Democrats & Liberals Archives

Who IS a 'Real American?'

I don’t know about you, but I have had it with the ever narrowing circle of who is a “real American.”** For sure this is not something new.

** Special note: I too have problems with claiming that those in the United States are "Americans" as it disenfrachises those who live in Canada and Mexico - North Americans; those who live in Central America, and those who live in South America. "Americans" all! In the context of this article, I will use "America" and "American" in their common (and incorrect) usage.

We have seen it over and over in U.S. history, and always it has been tremendously destructive. The bombardment of who is not a "real" American has been the bread and butter of the Republican campaigns. However, the effects of it will last long after November 4, 2008.

Palin came out with her constant references to "Hockey Moms" and "Joe Six-Packs" which stereotypically define a white population. Then we had Bill Ayers introduced an Obama "paling around with terrorists." We have heard Palin's talking about "real America" followed by her denials, followed by more references to draw lines of "real" "patriotic" Americans. We have heard oft repeated that Obama is a Muslim. Most recently, the accusation is that Rashid Khalidi is a PLO supporter (which he is not) and that Obama supports him (neither here nor there).

The contagion has spread to other Republican campaigns. We have Congresswoman Michelle Bachman (R - Minnesota) arguing that members of Congress should be investigated for being "anti-American." We have Senator Elizabeth Dole labeling Kay Hagan as a supporter of "Godless Americans"." We have McCain calling Obama a "socialist" for wanting to "share the wealth."

What is up?

We already went through, (and survived mostly) the "my country right or wrong," if you don't support Bush, if you don't support the war, rhetoric of (real) American versus anti-American. I can understand the frustration and anger that drove Sojourner Truth to stand up at the 1851 Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio presenting what has come to be called her "Ain't I a Woman" speech. It was not a prepared speech, but a fit of passionate response to the hypocrisy of the arguments.

The "Real American" conflict goes way back; however, current claims rest on that deep and institutionalized foundation. In 1790, the U.S. Congress immortalized what was then already a common bias with the United States first naturalization legislation - Naturalization Act of 1790. The U.S. Congress restricted the right to become a naturalized citizen to:

"any alien being a free white person who shall have resided within the limits and jurisdiction of the United States for a term of two years."

Thereafter, there was deep legal and cultural institutionalization of the concept (and reality) of who was a "real American." Being a U.S. citizen depended on one's race, and that race was "white."

This almost consistently has become intertwined with the claim that the United States is a "Christian" country. While we could argue that culturally, most "whites" identify as "Christian," the U.S. was not founded on Christianity. In fact, every effort was made to keep Christianity (and religion in general) out of the founding principles, Constitution, and government. Why? To protect religion. While there are governmental references to "God," (for example on the U.S. currency) that was not aimed at a Christianity. In fact, in the Declaration of Independence, it states (emphasis mine):

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

The concept that won the day was actually Deism and not Christianity. Deism is the belief in a supreme being, and that reason not revelation was the path to truth.

However, in the construction of whiteness (which has evolved over time), race, and religion have become entwined to a degree. Therefore, claiming that someone is a "Muslim" has been constructed to mean they are not "white," and more recently that they are "terrorists." Therefore being called a "terrorist" raises racial classification, and being a "friend" of "terrorists" means one is a (white) "race traitor." Given the twisted, conceptual, and stereotypical interlinking where "white" means "American," then non-whites (and non-Christians) by default are under suspicion of being "not American." However, throwing in the "terrorism" claim makes them "anti-American" as well.

The definition of the "Real" American gets narrower and meaner. It is becoming (if it has not already become) and very small circle of white, fundamentalist Christian, militaristic, imperialistic, anything goes if my "president" says so, ideologues. The (glorious) end justifies the (immoral) means.

This is not the "America" I was taught, nor the "American" I want to -or can - be.

I am sick and tired of waving the (heroic) troops as those who have fought for our "freedom," or paid the "ultimate price" for our nation. While most of those who have served under uniform may have thought they were fighting for our "freedom," they were largely fighting to further political and economic agendas of the powerful. Fighting the (illegal) war in Iraq, does not protect our freedom of speech or association in the United States. It does not protect the people of the United States from the abusive use of power of the government. It doesn't even make us "safer."

What about those who did (and do) fight and die for our freedom? What about those who were freedom riders, and those who marched in the streets for civil rights? What about the abolitionists and suffragettes? What about the millions who have marched against wars, police brutality, racial profiling, the right to vote? What about those who have fought to ensure equal protection under the law? What about the union organizers and activists who gave us protection from abusive employers and worker safety standards? What about the environmentalists who struggled and have laid down their lives to protect us from hazardous wastes? What about the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, ACORN, Public Citizen, and a thousand other "grass roots" organizations?

