This July 4th was different from any that I have experienced in the past. Maybe it was because we were not rushing around cooking for parties, etc. As we watched fireworks and tributes on TV, the concept of democracy and a country with equality for all really struck me anew. As a cultural historian, I understand academically what is going on in our country but what resonated, once again, with me was how much hope there is in the very idea of America.
As someone sang, “Stand beside her and guide her” it hit me that that is exactly what we need to do. Our country is evolving, and it will always continue to evolve. It is our role as citizens to make sure that she evolves in a way that supports equity for all, not equality for all. Equity because we have to take everyone from where they currently are to where they want to be. It is not the same process for everyone. It must be customized. And is a process that everyone has to participate in. We do not need the “pulling myself up by the bootstraps” thought process or a “what’s in it for me” approach. We need to focus on what we, as a society and as individuals, need to do to truly create an environment that is equitable for everyone.
It is up to us as citizens and as organizations to acknowledge and dismantle systemic racism and sexism and every other type of “ism” and “stand beside her and guide her” to become what she really can become…a country that treats all of its citizens equitably. Let’s roll up our collective sleeves and get to work.