American Citizenship


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 ?

September 19, 2015