For many people, July 4 is the official start of summer, and the day the U.S. government has designated as the celebration of our independence. This year in particular you might not feel like there's much to celebrate. If you want to spend your Fourth of July productively, though, there are a few things you can do on the holiday.
Not feeling in the partying mood on July 4, especially this year, makes sense. After all, historically, July 4 is not a day of freedom for Native and African Americans — the former because white Europeans took their land by force, and the latter because they did not have independence until June 19, 1865 (Juneteenth) almost 100 years after the official Declaration of Independence. Women still don't have equal rights, LGBTQ freedoms are under threat, people with disabilities are being dragged away from peaceful protests, literally, and Donald Trump is president. So, who wants to have a party?
If you want to do something productive instead, there are a few options that involve pledging to get involved in the fight for liberation for all communities, donating to various organizations in need, and promoting the former options to your friends and community. Here are some suggestions:
Sign The Pledge Of Liberation
Organizers of the Women's March are asking people to sign the Pledge of Liberation in support of equal rights for all people.
"The attacks on queer and trans people, on disabled people, on black, brown and Indigenous people, on immigrants, on poor people, on Muslim and Jewish people, the attacks on health care and the environment, the rendering of violence against women as a pre-existing condition — these are all one assault on our fundamental rights to live with dignity, autonomy and liberty," the Women's March website noted.
"In solidarity with our families, friends, neighbors, coworkers and communities, we collectively stand for dignity, justice and freedom in the face of attacks on our health care, our identities and our lives. When one community is harmed, all of our communities are harmed. We are all part of one movement, and we pledge allegiance to the survival, and liberation of all people."
While it may seem like a small thing, adding your voice to the conversation is something you can do to let people know that you're not OK with any kind of human rights violations.
Have A Resistance Party
There are other ways to be patriotic on the Fourth of July aside from attending parades and fireworks displays. First, let's take back the word "patriotic." I don't think anyone can actually be patriotic without supporting the rights of everyone who lives in the country.
- Invite your friends over, fire up the grill, and commit to calling your senators to protest the health care draft, Dubbed the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). The online Senate directory list can help you locate your senators.
- Download the Indivisible Guide to find local town hall meetings, resistance events, and tips for coordinated calls to public officials.
- Set up a monthly donation, even it's just for $5, to Planned Parenthood, or these other organizations committed to resisting Trump.
- Get educated about Fourth of July facts you didn't learn in school.
It can be hard when you feel like you're moving against the tide, and I know you're tired. If you just want to stay home and close the curtains, I think spending the day watching The Handmaid's Tale is a perfectly "patriotic" way to spend the holiday. Just know that you're not alone if you feel like you're the only one not donning red, white, and blue on this day. I'm right there with you.