Land of the Free

A couple of nights ago, Cyris was in a ranch rodeo competition. I had never been to one, and wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. I knew the basic premise: teams compete against one another in typical ranch activities. The fastest and most precise team over all the events wins.

When it was time to start, all twenty eight teams entered the arena for a grand entry. Four cowboys (mostly) per team. As the flag approached the arena, every cowboy hat came down and was perched over every heart. No one had to tell those riders to respect our flag. No one had to remind them to remove cover. No one ‘protested’ the colors.

I admit, I teared up. I had goose bumps up and down my arms. And when a nine year old local girl sang the anthem, I choked up. It wasn’t the best rendition. There were some off-key moments. But it never sounded better to me. That little girl sang with her heart.

What I don’t understand about the rioting and destruction and killing currently happening in this country is why people have targeted our flag. It represents the greatest opportunities, for anyone, in the world. I grew up reciting the pledge of allegiance in school. And singing the Star Spangled Banner at sporting events. I was taught to be proud of my country and who I am as a person. Not because my family is racist. Not because I think I’m better than anyone who isn’t white. But because this country is where I was born and where I have raised my boys and where I have lived a pretty good life.

I have listened to the anthem’s lyrics since the kneeling started. I don’t see or hear any racism in it. It talks about what the colors are for. It talks about how the flag wasn’t destroyed by rockets or fire. It talks about freedom and bravery. What in those lyrics are racist?

It is true that at the time of our country’s origins, blacks were enslaved. By a VERY FEW Americans, many of whom were also black. Plenty of white people fought against slavery and felt it immoral. What doesn’t make the history books is that white people have been enslaved throughout history. So have Asians. So have every color and nationality of people. Slavery was not new to the new American country. What is wrong? Of course it was. I don’t think a person living today would condone viewing another person as property, except for those who still buy and sell people in the sex trafficking rings.

The entire concept of this country having systemic racism or systemic police brutality is being propped up by the left and by the left-owned media as a way to ensure race division and hatred. Most black people I know condemn the actions of the Marxist organization responsible for most of the chaos happening in cities right now. Most people of color I know don’t believe there is a problem with racism in their daily lives. Most white people I know don’t care what color skin a person has, as long as they are decent people.

Which brings us to the issue with law enforcement. Not once in my life have I ever been harassed by the police. Not because I’m white. But because I don’t break the law! It’s a pretty simple concept: if you are doing something illegal, you have a chance of getting caught. And if you get caught and resist arrest or threaten an officer or reach for a weapon, expect to get thrown on the ground or shot. Professional athletes and ‘celebrities’ who are having vigils for thugs and career criminals are no better than those who are breaking the law. None of the recent folks shot by police were innocent in any way. The left’s attempt to paint them as victims is offensive to me as an intelligent person.  If those famous people wanted to really make a difference, they would educate black  men to follow the law, do what officers tell them to do, and live an honest life. I can’t feel sorry for a rapist who got shot while he was threatening officers with a knife and went to get a gun.

To me, it’s basic common sense. Don’t do something you shouldn’t, and you will be able to live life unfettered.  But as we all know by now, or should, there are puppet masters pulling strings behind every riot, every race war, every ‘injustice’. In time, that will all be revealed. It just baffles me the number of people willing to fall for those tactics.

For me, I will continue to live my life as I always have: my family comes first, then my country. I will continue to respect and honor the flag, and all those who fell to defend it and the freedoms we enjoy here. The very freedoms that allow protesters to burn that flag. The freedoms they don’t seem to appreciate very much.

I would challenge anyone who thinks America is an oppressive and racist country to pick any country they want, go there for one month, and live the way they would like. Without telling those governments. See how much freedom and liberty they enjoy.

And to young people who want this country to shift to a socialist government. Why? Again, go live in any country that you think has a better model and live there. You will soon discover you can’t find food or a decent place to live or a job that can support you. You will see just how high your taxes will be in order to get ‘free’ anything. The only ones who prosper under Socialism are the politicians, who are as corrupt as those in this country who have sucked off the taxpayers for decades.

You see, you can’t tax the rich to make up income for the poor. It doesn’t work. Those people who have used their talents and creativity to make new products and inventions should be rewarded for that. Why should they have to share their profits with people who refuse to work, with families who have lived off welfare for several generations, or with people who simply think they are entitled to what someone else has? Eventually, under a socialist design, people who have created things stop creating. They don’t want to share their hard work and their income. And pretty soon, governments run out of other people’s money and everyone is poor. Soon everyone expects a hand out.

But under a capitalist economy, the best design makes the most money. Those who create the best product are rewarded for their effort.  Everyone in this country who has the desire to make a life has the opportunity to do so. Don’t preach about white privilege, because it doesn’t exist. Blacks and other minorities are given scholarships, they don’t have to pass the same strict entrance exams into colleges, they are given preferential treatment for jobs, based solely on their skin color. I know many people who  were better qualified for jobs but lost them to POC, simply because of their color. I don’t know a single white person who was given anything in life. Everyone I know has worked, studied, educated themselves, and put in time and effort to achieve what they have in life.  Equal opportunity does not mean equal outcome. Each person has to invest something in their journey to come out with a satisfactory ending.

I will never apologize for being born white. I wouldn’t expect anyone of any race to apologize for something like that. I won’t apologize for slavery; my family was never involved in it. Just like most black people’s families never were either. There is only a small percentage of black people alive today who can trace their families back to slaves. And only a very small percentage of white people who ever owned slaves in this country.

I will treat every person I know with the same respect and dignity. But I always have. I couldn’t care less about a person’s color or nationality or anything else, until those things are thrown in my face and tried to be used against me for something ridiculous as what is going on right now in this country.  I would say that if you truly think this country is evil and oppressive and white American people are to blame for every ill ever befallen you, then leave. Find a country that is palatable to you. And never come back. Renounce your citizenship and go live somewhere else, rather than destroy my country, which I love.

The other night was a great reminder for me as to how much I appreciate living where I do. I can’t imagine ever burning the American flag, or standing on it, or otherwise denigrating it in any way. It is a symbol of hope and sacrifice for all people. After all, why would so many people want to live here if this country oppresses so many? We aren’t perfect, but I can’t think of any other place I’d rather live.

I keep seeing that line of cowboys paying respect to the flag of the country which affords them the privilege of participating in a ranch rodeo. Over one hundred people, horse back, with hats over their hearts. Professional athletes, those in the entertainment fields, and politicians should take note. This is what patriots look like.

The land of the free will always be what the flag means for me.

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