Thursday, July 04, 2013

The Reich Stuff

"Patriotism isn't about the superiority of one's country or the dangers lurking inside and outside its borders, about braggadocio and exclusion. True patriotism is about the responsibilities of citizenship, about the ideals that hold us together. It requires mutual sacrifice and inclusion. One of the most patriotic people I ever knew was a young man named Mickey, a friend from my childhood. Mickey loved America so much that he went to Mississippi to register black voters when it was dangerous to do so. On June 21, 1964, Mickey -- his full name was Michael Schwerner -- and two other civil rights workers, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman, were tortured and murdered by local members of the Ku Klux Klan, including the county sheriff. The Klansmen held American flags and sang patriotic songs, but they had nothing to do with America. Mickey was and is the America I know. His love for this nation and its ideals is what I celebrate on days like today. Happy Fourth." ~Robert Reich

(Above: Thomas Jefferson's original draft of the Declaration of Independence, with revisions by Ben Franklin and John Adams, via The Obama Diary)

No comments: