Obviously I can’t speak to what the 4th of July celebrations or national perceptions were fifty, a hundred, or even two hundred years ago – whether there was more to celebrate and talk of independence had a greater relevance for those who observed the 4th than it does now.
Politicians of all stripe no doubt engaged in the same oratory, families gathered, there were fireworks displays, and what seems to have become an obligatory percentage of celebrants staggering around after having imbibed too much in their patriotic fervor.
Whether a part of the original intent or merely seizing upon opportunity the 4th has become as much a commercial event as Presidents Day, Mother’s Day, or any other holiday.
It’s about sales from miniature flags, costumes and party favors to clothes, appliances, furniture, electronics, software, and even vehicles, leaving one to wonder if this is what the “founding fathers” envisioned?
For the nations the 4th is like observing a national holiday from a distance, not much difference in knowing Guy Fawkes Day, Cinco de Mayo, and Pongal belong to other people, other nations.
This separation is based on more than geographic distance – we are culturally, legislatively, and historically separated.
Our children may like all children delight in a fireworks display but whose kidding who?
This celebration of independence has nothing to do with us, at the core of it inspite of all that has and will be said we are not sovereign nations, we remain subject to foreign rule in a land that the entire width and breadth of was once ours but now essentially reduced to plots referred to as reservations that no one among the powers that be initially considered to be of any real value.
In many instances we haven’t and don’t enjoy the “freedoms” other do.
Our independence is such we cannot protect the environment or resources in the very places we live, we cannot prosecute violent crimes like rape and murder committed within our communities, and the rights contained within treaties are subject to the same greed that has transformed holidays into sale events in a commercial mindset of Carpe Diem – seize the day.
A great deal of what the nations have endured is the result of the concept of Manifest Destiny – a convenient vehicle that if in doing god’s will nothing was subject to reproach.
I find it both a curious and disheartening thing that that those currently in power claim the same privilege, the same manifest destiny, asserting that they are engaged in doing “the lord’s” work and likewise beyond reproach.
Perhaps in a way particularly in these times a positive can be found, and that positive is we have no responsibility in the election of Trump – no one can point a finger of blame at us – Conservatives own this fool and in turn are owned by him and whatever aberrant thought may cross his mind.
For me at least the 4th is a misnomer, it should be Manifest Destiny Day.
Would we as a people fight in defense of this country if invaded by a foreign power? Damn right we would, we’ve already proved that.
But should we rally round this nations flag or the blood of our ancestors and our birthright?
Should we accept the status quo or say no child is better than our own – no one is more “equal” ?
If we have been made dependent by design then does that very dependency mandate adequate housing, education, health care, and ultimately a way out?
You cannot segregate people in gulags miles from industry and job markets and then tell them if they are unemployed it’s on them.
You cannot pollute and raid resources and then tell people in the midst of poverty and unemployment to develop resources and infrastructure.
For those planning festivities, enjoy yourselves, enjoy your children, friends, and family while hopefully acknowledging what the “Dream” is becoming and that it was never our dream.
Knowing full well that what goes up must come down I’m not going to be discharging firearms into the air on the 4th, I won’t be waving a flag or wearing red, white, and blue – if asked why I’ll be more than willing to explain the reasons I elect not to.
But if what I would say in response or have said in this blog offends anyone then it truly is on them.