Jul. 4th, 2011

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As I listen to the boom-boom celebration of the US's birthday, I don't feel the meaning behind it all, in fact I feel sad and I wonder what Native Americans think of this day.

This country gained independence from the British and claimed a land mass as their own, while ignoring or cheating or moving or killing the indigenous people that lived here. I'm second generation, my grandparents came here from the Middle East to to escape being massacred. Does any country gain independence without steamrolling over another culture and millions of people?

I'm not sure "independence" is the right word for a country. The US isn't under another country's thumb, but financially don't we belong to China?  And aren't the corporations calling all the shots?  And don't we find ourselves in the position of fighting for rights that are being threatened, like woman's health care, social security, a living wage, workers rights, healthy food and water, etc etc etc...?

It seems like once the initial independence is won, it all turns to shit, because the power has simply shifted. Power corrupts, they say. Why do people want it so much? How do I, in my own life, seek power? I don't want to, that's for sure.

I don't believe in nationalism, I think it's racist and ignorant. I'm glad I grew up here but it doesn't make me better than anyone else. There are other countries my people wouldn't have been killed that I could have grown up in. We don't even know where everyone went. Some went to France.

Sure I like fireworks and parties, but I don't know what this day really means anymore. I've outgrown the spin. Most of us believe in the idealism and ideas of this nation, but the US today isn't what Ben and Thomas had in mind, in my opinion.


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