I have walked through dozens of airports around the world, carrying my tired green passport, with pride. I do not walk with the shame of the transient excesses of the men at the broken helm of power, I am not here to apologize for them. And my country has nothing to be ashamed of, our race is not yet run.
I don’t love by country because it enjoys the fruits of ancestral sacrifices, railroads built by men and women centuries before my birth. My ancestors built things but often as slaves, a people dislocated from their roots, societies laid bare. I love my country because I am the ancestor that must make the sacrifices so my progeny can walk the earth, proud of what they will be born into.
Successful nations are the product of long suffering ancestors, of people who stayed put and built things that needed to be built, of people who stood and fought and died for freedom. If we desire a prosperous nation, we must have the stomach for the fight and the spirit for the sacrifice.
We have to be proud of our nation before it is great, we have to be proud of our ancestry so that we can put in the time to build a great nation, even when that requires a lifetime and then some. It is the pride and love of bare lands and broken communities that fuels the building of great nations, from Shanghai to Silicon Valley.
Some still wake up here but they have since left the nation, they are ashamed of us and soon, their ship will sail for foreign shores, never to be seen again. Others have journeyed far but their souls never left, and from far away land, they continue to fight for what is rightfully theirs, a place to call home.
We must look at the vast expanse of nothing and nothingness, sniff the dank basement of impunity, breathe the stifling air of injustice and still call it home, our home. Only when enough of us take a stand and accept the sacrifice can the nation rise. The time has come for us to stand or flee. And if you choose to stand, do so with pride.