Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Michelle Obama is getting criticized for saying, "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country."
Some are suggesting she was unpatriotic in her statement, Mrs. McCain saying she has always been proud of this country.
When I was a naive little school-girl, I was proud of this country too. Even when I went to segregated schools, and walked rather than ride in the back of the bus, went thirsty rather than drink from the "For colored" fountain.
My college roommate was from Birmingham and was one of the school children who were fire-hosed for demonstrating for the right to public accommodations, arrested for exercising her First Amendment right to free speech because she was "Parading without a permit." But we were both naively proud of this country.
Reality hit both of us when we studied abroad our junior year in 1965. My German friends had seen the news footage of the fire-hosing and bombing in Birmingham and asked if I was afraid to go back to the States. Didn't I fear for my life? They understood the rage that took place in the summer of Watts, and wondered why it took us so long to take to the streets.
In more recent years when Tinker and I have traveled abroad, the reality has become an embarrassment. We meet people from other countries who ask us...Why are we in Iraq? How could the "Most Powerful" country in the world turn it's back on the people of New Orleans?
Cindy McCain needs to get real. The rest of the world does not think too kindly of us.
But I tell you what. Tinker and I will be traveling to South America next month, and we will be proudly wearing our Obama buttons.