July 4th: the Negligence of Colonialism

It’s July 4th, 2018 and patriotism is finally going out of style.

 

I am not hateful towards my country, I am tired of its increasing digression from being the promised “land of the free.” America has always been terrible with immigration, colonialism, and destruction, but what aches me is how our administration glorifies it. I can’t scroll down my news feed without coming across a situation of police brutality, unjust detention, or human rights protests. You must never lose sight of the fact that you are unconditionally entitled to the same exact rights as every other citizen in this country.

 

In light of our country’s birthday this July 4th, let’s not turn a blind eye to the indigenous people who were massacred, the Africans whose freedom was and continues to be stripped away from them, the children currently held in detention centers on our land, and the institutional mechanisms this country uses to maintain white supremacy (ICE, prisons, Muslim ban, zero tolerance policy, etc).

 

So as you watch the sky light up red white and blue tonight, keep in mind that the sounds of fireworks in the U.S. ring across the world as American bombs and missiles in Muslim countries.

 

Here are some alternatives to celebrating US imperialism and hegemony:

  • If you’re throwing a party or attending one, save the turtles by avoiding the use of plastic products

  • Attend a protest for #familiesstandtogether and/or #abolishICE, happening all over the country

  • Volunteer at a refugee resettlement agency

  • Support local immigrant owned businesses

  • Donate to organization like the the Pillars Fund, dedicated to defining and empowering original American Muslim narratives

  • Support MYNA, this organization itself gives young Muslims the spiritual and educational foundation needed to create confident, resilient individuals in the face of discrimination

  • READ A BOOK: it’s so important to be cognizant of your country’s history and to understand your place in it. Some recommendations are:

    • They Came Before Columbus by Ivan Van Sertima

    • The Color Purple by Alice Walker

    • The Autobiography of Malcolm X

    • Assata Shakur: An Autobiography

    • Black Skin White Masks by Frantz Fanon

    • Slavery by Another Name by Douglas Blackmon

    • Story of Civilization by Will Durant

    • The Shame of a Nation by Jonathon Kozol

    • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

 

We are not yet the land of the free.

But the promise of America is still worth fighting for.