That is the opening and closing tagline to the Michael Medved Show. And it annoys some people. Whether true or not (and it’s true), apparently taking pride in one’s country and expressing it so blatantly and unapologetically is an offensive “no-no”. At least to some. And those “some people” I am talking about are most assuredly somewhere left of center.
While I did not find the Super Bowl Coca-Cola commercial offensive nor “un-American” like some Americans (remember the old “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” Coca-Cola commercial?), I do find this deeply un-American, idiotic, asinine, and blockheaded:
Students and parents at a Colorado high school are outraged after administrators turned down their request for a spirit week day honoring America because it might offend non-Americans.
“They said they didn’t want to offend anyone from other countries or immigrants,” a 16-year-old member of the student council told me. “They just really did not want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.”
Um….”not offend anyone from other countries or immigrants”?! Say what?!? If I’m visiting another country, one of the things I look forward to is that country celebrating its own culture. I find beauty in a people who take pride in their customs and express love for the land they live in. I don’t go to Japan to eat KFC and be made to feel at home by my Japanese hosts by taking me out to a Japanese McDonalds. I want to be immersed in the local culture and customs of the place I am visiting. And I would be no more “offended” by Japanese taking pride in Japan than I would an American in his own backyard celebrating the beauty of the United States.
Furthermore, how can these school officials fear offending “immigrants”? If they are immigrants, wouldn’t you expect that they are immigrating to this country to become American and would have a love of American culture and celebration? Why would you immigrate to a country whose culture and customs offends you?
The student council at Fort Collins High School had proposed having a day to celebrate the United States during next week’s Winter Spirit Week. The young people pitched “’Merica Monday” – and invited their classmates to dress in patriotic colors. Their proposal was promptly shot down by administrators.
“They said they didn’t want to be exclusive to any other country,” a 17-year-old member of the student council told me.
So in America we can’t celebrate “Americanism”? What happens at this school during the 4th of July? Multi-National celebration?
In an act of appeasement:
After the administrators rejected the day to celebrate America, the teenagers offered a compromise – “My Country Monday.”
“We opened it up to everyone – no matter what country you are from,” the 17-year-old student told me. “That got declined, too.”
The irony, said the students, is that they are required to participate in Cinco de Mayo celebrations. One member of the student council pointed out the hypocrisy – and noted that students were not being forced to dress in red, white and blue for “’Merica Day.”
“We were confused why we couldn’t do one day that was for America,” the student told me.
The parents said they are “so tired” of political correctness.
The principal at Fort Collins High School did not return my phone calls and neither did the assistant principal. A spokesperson for the Poudre School District sent me a statement acknowledging that they rejected the “’Merica Day” celebration.
“Building administration met with the students to discuss the inconsistency of this day versus the other planned theme days including PJ day and Twin day,” the statement read. “The students then suggested changing the first day to My Country Monday and administration agreed. This theme day allows students to showcase their pride in America and for international students, their country of origin.”
However, parents and students said that’s not accurate. They said My Country Monday was originally rejected last week and was only reinstated midday Monday – shortly after I called the school district and began making inquiries (a coincidence, I’m sure.)
I asked the district spokesperson to clarify their statement. The spokesperson did not return my message.
“They said they didn’t feel comfortable having a day celebrated where students might feel uncomfortable with the patriotism that students are showing,” one of the students told me.
Unbelievable. This is the United States of America. We welcome the huddled masses yearning to be free with arms wide open. But if you come to our land and take offense at our values and traditions, then as we say down South, “don’t let the door hit you where good Lord split you.”
And shame on the administrators at Fort Collins High School for treating American school children like second-class citizens.
Like the “War on Christmas”, the misguided, convoluted thinking of those crammed full of political correctness would culturally impoverish the whole world for fear of being exclusive and risk offending anyone.
If Michael Medved were, say, Canadian, and regularly expressed his love of Canada with a tagline for his radio program that “Canada was the greatest nation on God’s green earth”, why should I be offended? How does that do me damage what this person thinks? When someone expresses that “My dad is the greatest” or “My mom is the best mom in the whole wide world”, what on earth is to be gained by taking offense and arguing the point? It makes my heart glad when I hear people express such love for their own father and mother. Same holds true for a patriot for his country.
With that said, quite frankly, America is indeed the greatest, most indispensible, significant nation of consequence and the last best hope of the world. Why do I say this? Because I am an unapologetic American; and because it’s true.
As I expressed in a comment section before:
it’s also the case that conservatives are misunderstood by liberals when we rail against the concept of multiculturalism and embrace the idea of American exceptionalism.
I love celebrating the diversity and beauty of other cultures; but when it comes to being an American, I value the concept of an American melting pot and not a salad bowl where all cultures are created equal (they are not, even if it sounds like an ugly, pompous, and self-centered thing to say. Think Michael Jordan. He and I were not created equal when it comes to cultural significance to the world of basketball; yet the multicultural-type of mindset will have you believe we are both equally significant and important in our contributions to the world). I don’t want separate mini-countries (other cultures) segregated within a country (the U.S.). I prefer assimilation into established American culture. Yes, add your own unique cultural flavor to the mix; but don’t replace what’s already there with your own brand.
Celebrating America as “the greatest country on God’s green earth” isn’t about being arrogant and putting down other countries as lesser than us by doing so. When those from other countries express pride and patriotism and love of country, I think it’s a beautiful thing. It’s wonderful when people are in love with where they came from- their home, their neighborhood, their city, their school, their state…their country. It’s sad when they are not. When someone says, “my dad is the best!”, why must I argue “No he’s not” then start pointing out all of the man’s faults to prove to the son what is otherwise not the case? Those who believe in American exceptionalism aren’t denying the sins of our country; but we choose not to dwell on them- something that Howard Zinn liberals and blame-America firsters hand-wring over or over-magnify them. Not without balancing it out with what’s great about our country.
What multiculturalists want to do, as I understand them, is to claim that all cultures are created equal, have equal significance to American history, and deserve equal recognition. This goes back to my Michael Jordan analogy. It may be an idea that makes some people feel good so as not to experience hurt feelings and feelings of being “left out”; but it’s misguided. It’s the same sentiment that drives liberals to want to update American history books with a more “balanced” text by including the contributions to American history by ethnic minorities, gays, and women. What’s next? Fat people? Short people? The inclusion of a person’s role to general American history should be based upon the significance and size of their actual contribution to it- not in order to magnify the role of some and minimize the role of others just so special interest groups can feel good about themselves by who they identify with. How about identifying with Americans regardless of ethnicity, sex, and sexual orientation?
I’m sorry, but Islam had very little to do with founding this country. I’m sorry if that makes Muslim multiculturalists uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t. They should take pride in George Washington and identify with him and embrace him if they are Muslim-American. American textbooks don’t need to be updated by searching high and low for some obscure Muslim founding father and claim he had equal significance to the nation’s beginnings as Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, etc.
But this is what multiculturalists want. 13-15% of the population may be black; but if that is reflected in, say, Hollywood, they complain about lack of equal representation on tv and on the big screen (news to me that non-white actors aren’t starring in leading roles). Diversity happens naturally. It should not be forced, however. Whites, blacks, yellows, reds, Thais, Irish, Samoans, Presbyterians, Mormons, etc. did not all contribute equally to the formation of our country. The lament that most of America’s presidents have been a whites-only club is a ridiculous argument. I’ve heard some use the point as proof-positive of America’s racist attitudes! Good grief!
- Jean-Francois Revel