Wednesday, June 29, 2011

We Interrupt this Travel Blog...

For something I need to get off my chest. First off, let me say, that I love England. I love the culture, I love the cities, and I love the people here. Even though they have crap self-defense laws (no guns ever, and mace is illegal. MACE. WTF?!) I'd like to live here someday. I'd actually like to raise my kids here.

But this love of England will never, ever replace my pride and happiness at being born an American.

I wouldn't call myself a crazy patriot. I do not wear American flags on a daily basis, I do not scream, "AMERICA IS THE GREATEST LAND OF ALL!" at random pedestrians. (Although I do look forward to celebrating Independence Day in England...snerk.)

But nothing will rile up my American feathers like people trash-talking my country. This has happened a few times. I had to defend America in class the other day, when someone claimed we constantly meddled in other country's business because Americans had control issues. People constantly forget that people ASK us to come. They ASK for our help.

And most recently, from a friend who I won't name, (if you do read this, friend, I still love you, but your tweet irritated the crap out of me.) who basically announced their intention to forgo celebrating the Fourth of July because they didn't like where America has been, and they didn't like America was going.

First of all, that is an extremely arrogant thing to say. I'm sorry, but it is. It is elitist, condescending, and totally from a first world viewpoint, disregarding people from countries where women are abused daily, forced to hide themselves, and are not even allowed the basic necessity to drive. It reduces anyone who's dreamed of a better life here, who's dreamed of the freedoms this country allows to the human being, as ignorant fools.

Not to mention, it insults every single service man or woman who has fought for their country. My God, it insults the very men and women who DIED for their right to even SAY that about their country. It insults my father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather, one of my oldest family friends in Afghanistan right now, my cousin, my best friend's parents, my best friend's grandfather--I could go on.

I won't deny I have my problems with America. I don't like a lot of America's laws. I don't like some of the rampant social problems we have. I pretty much hate all American politicians. But I will always, always love and respect the ideals and dreams we were founded on, which include freedom to everyone, whatever ethnicity, whatever gender. The freedom to live our lives the way we choose. The freedom for a woman to stand up against patriarchy without reprisal. The freedom for a woman to vote, own her own land, be single, walk outside in a T-shirt and jeans, paint her toenails, kiss a stranger...and FYI, all of these things are punishable by death in several middle eastern countries. The freedom to write whatever we feel like without censorship, something I am passionate about. Yeah, this freedom includes the right to spout off elitist, arrogant statements about America. But don't you dare think that that doesn't come without consequences and offense.

Okay. Back to travel posts.

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