Sunday, May 27, 2007

they hate America

I have heard it said by assorted media mouthpieces, and insinuated by politicos out of power, that "the world hates America."

It hates us so much that its people stream to New York City by the thousands per day. They come to see Ground Zero. They come to see Firehouse 10. They line up to have their pictures taken with very patient NYFD firemen. They come to see Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange (what’s left of it, at least). They have their friends and strangers take pictures of them on Wall Street, by the old Federal Reserve Bank, next to the statue of George Washington. That’s how much they hate us.

They come in such numbers, each and every single day, that I loath walking through the crowds of them that mill between me and the post office where my mail comes. I usually dread having to press through their throngs on my way to Mass at Our Lady. But this morning was different.

This morning, the streets were empty except for two tour busses lettered in both English and Chinese characters. It was about 7:15 am on Sunday morning, on Memorial Day weekend. Who’s out at this hour?

These two tourbusses full of America-haters, that’s who. Cameras poised, snapping shots of loved ones next to the street vendor, next to a parked car, at the corner of Wall and Broadway. The looked like children at Disney World. It was then I realized that, no they don’t hate America, they love America.

Their trip to America is their Big Adventure. They love us. They’re inspired by us. They can feel the blessing and opportunity that has drawn them and countless millions like them for hundreds of years. Something about this place keeps them coming back. Yeah, it’s nice to shop at Macy’s when the exchange rate is favorable. But they’d come anyways. And they have, and they will. Yeah, there may be some things about us they can’t stand – anyone who’s ever loved understands that. But you love despite that, because the heart has its own standard of value that the mind doesn’t always share.

So, as I walked through the busloads on my way to Mass, this post was born. It isn’t “they” who hate America. It’s “us.” It’s those who are Americans by birth, who have had so much opportunity and abundance dumped at their feet from the moment of their birth that, like spoiled, rich children, they will not be satisfied. They hate America, because for some poor souls, familiarity does breed contempt, and blessing does become a curse.

They, and that certain segment of humanity that, regardless of where they are from, instantly and instinctively hates everyone who seems to embody what they fear they will never be. That pitiful crowd hates America, too. And they hate everyone around them.

So there you have it. These two groups have taken it upon themselves to use whatever forum they have to tell the world that the world hates America. And yet, have you noticed? America accepts them, too.

There are thousands of visitors who come here day in and day out, perhaps millions per year, who don't buy it. Who will make up their own minds, and not let some loudmouth with a chip on her shoulder make it up for them.

America is a treasure. A treasure can be a trial. But it’s still a treasure.
[nb: I believe the comment proves my point.]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're an idiot.

6:01 PM  

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