1136 GMT October 15, 2018
Before President Donald Trump gives his State of the Union Address, I will give mine.
The State of the Union is such that three million more people voted for Hillary Clinton, and yet Donald Trump is president. And no one has clearly and loudly said, “Perhaps the Electoral College system is the wrong way to elect a president!”
The State of the Union is such that America, which has long meddled in other countries’ elections or systems of government (note Chile, Vietnam, and Iran), in the last election, it has been claimed that Russia has interfered in America’s elections.
What you do unto others, others will do unto you.
The State of the Union is such that a chief executive officer will take home three billion dollars merely as a bonus, while homeless people are living under freeway intersections and other unseemly places (note Seattle, San Francisco, and the New York subway.)
The State of the Union is such that, this year, I was embarrassed about observing the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., because relations between blacks and whites in America is the worst I have seen it in my lifetime, or at least the worst since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
A black person can be arrested or killed simply because he is black.
I am embarrassed about Ferguson, Missouri; Minnesota, Texas, Louisiana… I am embarrassed about “very fine people” holding white supremacy demonstrations in Virginia; I am embarrassed thinking what if Martin Luther King, Jr. were still alive and would see America today. I am embarrassed about the reality compared to the dream that he had.
I am embarrassed about losing a country that supposedly places great value on human rights to a state of affairs in which a president says that he has sold “beautiful” arms to Saudi Arabia. These arms are “beautiful” because they make America money. Money goes from one rich country to another so that they can collude in killing men, women, and children in perhaps the poorest country in the world – and human rights groups keep saying, “This is not right,” while it falls on deaf ears.
I am embarrassed about having a president who has said the most derogatory things about women, and yet he was “elected” president.
I am embarrassed about having a president who calls some countries “shithole countries,” while being oblivious to the precarious state of his own country.
I am embarrassed about having a dream as a child to go to the greatest country on earth, where there is no discrimination, where all men and women are created equal, where all have equal opportunity to excel, where people from all over the world could immigrate and become the best that they could be.
I had a dream.
*Ali Mehran is an editor at Iran Daily.