Among many, many others of similar passion:
- pat stevens ?
- david simon, I hope a black guy punches you right in the fucking face just for being white..
- Willy Scanlon ?
@7sMRD313 Then David Simon should leave for Israel with the rest of the Fucking Jews who think that they own this country.
- Robert Aguilar Jr. ?
David Simon can take the first Asiana flight the fuck out of here too!!
My actual words: “Tonight, anyone who truly understands what justice is and what it requires of a society is ashamed to call himself an American.”
* * *
Some random moments in my lifetime when I have been intensely proud of my country:
1. “Ich bin ein Berliner” and “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
2. The arrival of U.S. carriers off the shores of Indonesia after a devastating tsunami.
3. Standing on a lawn in College Park, Md. when President Reagan arrived to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a black family that had endured a cross burning there.
4. The realization that if the state of Iowa — Iowa! — could accept gay marriage, then a great wall of intolerance was certain to collapse in our own time.
5. The rebuilding of New Orleans with the celebration of American culture as its essential fuel.
6. MLK’s 1963 address from the Lincoln Memorial.
7. Walking among the graves at Coleville-sur-Mer in Normandy and walking the ground at Gettysburg, Antietam and Cold Harbor.
8. The first time I actually heard the Library of Congress recording of Woody Guthrie singing “This Land Is Your Land.”
9. The night we answered precisely an act of mass murder by the necessary capture or death of Osama bin Laden.
10. The Gourds’ cover of “Gin & Juice.” I’m not kidding, but no, I can’t quite explain.
Random moments from my life in which I have been ashamed to be an American.
1. The shooting down of a civilian airliner by the U.S. Navy and the deaths of hundreds of ordinary people for which a president said he would never apologize.
2. The assassination of Dr. King.
3. Our drug war and the realization of what it has done to our underclass, to the northern Mexican states and to our own civil liberties.
4. Extra-legal rendition and torture.
5. The imagery of young Americans chanting, “U.S.A., U.S.A.” gleefully in the wake of the necessary but sobering death of Osama bin Laden.
6. Listening to Irving Berlin’s sanctification of a nation-state at every seventh-inning stretch.
7. The federal sentencing guidelines and the evisceration of the federal judiciary.
8. The killing of doctors, bombings of abortion clinics and the harassment and stigmatization of patients in the name of a political cause which then claims the mantle of pro-life.
9. The systemic response to the death of an unarmed 17-year-old boy, profiled and shot to death.
10. The callow insecurity that accompanies any cry of “America, right or wrong” or “America, love it or leave it.”
As with 300 million other souls, I am fully vested in the American experiment. I try my best to be attentive to what America achieves for its citizens and by its citizens, and what it offers the world. When we are honorable and generous and in concert with our stated ideals, pride naturally follows. When we act otherwise, shame is, for me, the resulting emotion.
To those who can’t conceive of anyone ever being ashamed, or expressing shame at those moments when this country abandons or even betrays its core values, I’m actually willing to go even further than my initial comment: You may, in fact, be the one who doesn’t understand what it means to be a proud American. Not truly and not deeply; not without some measure of shame as well.
Why not? Because just as good cannot be truly understood to the marrow without a corresponding sense of evil, pride in one’s country — if it is substantive pride, and not merely the rote, pledge-allegiance mouthings of patriotic cliche — requires the sober knowledge that American greatness is neither assured, nor heaven-sent. It comes to us from our national premise and ideals — and our willingness to maintain those things at all hazards. And if you’ve never felt ashamed for us for having strayed from our core values in even the most appalling ways — say, the wartime detention of Japanese-Americans, or a My Lai or Kent State , or Bull Conner, or COINTELPRO, or life sentences for juvenile defendants, or prisons-for-profit — then maybe you’ve never really acknowledged what the actual stakes are for a republic, or how much work, rather than platitude, is required to assure an honorable, democratic future. Yes, you claim an all-encompassing pride and you wallow in it, brooking not even a mention of anything shameful that happens on our watch as citizens. But in fact, real pride is earned and internalized only with a grown-up understanding that even a good or great nation, while deserving of our allegiance and civic commitment, can indeed shame itself. Saying so when it happens is a fundamental of self-governance, as all dissent is a fundamental of self-governance.
I’m not going anywhere. And I’m doubling down. Our national response to the death of an unarmed 17-year-old, and the new legal construct that prevents any judicial redress of his death is shameful and as an American, I am ashamed.