Since I live abroad, I feel I have a new perspective of my country, America.
My parents, like most Americans, are immigrants, and through their planning, I was blessed to be born in America.
I’m not happy with everything that happens there. I’m not happy with the racism that some attempt to dismiss, I’m not happy with the wealth inequality which some are comfortable with. I’m not happy with much of what passes as popular culture which is all manufactured by us, Americans.
Yet, despite all of that which I dislike, there is so much more that I love.
I love the very dirt that America is built upon, its hills and valleys. I love the people that manage to bring smiles to my face with their Boston, Brooklyn, and Texas accents. Dear God, I love Colorado, as even with all of my travels it is still one of the most beautiful places on God’s green Earth. I love our food, and France, China, and yes, even my motherland of Jamaica can’t keep up with a good burger, fries, and a milkshake.
I love our competitiveness, especially when it is used for the amazing good that we can do.
We don’t just have the power to change the world, we do change the world.
We do it everyday.
As a Black Muslim and son of immigrants, I have many reasons to be upset, as do many of you. As a student of history, literature, and post-colonialism, I am acutely aware of the travesties of this country. Yet, its that study that allows me to see the travesties of other societies and nations as well.
I am also aware, with sadness, that I may not have chosen to write this if I were in the borders of the country that raised me. Because while there I am unable to see the blessings afforded me.
While my rights aren’t always threatened through laws, they are threatened by the eyes that perceive me to be undeserving of their protection.
And if it is not my rights and privileges that are threatened, then it is hard to be a human and watch little children suffer because of the travesties that my own country has at certain points of its history inflicted on its neighbors. Travesties that those that boast their pride in this nation are very much ignorant about. Misunderstanding the role our country, which has encouraged people to flock here when their countries are burning, countries we’ve thrown half finished Marlboro’s at during the scorching sun, not realizing the fire that they can cause.
With all of the brokenness, I love the promises of the red, white, and blue. The promises to be better, the promises to serve, the promises to grow and deliver.
The opportunities provided within its borders that like a weapon can be used to take or save lives. I’m a realist, and I don’t dare look at America and expect perfection, it will never be that.
But it will always be my country, and if you got something nasty to say about it we can talk indoors, but if I hear you trashing it, we might fight.
Does this post look like a bunch of contradictions?
It might be, because America itself is a bunch of contradictions.
I can hate all of the bad, and love all of the good, and at the end of the day say that its all going to be alright because ”In God we trust.”
God bless America.