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Land of the free???

July 1st, 2022

Happy 4th of July! With fireworks simulating the booming flare of artillery and hooded patriots swarming with semi-automatic weapons, with the Supreme Court of the land destroying rights for all Americans with every poorly reasoned ruling, with states making and enforcing archaic laws destroying freedom and justice for all, even some of us privileged white folk are coming to see that our national exceptionalism and especially Christian nationalism always was a farce. While some of us lauded the American ideal as a reality, those out of favor with the powers that be whispered in our hearts or shouted from the rooftops that the American dream was only for those asleep to the harsh realities that have now dawned on half of this nation. The brave are joining their voices with the people disenfranchised, those stripped of bodily autonomy and human dignity, as we admit in retrospect that “America never was America to me.”

If we are to become—not remain—the land of the free, then ALL must be free, be valued, be beloved. 
 
The words of Langston Hughes say it more eloquently and more plainly than I ever could.
 
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
 
(America never was America to me.)
 
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.
 
(It never was America to me.)
 
O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.
 
(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)
 
Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
 
—Langston Hughes, from “Let America Be America Again”

Comments

#1 Robyn Saylor said:

I love and miss all of you very much

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