question: if you had a friend, who was responsible for all sorts of tragedies on others - discrimination, murder, indifference, theft, genocide - and whose parents raped and denigrated your mother, stole and continue to rob her naked....
would you honor their birthday invitation?
that is how I've been feeling most of today, July 5th, after yesterday's July 4th - the United States' Independence day - the day we celebrate the nation's birth. Yesterday, my immediate family and I had a small celebration - the standard fare - a small cookout followed by watching fireworks from our rooftop interspersed with random television reruns. It wasn't as big as how we usually celebrate this day: several invited and uninvited guest to be followed by hours and hours of cleanup. Meaning that today, I was alert enough to think of yesterday's events and why, indeed, I really celebrated on the 4th.
To say that I have not, nor the world has not gained much from the US since its independence would be a huge lie. But I can't help but witness the bad that comes with the good. Especially as of late with the Iraqi crisis - a modern take on the brutality of Western colonialism - I have become disillusioned with patriotism as portrayed in the US. That is a patriotism that remains unswervingly pro-American without respect for the sovereignty and dignity of other nations.
As the nations continues to gorge holidays meats and desserts and pop the last of its firecrackers, I can't help but wonder what other nations, those under our thumb - particularly Iraq - must feel about the birth of the United States of America and its subsequent rise to global dominance. Independence Day no longer excites me as it used to. Actually, its quite sobering...
Empathy is a painful thing.
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