Who is the real Peter Dunn? Arguably, he is the world’s most (in)famous recent renunciant of US citizenship, after Superman, as a result of Atossa Abrahamian’s Reuter’s article. But this could lead to various portrayals who I am and why I did it. Which portrayal is correct?
Benedict Arnold (traitor): Americans are generally pretty insecure when someone talks about the renunciation of US citizenship and they get pretty testy. The most common response is, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” While this is rude, to characterize me as a traitor because I’ve given up my citizenship would be extreme. I haven’t switched sides during a time of war. Nor am I fighting an actual war against the United States–yet.
Irwin Schiff (famous tax evader): Call me, “Pete the Tax Cheat”. The other Peter Dunn portrayed me as an American who left the US to avoid paying taxes. Well not exactly; I don’t owe anything. It’s not that. Besides, I didn’t leave the US under duress but during peaceful times to study in Canada, England and Switzerland.
Really, the myth that suits me best is neither the traitor nor the tax cheat, but the guy who has gone native. I found me a woman here in Canada. I’ve become a part of the Canadian people; I feel greater love and affinity to them now. Don’t I speak their two languages, eh? (N’est-ce pas?) Now, if my former countrymen from the United States attack my new people, I am ready to take up arms and fight against them on the side of the Canadians. That’s not Benedict Arnold: It’s John Dunbar, who marries a white Sioux woman and must protect her and the tribe. It’s Jake Sully, who has now fallen in love with a Na’vi and will fight against his fellow earthlings to protect his new people. The Americans who want to portray me as the bad guy must realize that John Dunbar and Jake Sully were the heroes, not the military macho types who called them traitors. Dunbar and Sully fought for their women, for their new people, and for justice in the face evil foreign invaders.
Well this is what Ms. Abrahamian quoted me as saying for the world to read:
“If it was just me then it would be one thing,” says Dunn, a part-time investor who worried that having to share information with the IRS would deter future business partners – and upset his wife, who is Canadian. “Disclosing joint accounts I hold with my wife and anyone I ever want to do business with – that’s just too much. My wife’s account is none of their business.”
This sounds like Jake Sully and John Dunbar to me. I am not Benedict Arnold or even Pete the Tax Cheat. But I admit to having gone native.