“My ancestors were still enslaved on July 4th 1776.”
Should we, or should we not celebrate the 4th of July?
Yesterday, I posted about a fun time I had with my family and friends as we attended Steve Martin’s and Martin Short’s Special Show at the Hollywood Bowl coinciding with its celebration of 100 years of service to the entertainment industry. At the end of the show, there was a fantastic fireworks display, which I shared with few of you randomly representing my network.
Few hours after publishing of my greeting “Happy 4th Everyone”, privately, I received a DM from a dear influencer friend of mine with the following message, “My ancestors were still enslaved on July 4th 1776.”
I felt bad and somehow guilty as how dare I to wish happiness to some of my friends while being insensitive to the suffering of others.
Let me be blunt, when I shared my “Happy 4th Everyone” greeting, in no way my intention was to celebrate slavery and the shackling of another human being. I am against all forms of suffering of human beings and continue to advocate against it. I am so certain all of my friends and colleagues share my sentiment on this issue.
Simply, I just enjoyed the fireworks marvelous display at the Hollywood Bowl and I wanted to share its beauty with you, with its proper purpose, 4th of July. If my greeting offended you, I apologize, and I am learning.
My friend’s message made me reflect and reaffirm:
I celebrate the 4th of July for what it represents today, and not the past. Today’s America with its major flaws, it represents hope, it represents inclusion, it represents, all men are created equal. To prove it, the coup d’état on January 6th “returning to the dark past” had failed by an establishment, which was supported by the majority of people.
It is ideal to say that the Independence Day that was declared on July 4, 1776 was modified and reaffirmed on January 6th 2021. This is the real independence where slavery cannot return no more. Civil Rights are here to stay and flourish under a just law, (indulge my dream on this).
Collectively, we cannot shed the suffering of the dark past. Some of us may innocently and proudly celebrate as others mourn and remember. In today’s America we can call for an Independence Day that shall not allow the past to come to shackle us and hunt us again.
With this new thinking in mind, Happy Independence Day for those who believe that the pain and suffering of people in the past morphs into the healing hand of a new promising day.
In this Remembrance Day, I understand the history of your people’s suffering and pain.
When I greet you on July 4th from now on, I mean to say:
Blessed Independence Day to you as we remember the suffering of those who perished and suffered to make America heal again.
Blessed Independence Day!
Blessed Remembrance Day!
God bless you. God bless all.
God bless America.
About the author: Dr. Abraham Khoureis is multi-talented thought leader. Ambassador of Compassionate Leadership. He utilizes his writing to shine a light on social causes towards a positive social change.