I am an English. I moved to the US in 1990. I am still a ‘resident alien’ as the US government affectionately refers to me. Other than that one fact – and my accent – everything about me passes as American. I pay taxes, think in dollars, work here, own property here …. oh, hang on – one more thing – I can’t vote. I seem to recall something about ‘no taxation without representation’ back in the day, but so much for that.
I was struck today by this article in the Guardian about Emily Blunt, where she was apologizing for poking fun at her American citizenship. This after being attacked by rightwing commentators – you know who they are – and if not – they are named in the Guardian’s article (they are the usual idiots that don’t understand humor).
Still – to my point, the quote below leapt off the page to me.
“I had to renounce my Queen. The thing that’s weird is I do get to keep both my British citizenship and this, but you have to renounce her. But it’s kind of typically American – not to be rude. I had to renounce her in the room but I don’t actually technically renounce her. They were like, ‘just say it, you don’t have to mean it but just say it’.”
All Most Americans I come across can’t understand why I wouldn’t just ‘become American’ – after all – I don’t have to renounce my UK citizenship – isn’t it easier. No. Not really – and this quote exemplifies why. I am not exactly a royalist – but I question how you can serve two nations. We jokingly refer to the UK as the 51st state of the USA – and certainly Tony Bliar (sic) demonstrated that in spades over Iraq. I can’t.
Moreover – if you are American – and reading this – how do you feel that people swearing in as citizen’s of America just have to ‘say it’ – not ‘mean it’.
Is that only if you are English (as part of our ‘special relationship’) – or does it apply to any nationality. A citizen of Aghanistan can only get into 23 countries visa free. With a UK passport – and in fact a US passport – you have access to 174 countries.
You read it here first – when you commit to America – you don’t really have to. They are only words. Doesn’t work for me … how about you ?