain slashing across my stomach, when he pops up on my screen. That’s not an exaggeration, by the way.

(And again, I’m not naive. I know what people are like. And I know the scope and the horrors of sexual abuse and violence that humanity partakes. But I still can’t understand how. You have mothers, you have daughters! How?!)

(And after Obama, of all things! What is wrong with you?!)

I’d be ashamed to be American because yesterday that’s what you had: an illiterate, uneducated, grotesque, bigoted racist on one side, and only Hillary Clinton to oppose him. Hillary with all her flaws and her history that they happily dragged out to show in media. She is a product of your society, just as him.

(And then you voted for him! He isn’t even human! That’s my emotions screaming, you have to excuse them.)

I’m sorry. I started all sane and calm, but now I just can’t.

Shame on you, Americans. Shame on you.

Katya Kolmakov
Katya Kolmakov. Mother. Writer. Artist. Fanfiction and Wattpad. First novel on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XJ16W7W.

12 Comments

  1. I feel similar about politics as you do. Don’t feel like I am entitled to voice an opinion, because what do I know…and so often, when it comes to elections you can only choose between pest and cholera, so what to vote?
    And I also know about feeling bad about my nationality, I am German, no need to say more, eh?
    In my youth, my shame and guilt went so far as to lie about my country of origin, when travelling, just to not be associated with atrocities and wrongdoings that had happened decades before my birth.
    No one should ever be ashamed about who they are and where they are from, we are all human beings.
    My heart goes out for the many Americans who didn’t vote for this poor excuse of a president.
    It’s a mad world.
    We cannot let the current state of affairs dishearten us. We cannot let them win.
    Love, A

    1. I too sometimes lie about my place of birth, but the damn accent sneaks out 🙂 At least now I can say I’m Canadian, and just endure a few jokes about moose and maple syrup, and be merry 🙂

      As for feeling disheartened, I think it’s just the blow is so terrifying today that it feels rather hopeless at the moment. But tomorrow will be the new day!

      There is good in the world. It’s just hard to hear and see over the hatred that that monster is spitting out.

  2. My accent gives me away, too, but thankfully I could always pretend to be from Austria or Switzerland 🙂
    I’d never thought that *this* would be elected as president, I am in shock, as well, but I stubbornly refuse to claim defeat. And I will not give up hope until all hope is truly lost.. and as long as there are people like you who publically make a statement, there is still hope.
    Love, A

  3. I too feel ill equipped to comment on anything political, always second guessing my opinion and other peoples reactions. I know I’m not the only person in the world to feel like that, but it is still comforting to hear someone else own this feeling, especially someone whos opinion you respect and admire, and must add that it is a very brave thing to stand up and be the first to admit to it. As you quite rightly said, we are all humans with the same needs, fears and hopes, and one can only hope that this is the universal thought. Love & light x

    1. Thank you for your reply. I’m feeling increasingly more hopefully, now that the first shock of the elections results have passed.

      And I truly believe that people NEED to speak up about their emotions, and anxieties, and emotional difficulties. That was the only reason why I ended up publishing Convince Me the Winter Is Over. We need to speak, and share, and let others know that they can do the same. No one should feel that their voice is unimportant.

      Thank you for being my reader and for all your support!

  4. This was powerful. Thank you. Another reason to love you.

    P.S. Hillary did win the popular vote. The majority of Americans didn’t want Trump.

    1. Thank you for your comment! And yes, the actual personal results of the elections is what gives me, and I’m sure the whole world, hope that the next four years of presidency will not be a complete disaster. America is the country of its people, and I know how wonderful the people are!

  5. This was a devastating week for America. I’m still reeling from the shock, and trying to deal with my fears for what will come next. I’m sad at the terrible division that now exists in this country, and all the hatred, racism and intolerance that is being expressed. But I’m not ashamed to be an American. Like all countries, this country has done both despicable and wonderful things. But it is also full of good, caring, giving, honorable and loving people. I don’t want the world to hate us. Those of us who didn’t vote for Trump (me for one) won’t give up on trying to live up to the words of our greatest President – “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” I have to live with that hope.

    1. The people like you – and half of the people of America – are what brings hope to everyone at the moment. The people who stand up for what they believe in, who voted, and who continue fighting for their convictions. I grew up in a country full of complacency – and I truly believe it’s the worse that can happen. When people say ‘what can one vote do?’ and ‘it doesn’t matter if I speak up or not.’ But you are right! Since more people actually voted for Hillary Clinton, and those are the people who continue their efforts to make America a democratic, liberal country where people feel safe and their rights are respected – we can be hopeful.

  6. I’m in a little bit better place since the election … still scared as all heck but after Brexit, I felt it in my bones that it would be a possibility. But you can’t destroy the US in four years, and the US Constitution provides for a balance of power (though we may not have that right now either but …. ). There are many individuals and many organizations that will work hard to safeguard liberties and rights. Yet, I am glad that my husband and children are dual American/Canadian citizens. Though it’s important to stand for what’s right and not run ….

    You should never feel embarrassed to call yourself Russian … your are a wonderful people with wonderful hearts … regimes are not the people they represent. As a Cuban/American with ancestry in Spain … our love of soviet Russian is not big, but we have wonderful Russian friends met in different places and a different points in our lives, friends for which we are so much better for. As a Columbia University soviet studies minor NYC area native, I have had the opportunity to meet such wonderful Russian dissents and students … wonderful people. And as one whose older family members spent time in the prisons and work camps of Fidel Castro for being poor but educated social democrats … a tyrant died yesterday.

    Thank you for caring …. we are all “world” citizens. We must just have the strength to stand up to injustice.

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