DON'T THEY COUNT?!!

Being American is not an economic ideology. One can be a "real" American and be a capitalist, a socialist, a communist, or none of the above.

Being American is not a political ideology. One can be a "real" American and be of any political party or ideology.

Being American is not a racial ideology. One can be a "real" American and be of any race or combination of races.

Being American is not a religious ideology. One can be a "real" American and be Hindu or Deist; Muslim or athiest; Wiccan or Christian; Buddhist or Jewish.

Being American is not a social class placement. One can be a "real" American and be living under a bridge, or move between your numerous houses across the country.

So what does it mean to be an American? Where is the essence of "American?"

That is more difficult to answer concisely, but I believe possible.

A real American is one who wants to see the United States be the best it can be, and works to make it so.

A real American realizes that the uniqueness of our nation lies in the belief that freedom and self-determination go hand in hand and must be protected.

A real American understands that one cannot have freedom without equality and voice in our daily lives, and so fights to extend the protections of liberty to all members of our society.

A real American believes in fair play, honesty, and opportunity.

A real American believes that dissidence is critical for a functioning society that is "of, by, and for the people,"

A real American realizes that we are not in this alone; that we depend on our neighbors and our communities.

A real American realizes that we, as a nation, are part of a world - not the masters of it.

A real American realizes that peace is better than war.

A real American realizes that there are principles worth fighting for, but that there are many ways to "fight."

A real American feels empathy and a responsibility to those in need, to those downtrodden.

A real American realizes that the quest for power and control by the few will always be there, and that it takes constant vigilance to ensure that we are on the good path, with the broadest participation in the social fabric possible.

A real American realizes that the process matters; the ends do not justify the means; that democracy is not a goal, but a dynamic endeavor.

A real American takes her/his citizenship as a sacred job - a vital part in the governmental and political process. It is not just voting (or choosing not to vote). It is working in small ways and large as a participating member of this society, this nation.

Being a real American means we all have the right and the courage to "speak truth to power."

Being a real American is a big and difficult job. It means not only listening to those with who we disagree, but fighting for their right to continue to annoy us.

I hope that the narrow version of "real" American does not become the prevailing definition. If so, most of us are lost.


Items of interest
Naturalization Act of 1790. Actual document from the Library of Congress.

Sojourner Truth and "Ain't I a Woman?"

Voters, church leader speak out against Dole's `godless' ad. Zagaroli. Miami Herald. 10/31/2008.

Posted by Rowan Wolf at November 3, 2008 9:09 PM
Comments
Comment #269352

Wonderful, and full of American FIRE!

Posted by: Marysdude at November 3, 2008 10:40 PM
Comment #269355

Way to go Rowan!!!!! Thank you !

Posted by: janedoe at November 3, 2008 11:50 PM
Comment #269359

Not god bless America, god damn America. We are the US of KKK you know.

Ayers only regret is that more American’s weren’t killed.

You can call them real American’s if you want but I’m more than happy to be called racist for disagreeing. These two are scum and they have something in common, can you guess what that is? And what I’m thinking of isn’t they both have become filthy rich, warmly embraced and successful while living in such a disgusting country.

*A side note on Ayers. I’m a little too young to have known of Ayers before this election. The first thing that came to my mind when I heard of him, and his ties to Obama, wasn’t how could a presidential nominee be tied to this guy. It was how could this piece of garbage have a job, much less a job molding future minds.

Thanks, and God bless America.

Posted by: Stephen at November 4, 2008 1:05 AM
Comment #269360

Stephen, perhaps you’ll gain some wisdom and a broader scope of knowledge in the years to come.
The mind is better nourished when it’s open more widely…

Posted by: janedoe at November 4, 2008 1:18 AM
Comment #269363

jane - I’ve been through the young liberal years, at some point you have to grow up. What’s the saying, under 25 and not a liberal no heart over 25 still a liberal no brain.

Would you want your children taught by Ayers? Would you have Wright baptize those same children? I’m sure you’d be fine with it so nevermind.

