Is it hypocritical for us to celebrate freedom in the USA?
The USA has always put a strong emphasis on freedom.
“Land of the free … let freedom ring … … with liberty and justice for all.”
There are countless famous phrases and song lyrics that celebrate freedom as the bedrock of the United States. We even have a designated day to remind us that the United States is a country dedicated to the ideals of freedom. On June 30, 1948, a bill was signed by President Truman which proclaimed February 1 as National Freedom Day. On this day, we honor the resolution signed by Abraham Lincoln, abolishing slavery.
All Americans do not have the same freedoms and opportunities
I have taken my own personal freedom mostly for granted throughout my life. I’ve been free to live life pretty much as I please, and I have not often given those liberties and innate privileges much thought. Of course, I’ve always been aware that many people living outside the US do not enjoy the same privileges as me, and I’ve felt lucky to be an American.
Some news stories of the past few years were a huge wake-up call for me, as they were for many other Americans. It became undeniably apparent that freedom and justice are very different things to different citizens within this country, and freedom is certainly far from an equal right.
I have lived most of my life naively believing that the civil rights movement made good strides and America had become a place of equality for all. The inaccuracy of that assumption was proven by events too horrible to ignore in recent years.
It is clear that minority groups are often targeted and afforded fewer opportunities than other citizens of this country. Those of us whose skin is white; whose ethnicity is not readily apparent; and whose sexual preferences/gender identity fits well within society’s designated norm do not have the same worries and limitations as people beyond this group.