Proud to be an American. . .

Despite my ailments, I decided to drag myself to work this morning.  Since I’m suffering with a sore throat, I decided to stop off at a local coffee shop and get myself a chai tea latte, which always sooths my throat in such cases.

As I was getting out of my car, a pair of vehicles still on the road got into some kind of scuffle.  I don’t exactly know what happened or why, but it seems that the Chrysler that was behind the little Geo jeep didn’t quite see him or something, and anyway, she slammed on the brakes and hit the horn.  The guy in the Geo barely had time to think about what happened, and I suspect could only have seen the Chrysler and it’s occupant for a scant few tenths of a second before he decided to shout out of his car:

“Fuck you, n*gger!”

I watched the guy proceed to pull into his destination, completely disgusted by his pathetic racism.  When he got out of his shit-box, strutting into the building, the back of his shirt was emblazoned with a giant American flag.

Fuck you, hater!  Why does it have to be like this, these days?  Why can I not see an American flag on someone without immediately thinking they’re an asshole?  Because people like this dickhead all-too-often prove me right.

I’m an American, too, but people like this make it seem distasteful to be proud of that fact.  Wearing the American flag has these days become emblematic of intolerance in the classic Conservative vein.  And where it doesn’t symbolize hate, it certainly symbolizes a kind of “blase-faire” acceptance of the status quo; a bland statement of “support” for our troops, as warm as cat puke and at least as useful; a capitulation to our own petty whims over the good of our nation, as seen in the supposed patriotism of an SUV driver with a red, white and blue ribbon magnet.

Well, I’m done ceding patriotism to that kind of rabble.  I’m resolved to find – and even custom-order – as much red, white and blue clothing as I can manage from now on.  Does anyone know a good tailor?  I’m going to check Thread this weekend and maybe talk to Erica Byers about doing some work for me.    Maybe I’ll go classic and get a pair of red, white and blue bell-bottoms. . . .

And yes, I realize this isn’t the most original sentiment.  But this asswipe this morning caused a real gut-check moment for me.

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.