It’s July 4th, which means I should probably be posting something patriotic right about now. Except…I am the least patriotic person you will ever meet. There’s a lot of things going on in our country right now that I disagree with and I think the fact that we have a literal pledge of allegiance (guys…nobody else does that; seriously) is a little…off.
I have been thinking about this all day and here’s what I’ve decided: America is a work in progress. There is a long way to go. We enjoy many freedoms other countries may not, but we have far too many citizens who don’t get to partake in that. I disagree with the idea of “make America great again,” because we must move forward, not backward, and include all people if we truly want to be great.
I keep seeing these words: “Land of the free because of the brave.” I know that’s true. I know it began with the Founding Fathers who risked executions to declare their independence, followed the Union army as they fought to keep the nation together, and continues to show, to this day, in our military who only want to keep its citizens safe. But that’s not all.
We are free because of the slaves who risked their lives to escape their bondage. We are free because of the women who marched and endured imprisonment to earn the ability to vote. We are free because of the brave souls who through the first brick at Stonewall and fought back against discrimination.
“All men are created equal” has often been a catchphrase more than a truth. Based on race, sex, orientation, and socioeconomic status, too many people are treated as if they don’t count, as if they must justify their existence. We are not truly free until we are all free, and we still have a ways to go.
So be brave. Keep fighting for justice and sticking up for those considered “other.” If we are to be the land where all are free, it will be because you were brave.