• CORI

Pseudo Independence

I don’t think I have to explain this one.

The Fourth of July was never a big deal in my house. I don’t know if that was intentional on my parents’ part, or if we just aren't the “cookout” kind of family, but I’ve always found the whole celebration weird. From the American flag onesies to bikinis adorned with stripes and stars, you can’t escape “patriotism” on July 4, it’s everywhere, and it’s weird. In no other country are people as obsessed with their flag as Americans, it’s everywhere we look, and why?

Objectively, Americans have a great deal of pride in their country. You don't have to look very far to find someone who truly believes that this is the greatest country in the world. There is - of course - no evidence to that fact, but it is a widely accepted statement nonetheless. We are taught to see America as a success story. We find hope in the underdog tale of the ragtag army that could, seeing it as the first example of the American Dream. And it holds up if you take what we're taught at face-value, but of course I can't do that.

On July 4, 1776, the “Founding Slaveowners” claimed “independence” but how could they do so when the foundation of this country was so heavily dependent on the theft of native land, slave labor, the allyship of several other countries, and more. To this day the United States of America remains dependent on slave labor in prisons and slave labor in countries around the world . The Armed Forces are dependent on young POC who are preyed on and given no other option than to sacrifice themselves for a country who couldn’t care less about their well-being. Popular culture is dependent on Black media and participation, and the list goes on and on. How can people go boating and grilling on the fourth day of July each year to celebrate an independence that never really existed? People are still struggling each and every day because of the reality of this country, and we must fight until the people in power truly recognize that all men - scratch that, all PEOPLE - are created equal.

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