I read something that said
that the most patriotic thing to do
is to stand up and try to change your country
if it falls short of its values.
Well, my country certainly has.

the line “all men are created equal”
left much to be desired.
it’s up to us to write the sequel
giving every gender, race,
sexuality, and creed
their own deserved space.

I read something that said
my country’s independence
was predicated on the loss of freedom
of Indigenous peoples and slaves,
so happy 4th of July–
we can call it Independence Day
when true independence is reached.

they say freedom isn’t free,
but neither are we
neither are we–
not until the last of us hear
the triumphant cries of liberty
and justice oh, so clear.

Photo by Sawyer Sutton from Pexels

Today’s resource for illumination and compassion is this speech titled “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” The speech was written by abolitionist Frederick Douglass and originally delivered on July 5, 1852. In the video, it is delivered by actor James Earl Jones.

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15 thoughts on “Patriotic

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