I know many of us aren’t feeling particularly celebratory at this moment.
The last few weeks have been a dark time for our country. In recent days, a majority of Supreme Court Justices have shown they do not care if women die without reproductive health care, if our streets are flooded with deadly weapons, or if our planet is made unlivable by the climate crisis. I am sickened by the direction this Supreme Court is taking America, as enabled by the former President Trump and his allies, who among other things were responsible for the attempted coup on January 6th.
On this Fourth of July, I have been thinking about what patriotism means, and am drawn to the idea – as old as our country – that protest is patriotic. As the Supreme Court continues to implement its radical right-wing agenda, it’s essential that we organize – from the streets to the courtrooms – to defend our rights against those who would subvert them. Democracy is not a spectator sport.
Protest feels even more relevant as we just finished Pride Month. Five decades ago, the first Pride events commemorated protests, including the Stonewall Uprising and the Compton’s Cafeteria Riot. Last week, I marched in the San Francisco Pride Parade, along with the Dusty Rhino and members of our City Attorney’s Office who led the legal battles for marriage equality. Pride this year was both a celebration of diversity and inclusion as well as a re-commitment to the fight for justice that we need to show up for right now.
Working as a united front and fighting for our shared values are the most patriotic things we can do at this time. We’re going to fight for reproductive rights. We’re going to fight for our LGBTQ+ community. We’re going to fight for the environment. We’re going to fight so that our nation makes good on the promise of equal justice for all.