The New Patriotism?

This flag is down my stairs, take a right and follow the curved path around behind three garage doors. Then, you can’t miss it. An American Flag. It wasn’t there two weeks ago. In fact, I won’t even be coy. President Black Guy killed Osama Bin Laden and while Seal Team Six fulfilled the last leg of their mission – delivering Bin Laden’s other eye and some brains to Obama – this Patriot was taping the Stars and Stripes to his freshly cleaned window. This Patriot isn’t the only one doing this. Thankfully a duplicate wave of Post-9/11 Patriotism is not washing over this country like liquid insanity. Something stranger still has happened to the psyche of some Americans. A reckoning with cognitive dissonance, perhaps, or a quiet crying for the days of yore. Not ten years ago yet when we all knew we all loved this country and no doubt existed for powerful media conglomerates to wedge apart and exploit. Still, the kind of desperate logic that triggers this response belongs in Bedlam.

And this Patriot did this, why? When the president ate Bin Laden’s eye and brain matter did he transform from President Black Muslim into President Articulate*.  “Now, fly flag, fly. I salute President Definitely Don’t Need to Move to the Other Side of the Street. Now we know he’s not Other.”

OK, for just one second I’ll be serious.

What’s going on in the mind of these people? Did we win the War? Are the Boys Coming Home? Is it Mission Accomplished, again? No one said anything about that. So, we’re letting everyone know how Patriotic we feel just because he’s dead? That’s the bar? He might as well have been dead years ago. A point I made instantaneously to  counter my dad’s child-like joy on the night of the announcement, waking up from powerful heroin nods that had me out for something like 13 hours. Did Americans really fear Osama in that shaking-his-finger-from-3,000-years-ago kind of way that so many Americans fear God and Hell?

Not everyone’s flying the flag. But some people found it so surprising that Black Muslim President was able to do something that President White Northeastern Recovering Alcoholic could not do. Like, that Obama wasn’t serious about catching his Home Boy – Bin Laden.

These aren’t conclusions. They’re questions so that we can think, for just one second, about what this event means to us, as a people and what it means to the World. And, maybe, just perhaps maybe, we’ll find that it means almost absolutely nothing. I think.

But hit the jump for a beautiful image from the “Bin Laden Was Dead Already” piece in the NYTimes.

*Perhaps the best trigger word to identify old, white racists: calling a black man articulate. E.g. “Oh, I really like Wayne Brady, he’s so articulate.”


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