Posted by: Stephen at November 4, 2008 1:34 AM
Comment #269365

Gee Stephen, I’m sorry you’re having such a hard time figuring out what you used to be.
As for me, if you had been around longer than it appears, you’d know that I’m agnostic, so having my children babtized didn’t happen. They were free to make their own choices when their own questions had been answered.
As far as Ayers goes…I’d not have a problem having him teach anyone close to me. But perhaps you are a selective Christian.
Stupidity happens often in our youth…. and forgiveness is kinda cool.
Check this out:
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/02/obamas_weatherman_connection.html

Posted by: janedoe at November 4, 2008 1:58 AM
Comment #269366

jane - “stupidity often happens in youth.”

You got that right. I see Obama is expected to win the the 18-25 vote by 20-30 points higher than Kerry did. Thats your election folks. Here’s your next American Idol. By the way I do forgive them.

Posted by: Stephen at November 4, 2008 2:14 AM
Comment #269367

beautiful post — thank you for your thoughts. Think what this country cold do if all pulled,and worked together instead of walking lock step with a parties agenda.
—- Savage

Posted by: A Savage at November 4, 2008 6:42 AM
Comment #269370

I always hated the saying “If you are under 25 and not a liberal then you have no heart, and if you are over 25 and a liberal you have no brain.” The implication being that one SHOULD become focused only one’s personal interests and personal gain after one is 25. Wow. Does that make one “smart?”

Of course, it does bring up the issue of what “liberal” and “conservative” mean - an issue rarely defined, but it makes for provocative rhetoric.

Posted by: rowan at November 4, 2008 8:21 AM
Comment #269375

Ok, where to start, well…

I must agree with your argument support a more accurate definition of the term ‘American’, as I too have felt that its meaning has become some what diluted as of late. I have spent considerable time reading the postings provided by writers such as your self, and have enjoyed such a wide view on politics. I have to admit that on more than one occasion my eyes were forced open by one writers work, and to find that the source of their information was not only accurate but also of unimpeachable quality.

However, this is the first time such an article has moved me so far as to actually feel like I must take the time and collect my thoughts in order to comment. As I said before, your article provides sound arguments which support your position on the abuse of the term ‘American’ but as soon as you brought into question the dedication of the service men and women who are sacrificing their lives to further the goals and principals of freedom and justice, to ensure the perpetuation of democracy, you forfeited your own integrity. I challenge you to provide a more accurate example of what it is to be ‘American’ than one who takes on the call to serve their country, and their country men and women, and takes on an oath which may some day require them to lay down their life in defense of these very ideals.

It has been my experience that only those who have absolutely no clue what it means to carry such a heavy burden can so freely make such statements as ‘Fighting the Illegal war in Iraq.’ You can feel how ever you wish about the political justification for the war in Iraq, but don’t think for one second that you can attribute the militaries position to the soldier who fights to protect not only his own life, but the lives of the service men and women that are there together. If you must play the blame game to justify your anti-war sentiment, do a little more research, as most writers do in similar situations, and discover who is ultimately responsible for these actions.

You are right, however, when you say that ‘American’ must stand for more than political ideals, but don’t think that allows you to freely vilify TRUE Americans who have taken an oath to defend our nation, our liberty, our ideals, and our way of life. In my honest opinion, and thankfully our government protects my right to it, it is in poor taste for U.S. citizen to criticize the actions and question the integrity of enlisted soldiers with blind generalizations which should be better researched and directed to select individuals within the government and not blanketed out like this.

Posted by: MR_ED at November 4, 2008 9:16 AM
Comment #269376

Mr. Wolf,
Excellent! Now if we can only teach people why the Founding Fathers of America held such a Radical Idea in our schools.

Stephen,
Why listening to the Status Quo of an Establishment is useful may I remind you that America is founded on the Cardinal Knowledge and Wisdom of Man will demand change. So yes, I would want my children to be exposed to other forms of government in order that they can figure out how to build a better world than I.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at November 4, 2008 9:16 AM
Comment #269379

MR ED
I was in no way trying to vilify or denigrate our troops past or present. However, I believe I am justified to raise issues about why they are sent into “harms way.” I honor their service enough to believe that sending them to fight in the service of politics is spitting in the face of their commitment. I believe that once they have served that they deserve much better treatment than they have received - starting with Vietnam (or the covert/denied war in Cambodia).

You are right. I never served in the military. At the age when I could have served, I was denied that option because I am a lesbian (and was open to admitting that). However, there are many near and dear to me who have faced the horrors of war and of combat. I have seen the bonds they form with those by whom they served. I have seen the wounds - both physical and emotional - that many bear for the rest of their lives. Did I have their experience - no. Do I honor their service - unquestionably. Do I believe that there is serious breach of trust and responsibility when they do not get the support and respect they have earned - you had better believe it.

