07.03.2017

Happy 4th of July — and Thanks President Barack Obama

By Michael P Coleman

Happy 4th of July.  I'll be frank: the day never meant much to me until about eight years ago. 

Well, that’s not completely true.  As I little kid, I enjoyed sparklers, fireworks, backyard barbecues and the like just like every other kid in my neighborhood.  It was sometime around junior high school, I think, that I pieced together an American history timeline that revealed that many of the “founding fathers” who fought so hard for their independence were also fighting to deny the independence of the black men they enslaved. 

From that revelatory moment, I turned by back on the holiday and all things patriotic.  I wouldn’t have worn a star spangled piece of clothing to save my life.  I suffered through hot, humid Independence Days wearing a black t-shirt (seriously).  Even Whitney Houston’s stirring rendition of our national anthem 1992 didn’t convince me to embrace the day. 

I didn’t do so until we elected Barack Obama as President of these United States of America. 

The morning after the election in 2008, I drove to my neighborhood Home Depot and bought the first American flag I’d ever bought and mounted it on my front porch.  For the first time since I was a kid holding those sparklers, I was proud of my country.   For eight years, I flew it every Memorial Day and Independence Day, and more sporadically on other holidays. 

Can you guess what’s happened now that Trump’s in office? 

I’m still flying it.  Put it up proudly a few weeks ago on Memorial Day, and as I hung it this 4th of July weekend, I pondered why.  I surmised that I have President Obama to thank for my newfound patriotism. 

We’re still a country that elected Trump president, but the pride in my country that President Obama awakened in me won’t be dampened.  We’ll fix this damn thing.  If Trump doesn’t resign, we’ll take Congress back in 2018 and the White House back in 2020. 

Yes, we will.  We The People will do that. 

Thanks, President Obama. 

And again, Happy 4th of July!  Let me fire up this grill. 

 michael bioThis blog was written by freelancer Michael P Coleman.  Connect with him at michaelpcoleman.com or on Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP.