4th of July — Not Quite the Same as it Used to Be for So Many of Us

Shirley Ann Parker
8 min readJul 17, 2020
The United States flag flying in a field of corn with clouds and a setting sun
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

When I first became a U. S. citizen, I was so proud of this land. Yet as the years have gone by, I’ve discovered that citizenship classes only taught what “they” wanted me to know, and probably still do. The real history of this nation is quite messy. It has been multi-dimensional, hypocritical, and frequently cruel. It is still unkind, disrespectful of Constitutional rights, and even brutal for too many residents.

A powerful sense of betrayal permeates the way things actually are, as opposed to how they’re supposed to be, or even how some think they are. It is disheartening. When we no longer welcome the huddled masses yearning to be free, as Jewish poet (born in New York City) Emma Lazarus wrote, it makes it much more difficult to be proud.

You Discover the Truth in Various Ways

First, you learn by your own experience with discrimination, even when you’re White and legally here. I can’t begin to understand the fierce anger of the Black or Latinx community. But even when you’re White and a legal immigrant, you get treated like dirt in so many ways, too many times by Yankees who are only 1 or 2 generations away from being immigrants themselves. How quickly people forget their own roots!

As soon as people hear your accent or find out where you’re from, you get told you shouldn’t be taking jobs away from those who were born here. And when you ask for service, those same people pretend they can’t understand what you’re saying and turn to other customers.

I’d like to see a show of hands from all those American Whites who think they would love to be a nanny, and then spend most of their time cleaning house and scrubbing toilets instead! All while working for a couple of psychos in the middle of getting a divorce, which the agency didn’t bother to tell you. (The same agency didn’t bother to pick you up at the Philadelphia (PHL) airport until 10 minutes before specific terminals shut down for the night, causing consternation all around.)

If you were my Canadian co-worker, you were ostracized by most of “the team” for declining to purchase U.S. Savings Bonds out of our meager phone company pay.

Shirley Ann Parker

UK emigrant to USA. Interests: Wildlife, people, mental health, religion. Help me tear down society’s abuses. https://shirleyannparker.medium.com/membership