I am struck by your statement “TRUE Americans who have taken an oath to defend our nation, our liberty, our ideals, and our way of life.” That is NOT the oath that the troops take. that oath is actually:
“I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

To me, a citizen’s responsibility is also an oath to defend the Constitution (among other things). It is also a citizen’s responsibility to act as the conscience and watchdog of our elected leaders. They are after all acting in our name. Further, while the military oath pledges to follow the orders of the President and military brass, it does not require that happen in a blind manner. In fact, one is required to refuse to obey an unlawful order. And, if one obeys an unlawful order, then that person is subject to prosecution. (“I was just obeying orders” is not a defense).

You apparently believe that only those who served in the military have an oath to “protect and defend.”see that as what enlisting in the military exemplifies. I, on the other hand, see that as the responsibility of ever American. That is a sacred bond, and it extends well beyond serving under arms.

Posted by: rowan at November 4, 2008 10:13 AM
Comment #269381

MR_ED,

I am a retired Marine, who served two and a half tours in the ‘other’ dishonorable conflict.

Rowan did a wonderful job of laying out his opinions on being American. He did not disparage troops or say they were not Americans, he merely pointed out that for they or us to attribute more American on them than on others who have sacrificed is not a good idea, and that many times, i.e., Grenada, Panama, Viet Nam, Iraq, Cuba (the Maine incident), China (Boxer Rebellion), etc., American troops were not fighting for our freedom, but rather they were fighting for some politician’s or businessman’s agenda. That does not mean the troops did not do a fine job militarily, but rather that like me in Nam, we did the job for the wrong reasons. That does not make them heroic Americans, it makes them and me sap Americans.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2008 10:21 AM
Comment #269382

Oops! Rowan, I promise, I’m not sexist, I should have read your profile before calling you he…so sorry…by the way, I’ve done it before…why didn’t you straighten me out?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2008 10:26 AM
Comment #269384

This has to be one of the best articles since I discovered Watchblog.

Posted by: womanmarine at November 4, 2008 10:28 AM
Comment #269386

Ms. Wolf another excellent article.

Stephen your comment
“You can call them real American’s if you want but I’m more than happy to be called racist for disagreeing. These two are scum and they have something in common, can you guess what that is?”

brings to mind another period of American history when guilt by association was in vogue with the right wing extremist in this country. Perhaps you think it is time again for a HUAC type assult on the people of this Country. McCarthy and his attacks only served to divide this country. We need unity not division today.

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/06/documents/huac/

Posted by: j2t2 at November 4, 2008 10:45 AM
Comment #269388

In response to those commenting on my opinions;

What is an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States if not an oath to defend those very ideals that lead to its creations? The Constitution and all of its amendments are the physical representation of these very ideals and values. I would love nothing more than to live in a country that can see beyond partisan politics and stare straight into the heart of social matters, where each and every citizen understands and accepts the responsibilities you have mentioned.

I could take the time and isolate your comments regarding service members, and you would be justified in defending your statements, but that is not my goal or intention. I merely felt it necessary to stand up this once and speak my mind, as I am prone to do just the opposite, and acknowledge you right to express your opinion, as well as exercise my own right to the same level of expression.

To just go ahead and lay it out on the line, it is my solemn belief that the ability to serve in the military should be extended to everyone physically capable of service, regardless of race/religion/gender/political and sexual orientation. In fact, I feel that a minimum amount of service in the military should be required by law of all eligible U.S. citizens. I also know that I am not the only individual who feels this way, but it is interesting enough to mention that that sentiment is primarily shared by those who have served, or have family who has served.

Whether I am wrong or right in that feeling is a moot point as both views can be argued, and justifiably so, until the end of time. The point is this country was founded on the principal of change and adaptation to meet the evolving needs of society to establish a ‘more perfect government’ and what we have now is a government that is uninteresting to the people that it is intended to serve. The U.S. population in general is so disinterested in politics and representative elections, a fact demonstrated by voter turn out, that it is clear that a paradigm shift is inevitable. Whether that shift will come in the form of congressional reform, or that indoctrination of a third political party, we shall see. The bottom line is that partisan politics is beginning to fail, and the public is growing restless with having to choose the ‘lesser of two evils.’

Posted by: MR_ED at November 4, 2008 10:48 AM
Comment #269389

Hmmm,

Just notice a very interesting feature about posting here, there is no edit function, so I will take this time to apologize for my clerical errors in my previous post.

Posted by: MR_ED at November 4, 2008 10:52 AM
Comment #269400


A true American is one that worships the American religion, primarily within the parameters of the center right or the far right orthodoxy’s and is willing to defend the religion against the demonic hordes of socialism.

