Get on your bike and go look for him! She said. 

With a grunt, I got on my bike and waited inside the garage to go get my brother who went biking. The garage door rises half way up, and…

BOOM! I hear a loud sound that startles me. I’m struck back.

The garage door opens up, I hear a loud rise in laughter and see a huge crowd of people in beach chairs, on the ground, and lined up in cars in front of my house and around the curb, waiting for the firework show to begin. That’s when I remembered it was July 4th, “Independence Day”. The question was, for who?

All those individuals sitting and waiting to celebrate their independence, without social distancing or wearing masks, had no concern for others’ freedom. This negligence is what has brought our nation to a disaster where 5,443 deaths have occurred in the United States according to the CDC (Coronavirus Disease). Yet, with Texas having a 13.1% positive testing rate and the possibility of Houston hospitals reaching full capacity in two weeks, we see individuals IN HOUSTON having gatherings, like the ones in front of my house, to “celebrate” the great state our nation is in. A white man yelled “Ya America” with pride, obviously for all the great things America has given to all its citizens and immigrants. I mean, why should you care about others’ safety when you’re independent and can celebrate, so Happy Independence Day. 

While we’re all celebrating our independence, it turns out police and privileged people aren’t the only ones discriminating against minorities and killing black people for no reason, but so is the coronavirus. The disease does not know the difference between a white, brown, or black person, but we do. We have put black people in the position where they are bound to have shorter life expectancies, privileges, and safe circumstances to live in. From current data, it has been seen that majority-black counties have had three times the rate of infections as communities with a white majority. As a society, we’ve already ostracized black people into situations where they’re forced to work low-income jobs, can’t afford proper healthcare, and live in rural counties (Thebault). People like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are the three people we’ve been hearing about for the past three months, in examples of black people who have been atrociously killed. But there’s many more, like Botham Jean who was simply shot for eating ice cream on HIS SOFA in HIS HOUSE because a police believed he was in her house, like Alton Sterling who was pinned down, tasered, and shot six times for making his living from selling DVDs, and Stephon Clark who was holding his phone in his grandma’s backyard but was shot 20 TIMES because the police “believed” he had a gun (Jazeera). But again, why should you care about others when you’re free and having fun, so Happy Independence Day. 

In this nation of freedom and liberty, other minorities find difficulty in calling America home for all the brutal atrocities that take place against them everyday and individuals like me, an American born of South Asian descent, we see a life of opportunity but a struggle of identity our whole lives where we aren’t American or Indian, we don’t fit in here or there, we’re told to go home to our country, but where is that? We’re given a “happy life” and privileges but we’re placed in a cage with no address on it because no place can really serve as our home. Either you’re white washed or a FOB (“fresh off the boat”: a derogatory phrase used to describe immigrant individuals from their native countries, who haven’t assimilated into the host country’s culture) or an alien, and you have no sense of patriotism for any country. But again, why should you care about others when you have a place to call home and you’re not seen as an alien, so Happy Independence Day. 

For all those who celebrated Independence Day and said “Happy” Independence Day, this year was not the year for it. Independence is when a nation as a whole gains freedom of expression and discrimination. A day yet to come in the far future. 

“Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Children – United States, February 12–April 2, 2020.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9 Apr. 2020, Editors. “Fourth of July – Independence Day.”, A&E Television Networks, 16 Dec. 2009,

Jazeera, Al. “Know Their Names: Black People Killed by the Police in the US.” Al Jazeera Interactives,

Newburger, Emma. “’The Growth Is Exponential’ – Florida and Texas Report Surge of Coronavirus Cases over Fourth of July.” CNBC, CNBC, 5 July 2020,

Thebault, Reis, et al. “The Coronavirus Is Infecting and Killing Black Americans at an Alarmingly High Rate.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 7 Apr. 2020,

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