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Proud to Be an American (Do You Know What That Means?)



Image by StockSnap from Pixabay
We need to stop referring to ourselves singularly as Americans until we are willing to accept ALL Americans have the right to be called that, be they from Guatemala, Chile or even Pasadena. 

We’ve all heard the Lee Greenwood song, “Proud to Be an American”. It’s become the anthem of the far right. When it’s played or sung at a sporting event or concert, MAGAs will obediently rise to their feet the same as they would when “The Star Spangled Banner” is rendered.


Yet these same brainwashed individuals will start foaming at the mouth in an apoplectic, racist frenzy if they hear the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, which has been called the Black national anthem. They will scream that there is only one national anthem, in direct contradiction to their own actions.


Try to tell them that their declaration is extremely limited, and you will be met with confused looks and even threats of violence. Explain to them that a Mexican is an American, that a Canadian is an American, that a Brazilian is an American and you will certainly be the target of vile invectives.


It is only hubris that we identify ourselves as true Americans. Our country is called the United States of America, and not singularly as America. The countries that make up North America, South America and Central America all qualify as America, yet those on both sides of the political spectrum continue to insist that those residing in the United States are the only true Americans.


Despite our claims of being the Land of the Free, the United States has a long history of denying basic rights, even to those living within our borders. Blacks, women, Native Americans and other minorities have struggled to get the same basic liberties granted to privileged Whites.


Donald Trump has even called for an end the birthright citizenship, where those born in this country are automatically considered United States citizens.

 

When the countries of Europe established the European Union, they eased the border restrictions between member nations. It allowed a German citizen to travel to Italy without restrictions. If such a policy were adopted here, you would definitely have an outcry from the right about “The Great Replacement”. But if we are to call ourselves Americans, the same as members of the EU call themselves Europeans, shouldn’t it include ALL Americans, including those from South and Central America?


Of course, this is the very concept of Open Borders that those on the right have been using as a cudgel to stymie any initiative proposed by Democrats. Want funding for our crumbling infrastructure? Then close the border. Want to defend Ukraine against Russian aggression? Close the border. Want to address the inequities between the uber-wealthy and the poor? Close the border.


Even when Democrats acceded to these demands, far-right Republicans rejected them at the bidding of their MAGA master, Donald Trump. He would rather have the issue than a solution, which is leaving us nowhere.


Despite the accusations of MAGA Republicans, no one really wants open borders. That’s just another scare tactic espoused by those who market in fear and intimidation. What is truly needed is a better understanding of why there are so many taking the dangerous journey to come to the United States. We need to have compassion for those fleeing violence, poverty and war.


And we need to stop referring to ourselves singularly as Americans until we are willing to accept ALL Americans have the right to be called that, be they from Guatemala, Chile or even Pasadena. 


Then, we can all truly be proud to be Americans. 

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