|Rainier Chapter, in Capitol Hill.|
Honestly, I have no idea what to expect from joining the DAR. Do we get dressed up and have tea? Do we stand together, holding hands, and sing Battle Hymn of the Republic in our most patriotic voices? Do we sit through a boring meeting just for the sake of saying we belong to something linked to the earliest history of our nation?
I have never been particularly patriotic. OK, not at all, really. I begrudgingly stand up during the National Anthem at baseball games just because I don't want some drunk American to start yelling at me. I don't know why this is. I think I just feel so incredibly bad for being a white American, that I can't seem to muster up the pride for it. I feel terrible about the Native Americans, the black slaves, the Mexican Americans. I have a hard time reconciling feeling pride for a country that stole land, tortured human beings and took ownership of them.
I can be pretty all or nothing in my thinking. I have a hard time finding things that I love about America. It's not that I am not grateful for what I have. I feel incredible gratitude that I don't have to raise my children in a war zone. But some Americans still do. I feel blessed that I can feed my family everyday, but I live in a country that allows for so many to go hungry. I live in a country where people think if you're on welfare, you can't have an iPhone. As if, being poor means that you can't enjoy life, or have things that make life just a little bit easier and more enjoyable. I live in a country where people believe that being on welfare automatically equates to being lazy.
We haven't walked in other's shoes. How dare we judge someone else's experience? Especially when systemically, things are not in place to make the playing field equitable. I see people from where I grew up in Ohio posting degrading things about others less fortunate than themselves all the time, and it saddens me.
Then, it angers me.
And then I sit and ponder the "great" country in which I live. I ponder the greed, the inequities, the "I-Me-Mine" mentality of so many that call this country home...and I'm sorry, but I cannot muster up pride for that.
Feel free to correct me where my thoughts may stray, where my vision of this country is clouded by my individual perception.
For now, I try to remain as true to myself as I can, while living in this seductive land we call America the Free, Home of the Brave. Trying to find a way to teach my kids that it is OK to give to others, that you don't have to hoard all of your resources and get more and more and more...there's enough to go around, if we all just open our hearts and give.
I really hope the DAR isn't a bunch of rich white people "giving back" just to assuage their white guilt and to hide from their white privilege.