TLDR – Pride in one’s accomplishments plays a different role for a person and in society than does pride in things for which a person is not directly responsible. Both roles have value. I think the ‘weirdness’ comes up to the extent that these roles get blurred.
To answer the OP I am going to focus on pride and arbitrarily distinguish between two kinds of pride:
- An outward-looking feeling that leads one to conclude that they (and/or their group) have a superiority over others
- An inward-looking feeling that leads one to conclude that they (and/or their group) have worth
In my experience, type 1 pride is usually not well-received. What American culture has more or less settled on, however, is that we should accept a person’s type 1 pride, to a point, if that person has ‘earned’ it. If an athlete goes and talks about how great he is, and then wins, the reaction is very different than if he had lost. His win, in the eyes of the community, earns him the right to be proud and see himself as a superior athlete. Ideally it only gives him the right to manifest type 1 pride in sports, but in the real world societies usually let “successful” people act superior than others and dominate others in areas that have nothing to do with their accomplishments.
On the other hand, if people feel that a person has not earned the right to feel type 1 pride in a context, they more likely to lash out at it, especially if they feel threatened. Criticism of someone taking pride in something they were not directly responsible for is the result of a culture or ideology that says that things outside of a person’s control like race, sexual orientation, or national origin are not acceptable reasons for manifesting type 1 pride in any situation.
As for the second type of pride, it has followed the opposite trajectory. The idea that people have an inherent dignity and worth that is explicitly unearned and inviolable is increasingly accepted. Consequently, those parts of people that are out of their control, like their families or just being human, are recognized as contributing to a person’s inherent worth and dignity and having their own value. We can see, then, why it’s not weird that people who are discriminated against because of their race or orientation feel pride or shame in them, or even why a person can feel proud about the accomplishments of an ancestor or a countryman. In addition to being treasured as constant reminders of a person’s own basic worth, these traits or identities or relationships serve as connections to others. They provide ready pathways to help other people see their own basic worth. I would be very surprised if seeing the faces of little Black kids after he got elected President didn’t make President Obama feel proud to be Black, and to feel that it was a good thing for him to be proud to be Black.
Unfortunately, while pride in the mundane accomplishment of being human is generally recognized as being type 2 pride outside of PETA, the discourses of pride in areas like race or national origin or religion are much more complicated. For example, many people recoil when they see pride in nationality because (as in Germany) they have memories of it being a vehicle for type 1 pride more than type 2, and with accompanying disasters. Then they police it to make sure it doesn’t overstep its bounds. If this identification is strong enough, like with white supremacy, then there is an effort to stamp it out entirely, or at least try to convince people that this connection isn’t a valuable one for judging self-worth. However, in cases where a group is historically discriminated against, there is more openness to seeing it as healthy, nonthreatening type 2 pride.
Shame is tightly associated with this dynamic, and sometimes plays a similar role. The discourse of national humiliation in China has been closely tied to Chinese patriotism for over 150 years. The shame many Americans felt when they learned War on Terror prisoners were tortured is often paired with vigorous calls for political action and justice. Even though they feel shame, they choose (ETA: I recognize for many it’s not a conscious choice) to suffer it as the price worth paying for the ability to use their shared connection to then influence others and re-build type 2 pride.