Wednesday, November 23, 2005

we didn't land on plymouth rock

One of the reasons that it is bad for us to continue to just refer to ourselves as the so-called Negro, that's negative. When we say so-called Negro that's pointing out what we aren't, but it isn't telling us what we are. We are Africans, and we happen to be in America. We are not Americans. We are a people who formerly were Africans who were kidnapped and brought to America. Our forefathers weren't the Pilgrims. We didn't land on Plymouth Rock; the rock was landed on us. -Malcolm X (full speech)


For me personally, it was important to go through a stage of not feeling very American. And if an individual feels so alienated from this society that they need to go somewhere else (Ethiopia, Cuba, Arabia, Israel, Liberia, France, Canada etc.) to feel more at home or feel free, then more power to them. I have alot of respect for people who are willing to make that move based on their convictions.

But for most of us, truthfully speaking, I would say we just need to find ways to identify as American without identifying with a long history of racism and oppression and while remaining critical of anti-human foreign and domestic government policies. Those things are not a part of what it means to be American. American culture is more than just a narrow medley of European culture with non-Western accents. And patriotism is not an uncritical acceptance of government policy, but rather it means having enough love for this country to fix what is broken.

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