An American

logo3Sarah Hoyt recently wrote about being an American. Actually she’s written about it a couple of times recently, which has brought several atavistic shit gits out from under their rocks to claim that Sarah is somehow not a real American. Why? Because apparently she’ll never be a real American, having been born in Portugal. Her ideals don’t matter. Her fundamental values don’t matter. Her love for this nation doesn’t matter. She wasn’t born here. The absolute condescending stupidity coming from the maws of these asswads is appalling.

By their definition, I am not American either, and will never be, because I wasn’t born here. It doesn’t matter that I grew up here, hold the fundamental ideals that have made this nation great dear, served this nation honorably in the Armed Forces, and continue to do so as a civilian, and have raised my children to also love this nation. I’m not an American, and apparently because my son was born in Germany – while we were stationed there – and my daughter was born in Ukraine – we adopted her when she was five years old – they’re not real Americans either, despite their service to their country in the Army and Marine Corps respectively.

That’s what kind of horrifyingly small-minded and xenophobic followers of a certain unhinged loon, who seems to have developed a psychosexual obsession with Sarah, are.

I bet they support the Hairy Hemorrhoid™ for President too.

But I digress.

What I really want to talk about is this whole concept of being an American. It’s not blood, like some racist swine will claim. It’s not ethnicity. It’s a shared love of this country and the ideals it was created to protect. No, it’s not blind allegiance to those in power. It’s a fundamental understanding of the rights and freedoms this nation strives to protect – sometimes successfully, sometimes not so much. It’s a love for natural rights. It’s an uncompromising belief in the fundamental freedoms of every human being to live, love, work, achieve, and succeed.

It’s not something that’s learned in school. But it’s the inherent knowledge in the power of every individual and the people’s authority to stand up to tyranny and remove it, if need be. That’s not something a civics class can teach you. You either get it, or you don’t. You either come to it via your own free, rational mind, or you fall into one of two categories: those who strive to make your rights and freedoms subordinate to their petty little feelings, or those who claim to love freedom, but strive to use government force to impose their own version of freedom on others. Either one is unacceptable in a truly free society.

The very first piece I published was entitled “The Moment.” It seems like ages ago when I first wrote this essay to try and explain why I hold the views I hold. Why, despite not having known anything about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, I believed in the basic concepts enshrined therein. I’m posting it here word for word, because I believe it’s important for those boorish oafs who impugn immigrants as something less than American (even as they take America for granted, having had the honor and privilege of having grown up here) to understand who, we immigrants, are and why we think the way we do.

I wrote this in 2001, and it still holds true today.

I know the exact day, and moment when my views on the Second Amendment were formed.

It was before I knew what the Constitution of the United States of America was.

It was before I knew about the Bill of Rights.

And it was before I’d ever touched a gun.

It was when a Soviet border guard stuck a rifle in my face and threatened to shoot me when I was eight years old.

I haven’t the slightest idea what kind of rifle it was. I don’t know if it was an AK, or an SKS, or any other letters resembling a spoonful of alphabet soup. At that time I couldn’t tell the difference between an M-60 and a Beretta 9mm pistol. But it was a rifle, and it was inches away from my face.

That was the exact moment I knew that the ability to defend yourself is tantamount to life itself.

The border guard was standing in front of a doorway through which they took my dad. My parents and I spent the day in this third-world pit on the border of Poland and Ukraine, waiting to leave the Soviet Union. And since we were Jews, who wanted more than anything to leave the motherland, the border officials, the guards and the so-called “customs officials” made it their official duty to make our lives as miserable as possible while we were there.

So, they rifled through our luggage, confiscating anything they deemed necessary – loosely translated it means they stole our stuff.

They did body searches – strip and orifice searches as well. Not because they really thought we were hiding something, but because they wanted to further humiliate the Jews. It made them feel powerful and strong. It made them feel more than what they actually were. It was the ultimate illusion.

Power.

They say power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And the final step to that absolute corruption is taking away a person’s means of self-defense.

It starts with games – mind games – the kind of games that leave you drained of dignity, self-worth and the will to live. It starts with humiliation, crescendos with vicious emotional lashing and culminates with complete surrender.

