There is an email wandering through the internet. No, this one is not from that guy in Africa who has $20 million that he needs your help and your money to procure. This one is an article that right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin wrote called, “Michelle Obama’s America—and Mine.” Michelle Malkin, like most of the neocons, took exception to Michelle Obama when she said, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.” Ms. Malkin’s article took off on the things that she is proud of as a woman-of-color, like Michelle Obama.
We were adults through several launches of the Space Shuttle, in case you were snoozing. [Ed. note: Speaking of which, welcome back, Atlantis!] And as adults, we’ve witnessed and benefited from dizzyingly rapid advances in technology, communications, science, and medicine pioneered by American entrepreneurs who yearned and succeeded to change the world. You want “change?” Go ask the patients whose lives have been improved and extended by American pharmaceutical companies who have flourished under the best economic system in the world.
If the fall of communism, American ingenuity, and a robust constitutional republic don’t do it for you, hon, then how about American heroism and sacrifice? (more…)
Michelle Malkin is a right-wing tool. Anything that a right-wing person says is okay with her and anything that a liberal says is wrong. It is clear to me that Mrs. Obama was speaking figuratively, not literally, but it doesn’t matter.
In the last 20 – 30 years what has America done to make us proud? The Space Shuttle is a stretch. It is nice, but I’m not sure that I get national pride out of the space shuttle. The Berlin wall coming down didn’t fill me with American pride. I’m sorry it didn’t. I was happy for Europe and the people liberated from Soviet oppression. I’m sorry, but on 9/11 I felt national sadness. Yes, there were individual acts of heroism and I sit here in awe of what they did or tried to do, but no it wasn’t national pride. I think that is an incredible stretch to say that you love America because of American antibiotics or a CT scan. Instead, you are happy that that service is available to you.
Now, I did feel national pride when the U.S. beat Russia in Olympic hockey back in 1980 or 1976? I did feel national pride when President Bush stood at Ground Zero and every one was chanting “USA, USA.”
On the campaign trail you give thousands of speeches. You can stick to the script and sound like John Kerry or you can wander off from time to time. Sometimes you will say something that rubs some folks the wrong way. All you can do is apologize and try to move on. Hopefully, folks will see through the smoke screen and see who you really are.
Finally, I don’t think that there is a Black man or woman in American who is in my place (as a trauma surgeon) or even in Mrs. Obama’s that doesn’t realize we couldn’t have achieved our status in any other country. We profoundly love America. We love America ever single day. But we see an America with great potential who needs to be pushed or pulled some times to get closer to the goal outlined in our Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
I would invite Michelle Malkin to Asheville and ask her to come to my emergency room, or any ER (I’m guessing that Ms. Malkin lives in DC, Howard University Hospital would be a great ER to visit), in the country. Here you see suffering. You see people who are living in cars because they have been laid off. You see people who have returned to the emergency room with some complication because they can’t afford their medicine. Here is where you see the real effects of poverty. The spirit crushing effects. Your national pride falls when you are in the emergency room. Yes, you still love America but you sure wish that we could do better.