My old Fourth of July post holds up surprising well…

I was feeling a little nostalgic this morning, thinking about how, this year, there would be no Ypsilanti Fourth of July parade. So I decided to look through the archive and see what I’d said about the parade in the past. Following is one of my posts from a few years ago. I’m curious to know how you think it holds up…

This morning, the family and I checked out the the Fourth of July parade in downtown Ypsilanti. And, as always, I was struck by the how delightfully bonkers it all was. From the evangelical puppetry to the elderly ladies taking turns behind the Jeep-mounted M60 machine gun, like they’d just rolled off the set of Rat Patrol, it was a non-stop reminder of just how amazingly quirky this little community of ours is… But maybe the same is true of all small towns across America. Maybe everyone has parades where chanting Hare Krishnas follow cross-fit enthusiasts struggling to pull weighted sleds down the street in 95-degree heat. I’ve got to think, however, that our annual parade… the oldest Fourth of July parade in the entire state of Michigan… is just a little bit weirder.

I know it’s probably irresponsible to draw conclusions from two photos, but I can’t help but think, looking at these two images side by side, that the end might be near for the aging, stark-white Republican Party.

In their defense, though, if Alex Jones hadn’t let the world know about Democratic plans for a 4th of July massacre, I suspect the Washtenaw Republicans could have probably turned out several more members. It’s also worth noting that this was not the only conservative group in the parade. Patrick “there’s no such thing as racism” Colbeck had a float with a few sad old men sitting in the shade of a Gasden flag. And there were, of course, vocal anti-abortion activists.

None of that stuff, though, made a lasting impression. None of it got to the heart of what Ypsilanti’s Fourth of July parade is all about, which, this year, I think was best embodied by the talented young men of the band Impulse.

And, with that, I’d like to share something that I’d written several years ago, way back before the dawning of the Trump era. While I think, if I were to write about the Fourth of July today, and what it means to me, it would be quite a bit different, there’s still a lot here that I stand by today… most notably that the Republicans do not own the idea of patriotism just because they wave the biggest flags and claim to love this country of ours more.

In spite of the warrantless phone tapping, the daily drone strikes, and the fact that wealth is rapidly concentrating in the hands of just a few, I actually love America. For all of its flaws, I think we’ve created something truly unique and beautiful here… something worth fighting for. It’s an extremely fragile thing, this nation of ours, and I don’t know how long we’ll be able to manage it, but it’s awesome that, for generations, we’ve been a beacon for fairness and equality, and I truly appreciate that. And I’m happy to have been given an opportunity to raise my family here. We may not always live up to the promise, but, for the most part, we do the right thing when it matters, and we continue to move forward. With that said, though, I’m not terribly keen on blind patriotism, and the belief that we were somehow singled out by God for greatness.

What we’ve been able to achieve isn’t thanks to God having chosen us. It’s thanks to the men who risked their lives to sign the Declaration of Independence. It’s thanks to the suffragettes who went on hunger strikes to secure the vote for women. It’s thanks to the young black men and women who sat down at segregated lunch counters and refused to leave. And it’s thanks to the millions who gave up everything they had in other countries in order to come here and be a part of this great American experiment.

I’m reminded of a comment made several years ago by historian Howard Zinn, the author of A People’s History of the United States. “On this July 4,” he said, “we would do well to renounce nationalism and all its symbols: its flags, its pledges of allegiance, its anthems, its insistence in song that God must single out America to be blessed.”

The belief that your country is somehow inherently better than every other country on the globe because God somehow favors us is dangerous, and it’s a disservice to all those great Americans who gave their lives to ensure that we remain a representative democracy dedicated to equality and the protection of individual rights. A true patriot, in my opinion, is someone who is constantly questioning his or her country, and demanding that we stay true to the belief that all people are created equal, not just those of us who wave flags and wear t-shirts declaring our patriotism.

And, it’s with that in mind, that I pass along the following quote from abolitionist Frederick Douglass, spoken 154 years ago today, on July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York.


“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.”

Those, to me, are the words of a true patriot.

And today, as we celebrate our nation’s founding, this is why I’m thinking of the men and women fighting to get the money out of politics and end corporate personhood more than I am about parades, flags and fireworks. That’s what true patriotism looks like…

And I know I’ve said it before, and I’ve never followed through, but I’d like to have a float in next year’s parade.

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  1. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I told you not to play with fire.

  2. Wobblie
    Posted July 4, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, back when my daughter was is as in band we would build the homecoming float in our backyard. If you want to have a float, you can use my backyard.

