It Is Patriotic To Hate Your Country, Not Love It

First and foremost, don’t forget the obvious: it’s not your country. Maybe it’s Warren Buffet’s or Ron Desantis’ country, but it sure as hell isn’t yours.

Patriotically hating your country means you are more likely to demand that it do better. And to look behind the curtain and ask “are you lying to me?” Because you know it is. That’s what governments do. About the big shit, like the justification the the Vietnam War, The Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, the Libya War – not little shit like “who shot Kennedy?” Ugh. You know what I’m talking about – like, how the FBI had a special informant who was part of the plot to blow up a church in Birmingham, Alabama, and sort of forgot to mention that. [stderr] And there are other things. I was listening to a podcast episode on Ibram X Kendi’s stream, and had to pull over and sit there shaking with rage and tears until it was over and I could throw up.

I suppose the story is not one to cause existential dread. I suppose some people would say “she’s just lucky she survived” or something like that. But, believe me, if I had the powers of some divine angel, or something, I would be down in Louisiana, ripping the hearts out of the people who were on the wrong side of this. No fucking attempt to understand them or sympathize – just obliterate them. So, here’s what I’m talking about. The original stream appears to have been taken down but you can get the sense of it here: [npr]

I’ll summarize: Ruby Bridges’ great accomplishment and bravery were turned into a lie by the racist scum government in Louisiana. Her words are better:

When I arrived on the first day, the mob of people standing outside rushed inside of the building behind me. I was escorted to the principal’s office where I sat the whole day with my mom, waiting to be assigned to a classroom. But that did not happen because every one of those parents rushed in behind me, went into every classroom, and they pulled out every child. I watched them parade right past me out of the school building. And so by the time I got there on the second day, the school was totally empty.

See, that’s how worthless southern redneck crackers integrate a school. They pull all of their whitey white spratlings out of the school so they don’t have a chance of coming into contact with a 6-year-old black girl.

I think part of the story that lots of people are not aware of is that there were some white parents who actually tried to cross that same picket line, that same mob, during that year, to bring their kids to school with me. But even when that happened, it was only a handful, maybe five, six kids. And the principal would take them and she would hide them so that they would never see me and I would never see them. So needless to say, I spent the entire year in an empty classroom with my teacher, Mrs. Henry, who was white. She had come from Boston to teach me. But those other kids were hidden away and we never really came in contact with each other.

The big lie was that they desegregated the schools. They even imported a teacher from a more liberal part of the world, who was willing to teach Ruby and was not afraid of catching cooties or something.

But, the entire school became segregated territory within the walls of the school. Ruby was the only person in her class, and her teachers’ only charge. She ate separately, took breaks separately, etc.

When Mrs. Henry took me to this other classroom and opened the door, and lo and behold, there they were four or five kids sitting there playing, I was so excited. It didn’t matter to me what they looked like. I just wanted someone my own age to play with, so I was excited to find them finally.

I have to say that that was the day that I realized that everything was about me and the color of my skin, because a little boy said, “I can’t play with you. My mom said not to play with you.” And he called me the N-word. And that’s when I had my “Aha” moment. The reason why there were no kids here was because of me and the color of my skin. He actually made it make sense. I did not realize what was going on around me until he told me. And that was my first encounter with racism. He introduced it to me.

Great gods, the amount that this shithole country demands from black people – especially black women – is absolutely evil. They are supposed to have things like that happen to their sisters, daughters, and friends, and still be polite and civil while Jack Kemp stacks the vote against Stacy Abrams, again. And the media, by the way, plays “gosh we are shocked” when basically he’s doing the same thing he did in 2020 and the media wrung their hands and said, “golly gosh darn!” When will this shit stop?

I’m just curious: did any of you know about this before reading this? When I heard the truth for the first time it was like getting kicked by a horse. Of course it was all a lie and of course I was stupid to believe any of the lying bastards that run the US. What kind of evil, venal, bastards would betray a 6-year-old’s trust like that, because of their stupid ideologies? Isn’t it kind of ridiculous that the right-wing has to sketch out elaborate horror fantasies of cannibalistic pedophiles, when the actual policies of the US are worse than that?

Remember this when you go to vote, our biannual saturnalia in which we pretend to believe we have any control over this mess that has never listened to us, at all, in the slightest. Let’s pretend our votes matter, though. Because the alternative we are given is worse.

I have been asked “why do you hate your country?” and my former answer was “because it’s not my country.” Now, I have a new answer: it is outright evil and only an evil person wouldn’t hate it.

