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I'm proud to be an American.

No, seriously.

In spite of the fact that our President is a Twitter troll and the entire presidency is a reality show filmed in the White House...and on a golf course. Regardless of how many Confederate flags still proudly fly or Confederate statues still pridefully stand. Despite Colin Kapernick not having a job...and the reason WHY...I am proud to be an American. Absolutely.

Recently I was in Australia. And every time I turned on the TV in the hotel room or saw the billboards on my daily commute, I got a glimpse of what goes on on the other side of my world. In Australia, it's the same sex marriage debate. Right now in Australia, a survey is being distributed to all qualified citizens asking them to check yes or no on whether they think same sex marriage should be allowed. I can't help but notice my shiny, yet modest, wedding ring and band on my left ring finger as I type this blog. The wedding ring that I will NEVER take for granted. Especially when my travels bring me to countries that on the surface, seem so together and progressive, but internally are just as much of a hot mess as our country, or any other country for that matter. I've been married for a little over a year. I remember the moment the U.S. Supreme Court made it possible for me to live my life "happily ever after." One year in, I can't imagine not being allowed to have this right. I can't imagine my relationship deduced to a checkmark...an opinion from a stranger that doesn't know me and has never walked a day in my shoes.

I realize that with the appointment of the next Supreme Court Justice, my right to be married to whomever I chose can be taken away from me, but right now, at this moment, I am an American citizen and I am legally married to a woman. And that makes me proud to be an American.

Charlottesville was really messed up. Ferguson was really messed up. What's going on in St. Louis right now is really messed up. Repealing Obamacare and the awful plan in place to replace it is really messed up. I can go on and on. We all can. But let's not. Because going on and on can be quite depressing.

The Women's March this past January was beautiful. The new crop of young activists and this incredible generation that are now suddenly excited about changing their community and being part of a solution is incredible. The fact that we live in a country where it is OK to criticize leadership at the highest level without fear of being taken away from your family in the middle of the night is awesome. To be able to organize a protest and not be imprisoned like the young activists in China is everything. To open your eyes in the morning and "wake up" so loudly that you awaken your neighbors is what excites me. If I want to tweet criticism about my country or President I can, unless I'm Jemele Hill. I might lose followers or my job, but not my life. And for this I am proud. Proud to be an American.

I love my country, but I'm not in love with all of it. I hate that I'm scared to death one of my head-strung and unapologetically black nephews will say the wrong thing to the wrong racist police officer and lose his life. Yes. This is something I really think about...often. I hate that as a black woman in a world dominated by non-black women, I have to be cognizant of how I dress, wear my hair, talk, stand in an elevator, look at people, or just simply exist with others as to not make them feel uncomfortable. And I'm not alone in this. Another blog. Another time. I hate that in spite of the deaths and efforts of so many activists on both sides, over so many decades, racism continues to be relevant and rampant in this country. I hate that Colin Kapernick doesn't have a job but Blake Bortles does. Yes, I hate those things.

But I love being an American. And I choose love over hate any day.

 


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