Hadn’t Heard That One In A While

Flag of the United States of America

Flag of the United States of America (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

“America, love it or leave it.”

OK, those were not the exact words, but that was the message I was sent in an online conversation about the state of our justice system. Apparently black men are no longer wrongfully jailed. That only happened in the past when we did not have the technology to only ever convict the guilty. Yeah, I laughed too. Then tore in to the poor fool for being a racist moron. That was when he dropped his version of the above on me.

Personally, I take it as a compliment when some idiot trots it out against me. It means I am doing my job right. Well, at least part of it. It means I exposed the raw nerve of their privilege and it pisses them off, which will either a (and hopefully, but not likely) get them thinking or b (far more likely unfortunately) get them to show off their foolishness for everyone so we can all see just how weak their arguments are. I would rather have it be the former, but I am satisfied with the latter. We get a front row seat to these guys crowing about things like our justice system being better than places like Kyrgyzstan. I suppose they are proud of the fact that we don’t make kids work full-time anymore.

Seriously though, as much as I take it as a compliment, it also pisses me off. It is incredibly narrow-minded, lazy, and just outright stupid to think that those who disagree with our government or our society do not love our country. We love it, that is why we fight so hard to make it better, we want our fellow Americans to have the country they deserve, not a country that serves only the very wealthy by exploiting the privilege of the straight, white, cis male.

Then you have the amazing hypocrisy of most of these people. They will be the first to tell you that dissent is patriotic when they do not like what the President is doing. They will carp about the liberal agenda all day long when it comes to policies and institutions they do not like. They will completely ignore that these institutions are part of the American fabric as well, but if they do not love something about America, apparently it is OK, and they do not need to leave it (which indeed, they do not.)

Blind patriotism is lazy, and frankly, in a country with our history and mythology (you do realize some of it is myth, right) it is, well, unpatriotic. The very founding of our nation was based on challenging authority. Our culture, in theory if not in practice, has been built on the notion of shaking up the status quo. So to tell someone seeking to do that, and to change our society for the better, that they need to leave her for doing so, is proof that maybe you don’t love America as much as you say. After all, you do not challenge her to be the best she can be, and are content to see her rot in her deathbed as she is overcome by social ills five hundred years in the making. Even so, I won’t tell you to leave her, after all,she’s your mom too, and you have every right to stay with her, even if you don’t care enough to take care of her.

 

 

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