20 Ways Latinos Celebrate The Fourth Like Nobody Else

Happy Fourth of July, amigos. Independence Day is typically reserved for celebrating America’s freedom from colonial Britain, although we know it’s much more layered than that. Here is what a typical Independence Day celebration looks like for Latinos.

1. This year, we’re keeping up with old traditions (read: food), and throwing down the new administration.

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This weekend we marched. While it feels wrong to celebrate our freedom while so many are without, it’s better to be together. And you know the carne asada is going down no matter what.

2. Because you know your dad is geared tf up.

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He’s been wearing the same New Balances for the last ten years, and they only come out when it’s time to grill. Don’t even think about giving him a hard time for it–that is an unspeakable offense.

3. Don’t even think about making fun of his “protective eyewear.”

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He’s a sucker for all the sales and got a really good deal for it, OK? Let the man make you some carne asada..

4. Because Latinos are too good for hamburguesas and hot dogs.

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The churrasco situation is always lit. My family’s take on lechón asada was to just stick a whole baby pig on the grill and cook it for hours. Of course, that’s only after it has been marinating in sofrito overnight.

4. And your tía isn’t bringing string beans.

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Oh, and the potluck food that your tias and primos are bringing? It’s all croquetas y pasteles y tamales.

5. Three plantains per entry, por favor.

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Your family comes with a bag of ripe plantains to grill on the stove, mangos for the tajín and avocados from the backyard tree. Yeah. We know how to tostone and party.

6. If we’re being honest here, Latinos celebrate the 4th as an excuse to eat all this food.

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There’s a whole separate grill for the elote. Oh, and there’s only one grocery stop you need to make the weekend before.

7. Costco is the go-to place for all your holiday needs.

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Your mom always made you go to Costco with her the weekend before to get the Tajín, elotes, limes in bulk. Oh, and the tequila. Lots of tequila happening on the 4th of July.

8. Pero, dayum, it’s worth it.

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Once all the food is out, and you’ve got the whole land and sea on platters scattered around the yard, it’s time to feast. You can’t forget the mojo on the side, too.

9. But, before that can happen, tiene paciencia.

@5rodriguezJose / Twitter

We’re slow AF to get the grill going. Everyone arrives late, but so does the carne asada. ????

Caption: “When you’re starving and the charcoal can’t be ready fast enough”

10. Don’t even try to help with the grilling.

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Your dad has everything arranged in a very specific order, and if you let the smoke out, the food loses its flavor. Or something. It’s always something.  ???? Avoid the tongs to the face and just stick to cleaning.

11. And you only ever buy fireworks from the side of the road.

“July 4th holiday, a fireworks stand is open for business on the side of the road. American flags decorate the stand which boldly advertises TNT and Fireworks” Digital Image. Travel and Leisure. 3 July 2018.

Here’s why: your mother never planned to get fireworks because she worries too much, but when we saw those stands on the side of the road, the begging began. That is the one and only reason you ever had fireworks, and never anything too big, because somos fragíles.

12. And when you do set off the fireworks, su mama thinks its a gun.

“How Scary! Selena Gomez Mobbed by Paparazzi at LAX” Digital Image. Latina. 3 July 2018.

Cada vez. You know the worst part? Now do, too!  ????

13. The only helado allowed is shaped like a rocket:

Untitled. Digital Image. Bomb Pop. 3 July 2018.

All the kids’ lips are red and blue and zooming around like actual rocketships. At some point, your mom always whips out the hose and the backyard becomes a mini-waterpark.

14. You know every new citizen at the BBQ will be wearing stars and stripes.

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Usually, there’s at least one recent American citizen who is just glowing. The party is essentially for him or her and they know it. Here’s to hoping there will be more this year.

15. Your dog will be dressed to impress.

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I never said he’d be wearing American flags, too. Every 4th of July celebration is going to have your homeland’s flag waving, or, at the very least, securely fastened on the dog, pobrecito.

P.S.- That’s Eva Longoria’s dog! Que cute!

16. No matter whether you’re Mexican or not, there will be a piñata.

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My boricua mother stuffed our piñata with male thongs and tequila nips, while my Jamaican dad avoided the scene like the Pope avoids the gays. OK–there was some tamarindo in there, too, but we had to wait to eat it until after dessert.

17. Obviously, there will be all kinds of dessert, like flan.

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She makes it every year, and even though you stuffed your face with Bomb Pops, and secretly chowed on the tamarindo and Ring Pops, you still have to have a slice or risk hurting her feelings. And, honestly, you’re here for it.