James Baldwin describes a meeting with him and Lorraine Hansberry and John Kennedy. Hansberry thought that the great JFK should lend his lpresence to Ruby’s lonely march, to show that the government was behind doing the right thing. But JFK declined the suggestion, and Hansberry walked out on him. Now I wonder if he was getting updates from the FBI regarding the shameful situation and he couldn’t be associated with it. Baldwin was, naturally, not very impressed with JFK – he felt that he was at best a pretend liberal, interested only in talking the talk to counter-balance Nixon’s southern strategy. Howard Zinn also seems to have felt that JFK was, if not a phony, well on the path to being one. As Zinn pointed out, JFK seemed quite comfortable letting these issues sort themselves out, i.e.: not doing anything. JFK was very much of a white people’s president and I’ve  had several people of color point out that none of their parents ever thought he was worth shit. And, that’s why. Baldwin’s comment about his fatuous remark that “some day a black person may even be president” is priceless. These scenes are lovingly featured in I Am Not Your Negro.


  1. crivitz says

    I can feel your anger–I know I’ve had similar rage responses upon the realization of how cruel, mean, nasty and downright evil this country is, and I had not heard of this particular part of the Ruby Bridges story before. I’ve heard so many stories in this vein that you’d think you’d get used to it, and while you can ignore it for a while, the rage returns each time you hear a new version of the cruel story that is the USA. Part of the rage comes from the powerlessness that is felt when you know there is basically nothing you can do to make anything better. That’s when I get the idea, as you’ve expressed here before, that this whole civilization thing isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
    On a less serious note–kinda disappointed to hear that it wasn’t Angela Lansbury who snubbed JFK after all. Also, I think you meant Brian Kemp when you wrote Jack Kemp, although I can envision him crawling from the grave to keep Stacy Abrams from being elected.

  2. Jazzlet says

    I live in the UK, sure we did awful things to our subjects living in the UK, but the things we did in our empire? The things people still don’t want to be reminded of, see eg National Trust and the outrage amongst a small proportion of members that it dares to outline whence came the wealth to build and maintain the life styles of those who originally owned the great houses in the NT’s care? The things we are still doing, eg offering countires we raped loans to mitigate the climate damage we were largely responsible for – and that’s not mentioning any of the things we are doing to our citizens? So yes I hate my country and I could write reams on our internal inequities and the inequities nearly all parties would still imose on the countries we despoiled.

  3. Tethys says

    I refuse to surrender my country to the likes of DeSatanist and ilk, but I probably have a very atypical viewpoint on this question due to being raised by Anabaptists and Quakers.

    Their entire theology is built around the premise that governments are inherently coercive and violent. The more rigid Anabaptists won’t swear oaths to the government, or go to war for them, or hold any public office. I’m actually surprised when PZ says they come and vote. The Amish are such purists they won’t even use public utilities. Mennonites aren’t so extreme.

    Quakers are more pragmatic, and there are many theologians who have written on this subject of being a
    responsible citizen within a State.

    I won’t link it, but a brief quote sums up the modern version of this conundrum. The author is a Mennonite Pastor, and his essay has more Jesus, but it’s discussing how good citizens must act together to oppose a government that isn’t acting in the best interests of its citizens.

    In classical Anabaptist theology (at least as I was taught it), the state is incapable of exhibiting Christ’s way of love. The Quakers, on the other hand, believe that the light of Christ is in everyone and everything, and we can appeal to that light and help make it shine. I think American history has shown the Anabaptists to have been right about how self-serving and violent a government can be, but it has also shown the Quakers to be right about how much better a government can become.

    Large societies need governments. Governments become corrupt when corrupt people get elected, and get better when the people force them to get better.

    We can do that! The fascists are a dying minority, which is why they need to be so loud. I have no religious faith, but I do know that most people are not fascists and by all reliable reports (not CNN) even the Mennonites are busily going to the polls to vote for the person who is pro ‘women are autonomous adults and hell no does the government get to usurp women’s rights.’

  4. StevoR says

    I thinks its more patriotic to love your country and want to make it better and to be honest about its history and culture – metaphorical warts and all – than it is to prtend your country is something it isn’t and refuse to face it as it is or accept there are things that need to be made better about it.

  5. rrutis1 says

    I did not know the story in the OP but I’ve been so mad at our country for so long it’s like throwing a brick in the Grand Canyon. I just had a discussion with a work friend about growing up and realizing too late that all the authority figures in our lives were either lying to us or too stupid to tell us the truth about so many things, including the evils of racism. We have all been let down on so many levels and for so long…I would root for Marcus the avenging angel destroying everything.

