Independence Day Thoughts From a Psychiatrist


As much as it is important to honor our country, it is also important to honor its ideals and continue the pursuit for such—for everyone.


Happy Independence Day!

As we celebrate freedom in the land that prides itself on the tenants of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, I harken back to Frederick Douglass’s words, “I must mourn.” I would invite us to ponder the following questions: What does independence look like in a country in which the caste system flourishes? Are communities truly free from a crown decorated with enslavement in the forms of health disparities?

Here is some food for thought in the form of a haiku:

Freedom paradox

and a pensive Douglass sighs

bondage still prevails

Dr Clark is clinical assistant professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Greenville and medical director & division chief for Adult Inpatient and Consult-Liaison Services for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Prisma Health-Upstate. He currently serves on the APA Task Force to Address Structural Racism Throughout Psychiatry as well as the Diversity & Inclusion Section Editor and Advisory Board member for Psychiatric TimesTM.

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