(Originally posted November 10, 2016. To be honest, this post was pretty ungracious on my part. The day after the election, a friend posted part of the lyrics to “God Bless the USA” as part of a post saying “let’s unite and move forward together.” My response is below.)
I think this goes the heart of the disconnect in the wake of this election.
Of course it’s easy for me to say “I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.” I am. I’m also a straight white Protestant male with a good job and a safe home.
But try to put yourself in other people’s shoes, and see if the words still ring true:
What if you were a Muslim who loves this country, too, but whom Donald Trump said he would require to “register”? How confidently could you say “at least I know I’m free”? And for how long?
What if you were the mother of a black teenaged boy, and every time he walked out the door, you worried because you know he’s more likely to be shot and killed by the police than his white classmates are? Could you honestly say “at least I know I’m free”?
What if you were a gay man who just married his longtime partner, and then heard the president-elect say he intended to invalidate your marriage?
Or someone with a life-threatening illness, for whom the repeal of the Affordable Care Act would essentially be a death sentence?
What if you were the 12-year-old child of undocumented parents, and had to live with the fear that the president-elect has said he’s going to deport your parents any day now?
It’s well and good to be proud of America. It’s entirely appropriate to be grateful for our freedom. But for the love of God, have enough empathy to understand that life isn’t as good for everyone as it is for us.