We The People with flag

Were We Always a Land Of Me, Not You?

The past four years it’s been almost painful to look at an American flag, much less proudly fly one on the Fourth of July.

That beloved iconic image has been heinously commandeered by those who hold a treasonous Confederate flag of racist losers in equal regard. Not to mention flags with their dear demented leader’s name and image desecrating the Stars and Stripes.

In 2019, I wrote in my local newspaper column about Independence Day:

When our nation was formed of the people, by the people and for the people, when we declared independence from a tyrannical king, it was not a declaration that we are superior to other nations or people.

We did not ordain the United States of America to be the only country bestowed God’s grace because we are the only beings on the face of the Earth deserving of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

There have been many warnings our Republic, this Democracy, is a grand experiment doomed to failure if we let it. Founders of our nation expressed concern over citizens too uninformed to be trusted with votes on who should lead and govern.

Yet these men came together to express hopes and fears and grievances. They argued, sometimes bitterly and to no avail, despite being of one race, gender and country of origin, the very place they claimed independence from.

Did they prevail only to fail in the 21st century?

The people who forged this nation beginning with the Declaration of Independence were immigrants from another place before they hailed from states called Virginia and Maryland and Pennsylvania.

They made mistakes and committed atrocities contrary to their proposition that all men are created equal and endowed with inalienable rights.

Today, immigrants are demonized, vilified and looked down on by many who have done little themselves to benefit our nation and its people. Indeed, so-called patriots have such hatred for diversity in our nation that theirs is the most heinous hypocrisy since it was formed.

Their arrogance and willful ignorance is astounding; this lack of humility and grace born of bigotry will be their ultimate downfall, or the nation’s.

In 2021, the fumbling fascist is no longer in power, but his traitorous followers continue to rage, to attempt to destroy our democracy. To eradicate our republic.

They set off firecrackers masquerading as celebratory fireworks from Memorial Day through post-midnight on Christmas in 2020. Not to celebrate our independence of July 4, 1776, but to harass and intimidate a diverse neighborhood with sounds mimicking gunfire. They’re still at it this year.

Just as they strut about with MAGA caps, brandish guns in state houses, and violently invade Capitol Hill to prevent the peaceful transition of power.

Beginning with Alienable Rights in my Other Worldly series, I address American bigotry. Not only against immigrants derisively called illegal aliens, but the actual, extraterrestrial kind.

In Aliens Abound, protagonist Rowan Layne speaks of anti-alien vigilantes: “How stupid do they have to be to think their HUMANS FIRST! flags and stickers will somehow make others support their idiocy? They look and sound ridiculous. A last gasp of denial that life has changed on Earth…whether they like it or not.”

These neighbors of Rowan’s are members of groups stockpiling guns and harboring hate. She’s asked by a non-human entity if she wants to speak with them about their transgressions:

“I’ve thought many times about what I’d like to say to people that selfish and mean, only to realize it could put me in danger by identifying myself, given the police do nothing to stop their reckless activity. But talking to them would be futile. Reasoning or appealing to basic human decency doesn’t work when people are too dedicated to their hate, too willing to embrace ignorance, to be gloatingly proud of all they refuse to understand, or accept.”

As I said in my July 4, 2019, newspaper column:

Why do so many Americans believe it is only they who are blessed by their god and only their god? That this nation is somehow the only plot of land on our planet with people deserving of blessings, but only for those who look like them and worship what they claim to worship.

When did we become a land of mine, not yours? A land hating everyone and everything else while claiming to love America? Hatred does not make you free, or brave, or deserving of respect or blessings or deference.

Have we always been this way?

This festering hate now gallivants in plain sight. Boldly, proudly, with the same fanfare once reserved for a Fourth of July parade. Indeed, these bigoted buffoons have the gall to brand themselves patriots preserving liberty.

For whom? Not for we the people. Not for America as it exists in 2021. Not for all Americans, and those seeking to become American citizens.

One more thing. Setting off firecrackers every night all summer long is not patriotic. It’s idiotic.

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