July has begun. You know what that means?
That’s right. You guessed it. It’s American Pride Month.
We should all be proud to live in the best country in the world. Which is why we top American Pride Month with the Fourth of July.
Independence Day, baby!
Pride Was a Riot
What do you think of when you think of the Fourth of July?
You probably imagine a glorious, hot summer day sweating it out over the flames of the grill, a busy spatula in one hand and a cold beer in the other.
On the lawn your children and the neighborhood kids run about playing a version of tag. The teenagers have graduated to cornhole. Some keep their noses buried in the cell phone. Somehow Silicon Valley has managed to transform the usual games into Virtual Reality simulations. Times have changed a little since you were a kid. But the fun is all the same.
Your spouse in his or her summer best entertains your hometown friends and the out-of-town family. They already broke their no-more-than-three-drinks rule. God love ‘em.
Quite the imagination you have.
You can be forgiven for forgetting that the first Independence Day did not mark the start of a party but the beginning of battle. Yes, the brave brothers who became the Founding Fathers did see this day as a holiday, but one that came with a warning.
Because from that day forward, America would have to fight claw and hammer to be free.
Remember that we get to celebrate our Independence as Proud Americans with our parades and cook-outs because the first Americans demanded our freedom with pushback and cannon-fire.
American Pride Month Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion the American Way
Make no mistake.
There are some who are ashamed of being Americans. They await Fourth of July the way a college senior puts off the final paper. They loathe the day ahead and spend much energy avoiding it when it comes.
They hope that Independence Day passes like a ghost in the hallway. In fact, they hope that one day Independence Day will become a ghost. They want to end this day as a holiday.
But guess what? These ashamed Americans are still American. It is our job to celebrate on their behalf and do our forefathers proud. We must celebrate for the both of us. Trust! They will come around because sooner or later they will be faced with the alternative to freedom. Tyranny.
Ashamed Americans do not own the phrases “diversity” and “inclusion”. They do not own these powerful ideas.
America is diverse. America is inclusive. Because the Founding Fathers believed freedom was a God-given right that patriots should extend to all who have the bravery to defend it.
But we are not diverse and inclusive because of identity. Because you’re black or Asian or western European or Sikh or Muslim or Orthodox Christian. In America your identity does not shape you. What shapes Americans is how we set our identities aside and embrace the virtues of America: life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness.
What’s inclusive about this is that anyone can share in these virtues.
We don’t need to talk about it. We are about it.
To whoever reads this…
If you are an American, you are an American because of the actions you take.
In the wise words of former president Theodore Roosevelt: “There are no hyphenated Americans.”
We are proud to be Americans as Americans. That’s American Pride.