When The Star-Spangled Banner plays at a public event, I stand. I face the flag, put my hand over my heart and I sing. Not a weak, whispery, lips-moving-but-no-sound kind of singing, but out loud. I learned early how lucky I am to be an American. That my grandparents had sacrificed to come to this country. I admire our Founding Fathers who sacrificed even more to declare independence from Britain and give birth to a new nation founded on the principles of liberty and independent thinking, not governed by the tyranny of a ruling class. So, to me, the flag represents the greatest country on earth. A country which fights wars to bring freedom to others. A country which sacrifices its young heroes to protect our freedoms and those of others around the world. A country that stands as a beacon of hope for the oppressed.
But I also recognize that this isn’t every American’s experience with America. Some were taught that Americans were white oppressors who brought their ancestors here against their will, destroying families and dreams and forcing them into cruel servitude. Some came here at a young age with parents who were breaking America’s immigration laws in pursuit of the American dream and now they are being threatened with deportation to their “home country” when, in truth, America is the only home they have ever known. Read More