  3. John Brown
    Posted July 5, 2020 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    There was good 4th of July parade at Stone Mt Georgia yesterday. 500-1000 heavily gunned up #blackmilitia marched demanding the carvings of the treasonous war criminals be removed from the State Park. Now that is patriotic.

  4. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 5, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    The race war you called for is heating up but here you are cheering from the sidelines. John Brown: The Cowardly Instigator! With capital letters, that’s your title now.

  5. Wobblie
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Aloha Lynne, you know how doltish I can be. Help me understand why the war and subsequent famine in Yemen is bad ( bi-partisan resolution against US continued involvement) while our war in Afghanistan is good.

  6. Lynne
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    wobblie, admittedly I am not an expert on these things but since you are not either, there we go. As I see it, we have less of a moral obligation to Yemen because we didn’t invade them or cause their instability. We probably should have stayed out of it altogether as it is a civil war and my guess is that we only got involved as an ally to Saudi Arabia. I don’t think our presence there is helping nor will our withdrawal hurt.

    In Afghanistan though, we went in there and took over. Our presence there is creating stability but also protecting the human rights of many. If we leave, things will become very unstable. Since that is of our making, we need to ensure at the very least stability before we withdraw. Since we are there though I am not sure we can withdraw ethically if the stability that might be left comes from a regime that is so harmful to women. One solution though would be to allow any oppressed groups to immigrate to the USA.

  7. John Brown
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Hysterical Whimperer, if you were to ask George Floyd, or Aura Rosser they’d tell you that there’s been a race war going on for 400 fucking years. And that their side is tired of fighting with both hands cable tied behind their back. Seems like #NFAC is just doing everyone a favor by reminding you and yours of the implications of a race war with actual parity.

  8. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Only idiots can’t accept that whites and blacks are both killed by police about at about the rate they commit crimes. That’s not indicative of a race war.

  9. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Perry Floyd was a piece of shit so why would his opinion matter? Someone who forces his way in and terrorizes women in their home? That’s your fuckin’ martyr? Fuck you.

  10. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Frederick Douglass got his shit torn down by the Red Guard. Holding up unsurprisingly not well at all.

  11. Lynne
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    I would suggest to HW that he stop listening to White Supremacist propaganda but I know it is futile. Pity.

  12. Wobblie
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, a Republican Sheriff doing the right thing

  13. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    That’s some race-baiting propaganda you read there.. The black woman tried to keep her from leaving and threatened to beat her ass. The white woman tried to de-escalate whatever problem the black woman had (she said she “violated a fifteen year old”) but she wouldn’t stop threatening her. It’s self-defense and it would be the same if their colors were reversed.

  14. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    “White Supremacist propaganda”

    Referring to what?

  15. Wobblie
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Aloha the Washtenaw Street Survival Guide has just been published by the Washtenaw General Defense Committee and the Mutual Aid Network of Ypsilanti. A resource guide for the expected surge in evictions.

  16. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

  17. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    I posted that for you Wobblie. It appears the woman was being blocked from entering her car. It appears that the car was being intentionally blocked from exiting. The women who appeared to intentionally block the car also appeared to smack the car. IMO the woman should not have pulled out a gun. Can you admit that the women should not have been harassing and impeding the path of the woman trying to de-escalate the situation and exit the situation?

    Every time you guys fail to call out bad and illegal behavior, for what it is , you just support the conditions that create these kinds of circumstances where crazy shit can happen. Fix it. Do better.

    An 8 year old was killed yesterday near the Wendy’s—-in part because you loser-cowards can’t speak up for what is right and call out what is wrong.

  18. Lynne
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    HW, I am just assuming that you are too dumb to come up with all the racist ideas you keep saying here on your own. I figure you must be getting those ideas from some white supremacist source. I don’t know who you mean by Red Guard (do you mean the communist Chinese movement?) but I am fairly confident that they did not get “his shit torn down” by anyone except to those who are pretty deep white supremacists.

  19. Lynne
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    I think people speak up about what is wrong quite a lot. It is wrong to pull a gun on another even if they are being obnoxious. It is appropriate that she was charged. She will have a chance to make her case in court and when she does she can be assured that the courts tend to be biased in favor of white women.

  20. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Nothing racist about being real. For some reason the reality that a group that comprises 6% of the population has people that commit 42% of the murders can’t get through. A 700% over-representation.

    I don’t make anyone else responsible for the murders other than the murderers theirselves. The fact remains that a lot of black people be out there WILDING OUT relative to other groups. I think any honest person can admit that.

  21. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    I agree it is wrong to pull a gun. I would not have done it. Is it accurate to say the woman and daughter are harassing, impeding their movement, and threading the couple? If yes, then why not say it is wrong?

