After scrolling through my Instagram and seeing so many pictures of my peers celebrating the fourth of July and posting captions of how they love this country and want to celebrate their freedom.. I started to feel guilty, because I did not feel like celebrating, to be honest I said a little prayer in the morning for our country and that was about it.
As the day progressed, I started to reflect on all that has happened in the last couple of months and I came to this conclusion.. It is okay if July 4th did not feel like a day to celebrate at this moment.. You are a human being, with feelings and emotions. All that has happened in the news and around us is heavy and sometimes it is difficult to just hang all that up and post a picture on Instagram, with matching outfits quoting the lyrics to " I am proud to be an American..". Don't get me wrong, I am proud to be an American ( an African American if we want to get technical lol ) of course I love this country. My dad migrated here to complete his education so my siblings and I can have better opportunities then we would in Nigeria. So I have A LOT to be thankful for and I am sure you all can relate.
It is for that reason that the injustices that have happened recently burdens me to the core. In a country that has given my parents opportunity, in a country that is known as a huge melting pot, in a country that many people risk their lives to come to for "freedom".. I couldn't help but think, America needs to do better. We can not just settle with " well we have come a long way" because to be honest that seems to be everyone's go-to response nowadays.
I have started to question the love many say they have for this country if they turn a blind eye to the injustices that have been so clear around us, if they pretend that systematic oppression and racism is not real, if they do not speak up and stand by the oppressed. If we ignore women who have the courage to speak up about their abusers, if we refuse to put our money where our mouth is. Let me explain..
Lets say you have a child that did something wrong and you discipline them or give them a firm punishment. It is not because you don't love them right? You call out your child's wrong doing and aim at teaching them what is right BECAUSE you love them and want the best for them. It doesn't erase their value, worth, or accomplishment. Of course you recognize that, but you know that they haven't reached their full potential so you challenge them to new heights. I feel like it is the same thing with our country.. We put this country on a huge pedestal and yet it seems like we have not lived up to the high standards or beliefs we have set for ourselves as a country aka The Constitution.
So if July 4th did not feel like a day to celebrate at the moment, its okay. If you felt burdened or grieved its okay. Use that as fuel to do your part in not allowing history to repeat itself.
You want to know how we can truly celebrate what our soldiers and founding fathers did for us? if we live our lives everyday intentionally making sure the people around us no matter their skin color or back round have a voice and feel seen .
Anyways those are my thoughts, sorry if it's all over the place lol.. what do you think?
** The original post is on my blog Spokenbyher**
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