“THAT’S NOT WHO WE ARE”

Every person who gets interviewed on television says the same thing. It’s the current mantra about “the U.S.A.,” that these hooligans who rioted in our Capitol are not really who we are. Not really. Just, well, maybe sometimes.

I think this is exactly who we are. We prefer other nations not know the truth. It’s embarrassing. After all, we’ve stood in front of the world and told them WE are the TRUE protectors of liberty — despite being the last people to deliver real liberty (will we ever?). Jim Crow was officially “gone” just 55 years ago. Although it’s not legal these days, it’s definitely not gone or even close. Black parents still need to warn their children to be very cautious because the police don’t seem particularly worried about shooting them. In last week’s attempted coup, people carrying swords and crowbars and lead pipes were deemed “okay.” Meanwhile, Black protesters carrying a cell phones or nothing shot in the back — multiple times. Being Black is dangerous. In many ways, the current climate is worse than Jim Crow because there are no rules. At least back then, you knew what you were “allowed” to do — and what would get you killed. Now? It’s a crap shoot.

As someone who ISN’T Black, I can’t see any other reason why so many Black men get shot other than being Black. My husband is Black (or, as our granddaugher says, dark beige). He’s never been shot, but he has been roughed up many times. All the excuses I’ve heard about how they thought that can of Fresca or a cell phone was a weapon ring hollow. Increasingly hollow each time it happens.

Americans scream about liberty for two reasons: (1) Because someone suggested controlling guns, or (2) they’ve been asked  to do something inconvenient which doesn’t directly benefit them, even if it will  benefit everyone else.

The above photograph was something we never saw until Jan. 6, 2021. The Confederate flag, inside the United States US Capitol. Even during the Civil War, this never occurred. Shame, shame, shame on anyone who cheered this. The  comment I keep hearing about how “we come together in times of danger” has been clearly disproved. Not only don’t we come together, we attack anyone who doesn’t agree with us.

Where was everyone while we’ve been heading towards half a million dead from COVID? Which citizens were worried protecting us? Not our so-called president or congress. Not even the police or military. Say what you want, but this is a country largely comprised of self-centered, greedy people whose only interest is their own welfare and bank account. When and how did greed become the overwhelming issue for so many people? How did so many Americans — who claim some version of Christianity as their religious base — act so completely antithetically to what they (supposedly) believe? What happened to conscience? What happened to a basic understanding of right and wrong? Where did compassion go?

When did we become such awful people? Is it our failure to appropriately educate our young? Is it the long term result of ever allowing slavery and continuing to allow it long after every other “modern” country had banned it?

If you think I have an answer, you are wrong. I was raised by very liberal parents. I was taught that all people of every religion and any color were equal. No one every used bigoted wording in my home. Never, ever. I never heard it in my home. I was raised to believe that we were all obligated to pay a little more so everyone could benefit and have a better life. That’s how Garry was raised and that’s how I was raised and that’s what we believed growing up and that’s what we both believe now.

I thought everyone believed this. I felt that everyone who had hit at least five years had an intrinsic understanding of right and wrong. That this was embedded in our DNA. But I’m wondering because I see so many people for whom the concept of “fairness” is meaningless. They simply don’t care whether it’s fair or not. All they want to know is if it’s good for them and if it isn’t? Screw you. Screw the world.


“I want what I deserve and if I have to crush you in getting it? Too bad!”


I’m ashamed of my country. Humiliated by how we’ve rejected the obvious norms by which other nations function. We still claim to be “the greatest nation on earth,” but we aren’t even close. I’m not sure there really is a “greatest” country, but there are a lot countries who treat their citizens a lot better than Americans. So much of our power and wealth is because the biggest wars in human history weren’t fought here. While Europe and Asia were bombed until entire cities vanished, we got to keep all our stuff. When the war was over, they had nothing, but we had all our factories, businesses, and homes. Europe and Asia had to dig their way out of heaps of rubble. Maybe if those wars were fought here, we’d have a different attitude. We would certainly have a different economy.

At the very least, I would like to be able to feel a semblance of pride in my country. I would like to be able to respect my government, not cower in shame. Wouldn’t you like to feel the same way? Whatever it takes, we need to fix it. I don’t want to die with this as my last memory of the U.S.A.


I guess great minds think alike because I found a similar (same title, but even better researched and written from a Black perspective) article in “The Undefeated.” You should read it. Coincidentally, they used the same news photo I used. Their article is a good read and I think there are probably more like this. I have heard reporters say essentially the same thing as well as my husband, who was a reporter for more than 45 years.