Posted by: jlw at November 4, 2008 12:48 PM
Comment #269401

“To just go ahead and lay it out on the line, it is my solemn belief that the ability to serve in the military should be extended to everyone physically capable of service, regardless of race/religion/gender/political and sexual orientation. In fact, I feel that a minimum amount of service in the military should be required by law of all eligible U.S. citizens.”

MR_ED I don’t entirely disagree with cumpulsory military service, especially now that the military role has been expanded to include peacetime activities, which I actually dont favor as much. The condition of citizenship should not be dependent upon this service however. Perhaps a retro style GI Bill could be made available for those that complete military service.
To attach a stigma to those that choose not to serve in the military is a big drawback to any cumpulsory service as there are many other ways to serve as Rowan has pointed out. After all the biggest threat to this country is from within not from foreign threats.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/08/washington/08strategy.html?pagewanted=print

Posted by: j2t2 at November 4, 2008 12:48 PM
Comment #269402

MR_ED,

I’ll give you the same advice I got here a few weeks back. If you don’t use MOZILLA FIREFOX as your browser, you should download it. It is free, and while it does not edit for style, it has a great spell check feature. I went to it and am darned glad I did…

You entered the fray when you called Rowan on her post…giving each other hell for disagreeing is what we do here…yeah, you are right…times, they are a-changin’…if I’m right, Obama will help set a proper course for that change…if I’m wrong, Gawd help us…revolution may be the only real answer, and I’m to old to enjoy one…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2008 12:54 PM
Comment #269407
Whether I am wrong or right in that feeling is a moot point as both views can be argued, and justifiably so, until the end of time. The point is this country was founded on the principal of change and adaptation to meet the evolving needs of society to establish a ‘more perfect government’ and what we have now is a government that is uninteresting to the people that it is intended to serve. The U.S. population in general is so disinterested in politics and representative elections, a fact demonstrated by voter turn out, that it is clear that a paradigm shift is inevitable.

MR_ED
I guess the last few weeks, and today specifically must indicate to you the change ,IS vigorously taking place. A young man, who probably 10 years ago, could not have reached the level he’s at today, with his message, demeanor, views and faith have wakened groups of people in parts of this country like most of us haven’t seen for a very long time, or perhaps ever. For a great many of us, this helps to restore our faith after being held hostage by a handful of people operating only at the direction of their own selfish desires.

Posted by: janedoe at November 4, 2008 1:05 PM
Comment #269408

j2t2,

I did not read the entire piece, but, I’m pretty sure that type of planning is not new. The military policy was to plan ahead for two eventualities…one if we had to redeploy in reverse, and the other to stabilize if we were more successful. WWII is an example of post war preparation that worked, because those in charge, from the President on down had the vision our current managerie was not capable of or had no interest in.

We had people on the ground in Europe and Japan who were engineers advising and working on infrastructure, educators that rebuilt school systems, business people, etc. It’s how things were supposed to be done, and it is called Post War Stabilization. I wonder what happened in Iraq???

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2008 1:07 PM
Comment #269409

Posted by: womanmarine at November 4, 2008 10:28 AM

womanmarine,

Hear! Hear! I second that…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2008 1:11 PM
Comment #269411

>This has to be one of the best articles since I discovered Watchblog.

My copier got caught in my eyeteeth, and I couldn’t see what I was putting down. This is what I was seconding…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 4, 2008 1:16 PM
Comment #269419

A real American loves their country more than THEIR party.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 4, 2008 2:20 PM
Comment #269420

This will have no effect on anything….it’s just funny.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh9BmNuqeiQ

Posted by: janedoe at November 4, 2008 2:28 PM
Comment #269428

Ms. Wolf -

Outstanding article! Outstanding indeed, and with more true patriotism than was shown by many I knew in the military.

In the Philippines, Americans are sometimes referred to as “blusils” (pronounced ‘blue seals’). It comes from the blue seal that used to be found on the end of Marlboro cigarette packs…and was in their eyes a mark of quality - the same kind of quality of the kind of American you write about.

The job I loved the most was at Immigration. All these people coming from every corner of the earth, coming to someday be an American. I saw their stories, their heartbreak and their fear…and the hope they had that we could once more lift the lamp beside the golden door, just once more.

There are other free countries - but even in England and France, immigrants do not truly become English and French. Not truly. Can someone of color ever hope to be King of England, or President of France? No.

