Pictured Above: Never Forget.
I've started doing an on-and-off thought experiment these past few months which is highly upsetting. I consider how I would feel about Americans and America if I were a native of another country. Well, what would you think of Americans?
It's not good, is it? I can't blame any other country for not liking America. This is a bad country. We are bad people. This country is still what American abolitionist, guerrilla fighter and player-hater John Brown called
"this GUILTY land!"
I catch myself reading about lone-wolf American-born people turning against America and joining Al-Qaeda and my honest reaction is 'I get it.' I see these expatriate men and women, who can now be drone-missled by Obama for simply speaking 'heated rhetoric' against the United States, as sensible people. Declaring war on the United States is always understandable. In 1860 and in 2011. But I have to laugh. Because Islam is wrong even when it's right.
It's funny that politicians continue to make appeals to Americas sense of unity. Are they living in the same country I am? (Honestly, they're not) Americans hate each other, they always have, they always will- and they'll always have good reason to. They've taken arms against each other in guerilla fights over differing visions they have of America. They've assassinated each other for political gain or purpose. The Civil War never ended properly, since Southern reconstruction was dropped, and that is where we live today: The most imperfect union imaginable.
This is why I always chuckle when a Confederate or a wall street Democrat calls the Occupy movement 'Un-American' like they're channeling Joseph McCarthy. It's not funny because they're wrong; it's funny because they're right! I am delighted and grateful to have such an Un-American movement essentially resonating and succeeding on it's own terms in America.
The Occupy movement occupies public space indefinitely . They didn't let the Bonus Army do it forever, and they won't let the 99%er's do it forever- the powers that be won't allow shanty-towns to exist in America, because it makes an eyesore. Normally Americans are too proud and simultaneously ashamed to make their troubles and struggle known to other Americans. They suffer in silence and die quietly. Airing out your dirty laundry in public, and receiving another person's compassion, is extremely Un-American.
So is being rude. Though different groups of Americans have different tribal hatreds for one another(overlapping all over the place; It's almost impossible to find another American you can't hate for some reason), in public they put on the guise of working together and agreeing to disagree until they work towards compromise. The people's mic, a technique lifted from the general assembly in New York City(which echoes the quakers and and some native american traditions) to build consensus, has now ironically been turned into a weapon- and I won't call it anything less. Just watch this:
Mic-Checking Karl Rove
Shouting down an individual by chanting a prepared statementt? Not only is it rude, it's a bit emotionally violent, and so Un-American. It reminds one immediately of 'mob rule.' The founding fathers/rapists of this country hated the prospect of 'mob rule' because mob rule had a 100% chance of stopping slavery. (It also led to the Salem With Trials, but now we have camera phones and the internet if you haven't noticed, so everyone can blow a whistle instead of pick up a pitchfork.)
What's funny about the Above video, is Karl Rove's criticism of the Occupy movement is absolutely correct. No one gave them the right to Occupy America. They just fucking did it. It's American to wait your turn, to engage in gentle debate, to eat your peas, to pull yourself up by your bootstraps(or starve quietly,) to leave a park because of anti-camping laws. It's extremely Un-American to shout over and interrupt the voice of a war criminal to accuse him of being a war criminal without proper private-sector due-process, including writing a book and getting on a pundits show. It's Un-American because it's... Brave. And Unified.
Well-meaning small-D democrats will Gush about how the Occupy movement is so wonderfully patriotic and about how 'dissent is patriotic.' I don't see it that way. This is a war. There is a second America- an America that has been muzzled, co-opted, silenced, teargassed, and assassinated all last century for telling the truth and refusing to be dominated, and now it's all bubbling to the surface again.
I love the Occupy movement because I see it as unpatriotic. America is a bad, guilty land. I love my fellow countrymen who're opressed, but I don't love this country, and I want a new one.