I sat quietly in a corner – a skinny eight-year-old kid. I was scared to death, so I sat in a chair and stared into my book of fairy tales as my parents stood in front of the customs officials and watched them rummage, tear and confiscate our meager belongings.

My parents looked tired and defeated. They were pale. They obviously hadn’t slept. They stood in front of the customs officials with their hands hanging limply at their sides, stooped and beaten.

We didn’t take much with us. Three suitcases and a small radio. I was in charge of carrying that. I didn’t want to give it up. It was my responsibility. And as one official watched me clutch at the radio’s plastic handle with my sweaty hands, he decided against taking it away from me. He told me to go sit in a corner instead.

So I sat. My mom came over later and gave me my book of fairy tales to read. I couldn’t concentrate, so I furtively watched my parents face the border officials.

When they were finally finished checking our baggage – when they felt they had stolen enough – they sloppily closed the suitcases, and escorted my father to another room.

And as I watched him go, I was racked by this overwhelming feeling of utter terror and helplessness. I wanted to go to him. At that moment I wanted my daddy more than anything in the world. So before my mother could stop me, I dropped my book and left my radio on my chair. I jumped up and began running toward my father, who’d disappeared into a dark hallway. At that point the only thing standing between me and my dad was a guard – a guard in an olive drab or grey uniform (I can’t even remember its exact color) and a rifle.

In the darkened hallway I saw my father turn and look at me as the guard pointed the rifle in my face. I saw another guard lead my father away. And I heard my mother scream, “Let this child go to her father! Now!”

Even in this darkest, most humiliating of places, she gathered her last vestiges of strength and dignity and faced that guard in my defense!

I reached out a hand past the guard and screamed, “Daddy!” But he was gone, and I felt myself being pulled back into my mother’s arms. I screamed louder, “Daddy!” and tried to run past the guard. And once again that rifle was in my face and my mother was crying and screaming.

My mother and I were eventually allowed to join my father. We sat in the train station, waiting for the next available train to take us away from that hellhole. My parents carefully folded what clothing we had left into the suitcase. I could see torn sheets, a few books and some old shoes also being lovingly packed away.

We traveled for another two months before we reached our final destination – America.

But I’ll never forget that day. I’ll never forget how helpless I felt – how demeaned and beaten my parents looked. And I’ll never forget that rifle in my face. At that point, someone had complete power over me and over those I loved. At that moment, we were helpless, disarmed and undefended.

Today, as I write this, I realize how crucial the ability to defend oneself truly is. It’s not about having to justify myself to anyone in power anytime I want to purchase a certain weapon. It’s not about being registered like a common criminal simply because I want to own a gun. It’s not even about being called a “gun nut” or an “NRA freak.”

It’s about the slow, systematic destruction of dignity and strength. It’s about the methodical erosion of our personal defenses. And all of the above are definitive symptoms of that erosion.

For once you’ve taken away a person’s self-respect – once you’ve taken away a person’s dignity – it becomes all the easier to take away his or her means of self-defense. And once that’s gone – that’s the precise moment you know you’ve been completely defeated.

This is why I fight. This is why I stand up. This is why I serve the nation I love in the best way I know how, even though I may disagree quite vocally with the leaders America elects to power.

This is why I will never sit down and shut up.

And those who want to use government force to silence my voice are going to have a hard time.

37 responses

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Amen

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good chance Vox is a Trumpkin.

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    1. Not a Trumpkin, a Stormtrumper.

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        1. I’m using Larry Correia’s nomenclature:

          The Stormtrumpers are the militant burn it all down branch. You can usually identify them because they’re talking about “white interests” and think a good debate is saying “cuck” a lot. They’re a smaller contingent.

          Most of the supporters are what I’d call Trumpkins, which is the wishful thinking, Hope and Change, Make America Great, low information, meme repeaters who are being suckered into voting for a democrat.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Good distinction. I think they’re ALL a pain in the ass. Hence Trumproids.

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  3. Outstanding!

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  4. I’ve always thought that Americans like you are the best kind. You have seen the other side and the evil it contains. I was born in this country, and my progress to be a American started at a young age. Lessons learned from my WWII Navy veteran Father, His Navy veteran Brother and my mothers Marine Brother. Even closer to becoming a true American when at 17, I enlisted in the marine Corps.