18. Everyone gets super drunk.

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Maybe it’s the nips from the piñata or the Costco sized botellóns or the six packs of Modelo per person, but everyone gets lit.

19. The day always ends with cafecito.

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As soon as the Cafe Bustelo is out, you know it’s your mom’s way of saying that it’s time to go, fam. And time for you to start deep cleaning, because you know she was expecting you to clean as you go all day.

20. This year, how will you celebrate?

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In times like these, sometimes the best act of resistance is to find pockets of happiness with the people you love. So post your outrage on social media and then soak up every minute of carne asada con la familia.

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Protests Against ICE Detention Centers Reached New Heights As Airplanes Typed Messages In The Sky Across The U.S.

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Protests Against ICE Detention Centers Reached New Heights As Airplanes Typed Messages In The Sky Across The U.S.

A global pandemic is still gripping the United States – along with much of the world. But still many Americans headed outside over the long holiday weekend and, before the evening fireworks, were greeted by powerful anti-ICE messages written in the skies.

The skywriting campaign comes as much of the world’s attention is focused on Covid-19 and organizers hope to redirect some attention on the thousands of migrants who remain locked up in detention centers across the country.

Activists took to the skies at more than 80 sites across the country with a powerful message against U.S. immigration policy.

Over the July 4th weekend, two fleets of skytyping airplanes created artist-generated messages across the U.S. The fleet of aircraft targeted 80 different ICE detention facilities, immigration court houses, processing centers, and former internment camps. Written with water vapor, the messages are designed to be seen and read for miles.

Each message ended with #XMAP, which, when plugged into social media, directs users to an online interactive map that offers a view of the closest ICE facilities to the user.

Visitors to the event’s website are encouraged to donate to local funds like the Black Immigrant Bail Fund and join the #FreeThemAll campaign, which advocates for the release of detainees from crowded facilities, where social distancing is often impossible right now.

The ambitious project took a year to plan, and is one component of an artist-led protest against immigrant detention and America’s mass incarceration problem. With “In Plain Sight,” organizers are hoping to educate viewers—and to encourage the abolition of facilities such as these.

“I think the public is somewhat aware of what’s happening in detention centers—they’ve seen the images of kids in cages—but they don’t know the full scale,” said Cassils, in an interview with Quartz.

The team aimed to set a national record with its #XMAP campaign.

Credit: In Plain Sight

The artists reached out to the only skywriting company in the country (which owns the patent on skywriting) and learned that the largest campaign executed over U.S. soil involved about 80 sites and three fleets of planes. That established the project’s framework, and from there they went about the task of bringing on collaborators, many of whom have experiences with immigration and the detainment of oppressed minority groups.

The artists they tapped vary in age, gender identity, and nationality; some are formerly incarcerated, or are descended from the descendants of Holocaust survivors. Black, Japanese-American, First Nations and Indigenous perspectives are present, speaking to the historical intersections of xenophobia, migration, and incarceration.

The protests were seen throughout Southern California – from LA to San Diego.

Credit: In Plain Sight

In Southern California, the demonstration kicked off on the 4th of July at 9:30 a.m. above the Adelanto Detention Center, before traveling to downtown L.A., where 15-character messages will be left in the late morning airspace above immigration facilities, county and federal lockups and courthouses. The planes then traveled to the Arcadia and Pomona locations of internment camps where Japanese Americans where held prisoner during World War II.

Later in the afternoon, planes were seeing typing messages in the sky above the Terminal Island detention center, before traveling further south to Orange County and San Diego, where messages were left above courts and immigration offices.

The campaign also popped up in El Paso, TX, where a massacre last year left many Latinos dead.

Credit: In Plain Sight

Binational, El Paso-based artist Margarita Cabrera activated the El Paso-Juárez portion of the performance with her message “UPLIFT: NI UNX MAS” at the Bridge of the Americas.

“Uplift” refers to uplifting immigrant communities, as well as the border fence and other immigration detention facilities. “Ni unx más” was inspired by Mexican poet and activist Susana Chávez’s 1995 phrase “ni una muerta más,” or “not one more [woman] dead.” The phrase protests femicides in Mexico, particularly in Juárez. Cabrera used X to be gender-neutral. 

“This is a call to abolish this systematic violence and the incarceration and detention of our immigrants,” Cabrera told the El Paso Times. “We’re creating a sky activation, but we’re also grounding it with local events.”

