A Black And White American Experience

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From OBX to Balboa Park, I love this country. I suspect there are many people who do, but where are they? Where are the Smiths and Johnsons and Millers? Where are the Joneses with whom we are all supposedly trying to keep up? Have they all been lost to war? Certainly not! Our young country has participated in every major global conflict since its inception and managed to maintain a national identity. So I ask, where have all the Americans gone? This is a fair question.

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I have nothing against those wanting to claim their ancestry. It makes an important statement about a person who wants to stay connected to their heritage, but seriously, do people really need a hyphenated citizenship? I’m American-American, by the way.

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If you are an American, (hyphenated or not) who claims any pride of place whatsoever, why would you trash your country’s landscape? Why would you pollute its waterways? Why would you deplete its resources? AND if you claim to be an American leader, what purpose does it serve to polarize your country’s citizens to the point that they no longer recognize themselves as belonging to the human race?

These too, are fair questions.

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For all of the talk that ethnicity, gender, and religious beliefs should not be a factor in decisions we make, we certainly do like to delineate which groups people belong to, and we segment ourselves in every bizarre way imaginable.

Gay/ not gay /not exactly sure until a celebrity we like comes out.

Religious/ not religious / merely spiritual / anti-everything others believe in while gripping the right to free speech with one hand and superiority equality with the other.

Vegetarian / vegan / against whatever you feel like protesting on any given day.

Pro life / Pro choice / Pro only what gets you elected / paid / laid

Yes, from Mobile Bay to Mount McKinley, from the Great Lakes across the Great Divide and beyond to where the Martian-Americans live, I love this country.

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It’s Monday! I’m ready to face another week, are you?

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35 thoughts on “A Black And White American Experience

  1. You have said a mouthful and with pictures to punctuate. I think there are many of us today who tire of the great divide, the fear mongering turning to hate. The divisions being the great abyss. I am an American-American. The only thing hyphenated is my name (yes it is longer than the one here). I am an American mongrel, I would love to visit the source of some of my heritage and have visited some of those sources just not all. In some cases I am first generation and in some cases I am of the original people. The reality though, I am simply American it is the only thing I know and the only thing that matters. I wish it mattered more to more people.

    1. It is true that many of us are tired of the divisiveness. I don’t know if there has ever been a time in our country’s history when its citizenry was so ignored or so poorly represented by its leaders. Thanks Val, I too wish it mattered more to more people.

  2. I grew up in the Southwest in a multi racial family so I can’t say where the Millers, Joneses or Smiths are, but I know where the Duncans, Gomez, Escusas, Oviedos, and Wongs are! We spend our times at parks, school games, camping trips, national parks, sate parks, Buddhist temples, the beach, and libraries; among other places.
    It would take to long to hyphenate all my “origins” so I just go with what people call me most, “That Tall Woman”. I am proud of who I have become and feel lucky to have been born in the USA. There are some other wonderful countries like Bhutan or Spain that I could see myself living in, but I think we have a great place right here. I cherish my freedom to speak, my chance to vote, to go to school for free the first 12 years, to have paved roads and sidewalks for rainy muddy days and to meet the world when I go downtown. My favorite parts are the mountains, the beach and the bus or train. On public transportation I meet people from all over and mostly here. They have varied looks, accents, ideas, and beliefs, but during the ride are just “Those People on the Bus”.
    Great post as usual Honie and thank you for the wonderful photos. !Salud!

    1. Leah, I love that you said this… “I know where the Duncans, Gomez, Escusas, Oviedos, and Wongs are!” The Smiths, Johnsons, Millers and Jones are common American surnames. In Sweden, the Joneses are Svensons. No kidding. Swedes are “keeping up with the Svensons.” That is the garden variety citizen, you know, the ones who pay taxes, go on picnics, hold bake sales.
      You make an excellent point about being grateful for freedoms so many take for granted. The reason being most people don’t know what it’s like to live without freedom. We are all those people on the bus. My intent is to be a friend on a bus.

      1. Thanks. I don’t personally know what it’s like to live without freedoms, but I read and listen so I have a feeling.
        Did you see the movie “The Jone$es” with Demi Moore? It’s about a “family” that moves into a new town. In the movie the actors play actors who pretend to be a real family and have all the latest and greatest. They are paid by marketers to be the most popular family in town. This is an attempt to sell to their neighbors. As expected they are the talk of the town and people go for broke trying to keep up. Dire consequences ensue.I got bored during parts of it, but the commentary was great!

        1. I didn’t see the movie, but I could definitely see that scenario and the dire consequences. I can also see how that movie could be boring as a reflection of real life.
          My son and I were talking about freedoms, and the lack thereof, at dinner tonight. It’s interesting the differing perspectives a twenty span can have on people.

  3. So true. We spend so much time discussing our differences that we lose sight of the numerous ways we’re alike, which, after all, overshadow the differences. Great words. Great images. Great post. 🙂

    1. It’s like I tell my loyal follower when he points out some inflammatory remark made by a public figure / spokesperson / tool, and really that’s what they are, tools, divisive, bloviating tools, what difference does it make what the tools say? You love me and I love you, right? Okay then.
      Thanks Carrie!

    2. Right on the money.My elementary teachers taught us about Ellis Island and how pilgrims and “Indians” were friends(won’t go off on that right now). As a child I remember feeling lucky to live in our democratic multi-cultural society. It may be propoganda, but that “different, but equal” idea always stuck in my mind of the way society should be.

  4. Great post and photos Honie!
    It’s like a mini Ken Burns documentary.
    You and I think so much alike and it’s encouraging to see similar thoughts passionately written by someone else. Thank you!
    Red

    1. Hey there Red. How the heck are ya?
      Ken Burns has more facial hair than me…not much more mind you, but enough that people can tell us apart in a crowd! HA.
      Yeah, us thinkers have to stick together. As always, I appreciate your comment.
      Honie

  5. What an inspiring post, Honie. Just when I was getting discouraged about my idiot senator who finds communists lurking in the halls of Congress and Harvard Law School and votes against every bill that comes before the Senate, you restore my faith in America and remind me that he is NOT America, that I am America, that you are America. That we love our country despite what crazies like my senator say or do. America will go on.

    1. Thanks M~
      GAAAHHHH! duck and cover! head for the hills! if it all goes to hell, better to have a double barrel zombie-ma-tic 2000 with silver bullets for the vampires than to waste time worrying about communists!

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