VOICES FROM THE STREET: Celebrating what exactly?

By the time you read this, the Fourth of July will have already passed and we will all be bracing for those dreary dog days of summer.

I will do the usual on the fourth: cookouts, partying, blah, blah, blah. It all seems so routine. Going through the motions because we’re taught that we should celebrate the birth of the greatest country in the world.

Really?

For some, the Fourth means nothing more than a day off and a chance to throw steaks on a grill and kick back with a beverage or two. Like many holidays, it’s meaning is lost on the American public. But even more so with this holiday, how can we call ourselves one nation under God when we are so fiercely divided over race?

The election of a black man to the White House should have been a time of great celebration, to show how far we have come as a nation. Instead, it seems to have divided us even further. I’m not going to talk about the recent events that happened in the South over the last month, but it feels more like were living in the 60s instead of the 2000s.

A nation built by immigrants that is vehemently opposed to other immigrants coming here and having the same opportunities they had. Listening to idiots like Donald Trump and the rest of the circus of candidates running for president, the theme music for the first republican debate should be Send in the Clowns. Not that big a fan of Saint Hillary Clinton, either.

Gay marriage is now the law of the land and yet there are those who still think they have a say in who you can and can’t love. Native Americans who were here long before us are not even in the conversation and they are universally laughed at because they protest over derogatory sports names and symbols.

Homelessness and poverty still run rampant, and the list goes on and on. So what are we celebrating exactly, and better yet, why are we? We haven’t earned the right.

Somewhere, King George is laughing madly at the founding fathers and saying: “And you thought I was screwed up.” The fourth of July lost it’s meaning a long time ago.

How can you celebrate your independence when you’re beholden to the same things you were running away from? Yes, boys and girls, old England was pretty much the same as we are now, without the King of course. Anyway, enjoy your cookouts and happy summer.

James Shearer

James Shearer is a writer and co-founder of Spare Change News.

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