Thoughts On Chicago, Freedom, and the 4th of July

Where are we going?

Chris Wojcik
4 min readJul 4, 2022


Photo by Kristina V on Unsplash

This 4th of July, there’s only one thing I’m certain of:

I don’t know what freedom is anymore.

What I do know is that it isn’t what I was taught in school.

In America, we make a big fuss about having “freedom”, but we still use smartphones that basically listen to all of our conversations (I see you, targeted Instagram ads).

We make a big fuss about having freedom, but recently we overturned the freedom for a woman to have an abortion.

We say “freedom ain’t free”, but honestly, neither are we.

What America does well is provide its citizens with the illusion of freedom.

What does freedom really mean?

To me, freedom means that I and my family have as equal opportunities for a life of prosperity as other people.

I’m a white guy, so I’ve kind of got it easy. I’ve got a lot of freedom. It’d be silly for me to stand up on a soapbox and talk about unfree I am. Most of my shackles are mental.

That’s probably why I write a lot about overcoming mental obstacles.

Other people aren’t so lucky.

I can’t tell you how to overcome racism. I can’t tell you how we should fix gun control.

In America, we have this thing called systemic racism, where racism is so deeply ingrained in the culture that “not racist” people aren’t enough to make the world a better place.

You’ve probably heard of this. Maybe your country has it too.

Basically, it means that people of other races do not have access to the same schools, the same safe neighborhoods, or the same healthcare. I’m simplifying a bit, but follow along.

Let’s look at my hometown of Chicago for a second.

Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash

In Chicago, we have a black female lesbian mayor right now. The first black American president came from Chicago.



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