Across the border in New Mexico, “ESTOY AQUI” and “SOBREVIVIRE” were respectively written over the Otero County Processing Center and Otero County Prison Facility. The messages draw from songs respectively by Shakira and Mexican pop star Monica Naranjo. Designed by artists Carlos Motta and Felipe Baeza, the full message, “I am here, I will survive,” is intended for both detainees and outside onlookers.

“We wanted to address those in the detention sites and acknowledge the fact that they are there, that we know they are there, and that they will be fine eventually even if their conditions are precarious and they are going through a difficult time right now,” Motta told the El Paso Times.

And in New York City, several major monuments became canvases for the activists’ message.

Credit: In Plain Sight

In New York City, the words “My pain is so big” were written over a detention center in downtown Brooklyn.

“To be human,” wappeared over Rikers Island and “Carlos Ernesto Escobar Mejia,” the name of the first immigrant to die from Covid-19 in detention was projected at the Statue of Liberty monument in Ellis Island.

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The Fourth Of July Parade Was Drenched In Rain And Everyone Was Worried About Trump’s Hair

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The Fourth Of July Parade Was Drenched In Rain And Everyone Was Worried About Trump’s Hair

Donald Trump came under fire for politicizing the US Independence Day celebrations, after ordering a large military parade through the nation’s capital city and delivering a speech of his own at the Lincoln Memorial. The US president has toyed with the idea of a grand show of arms since observing the 2017 Bastille Day celebration in Paris.

Trump’s demand to include tanks and military jets in the July 4 festivities this year breaks with tradition in Washington, where hundreds of thousands of people typically gather for a night of patriotic songs and fireworks broadcast on national television.

Despite the controversy, Trump went forward with his military-style 4th of July celebration.

Credit: @newsweek / Twitter

On a rainy Independence Day at the Lincoln Memorial, Donald Trump emceed his “Salute to America.” As promised, his speech largely eschewed politics, and instead found the president, positioned behind rain-streaked panels of bulletproof glass, sharing tales from the nation’s military history, highlighting accomplished Americans, and presiding over a display of weapons of war.

“We celebrate our history, our people, and the heroes who proudly defend our flag—the brave men and women of the United States Military,” said the president near the opening of his remarks. He thanked the leaders of the “Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines—and very soon the Space Force.”

And although he stayed out of politics, Trump still managed to make the event one we won’t soon forget.

During his remarks, Trump also told the stories of notable Americans in attendance, including a man who participated in civil rights sit-ins during the 1960s, and an Army veteran Catholic nun who served as a first responder at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks.

Though supporters packed the mall in front of the Lincoln Memorial, early reports of a scramble to secure VIP attendees were further confirmed by The New York Times. The paper reported that though Trump requested the attendance of all of the military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, most were “on leave or travel” and did not make an appearance.

His administration has also kept secret the costs of this giant military 4th of July Celebration.

The Trump administration has been silent on the question of how much the display cost taxpayers, but The Washington Post reported that to fund the event, the National Park Service redirected close to $2.5 million for the ceremony. During the event, 24 military aircraft performed flyovers, at a cost the Post calculated to be at least $560,000 per hour. And according to The New York Times, the ceremony cost the Pentagon more than $1 million.

I mean it was so controversial that even the Russian news media came for Trump and his parade.

Credit: @JuliaDavisNews / Twitter

You know things are bad for Trump when his biggest foreign fans are knocking his performance.

But perhaps the biggest news from the event was that we found out that there were airports during the Revolutionary War.

Credit: @Vets4EU / Twitter

Trump also made a major historical blunder. In a portion of his speech that addressed the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, Trump said that “our army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do.”

Trump’s gaffe made for some pretty great memes across social media.

Credit: @Mike63194845 / Twitter

But during those wars, of course, the invention of air travel was still decades away—and Trump’s gaffe spawned delighted mockery on social media.

Other’s imagined the possibility of what Trump’s hair might actually look like if it were to get wet…

Credit: @larsmcmurty / Twitter

I don’t think Trump has that much hair but get the point.

Trump also drew fire for a comment he made urging young Americans to join the military.

It seems pretty ironic for a man who complained about ‘bone spurs’ in his feet to skip military service during the Vietnam War to be asking young men and women to risk their lives.

READ: For This Year’s July 4th Consider Volunteering Your Time With Organizations Meant To Help Migrants And Dreamers

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