Independence Day has nothing to do with vets, stop fetishizing the military. It is about having the guts to stand up to tyranny no matter where it comes from. “The brave” isn’t just veterans, it is middle-aged soccer moms marching in the streets to defend innocent children. It is LGBT people marching in Pride parades demanding to be treated like human beings. It’s teachers fighting an uphill battle to educate young Americans while the GOP chips away at the curriculum, ignores facts and takes resources away. It is people yelling Black Lives Matter! and demanding police be held accountable for use of unnecessary force. It is high school students demanding gun control. It is illegal immigrants who love this country and crossed deserts and oceans to get here. They’re more American than you’ll ever be, you were just lucky enough to be born here.
Independence Day isn’t about flag waving. It isn’t about military might, tanks in the street or smartly-dressed vets. We had none of that when the words “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” were written on July 4, 1776.
It is every brave American who stands up for what is right even when their neighbors won’t. It is every person yelling “I don’t care if it’s the law, it is wrong,” just as our ancestors did. It is every person brave enough to forget what divides us and embrace what matters: our humanity and identity as Americans. Nitwits waving flags yelling MAGA! while tanks roll by have no idea what it means to be a patriot, no clue what July 4th is really about. They’ve lost sight of what the Declaration of Independence means, most have never even read it. You should.
For those wrapping themselves in the flag while allowing atrocities, you’re on the wrong side. People like you always are. You can shout at us, attack our rights, wave guns in our faces and scream “white pride!” like it matters, but you can’t stop us. This is America and we are Patriots. We will not go quietly nor will we go without a fight. We love our country and protect it for everyone, not just the bits that are straight, white and Christian.
Copyright 2018 Skye Knizley