For the Land of the Free

Flint still doesn’t have clean water.

Migrant babies are still not with their parents. DREAMers are still in legal limbo. Civil rights, reproductive rights, and same sex marriage are at a tipping point. We have a POTUS under multiple criminal and civil investigations, who will determine the fate of the Supreme Court, and this country, for decades to come.

On this eve of the anniversary of our nation’s independence, one might ask, what is there to celebrate? When the very foundation of what comprises our integrity as a nation is so fragile, do we honor a country that continues to disappoint us?

America has always fought with itself. It faced civil war. It survived terror. It persevered through one financial collapse after the next. Yet we built this land on a promise of integrity. Of an intention to be better than we were yesterday. Of a desire to continuously develop ourselves. Of a hope to see our dreams lived out with passion.

As an American, it is not my goal to mask the sins of our history, or to pretend we are inherently great. Instead, it is with purposeful intention to create a shared vision with all of humanity, where all people have the ability to create for themselves and their families. To live with greater purpose other than our own. To serve our fellow human not out of self interest, but out of a necessity to not see others suffer, to educate and mentor the next generation, to create opportunities for those who only saw darkness, and to celebrate freedom and opportunity for all.

Independence Day is not just a celebration of pride in who we are, but of the potential in who we can be and who we will inspire for generations to come. And though we may fight today, though we may not have faith in our leaders, though our neighbors may see a different path to building the future than we do, we must not forget those who fought for us yesterday so we may fight for others tomorrow.

For when we give up, when we decide not to speak for those with no voice, when we choose not to fight on behalf of those less fortunate, that is the day we lose our freedom. That is the day we lose our sense of identity.

And I’ll be damned if I live to ever see that day come.

Migrant babies are still not with their parents. DREAMers are still in legal limbo. Civil rights, reproductive rights, and same sex marriage are at a tipping point. If we don’t fight for what is right, if we don’t stand on the right side of history, if we don’t let those who would turn a blind eye to the suffering of others know that this is wrong…

Who will?