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4th of July – You Need to Earn the Right to be Proud

In a few minutes, I’m going to go outside, light something on fire and shoot my gun up into the air. No, not because it’s 4th of July. Mainly, because it’s Friday and I’ve been day drinking since noon.

I like being American. I like being American because America is me. America is a good looking, aggressive, capitalist loving, loud-mouthed country that loves talking shit. It frequently gets into fights for no reason, and gets itself involved in fights that are none of its business. It tells others what to do, despite that fact that it’s a broke, substance abusing mess. It never admits it’s wrong and when something makes it really mad, it blows something up.

I’m pretty sure that is how most of my friends would describe me. I’m super glad that I was lucky enough to be born in a country that I have so much in common with.

But I’m not ‘proud to be an American.” To me, being proud actually indicates you did something to earn that pride. Being born an American was a lucky accident of my birth. I didn’t earn being an American. It was given to me by the benevolent flying spaghetti monster. For that I’m grateful.

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But I’m not proud.

I’m proud of my novels. I’m proud of the time I served in the military. Hell, I’m proud of the fact that I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue. I earned those things because I worked for them, so I am proud of them.

I wouldn’t say that I’m proud to be white or proud to be blond. Those were genetics. I had nothing to do with that. Am I glad? Hell yeah! I can’t dance and I could never get one of those complicated handshakes down. I really wouldn’t be able to pull off being black and I’m not sexy enough to be Hispanic. So I’m glad to be white, but I’m not proud to be white.

And I’m not proud to be an American.

Ironically, the people who actually deserve the right to claim they are proud to be Americans are the ones who get bitched at the most for being here in the first place.

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The people that crawl through the desert in the dead of night to get past the border, or pay their life savings to arrive in someone’s trunk should be proud. The people that come here on makeshift life rafts, paddling their way across an ocean that is more likely to kill them than help them deserve to be proud. The people who come here seeking asylum because they spoke out against their own country’s corruption and crimes against humanity deserve to be proud. The people who have to study for and take a citizenship test that most of us born-and-bred Americans couldn’t pass deserve to be proud.

Those people wanted to be here enough to risk their lives for it. They faced imprisonment for it and they gave up everything for it, including their wealth and families. Who does that remind me of?

Oh yeah, these guys.

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Yes, I’m pro-immigration and pro-open borders, and it’s not just because of my love of Hispanic pool boys. It’s because if someone cares enough to come here, whatever the risk, I think they deserve to be here.

“E pluribus Unum” isn’t just some silly Latin phrase on our money. It means something. Specifically, it means “out of many, one.”

It was the original endorsement for immigration and it was made when this country first started, when people actually had to struggle and fight to be here and to make this our country….and also kill a fuckload of Native Americans, but I’m going to go ahead and gloss over that one in honor of the holiday.

Those people were proud Americans and the people that fight to be here are proud Americans.

But I’m not a proud American. I am a very lucky girl who was born 3 hours south of the Canadian border. I could have just as easily been Canadian…and I’m a fuckload of glad I wasn’t. I’m far too rude to be Canadian.

So happy 4th, from one glad American, who was lucky enough to be born in a country arrogant enough to call itself the greatest nation on earth. America, we were made for each other.

Now if you’ll all excuse me, I need to go indiscriminately fire some bullets into the sky and blow up a trash can with a cherry bomb.

 

 

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