USCIS Announces Bronze, Silver and Platinum Citizenship

Last Wednesday the Department of Homeland Security introduced a new tiered citizenship system. The Apocalypse Review interviews Ernst Berger at the Citizenship and Immigration Task-force about this controversial new initiative.

AR: Welcome Ernst. I like the triple lightning bolt insignia on your sleeve.

EB: Thanks. Retro is really in at DHS.

AR: So tell our readers about tiered citizenship.

EB: The basic idea is that there will now be five classes of citizenship in the United States.

A Platinum Citizen medallion.

Platinum citizens will get rights to police protections, social security, the right to buy themselves out of jail, to fill high offices and to evade with impunity the few taxes they are required to pay.

A Gold Citizen medallion

Gold citizens will have many of the same rights as Platinum, with less access to power. Gold citizens are rarely exempt from taxation, however.

A Silver Citizen medallion

Silver citizens will have the right to vote, but also will be subject to incarceration and disenfranchisement for trivial reasons. Silver citizens, like Bronze citizens, have the right to be policed.

Bronze citizens are unique in that they don’t have the right to fight and die in foreign wars. For them its a duty.

AR: Are there any other privileges for Bronze citizens?

EB: (hesitating) I can think of one. The Executive reserves the right to use the death of a Bronze citizen as an excuse for military action.

A Bronze Citizen slug

AR: What about the franchise? Can Bronze citizens vote?

EB: In theory yes, but now that looking at police the wrong way is a felony crime for Bronze citizens …

AR: … Kind of like resisting arrest with your eyes?

EB: Exactly. Let’s just say we expect the number of Bronze citizens who can vote to be manageable.

AR: You talked about five classes of citizen? We’ve only talked about four.

EB: The fifth class is the homeless and asylum seekers. They get participation trophies, but don’t really have rights, privileges, or even duties, under our new citizenship model.

AR: Kind of like the uninsured in our health care system?

EB: Precisely!

AR: What do you say to people who argue that the principle of equal justice before the law is fundamentally at odds with tiered citizenship?

EB: I’m not really one for theory, so I won’t answer your question. But you can’t deny we’re doing nothing more than attaching labels to a situation that already exists. If you’re rich and white you’re a platinum citizen, if you’re poor and black you’re bronze or disenfranchised. Nothing too revolutionary there.

AR: Counter-revolutionary, if anything.

EB: Exactly. Codifying – and fortifying – practice.

AR: Are you really codifying practice, though? Looking at your new citizenship guidelines it seems there’s a bias in favor of class over race. That doesn’t seem very American.

EB: There was some push-back from conservatives when they realized that an African American could become a Platinum citizen. And it is true that class trumps races under our new system. But there are caveats, for example should a Platinum African American encounter law enforcement in a context where wealth and privilege isn’t obvious, then its back to Bronze citizenship, at least for the duration of the encounter.

AR: Sounds complicated. …

The author is a Bronze citizen. The joke, for those not familiar with the US health care system is that your citizenship status mirrors your health insurance status. Bronze level health care plans are low status because they cover nothing and have high deductibles, platinum plans are high status because they cover many things with lower deductibles.