Opinion: Why I celebrated America on the Fourth of July

“Sure, it isn’t perfect right now, but why not celebrate the start of the progress towards a perfect country? Each of the rights that were written down and signed for on July 4 are still being used to make this country better, and it’s something to be thankful for,” Features Editor Colby Guy writes.

Photo+by+Alex+Liscio.+

Photo by Alex Liscio.

Colby Guy, Features Editor

Editor’s note: This opinion piece talks about how Features Editor Colby Guy celebrated Independence Day and his reasoning for it. If you would like to read News Editor Regina Holloway’s story on why she is against it, click here

Over the weekend, I saw a lot of people talking about why they were abstaining from celebrating Independence Day. While a lot of their arguments were valid and the country we live in isn’t perfect, we would not have the privileges we have today if it wasn’t for what happened on July 4th, 1776.

It was a different time back then, most people didn’t have the basic freedoms we have today. People mainly served a king and had to adhere and honor that king, until the events that took place 244 years ago.

We wouldn’t have the freedom of petition and the freedom of protest if it wasn’t for those brave men who took action against the British and fought for our freedom. And those are the same freedoms that the people who are disowning their country use today.

Without those freedoms, the Black Lives Matter movement would’ve been squashed pretty quickly, just like most protests that take place in authoritarian countries like North Korea and China, and you know what, I’m thankful to be a citizen of the United States of America.

We also wouldn’t have the equal opportunities that everyone has to get a job and make a life for themselves.

People argue that we aren’t equal because everyone doesn’t make the same amount of money. We are equal because we are all presented with the same opportunity to find a fruitful job.

Of course, there are some flaws to that, including the education system and housing systems for minorities, but that’s a part of progress.

These high paying jobs are available to anyone who is qualified enough to take the job. Whether it’s a high paying job as a CEO of a company or being able to make millions of dollars playing in the NBA, there are plentiful opportunities for anyone who is willing to work for it.

That’s why millions of people immigrate to the United States every year: to gain these opportunities to be able to work and live a life that they want.

Sure, it isn’t perfect right now, but why not celebrate the start of the progress towards a perfect country? Each of the rights that were written down and signed for on July 4 are still being used to make this country better, and it’s something to be thankful for.

Yes, it’s taking awhile for things to be perfect and it definitely wasn’t perfect then, but it doesn’t mean we need to throw away our history, if anything, we need to build upon it.

We need to learn from what didn’t work in the past and look at some of the ideals our Founding Fathers wrote to try to carry them through to their full extent.

July 4th, 1776 marks the day that the dream of all men [and women] being created equal, and that’s what makes it so important. 

With that being said, yes, we need to petition and protest for things like prison reform, the reallocation of funds from military and police to the underprivileged communities, and we need our people to work on treating everyone equally.

Of course, this won’t be easy, but that was the same dream our forefathers had in 1776, and every act we are doing now is fulfilling the dream that they had.

Colby Guy is the Features Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @thatguycolbs.