Darren Walker: The Declaration of Independence we celebrate on July 4 was not merely the expression of one’s right to protest—it was the exercise of that right.
Published in Medium | July 3, 2017
To celebrate July fourth, let us remember why protest is patriotic
By Darren Walker
Our country was founded as an act of bold resistance. The Declaration of Independence we celebrate on July Fourth was not merely the expression of one’s right to protest—it was the exercise of that right.
Last month, on a visit to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, I found myself reflecting on the meaning of Independence Day. This national holiday celebrates the vision and values that Jefferson imbued into America’s founding charter, along with the defiant act of protest that gave the charter its meaning.
The idyllic grounds were a fitting home for the statesman who boldly affirmed those self-evident truths: that all human beings are endowed with certain unalienable rights; that government is constituted to protect these rights; and that government derives its “just powers” from the “consent” of those it governs.
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