The City of Orlando's email promoting a Fourth of July fireworks display set off fireworks of its own with a sour jape:
“A lot of people probably don’t want to celebrate our nation right now, and we can’t blame them. When there is so much division, hate and unrest, why on earth would you want to have a party celebrating any of it?” the email began.
The official release continued, saying “in all seriousness” that fireworks are great fun anyway. “Yes, America is in strife right now,” it reads. “But you know what…we already bought the fireworks.”
People objected, including the police union, and the city apologized.
In Denver, the Democratic Socialists of America announced a flag burning for the Fourth, because "a country built on genocide & slavery does not deserve to be celebrated." The DSA also apologized, but only for not considering the environmental impact of flag burning.
Declaring contempt for the United States of America is not a winning political message, in my opinion.
I don't think Americans are as divided as the pundits say. There are wackos on the left and right and a whole lot of people in the middle who'd like to find compromises and solve problems.
Sixty-five percent of Americans are "extremely" or "very" proud to be Americans, according to a new Gallup poll, with 22 percent "moderately" and 9 percent "only a little" proud. That leaves 4 percent as "not at all" proud, and I'd bet most of them aren't planning a flag burning.
Update: A rooftop gunman has killed "at least" six people at the Fourth of July parade in my hometown, Highland Park, Illinois. Dozens more are injured. I remember watching that parade 60-ish years ago with my family from just about that spot.