I'm proud to thank the Founding Fathers for their sacrifices and daring in establishing the United States of America, but I'm also proud to thank the Founding Mothers who supported those sacrifices and kept the home fires burning while they were gone.
Until we learn to confront the good, the bad and the downright absurd, we will keep having the same stale, worn out, going nowhere conversations.
It was an honor to present at last week's Mission Transition summit in Washington, D.C., alongside President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush. I joined decision-makers from every sector and industry to discuss the transition process for post-9/11 veterans and military families. And I have to say, I am encouraged by what I saw.
We will change the world only when we recognize that all that we do as individuals, all our technology, all our interconnectedness are meaningless unless we apply them to the whole.
In the middle of the terrace barbecue, I was thinking about Alice, Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson Airplane, and the White Rabbit, all marching to the tune of their own inner fife and drummers. All in the name of Independence.
There has to be a way we can do what needs doing, to shine a light on the problems and injustices in our country, while still publicly embracing a commitment to the whole country, the whole community.
We've just enjoyed Independence Day in the nation's capital, a day when thousands of Americans came to the District of Columbia to celebrate the great freedoms claimed in the Declaration of Independence.
We need a new declaration of independence. FDR took a stab at this, with his "Four Freedoms." That's a good start. But now, eight decades later, we need to declare our independence from other forms of oppression.
I am usually down for the family get-togethers, followed by fireworks and more get-togethers, but I just cannot get with the program this year. I love a good time, but after the series of events that show a blatant disregard for my race, I am not in a celebratory mood.
On July 4, 1776, the United States declared independence from Britain and a vigorous new democracy was born. This year, we celebrate our 239th birthday, and our Founding Fathers are probably doing somersaults from the grave and sputtering in wonderment, "Who knew?"
White supremacy asks us, on the Fourth, to consider ourselves one American people. But this too is an injustice, because it asks many to forget the ways in which the promise of America never applied to them and still remains largely incomplete. Perpetuating the myth of American independence, while it doesn't fully apply to all, cannibalizes the very hope of full emancipation and real equality.
One number: 22. That's all it took to transform Ellen Goosenberg Kent from a filmmaker to a woman on a mission. "When I heard that 22 veterans are killing themselves every day, I thought: This is outrageous. That's almost one every hour. I had to do something," she said.
With the 2016 Election season underway, the swirl of candidates and campaigns is drawing us into a discussion. Behind the talking points and slogans, what's on display is not just leaders or leadership styles, but underlying worldviews.
The American Experiment itself is an idea as much as it is a national experience. It is an idea that transcends place and provides a baseline on the macro level for the ideology of a country, as well as on a micro level for the life of an individual.
As we contemplate our present and future around the 239th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, are we being myopic? Is our politics focused mainly on marginalia while real change, big change, is being prepped elsewhere?