Is Being Proud A Bad Thing?
And I know that I’m going to catch shit from some of you, but I honestly don’t care. I will go out on that limb and say it, I’m proud of being white. But, I’m also proud of being an American. I am proud to have many friends of different races, skin colors, and ethnic backgrounds. I’m proud of my family, my military service, and so on. And I honestly don’t care what color someone’s skin is, what language they speak (but I don’t understand them if it isn’t English), who they voted for, what type of car they drive, and so on.
I grew up in the ’70s and my first best friend was the black girl down the road. Her name was April, well damn, “was” makes it sound like she is dead, or not a friend of mine anymore. And she is very much alive and still my friend, though we don’t go in the backyard and play in the sandbox anymore (but that might be fun). I have fond memories of hanging out in her basement listening to the Ohio Players’ “Fire”. If I wasn’t at her house, she was at mine. My mom babysat for her two younger siblings.
The color of someone’s skin should never be a factor (though I know it very much is in the real world) in how you judge someone. I have met some very undesirable white, black, tan, and yellow-skinned people. It has nothing to do with skin tone, and everything with, what type of person they are and want to be. Some people are just assholes and there isn’t anything we can do about it. If you are one of those people, then you know who you are. You are the perfect one, and everything around you is wrong and stupid.
Growing up, I was first exposed to prejudice through the guy that pretended to be my father, who was extremely prejudiced. Even though he saw everyone as inferior to his perfect being, for the rest of my childhood, I was raised not to see color. It wasn’t until I got older that I started to see that the world, in general, sees everything in color, race, ethnic background, and so on. As a society, we seem to be hell-bent on individualism and that just isn’t me. I mean we will actually create opportunities for all of us and those around us to be different, be “better”, and be something that you can’t be.
I remember growing up in the 70s and being proud to be an American, I knew the words to the “Pledge of Allegiance”, I knew the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner”, and the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and so on. Most of today’s youth don’t even know the Preamble to the Constitution or why we even have a Constitution. Today’s youth are pretty much clueless about everything and that is so sad.
I’m strange, I prefer to be alone, but I think that a good team working together can accomplish anything. The people in the United States tend to see everything so slanted, so jaded, meaning that if you aren’t them, then you aren’t worthy. I’m not sure why we just all can’t get along, why we all have to be against each other. When I joined the Marine Corps in the late 80s I was taught that the Marine Corps doesn’t see color either. In my daily life as a man in my 50s, I try very hard not to see color, but there are some people who try even harder to force you to see color.
A funny little story about when I was shipping out to boot camp. I was shipping out of the Detroit Michigan MEPS station. The night before we shipped out, a group of about 15 of us, all from the Detroit or Toledo, Ohio area (where I was from) walked all over Detroit at about 11 p.m. and never thought anything about it (we actually snuck out of the hotel). We were young and most of us didn’t see color like people do today. Looking back on that night, we were actually pretty lucky nothing happened to all of us (and for the record, we weren’t out raising hell, we were just walking around enjoying our last night of freedom).
When I say I’m proud to be white, I don’t mean that if I was black, brown, or rainbow, I wouldn’t be proud. I’m proud of my life, my history, I’m proud of who I am, and you should be proud of yours too, and not hate on everyone else. There already is too much hate in this world, be different and avoid the hate. The very second you have to qualify your race or the color of your skin (“I’m proud to be white”), you are starting to individualize yourself and by qualifying your race or skin color, you are disqualifying someone else.
Yes, I’m proud to be white, but I’m more proud to be an American. I may take issues with political things, and to be honest, I have lost a few friends in the past who were a “little” too aggressive in their political beliefs, but for the most part, I try to be open-minded and accepting of others. When I say “aggressive”, I mean they just can’t say their peace and move on, no they have to preach it to you every chance they get. And since I know there is that one person out there reading this, thinking, well you just don’t hang around anyone that is black (or whatever freaking color they are bitching about today). I will set the record straight, my neighbors on one side of my house are black, and on the other side Hispanic. Across the street, is a trans couple, next to them is a guy who is handicapped and in a wheelchair, and next to him is a black elderly couple. I have lived next to all of them for many years and I have been in this house for 20 years. Where I work, there is about a 70/30 split in race, and I get along with just about everyone, but those that I don’t get along with, seem to be on everyone’s avoid list. Any of the organizations I belong to, which are mostly military are a fair split and we all get along with no issues, but we were all prior military too. Growing up, I had many friends of different races and dated a few as well.
It seems that for the past 10-15 years (maybe more) we have lived in a very hateful society. We are so negative about every cause that isn’t the cause that you support. I’m pretty sure, there would be a “save the rocks” cause, and someone will hate that cause because it isn’t the “save the pebbles” cause that they support. I really get tired of all the negativity in the world. The overall mental health of this country is in the toilet and swirling.
April, not sure if you will ever see this, but thank you for being you and being my friend.
And for the record, I really hated writing this post, it makes me feel so dirty to think in terms of race like this, but it needed to be said.
Just be ‘Proud’ of you!!!