Thursday, July 6

Booker Rising's '10 Reasons Why I'm Proud To Be American'

This list of 10 Reasons Why I'm Proud To Be American is lifted straight out of one of our favorite blogs, Booker Rising, and presented as our belated July 4th post. Here comes the power Yankee Doodleism, colored girl's style ... to school us on the aspect of America ...


Today marks the 230th birthday of the United States. As folks turn up the barbecue grills, march in Independence Day parades, and watch firework shows, I thought that I'd discuss why I - the great-great granddaughter of G.W.C., born a slave in Mississippi in 1856 and later became a sawmill worker - would be proud of our relatively young nation. Pictured courtesy of Bright Photography is Ted Hayes, the "Rasta Republican", dressed as Uncle Sam. Here comes Yankee Doodleism, colored girl's style:

1. No other country provides more freedom, opportunity, and economic progress for black folks. Where can all of the world's only self-made black billionaires be found? Which country is the only one on the planet where most of its black population is now middle-class and owns their own homes? Which country has the best-educated black population? Highest per capita GDP? Where the black population has the lowest poverty rate (26%). That would be America, despite its history. These and other statistics plus the voting of feet - more blacks have now immigrated to America than were forcibly brought here during the slave trade - backs me up. And no damn monarchy that drains the national treasury here.

2. Our optimism, entrepreneurial spirit, and willingness to adapt to changing conditions. We Americans believe that we can do anything, which is a key strength of America.

3. Ability to self-critique. Just ask those Arab countries if they are critiquing their role in the slave trade, and historical treatment of black folks. You'll be waiting forever. How about Latin America, with its "racial democracy" talk but yet its black population lives so poorly? Heck, even France just got around to highlighting its history re: black folks. While there is certainly room for improvement, America - far more than most countr4ies - is willing to critique itself and rectify its practices.

4. I can say what I want and not end up in jail, dead, or missing. Americans often take this fact for granted, but it is important to people like a Sudanese reader who once emailed me and had to use various email addresses because he was critiquing the Sudanese government in his message to me.

5. Technological innovation. We love to seek out the new and big.

6. Kick-ass music tradition. Gospel, blues, jazz, soul, rock & roll, rap (before it went to pot), etc. are popular around the world. And all created by black Americans.

7. The world's first televised human rights movement. Drawing from American ideals (which were not being lived up to at the time), black Americans rocked it during the Civil Rights Movement and these activities have served as inspiration for folks around the world. A rich tradition of human rights and democracy promotion of which black Americans should be especially proud.

8. America as an idea. Unlike in some countries, nationality is not based on blood.

9. Our superpower status. Yeah, others are envious but that's because they ain't on top right now.

10. Our work ethic. We account for only about 5% of the world's population, but about 1/4 of global productivity. While we may work too hard and could play more, at least Americans ain't a lazy bunch.

<< Home