A Mockery of Celebration

Emma Cortese
Published: 07/17/2020

For many, the July 4th fireworks on the National Mall were a grotesque display of ostentatious arrogance. Perhaps if the President had acknowledged the over 130,000 COVID dead (and counting) rather than peddling the delusion of viral disappearance with the summer heat; had he repudiated the bounty placed on the heads of America’s military rather than currying favor with the despot who ordered it; had he calmed the wounds of racial division rather than inflaming them further with honorific platitudes of white nationalists—then the rocket’s red flairs might have illuminated the American ideals of equality, pursuit of happiness, security and health, as they have underscored throughout our country's history. But he didn’t. Instead, in commemoration of Independence Day, he stood at the foot of Mount Rushmore, the smallness of his character reinforced as he used the majestic Black Mountains for a stage to proclaim American heritage won’t be stolen—oblivious to the sad and hypocritical irony of trampled Indigenous American’s sovereignty on that sacred site. America deserves better. America deserves a celebration. But in this moment America is broken, and will not be able to celebrate until we have a President who will help heal it first.

Topics: July 4thDonald TrumpCOVID-19Indigenous Peoples