This year the Fourth of July finds me disheartened. None of our customary Fourth of July practices are being observed. There is no Sauganash Fourth of July parade. Our neighbors aren’t hosting their annual post-parade brunch. Chicago has cancelled its fireworks display on the lakeshore.
People are afraid of COVID-19. Many have lost their jobs due to the lockdowns or due to the self-quarantines or both. Many who haven’t lost their jobs are afraid of losing their jobs.
People are afraid of the violence in the streets. Businesses just struggling to re-open following the lockdowns were destroyed in the riots and looting.
People are tearing down statues. I will shed no tears for Confederate officers or politicians but those tearing down or defacing statues are casting a wider net. In addition to Confederate generals and politicians statues of Columbus, Junipero Serra, Ulysses S. Grant, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln have been targeted.
I don’t see a spirit of reform abroad in the land or even a spirit of Marxism as some have claimed. What I see is nihilism.
The murders on Chicago’s South and West Sides are proceeding on schedule. So far 8 have been killed and 25 wounded.