But anyone can BE an American. Here anyone with skill and gumption can become anything they want. Here, even a precocious, strangely-named child of a broken mixed-race marriage can be elected to hold the highest office in the land.

I heard on the radio today that “Rosa sat so Martin could walk…so Obama could run.”

If Obama is elected today, then I say that MLK’s dream is at long last fulfilled…and in every country in the world, the greater American dream of opportunity for all will stir once more, yet even once more the hearts of the tired, the poor, the wretched refuse yearning to breathe free! Let us never stop striving to lift the lamp beside that golden door, if only just one more time…always just one more time.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at November 4, 2008 3:30 PM
Comment #269438

Glenn, excellent response to an excellent post!
Thank you, too.

Posted by: janedoe at November 4, 2008 4:33 PM
Comment #269444

Marysdude — I would like to recommend a few nice addons for firefox — such as a txt zoom one that allows you to increase txt size with your mouse scroll wheel [much easier on old tired eyes] If interested my email is savagestractor#yahoo.com — replace the # with @ of course. [ for those that do not know — bots search forums for email addies to spam]
Savage

Posted by: A Savage at November 4, 2008 5:07 PM
Comment #269445

What is a real American?

I think it is one who will die to protect and defend the constitution of the United States.

Being an American is very unique. When you look at the freedom we enjoy, and the rights we fight to protect.

I can’t point to a single place in the world, that is close to America in terms of it’s ideals, and it’s freedoms. It is the go to place for people with vision and energy around the world.

Wow the right to bear arms? Where do you find that?

I also think America will always be messy. Where else in the world do you have people from the middle east living near each other without war? Conflict yes, war no.
At least I hope America will always be messy. I hope we always attract people from around the world.


Posted by: Mod Rep at November 4, 2008 5:08 PM
Comment #269446

that post is for anyone really that has old tired eyes lol
—Savage

Posted by: A Savage at November 4, 2008 5:10 PM
Comment #269451

Very nice article! Two Tom Thumbs up!

Sidenote: My relatives in Russia are watching the BBC right now with Obama shirts on lol.

Posted by: Jon at November 4, 2008 5:56 PM
Comment #269455

Ms Rowan

An excellent and well written piece at the perfect time. I have found the notion being put out there that one American can be more American than another to be very irksome. It is a preposterous notion designed by the right to plant seeds of doubt, derision and hate in those who might be easy prey to tactics of divisiveness. I have to believe that the larger portion of the populace see right through this ploy. It is not about being a soldier, conservative, liberal, white, black, christian, atheist, male, female, rich, poor, educated, opinionated etc etc etc. It is about the freedom to be any of these things. It is about the recognition that protecting those freedoms is paramount in maintaining what it means to be American.

Posted by: RickIL at November 4, 2008 6:51 PM
Comment #269464

TROY DAVIS,PLEAASE REMEMBER THAT AMERICA IS NOT THE OLD SOUTH ~ AFRICA !!


A $TATE ECONOMIC BOYCOTT OF GEORGIA INTERNATIONALLY WILL OBVIOU$LY BE THE END RE$ULT OF GEORGIA DECIDING TO MURDER A PO$$IBLE INNOCENT TROY DAVI$ WITHOUT A NEW AND FAIR TRIAL ?

*** US CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS WHO ARE ALSO LAWYERS BY TRADE, CONTINUE TO DENY poorer AMERICAN’S PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION !!!

THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY NEEDS TO BEGIN A FORMAL INVESTIGATION INTO THESE US CONGRESSIONAL CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BEING INFLICTED ON poorer AMERICAN’S LIKE MR.TROY DAVIS OF GEORGIA !!!

HAVING BEEN DENIED APPEAL LAWYERS FOR THREE YEARS ON DEATH ROW IN GEORGIA MR. TROY DAVIS IS NOW BEING EXECUTED FOR A CRIME HE MIGHT NOT HAVE EVEN BEEN INVOLVED WITH !!!

SENATOR OBAMA PLEASE LET THIS COUNTRIES VOTERS KNOW YOUR FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS ABOUT A NEEDED FUTURE REPAIR AND RENOVATION OF OUR BROKEN JUDICIAL SYSTEM THAT CONTINUES TO ALLOW THE EXECUTION’S OF EVEN POSSIBLE INNOCENT AMERICAN’S LIKE TROY DAVIS OF GEORGIA ?????

