Pride: A feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.
Ex. The team was bursting with pride after recording a sensational victory.
We have entered the month of June, and I am seeing the word “pride” pop up everywhere. The last Monday in the month of May is Memorial Day, which began as Decoration Day in 1866. On that day many Americans take time to remember the saying, “All gave some, and some gave all.” It is somewhat amazing that we spend only one day taking “pride” in remembering the sacrifices of those who gave the last full measure of devotion and honoring them. Now we have the following month where the word “pride” is displayed everywhere, but for what purpose? Does it have to do with something that we widely admire?
I want to reflect upon the things that have given me “pride,” and would implore you to do the same.
I take pride in the fact that I was born in the inner city of Atlanta Georgia in a Blacks-only hospital, Hughes Spalding. I grew up in the famed and historic Old Fourth Ward neighborhood which was the home, and final resting place, of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I had two awesome parents, US Army Corporal Herman West, Sr., and Elizabeth Thomas West. I take pride in the fact that I had two parents who raised me; two now buried in an American National Cemetery because of their service to our nation. I take pride in the fact that my parents sacrificed and ensured that I had a great early education which set the conditions for me to be a fella with a Bachelor’s degree and two Master’s degrees. This especially in a time when only 24 percent of young Black kids have a mother and father in the home. Many of our young Black children cannot read or do math at grade level. Something that no one should take pride in, nor advocate for the policies that created that travesty.
I take pride that my dad served his country at a time when the country did not serve him. Through his example and service, in a segregated Army, he inspired subsequent generations to follow that example. I was proud when my older brother volunteered to serve as a US Marine Corps infantryman and fought in Vietnam, something that there were some who did not widely admire. I take pride in the fact that my dad challenged me to be the first officer in our family. I will never forget July 31, 1982, when his dream for me came to fruition, and it was the only time I ever saw tears in my dad’s eyes. He was proud.
I take pride in having been born in Georgia, educated at the University of Tennessee, a Volunteer for Life, and now a proud resident of Texas. If you know your Texas history, many Georgians and Tennesseans played a vital role in the birth of the Republic of Texas. I take pride in being a Black conservative and that Booker T. Washington is my ideological mentor. His book, “Up from Slavery” inspired me to write “We Can Overcome: A Black Conservative Manifesto.” I take pride in following the path set by my men like Congressman Josiah T. Walls, the first Black Republican member of Congress from Florida, 1873-1876, and Norris Wright Cuney, the first Black Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, 1886-1896. Two positions that I was honored to hold, as well.
In this month of June, I will take pride in being in the stands to watch my nephew, my older brother’s son, LTC Herman Bernard West III, take command of an Army artillery battalion. Just as he did watching this LTC Allen Bernard West take command of an Army artillery battalion 21 years ago at Ft. Hood (now Ft. Cavazos), Texas.
Now, Angela and I take pride in having joined the ranks of the honored title, grandparents, watching our little Jaxton Bernard grow. I think we may be in for a surprise later this year, for which we will have increased pride…We think a daughter is holding back some news!
I take pride in knowing that my life has been, is, and shall be defined by my oath to support and defend our Constitution. That I am among the ranks of those who are the real one-percenters, the Guardians of the American Republic. I have been provided the privilege of serving this nation in uniform and in civilian clothes.
See, my pride does not come from an ideological agenda or personal behavior. My real and true pride is rooted in being a citizen of the greatest nation that the world has ever known. It is not based upon personal conditions, such as when former First Lady Michelle Obama stated that for the first time in her life, she felt pride in being an American because of her husband’s rise to be President. I do not think there is any pride in being a subpar male athlete who delusionally asserts they are female and achieves awards by beating real biological females. I would classify that as selfish cowardice.
These are certainly not any achievements that are widely admired. Nor is Dylan Mulvaney, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, or the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).
In this month of June, I will take pride in the 248th birthday of my United States Army, which is also Flag Day. You know, the flag that draped the coffins of my dad, mom, and father-in-law . . . and that will one day drape over mine. Somehow, we have allowed this month to be redefined into some deranged hedonistic month of debauchery. Yes, I take pride in knowing that I have the freedom of speech and expression to say just that. I am quite sure there are real fascists who would seek to shut down my voice. Ain’t happening.
In this month of June, ask yourselves, what gives you “pride”? Is it something that can be widely admired, or just limited to a small group of ideologues? Pride is about taking honor in something that you have achieved which can be widely admired and served a far greater purpose than your own personal indulgences.
Now, if this heartfelt missive upsets you, well, I remind you of one of my dad’s sayings: “a hit dog will holler.” Be advised, if you are upset, vitriol and disparaging words have no effect upon me. I admonish you to never afford me the opportunity to display the pride I have in my self-defense abilities! LOL!
The views expressed in CCNS member articles are not necessarily the views or positions of the entire CCNS. They are the views of the authors, who are members of the CCNS.