Ah, Independence Day. The one day of the year that we Americans get to forget about this country’s severe obesity problem and call ourselves “the best” without being judged.
We do actually have a lot to celebrate lately. Just last week, Obamacare was reaffirmed to be the law of the land, Confederate flags frayed by the second, and we saw same-sex marriage become legal in all 50 states. CNN called it “the week that changed the nation.”
On top of all that progression, our first Black president sang “Amazing Grace” on live TV in front of a Black congregation… and for the first time I experienced a flashback of my (few) times at church that I didn’t at all dislike.
This past week had me feeling #blessed. But with that said, it’s important that we recognize there’s room for improvement if we want to truly own our title of #1 country in the world. Here, have a look at these celebrities who just happen to have July 4th birthdays, and you’ll start to see what I mean.
These celebrity births are an obvious metaphor for America’s triumphs and pitfalls. Let’s start off on a positive note. Today is a holiday, after all.
1. Malia Obama
An obvious symbol of power and grace. Her father’s election as president represents one of the most momentous and progressive moments in our country’s history. Fifty years ago, people would have laughed at the thought of a Black man leading this country, and yet it happened. And we chose for it to happen. That’s definitely something to celebrate.
2. Bill Withers
We know one thing for sure, America’s got soul. This iconic soul singer is a testament to that. The “Ain’t No Sunshine” artist helped give soul music its name, winning a Grammy for Best R&B Song in 1972 and selling over a million copies for his first hit. He continued to “wow” Americans with his music when he released “Lean On Me” later that year, his second gold single that made more than three million in sales.
3. Calvin Coolidge
Not to be confused with Calvin Harris. Coolidge was another example of our country’s dedication to politics. Only this guy was, hold your breath… a Republican. Coolidge’s response to the Boston Police Strike in 1919 gave him an irreversible rep as a man of decisive action, which could arguably be a metaphor for America’s tendency to make big, controversial decisions fast.
4. Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino
A representation of the less sophisticated and more unfortunate aspects of America, a symbol of the country’s superficiality. There simply is not enough “GTL” in the world to save this Jersey Shore reality star from his own narcissism. And let’s not forget about his alleged tax evasion and fraud… We’re sure he’s “proud to be an American,” but we might not be always proud to have to call him one.
5. Fredo Santana
We had to end with one rapper (I mean, you are reading Global Grind right now). The Chicago musician is famous in the trap music scene and also managed to open up a studio while pursuing his own career in music. Fredo Santana proved he could take on more than one project at a time, kind of like the good ol’ U.S. of A.
So yes, America has a lot to be proud of. And hey, why not celebrate all we’ve accomplished? But perhaps consider putting down your ice-cold Corona at some point today to think about just how fortunate we really are. I’m just sayin’, we still have a few situations to take care of… if you catch my drift. Happy 4th of July America, I’d say you’re a 9, but with just a little work, we can make you a solid 10 just in time for next July.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty