Would you still love America if America didn’t love you back?

You probably love your country. But why?

That’s a question that can upset a young relationship, or even a marriage: Why do you love me?

We don’t ask it much about love of country, but maybe we should. Not because it is a perfect analogy — the social contract that’s supposed to bind America together is clearly different than a marriage compact. But if you think about patriotism in terms of romantic love, you can explore this idea: What if you loved America and it didn’t love you back? What if you didn’t even feel it was trying?

Here’s why it might be a useful exercise: It is difficult, maybe impossible, for people who (like me) aren’t Black to understand daily life as a Black person in America.


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