We Need July 4th!

I’m sure your asking yourself, why is a beauty blogger writing about the fourth of July? For me, that’s easy – because beauty at Amalie is more than how you look, it’s about character, your soul, how you live your life and how you connect to the world about you. I typically stray away from anything political but given the current state of the union I felt the need to share some thoughts on Independence Day.

More than likely, we all celebrated July 4th with a small gathering of family complete with a barbecue and fireworks and never once really thought about what the holiday means and how it relates to the unrest taking place in the US today. 

July 4th has been celebrated since 1776 when American was born. The first fireworks relating to the holiday occurred in Philadelphia in 1777. July 4th (Independence Day) is a US legal holiday celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence which happened on July 4,1776. The declaration was designed to declare the creation of a new country. The document effected and influenced numerous audiences. Our founding fathers intended it to rally the troops (13 colonies) with a shared goal, win foreign allies and confirm that the US was no longer tied to the United Kingdom.

The Declaration of Independence includes these four major ideas: 

  • All men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. … Among these rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
  • All Men are created equal. 
  • Individuals have a civic duty to defend these rights for themselves and others.
  • To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
  • It’s important to note that when the Declaration was written it actually only referred to free, white, land owning men. Women, slaves, and indentured servants were still not considered equal. One could argue that this goal for equality has still not been achieved.

I personally think our founding fathers had a righteous goal. That being said, all men are created equal is still not achieved. When people of color and women still make a fraction of what white men make for the same job. Black men make 81%, Native Americans & Hispanics 91%, Pacific Islanders 95% and Asian Americans 115% of their white counterparts. Women of all races are the big losers in the US!  White women make 82%, black women 65%, hispanic women 58%, asian women 87% of what their male counterparts make. When inequality in pay and conscious or subconscious bias is still prevalent living a “free and equal life” in the United States is still a struggle.The Black Lives Matter movement is the tip of the iceberg relative to the call for equality.

One of the most fundamental and important rights is the right to vote. 

It took 94 years before the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1870, enabled men of color the right to vote. The Fifteen Amendment states: ”The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

Once again, women (of all color) had to wait 144 years to fight and earn for the right to vote. Women didn’t receive the right to vote until 1920. 

The latest census is being tallied but early indications are that in younger populations white Americans are now the minority. We have finally become the true melting pot of culture and color as our forefathers planned. Historically, exercising freedom of speech through protest and debate have lead to major change and evolution. The recent protesting sent a strong message and we are living in a “moment” that may really change our destiny as a country. The next step is simple – we all need to have our voices heard through voting. Voting is an honor and privilege that our ancestors literally lost their lives for All of the sacrifice and struggle is useless if we don’t use our right to vote. Please be sure to register and vote.

If you haven’t registered here is a site that can help you. You can find details by state by looking here.

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Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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