I did not become patriotic until I was a young adult watching the Olympics. My childhood was spent taking a knee during any patriotic displays because the United States of America and my ancestors have never been sympatico. The European settlers of this land robbed, killed, and made deathly ill my native ancestors while being viewed as savages. The slave traders captured and enslaved my African ancestors. While writing the Declaration of Independence and later crafting the almighty Constitution, the founding fathers were not including slaves and indigenous people. Later through amendments due to societal pressures, the founding fathers’ vision was forced to include a marginalized population that had yet been recognized as…people.
For the past year and a half, the election cycle unearthed an ugly, festering cold sore sitting on the botoxed lips of an aging supermodel named the United States of America. To many, they can ignore the cold sore and call it a beauty mark. For others, the cold sore is all they see and they are lead to believe that America is nothing but that cold sore. It’s distressing to watch the cold sore grow unchecked. The bloody pus dripping from the putrid sore is festering and becoming more than a temporary illness that can be cured with a prescription from the friendly, neighborhood pharmacist. The sore is less blemish and more unchecked herpes.
As I write this, I listen to my children talk about fireworks. I hear people near and far set off noisy bombs in the name of celebration. I smell the smoke from my husband’s grill. As I write this, I think about the American flag I planted in my garden and the row of flags my neighbors have planted in their lawns. Everyone in my neighborhood would have been considered less than the men the founding fathers thought worthy of the rights established in the Bill of Rights. But everyone in my neighborhood is gearing up for the party to celebrate the birth of this country we call home.
So as you tip back that beer and nosh on that bbq while listening to John Philip Sousa and watching the display of gunpowder and fire, be aware that you too love your home. If you’re part of the resistance, you’re resisting because you love your home. If you’re marching, you love your home. If you’re still having hopes that your guy will grow up at the age of 70 and stop tweeting like a disgruntled mean girl, you love your home. If you’re waiting in the shadows hoping that this new land will embrace you, you love your home
May God bless America, my home sweet home.