Escondido, CA
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I Be American

EsoteRicK Observations

It is common knowledge anyone can become an American. By following a set of immigration requirements, any citizen of the world can become an American citizen. But becoming an “American” is more than just citizenship, it is a state of mind. 

Many Americans resent immigrants who come here and then resort to promoting the governing system and cultural mores of the country they came from. That’s like your mother-in-law trying to rearrange your furniture while visiting for Thanksgiving.

I could become a British citizen. I would have to occupy a residence, and pass a “Life in the UK” test and voila! I am a registered British citizen too! That is called dual citizenship. Thousands of people possess dual citizenship with many countries, but when you ask them which country they relate to as their homeland, it is usually their place of birth. That makes sense.

I have found it interesting when I encounter naturalized immigrants that say, “I was born in Russia, but I am an American now!” And that is exactly how it should be. In fact, in order to become naturalized, applicants must raise their hand and swear:

To be taking the Oath of Allegiance voluntarily.

To renounce their allegiance to all other countries

To accept all the responsibilities of a U.S. citizen — including military and civil service if necessary — and have no intention of not fulfilling those duties.

Becoming an American citizen doesn’t happen overnight. It takes typically 12 to 18 months, or more, to become naturalized. That is after you have established residency.

Even birthright citizens have to learn to be “Americans.” That is why for years we have required our kids to recite the Pledge of Allegiance before school. We subject them to years of American history classes and have them reenact iconic incidents that inform them of the difficulty and sacrifices our forefathers made to establish our Constitutional Republic. That is one reason as Americans, we join together to sing the National Anthem before major events and public gatherings. Hopefully, all of this inculcates a sense of pride and patriotism that will serve us all well into the future.

We know it is possible to become an “American”; but what does it take to un-become being an American? I am referring to the state of being an “American” as opposed to being a citizen of the United States of America. At what point does the actions of a person who has rejected their Americanism actually disqualify them as being an American?

There are specific violations that disqualify citizenship, like running for office or joining the military in a foreign country. But shouldn’t we take another look at how long we let rioters and fascist-activists destroy public property while calling themselves peaceful protesters and patriotic Americans?

Anyone that attacks federal properties is not patriotic nor should they be considered peaceful protesters. In my view, they have, by default, renounced their Americanism. 

“Americanism is a set of United States patriotic values aimed at creating a collective American identity, and can be defined as ‘an articulation of the nation’s rightful place in the world, a set of traditions, a political language, and a cultural style imbued with political meaning.’ ” —Wikipedia

Those who established CHAD (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) in Seattle are, by legal definition, guilty of sedition. They have walled themselves off from established authority, attacked the federal courthouse and other public and private properties, established an unlawful militia, and have distributed subversive materials throughout the compound. 

“A booklet is titled ‘Against the Police and the Prison World They Maintain.’ It features short essays on why police, capitalism and the state must be destroyed by any means necessary, including through violence.”  — 1st-hand accounts by journalist Andy Ngo

Sedition is defined as any covert act, by an individual or a group, such as distributing literature that tends towards or incites subversion or discontent towards the constitution, or insurrection against established authority. Just the discussion of destroying or attempting to seize government property, is considered a conspiracy of sedition and can be punished by imprisonment for not more than 20 years. Surrounding, assaulting and attempting to burn down federal courthouses are acts of war on federal authority and should be a clear renunciation of citizenship, and any semblance of being American. 

Legally, the perpetrators are now alien enemies of the state.

Are all of those marching in Seattle now seditionists? Of course not, but the instigators, the organizers of CHAZ are more than just collaborators of protest marches. 

Do not place me or any other law abiding, patriotic American in the same context as those criminals because they offend my being. Because I be American.

Rick Elkin is an artist, author and columnist. His most controversial book, “Trump’s Reckoning: Bulldozing Progressivism, Rebuilding Americanism” is available at most online booksellers. He resides in Escondido, California. You can follow him at

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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