If you were to ever ask me what national holiday I’d do away with in the U.S., without skipping a beat, I’d respond with “the Fourth of July.”
It is a layered response. Basically, to deny the celebration of the independence of the country that has exploited indigenous communities and the entire “Global South,” means to deny them of that power.
To do away with their existence would mean so much injustice could possibly have been avoided. Now, I know that countries are generally greedy and consistently justify genocide on the basis of things like religion-God-or even prioritize their citizens over non-citizens based on nationalistic notions.
To think that colonialism of the Americas could have been avoided completely is slightly unrealistic.
The holiday that breeds the most unanalyzed celebration of white supremacy, genocide, and colonialism needs to be done away with—or celebrated with a different face.
Just Google “Fourth of July,” and you will find a lot of white smiling faces, celebrating as if America was ever theirs to begin with.
On Fourth of July, the U.S. South lights up like it’s back at war. The American flag (that brings memories and triggers of horror onto so many people across the world) is worn on bikinis, shorts, shirts and headbands. People wrap the flag around themselves, and even put it on blankets.
On the Fourth of July, patriotism is honorable. Somewhere along the way patriotism became code for racism in the United States.
A “patriot” will defend English to non-English speakers. A “patriot” defends police, despite their consistent murdering of Black lives. A “patriot” feels like “illegals” are taking their jobs. A “patriot” defends the Mexican border voluntarily so as to keep the American lands “pure.”
When I think of a “patriot,” I think of the most hideous people in the US—bigots.
If you were to ever ask me what national holiday I’d do away with, without skipping a beat, I’d say “the Fourth of July.” And I don’t respond to this without a lack of analysis, I say it with gusto.
I say, “I could live with doing away with the Fourth of July.” This, from someone whose every waking moment is made to live as an outsider, by so-called “patriots.”
This land is not the land of the free. It is not the land of opportunity. It is not a dream. It’s a piece of land that was never theirs, and became theirs through murder.
It is free for those who aren’t strategically incarcerated by the racist system we know as the prison industrial complex. It becomes the land of “opportunity,” if somehow, and some way, you’re able to avoid all the obstacles placed in front of you.
These obstacles are placed by racist white men, who protect this country’s opportunities afforded to them generationally through massacre, exploitation, and inhumane acts like slavery. The list goes on and on.
For some, this country might be a dream. For others, it’s a nightmare for the terrors inflicted by this country onto their home countries, without any regard for their collective humanity.
Patriots have actively participated in this, and come out en masse on the Fourth of July. Patriotism is celebrated, but, do you all really know you’re celebrating? If you could sit down for thirty minutes, and think about what is being celebrated, you’d think differently about this holiday.
But, pleading ignorance is the new “I’m sorry,” for white America. Quite frankly, I’m having none of it.
For these reasons, I stay home on the Fourth of July, and hide away from the heightened racism that the U.S. South has always shown me.
Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez is a grassroots foreign citizen, maneuvering and resisting assimilation and respectability politics through what she calls her a chonga Mujerista ethic. She is the founder of Latina Rebels, an online platform that boasts over 150k followers. She is from Managua, Nicaragua, currently living in Nashville. Prisca has written for Philadelphia Printworks, TeleSur English, SupaDaily Latin, Huffington Post Latino Voices and other publications. Her interests are within biopolitics as it relates to Latina embodiment, specifically concerning models of conquerable flesh around narratives of naturalization for women of color. ¡Que viva la mujer!