  22. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    “HW, I am just assuming that you are too dumb to come up with all the racist ideas you keep saying here on your own. I figure you must be getting those ideas from some white supremacist source. I don’t know who you mean by Red Guard (do you mean the communist Chinese movement?) but I am fairly confident that they did not get “his shit torn down” by anyone except to those who are pretty deep white supremacists.”

    You fucking moron. It was torn down by leftist goons AKA The New Red Guard. It’s exactly what they did in the China’s Cultural Revolution. They are tearing everything down now just like back then. Anything historic was/is being destroyed.

  23. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 8:21 pm | Permalink


  24. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    White supremacist site did cover it. You were right:

  25. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink


    My understanding is it is not known yet who tore down the Fredrick Douglass statue. We do have evidence that leftists tore down/vandalized Grant, Col. Hans Christian Heg, and Cervantes correct? If yes, then what makes you so certain the same sort of idiots did not pull down Douglass?

    Regardless of the group affiliation and the statue it is wrong to deface public art correct? We need to follow democratic processes if we want to destroy public property correct?

  26. Lynne
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Oh my bad. I thought you were saying that you thought some group discredited Frederick Douglass’s words and that you were being figurative when you said “torn down”.

    I don’t believe that anyone knows who tore the statue down. It could have been leftists who somehow are ignorant of history I suppose. There are reasons to remove statues to be sure and while I agree generally that it is better to do such things following a democratic process, the issue there is that it was a democratic process that got the statues erected in the first place. Democracy does not always result in acceptable outcomes. Some of those statues, such as those who honor the slave-owning traitors that brought our nation to civil war, are so egregious that I can’t blame an oppressed people for tearing them down, especially after the democratic process has failed them.

  27. Wobblie
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Aloha privileged Americans treated like criminals when trying ti sneak into Italy

  28. Lynne
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Was it a white supremacist site that told you that some New Red Guard toppled the statue?You are way too gullible, HW

  29. Lynne
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    wobblie, that reminds of a little joke making it’s way around the web.

    What do they call ‘Karens’ in Europe?


  30. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    They tore down an elk statue off a hundred year old horse-watering fountain. They wanted the Emancipation statue torn down. To think just a handful of jerks can go around wiping out everything historic all of a sudden; it’s incredible.

  31. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    No one told me shit and I don’t read “white supremacist sites”. There is an obvious parallel between what was happening then and now. Anyone who knows about it at all should be able to understand that.

  32. Wobblie
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Aloha Florida creating conditions for total chaos by November mandating schools open for in person teaching next month.

  33. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 6, 2020 at 10:13 pm | Permalink


    Did you watch the full video? Do you still think the woman should be charged with a felony? Do you think the black family should face charges for their harassment, threats, and impeding the movement of the white family?

  34. Wobblie
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Aloha FF
    Oh my— In Florida, 43 hospital ICU’s in 21 counties have hit capacity and show zero ICU beds available, including in Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough and Orange Counties, according to data released by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).

  35. Anonymous
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Aloha Wobblie,

    Outpatient COVID NP swab tests are noticeably increasing as of this past weekend, indicating that clinical suspicion of infection is also rising in SE Michigan. For now, the majority of the positive patients have been younger as compared to March, and have not needed to be hospitalized. I expect that as they carry the infection into the general community that there will be a delayed rise in hospitalization, and that we will also be pretty busy by August with the same types of patients we had earlier. In addition, we’ll be in good company with the rest of the lower peninsula. Get your personal N95 masks while you still can on the open market.

  36. Lynne
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    HW, so what are you saying? That you come up with your white supremacist nonsense all on your own? I don’t buy it,. You aren’t what anyone would call a thinker. You already buy into that Q stuff but what else?

  37. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    In what reality could what I said be considered white supremacist? What twisted rationale could possibly support that? Don’t try to tell me what I am, idiot. You must be one of the most corrosive elements in our little town with your slimy ways.

  38. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Lynne, in my opinion you are a not too bright scumbag.

    Not everyone is perfect but the vast majority of people are capable of living together in harmony. Thankfully people are starting to become aware of the defective spirits who are trying to execute a divisive agenda. You, Lynne, are obviously a lemon.

  39. Lynne
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    FF, that is why I am quite grateful that no one who matters takes your opinions seriously.

    So I just ran up to Rite Aid for a Rx and they are offering COVID testing!

  40. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Are you sure about that Cassandra? I don’t believe you.

  41. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Q nailed these derps to the fuckin’ WALL! Perfect description of what their “media” does and their own behavior as well.

