A Fourth for Reflection

It’s the day after the USA’s most patriotic holiday, Independence Day, and given our current political climate and the fact that we’re halfway through the year, it might be a good time for us to do some reflection.

Let us consider a few memes floating about regarding store closures, presented here without comment:

Sign reading     Sign in window says

And then there’s today’s top headline regarding the outrage over NPR’s tweeting of the Declaration of Independence. Also presented without further comment.

This isn’t the first year the holiday has passed with mixed feelings. This holiday has been cited as being problematic for several reasons. And there are even some guides about how to celebrate progressively.

Now, I’m not bashing the holiday. My family was decked out in the red, white, and blue; we had some barbecue; we safely shot off a few fireworks with the neighbors at dusk and wrapped up well before bedtime.

But we all do need to acknowledge some truths. Our country isn’t perfect. But it’s ours. And as citizens, we’re responsible for doing our part. With the election of our current President, thousands of people proclaim on social media that they are #StillWithHer and are working to #resist. Are you one of them? It’s been almost six months since 45 took office–we know what he’s been up to. What about you?

An American flag hangs on the left. Dark sillouettes of trees behind it are stark agains an orange sunset sky. In the bottom right corner are the words "Reflect & Resist."


Personally I’m writing letters to my representatives every week using #ResistBot. I’ve Marched for Science (and even spoke at my local rally and was interviewed for an indie documentary). I looked into what it would take to run for office. And I teach my students how to engage in conversation thoughtfully, how to critically evaluate sources, and how to listen to opinions they may disagree with so that they can be empathetic and communicate effectively with others.

Let’s talk about what we’ve already done and what we can do moving forward. What have you been doing? What are your suggestions for the future? Let’s chat in the comments.



8 replies »

  1. I had mixed feelings as well. Below is what I posted on my Facebook Page. I did go to downtown Bend with my 7-year old and engaged in some of the local festivities…but I had very tempered enthusiasm. And my heart was in the post below:

    Celebrating two true American heroes – Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Ricky Best. They lost their lives standing up against hate and racism. In my mind, they represent heroism and patriotism in its truest sense. Micah Fletcher also took a stand and survived this brutal attack.
    I salute them and their courage and bravery to take action to stop injustice.

    Please don’t be silent. Please stand up for love, social justice, and help to make this the country that we want to live in.

    “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

    “Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood, and because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned especially for his suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them.

    This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation’s self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for the victims of our nation and for those it calls “enemy,” for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

    “We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. And history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. ” – Martin Luther King, Jr.


    • Thank you for sharing with us what you posted on your Facebook page. I’m glad you’re advocating for celebrating many people who fought for freedom in the United States–but may not be recognized for their efforts. Our nation is certainly in a point of turmoil right now, but we can get through this together.


  2. From what you say, I can see I would love to be your friend and have long talks with you, even though I am a Trump supporter but like you, I deplore what is happening with most supporters of both sides, the pro Trump and the anti-Trump. I don’t believe I have ever seen so much pure hatred being displayed and such lack of true love for this wonderful country. I was born in Spain on April of 1943 and came to live in America on December 28 of 1956. I w2as a 100% Spaniard with all the Spanish culture and beliefs of that time (my memory has been blessed by God and I can remember life from the time I was 2 so I really was completely integrated into that culture. But when I came to America, even though the first few months were pure torture, eventually I became an integral part of the American culture and today I am a true American even though I do still love Spain, but America is my country and I can not stop crying with what is going on today. I am a University graduate and so I have been train to think and I simply do not understand what has happened with the minds of so may people who have become barbarians even though the have been educated. I do believe in true freedom and I believe everyone should be allowed to think what they believe to be the truth, but I am utterly opposed to actively and physically opposing those that do not think like me. I am not opposed to progressive thinking, but I am completely opposed to progressive activities unless they are simply voting, which everyone must be allowed to do, and then accept the results, knowing that eventually there will be another occasion to vote. I am for example against illegal immigrants and unchecked immigration, but maibe this is due to the fact that I am a legal immigrant. I am not against people having the opportunity to better their lives, but I believe that they ought to fight in their countries if they are running away from them because their governments are unacceptable. My family actually was nor running away because we were OK (my father was a veterinarian in Spain) financially and socially, it was simply that my parents wanted a different life and of course, an improvement from Post war Spain but not running away.


    • Thanks so much for your comment and explaining your background! I think that a lot of us, whether we support the current administration or not, agree that we all want what is best for each other and for the nation. We may have different ideas about how to do that, but most of us are not malicious. And most of us are more moderate than at the extremes. If we keep having conversations with one another where we truly listen to what the other person is saying and can work together to reach a consensus, I think we’ll be able to solve a lot of problems and points of disagreements.

      I’m curious about what you meant by “I am completely opposed to progressive activities unless they are simply voting.” What “activities” are you referring to?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Leslie, sorry for the delay but < and I don't know why, I tend not to check back on comments I make in the social media. I happen by chance on some articles or comments that I feel I should comment on, but not strongly enough to check back. I have had some very bad insults thrown at me in some religious sites and so I stopped completely going to them because I am a very devout follower of Jesus Christ and because of that I take it 100% that I must love my enemies and that what a person does with their life is their business and that I am in no way to impose my beliefs on others, no matter what. I am completely opposed on imposing my belief in the sacredness of life on a person that believes abortion is OK. I am fully pro abortion for those who are OK with it and there are other political and social beliefs I have that in no way would I force anyone to follow in my footsteps. This does not mean that I do not wish for certain activities to not be allowed such as for example, and here is the answer to your curiosity about what I meant by saying that I am completely opposed to progressive activities. Please understand that I may be completely wrong about what I think is progressive activities, so here is what activities I think of as progressive….In college and University campuses it is not allowed for conservatives to speak, antifa activities I think of as an arm of progressives. I am in complete disagreement with the BLM organization but not with the idea due to the fact that Black Lives do matter, I dislike the LGBT activities although I am in no way against homosexuals especially since I have many dear friends who are gay. I do wish I were a better writer and able to express clearly what I think so please forgive me and I do hope you now will have a better idea of what I am like inside


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