Categories: American history, Civil unrest, Death and Dying, evil, Gallery, Photography, right and wrong

Tags: , , , , , , ,

34 replies

  1. Too many of us believe our own PR that we are the greatest nation. Just like the French tell themselves they do not have racism because everyone is equal. BS!
    So while we are distracted feeling wonderful about how wonderful we are we don’t see the rot in our society.
    Many of us knew about the rot but now more see it and most of us are seeing how pervasive it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think most of the smart people saw it, but it was messy, required getting your government to actually DO something. We did what we could but it was so terribly slow. I think the continents move faster. I don’t know if we are up the task. I hope so.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hear, Hear! I totally agree with every word you’ve written.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s not who I am. Is it who you are? I doubt it.
    The Spiritual Principles embedded in the American Constitution are as True and Inspired as ever.
    Even if some people trample on it, this will never change. Truth is Truth.
    The vast majority of Americans are good people. Even the many who have drank the Kool Aid.
    We better figure how a completely evil lying criminal has become their Champion. If we don’t figure that out and address it, getting rid of Trump won’t mean a thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s what I keep warning. This didn’t happen because of 45. He was the result, not the cause. Our legislature has been headed in this direction for a long, long time.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, jcalberta! I hope YOU are feeling well and sane these days.

      That “vast majority of Americans” you reference are in the bulls-eye of our reckoning about “What the hell are they thinking”? I’m talking about GOP and 45 loyalists who keep spewing his vitriol. How do “we” get through to them. Surely (I know, don’t call me, Shirley) they see we all are adrift in the same boat, very choppy waters and need to reach out to those who might actually save us.
      This kool aid must be pretty strong stuff to seduce what — 70 or 80 million people — who still believe the lies and are willing to participate in violence to get their way.
      And, I agree, 45 being thrown out of town doesn’t solve the bigger problems that divide us.
      We need 7 men. men with guns. men with lots of patience—–or the old man will be right.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Those Trumpites in the House were voted in. To bring down the government. By any means. And almost have. But why? This needs to be figured out. Why do almost half the people in the country despise their government so much that they would latch on to obvious lies and a tyrant to destroy it? These are just a symptoms of the real problem that needs to be figured out in order to reach these people and their concerns. If then the problem can’t be tackled. But first we’ve got to get rid of the idiots.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. How many times do we have to keep hearing this empty, ahistorical comment, before the penny drops: it is exactly who we are. Its a conceit, meant to comfort those who utter it and designed to thwart any meaningful understanding of this country’s history. Enough.

    Liked by 3 people

    • With each generation, it’s like we start anew. Since we don’t acknowledge our past, we repeat it. We don’t change. Technical stuff changes, but we don’t. We bump into the latest version of the same old problems and do whatever we always do. It didn’t work before, doesn’t work now. But not to worry. One more generation, assuming we survive that long, and we will be recycling. Again.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I believe we have found the Achilles Heal of capitalism. Our democracy is closely tied to our economic system of capitalism, with a strong distrust and hatred of socialism (even while we enjoy socialist policies like Medicare and free education.) Slavery was not about the love of taking away peoples freedoms, it was about being able to force (buy) enslavement in order to maintain a life style that was opulent. Blacks were easy to enslave because they are “different” in a very noticeable way and thus easy to keep subjugated. We fought a civil war to keep half of the (then country) from leaving the union and resulted in slaves being free. But privileged whites are still working to maintain the Plantation Economy. The “men” in the ‘house on the hill’ or the ‘office at the top’ still don’t want to share with common workers – and continue to work hard at enslaving those at the bottom from being to get ahead. All you have to do to find evidence that this is true is to look at the statistics that are measures of a good life between the US and socialist democracies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup. When you start from a false premise, you can never make it right. Meanwhile, I keep wondering why everyone is so hysterical about socialism. I’ve lived under socialism. It wasn’t any different than living here except we had MUCH better medical care and there were very few super-rich people. It was a good life. We were all poor together.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. We pretended that we were who everyone thought we were. The underbelly of America was always there, it was just hidden under the rocks. Then Trump became president and he told all of the cretans who were hiding beneath those rocks that it was okay to come out into the sunlight. Their hatred, bigotry, and ignorance was welcome in Trump’s America. In Trump’s “America First,” THEY were the true patriots. Not those pretenders whose skin was not white, whose language was not American, whose religion was not bound in Christ. The big question for America now is whether or not we can put the toothpaste back in the tube and bury it under so many rocks that it will never see the light of day again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think we need to try a different way because whatever we think we’ve been doing, it isn’t working. It has never worked. Not from the beginning and I doubt there’s any chance it will work in the future. Polite conversations ain’t gonna do it. There’s no reasoning with those people. How can you reason with people who live in an alternate universe? Who don’t see to need facts or truth? You can’t even argue about it because you have no basis for a conversation.

