Pride in America cannot only be certain brand of white man's pride
Proud: It's a funny word that often keeps us tied to a malicious and persistent lie. And the idea and demand for pride in this country has served as a weapon for too long, an illusion that we, as citizens standing on the shining city on the hill, can raise our flags and inflate our chests to.
Pride makes us dance a jig to demonstrate our tireless commitment to rule. Wonder if America has never been great, and you find yourself on the receiving end of the cascading Twitter vitriol - or worse. Bend your knee in protest and you will take a pound of meat.
The problem with pride is this: a certain brand of white man's pride has been replaced by actual pride, and it requires the complete destruction of truth to endure - along with the diminution of black identity, which may well be deliberate.
In my life as an activist artist, I have invested my time researching this collective psychopathy. I've learned that if not controlled, it can burn society down at a breakneck pace - metastasize through the entire body of a country in just a few years.
As we fight the plague of Covid-19, the plague of violence and white domination has gotten out of hand. Groups like the Proud Boys, founded by Gavin McInnes and now led by more of his kind, who advocate so-called Western chauvinism, deny the existence of racism, and encourage members to renounce supposed "white guilt" and violence are only further encouraged by a president who told them on the stage in front of millions of Americans to "stand by and stand by."
Others, like the Michigan militia group, the Wolverine Watchmen, can apparently be activated if their angry commander-in-chief in tweets "LIBERATE MICHIGAN": The FBI said this week that it has foiled a conspiracy by a group of armed men - at least one of them revealed Confederate flags on his property, and some of them, have obvious links to the far right "Boogaloo" movement, which is dedicated to sparking a racist civil war - to kidnap and possibly execute Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, in retaliation Introducing a nationwide mask mandate and other restrictions to fight Covid-19.
But I'm not at all surprised by such brazen attempts to terrorize Americans; I got to know white supremacist groups well. My partner Christopher Renz and I did extensive research to write the Confederate militia characters for our film Antebellum. And what we have learned is that at its core it is a harmful breed of "white pride" that can only exist with black equality as the main victim.
I suspect your insistence on this hateful pride is an elaborate ploy to avoid confronting your deep sense of moral inferiority - but that would have to be diagnosed by a clinical psychologist, and I'm just a writer, a filmmaker, and a very concerned citizen .
I have learned from the art of human frailty that white pride and our acceptance of even mild versions of it as general pride in our country is the greatest enemy of our ability as a nation to survive this final turning point in America's democratic experiment.
White people are not alone when it comes to combining national pride with white pride. Patriarchy has done a great deal to us blacks too, teaching us to hate ourselves, to admonish one another and to fear the scarcity of junk that can be shared among the blessed few.
We know that this land was built on the back of the stolen bodies and forced labor of our ancestors, but somewhere along the line we buried this truth so deep in our souls that we barely noticed the traces of America's original sin in the assigned surnames or how we gleefully devoured hot dogs while watching a Redskins game or when we dropped our black children in schools named after white supremacists. We turned away from this truth when we gave our money to media companies that made comic sketches of us for our entertainment, as if our existence was only as vast as white people can see.
They marvel at our daring to survive and think that life in our struggle - that our tenacious resilience - should be a great source of pride, rather than seeing our pride in our enduring beauty in the face of that ugliness or our royal dignity, refusal to see the skinny To accept the fact of fraudulent equality.
To be proud is to be human; It gives weight and shape to our identities and enlivens the meaning of life when one can so often be difficult to find. But pride can also be a fool’s gold that seeks us for its worthless payoff.
I am very proud too - proud of my blackness, proud of my otherness, and proud enough to do everything humanly possible to replace the illusion of the greatness of America with the illusion of something real and tangible for everyone. This is a pride that, if we're lucky, can bear fruit because the alternative is as frightening as it is untenable - because keeping the current version of pride is sure to eat us all alive, from the ocean to the shining sea.
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