Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/04/how-do-you-celebrate-flawed-nation
Unfortunately, the Fourth of July is simply another party day for the great majority of Americans. Reflection upon history is about the furthest things from the day’s activities, where colors (red, white, and blue) and “cuisine” (cheap beer, hot dogs, etc.) rule the day until the night yields wow-em displays of our “greatness”. Personally, I shall yet again read the Declaration of Independence today, as is my tradition. Tonight, I shall cover my dog’s ears from the cacophony. Better yet, maybe I shall find us a place in the woods to escape the mindless festivities. I do revel in my freedom to do so, until Johnny Law shows up to move me along–which has never happened to me when in Canada.
An excellent article here, too true.
Mark Twain was also too true: Patriotism means supporting your country all of the time, but its government only when it deserves it.
Happy Independence Day to all!
In all parts of the world, groups of people develop region social practices and structures that add value to the local society without imposing harm or taking anything away from others. . That is beautiful and merits celebration.
Nation-States do not fall into the category of social structures that merit celebration. Nation-States are artificial human constructs that are used to divide people, and, in the case of imperialist nations, dehumanize, exploit, and oppress others.
I will not celebrate the so-called independence. Independence for who? Not the people, indigenous to this land, who were slaughtered and whose descendants continue to face oppression and genocide. Not the people forced into slavery whose descendants continue to live as second class citizens. Not Puerto Ricans who had 2nd class citizenship imposed on them by congress and face prosecution for Seditious Conspiracy for taking action to win independence and face the prospect of long jail time or execution.
For those interested in celebrating this 4th, enjoy yourselves. I will spend my day engaging in work related to community organizing.
Independence for the ultra wealthy that obtained their wealth at the expense of others including the nonhuman world. Blood money that is soaked in the toxic remnants of racism, extraction, exploitation, objectification and power over others.
Each year this “holiday” and the amount of people that blindly “celebrate” ratchets up my disgust over the willful ignorance that so many choose to maintain.
I will spend my day working on the land where I live advocating for the nonhuman inhabitants who were here long before us: bees, butterflies, prairie plants . . . those that have completely lost their independence to thrive due to humans.
The fourth of July is a giant f–ck you to the nonhuman world.
Anthropocentrism in all it’s destructive glory.
“Flawed” nation is putting it very mildly and I believe is misleading.
This country has a foundation of severe pathology that goes beyond simply “flawed”.
p.s. I will also spend much of the day/night/week/weekend trying to keep my dog from having a stroke or heart attack due to the noise levels of simulated bombs exploding. Thundershirt, CBD oil . . whatever helps.
“Why?” is the better question, not “How?”
Why do the citizens of any country need to “celebrate” the existence of that country? Children may wish to celebrate any number of things, and that’s all fine, but come on… why do adults need to do this? What is the point? When “celebrating” means joyfully praising something, then by definition, we’re only going to hold up the things we could call good, and ignore or hide the things that are bad, and push them further into obscurity so that they are never corrected. Doesn’t sound like a good idea to me.
If an alien force attacked our planet and we fought them off and they fled (I know…), there would be a good reason to stand up and cheer. Yay human beings! But every year, celebrating your nation’s “birthday”? People need to be educated beyond the level of needing to throw themselves parties in order to boost morale, and focus instead on making improvements, always, and never running away from things we can correct.
Perhaps what Murka has become makes King George’s July 4, 1776 diary entry (“nothing of consequence occurred today”) ring true ?
My son had a field trip to the Constitution Center in Philadelphia. When they began talking about the declaration of Independence, my son asked why the Declaration was never amended to remove the racist commentary regarding First Nations people:
the merciless Indian Savages , whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.
There are a lot of White folk in the US who get extremely offended by such questions and the folk giving the tour chose to ignore my son’s question. Some of the teachers with the group appreciated my son’s questions, some found it disrespectful and offensive.
Revisionist history is one of many examples of Murkin sepshunalizm at its finest !
The “Merciless Indian Savage” passage occured only a few short years after the Pontiac uprising where one General Amherst had blankets infected with small pox “gifted” to the First Nations peoples as a peace offering. Those “Merciless Indian Savages” were seeing their lands dispossessed as a flood of Colonists were arriving from the original 13 colonies and from The United Kingdom , staking out land and claiming it as theirs. The clauses about the Crown preventing further land expropiations was Jeffersons response to the Crown finally deciding they would close further migrations to these territories.
Jefferson and crew wanted to have the freedom to seize these lands for the Anglo Saxons at will and only “tyranny” was preventing this. The power of the Curch and the crown had long checked the power of the Landowners. The landowners in the Americas were having none of this.
" How do you celebrate a flawed nation", by working to make it better. I see a lot of finger pointing, the laying of blame. Thats too bad, all of that energy spent could be used to make our home better instead of tearing it down. Over turning Lone Wold vs Hitchcock and setting Native Americans free is number one on my list. What is yours? More finger pointing?
“How do you celebrate a flawed nation?”
The same way we do every year, with pomp and parades, with fireworks and fatty food, with nationalism and hatred for all we deem as enemies.
We will celebrate the 4th of July for the same reasons we have last 240+ years. We celebrate becoming the oligarchy that we supposedly fought for freedom against. We escaped oppression so that we may be the oppressors. When the native Americans wouldn’t serve as our slaves we simply murdered them, and brought in slaves from another continent in their stead. We celebrate our way of life. It’s who we are. It’s who we will always be.
Wow, that was dire. But truth often is.
I’ll be in the community garden touching earth, tending to the growing things too.
My dinky little flag is in my porch window, upside down and I am grateful that my neighbors are like minded folks.
My suggestion, do both. I spent quite a few mornings in the woods, reflecting after a particularly bad shift at work (usually involving a death or multiple deaths), allowed me to clear my head. Never thought about taking something to read, that probably would have helped even more. Makes me sad there’s no woods you can go to, without the law harassing you where you live. Where ever you end up today, relax, recharge, and try to enjoy.
I am fortunate to have nice woods (though across town) to take my hound through just about every morning. We put paws down 35 minutes before sunrise and take them off 35 minutes after sunrise. It definitely is a highlight of her day–mine too. My problem is that I got spoiled traveling through Canada where I could pull off just about anywhere (safe) I wanted and camp for the night in the van. It seems here in the States one is NOT presumed innocent until proven guilty. The post-9/11 idiocy has only made things worse. Oh well, Happy Fourth, my virtual friend.
Yea, but that true about all Holidays after a while: Christmas, Labor Day, …
And we dress from head to toe in Blue Red and White. It’s a good day for the sellers.
Not all countries or nation states are imperial and based on colonial expansion. There are small countries around the world, who have never invaded anyone, and who have struggled to keep their identity and independence against bigger powers. They have good reasons to celebrate their independence.
But for an imperial power to speak of independence…it’s kind-a …what…hypocritical?
Spain was once the greatest imperial and colonial power. No longer. This fact should perhaps provide some hope the this nation will one day no longer be the imperial guardian of the free world. Having recently returned from Andalusia, I can say life is pretty good in Spain despite its loss of empire.
Posted by @Giovanna-Lepore in another thread but appropriate here too I think
James Earl Jones Reads Frederick Douglass’s Historic Speech