Monday, March 14, 2011

A Patriot

I never thought of myself as a patriot before. I don't like a lot of what America has done, and I don't like a lot of what America stands for. I am not 100% American either, since I have a dual citizenship- Japan and the U.S. I always thought that I would leave America after I graduated college to become a writer somewhere in South America.

However, the other day I was accused of hating America, because I critisized American imperialism. By American imperialism, I mean how America goes into other countries in the name of democracy and the greater good, and they force their American ways (capitalism and democracy) on these countries. Often when America leaves, like in the case of Vietnam, there is more harm done than good. (Oh, and Vietnam is still communist). There is a lot more to American imperialism than Vietman. It started with the unfair treatment toward Native Americans when America was expanding to the west in the name of manifest destiny. This is a topic for another day, however. The point is, I was accused of hating America because I hate some of the things America has done.

As I thought about this later however, I realized how untrue this is. I do love America. I love the freedom I have. This country is my home. It's beautiful. To be patriotic, do I need to be in love with everything my country has done? Of course not. I love the country, meaning the landscape, the cities, the mountains, the ocean, etc. I love the diversity of people and ideas. I love my freedom of speech the most. Although I would love to move to other countries later on in life, it would be absurd to say that I hate America. This is my home.

The person who called me unpatriotic thinks that I should not look at the evils that America has done. She sees America as a force of good in the world, and she only sees the good. I cannot deny the good that America has done. However, I would also be lying to myself to ignore the evils they have done. Patrioticism does not require me to believe in only part of the truth. I can love my country knowing both the good and the evil. Isn't that how love works in this world?

I am patriotic because I enjoy my freedoms in America, and I love the land that God created here. I don't like much of what America does or has done, but I love that I can speak against it without fear. It's as simple as that.

No comments:

Post a Comment