the 4th of july is not a favorite holiday of mine (too hot, too loud, too crowded), but i did always like hearing “the star-spangled banner”. the soaring notes at “the land of the free, and the home of the brave” often gave me chills. it never occurred to me that such a claim was hyperbolic – i just sang along like a good citizen. recently, however, i have come to the realization that my blind embrace of the song and its tenets is due to my white privilege.

i recommend that you watch a video from The Root called “no country for me”.

i don’t think that we should be allowed to call this country the land of the free until that freedom extends to everyone. as long as the indigenous tribes and their sacred lands are at risk, as long as people of color are still profiled unfairly, as long as any religion other than “christian” is suspect, as long as members of the lbgtqi community is vilified and worse, this country is not the home of the free.




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