I'm proud to be an American.
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.
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.