The Fourth of July is tomorrow, and I for one can’t wait. It’s easily my favorite holiday, and one that I look forward to more so than my birthday. I love America and I love celebrating it. I have enough patriotic paraphernalia in my possession to open my own store at the airport. But my patriotism and enthusiasm for this holiday are often scrutinized by the black left. And quite frankly, I’ve had it.
Black leftists insist that the Fourth of July for black people is nothing more than a day off work and an excuse for a cookout. For me, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Mood tryna figure out why black people do the most on the Fourth of July when we were still slaves 😭 pic.twitter.com/9iSLSt8bW9
— drakes baby mama (@themermaidJ) July 3, 2017
Fourth of July really just National Cookout Day. My black ass ancestors were certainly not free in 1776.
— ✨24kBlackGirlMagic✨ (@jayalexandra95) May 28, 2017
You have to be utterly ignorant to be black and want to celebrate the 4th of July
— V (@vyvyana_3) July 2, 2017
Black folk don't give a damn bout no 4th of July. That's why we say 4th of July and not "independence day" we just there for the BBQ
— Tha InfamouΣ🤘🏾🌙 (@Stoney_Blu) June 28, 2017
Black people don't celebrate The 4th of July we celebrate national cookout day.
— Snackable™ (@TrueTashan) July 2, 2017
The arguments for why black people shouldn’t celebrate the Fourth of July are all over the place. For some, the reasoning is that black people were still enslaved in 1776. For others, it’s that we’re still not “truly free” or equal in this country because of incarceration and poverty rates. All of it, in my opinion, is nonsense.
Slavery is an ugly stain on our country’s history. It’s something we should be and ARE ashamed of. But it’s also a practice that we carried over from our British origins, and abolished with haste in relation to our own founding. We were less than a century old as a country when we ended this atrocity, while many of the European countries that liberals praise and fawn over practiced slavery for centuries on end.
I am a descendant of slaves. I can’t begin to imagine the pain and degradation they endured. But neither can my black political adversaries, because none of us were slaves. And if we were really that disparaged in this country we wouldn’t have to keep bringing up something that none of us have actually experienced.
I’m going through a tough time right now as I continue my job search and deal with my student loans. I’m not really happy with the way anything in my life is going right now, but there’s nowhere I’d rather struggle than America. I know that anything really is possible here. I know that if my great grandfather could accumulate wealth and defy all odds with a 4th grade education in pre-civil rights rural Georgia, that there’s nothing I can’t do. If I as a descendant of people who had nothing can come home to a gigantic room in a five bedroom house in one of the most expensive cities in the country with a closet full of clothes and a fridge full of food while I try to get my life together, anything really is possible.
And that was all made possible on July 4th, 1776. For all its flaws, a society was forged that valued ideas, creation and innovation over lineage. While we all have different obstacles to overcome, if you can provide something meaningful, if you can work smart in addition to working hard, you can and will succeed here. No destiny is set in stone in America. Though it hasn’t always been this way, every American has a say in who they will be.
Though many people blame systemic racism for the failures of the black community I believe that the sooner we take responsibility for ourselves, the better off we will be. Injustice exists, but so does a disproportionately high black crime rate. Again and again we choose to make excuses for ourselves and blame institutionalized whatever over accountability. Police brutality and mass incarceration are serious issues that deserve attention, but it’s much harder to incarcerate someone or wrongfully shoot someone that isn’t engaged in crime in the first place. Black Americans, like all Americans, have choices.
Despite our country’s imperfect past, we reap the benefits of living in the greatest country on God’s green earth. We still are better off than the vast majority of the world’s population simply because we were born in the United States of America.
I celebrate the Fourth of July because I’m not a victim of this country, I’m a proud citizen of it. If the Fourth of July is just a barbecue to you, that’s your prerogative. But to me the Fourth of July is the anniversary of the most important day in modern history. And focusing on the low points in America’s past doesn’t make you enlightened or an intellectual. It makes you a cynic.
“My country right or wrong; if right to be kept right, if wrong to be set right.”