Happy Ungrateful Day!
Updated: Dec 8, 2021
This week, it was announced that statues of two United States Presidents are being removed from prominent places in New York City because they are supposedly “problematic”. The Museum of Natural History is removing the statue of Teddy Roosevelt, the man was on the forefront of the naturalist and the conservationist movement, and one of the reasons why there even is a Museum of Natural History in the first place. And on Monday, the City Hall in New York removed a statue of Thomas Jefferson, the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence, who penned the phrase “all men are created equal”. These historical figures and their contributions to this nation will no longer be honored or even acknowledged by many people on the left.
These moves underscore how ungrateful many in our country have become towards America. People who have contributed nothing to America believe they have the right to erase our founders, and their contributions. Ironically, these two moves are occurring during Thanksgiving week, a time when we are meant to give thanks for living in this great nation these two men helped build. Far too many people who were born in this country, who have benefited immensely from living here, take America, its freedoms, its rights, and its Constitution completely for granted.
The wealthy elite, the millionaires and billionaires, who have become rich from America are usually the ones who criticize it the most, and want to change it, thus denying others from benefiting from America the way they have. Barack Obama who attacks America as systemically racist, and filled with racial injustice, was a mixed-race child whose father abandoned him, and was raised by his grandparents, rose to become the President of the United States, and is now worth over $100 million. He never shows an ounce gratitude toward this country that gave him the opportunity and the pathway to success. Rather he is hell-bent on fundamentally transforming America, as if the country in which he has enjoyed extreme success, is flawed to its core.
Anti-Americanism has also taken hold over professional sports. LeBron James, who went from living in poverty to become a billionaire in America, spews his anti-American hate on all of his social media platforms, never failing to exploit any social issue to tear America down. Colin Kaepernick became a multimillionaire in America as an adopted orphan, but continually knelt for our national anthem and disrespected our flag, and never misses an opportunity to tell the world how evil America is.
Hollywood is filled with people living the American dream, enjoying levels of success, wealth, and fame the rest of the world can only dream of, yet they continually make movies and give speeches about the evils of America. All of these people are living in and enriching themselves from the most prosperous country in the world, and very few are thankful for that country. Hollywood has some of the biggest proponents of cancel culture and censorship, not understanding the importance that free speech and expression is to a country, and their success as artists. Many in Hollywood were on the forefront of the movement to shut down people like Dave Chappell who speaks out against their left-wing orthodoxy. This shows a lack of appreciation for the very tenets that are the foundation of American greatness.
Likewise, college professors are the ones advocating for and implementing intellectual and academic censorship in their classrooms, failing to fully understand that the source of the greatness of our academic institutions is free and open debate. These professors who live in a safe and secure academic bubble with tenure that protects their jobs from firing claim that life in America is patently unfair as they sit in their ivory towers, collecting their guaranteed paychecks generated from over-inflated college tuition, and student loans of their middle and lower-class students.
All of these people will argue that their success is a direct result of their hard work and their production, and they are absolutely right. That is the greatness of America. If you work hard, and produce good things, you can improve your lot in life, you can enrich yourself, you can benefit from the fruits of your labor, the sky’s the limit, you have the opportunity to become whatever you want. That is America. That is what the rest of us do not want to lose. Ironically, the people who have not benefitted materially from America in anywhere near the way the most vocal American critics have, are the ones who thank God every day to have been born in the United States.
America is not perfect; we do not have a perfect history. There are many sins in our past that we have worked hard to overcome, yet far too many people want to put a laser focus on our failings while ignoring all of the greatness that America has brought to this country and to the world. America’s critics don’t want to talk about the hundreds of thousands of northern Union soldiers who laid down their lives to free the slaves in the Civil War. They don’t want to talk about the 400,000 American soldiers who were killed liberating Europe and Japan from the clutches of totalitarian dictators. They don’t want to acknowledge the unbelievable prosperity that America has brought to the world through its inventions and innovations, and how many hundreds of millions of people our free-market capitalist system has lifted out of abject poverty.
On our day of Thanksgiving, how many people are truly thankful to have been born in, and to live in America? In the past year, 1.7 million people from 84 different countries risked their lives making the dangerous journey through South and Central America for a chance to live in the United States. The flow of immigrants doesn’t go both ways. They’re not 1.7 million American citizens who are fleeing the United States to go live in any of those 84 countries. It doesn’t happen. But sadly, many of the people who are coming here will become indoctrinated by the anti-American left, and in the near-future, will be bashing the America they now claim to love.
The greatness of America is leading to its own downfall. America has created a generation of people who are so privileged that they have the luxury to criticize and want to destroy the very source of their privilege. They so hell-bent on its destruction that they are inventing ways to criticize it. Only people who live lives of such privilege can be concerned with micro-aggressions and the woke agenda. People living in poverty, who don’t know where their next meal is coming from have neither the time nor the energy to concern themselves with the LGBTQ agenda, or micro-aggressions. That only comes from a place of privilege.
When you have no other problems in the world, you create new problems out of thin air; you become offended when someone says, “where are you from?”, or “all lives matter”, or uses the “wrong” pronoun, or promotes a colorblind society. Your privilege causes you to assume prejudice or bias when the entire world does not love you or celebrate your very existence. Creating fake hate crimes like Jussie Smollett and Bubba Wallace is another sign of extreme privilege; it means that your life is so hate-free, that you have to make up false hate crimes in order to play the victim, and then you use the objections of innocent people you are falsely accusing as proof of their hate. Recently, Colin Kaepernick likened the NFL combine to modern-day slave trade. Only the privileged believe that auditioning for a job that pays millions of dollars per year is akin to slavery.
We are living in an increasingly ungrateful country, surrounded by people completely unaware of how truly fortunate they are to live here. Not only are these people benefitting from the privilege of prosperity, but also from the privilege of the time in which they live. The advancement of modern philosophical thought on human rights and individual freedom, owes a debt of gratitude to people like Thomas Jefferson who not only embraced new and radical ideas, but codified them into our founding documents. And yet, not only do we not want to thank the country and people who have given us so much, we are determined to destroy them.
Judd Garrett is a graduate from Princeton University, and a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He has been a contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.