    Jul 1 2020 11:44:18 (EST)

    Worth repeating.
    MSDNC pushes coordinated FAKE, FALSE, MISLEADING DISINFORMATION based on a biased [D] political viewpoint [controlled mouthpiece(s)].
    Blue checkmarks then defend and attack [target] opposing viewpoints using slander, aggression, suppression, group-think, etc. [suppression tactics].
    Non-blue checkmarks then defend and promote attacker(s) [blues] viewpoint(s) [leftwing ‘cult’] to instill echo_chamber wall-to-wall amplified narrative for each designated subject.
    Select [public discovery] topics are deemed and ranked in priority order [ranking determines use of assets [big-to-small]].
    [How to herd the sheep (you) 101]
    If you do not follow [remain in-line] with their political viewpoints you are deliberately made to feel in the minority [isolated] and inferior [using aggression-slander].
    [If majority thinks x then x must be true _projected false reality _minority projected as majority using news _ social media platforms to spotlight designated viewpoints [the ‘narrative’]].
    A public (person) that thinks for themselves [independent free-thought] is what they FEAR the most [loss of control].

  42. Lynne
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    FF, it is true! When I drove up to get my Rx, the guy asked me if I was there for a COVID test!

  43. Lynne
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    I find it fascinating that cults so often act as if THEY are the independent thinkers when it is so obvious to everyone else that they are cult followers and not thinking for themselves at all.

  44. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    I don’t believe you, Cassandra. You knew I was not doubting the existence of covid tests at Riteaid. You are a habitually dishonest person.

  45. Wobblie
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Aloha the MSM finally begins to cover how difficult it will be to ever have a vaccine —-the question is still open— does surviving a bout of the tRumpvirus provide immunity from future infection—wishful thinking ? We still know very little about the virus but the death cult says full speed ahead.

  46. Wobblie
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Aloha even the business press is beginning to understand just how stupid the death cult strategy is

  47. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Lynne, you goofball. When you say something like “it’s obvious to everyone else” or “noone takes you seriously” it’s ridiculous. What makes you think you speak for anyone? You speak for noone but yourself but somehow you are addicted to gaslighting about how everyone else sees that the person is crazy or a cultist or things like that. You are the cultist. You act like videos I’ve seen of scientologists harassing “SP’s” (Suppressive Persons.)

  48. Lynne
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    HW, yes yes, I should have qualified the remark by saying things like “it’s obvious to everyone else who has a brain” or “no one who matters takes you seriously”

    I don’t generally speak for others but sometimes I think it is ok to point out that others share a view especially if I post something that someone else has said that shows that it is not just me that holds a certain view.

    Regardless, neither you nor FF matter other than your votes count. Hopefully not enough to get Trump elected in November. I am growing increasingly tired of being part of a true shit-hole nation who cannot even handle something as apolitical as a pandemic without bringing out the bat shit crazy. Fuck anyone who isn’t wearing a mask. Fuck the police. and fuck guys like you two too! No one deserves a figurative kick in the balls more than you guys.

  49. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    You can’t kick me any way or how. There is no way. You have never scored once against me in any factual argument and I don’t consider your jeers (the vast majority of what you say) to be meaningful.

  50. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 7, 2020 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Another bullseye by Q

    Jul 1 2020 09:00:01 (EST)

    How do you demonstrate ‘reasonable cause’ to regulate and/or break up BIG TECH?
    What is the common theme/tactic of the LEFT?
    Define ‘Fascism’.
    Forcible suppression of opposition?
    Define ‘Censorship’.
    The institution, system, or practice of censoring?
    Define ‘Narrative’.
    A way of presenting or understanding a situation or series of events that reflects and promotes a particular point of view or set of values?
    Define ‘Projection’.
    The attribution of one’s own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects; especially : the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety?
    The forming of a plan : scheming?
    Define ‘Psychological Projection’.
    A theory in psychology in which the human ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others?
    Define ‘Narcissist’.
    A person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves: narcissists who think the world revolves around them | narcissists preening themselves in front of the mirror?
    Define ‘Dogma’.
    A point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds?
    Define ‘Aggression’.
    Forceful and sometimes overly assertive pursuit of one’s aims and interests?
    Define ‘Suppression’.
    The action of suppressing something such as an activity or publication?
    [Bonus Round]
    ‘Narcissists’ are renowned for using ‘psychological projection’ to blame other people, even when it is entirely apparent that they are the ones in the wrong.

  51. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Clean kill?

  52. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 12, 2020 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Although it is good the cops caught him. I still say Fuck The Police.

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