Tears for the red, white and blue

I woke up July 4th on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. My legs were stiff from being folded up together for 6 or 7 hours and my eyes were dry from sleeping with my contact lens in. Despite these discomforts, I was thrilled to not be in the United States to celebrate Independence Day. 

Independence Day? Really? For whom?  

This morning, July 5th, I woke up to brilliant blue skies and the sounds of church bells announcing the hour. Back home, I learned, there had been yet another mass shooting. This massacre occurred at a parade honoring America’s independence and 6 people were killed by a man our last president, I imagine, would call a patriot.  

So, tell me again about what a great country America is.  Please.

When I openly express my lack of respect for the country in which I was born, I have a true sense of appreciation that I am allowed to state my opinions without real fear of repercussions. I value that right and exercise it frequently knowing that not everyone around the world enjoys the same freedom.

Yes, I understand that Americans often have free speech in their arsenal, but the weapon far too many seem to love, and use, the most are firearms.   

Other than gun manufacturers, who actually has genuine freedom?  

In a country built upon a foundation of racism* and forced labor, it certainly isn’t people of color. No, not in a country in which an unarmed Black man can be shot 60 times by authorities during a traffic stop. It seems the only thing they “freely” get to do is be killed.  

As was recently decided, women aren’t entitled to make personal decisions with their medical providers. It doesn’t sound like women are particularly free in a country supposedly based upon upon the concept of the separation of church and state.  

LGBTQ+ folks, who had finally achieved some success in their quest for equal civil rights, are feeling threatened across the U.S. There has been a backlash against the expansion and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community and I have friends who are seriously concerned, and convinced, that gay marriage will also be overturned by the radical right leaning supreme court – written here intentionally with lower case letters. They don’t deserve capitalization, nor do they deserve any more protection from the menace of guns than a six-year old child in their school classroom experiences, for the record.    

Until America is united and working together to ensure freedom and independence for all, I don’t intend to be there for July 4th. Ever. 

*Don’t believe this to be true? Read Stamped and get back to me, ok?

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