the fourth of july


When I was a kid —

I grew up with celebrations every Fourth of July. Celebrations for a country’s independence, marked by a day when kids ate hot dogs and adults drank beer and everyone got a day off work or school and got too much sun and ate too much potato salad and waved sparklers and watched fireworks and everyone had one hell of a good time. And that is what that day meant to me — when I was a child.



Today I am an adult. Today I know what this day is supposed to stand for. And, I am not so sure we should be celebrating independence in my country. Or freedom. Or the land of the brave or the home of the free. Because I look around me and I see none of those things.



I see men in power who build walls to keep neighboring peoples out, who send young men and women to battle to enforce democracy, [if enforced democracy is not an oxymoron I do not know what is], men in power who take the names of God and country and family in vain every day to promote hate, division, bloodshed. Men in power who publicly endorse torture. [When did that get taught in Sunday school?] And no one speaks out. No one says no. Because the people of my country are not the brave. The people of my country are afraid. And who can blame them? When one out of every one hundred Americans is incarcerated. And new prisons are built every day.



where the art work comes from :
that is from photo pixel

0 Responses to the fourth of july

  1. Kym

    :hands clapping: :whistling: :feet stomping:

    Give that woman a standing ovation! That is the kind of Fourth of July speech we need to hear.

  2. max

    Okay, I take it back, Kym is brave.

  3. Why put up red white and blue when we should all hold up a copy of the Constitution and scream “WTF?”

  4. And yet there are people who say no, Max – even in the worst possible tyrannies (and the US is making some big mistakes but it is not even close to the worst since you can at least criticise it from within with relative impunity) – even in Nazi Germany young people were shot for saying no and who can forget the Chinese man with the shopping bag standing in front of all those tanks? The problem with “democracies” is that they give us reason to resist but the targets become vague outlines wrapped in hype and static and blurred by comfort. But here’s to you anyway, Max, for a provocative post! Happy Independence (of thought) Day!

  5. max

    “you can at least criticise it from within with relative impunity”

    Not really, and only if you are relatively unknown. If you are known, a public figure, and open your mouth, you will be hunted and harranged the way Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, The Dixie Chicks, and quite a few news figures were. Reprisals are very real these days. And right this moment my neighborhood is full of posters showing the face of a young man recently killed by police so I would not say people are not getting shot either.

  6. I was brought up in a world where America was respected. Where my own Government was respected. I fear those days are gone and it will take more than one or two terms of Government for either of our countries to regain the reputation we have squandered during this decade. I cry for the legacy we leave to our children.

  7. Yes,Oscarandre, but Tank Man lived and was not sent to Gitmo.

    An excellent post, max. July 4th has really become the day to re-think what the word “America” means, both in the US and outside it.

  8. All the more reason to remember and to celebrate what we once were Max… We should all keep that in mind and fight like hell to make it so again.

  9. max

    I have grown jaded, Woe, I wonder if we were ever exactly that great or if that was just all made up to tell little kids in school.

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