Today is the Fourth of July — a day of celebration and remembrance.
We celebrate our independence. We celebrate liberty and self-determination. We celebrate the importance we place in certain fundamental rights, like freedom from tyranny — from unreasonable conduct by the government against its people.
And we remember. We remember the sacrifices made and the lives lost to secure our freedoms. We remember that many people, including Indigenous Peoples and slaves, did not reap the benefits of those fights. And we remember that the fight for the ideals of this country is not over.
This Fourth of July, we also commemorate the one-year anniversary of the death of Summer Taylor. Last year, Summer joined thousands of people standing up for the very same ideals embodied by our Declaration of Independence. Summer protested against the systemic racism and bigotry infesting our police, our institutions, and our society as a whole. They proudly proclaimed that Black Lives Matter. That LGBTQIA rights are human rights. And while doing this, Summer tragically lost their life.
Rest In Power, Summer.