  6. Dunc says

    Governments become corrupt when corrupt people get elected

    I don’t think it’s quite that simple. Government necesarily involves wielding power, and I do believe that power corrupts. There may be some people who are able to resist that tendency, but it certainly seems that most people inevitably become corrupt (or at least more corrupt) after spending time in government. One of the challenges for any system of government is coming up with a means to at least slow that process down, and I’m not convinced that anybody has come up with a particularly good answer so far.

  7. says

    I don’t think power corrupts. Instead, I think immunity corrupts. People with power do tend to exert that power in such a way that they acquire immunity, granted. But people with approximately zero power, plus connections which can get them off scot-free, are at least as likely to become corrupted as are powerful people.

  8. Tethys says

    The Anabaptists are not wrong about the morally corrupting influence of power, wealth, and those who seek to influence politics. That’s why they have closed, self-sufficient societies in the first place. They are technically communists, and I’m sure Karl Marx got a lot of his ideas from their philosophies and observing how their societies functioned.
    There are no elites. Pride and vanity are sins. You will be humble, as befits an inherently flawed human. Nobody is neglected. Everybody shares. Everybody is valued. It’s actually quite lovely if it wasn’t for the rigid religious requirements.

  9. dangerousbeans says

    Perun has a video on corruption in the Russian military, which briefly discusses different types of corruption:

    My takeaway is it’s a slippery slope with a lot of grey area, it’s easy to justify the early stuff and then easy to justify the next step. So to stop people starting down the slope you need constant oversight; but that is a lot of work and if you’re a fair way up the slope then a lot of stuff doesn’t look like corruption. Thus people want to reduce the oversight, out of self interest or out of perceived lack of need and a desire for efficiency. Anti-corruption cost money.
    So the systems slide towards corruption unless there are people ideologically driven to oppose it, but with low corruption they seem to be worried about nothing. And once things get bad those opposed get, pushed out of the situation.
    This means that it’s not corrupt people getting elected, it’s that corruption it like entropy in these systems.

    Also i don’t think it’s a good idea to think of people as clearly corrupt/not corrupt, or evil/good. People will act in ways that are degrees of corrupt in certain situation, but it’s not something inherent to them. We need systems that discourage corruption rather than worry about if a specific person is corrupt.

  10. Tethys says

    Trump was clearly corrupt, and has managed to spread his blatant corruption to the entire GOP only because he got elected. (By gaming the electoral college and colluding with Putin)
    Now it’s lodged in SCOTUS, and that’s how corruption leads to evil.

    Nixon was forced to resign by his own party for far lesser crimes and corruption than sedition.

    You can’t eliminate the human tendency to be a greedy little monkey, and the only thing that makes societies progress is when the people finally band together and exercise their power.

  11. says

    Re: “power corrupts”
    Obviously, that’s what I morphed into my “power only has value if it’s being abused.” I was trying to tease out the question of why people want power – if power corrupts, who wants to be corrupted? My answer is that power is convenient to abuse, and the corruption comes in because powerful people get stupid and lazy and use it to take the easy route.

    King Thag used to have to argue endlessly with philosophers as to “why should we do this?” and “have you thought about that?” and when he switched to just having his spearmen tell the philosophers to STFU or they would experience something new for them, it saved a lot of time and arguing. By the way, this is how Thag was also able to convince himself that being an authoritarian was good and the gods were smiling on him: the philosophers finally did STFU, a sign of divine approval.

  12. Tethys says


    I was trying to tease out the question of why people want power – if power corrupts, who wants to be corrupted?

    Some people want to rule the world, some people want to make the world a better place.
    Capitalism is inherently problematic in terms of social value being accorded to wealth.
    Anabaptists have deliberately rejected consumerism as a form of social coercion. Disposable goods, cars, and fast fashion are wasteful, and bad for the environment.
    They are not wrong.

    The best solution to those who would be Thag is term limits and a robust system of oversight that prevents Thag from murder or insurrection.

    No letting sociopaths like Thag anywhere near the halls of power in the first place is in everyone’s best interest.

  13. Tethys says

    There is a docuseries on YouTube that is about British teens experience as exchange students with Old Order Amish, and Mennonite communities in the Eastern US.

    It gives a much better view into their communities to see how it works in practice, and have them explain why they follow such an old-fashioned lifestyle. It isn’t because they are stupid or misguided, and they articulate and embody the philosophy in their plain, kind, thoughtful manner.

    It’s a very religious based communism, versus the USSR version. It sounds very repressive to have rules about everything from what you wear, to gendered work roles, but it’s not like that in practice. It’s hard to disapprove of religion when the Xtian folk really are as loving and kind as scripture commands them to be.
    The British teens experience massive culture shock, as would most modern day adults. The very first thing they do is give up all their electronic devices, piercings, jewelry, and change to plain dress. It’s very much like joining the military. So many rules about buttons!!

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