NoThing To Celebrate 4 Me
As those who still believe that we have something to celebrate, on this Independence Day in the year 2017, I am left to wonder how much longer the people of this Nation can remain asleep. What I have come to realize, as I have become more awakened and aware of the slumber in which I have been subject to, having chased the American Dream of a successful career, a home with the white, picket fence and the multi-vehicle garage, I now see the illusion for what it truly is.
I now seek to converse with others in an effort to gauge this new found clarity, maybe to determine whether or not I am hallucinating or just living in a parallel universe. What we once believed in as Americans is now cause for polarizing discord. We have a lunatic President who has no clue, nor experience, in government nor in building collaborative organizations. Still millions will march in parades, wave flags and marvel at fireworks in a showing of national pride. Bound by tradition. Blinded by rhetoric. While the citizens of the World look at us with disdain and disbelief.
It is likely no accident that students at all levels no longer are required to learn of national or world histories. No longer having debates about civic issues that impact us at the local, state and national level. We are a citizenry that is more informed about the latest free agent moves and contracts of professional basketball players, than we are about the liberties and freedoms, workers rights and wealth disparities that are being unraveled before our very eyes.
So, count me not in those who will feel patriotic on your July 4th holiday. For it has not yet lived up to the credo of the founding fathers: those men who took a stand against the tyranny of the King of England. Yet, offered no less the same oppression upon anyone who was not a white male, with wealth and who owned property. We are witnessing a similar displacement of people, property and promise by today’s ruling elite. To deny this truth would be the greatest indignity to my ancestors.
The only year in my lifetime that compares to this one, would be 1968. A year that saw two national leaders assassinated. A year that saw thug violence committed by the Chicago police department during the Democratic National Convention. A year where we saw Black athletes hoist black-gloved fists into the air, to draw global attention to a society that applauds their athletic exploits but offers nothing else to their people.
So, should you desire to see our nation Become Great, pull up YouTube on any Internet-capable electronic device and take the time to share with your family the speeches of Frederick Douglass, Christopher Hedges and Malcolm X. This struggle is not new. But, it is at a critical time in our history. Leave a legacy that your future heirs will feel proud to uphold. They will salute you and, I pray, a flag that truly represents all.