Nobodies proud to be American anymore, but how did we let it get that way?
My co-worker has a saying that he constantly preaches to us on the days when nothing seems to be going right and we’re seconds away from having a far too real, and potentially volatile, moment with our customers.
“Where your head is, is where you’re headed.”
Yes, it’s very corny. Yes, we all roll our eyes every time he says it. And yes, I do think it’s from an employee guidelines and regulations book he got while at a corporate team building event. But I think it applies to our current situation. Because our collective heads are in a fatigued, sheepish, and aggressive state and thats exactly where we find ourselves now. I mean guys, Donald Trump is running for president. And WINNING. HE’S WINNING!? But the truth is he’s only winning because we’re letting him. Now before you click the link to that Buzzfeed article of 20 Cutest Dogs Dressed Like Cats Dressed Like Disney Princess’ let me preface that this isn’t about politics or bashing Trump. Who is about as easy a target as pre Comedy Central Roast Justin Bieber. It’s about something much bigger.
Everyone’s favorite comedian (or at least he should be) Louis C.K. said it perfectly in the postscript of a newsletter he recently sent out to his fans, stating, “…He’s [Trump] a symptom to a problem that is very real.” It took me a while to figure it out but the very real problem mentioned is not only a lack of faith in our country but our lack of pride in this country being a part of us. We have to understand that being American doesn’t mean not being Latino, or not being black, or not being gay, or not being anything and everything in between. And trust me, I get it, it’s straight white gun-slinging often times Southern men who have made it very difficult to utter the phrase, “I’m an American,” without feeling some kind of shame and hostility. Why would anyone want to say their American after a 21 year old self proclaimed Neo-Nazi takes nine lives in the hopes of starting a “race war” in his town? How can we feel good about hanging our countries flag from our porches when the Westboro Baptist Church flies their “God Hates Fags” banners across the street? The honest answer is we can’t. For some reason we decided to ignore the sad fact that these hateful monsters always have and always will exist, finding it easier to blame one another for these shortcomings instead. In times when we desperately needed to come together under the one essence that unites us we did the exact opposite. We slowly disassociated ourselves from that America and it’s inhabitants. Retreating into our other “Home Lands.” Our Judaism, our Latino, our African, our Anything and Everything else. Because that way we could say we weren’t American and therefore all the problems in America simply weren’t ours.
But in the chaos of all that withdrawal we forgot one very important thing. We don’t live in Jerusalem, or Spain, or Africa, or anywhere and everywhere else. We live here in America. So when we elect Trump or someone like him into the White House and they start World War III (and trust me, they will) we’ll be the one’s fighting in it, regardless of where we feel like we came from, while our families are back in a dilapidated state of “home” dealing with horrors far worse and more real then anything going on currently. Thats the America we’ll be living in. Because thats the America we’re building for ourselves now.
P.S. If you think you’re just going to “Move to Canada,” you’re out of your mind. Do you know how hard it is to rent a U-Haul van? The paper work is a nightmare. Trust me.