The Moral Montanan

Whatever dream or life my family pursued generations ago by coming here to Montana, it’s no longer accessible or available to anyone else, least of all to you. I belong here and you do not, by virtue of my ancestors four generations back arriving here. Much as you’re arriving here now. Shut up; that’s not relevant. I’m the real Montanan.

Whatever dream or life my family – or just I, singly – pursued by moving here to Montana 35 years ago, it’s no longer accessible or available to anyone else, least of all to you. I belong here and you do not, by virtue of me having the great idea 35 years ago to move here. That makes me the real Montanan, or the second-most real Montanan, right behind the ones whose ancestors settled here four generations back.

Whatever dream or life my family pursued generations ago by coming here to the United States, it is no longer accessible or available to anyone else, least of all to you. Your brown skin reminds me too much of the tribes some of my ancestors slaughtered to live here. I belong here and you do not, by virtue of my ancestors fifteen generations back arriving here. Much as you’re arriving here now. Shut up; that’s not relevant. I’m the real patriot. I’m the real American.

Whatever dream or *life my family pursued by moving here to the United States 76 years ago, it’s no longer accessible or available to anyone else, least of all to you. Your brown skin threatens me; don’t you know I fled war to move here? I belong here and you do not, by virtue of my parents having the great idea 76 years ago to move here; well, it was less a great idea and more a matter of death and death. That is to say, we were sure to die if we stayed in Europe, and perhaps to die if we fled. The point is, we immigrated here, and now everything’s full here. I’m a patriot, for I assimilated beautifully; it helps that I was only 6 months old when we arrived, the sound of bombs exploding in Aleppo London still ringing in my mother’s ears. I’m the real American, right behind the Americans whose ancestors settled here fifteen generations back.

My point is, I belong and you don’t.

*it was life. Just life. Just attempting to stay alive. That was it. That was the goal. Not trying to take anybody’s jobs or ruin anybody’s way of life. Not trying to change culture. Just legitimately attempting not to die.

photo: @kegendean IG

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