BEING THE WEALTHIEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD SENATOR OBAMA, DON’T WE NEED AS THE LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD TO BEGIN ONCE AGAIN TO RE-INVEST THE PROPER MONIE$ IN OUR OWN US JUDICIAL SYSTEM, ASSURING ALL OF OUR CITIZENS THEIR RIGHTS TO FAIR TRIALS WITH PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION ???

DOES GOD NEED TO LOBBY OUR US CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD ON BEHALF OF OUR poorer american’s SENATOR OBAMA,OR ARE YOU WATCHING OUT FOR THEM ??

***OUR US CONGRESS CONTINUES TO DENY MIDDLE CLASS AND WORKING POOR AMERICANS PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION EVEN THOUGH WRONGFUL EXECUTIONS & FALSE INCARCERATIONS CONTINUE ALL ACROSS AMERICA ???

*** 700 BILLION $$$ AVAILABLE FOR US BAILOUT, & NO $$$ FOR ALL POORER AMERICANS PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION ? SENATOR OBAMA, THIS JUDICIAL INJUSTICE HAS BECOME AN AMERICAN ART FORM, AND NO LONGER CAN BE KEPT HIDDEN OR SECRET FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE EVEN IF CERTAIN (501c3) U$ RELIGIOU$ LEADER$ HAVE BEEN $ILENCED ??

LETS ALL HOPE OUR MEDIA FRIENDS CONTINUE TO SHOW AN INTEREST IN REPORTING ON THIS AMERICAN HORROR FACING THESE (TENS OF THOUSANDS) FORGOTTEN AND TRAPPED POORER AMERICANS, AND HOW THIS PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER HANDLES THIS VERY SERIOUS ISSUE FACING AMERICA’S LATINO AND BLACK AMERICAN COMMUNITIES ????

WITH 80% OF THE BLACK AMERICAN VOTERS SAYING THEY SUPPORT SENATOR OBAMA IN THIS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, IT IS ONLY FAIR FOR EVERYONE TO KNOW PRIOR BEING ELECTED OUR NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HOW THIS DEMOCRATIC SENATOR TRULY FEELS ABOUT THIS AMERICAN JUDICIAL INJUSTICE CONTINUING TO INFLICT GRAVE HARM ON THE BLACK & LATINO AMERICAN FAMILIES AND THEIR COMMUNITIES NATIONWIDE ??????

*** WHEN GOD’S FACE BECAME VERY RED *** THE US SUPREME COURT GAVE ENEMY COMBATANTS FEDERAL APPEAL HC RIGHTS LAWYERS AND PROPER ACCESS TO US FEDERAL COURTS,AND POORER AMERICANS (MANY EVEN ON DEATH ROW) ARE DENIED PROPER FEDERAL APPEAL LEGAL REPRESENTATION TO OUR US FEDERAL COURTS OF APPEAL, AND ROTTING IN AMERICAN PRISONS NATIONWIDE ?????????

**** INNOCENT AMERICANS ARE DENIED REAL HC RIGHTS WITH THEIR FEDERAL APPEALS ! THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE $LOWLY FINDING OUT HOW EA$Y IT I$ FOR MIDDLE CLA$$ AND WORKING POOR AMERICAN$ TO FALL VICTIM TO OUR U$ MONETARY JUDICIAL $Y$TEM.

****WHEN THE US INNOCENT WERE ABANDONED BY THE GUILTY **** The prison experts have reported that there are 100,000 innocent Americans currently being falsely imprisoned along with the 2,300,000 total US prison population nationwide.

***WHERE ARE AMERICA’S RELIGIOUS LEADERS ??????? Since our US Congress has never afforded poor prison inmates federal appeal legal counsel for their federal retrials,they have effectively closed the doors on these tens of thousands of innocent citizens ever being capable of possibly exonerating themselves to regain their freedom through being granted new retrials.

This same exact unjust situation was happening in our Southern States when poor and mostly uneducated Black Americans were being falsely imprisoned for endless decades without the needed educational skills to properly submit their own written federal trial appeals.

This devious and deceptive judicial process of making our poor and innocent prison inmates formulate and write their own federal appeal legal cases for possible retrials on their state criminal cases,is still in effect today even though everyone in our US judicial system knows that without proper legal representation, these tens of thousands of innocent prison inmates will be denied their rightful opportunities of ever being granted new trials from our federal appeal judges!!

Sadly, the true US *legal* Federal Appeal situation that occurs when any of our uneducated American prison inmates are forced to attempt to submit their own written Federal Appeals (from our prisons nationwide) without the assistance of proper legal counsel, is that they all are in reality being denied their legitimate rights for Habeas Corpus with our US FEDERAL COURTS and will win any future Supreme Court Case concerning this injustice!

