Thursday, December 5, 2013

oh, the controversy.

i've been avoiding any serious conversations lately - especially professionally mostly because there are only two real things to talk about. the haitian immigration "situation" and the new, gay ambassador from the usa.

both controversial.
for me, though, only one is worthy of conversation.
i don't really care about wally the ambassador with a husband.

in fact, in the height of such a real problem, i cannot wrap my head around so much time and energy being dedicated to gossip about an ambassador. 

every morning on my drive to work, i flip through the radio stations looking for music. it's hard, because most of the stations are talk radio in the morning. and most want to talk about how dominicans are not racist, how dare anyone accuse us of that? even the united states deports undocumented people! and speaking of the united states, what about this guy with his husband! we don't really have to accept that do we?

the other day, i got unwittingly called into a conversation about the new ambassador. i wasn't witty or snide in my response, and i kind of regret that a little. because, wally brewster has a great vision for the american embassy in the dominican republic and is obviously very worthy of the posting. i couldn't really care any less about some ambassador. the embassy here has never been helpful to me, nor has it been easy to do anything we need to do. i don't think that this ambassador or any other is going to change policies to treat american citizens a little more respectfully. **

it is not, however, lost on me that the church is the number one opposition to his appointment. to me, the whole controversy surrounding a homosexual american is revolting. because while the church shouts, "we hate you! no faggots in our country!" on the news, church leaders are still waiting in line for visas to visit the very country they are protesting. we hate progressive liberals! but let us in your gay-loving country! 

it is a common misconception that the american embassy is available to american citizens for help. there are horror stories (my own included) of the disrespect shown by low-level state department employees toward ex-pats throughout the world. when samil was born, we had an appointment to declare him on the day of a hurricane. the consulate was the only business open on a day of a hurricane. if it wasn't for some help from some congresspeople in pennsylvania, we might have had to wait months to reschedule. after all, it was my fault that we missed our appointment. i also showed up once to pick up paperwork only to find that the staff had decided to take the day off. without notice. 

i did have a very, very helpful encounter this summer with a consul. samil's passport was expired and i needed to get back to the states. he gave me the benefit of the doubt, and stuck around a little later than usual to get the passport to me on time to travel. i wish i knew his name because he was the exception to the rule. 

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