The Fourth of July: Nationalism and Colonialism


Voices from the Margins

Carol A. Hand

As the date of the quintessential celebration of colonial oppression for Indigenous Peoples in the U.S. approaches, signaled by load explosions in the night, an image from my childhood comes unbidden to mind – a child crouching, head bowed, eyes closed, hands tightly covering ears.

crouching child

Photo Credit: Carol A. Hand

I remember how much I disliked attending these events with my family, surrounded by crowds of people cheering and oohing and aahing in the local park as the symbolic missiles of war blossom like booming “fiery flowers” in the darkened evening sky. I didn’t know the deeper symbolism then for Indigenous Peoples, but the mindless and frenzied fascination of the crowd frightened me. I realize it still does. It brings to mind a story I wrote about my experiences in Missoula, Montana, during the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

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Mount Jumbo montanalandtrusts dot org

Photo Credit: http://www.montanalandtrusts.org/successes/

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2 thoughts on “The Fourth of July: Nationalism and Colonialism

  1. carolahand says:

    Thank you for reblogging this post, Barbara.

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