I'm a foreigner in the US as well and I have to confess something: I was down on the US!
I had just completed college and had finally found a job in the US, which enabled me to be with my boyfriend at that time. Just a little before that, I had also found out that I am gay.
Growing up in Germany, there had been gay jokes, mostly among my teenage friends and classmates, which I did not think much about, not knowing at that time that I was gay. Yet, in my head I had never solidified the idea that society considered me as something abnormal. No, actually I was quite happy when I found out I'm gay and so was my family.
In high school, we learnt about the US in English class. We were taught many good things, such as the ideals that the US constitution was built on, viz. equality, liberty, the right for the pursuit of happiness. I think most western countries do share those values, but having these spelled out as the fundamental building blocks of your country did sound inspiring to me.
Seeing nothing wrong with me being gay, expecting a life-long and happy relationship with my boyfriend in my young naivety and coming to a country that we were told values equality that much, a not completely, but still largely unexpected picture presented itself to me. It did take Germany until 2009 to finally bestow the same rights upon domestic partnerships as she does on marriage, but the degree of homophobia spread throughout society that I found here was just not visible to me in Germany at that time (or I may not have been as aware of it) - which may largely be due to the lower degree of religious influence churches in Germany exert in that direction.
Finally experiencing a country that I had learnt valued the above mentioned principles of equality, liberty and self-realization above all, it was the degree and intensity of homophobia I perceived that over the years made my mind shout: hypocrites! That voice grew over time and developed into a rage that was burning in my mind with an intensity that kept me up at nights and caused me pain that reached physical levels and bouts of depression.
"How dare they deny me my rights?"
"How dare they set anything in the way of my relationship with my boyfriend?"
Who was they? Americans - my mind said. It was the first thing my mind found to concentrate its anger on and anything was good enough to unleash my rage upon. I was angry at society as a whole, the world, but in particular I was angry at America for failing to fulfill her promises.
And what were these promises? Ideas and expectations of my mind. The idea that people in America are any different than any other people in the world and the idea that through some kind of higher power the ideals that this country was supposed to be built on would render its inhabitants immune to the injustice done to them on a daily basis by their own country and government.
But rage is blind and it chose to ignore the many people that are out there fighting to truly uphold these ideals that America tells the world it represents. Out of these many, a few, rare gems have come into my life as my friends and, at that time, my boyfriend and I have come to realize how my anger that shut me off from society at large would prevent me from even seeing these "rare gems". I have gone down the road of hate for too long of a stretch and have seen where it leads. It is lined with horror and suffering - the road we must walk must lie in its opposite direction.
So why do we criticize and hate? It is our mind telling us what reality should be like when it is not. We leash out, attack - to defend what is ultimately a fiction of our mind, an idea sustaining our ideology and ego. It disconnects us from humanity and life, which is love, and love is to recognize yourself in another.