Thursday, December 16, 2010

American Pride

     I’m not proud to be an American. I have no right to be. It’s like being proud of being born rich.
     I feel fortunate to have been born an American.  Most of the other locations on the planet to which I could have been born range from somewhat worse to horrific.
     While I feel extremely fortunate to have been born a citizen of a country which grants and respects so many freedoms and opportunities, the only people who have any right to be proud of their citizenship are immigrants who have earned it.
     This is somewhat different from being proud “of” one’s country, as Michelle Obama famously said. One can be proud of one’s country’s actions, e.g., liberating Europe from the Nazis, or ashamed, e.g., our support of dictatorships throughout the twentieth century which has come back to bite us so hard. To the extent that one may have played a part in the action of which one is proud, as did Mrs. Obama in her husband’s election, one has even more reason for pride.
      Great song line: “Six hundred pounds of sin/ Was grinning at my window/ All I said was come on in/ Don’t murder me.”

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