    The lessons and work ethic I learned from my family and then serving my country. Lessons that made me the man I am today. I’m doing my best to pass these along, Especially to my grand sons.

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    1. Semper fi, Marine!🙂

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    2. To quote my grandfather: “We are all from someplace else. Welcome to America.” And from me: Semper Fi.

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  5. Welcome. I’m glad you made it.

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  6. Agree with every damned word you write. Wow. You lived it…all of it. Wish you were speaking with the self-entitled little wimps we laughingly refer to as our academia. You got the fire in spades. If you ever need anything that I have (except for my Berretta Storm, you’ve got it. Best to you and your jarhead.

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    1. Thanks, Lee! That’s pretty awesome! I carry an M1911, so I’ll never ask for your Beretta. Promise!😉

      But you can be on my Zombie killing team anytime!

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  7. How can anyone think that the luck of birth has anything to do with whether or not one is an American? The spirit of Americanism is not about where you were born, but rather who you are. I think of the millions of immigrants, legal, and yes, even those who are here illegally, who consider themselves to be Americans. Those who have come here to be a part of this experiment in governance which is something which had, until these 2 centuries plus ago, never been tried in the same way.
    Americanism is the spirit of freedom, of acceptance of others freedom as well, the sense of fair play and self reliance. The understanding that in order for me to be able to have my freedoms, then I must allow others to have theirs as well.
    It is also the knowledge that when the government begins to encroach upon the freedoms of others, in any way, it is only a short time, and a short distance, before they come knocking on my door to take away my own freedom.
    That is the place we find ourselves at today, as we all know. The wonderful thing is that for all of the problems we face, America is still not a place like Russia, or Nazi Germany, or one of the other places where we would have no chance to turn things around. Here we still have the ability to change things for the better, back to what the original intention of our founders was, a loose group of 50 sovereign states, bound together with a love of freedom and protected by a central federal government, who acted only with the permission of those 50 states.
    None of us are naive as to think that this is an easy task. If it were easy, we would not be in the state we now find ourselves in. However, the risk of doing nothing is the risk of finding out that the America we thought we had is closer to one of the Socialist countries than we thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Very moving. I do see where you’re coming from. You rejected the Soviet yoke to embrace your new home, and you’re willing to embrace it to the end. That is very good indeed, and even on the other thread, I didn’t doubt your sincerity or Sarah’s, and I have nothing against any of you.

    Note that I never personally attacked anyone on Sarah’s thread. And thank you for not attacking me when I made my point, even though you disagreed. It can be hard to have discussions about the nature of America since it is so tied up in identity. That’s probably why the personal attacks came; I pointed out that proposition nations make no sense, so it offended those with an immigrant background who strongly believe in American ideals. Since “proposition nation” is a core part of their identity, what I said felt like an insult even though I said nothing about Sarah or anyone as people.

    Glad you still like it here in the US, even though I am pessimistic about its future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t attack unless people like the Voxtard below in that thread says something horribly stupid, which he did. You made your point respectfully, so I was OK with that. Thanks for coming over here.🙂

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  9. Thanks for personalizing what I saw on the Czechoslovakian border in 1985. It was easy to see what the Iron Curtain really was when you notice the fence-top concertina wire points inward.
    Whether a person becomes American through your family’s story or through the Cumberland Gap in 1784, the ideals of freedom and liberty are universal.

    I care not to which you were born, only that you are here in the foxhole with me.

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    1. I love that last line! HARD!

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  10. @ Nicki

    You made your point respectfully, so I was OK with that. Thanks for coming over here.

    You’re welcome.

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  11. One of my close friends moved with his mother from Donetsk to Kiev to Novosibirsk to Israel to Canada. His mother now lives in Boston. One of the senior people in the company that I work for moved from the Ukraine to Israel. In junior high and high school, my German teacher was a Hungarian who fled Budapest to Austria in 1956, she made her way to the States. She had a story like yours. My oldest son was born in Korea we adopted him as an infant. About a year ago, he completed 8 years honorable service in the US Army. During my first few days in the Army, I made friends with a Japanese guy who was nisei – his parents immigrated to the US from Japan. About 25 years ago, I worked with a lady who was ethnically Chinese but born in Vietnam. In 1978, her family was forced to give up everything and buy their way out of Saigon with gold. They took a small boat to Thailand. They were captured by pirates and what little they had was stolen or destroyed. They spent 18 months in refugee camps in Thailand and Hong Kong. She had an uncle in the States, he sponsored the family. She wrote up her story and shared it with a few people who might understand. It made me cry.

