|ARE YOU REALLY AMERICAN?
It’s one of the most unpatriotic things that we do.
You know what? Before I continue on, let’s define the word.
Dictionary.com defines “patriotism” as “… devoted love, support and defense of one’s country; national loyalty …”
Do you love and support America? Of course you do. Do I love and support America? Without question. Yet here’s the thing. Does loving something or someone mean you love absolutely everything about it or them? Of course not.
We’ve got serious problems in our country. They’re almost too numerous to count: Pollution, racism, sexism, ageism, poverty, obesity, hunger, intolerance, fiscal issues … to name just a few.
And yet somehow, whenever someone wants to talk about these issues and shed light on what’s ailing us, those people usually get accused of being unpatriotic or un-American.
Why are people questioning the patriotism of San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick? This guy is very respectfully kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance – before the American Flag – as a means of bringing attention to racism, one of the most debilitating issues for our nation. That’s it.
He’s not looting. He’s not setting things on fire. He’s not yelling obscenities at people. He’s not smashing storefront windows. He’s not clashing with police. He’s not giving anyone “the finger.” He’s not rioting. He’s not mooning anyone. He’s not accusing anyone in particular of anything.
He is very respectfully kneeling before the American Flag to make a statement. And yet, many of us are questioning his patriotism. Many of us think that his simple act of civil disobedience – if we can even call it that – is somehow indicative of some, secret hatred of America.
Are you serious?
I’m actually writing these words because I love America. I adore our country and our nation. I love my country and what it stands for. You won’t find anyone who loves America more than I do. However, I don’t love everything about us. I don’t love everything we say or stand for. Does this make me unpatriotic?
We’ve got to STOP questioning whether or not someone is truly American when they stand up and ask questions. We’ve got to STOP asking, “Are you really American?” when someone speaks out against something that they believe is wrong.
When your child or spouse does something that’s wrong, don’t you try to correct them? I sure hope you do. We want our loved ones to be correct and okay. We don’t want them to end up in trouble, so we try to intervene and help get them back on the right track.
Shouldn’t we be doing this for America? When we see our country perhaps going down a troublesome path, shouldn’t we speak up? Shouldn’t we say something rather than pointing fingers and questioning someone’s patriotism?
Look … here’s what this is really about. We all know full well that questioning someone’s loyalty is an effective way of getting revenge. If you say or do something I don’t agree with, I know that I can get back at you by questioning your loyalty. I can call your character into question by questioning whether or not you’re a “true patriot.”
I mean, shouldn’t we question the patriotism of someone who tries to destroy the character of someone else who is respectfully expressing their freedom of speech … in the name of making us better?
Do you know what else I question? Why don’t we question the patriotism of companies that layoff hundreds of American workers and ship their jobs abroad? By the way, this is NOT the fault of overseas workers. This is the responsibility of company executives and boards that are making these decisions.
Do you know what I question? Why don’t we question the patriotism of people who discriminate against hardworking, law abiding new immigrants who come to America to contribute rather than take?
Do you know what I question? Why don’t we question the patriotism of people and companies that don’t give veterans a fair shot at employment after they’ve literally laid their lives on the line abroad for our nation?
Do you know what I question? Why don’t we question the patriotism of those who question the patriotism of people who disagree with them or who don’t look like them or who don’t live in their neighborhood or worship in their church or dress like them or speak the same language or belong to the same social clubs?
We have GOT to evolve past this nonsense. We are not growing. We are actually regressing. This is not pretty. It’s shameful.
We aren’t only “One Nation Under God,” we are actually, “One World Under God.” We certainly don’t act like it.
Who are you? Are you really American?
When Immigrants Flee