Weekly Political Report: What It Takes To Be An American

Every week I write a political issue that affects YOU and the World AROUND YOU.

This week’s Weekly Political Report: What It Takes to Be An American


On Monday April 21st 2014, I attended the 118th Annual Boston Marathon event. Not only was this my first Marathon, but my first experience in witnessing history: seeing Meb Keflezighi “take back the finish line” as the first American to do so in over 31 years.
Meb Keflezighi, who is an American immigrant from Eritrea and a proud native of San Diego, Ca, made history when he became the first American to win the Boston Marathon in over 31 years. After winning the race he said this:

“This is probably the most meaningful victory for an American, just because of what happened here last year. Up till now I’d say my career was 99.9 percent fulfilled. Today I’d say it is 110 percent fulfilled!”

Noting what the Boston Red Sox had done in the World Series championship last year (2013), he added that he wanted to provide a similar boost: “When the Red Sox did it, I said, ‘I want to do it for Boston.'” –Meb Keflezighi. And what was truly inspiring was the fact that he wrote the names of the Boston Bombing victims (Krystal Shakespeare, Martin Richard, Ling Zi and Sean Collier) on his racing Bib–and how he honored them in his race. They helped me carry through. At the end, I just kept thinking ‘Boston Strong’. I gave everything I had for Boston,” said Meb Keflezighi. His victory did not only bring a lot of joy but controversy–about what it means to be an American. A theme that has brought back this controversial article from the grave.

When Meb Keflezighi won the NYC Marathon back in 2009, CNBC Sports Writer Darren Rovell had this to say in his article, “Marathon’s Headline Win is Empty“:

Meb Keflezighi, who won yesterday in New York, is technically American by virtue of him becoming a citizen in 1998, but the fact that he’s not American-born takes away from the magnitude of the achievement the headline implies.

Nationality in running counts. It’s why many identify Kenya as the land of the long distance champions. As for the United States? Not so much

Given our disappointing results, embracing Keflezighi is understandable. But Keflezighi’s country of origin is Eritrea, a small country in Africa. He is an American citizen thanks to taking a test and living in our country.

Nothing against Keflezighi, but he’s like a ringer who you hire to work a couple hours at your office so that you can win the executive softball league.

Fortunately, Darren took back his comments–which he apologized and said that “Meb Keflezighi is an American” –but America today is still struggling to visualize “What (exactly) is An American?”

So why does this affect you?

It affects you because it is a reoccurring divisive theme in American politics–from Immigration to Race. It is this type of reoccurring theme that has led Real Estate Mogul Donald Trump and others on a wild goose chase to obtain a birth certificate from the President of The United States; because his name sounded foreign. To the unfortunate remarks that were written against Meb Keflezighi in 2009. If we don’t tackle this problem as a collective nation, our nation will continue to divide into smaller nations, and politicians will continue to abuse their power by not serving the best interests for All Americans (Americans like Meb Keflezighi).

I, for one, am glad that Meb won the marathon that day, because he has allowed us to rethink of “What It Takes To Be An American.” An American, who out of thousands of runners, wrote the names of the Boston Marathon Bombing victims on his bib. And an American, who dedicated his whole run and win on behalf of those victims. THAT IS AN AMERICAN!

To those who continue to chastise his ethnic background, his path towards citizenship, or his name is UN-AMERICAN! Especially after what he accomplished in a 26.2 mile run.

If you wish to follow Meb Keflezighi you can do so via Twitter @runmeb



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