A Patriot's reponse to a non-patriotic statement

I recently wrote about my lack of patriotism, and it riled quite a few feathers. 

The other day, I posted a link on facebook to an article about how America remembers the events of 9/11.  My only comment on the article was that it was "interesting thoughts."  One facebook friend commented that those who did not love America should leave the country.  She soon deleted her comment, although there was no response to her comment by me or anyone else. 

Today,  MY feathers are bit ruffled at the response of some people to the crowning of Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, as Miss America.  I mentioned to a colleague that this kind of response is why I am not always proud to be American.  (Okay, full disclosure, I said that second - the first thing I said was "This is why I hate America" - not exactly true, and an over-the-top hyperbolic statement that I probably shouldn't have said.)  His immediate response was that I could leave America if I didn't like it. 

Really?  I realize I probably should not have overstated my feelings so much, but I just don't understand why that is an immediate response when someone exhibits a lack of gung-ho patriotism. 

I have two major thoughts to share on this topic. 

#1 - Just so you know, it is not easy for an American to just "leave the country."  When I was 21 (and oh-so-young and idealistic), I wanted to live abroad.  It is nearly impossible for an American to get a visa to work abroad - at least in western Europe, which was where I was looking to live.  Europe just does not want Americans.  And this was more than 10 years ago.  I can only imagine that it has gotten more difficult in the past decade.

#2 - It seems to only be white Americans who feel that those who aren't "proud Americans" should leave the country.  It seems to be only white Americans who get quite so riled up about patriotism.  (By the way, as a white American, I'm allowed to say this.) 

Why is this? 

  • Is it because minorities are able to acknowledge that the United States is not perfect because they have experienced discrimination?   
  • Are we white people that oblivious to reality that just because things are easy for us, they must be easy for everyone, and thus, if anyone complains it is "their" problem and they should leave?

Unfortunately, I am sure this is not Nina Davuluri's first experience with blatant racism - or blatant ignorance about her race, religion, and culture. 

Regardless of who it offends, I am ashamed by the reaction by those who are so ignorant and so full of hate that their first reaction is to go to Twitter to share their ignorant hate. 

I am ashamed that (apparently) the majority of these "proud Americans" would not be able to identify India on a map. 

I am ashamed that my "brown" son will be raised in a country that sees any person of color as a foreigner. 

I am ashamed.


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