Saturday, July 04, 2009

Patriotism and Black Americans


I've seen on a couple of sites, talking about the Black Community and their 'patriotism', and how, with the election of Barack Obama as President, that ' suddenly', Black folks are ' patriotic'.

I call BULL on that one.

I've said it numerous times, and don't care how much trouble I get into about my feelings on this topic:

tired of folks questioning Black folks' patriotism. Black folks, from where I sit, are the TRUEST Americans, because we have FOUGHT FOR this country to live up to its creed.

so, I have to roll my eyes at anyone questioning Black folks' patriotism.

waving a flag doesn't make one a patriot.

Putting on the uniform and risking your life for a country, that in its LAWS, has codified you as a Second Class Citizen....

THAT is patriotism.

Patriotism is my father, who would have been 43 years old AFTER RISKING HIS LIFE FOR THIS COUNTRY, before he would have gotten his FULL CITIZENSHIP ON PAPER in this country, if he had stayed in the state of his birth.

Patriotism is my parents, and millions others like them, taking onto their shoulders of the pain and burden of Jim Crow, while pushing forth their children to believe in the possibility of this country living up to its creed and giving them opportunities our parents could not have imagined.

Blacks folks waving a flag doesn't mean patriotism to me....that's the shallow, right-wing definition given by people who have never had to truly struggle to find what is worthy about this country that it's worth fighting FOR.

Black folk, as Dr. Condoleeza Rice herself has said,

Are a FOUNDING POPULATION of this country.

Indeed, we are.

Fighting to improve America is the greatest act of PATRIOTISM.

From Crispus Attucks, to Prince Hall, to Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. DuBois, the Buffalo Soldiers, the Fighting 54th, the Tuskegee Airmen, and on and on and on......names we know and a lot more we don't know.


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