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I've Always Been Proud of America

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Michelle Obama:
"For the first time in my adult lifetime I am [really] proud of my country."

Lee Greenwood:
"And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free."


I'm thrilled that Michelle Obama is finally really proud of her country. I assume her country is the same as my country, but she didn't actually say that so that may be an assumption which turns out to be terribly wrong.

There appears to be a defense building in the Popular Press which holds that the original reporting of Mrs. Obama's statement left out the word "really" which, they believe, changes the meaning of the statement.

It doesn't.

I am - and I assume most of you are - unreservedly proud of America.

Lee Greenwood:
"And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me."

For those who might be a little thin on this, America - the America of which Mrs. Obama is finally really proud - gives people like Michelle Obama the right to say excruciatingly stupid things. And, America - the America of which I have always been proud - gives people like Barack Obama the ability to run for (and probably win) the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

Barack Obama, by the way, won the Wisconsin primary last night by some 13 percentage points over the lagging, flagging, sagging campaign of Hillary Clinton.

If Michelle is finally really proud of America because of Barack's run, she should be aware that Obama is not the first Black person to run for President in either of our countries.


In 1972 Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm ran for President. Mrs. Chisholm, a Black woman from New York received 151 delegate votes at the Democratic National Convention that year.

That total will be way more than John Edwards, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson, Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich will receive at the 2008 Democratic National Convention - COMBINED.

Now, I will grant you that Michelle Obama was only eight years old in 1972 but one assumes she has read the history of the United States generally and/or the history of Black Women in the United States in particular.

In her speech announcing her candidacy in January 1972 Rep. Chisholm said: "I stand before you today as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States.

"I am not the candidate of black America, although I am Black and proud.

"I am not the candidate of the women's movement of this country, although I am a woman, and I am equally proud of that.

"I am not the candidate of any political bosses or special interests.

"I am the candidate of the people."

Thus demonstrating an understanding of an America which Michelle Obama clearly lacks lo these 36 years later.

Lee Greenwood:
"And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today."


There will be those who will excuse Michelle Obama's acknowledgement that she, previous to this, had never been proud of America; had never been really proud of America.

Where was Michelle Obama on September 12, 2001 the day after the attacks. She was an adult in 2001. Was she embarrassed by America that day?

Where was Michelle Obama in November 9, 1989 when the Berlin Wall came down signifying the end of the Cold War. She was an adult in 1989. Was she embarrassed that day?

Where was Michelle Obama - 22 years old and thus an adult - on July 5, 1986 when the Statue of Liberty was re-opened after extensive refurbishing. Was she embarrassed that day as well?

When Michelle Obama received her undergraduate degree from Princeton and her law degree from Harvard … was she embarrassed by an America which gave her the opportunity to live up to her intellectual capabilities?

Michelle Obama owes America an apology.

Lee Greenwood:
"'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA."


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