My Mom is a patriot. I am too. To say that to some connotes a certain partisanship that is not intended. I’m mostly a radical anti-racist with a lingering idealism that I can’t seem to shake. No side of any coin should dangle patriotism as a banner unshared. It belittles the word and the intent.
I only know this country, with its original sin of slavery still smoldering, and I am not naive to the things we have done on our path to the present. Holidays and the things they represent are the best hopes and ideals we can muster. Our flag as an image remains true to its symbolism, it is we human-Americans who fall short.
I recently got an email from my mother (my siblings too) that I, initially, took as a scolding. She mentioned that she’d appreciate hearing from us on the American holidays, and it is with this post, that I wish her a happy Fourth of July, and join her in her wish for the day to be acknowledged for more than a hot dog and a mattress sale. For the promise that this celebration makes, the promise that has a ways to go for some of our citizens, as I have a ways to go on many fronts myself. Independence is freedom, and when we continue in that promise we raise that flag.
Our flag, the united flag, The American flag. One people. One Mom, hopefully keeping cool in New Jersey, had to remind me. I’m glad she did.