‘Proud to be an American… Finally’?


By: Warner Todd Huston

I really hated Jimmy Carter. I felt Bill Clinton was a disgrace as a man much less a president even though his administration wasn’t half as bad as Carter’s, admittedly. Historically, FDR proved to be a president that introduced more anti-American ideas into our political system than any other. As to the future, Obama could be a humongous disaster for this country. But through all of those horrible leaders of American history, I was still — am still — proud to be an American. I have always been happy to wave the flag or argue our merits with a snooty European, and I’ve always gotten a thrill up my leg on Independence Day (with apologies to Chris Matthews for stealing his obsequiousness). Who the president was didn’t make me less an American, or less willing to be one.

But not so with liberals. So often, it seems that liberals have no self worth unless they win elections. To liberals America cannot be “good” unless liberals are in charge. Without liberals in the lead they cannot be proud of America. This is once again proven by a columnist with the Philadelphia Tribune who has announced to the world that she was never proud of America until the evening of November fourth when The One ascended to the highest office in the land.

So, Philly Trib columnist Julianne Malveaux is suddenly proud to be an American. In her November 14 blog posting on the Philly Trib site, she waxed mooney over the election of Obama and also absurdly decided that his election somehow made her an American for the first time. That she should be suddenly proud and that she was never before a real American without a President Obama are two equally idiotic premisses.

Malveaux begins her piece describing her daily routine talking to God in prayer each morning. While telling us she addresses God by reminding him she is “the sister who tries to serve” him we get the first hint that her political identity is more important to her than anything in the world. After all, who uses ideological tags to describe themselves when talking in their own head to God? To God she calls herself a “sister,” a loaded term bespeaking of black separatism and victimhood. Would you remind God you are a Republican, a white person, or an Hispanic? Wouldn’t you assume God knows you already and that you don’t have to remind God of your political ideology?

Not so Malveaux who even has to shove her “blackness” in God’s face on a daily basis.

She goes on:

On Nov. 5, I changed my conversation. For the first time, I acknowledged my nation, praying, “It’s good to be alive in the United States of America today.”

You may ask why a woman of her advanced years is only now getting around to being proud of her country and only now imagines herself an actual American and how does Obama’s election have anything to do with this? There really is only one reason: She’s black and so is Obama.

“Yes, it is good to finally consider and enjoy the perks that I got into being an American,” she continued. Finally good? Did she never realize any of these “perks” before?

And, before you think I am making assumptions instead of giving thoughtful analysis, here is what she said next:

A man who looks like me will have his face in a history book. An elegant sister will preside over all those state dinners. Two little Black girls, with grins like those of my godchildren and baby cousins, will roll their eggs over the White House lawn on Easter Monday.

It will be our house, not a remote house, accessible, not unattainable. As I saw my face in the mirror called victory, I felt like an American, finally.

It really is all about his skin color.

We do, though, have to be honest about the triumphalism on Obama’s behalf and realize that it truly is expected, even healthy. Obama marks the final piece of the puzzle of repairing American race relations. Blacks really have gone from the lowest of chattel slavery to seeing one of their own elected to run the country and we should all marvel at and be grateful for that fact. No one should try to belittle this achievement. But, one must be careful not to make of it more than it is. Obama is not the first piece, but the last. We should not celebrate as if he’s the only good break blacks have ever gotten in the US. To do so belittles all the many examples of progress that came before him..

But it gets worse. She continues to say she never “felt much like an American,” that she never was had interest in America’s historical monuments. And then we get the obligatory slave reference her sort of backward looking, victimongering ideology always reaches for.

For all of my life I’ve been an American, reluctantly. Came here in chains. Advanced by my brains and by the legacy of struggle and dignity. I sing, “Lift Every Voice” as if it is rap because it is history, poetry, poignancy and a capturing of every step African Americans have taken. How can you sing, “stony the road we trod” and feel fully American? How can you put your mouth around the phrase, “treading our way through the blood of the slaughtered” without wondering about the Democratic integrity of our nation?

Ms. Malveaux, if you “came here in chains” I think there is someone somewhere that needs arresting because slavery has been outlawed here for nearly 150 years. As a matter of fact, my own great, great, great grandfather fought to help free your ancestors from that bondage. A new immigrant. Put his life on the line for you. Advanced his life after the war by struggle and dignity.

I should also remind you that it was the party to which you now belong that fostered and fought to maintain that bondage.

But, the black victimology aside, there is another disheartening aspect of this piece. It is that Malveaux seemed to have had no self worth until a politician came to town. How sick a world is this woman in where she felt no self-love until some politician was elected to a mere political office?

Additionally, how is it that the sun has shown for the first time in her life? Has she found nothing but chains until the evening of November 4? Was she forced to work at menial labor, never able to get ahead before Obama strode his lanky frame into Chicago’s Grant Park? Was her life a miserable one, forced upon her by an evil lording class from which she had no recourse because of her slave status?

Well, let us look a little bit into the life of Julianne Malveaux. She isn’t only a writer for the Philly Tribune, no she has a much greater life besides that. No Ms. Malveaux is a well known economist, author, radio host, and syndicated columnist and in 2007 was named president of Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C. I have to say, it doesn’t look much like the white man was keeping her down. It doesn’t appear that she has been anyone’s slave or forcefully held back from a life realized only by her own intellect and hard work.

No, it looks to me like the only “chains” in her life are of her own making. And even they appear lightly settled.

There is one thing that Malveaux says in her piece that is true, however. She says that “this election, in and of itself” will not erase the racial problems in this country. I think that is true to an extent. At least it is true while her generation of dealers in victim ideology are still alive. We may finally find that, in a post Obama world, blacks in the USA will begin to shed this foolish reliance on past slights and take their places as proud Americans. When black “leaders” stop trading the success of “their people” for personal power accrued to the black power structure, and begin to realize that we have arrived at a time in history when their fate truly is in their own hands and not in the hands of an oppressive faction keeping them down, we may see the end of this racial strife. Once Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Cornell West, and other dealers in black victim ideology are finally gone from the scene, we may at last see that blacks in America aren’t taught from birth that they are victims, that they cannot be responsible for their own failures, that they are expected to take care of their own needs.

But it won’t be in Barack Obama’s lifetime and it won’t be in mine. And people like Julianne Malveaux will make sure “her people” can’t get past the stranglehold on power that black victimologists have on them.

Sadly, Barack Obama cannot change that fact, president or no. Malveaux and her kind have made a living from fostering that hate, strife, and victimization of blacks in America and it won’t change until blacks themselves have had enough of it.

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