Truly American

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Here I thought I was an American citizen, contributing in dollar and in spirit to what makes this country great. But it seems something called Sportsman Channel has pulled the red, white and blue right out from under me.

The only television network providing hunting, shooting and fishing programming, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Sportsman Channel claims to celebrate a lifestyle that is "truly American." The problem is, that lifestyle is not my lifestyle. And the question is, does that make me truly un-American?

With the upcoming launch of a show called "Amazing America," hosted on Sportsman Channel  by Sarah Palin, I have to wonder. A press release explains that the program will honor the American spirit and the great outdoors in equal measure. When I first read this, I thought, "Cool. I'm an American. I have spirit. I love the great outdoors.  Maybe Sarah Palin will want to interview me."

Then I got to the part that said the network is geared toward people who like to hunt, fish and shoot. I am not one of those people. I like to hike and look at flowers and birds. I don't care for killing game. Not that I've done it; in fact, the very thought disgusts me. I believe there is nothing sporting about using a high-powered semi-automatic weapon to obliterate an unsuspecting animal.

Now I'm thinking maybe Sarah Palin won't want to interview me, which is her prerogative and she's entitled to it. Let her and her employer feature whatever they want. But please don't let them decide what's truly American.


This whole issue reminds me of the days of "family values." We don't hear the term so much anymore, now that gay marriage is here to stay. But not so long ago, there were people who used it to mean that straight, married people were the sole proprietors of the positive values that made for good families. Their words and their actions excluded full-blooded, tax-paying citizens like me from equal treatment under the law.

So excuse me if I get irked when someone defines the American spirit, and that definition doesn't include my spirit. This is a free country, I'm told. Let's keep it that way, shall we?

With a Perspective, I'm Linda Gebroe.

Linda Gebroe lives in San Francisco.