This 4th of July many of us may be wondering what it is we are celebrating. Here are some things to remember when we kick back with a plate of ribs and a bottle of beer:
- There is a difference between nationalism and patriotism. I will never stop loving the radical principles upon which we are founded. For all our many flaws, the idea of the rule of law and our ever-expanding understanding of who is included in the call to liberty and equality remain a beacon as we move toward the future.
- We can be better than this. We have faced our demons before. We can do it again. May we never stop for there have always been demons in human history.
- The clarion call to a continued and new revolution has been sounded. It is sounded in every generation and it is once again for the current generation to resist authoritarianism, autocracy, and fascism. A tall order, but one we cannot refuse.
So this 4th, after the cook-out, after the fireworks, after the bands march down Main Street playing John Philip Sousa, RISE UP. Be ready to do the seemingly small tasks. Speak up. Stand up. Call. Write. March. VOTE. Organize. Be involved. The revolution we celebrate cannot, must not, die with us. If it does it will be to our great shame.
It is easy, if we are too cushioned in our privilege, to ignore the urgency each day brings to people of color, immigrants, women, children, elders, queers of all stripes, the poor, and the disenfranchised. We have ancestors that supported the British and we have neighbors and family that support the current administration. It is time to choose the side of history on which you stand.
So this 4th celebrate the revolution that began this nation and celebrate that we are joined together, standing against unbelievable odds, in this revolution. Don’t give up. We’ve done it before. We can do it again.