“Only in America.” That was the mantra that legendary boxing promoter and Republican Don King would always say in his media appearances. I remember watching King on TV with his tall hair and his American flags — one for each hand — and thinking, he really loves America. As fortune would have it, I got the chance to meet Don King many times, both at the White House and during GOP Conventions, and no matter where he was he always had those American flags. To sum it up, he was proud to be an American.
We’re currently witnessing a rise of highly divisive and misguided Critical Race Theory, dangerous Cancel Culture, and the politics of personal destruction aimed at Black Republicans. There is no doubt the “woke” corporate media and social media elites would take issue with a Black man being proud to be an American citizen, Republican, and openly displaying his patriotism.
The United States of America is the greatest country in the world. Have we had our flaws as a young nation? No doubt we have. But have we also had the ability to correct the wrongs and work to have a more perfect union for everyone? Undoubtedly yes.
The fact that we have countless examples of Black achievement in every aspect of American life from politics, law, medicine, entertainment, sports, academia, religion, and the arts show how great America is.
When you see Cubans taking to the streets with American flags to protest the communist oppression of the Castro regime, it is a reminder that America is still a beacon of hope, opportunity, and freedom.
Afro-Cuban icons like Celia Cruz and Pedro Knight came to America and found immense global success in the entertainment industry with the legendary sounds of Cuba through their Salsa music. Celia Cruz, the “Queen of Salsa” was banned from Cuba and was not even able to return to bury her own mother in 1962. The people were denied the ability to hear her music and learn of her success for decades. The reason why? If the Cuban people got a glimpse of freedom — a taste of how sweet the good life could be under democracy, capitalism, and endless opportunities — they would demand it in Cuba. They would learn that socialism and communism was holding them back.
There is a reason why there is still a backlog of people from all over the world trying to legally enter the United States. There is a reason why thousands seek legitimate asylum in the United States. There is a reason why illegal immigrants feel like the border is open to them under the Biden Administration, resulting in an unprecedented border crisis. The reason all these people want to be in the United States is because this is the best country in the world where you can achieve far more than in any other nation.
What is remarkable is that we have spoiled and entitled people who want to lie to the next generation of Americans and minority communities. They are trying to build a groundswell of Anti-American sentiment. When they disrespect the flag by refusing to say the pledge of allegiance or turn their back or take a knee during the National Anthem — or even become “disturbed” at the sight of an American flag — we miss the mark. We discount all the sacrifices of our forefathers like Crispus Attucks, the Tuskegee Airmen, Jesse Owens, and Frederick Douglass. For those countless men and women who died in battle or as veterans, like my grandfather, who had those flag draped caskets, we owe a debt of gratitude and appreciation for their sacrifice. We ought to be more aware just how privileged we are as Americans to live here.
The United States flag is for everyone, it is a flag that unites us as a one nation under an almighty God. It is a flag that we should proudly salute, stand far, fight for and wave. Our flag is one that should remind everyone just how exceptional we are. Today, we need proud, patriotic, free-thinking Black Americans who are unafraid to show their patriotism and unafraid of cancel culture. We need to teach the next generation the fullness of the Black experience in America because it has not been — and is not now — as bad as the radical left would want us to believe.
America is great because of her people, and we can’t allow these dangerous anti-American elements to tear us apart and make us ashamed of our patriotism.
Paris Dennard is the National Spokesperson and Director of Black Media Affairs for the Republican National Committee (RNC). Follow him on Twitter: @PARISDENNARD.