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14 November 2013 @ 12:43 pm
America The Ugly (But Don't Overlook its Beauty and Don't Overlook the Ugliness in Your Own Country)  
I've been seeing a lot of hate directed towards America and Americans on my dash lately, and I guess it kind of bugs me. Now, every single person out there is entitled to his or her own opinion, and if you hate America, then you hate America. I just hate feeling like I am somehow being stereotyped when I read those posts and entries full of hate geared towards America. I know I should not take it personally, and most of the time, I don't... because I know these people who spew hate don't know me, or what I am like, or how open-minded I actually am.

Also, yes, I am well-educated in the art of satire, and those sorts of posts/entries are not what I am talking about.

It especially saddens me to see such hatred for the American military--not only because my husband is a member of it, as well as my sister-in-law and so was my brother-in-law and my father-in-law before them (and his father)... not to mention the fact that my own very-loved Daddy was wounded in the Vietnam war. He could have died back then, and I wouldn't have even been here to type this. Hatred for the military (and not just the American one) saddens me because these are men and women who put their lives on the line not to brutally murder other people (and if you join the military with the idea to do this, you are beyond horrible), but to protect us. Jeremy has explained it to me like this: "My job is to protect and defend the weak, not just in my own country, but in other countries as well." And how can anyone hate a person who goes into a job with this mindset? As a nurse, I help people, and I know that individuals in the military look at it in the same manner. At least the good individuals do.

Moving on....

America is a country full of individuals of different races, creeds, etc. The vast majority of us have some roots in England or Germany or Italy or France... the possibilities are endless, really. Have a seat. Go to Ancestry.com and trace your family trees. I myself am proud to say that there is English, German, and even Indian blood in my veins.

I feel like sometimes, when I introduce myself to someone new online (or wherever) who isn't American, I am thought of in a negative light because of my nationality... which just isn't fair at all. Like I get the classic nose-wrinkle and an, "Oh, you're American." And maybe that's just all in my head. I honestly hope it is, because you know what? I don't have a problem with immigration. What I have a problem with are people who are too lazy to get out and make a living for themselves and their families and would rather in essence steal someone else's money than make an honest living. Guess what? There are American citizens who do this very thing. There are some people whom I know have immigrated to America and worked their butts off to make a living, and I commend those people and have no problem with them whatsoever. On the other hand, there are some immigrants who have made it to America, and looked at the horrible examples that some Americans have provided, and have figured, "Well, while in Rome," (so to speak, of course).

I bet you thought I was going to go on some tirade about how the Mexicans or the Indians or the Chinese are invading America and what-not, right? Wrong. Do you know why? Because I have no problem with people who immigrate elsewhere looking for a better life. My only problem is with freeloaders, and America is full of those anyway. For goodness' sakes, wherever you live, wherever you move to, please make a living for yourself and yours. I can honestly say immigration does not bother me because us Americans? Our own families immigrated to America from somewhere else.

You know what else? I did not bear arms against the Native Americans, nor did I bring the pestilence that killed off many of their numbers. I did not order them to walk The Trail of Tears. I did not own a slave, nor do I condone slavery.

Judge me for what I have done, not for what individuals whom I am not and have never been (purposefully) affiliated with have done.

America is full of ugliness, but it is also full of beauty. It's much the same in every country. When I see posts full of hatred for Americans, I can't help but wonder if individuals of other nationalities forget about the ugliness in their own countries. I have seen firsthand how some citizens of England talk down to the Muslims who live here. I have read all about the atrocities that Russian homosexuals have had to deal with because of their government. Even Canada (which is full of a lot of decent, wonderful people, I know, as I have a very amazing and fantastic friend who is Canadian) has its share of serial killers. Has Spain forgotten how they conquered the Incans and the Aztecs? Have the Germans forgotten Hitler's cruelty?

Have I struck a nerve yet? Is someone out there going, "But that isn't me! I didn't do any of those things!" So it is much the same with me. Can you understand where I'm coming from, now?

The truth of the matter is this: Every single country has its own ups and downs. America is no exception, but neither is anywhere else. America is full of bigotry and ignorance and racism, but so is everywhere else. I do not associate with individuals like that. I choose not to.

There is ugliness everywhere in the world, around every single corner. The trick is to find the beauty in places (no matter where you are), and to hold onto it.

Don't let it go.