For years I've preferred calling July Fourth, Independence Day. That was what I wanted to celebrate, our nation's freedom from the rule of England. Our nation's stated goals of freedom for our citizen's and in our short history being the leader of the free world promoting our ideals to the rest of the world.
Growing up in suburban Philadelphia my education saturated me with the history of the revolution, Betsy Ross, and the work of the founding fathers. Benjamin Franklin was a hero, a diplomat, scientist, common man philosopher and journalist. That he was a leader of the Abolition Society. It wasn't much later I learned he owned slaves and over time came to promote their freedom.
Our nation was founded by and for white men and their freedoms. Their ideals in out Bill of Rights and Constitution are rooted in their white privilege perspectives. It has taken centuries to expand these ideals to all people. Learning and celebrating Juneteenth helps me understand that. The fact that women had to fight for their right to vote and gained that right just over 100 years ago and 55 years after the Civil War shows demonstrates how far we have come, but how long it has taken.
The work is still going on for freedom for all. Equality for all people in the United States. Access to education, careers,
medical treatment, and bank loans. The freedom of not fearing law enforcement and our court system. Freedom to dream and achieve. Freedom to be who you are and be accepted in our society.
Our nation's day of Independence is Sunday, we should celebrate our freedoms, but recognize that those freedoms have not been available to all of our neighbors. We must teach the whole truth of our founders. We must teach the terrible things some of our ancestors did to build this nation and at minimum apologize and find ways to make reparations to people whose families suffered harm.
The founders created many great ideals and set high standards that only applied to white men, now those ideals MUST apply to all people in our country and promoted to all people throughout the world.
Independence and hatred are not compatible. Independence and segregation are not compatible. Independence and Inclusion are compatible. Independence and equality are compatible.
We the People, now and forever means All the People.
That is something to really celebrate!