A neighbor illustrated the problem with the Fourth of July. He broke out a new bumper sticker for his car just in time for the annual celebration. The sticker promoted the US Navy with the slogan, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of all those who oppose us.” This twisted take on the spirit of the day is a perfect illustration of the worst American chauvinism that often pushes leftists and other progressives away from the holiday. However, as historians such as Howard Zinn have demonstrated, there are alternatives – there is a counter-narrative to American history that represents ordinary people. The Fourth of July is the perfect opportunity to discover it.
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Billy Wharton is a writer, activist and the editor of the Socialist WebZine. His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the NYC Indypendent, Spectrezine and the Monthly Review Zine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Become a FAN on Facebook.