OUACHITA PARISH, LA (7/1/20)– As July fourth is just a few days away, many are getting ready to celebrate America’s independence day. However, many have voiced their opinions on social media, saying they won’t celebrate this year due to inequality and racial injustice. One tweeted, “Anyone else not feeling it for the fourth of July this year? Celebrating this version of our country seems wrong.” We talked to locals about if and why they are celebrating this year’s July 4th.
“Why we are celebrating is because my mama and them did it. We’ve been doing it all my life,” said Linda Taylor, local.
“The reason I’m celebrating is for the sake of my children. I’m not ready to separate them from what’s going on in the world. I don’t want to take that away from them. I celebrated my whole life until I grew up to know about Juneteenth, inequality, and all those things,” said Arthur Mott, Local.
The past few months have been filled with protests, the Black Lives Matter movement, and a desire to see a change in our country. However, some say that shouldn’t affect celebrating the freedom we received in 1776.
“How they express themselves has nothing to do with Independence Day. We have to realize that America has overcome a lot and we are an independent nation,” said Xavier Wright, local.
“They really need to back up and take a look at America, how they are out there walking the streets freely,” said Anthony Harris, local.
However, others say;
“Anybody that is closed-minded enough to have anything against anybody, any individual, that’s just ignorant,” said Drake Grier, local.
One local says, to him, Fourth of July used to represent freedom and equality, but now, things are a little different. Not celebrating the holiday could be the change we need.
“It’s not the holiday that we know to be free. Things are changing, people are paying more attention to the inequality that we are going through,” said Mott.
There have been efforts to have juneteenth recognized as a national holiday–just like the Fourth of July.