My Fourth of July

For a lot of us, and I saying us in the minority POV, we can’t appreciate the Fourth of July. We’re supposed to be proud of country, feel honored to be living in “the greatest country in the world” and all that, but we don’t feel the sense of pride of country as we probably should. There are too many reminders about how imperfect this country is.

Whenever you start to bring up criticism about America, many of the gun-toting, freedom loving ‘mericans are willing to pounce on you, saying if you don’t love America then you can get out if the country.

So, if you criticize America, the answer to that is to leave? Where should someone who isn’t red, white and blue go?

You say, on the one hand, the whole reason the country is great because these shores accept all peoples from all countries to this land. Bring me your tired, your poor, those yearning to be free, all that stuff. Also, you have the freedom to speak out, the freedom to voice opposition, the freedom to speak about a true and diverse country.

If your answer is to challenge and oppose that freedom with others, to deny them the allow dissenting opinions, then what does America stand for?

Right now, the way I feel about America is that America is a dream unrealized. I don’t blindly shout USA for America. There are many things about America I dislike, but part of my birthright, since I was BORN in this country, is to criticize and point out those flaws I see with America without the fear of being ostracized, ridiculed or banished because of my speech.

There’s a lot to love about America but there is a lot to improve. I very thankful for being born here; I realize how lucky I am, but I also realize my freedom isn’t really free. There could be some, reading my words, that would insist I don’t love this country. Why, because I point out some rather obvious issues with America? Here’s the thing; those same people who claim to love this country blindly are the same people, just a few years ago, hated there was a black man as President.

Oh, why did you want to put race in this discussion?

Well, of you are bothered about me bringing race into this, in the words of Yoda, that is why you fail.

You want to take my country back and you want to make America great again. You say the slogans but you don’t understand the meaning of those words. When the old guy was in office, and I mean Reagan not the new person, he had the same slogan about bringing back the greatness of America. Back then, there were the same discussions about how in the world could people hate America and would not love to turn back time to a simpler time?

What is rarely taken into consideration how foreign and how discriminating those good old days actually were, from a certain point of view.

Back in the 50’s, the good old days, the color of your skin determined where you would live, what jobs you could have, in some cases, even where you would be buried. Of course, a few people “made it” and they were touted as examples of escaping the poverty and despair of their race to glow in the wonderment of the American dream. But very few were permitted that dream and still, if they got a little too comfortable in their skin, they would be strongly reminded of their place in society.

Yes, we have had strides, we have made progress. Yes, we had a black man as President of the United States, but look who we got in return. Yes, we had a black man as President, but black people can still be shot randomly by the police, by security guards, and in more cases than not, the perpetrator of the killing will get away with it.

You may want to couch the issue by saying the person caused their own death by doing “illegal” activities, but I don’t recall instances where the theft of cigarillos or selling loose cigarettes was punishable by death.

America is a country strong enough to withstand the criticism of a few voices who are pointing out issues and concerns that if addressed, can make this an even greater country.

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