For our judicial system and our US Congressional Leaders Of The Free World to continue to pretend that this is a real and fair opportunity for our American Middle Class and Working Poor Citizens, only delays the very needed future change of Federal Financing of all these Federal appeals becoming a normal formula of Our American judicial system.

It was not so very long ago that Public Defenders became a Reality in this country.Prior that legal reality taking place, their were also some who thought giving anyone charged with a crime a free lawyer was a waste of taxpayers $$.

This FACADE and HORROR of our Federal Appeal proce$$ is not worthy of the Greatest Country In The World! ***GREAT SOCIETIES THAT DO NOT PROTECT EVEN THEIR INNOCENT, BECOME THE GUILTY !

A MUST READ ABOUT AMERICAN INJUSTICE:
1) YAHOO 2) GOOGLE
(MANNY GONZALES THE KID THAT EVERYONE FORGOT IN THE CA PRISON SYSTEM.)
** A JUDICIAL RIDE OF ONES LIFE !

***Someone please tell our US Congress that the GED degree that Manny Gonzales acquired in prison is not a LAW DEGREE!

lawyersforpooramericans@yahoo.com (424-247-2013)

Posted by: DOUGLAS FIELD at November 4, 2008 9:00 PM
Comment #269525

DOUGLAS,
when people shout [all caps] no one reads.
Savage

Posted by: A Savage at November 5, 2008 11:08 AM
Comment #269627

Remember that F A stephens guy and that angry white guy, woooh ..

Posted by: Rodney Brown at November 5, 2008 8:14 PM
Comment #269755

A real American should have eaten grits more than once, most of their relations should also be Americans, and they should know something about a variety of places inside of our country but outside of their “journey of discovery” through foundations from one end of the country to the opposite end and the landing place in between.

Posted by: ohrealy at November 6, 2008 6:34 PM
Comment #269788

ohrealy,

Do you mean you question Sarah’s ‘real’ Americanhood?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 6, 2008 9:24 PM
Comment #269859

Rowan,

I daresay your definitions of being American could and should apply to almost any country. America voices its ideals of freedom and self-accomplishment perhaps louder than many places, but I think most people seek the same advantages.

There’s a quote that goes something like, “Patriotism is akin to racism.” When you hear people blather on about how their party is more American or that something you’ve done is UnAmerican, that quote seems to ring true. But when people step up to protect their country’s principles, with their words, their time, their money, their lives, but not at the exclusion of other persons and peoples…that quote seems negative and false.

I support my country’s ideals. I haven’t supported my President because I felt his maneuvers were antithetical to those ideals, harming America and its place in the world. I wrote my representatives, I voted. And we have a change in leadership which, everyone hopes, will be a change for the better. I am proud to be an American.

Posted by: Thomas R at November 7, 2008 12:40 PM
Comment #269867

Good comment Thomas R. Thanks.

Posted by: janedoe at November 7, 2008 12:55 PM
Comment #269915

Mdude, Sarah has always sounded too Canadian to me. Her only usefulness was in showcasiing Tina Fey’s talent as the Queen of Comedy.

Posted by: ohrealy at November 7, 2008 8:04 PM
Comment #269933

ohrealy,

Yeah…and I’m not sure why she sounds so Canadian…didn’t she grow up in Idaho or Hawaii? I’m sure it wasn’t Maine or Ontario. Is that ‘down easter’ dialect just an affectation?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 7, 2008 11:02 PM
Comment #270797

Real American? What a question! Gee whiz, I dunno.
How about somebody who enjoys being in a place where the rules say that nobody has the right to make your life miserable and get away with it without just cause? You know; things like probable cause, due process, the right to petition for redress of complaints, trial by jury, etc., etc.
What if a real American is somebody who knows he’s (or she) being set up for a scam and says so? We’ve tried that and gotten blasted by other “Americans” for telling the truth. So be it.
Maybe a real American is someone who can ask this question of another American and not be “punished:” Who told you that and why do they want you to believe it?
Maybe a real American is someone who knows that the people are The Government. Obama is nothing more than an elected representative and he knows it.
Maybe a real American is someone who understands the ideals of promoting a more perfect union with liberty and justice for all.
Maybe a real American is someone who believes that civil rights should be on equal precedence with property rights.
Gee whiz, I dunno. All that sounds kind of cornball to me, but I kinda like it. People have died for it. It’d be a cryin’ shame if their lived were spent in vain.

Posted by: Stephen Hines at November 22, 2008 3:24 PM
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