Independence Day In Review

It’s Monday morning following the holiday weekend and throughout the last couple of days between playing golf, eating and spending time with my family I began to think about what this holiday means. There has been some recent backlash regarding the 4th of July and the ripping down of statues and what that means has been a big storyline in the news. I took some time and really collected my thoughts and figured I would unveil my opinion on our blog and hopefully it helps you, the reader, gain some perspective on what has been occurring lately.

I firmly believe that the United States of America is the greatest country in the world, but in relation to nations around the world, the USA is very young and still growing. July 4th is obviously celebrated to commemorate our independence from Great Britain, only 244 years ago. This country is far from perfect, we have made tremendous mistakes and most notably, the human and civil rights mishaps that have occurred throughout our country’s history. As I have noted here before, I am a white blogger in my twenty’s and aside from disease and addiction, the hardships I have faced are limited, I certainly have never experienced any type of racism so for me to comment on those specific issues would be ignorant. What I will do is to recognize that our country as a whole needs to do better, we need to eliminate racism from our future but by doing that we need to remember our past, our history and learn from it, embrace it. When I see posts on social media calling for the cancellation of Independence Day and to not celebrate the holiday, I disagree and I think it is a short sighted call for action. Obviously when our country was founded, it wasn’t perfect, it still isn’t, people were living in oppression in 1776 and today we still have a battle raging in regard to race relations. So, while we should not ignore our ignorances or flawed past we need to celebrate the strides that we have taken in our 244 years of existence and celebrate that our nation allows people to stand up to injustice and voice their opinion in hopes that we one day feel a more unified sense of harmony in the United States of America. I will be honest, I am a naturally pessimistic person but for some reason, I still believe in the kindness of people, the greatness of our nation and the idea that we will continue to fight for what is right. I believe that most people want the success and equal treatment for ALL Americans, regardless of their race, sexual orientation or religion, this nation is a melting pot, the diversity is what makes it so great.

I felt I needed to comment on the tearing down of statues throughout the country. I went back and forth on this and I think that there is no clear answer, there are levels to this issue, in my opinion. First off, do I think we should still have statues of Confederate soldiers and leaders standing in the USA, No, I firmly believe they should all be taken down. I never understood this, even before the protesting lately. Why do we have statues in place to honor people who tried to split up the United States of America and one of the main reasons for fighting the Civil War was to allow slavery. Yet, we have had these statues still standing in certain places in the country, primarily in the south. These figures did nothing for the United States, they only attempted to dismantle the principles and ideas on which this nation was founded, liberty and justice for all, equality for all. In terms of the statues honoring Washington, Lincoln and other prominent U.S. figures, I feel like even though a lot of our former Presidents were flawed individuals who actually had slaves of their own, we need to be careful of ripping down history. If we choose to rip down these statues we begin to erase the story of our nation, even though these men were flawed, their actions shaped what we have become, where we are going and without them, we cannot understand the growth our nation has taken.

This country is far from perfect, it’s 2020, we should not still be dealing with issues of race, sexism, homophobia but here we are still fighting the fight. I recognize the flaws, the missteps but I still believe that this country is a place that most people want to call home, it still has the potential to reign supreme and to be the greatest country in the history of humankind. We all need to do our part, we all need to reach out and support our brothers and sisters who are less fortunate, the people who are struggling, dealing with racism and bigotry, it is our duty as Americans to not allow this to continue. I think when we look back in the history books, we will see 2020 as a year of reckoning, of great change, of addressing the flaws of this country that have been hiding in plain sight. One of my hopes is that, there are still history books around to reference this growth and change. Hear, hear to the ProcrastiNation!