Wednesday, July 4, 2012


While I was watching a Fourth of July parade today in Burien, Washington, I saw acts of patriotism. One of them was by someone who identified herself as part of Occupy West Seattle, an Occupy movement in the nearby neighborhood of the city of Seattle. She was handing out flyers pointing out what her group thought were problems about the sustainability of our economy. This is the other act:

Image credit: Cujo359

I don't know if the young lady was part of Occupy West Seattle, or some other organization. For all I know, she was part of the local TEA Party. Doesn't matter.

The Fourth of July is a celebration of the signing of the seminal document of this country - the Declaration of Independence. It was a radical act that shaped not only this nation, but the world. Our country was born in rebellion, and it's been in turmoil much of the time since. Ending slavery, bringing about organized labor and the rise of the middle class, trying to bring equality to racial, gender, and religious minorities didn't happen because the leaders of the country just decided to do them one day. They were brought about because ordinary Americans made sure our leaders knew it was in their interests to get them done.

Protesting a perceived injustice is as American as it gets. The day I see an Independence Day parade that doesn't have something like this is the day I know we're no longer fit to call ourselves free.


Paul Sunstone said...

I couldn't agree more with you, Cujo. But I worry -- and perhaps you do too -- about the sort of false patriotism which ever supports the master. It seems to me that sort of "patriotism" has always been with us, but is nowadays amplified by Right Wing echo chamber.

Cujo359 said...

That's one of the reasons I wrote this, Paul. Back during the Cold War, it was pretty common for people to be criticized for protesting - whether it was the war in Vietnam, racial injustice, or economic injustice. It may be worse today, but it's something that has been around for a long time. The irony that what they demand of Americans is the exact opposite of freedom has always been lost on them, but if we stop saying so I fear that many more will begin to believe they're right.

Paul Sunstone said...

I agree the message needs repeating. Frankly, I often think I don't do my fair share of work getting the word out. Sometimes I go weeks without posting a thing about politics. I think every voice helps.

Cujo359 said...

You provide a place where people discuss ideas, which is a very important thing. Not everyone is cut out to be an Internet scold. ;)