African American Patriotism


I love my country. I served in the Army for 5 years, taking two bullets in the process. I took those bullets in the name of freedom and the American way of life. I love this country so much that I have the American flag tattooed on my arm. I am the descendant of Africans born in America. As proud as I am to be African, I'm just as proud to be American.


Does my patriotism count as an African American? We get told to "go back to Africa", but I've never been there. I'm sure I have descendants from Africa, but thanks to the separation of families during slavery I don't and most likely won't know who they are. So thanks to slavery and racism I'm an African American who doesn't know how to trace his African origin.


I think about African American veterans who came before me who fought along our Caucasian counterparts. When they stepped foot back on American soil they returned to segregation, discrimination, and the decimation of our culture. The same people we fought side by side with during war would rather see us eat in the back of the restaurant instead of at the same table they sit at. Isn't our black patriotism worth anything?


I hate to use this phrase, but we didn't ask to be here. We were bought here without the intention of being considered equal citizens. Yet, African Americans still join the military and put their lives on the line. Fighting for a country that has never fought for them. Still, our American patriotism comes with a side eye from the rest of the country.


When we think about white pride, images of pickup trucks with American flags, beer drinking cowboys, and confederate flags come to mind. When the rest of the world brings up the history behind the confederate flag, people say it’s as American as apple pie. That means racism is as American as apple pie. Apple pie reminds me of the scene in the movie Life where Eddie Murphy & Martin Lawrence try to get a piece of pie from a restaurant and instead the lady at the counter offered to turn them into “nigger pie”.


I’m black, and I’m proud to be American. However, get a bunch of black people together and we may encounter another “BBQ Becky”, a concerned citizen worried about a large gathering of black people. It seems like black patriotism is laughed at in this country. If I wanted to drink beer and drive pickup trucks with my Caucasian counterparts I don’t think I’d be a welcomed guest. Who know, maybe one day...

 

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