The Intersection Between Patriotism and Activism

By: Remi Shirayanagi

The Fourth of July is often celebrated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, and a strong feeling of national pride. However, this day also serves as an opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of patriotism. Patriotism is not only about love for one’s country but also about striving to make it better. This is where activism plays a crucial role.

Activists, past and present, embody the spirit of true patriotism by challenging the status quo and pushing for a more just and equitable society. Figures like Frederick Douglass, who famously questioned the meaning of the Fourth of July for enslaved people, Martin Luther King Jr. who refused to give up on America until it lived up to its ideals, and modern-day activists like the leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement, exemplify how love for one’s country can drive the fight for change.

These individuals remind us that the ideals of freedom and equality that the Fourth of July celebrates are still a work in progress. They urge us to acknowledge the nation’s shortcomings and work towards a future where these ideals are fully realized for everyone. By honoring activists and their contributions, we can celebrate the Fourth of July not only as a day of national pride but also as a day of recommitment to the ongoing struggle for justice and equality.

As we celebrate this Independence Day, let us remember that true patriotism includes the courage to face our nation’s flaws and the determination to improve them. Supporting and participating in activism is a powerful way to demonstrate our love for our country and our commitment to its founding principles of liberty and justice for all.