Don Lemon Says: Just Be an American This July 4th, Not An American With A Prefix

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    On this Independence Day holiday we have a lot to learn from the men of the team USA in soccer.

    They did a whole lot more than come close to winning the World Cup trophy.

    They taught us about what it means to be an American, to be a real patriot.

    And even though they lost the other day, I’m really happy right now, and you should be as well.

    Here’s why.

    Because what they did as a disparate team of brothers unwittingly inspired Americans to come together to actually socialize with each other, in person and not on some electronic device.

    On Tuesday, when Team USA went up against Belgium, I walked into the CNN offices and witnessed something I had never seen before.

    My colleagues were sitting together, interns, producers, writers, cleaning staff and managers all communing with each other, watching the match on giant TV monitors.

    They forgot about their cellphones and computers and most of all their perceived stations in life and were looking each other in the eyes and communicating without pretense and a keyboard.

    Friends from all over the country were sending each other photos of themselves and their co-workers dressed in Team USA soccer gear.

    I saw video of lawmakers in Washington sitting and watching the game along with President Obama.

    What all of this did was show me and the rest of America that we aren’t as divided as we think we are.

    We are not just Republicans sitting in one corner and Democrats sitting in the other corner.

    Team USA’s goalkeeper, Tim Howard is Hungarian American.

    His fellow team members hail from places all over the world like, Nigeria, Mexico, Denmark, Ghana, Poland, Austria, Haiti, Nigeria and beyond.

    More often than not we think of ourselves as black, white, Asian and Hispanic when the real America is so much more than that.

    What Team USA did for me and for all of us is prove that no matter where we or our ancestors came from, that we are all Americans who are just as ethnically diverse as that team.

    We came together behind a singular cause for good and went the distance.

    It may sound naïve but imagine for a moment if we did that every day and not just every four years when our team is in the running?

    Think about just how much we’d get accomplished if we collectively viewed the people with whom we came into contact as just an American and not an American with a prefix.

    If we did it for something arguably as trivial as a sporting event, surely we can do it for something as important as democracy- just as our founders did 238 years ago this week.

    Something to think about on this Independence Day.

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