Hey look! A comic! A comic that should have been done and uploaded before Friday! A comic that is being retroactively uploaded for Friday so you can view it on the Fourth of July when it is relevant! Hooray!

Sure this is, technically, a history comic but there are such things as American myths. People like to think that just because something is current it can’t be myth, but I’m here to tell you, that isn’t so. There are plenty of things currently believed by people all around the world that are either completely falsified or at least wildly inaccurate. Washington is a great example.

George Washington, one of the key figures of the founding of The United States is heralded as one of the greatest men in our history. Because of him, the addle-brained rabble were unable to instill yet another monarchy. Because of him, we won the war for independence. Because of him the world was given a beacon of hope in the form of the most free country on earth! Well…that last bit is a little off. Most people know that Washington didn’t free the slaves (we had a war to settle that a hundred years later) but we also don’t really talk about it a great deal. Content to spin yarns about a cherry tree and the man’s wooden teeth, we avoid substantive issues like the slave trade during the founding of the country to make ourselves feel better about our history. See, America is a funny place, there’s so much nationalism and pride here and questioning it, while not illegal, is considered crass in a lot of places. Unfortunately, getting caught up in nationalism and zeal leads to problems. We forget our history and the flaws in those that made our nation and we repeat mistakes for a long time and in a variety of ways.

Washington was certainly a decent man and a skilled leader. He was, however, also a slave owner who worked his slaves hard. When it came time to show the world real freedom, our founding fathers, Washington included, conveniently overlooked those poor individuals who’d been ripped from their lands and forced to work in the fields. Supposedly, it was to save the already fragile nation from internal struggle, but it paved the way for a brutal Civil War that left hundreds of thousands dead. History is what it is and we are the culmination of what has come before. There’s no way to say which way was right but it’s helpful to be familiar with it and remember it.

That said, we do live in a decent country with mostly harmless people. We finally have a black president and that is something. It certainly doesn’t make up for years of slavery but it’s a step in the right direction. America is one of the few places that is truly a melting pot of different cultures and I, for one, am glad I live here. To be able to see people of all different colors on the streets of Boston is a marvelous thing and something I’ve taken for granted at times. I hope other people get to experience it as well, because we’re all human and we’re all free no matter what anyone says.

Happy Fourth of July, America. Now let’s all get blackout drunk and light some shit on fire.