      This is NOT the way I was planning to spend the latter years of my life.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No reasoning. Yes, it is what frustrates me so completely. I have a dear friend,someone who I used to spend hours in conversation with but that was years ago. Through the last few years I have watched her (through facebook posts) become someone else. She doesn’t spread hate so much as fear, and the worse part is she has a lot of followers. She has a successful business, is talented and writes well so she connects with a lot of people. It started with religion. Her next crusade was anti vax. And of course, the theme Trump supporters who can’t quite justify their distaste for other issues, child pornography and exploitation. Once I read in a thread of hers some idolizing young woman ask her what are her primary sources. She told them she mostly relied on her gut. That she had a very good instinct and often when she felt things were wrong it wasn’t long before she could confirm them. HOW do you REASON with that?
        And btw, that is just one story of one friend. I could write a book, as I am sure many of us could.

        Like

      • Yeah, tell me about it. So much for peace and quiet in the so-called golden years.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Such wise words, I so wish this was not who you are. I also wish it was not who we are in England and across much of Europe. It’s 2021 and we should be better than this by now. My hope is the turning point has finally been reached and that finally enough whites realise we have to change.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We’ve had a few comment discussions about this topic lately. One point (to me anyway) is ‘what happened?” We (you and I and our generations) were taught to expect certain outcomes because (at the time) America did stand for good ideals and was the ‘strong big brother’ (not in a negative way like now) that the world looked to for help. Somewhere in these past five decades (because I remember being ten, and sure of the things that always were in terms of what America meant to me. A child’s perspective perhaps, but it didn’t FEEL ‘wrong’ like it does now) we’ve lost whatever lode stone we had that guided us in a sensible true fashion. It’s been replaced by corruption, greed, lies, loose morals and no ethics being acceptable in our leaders. What the hell? I don’t know what happened, I can’t recall one moment when the world tipped upside down and became what it is now. Do you? I don’t know if we can tip back over either, because I don’t know that anyone knows which way is up any more.

    Like

    • This hasn’t happened in a big hurry. It has been a gradual corruption over the past 100 years. Really, on a lot of levels, including slavery in the original Constitution is the bottom line for what’s wrong with us now. We still haven’t settled the Civil War, much less Civil Rights.

      Anyone who is part of a minority — including you, me, Garry — have felt the hard end of the stick. American — Protestant white America — wants us all to be the same. We have to pray the same, eat the same, want the same things. I do not know where they got their sense of privilege, but so many members of the capitol mob seemed surprised that everyone didn’t agree with them. They actually thought that attacking our capitol city with the stated intent of murdering our legislature was okay.

      I find that completely absurd. How could anyone actually BELIEVE that? They really aren’t living in the same world as the rest of us.

      We didn’t suddenly go off the tracks. I’m not sure we were ever completely ON the right tracks and with each generation, it has gotten worse — over all. It isn’t EVERYONE, but it’s far too many people and we’ve done so little to fix it. Can we fix it?

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I wish I did not agree with you…but I do. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Extremely honest and realistic, the rest of the world watches, comfortable that this isn’t happening in their back yards. The next few weeks are going to be crucial for reestablishing sanctity in the USA

    Liked by 2 people

    • We need to put our money where our mouth is. Lying may work for the GOP, but internationally? Not so much.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well said, from beginning to end.

        I don’t believe we can look at the sound and fury of the past week and cling to that idyllic notion that we’re “the cradle of liberty”. Not anymore. The phlegm from my nasty head cold is stuck in my throat as GOP legislators paint an alternate reality of Washington, D.C, January 6th, 2021.

        The montage of virulent selfies is the clear evidence 45’s supporters say doesn’t exist and therefore impeachment is political overkill by the Democrats. Say what? The contorted faces of those domestic terrorists, hell bent on smashing through the Capitol building and STOPPING certification of the election – is proof positive that sedition and mutiny was underway – fueled by 45, his gasbag legal advisor and several GOP legislators, including the one who exhorted the mob to “kick ass”.

        There’s been no hint of contrition from 45 or his minions. Matter of fact, they brag there’ll be more “revolutionary” action in the days and weeks to come. We’re now on a 50 state – full alert. No, it’s not the traditional enemies from abroad. It’s the enemy within. That’s the scary part. Some of them are obvious. Some are not obvious, hiding their hatred and contempt with greasy platitudes about coming together, lowering the temperature and eschewing the ‘enemy of the people” media who really are fermenting all the trouble. It’s beyond disgusting.

        In my 40 plus years as a TV News reporter, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly — but NOTHING even close to this hideous defilement of our once proud American legacy. That legacy now – for so many obvious reasons – seems like a Hollywood flack’s sales pitch for a patriotic, jingoistic blockbuster.

        There is widespread anger, fear and bewilderment – fueled EVERY day by those spreading lies – not just for their faux emperor/would be warlord but for their OWN political, financial and power gain. It’s downright hard to find any righteousness in their unrelenting venom. No professional courtesy applies here. No way we can respectfully agree to disagree. That now seems naïve and archaic – as out of touch as those who pined for the long lost past when we supposedly were a country of knights and fair ladies in a misty land now gone with the wind.

        You can print the legend but that won’t make any of this right.

        Liked by 2 people

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