    It is my opinion that people who choose to uproot themselves from the place they grew up and move to a new country and start over are highly motivated to succeed. It is a sorting process, the ambitious, motivated – choose your description – those people take a big risk. They see the value in America and they go for it. Most who get here succeed because getting here is hard and the ones less likely to succeed give up before they make it.

    I see a similar fierce patriotism in Israelis. Many had to fight to leave the places where they were born and had to fight to get to Israel. Israelis know that they have few permanent friends and they are on their own. They take no bullshit from anyone.

    Welcome to America! Welcome home!

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  12. Dear Nicki – as another naturalized citizen, who became American by conscious decision, I would venture to say those of us in this group have a very high percentage with strong of love of country, appreciation for the opportunities the unique founding of the country provides and fierce loyalty to what that document places forth as self evident truths. Sadly too many born here are disconnected from their founding documents and an ever growing percentage of “immigrants”, mainly illegal whether by border crossing or overstaying their visas, are also ignorant of and disdain compliance with laws which are the foundation of a free society. All they want is the benefits without any responsibility. I pray that the pendulum is beginning to swing back towards conservatism and love of this nation. Continuing down the path of serfdom is unthinkable, after all, where else are we to go? No, time to stand and defend that which we love and respect, with the ballot box before any other option is considered.

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  13. As another naturalized citizen: thank you.

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  14. I would consider you an American (and I do!) before any of these idiots supporting Hillary’s meat puppet. We need more people like you to be American citizens.

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  15. Hello Nikki,

    I don’t really care about the politics, or the imbecility, or the racism found in people on either side of the fence here at home. You weren’t born here, no, but your family sought this country out, made it your own, even served in it’s defense. As far as I’m concerned, you are more of an American than most of us who were born here. After all, we didn’t have to fight to make this country home, we were born to it. I feel the same way about Sarah Hoyt, Michael Z. Williamson, and so many other immigrants. Our country has its share of problems, and yet people are still seeking us out. No matter what anyone else says, to me that means this country is still doing something right. For what it’s worth, I’m damned proud to call you a fellow citizen. So cheers, neighbor, maybe I’ll see you around sometime.

    -Steven Moynier

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Shoot, I some times think that Naturalized Americans appreciate being an American more than some of us native born, because they don’t take for granted all the freedoms that goes with the title of “United States Citizen.”

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  17. I have one very straightforward definition of “American”. It isn’t a legal one, but it goes right to the heart of what makes someone American, IMO:

    Does a person respond to the ideas of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights, with “well, duh” or other words that indicate at least, oh, say, 85% aggreement (I don’t ask for 100% agreement. I have yet to agree 100% with anything or anybody, not even myself.😉 )

    If you can do that, and mean it, then as far as I’m concerned, you’re American. The rest is just paperwork.

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  18. My husband was born in Italy. His mother came to the US when he was 5. He stayed in Italy with his grandmother until his mother could get him over here. He was almost 12 before that happened. She went through hell and high water with the state department struggling to get him here. They lost the paperwork. They needed this. Then they needed that. Then they dragged their feet. When he got here, he didn’t speak a word of English and learned the hard way when he was immediately enrolled in school in Jasper, Alabama. He struggled and learned English by reading Tom Sawyer and practiced and to this day he has no semblance of an accent. He served honorably in the army (Korea) and became a driven and successful man.

    He gets so angry at the open borders arseholes, and those they enable, who have no idea what it means to be an American. He’s more American than many people I know.

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  19. Nicki, you are one of the ones who are an example of what this country is SUPPOSED to be. Keep on writing and fighting, Lady!

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  20. Holy shit, Ms. Nicki. That was .. raw. That was real.

    This sort of infinitely arrogant behavior by strutting thugs with uniforms is exactly why every true American should be heavily armed and ready at any time to splatter the brains of a thug all over the sidewalk. Ordinary thugs like muggers and burglars and rapists pose a far lesser danger.

