The United States of America, North America, America, USA, and this is your national holiday and this will be the first one I can recollect in which some Americans experience unease or regret about celebrating for they are ashamed of the current circumstances in which they perceive their country is in. I am sorry for those folk that they must feel this way and it would be disingenuous not to say it is easy to understand why. To have the holder of the office of president who has no political experience, has a questionable reputation and seems to have scant regard for the population as a whole must be a bitter experience, particularly when as sometimes happens in democracies the winner was not the one with the majority of votes cast.
I could continue, writing at length about the despicable and shameless displays of bigotry and hatred which weak-minded folk claim is their right to free speech, while conveniently ignoring the duty of an adult to behave responsibly and maintain the stability of a community. But why should a sully the name of this day of celebration?
Let us look at all The United States of America and not a warped minority. ;
Yours is a young nation. We have 1776 as an expedient year of your birth, but your forebears discontent and then anger must have been growing long before that; let’s say three hundred years in the making. In terms of many nations you have only just begun; say four hundred years ago as a start, large scale of immigrations and constantly in waves. People restless to escape strictures of their homelands, looking for space to start afresh. Not much in age in comparison to other nations. It could be argued that you are still in the process of settling down, still learning to gell, but of course that does not always happen. There are enough examples in the world; all fractured places, their prejudices and ignorance used by more powerful neighbours as means to dominate and exploit. Let that be a warning. History never sleeps.
There is a fondness in the world to list the evils of the USA as if every other nation has a spotless record. There are injustices, there are crimes, and many have been carried on under a diluted blaspheming of the phrases ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘constitutional right’. But the folk of the USA learnt all these tricks from their ancestors in the ‘old countries’. As reprehensible as they are they are not American inventions. And in the USA brave, noble and determined folk fought long and hard against these injustices to the extent that they are now viewed as abhorrent though like all things precious that won must be fought for, always lest the evil, the weak and the stupid corrode them.
To return to that ‘respectable prejudice’ so indulged in, say the UK ,to be scornful of Americans as indulgent, self-absorbed, somehow not as intelligent. What sheer ignorance these folk spout. Need I take the time to list American novelists, poets, composers, artists, humourists, actors, playwrights, scholars, humanitarians, scientists, musicians, innovators, philosophers, inventors and so forth? Well obviously, I would have to because these tiny people have never heard of them!
But let us consider two facets. Let us think of these times, these past few years. We consider the return of the hate and ignorance, of the bombast and the puerile, the venal and the scavengers. They have crawled over your nation before; but they have been pushed back into corners, they have been exposed and found wanting. Unable to stand before the power of the ordinary, the generous of heart and spirit, the courageous, the decent, even the foolhardy. Oh, these wretched folk have brought their ‘populous crowds’, but all their efforts withered beneath the light and the heat of the ordinary Americans and these lesser folk were obliged to slink back into their corners. America look at the those myriad of gifted folk who have come from your ranks, and what can these corrosive elements offer in response, but to stew into their own bitter concoctions?
So let me tell you about you friendliness, your generosity, your willingness to help, your enthusiasm, your thoughtfulness. All these aspects which I see daily on WP. Let me mention your constitution and your separation of powers, which at the end of the day will bend any group of malefactors to the joint will. You have stood up and fought before, you have brought them down. You in your many groups with your differing views have come together and breathed life back into a flagging system, the result may not have been perfect, may have been ragged around the edges but it worked.
You are still in the making though, your states, your communities are in constant change because of your youth, and your myriad cultures coming together. You have made much progress, despite those who would try and drag you into some past based on servility to wealth and privilege and false divisions based on colour or religion. There may well come a time when the pressures will be too great for a 300,000,000+; 5 time zone nation to hold. That is actually no disgrace, nations like land masses break and re-form. You may end up separated from some small bitter little enclaves where folk pretend they are free while being owned by larger powers. But this I know; the true United States of America will hold strong, yes it may be slightly smaller; it happens. But as a people you can stand proud and hold fast to humanity.
So meet with your loved ones, your friends and your neighbours, celebrate those matters and concepts you hold common, share friendship, community and love. Make your 4th of July 2017 a time when you say ‘No more hate. No more division’. You are worth it.
Happy 4th July USA.