Opinion: On ‘Murica Day, remember the past, but focus on moving forward

Brittany Nelson

‘Murica day has arrived and patriotism is running higher than ever. But what does ‘Murica day really mean? Is it the time to focus on our nation’s stunning achievements or the things that have made us laughingstocks to other countries? Do we dress up in our American flag blazers and the sing the Star-Spangled Banner or do we find the closest person of color and shake their hand profusely and apologize? We can’t deny our history as a country but we can’t let old-fashioned patriotism keep us from advancing forward.

America is in no way perfect. We have not always been the land of the free, our government hasn’t always looked out for the interest of the people, and our people have not always been of the best character. But, in a way, we do have a reputation to uphold. We need to demonstrate that we are capable of opening ourselves to others. In fact, it’s kind of the reason America is here, but some people forget that. All of sudden, if you don’t speak English, or haven’t been a legal citizen, or wear a burka, or use welfare, you don’t deserve a place in this country.

The situation in America is not getting substantially worse. Things will never be the same as they were before and some forget that fact. What seemed good in 1935 would be considered bad now. Would we be worried about a black person making it into law school in 2012? No, but in 1935, this was considered a change, and some people believed it was a change for the worse. But as time went on, here we are 77 years later and black people are doing all kinds of things. The cost of living has always been high compared to the income no matter what year you look at. One dollar in 1962 equals seven dollars and twenty-three cents now. Sure, their cars cost only three thousand dollars but their yearly income was around six thousand. The point is things aren’t as bad as they seem.

Moving forward is the key to everything. We need to be aware of what’s happening now, but instead of running around in circles about it, we need to sit down and take a calm, deep breath. How can we deal with poverty, crime, and unemployment in Flint, Michigan? Certainly not by complaining about how much poverty, crime, and unemployment there is in Flint, Michigan. We need to appreciate the resources and freedoms we have, and learn to use them properly. ‘Murica day is funny, so is aMerica. Half of us are complaining about how the government is planning to take away our freedoms and the other half are putting blind faith into anything that seems decently patriotic. Let’s find a sensible middle, balance it out, and just try to coast when the speed limit changes or we are stuck behind a big truck in the fast lane, we’ll take it off of cruise control and get back on track. Let’s make ‘Murica something we can be proud of.