PATRIOTISM....AM I MISSING SOMETHING?

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I am sick and tired of folks throwing the word “Patriotism” to guilt up voters, or in Senator Obama’s case, create character assassination. This uproar is over the most minute things; such as, wearing a lapel pin of the American flag (something John McCain or many other politicians does not wear all time), or bash Mrs. Obama for a recent speech to a crowd of her husband’s supporters.

So what’s Patriotism? According to “The American Heritage” dictionary, a patriot is one who loves, supports, and defends one country. Where do these people go off criticizing Mrs. Obama’s words: “For the first time in my lifetime, I am proud of my country”. These pundits and experts are supposed to be intelligent! Didn’t they learn critical listening skills somewhere in their academic careers? Okay. Let me say this slow for the confused and the hard-of-hearing experts: Mrs…Obama…meant…she…was proud…of…the…sudden,…vast…interest…and…enthusiasm…of…this…election year’s… political… process. Is that clear enough?

And c’mon, this controversy over a lapel pin? Gee-whiz……whatever……gimmie a damn break! Last night, as I was writing this legitimate gripe, I was watching “Anderson Cooper 360”, they showed a clip of Hillary Clinton at her rallies in Texas and Ohio. I carefully examined those clips, and I did not see any lapel pins, anywhere on her, not even a broach. Does that make her “un” patriotic?

Also, yesterday, a picture of Senator Obama wearing some type of garment when he visited Africa in 2006. My thought…… [***cricket, cricket***]…..To sarcastically translate, BIG DEAL! He was visiting his paternal side of his family in Kenya. Senator Obama was probably participating in a traditional African ceremony. As a black woman, if I was to visit Africa to meet my ancestors, I would participate in an African ceremony wearing gorgeous and bright African garments. My daughter takes part in African dancing at her school. She also wears an African garment when she performs. Getting in touch with our ancestry, does that make us bad?

Let me tell you what I think Patriotism is supposed to be! Part of patriotism is supporting your fellow person. What happened to that support in the gulf region during Hurricane Katrina? Remember the devastation that lined the Gulf of Mexico in at least three states? Remember the city of New Orleans that was 80% flooded after the levees had broken? If anyone had been on another planet around a couple of years ago, and missed the horrific images on TV, I can tell you they were heartbreaking and surreal. If I felt forgotten for those five and long agonizing days, I, too, would feel a sense of “hopelessness”. Let’s see, you own government (local, state, and federal) disses you in a time when you need them the most. Where’s the patriotism in that?

The skyrocketing cases of HIV in the African-American community are more than an epidemic, but a tragic pandemic. Either no or little attention has been shedded on this crisis by our government officials. Where’s the support?

Where’s the support of education? After all, since the “No Child Left Behind Act” had been implemented, there have been more high school students dropping out leaving school behind….

What about the nation’s infrastructures; such as, the bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis? It was already proven when the levees broke in New Orleans that this can happen when we least expect it. If it can happen in those places, it’s chance it can happen again….anywhere.

For the folks who loves pulling the “patriotism card”, let me tell you something; I am truly blessed to be an American. It also makes me to the stomach when someone use that attack on someone’s character. If anyone needs to check themselves is the Bush administration for not supporting their own citizens at a time when they were in desperate need, regardless if they did not vote for him. Along with this, what about the brave military vets, who have to beg for benefits for their sacrifice and service for this country. Is this patriotic? If so, I missed something.


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