Saturday, July 04, 2015

Quote of the Day

July 4 has always been a time for aggrieved progressives to remind the world that most Americans weren’t liberated on that first Independence Day. Enslaved Africans; dispossessed native Indians; women of every race; white men without property; LGBT Americans; the rights claimed in the stirring Declaration of Independence didn’t fully belong to most of us for many years.

That’s still a real, historic truth. But maybe, at least this year, we can celebrate the genuinely liberating, animating ideals of a country that came close to living up to them in a dizzying 24 hours last week.

In just one day, the country we are, the country we’ve been trying so long to become, emerged in indelible, unforgettable images. A few will always stay with me: Our first African-American president, standing before purple-robed ministers, singing the first notes of “Amazing Grace” with sorrow and defiance at a funeral for yet another black martyr. Two beaming elderly white gentlemen, Jack Evans and George Harris, becoming the first men to marry in Dallas, Texas, after the Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality.

As the sun set Friday night, the White House glowed in rainbow colors. In the dawn’s early light the next day, a black woman scrambled up a flagpole, as if to freedom, and snatched down the Confederate flag. For a day, anything seemed possible. Which reminded us that it is. We celebrated a genuine Independence Day in that 24 hours, so let’s pause to take it in on this July 4 holiday.

– Joan Walsh
Excerpted from "As Fox News Mourns, the Rest of Us
Have an Independence Day to Celebrate

July 3, 2015

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Something to Celebrate
Standing with Jennicet Gutiérrez, "the Mother of Our Newest Stonewall Movement"
Breaking News: U.S. Supreme Court Legalizes Marriage for Same-Sex Couples Across the Nation

Image: Michael Bayly (July 4, 2014).

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