    Statist thugs believe in guns and fear. Free people believe in guns and joyous liberty. The contrast cannot be more stark.

    *You* are a true American. Frankly, people like you are ten times more American than the spoiled idiots who are born into the dying legacy of freedom with absolutely no comprehension or appreciation for the cost of that freedom.

    The dream will not die. There will be blood again, but the dream will rise again over a battlefield littered with the dead. I can’t say I look forward to that for a millisecond, but the statist enemy is relentless and pitiless, and it’s perhaps inevitable that only another civil war will beat them down again. -_-

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    1. Wow, that’s beautiful. But I disagree with him about the politicians part!😉

      Liked by 1 person

  21. The only unfortunate thing about the Soviet Union and Iron Curtain no longer existing is that today’s youth cannot comprehend all the bad that it represented. Barbed wire, minefields, guard towers, border troops with guns – all make one appreciate freedom all that much more, especially those on the wrong side wishing to be on the right side. Been there, seen that. You, lovely lady, can say, “Been there, done that.”

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  22. And this is why I love you and your writings.
    Storyteller
    USAF 1966-1970, cop 1970- 1985
    American forever

    Liked by 1 person

  23. As an Englishman, whose Irish father served in the British Army throughout WW2, I was extremely fortunate in that I was born into a free society, (well, these days comparatively free; but that is maybe another story.) My introduction to the glories and successes of Communism, and socialism in its alleged glories was during a visit to Romania in 1963 whilst serving as an officer in the British Merchant Navy; and I would like to tell you about a small occurrence in Constanta, to demonstrate what it was actually like living in a Socialist paradise!

    The whole port area was cordoned off, with barbed wire everywhere, uniformed gun-carrying guards everywhere, and access was strictly controlled. The harbour itself was protected by a harbour wall, upon which fishermen used to sit or stand for hours, hoping to increase their meagre rations by the free bounty of the sea. Access and egress was controlled by heavily-guarded gates, through which the fishermen had to pass when leaving the dockside. The rule was that every fisherman was allowed three fish free through, but any caught over that number had to be offered to the gate guards. If they didn’t want the excess, or they had already confiscated enough, the fishermen were allowed through with their extra fish, but; I stress, the fish had to be declared! We, as filthy capitalists, were allowed into the city, but only after being issued with special passes which were suspiciously scrutinised by the gate guards, and as you can imagine, in a labour-intensive place like a port, there were massive queues come knocking-off time! We headed out into town round about six in the evening, but there was still a substantial queue in the locals’ queue, which we were able to by-pass, being filthy-rich capitalists, you understand; so it was from an an almost empty gate lane that we saw the true face of Communism in action!

    A fisherman had caught seven fish, and had shown the required three, and had declared a further two, but had slung the other two fish from twine down his back, under his coat. Because of the long queues, the slime and blood from the fish had started to leak, and had run down his back onto his trousers. He had in fact passed through the gate, and has started walking up the rise towards the main road, when the ‘spotter’, a guard who, presumably posted to watch for just this occasion, called out to his machine-gun toting buddies, three of whom raced out and surrounded the ‘criminal’. They pulled his coat off, took the fish and threw them on the ground; then knocked the fisherman down and commenced kicking him until he lay silent, broken and bloody on the pavement! This in full view of maybe five hundred men standing silently in the queues! As the string of workers was passed through the gates, they one by one passed the broken body by, as though he had been infected with some dread contagious disease, never stopping, never looking! In the end, after maybe fifteen had walked by, we went forward, lifted him onto our arms and carried him the hundred yards to a café. Here we paid the owner to phone for an ambulance, which arrived about twenty minutes later, and the silent but still breathing body of a man who had committed the heinous crime of trying to feed his family was slid into the rear of the vehicle, which slowly rolled away! We never were able to find out what happened, whether the man lived or died, the people who spoke English in the Port clammed up like stones when we attempted to find out his fate!

    On the beaches of Mamaia the accents of the holidaymakers now come from Burnley, Glasgow and Leipzig, the beaches are still fronted by the concrete blocks, and the blood still seeps through the foundations into the soil!

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