by Monaco Schmidt

In today’s society, the word “privilege” carries a negative connotation. It is a common insult the left uses to degrade conservatives. However, we, as Americans all have a certain amount of “privilege” that others envy. As our nation celebrates its birthday on July 4th, Americans should take a moment to truly celebrate and recognize our remarkable privileges.

In order to acknowledge our privileges, we must first understand that privilege is defined as “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.” By accepting this as the definition, Americans are considered the particular group of people, and from the very beginning, our rights, advantages, and immunities were made available to us. The Founding Fathers established the Bill of Rights and acknowledged our inalienable rights through the Constitution. From the start, Americans were set apart as a privileged group of people.

Upon understanding how Americans are a privileged group, we must then celebrate our freedoms. We have the ability to do so by acting upon our rights. From free speech, to protests, to religion, American’s are able to pursue their happiness. Independence was established long ago, but it is something we benefit from daily. Thus, as a nation, we should recognize our freedom of opportunity and celebrate each and every day.

Although we utilize our liberties every day, on Independence Day, we should be especially proud of our free country. Dress in the red, white, and blue; attend events with fellow Americans; sing proudly about our country; and truly wish America a happy 241st birthday. Let your inner patriot shine through and boast about all the privilege we, as American citizens, have.

However, before the 4th of July celebrations are over, pause for a moment to remember our roots. First, think of those who maintain, uphold, and first established the freedoms we have. Then, thank those who have served and are currently serving to protect our privileges. Finally, reflect on the opportunity we have to chase and achieve the American Dream. Although we have a duty to be proud of our country, it is key for Americans to remain humble and thankful for our blessings that were established by our Founding Fathers and have been upheld by the bravest among us.

Privilege. It is not given by race, gender, or religion. It is a right, advantage, or immunity provided to American citizens at birth. These privileges were established over 241 years ago and are the foundation of this great country.

This July 4th, celebrate our American privilege, and the opportunities and liberties this privilege provides.

Monaco Schmidt is a 2017 CBLPI Summer Fellow