ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Fourth of July: A Tale of Hypocrisy and Hope

Updated on July 4, 2016
jes732 profile image

Jamal is a graduate of Northeastern Seminary and writes on a broad range of topics. His writings are based on other points of view.

Yesterday I was setting at an English pub watching the Euro quarter finals. During halftime, I had a short discussion about the meaning of the Fourth of July with another spectator and the barkeep, a Brit intern. The spectator commented jokingly that he thought it odd that a British pub was celebrating the day when we kicked them out. The young barkeep replied with just as much humor that it was just another day and to not make a big thing of it. He then mentioned how then how for the most part, the Fourth was just a day of fireworks and having work off. The true meaning of the date lost of over the centuries.

Though a humourous take, Epic Rap Battles of History's parody hints at differences of how different people may view July 4th

Lost in the Grey

The meaning of this day is important because no one knows what that meaning is or should be anymore. In a time where a presidential race is between two people that many Americans find neither desirable or are sharply polarized, and where the struggle for equality and diversity still continues in light of cop killings and economic disparity, Independence Day seems something of a sick joke.

We were raised that America was founded as a nation of aspiring ideals, equal rights for all people that soldiers died for. Then we were educated just how flawed those origins were with racism, war, slavery, and land stealing to name a few ‘discrepancies’. Yet somehow, we still held on to the optimism that things can be better, even when you had to fight for it. Therefore July 4th isn’t so much a date that is polarized in our population, as much as it is a duality that our nation has existed with since the beginning.

Chasing a Ghost Made Flesh

When an ideology, art piece, or creation is discussed and made into something material, it takes the form of the creators who shaped it. Their hopes, dreams, flaws and prejudices, all make it into the marble statue, with some features more obvious than others at certain times. However, like how George Lucas discovered with Starwars, sometimes the creation can take a life of its own.

It transcends the original limitations of the ideals set by the creator and evolves into something more: something that becomes separated from the creators’ flaws and prejudices and that literally changes shape with each generation that is born into it. This is the true story of Independence Day and America as well. Donald Trump likes to say “Make America great again”, and to be sure we have had our great moments in certain areas. But it was always cracked. Someone always suffered, paid the tab for that greatness.

James Earl Jones reading Frederick Douglass’s famous 1852 Independence Day address in Rochester, New York

Keeping the Faith

Normally this enough to make one lose faith and either cynically settle on not changing anything, or move on to something or someplace better that wasn’t as hypocritical. This hasn’t happened to America, at least not yet. In spite of our hypocrisy, the hypocrisy of the Fourth of July, no matter what our individual paths are, we still see the light of the ideals as something worth striving for because we see it not as a fantasy but a possibility

So the Fourth of July will remain conflicted for us for a long time, and it should to honor all those who suffered the injustices. However it will also be a day worth celebrating, because it’s not the celebration of a flawed nation as much as it is the celebration of what that flawed nation, and maybe the world by proxy, aspires to be one day.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)