Patriotism Essay

1212 words - 5 pages

Patriotism Before the horrendous terrorist attacks, which occurred on September 11, 2001, I can honestly say that I never even wondered what it meant to be patriotic. I was never interested in what an impact the meaning of the American flag has on us as a country. Since the attacks, I have read my share of different patriotic views. After reading all these articles on patriotism, I have seen many different ways patriotism has been expressed, or should be expressed. Reading articles on patriotism has helped me to learn and understand how I feel about my own patriotic view.War often stirs feelings of patriotism amongst citizens as the nation unites against a threat to its existence. The tragedy seemed to reinforce patriotism in many souls throughout America. Society is being more honest and less selfish regarding patriotism by expressing their feelings and by volunteering their time and donating money to various relief charities. American flags have been sold across the country because people want to illustrate how much they care about and support America.As the investigation of the attacks continues, I believe that patriotism will become more apparent. More calls for national unity will be heard; more American flags will be prominently displayed in public places. But historically, patriotism has not been an expression of the values of equality, justice, or freedom. It has more often been used as a tool to whip the public into agreement with decisions it had little hand in making and to silencing those who have different opinions. Patriotism will not proceed without showing its ugly side. I read in the newspaper that on September 12, an angry crowd of 300 gathered in from of a Muslim mosque in a Chicago suburb. One of those present said, "I am proud to be American and I hate Arabs and I always have." This is just one example of many incidents of hate and discrimination against Muslims that have been reported. Clearly, patriotism can involve excluding those who do not fit a certain definition of "American." Being patriotic in a nation like America is a cruel insult to the millions of people who have suffered at its hands, and are not considered "American." An example of those who have suffered because they are not "American" is the issue of racism. People who do not "fit in" are made fun of, beat up, and are sometimes even killed. I do not agree that this issue can be involved in patriotism, but some do believe that if you do not fit a certain description, look a certain way, or even act in a certain way, you are not considered to be "American." The idea of hate and discrimination brings up another view. In an article "Patriotism," written by Blaine Harden, the idea of being forced to be patriotic comes up. Some Americans have an ethnicity which makes them feel they are being compelled to be patriotic. The sight of all the American flags that have been on display in the United States makes some feel uneasy. For example, some Arab-Americans feel...

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