I’m proud of my country for the first time in my life… -by Janice

Nov 6, 2008 12:55 AM
I’m proud of my country for the first time in my life…
I feel like an American for the first time in my life. For the very first time in my life I feel like a part of the fabric that is America.

This bears some explanation. Up to this point in history, America has not kept its promise of liberty and justice for all so when asked to stand and say the pledge, I would sometimes stand but my hands remained at my side and never over my heart during the recitation. Or I would recite it but change the words to: “…with liberty and justice for ‘some.'” If I was feeling especially rebellious I would respectfully decline to even stand up.

Why? Well, being born black I have witnessed and experienced directly and indirectly — racism and sexism so I never felt a part of The United States of America. Not really. I felt no particular loyalty nor even patriotic in regards to this country. The flag was just a piece of colored material to me. Nothing more. I even told my Canadian friends that I may become a refugee and asked if I could sleep on their couch. I enrolled in French classes because at least the French hate everything and everyone equally.

As Kermie said, “It’s not easy being green.” Try black Kermie. Sometimes it’s downright fucked up.

After 9/11, I was equally as horrified, saddened, enraged and heartbroken as my fellow citizens — but when my workplace gave us free lapel pins of the American flag, mine quietly went into my desk drawer. I did not put a flag on my car. I didn’t care if the flag touched the ground and would have wiped my ass with it with no hesitation whatsoever if no toilet paper was available. I remember riding in the car with some co-workers who saw a car with a faded and wind-tattered flag. They both exclaimed, “Hey Buddy! Show some respect! Get a new flag.” What I felt was indifference, apathy and sometimes outright disgust towards my citizenship in the US because it did not include me. I was in it but not of it.

You see, America has been a bitter pill stuck in my throat my whole life. No, I was never a slave but my grandmother’s half-brother was missing several fingers. Fingers that his master chopped off for disobedience. Yes, disobedience. I can’t even imagine getting my dog’s tail docked much less doing this to another human being.

The wealth of this country was built on this free labor system and enforced with terror and brutality and those people never received back pay once slavery was abolished. But they did get more grief and terror in the years to follow. Many black people ended up as tree ornaments in the years to come. They also tried to deny us citizenship! The U.S. Government actually sanctioned this hateful chapter in American history.

Many captured German soldiers were treated FAR better than the black men in uniform fighting for this country during World War II. After living through the 1960’s and seeing everyone who spoke of peace, love and equality murdered — I just could not put my hand over my heart or fly a flag. After knowing of and witnessing the struggle for the simplest of freedoms — all people of color for decades had to go through – my hand would not, could not cover my heart for the pledge because this American didn’t include me. For the Forth of July — when the groomers at Petsmart put red, white and blue bows in my dog’s hair – I had them remove them. Yes, my dispassion, vitriol and lassitude ran deep.

I loved Larry Flynt for using the flag as a diaper during his First Amendment fights. Good ‘ole Larry! When I would hear people say, “This is the greatest country in the world!” I always had to suppress a sarcastic sneer. “For you maybe — but not for me.” There were days that I just didn’t want to be black anymore. I wanted a day off. I just wanted to be a person.

So when I cast my vote in the primary, it was for Hillary. I wanted someone who would positively defeat the Republican candidate. Then when Obama began to pull ahead, I still don’t think I really believed he’d win. I never dreamed that I’d see a black president in The White House in my lifetime. I cast my vote about 2 weeks ago but I refused to watch the returns last night. I wanted to just turn on the TV at 4am and know who the next president was. But at about 8:45pm, I had to take a peak.

No one was more stunned to the point of speechlessness than I when they referred to “President-elect Obama.” I just sat there agog with my mouth wide open – slack-jawed — but my heart was racing. Then my eyes filled with tears. I felt like The Grinch when his heart grows three times its size. Then a feeling COMPLETELY alien to me began to fill my heart…pride in my country!!!!!

Say what? Say what? Say what? Yes…pride. This is now my America…and your America. It’s OUR America. A majority of our voices spoke — and elected a man who happened to be black — for President of the United States of America. America didn’t care that he was black but thought he was most fit to lead this country. We are a family now.

I even pimped out my myspace page with…an American flag theme.

America, FUCK YEAH!!!!!!

I was moved by his candor, his refusal use negative campaign ads, and his message of inclusive rather than exclusive and unity rather than division. I had grown so tired of negative campaign ads, personal attacks, and hitting-below-the-belt politics that I would just hit the mute button on the TV for all commercial time.

I’ve become more and more enlightened and positive over the years and I had high hopes. Our new president-elect now proves that I am a part of The United States of America. Though I have no children, my niece and nephews now know that if they study and work hard, they too can become whatever they want. Before yesterday, there was the mute clause of, “But you can’t be president!” That is gone now. Women, Native-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latino Americans, African-Americans, gay, lesbian and Jewish-Americans can now hold the highest office in the country. This is not a victory for African-Americans but for all Americans period.

We chose a candidate who believes in peace and unity. We voted for renewable energy, stem cell research, lower fuel prices, and to stop global warming. We voted to end the theocracy, idiocy and utter lunacy of the last eight years. We voted for separation of church and state. We voted that science should be taught in science class and not Intelligent Design. What the fuck is that anyway? Sounds like an oxymoron. It belongs in church, not science class. We voted for gay rights and women’s rights.

I just couldn’t be more proud of my country for the first time in my entire life!

Well, this morning I couldn’t find ENOUGH red, white and blue to wear. When I spoke to my father last night he said he was going to purchase his first American flag. I rummaged through my desk drawer but all I could find was my red, white and blue liberty bell pin so I put that on too.

One of my Republican friends said, “George W. Bush fucked it up so bad for the Republicans that American would have elected a grapefruit rather than another Republican!” Yeah…maybe so. Or maybe the pickin’ were better… stronger…faster than the last two times.

My only disappointment was the fact that Proposition 8 passed. But I was damned proud of Samuel L. Jackson for his commercial against it. But maybe our new President can do something on the federal level. I sure hope so!

Hope. Such a lovely word.

I feel so much hope for our country.

America, FUCK YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9 Responses to “I’m proud of my country for the first time in my life… -by Janice”

  • Betty Tarkinton:

    Great Blog! So many people felt the same way you did, and we are all feeling much better now! Obama just had to win and he did!!!

  • Tony:

    I woke up this morning proud of my country. Prouder than I’ve felt in a long, long time.

  • David Lee 3:

    I love reading something that brings me tears of joy.

    Thank you for sharing Janice

  • OK…I’m getting a real boner for you Mr. David Lee 3.

  • Janice's White Twin Woobie:

    My BEST FRIEND in the world wrote that! You see, Janice called me after finding out that Obama won. She was weeping softly, expressing to me that she finally felt like an American!
    She finally counted! I felt so happy for her, but at the same time that “I” had let her down.
    Now I realize full well that I, personally am not responsible for the situation, but I (I am white) felt sad that other people made her hurt inside all this time. Even though we know almost everything about each other, this was one thing that was never brought up. After listening to how this election has changed HER life & others for the better, I NOW feel like a BETTER American, never taking forgranted how lucky we all are to live here….
    Woobie

  • My biggest error is not mentioning that phone call in my blog.

    I’m sorry Joey!

  • admin:

    Henry Rollins is a motherfucking patriot.

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