Happy 4th of July

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On this 4th of July, in this tenuous time we live in, ive had to think a lot about my role as an American, a black American, a mom, a woman. What does it mean to be American? In the wake of the thousands of kids being seperated from their parents and well meaning protestors lamenting “this isn’t America!” There have been several pieces written to counteract that sentiment. The gist is that America has a lloooonnnggggg ass history of seperating families. Native children, African children, slave children, Japanese children. This isn’t new.

But I think it’s also an interesting and defining part of the narrative of America.  These stories of women, people of color, the LGBTQ community pushing past the oppression and dehumanization thrust upon them by the cruel, the small minded, and the cowards. These oppressed populations that understood phrases like “equality” and the “pursuit of happiness” and fought better opportunity for themselves, their families, their neighbors.  I think that is the idea of America that the world used to believe in.  It’s a nice ideal.

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The 4th of July was about celebrating freedom from tyranny and oppression. We can’t let hate win.  And even if we feel hate directed at us, we can’t fight back with hate.  We can fight back with love and empathy and strategic action - but not hate.  Because we still do have freedoms, so let’s hold those dear and fight to make sure we live in a world where everyone gets to enjoy freedom as well.  Let’s not obsessively horde it like Gollum and his precious. 

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 Sorrry, I couldn’t resist. But seriously.

I am thankful for the freedom to hug my children. I am thankful for food and clean water and air to breathe (for now). I’m thankful for the freedom to work hard, to have opportunities to improve and grow. 

I know what Freedom means to me.  What does it mean to you....

Crystal Ahmadi