Celebrating “The 4th of July” on the eve of possible Trump presidency feels like doing one last round of shots when the room was already spinning. The American dream is turning out to be a delusional, drunken haze.
Instead, today I celebrate the 4th of July because my daughter, Estella, was born six years ago today. She, like so many children of her generation, is a manifestation of the hidden potential of America to one day become great.
She speaks Spanish and English and is the child of an immigrant parent. She describes her skin color as “cinnamon” and is beginning to understand the difference between skin color and race. She has grown up knowing people of many different genders and sexual orientations. Sometimes, she shouts “When Black lives are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back!” She loves to play with dolls and ponies, and also loves wrestling in the dirt and burping loudly. She loves ballet, Ghanaian dance, hip hop, and cumbia.
Estella is flawed like the rest of us but her flaws are not rooted in fear of difference. That is our unrealized potential as a country — the potential to convert fear of difference into a celebration of it, which would make us truly as great and powerful as our promise to the world is. And one day, I look forward to being able to celebrate America’s Fourth of July. Until then, I’ll celebrate Estella’s.