It's nothing personal. I don't mean fuck you, personally. I mean it in general terms. Fuck you. You know who you are, even though I don't know you personally.
I will not stand up for you. I will not salute you. I will not call you a hero. I will not call you a first responder. I will not thank you for your service. I won't fantasize of being anything like you. I repeat, I will not use the word hero.
It's not your fault. I have been told to worship you. I strongly reject that. Politicians have told me. Movies, going back to Backdraft have told me to idolize and honor you. But I'm 44 now. And I think I know better. And I think I see through all the bullshit that has been sold to me in the last 16 years.
I will not stand for the Star Spangled Banner. I will not face or salute the flag. I am not down with your program. I am not down with the USA's program. It's a broken and cruel republic. The only thing it has left is its empire. And I'm supposed to say "thank you for your service," to the men and women who maintain that empire? Bullshit. Fuck you.
To the police. I will not thank you. I will not call you when I need one. I will not respect you. I will not ask you to pose in a photo with me. Fuck you. You do not protect and serve me. You exist to police black people and make me and other white civilians feel safer. And for that politicians put you on a pedestal, and direct me to honor you. Fuck that. And fuck your evil unions, too. They are the worst.
To the firefighters. Fuck you too, although I admit I hate you less. We do need firefighters. What we don't need are fire departments full of white supremacists. But because politicians tell me that you need to be worshiped and idolized, I have to lump you with the soldiers and cops. It's nothing personal. Fuck you.
I'm not quite sure how nationalism became intertwined with worship of "first responders," in addition to our soldiers, but here we are. And here I am. Fuck you.
Fuck nationalism. Fuck hero making, hero narratives, and hero worship. Fuck flag lapel pins. Fuck the flag. Fuck the president (all of them since Carter). Fuck this.