Independence Day

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Independence Day

It’s Fourth of July weekend, and this year I’m really not into it.

I used to be a very patriotic person. I believed the United States is the best country there is.

Now, I knew she had warts, but I looked past them to her beautiful soul. Or to the beautiful soul I thought she had. You know, the one that espouses freedom and opportunity.

But then I started hanging out with people who have made me question everything I thought I knew.

Or maybe I had those questions when I was growing up, but I squelched them to conform to what I was being taught in school.

What we celebrate on Independence Day is the rebellion of British colonists against Great Britain.

Granted, they had legitimate issues. They had the obligation of paying taxes to the Crown, without the right of representation in Parliament. Yeah, throw that tea in the harbor!

But what were the colonists doing in the New World, anyway? Securing as much land as possible for the British Empire. Even if it meant displacing or murdering the people who had lived here for millenia. After all, they were only savages.

And supplying Europe with tobacco and cotton, even if they had to kidnap and enslave people from Africa to do the heavy labor. After all, they were only savages.

From the moment white people set foot in North America, they committed atrocity after atrocity. To be sure, the same thing was happening all over the globe. This was the glorious result of the age of exploration. New lands to conquer and subjugate.

Yet today the United States is quick to point out human rights offenses in other countries. Yeah, it takes an oppressor to recognize another oppressor.

I know what I am saying will be very unpopular with many of the lovely people who read this blog, but events of the last year and a half have made me realize that the injustices of the past have led to the continued, ingrained injustice and ugliness and deadliness and division that is plaguing our country now. I am witnessing people making personal fortunes on the backs of the poor and the ill. I am seeing voting accessibility being severely scaled back. I am heartbroken that I’m seeing the country I love for what she truly is, and she’s not virtuous.

It has to stop. It has to change. It has to be healed and rebuilt. Or we will not have a United States any longer. It will implode, as well it should.

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

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