Williams' Statement On The Commemoration Of Independence Day

July 4th, 2022

Press Release

“The Fourth of July, Independence Day, celebrates America’s founding as a nation, and the principles it was meant to be founded upon. Equality, justice, and liberty for all are values worth celebrating, but ones we have yet to truly, fully realize in our country, nearly 250 years after they were proclaimed with its independence.

“We should not let these founding ideals be co-opted for an antithetical agenda. Freedom includes freedom from preventable violence, freedom to have a safe and affordable place to live, freedom to exercise bodily autonomy, freedom to be who you are and love without fear, freedom to drink clean water and breathe clean air. Valuing independence does not mean failing to support and uplift one another in times of struggle.

“To be American – to fight tirelessly to make America a better home for all within its borders and a better ally for those who need it – is to live with the constant tension of what our country is, what it has been, and still see and aspire to a greater, fuller, more equal future.

“It can feel strange to celebrate today in a time of such pain and struggle, as so many institutions relentlessly attack our rights and our freedoms, as too much of Frederick Douglass’ ‘What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?’ is still applicable. Rather than jubilation at where this nation is or has come from, I choose today to commit to pushing forward and preventing regression. To make America’s practice live up to the promise, a promise that brought my mother to this country on this date over fifty years ago, and which we still pursue today.”

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