It’s a national holiday, but I don’t feel much like celebrating. Don’t get me wrong. I will likely eat some barbecue. (I said likely, as I’m still waiting on my invitation…) I might even watch a fireworks display. But the festivities of the day will merely be rituals performed by rote, as my heart certainly won’t be in them.
Early this morning, I read both the Declaration of Independence and Frederick Douglass’ speech about the sad irony of a nation actively engaging in the slave trade celebrating its freedom.
America continues to be a country of contradictions. The land of the free incarcerates more of its population than any other. Liberty and justice are not yet available to all. I’m holding on to hope that it is still the goal…but I heard a transcript of children representing themselves in court, and I worry that it’s a goal we as a country will never meet.
I am ever hopeful, though, that the freedom we so boast of will eventually be a reality for all of our citizens. Regardless of color, creed, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status, or however we classify ourselves, we are all endowed with certain inalienable rights.
I am ever grateful for people who are fighting for freedom, in courtrooms, classrooms, on the mainland and abroad. Because those of us who actually believe in freedom will not rest until it comes. Even on national holidays.