A Skeptic's Definition of Being American

by Nadra Enzi

"Being an American means facing the horizon with pen poised to write a new destiny. Being an American means telling despots (foreign and domestic) to, 'Make way for freedom' while elbowing your way past them."

This is my entry on Oprah Radio's contest, "What it means to be an American?" hosted by the Maya Angelou show. In these trying times, it's good to assess exactly what that means. Diminishing returns compete with bipartisan bickering to make anyone second guess national identity.

I'm a skeptic. It's impossible for me to disguise political double dealing from my skepticism. "My" party verses "your" party arguments are ultimately useless since we the Great Unwashed own neither in this system. The sweet siren song used by con artists from pulpits to board rooms to lull us to sleep doesn't work here. I sleep with one eye open and always watch those before me in positions of responsibility. To do less symbolically raises my hands up for shackles. Slave ancestry coupled with a lifetime facing Southern discrimination hasn't made me a follower. Anyone looking for a flunky needs to look elsewhere. I see otherwise intelligent, supposedly self-loving people support polices and individuals that undermine them. It's their choice but being an American has to mean more than accepting a stifling status quo.

From Al Sharpton to the Tea Party if citizens aren't willing to march and advocate for their definition of liberty I don't think you're being an American. Whether the object of your protest is liberal or conservative, this I do know: they won't change bad policy on their own. Anyone expecting the Smug and Powerful to suddenly "get religion" and do your version of what's right is in for a rude awakening. That's why being an American has to have pit bull intensity. Without this bite we're destined to always be pawns on someone's chessboard.

Don't know about you but I'd rather move myself on the board instead of the opposite.

Being an American has to mean being ready to drop kick anyone who would deny you liberty, no matter how wrapped in deceptive respectability. That's this skeptics definition of being American.

A Skeptic's Definition of Being American by Nadra Enzi

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