America -- becoming who we are
But the fact is, there's a lot to celebrate on this 239th anniversary. Consider the extension of equal marriage rights to gay people coast-to-coast, the upholding of ACA subsidies that allowed millions to keep health insurance they would otherwise have lost, and the long-overdue turn against the Confederate flag which has flown as an insulting symbol of racism and willful twisting of history for decades.
A few other less-noted rulings also deserve mention. Arizona's independent commission to draw Congressional districts was upheld against Republican efforts to bring redistricting back under political control -- a rebuff to the gerrymandering which has given them a House majority despite their candidates receiving fewer votes than ours overall. New Texas rules which would have closed more than half the abortion clinics in that state have been blocked, at least temporarily. And Oklahoma's state supreme court ordered the removal of a Ten Commandments monument which has long stood at the state capitol in flagrant defiance of the First Amendment.
In the space of about a week, our country took half-a-dozen steps of varying kinds in the direction of delivering on its promise -- life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for everyone. We're not there yet, and the march ahead will continue to face determined opposition -- but we are much further along now than we were in the middle of June. All Americans, especially those who have contributed to the fight in their own varied ways, should take pride in this.
Image at top: Artist Bree Newsome climbing the flagpole at the South Carolina capitol to tear that Confederate flag down has emerged as the iconic image of a week like no other. Her act and subsequent arrest perfectly exemplify the vital young future asserting itself against the dead hand of a fading and uncomprehending past.