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Excerpt from White on Black by Rubén Gallego


We were supposed to hate that country. That was the custom. We were supposed to hate all capitalist countries, but especially America. Our enemies – the bourgeoisie, who drank the blood of the working class – lived in America. American imperialism was making the atom bomb with our name on it. The workers in America were constantly starving and dying and an endless stream of people hoping to change their citizenship kept pouring into the Soviet embassy in the United States. That's what they taught us and we believed it.

I loved America. I'd loved it since I was nine. I was nine when they told me there are no handicapped people in America. They were killed. All of them. If a handicapped child was born into a family, the doctor gave the child a fatal injection.

"Now, do you understand, children, how lucky we were to be born in our country? In the Soviet Union we do not kill our handicapped children. We teach you, treat you and feed you for free. You have to study well so you can acquire a useful profession."

I don't want them to feed me for free, and I can never have a useful profession. I want the injection, the fatal injection. I want to go to America.