Unexpected July 4th Message

A friend sent me a message via email from Tikkun Magazine that I think is print-worthy. See below the picture. (Also, feel free to go to the website listed below the photo of fireworks to learn how fireworks came to be a symbol of the 4th of July.)

July 4th History -- Great for reading aloud with the family!

 

Here is the Tikkun Magazine message followed by the list of what we  can be grateful for. I plan to read it with my daughter and daughter-in-law and husband at our picnic later.

On July 4 hundreds of millions of Americans will celebrate all that is good in the history of the United States of America.  Even though progressives know there is much to criticize about America (including the use of the word “America” as synonymous with the United States, thereby ignoring Canada, Mexico, Central and South America) there is also much to celebrate. We liberals and progressives spend so much time critiquing the U.S. that it makes sense to have a day to celebrate what is good. But to do that we switch the focus from “independence” to our interdependence.

That’s why we want to urge you to turn this holiday into something more meaningful than just a picnic watching bombs bursting in air during the evening fireworks.

We have a guide (free) for how to do this. If you click here, you’ll go to www.tikkun.org/a-guide-for-how-progressives-can-transform-july-4th-into-interdependence-day. Please use it and let us know what worked, what didn’t work, and your suggestions for strengthening it after you’ve used it.

Symbols of July 4th

Here is an excerpt from that guide. (I added the colors!)

WE ARE GRATEFUL:

  • To the waves of immigrants from all parts of the world who struggled to accept each other and find a place in this country {raise fork}
  • To the escaped slaves and their allies, particularly Quakers, evangelical Christians, and freedom-loving secularists, who build the underground railroad and helped countless people to freedom {raise fork}
  • To the coalitions  of religious and secular people–women and men, black and white–who built popular support for the emancipation of the slaves {raise fork}
  • To the African Americans and allies who went to prison, lost their livelihoods, and were savagely beaten in the struggle for civil rights {raise fork}
  • To the working people who championed protections like the eight-hour day, minimum wage, workers’ compensation, and the right to organize, often at great personal cost to them {raise fork}
  • To the immigrants who fought against “nativist” tendencies and refused to close the borders of this country to new groups of immigrants, and who continue to support a policy of “welcoming the stranger” just as this country opened its gates to their ancestors when they were the immigrants and strangers
  • To the women who risked family, job security, and their own constructed identities to shift our collective consciousness about men and women and raise awareness of the effects of patriarchy {raise fork}
  • To gays and lesbians who fought and won the right to marry and who continue to struggle for full rights in housing, employment, and other arenas.
  • To transgendered people who are beginning a similar battle for respect, dignity, and equal rights
  • To all of those who risk scorn and violence and often lose their families to lead the struggle against homophobia and for the acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and queer people
  • To those who continue to work for equal access for people with disabilities
  • To those who advocate for sensitivity to animals and refuse to kill them
  • To all of the innovators and artists who have brought so much of beauty and usefulness into our lives
  • To those who fought to extend democratic principles not only in politics but also in the work place and in the economy
  • To those who developed innovations in science and technology, in literature and art, in music and dance, in film and in computer science, in medical and communication technologies, and in methods to protect ourselves from the destructive impacts of some of these new technologies.
  • To those who developed psychological insights and increased our ability to be sensitive to our impact on others.
  • To those who developed ecological awareness and are now building strategies to replace a system that privileges growth and consumption over preservation of the life support system of the planet
  • To those who brought the insights of their own particular religious or spiritual traditions which emphasized love and caring for others and generosity towards those who had been impoverished—and sought to turn those ideas not only into a call for personal charity but also into a mission to transform our economic and political systems in ways that would reflect those values.
  • To those who fought for peace and non-violence, and who helped stop many wars.
Fourth of July Independence Day poster or card template with american flag. Vector illustration Illustration

 

One Response to “Unexpected July 4th Message”

  1. Coll Says:

    Quite a remarkable list! Thanks for sharing.

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