Celebrating the 4th of July

I spent part of my day visiting with friends who had nothing to do on this Fourth of July. At one gathering of friends, a guy commented on his gratitude that we can meet and not fear what we say or who hears it. We were talking about freedom and he seemed to nail it. He said that remembering that helps him accept all the political and religious bantering that goes in around us. We can do it because we live in America. We need to keep it that way.

There were no fireworks in our day. I heard one cracker pop just before my head hit the pillow at night. Bernie and I had fabulous BBQ ribs for supper. I would not make it as a vegetarian.

One thing that did make it into a patriotic kind of day were some of the u-tube videos that people posted on Facebook. I really liked these three:

Danny Glover, reading a speech by Fredrick Douglass when he was asked to speak in Rochester NY on the Fourth of July:

http://www.upworthy.com/frederick-douglas-was-asked-to-speak-at-a-july-4-celebration-it-didnt-go-so-well-4?c=ufb1

Morgan Freedman on the Declaration of Independence:

http://www.upworthy.com/you-saw-him-in-shawshank-you-saw-him-play-god-now-watch-him-do-the-declaration-of-independence?c=ufb1

What white parents in America do not have to teach their children:

http://www.upworthy.com/know-an-american-who-thinks-were-equal-show-them-what-this-guy-does-when-hes-stopped-by-a-cop?c=ufb1

This last one…I heard from a black professor in Minnesota about 15 years ago that he was told by his mother to deal with police exactly as this video describes. White privilege is real.

I liked, as I listened to Morgan Freedman’s comments, that the Declaration of Independence does not so much define who we are as Americans, but who we aspire to become. The road toward that is not an easy one.

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