Jul 3, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's July 3rd edition, edited by Justin Green, is 432 words, a 2-minute read.

1 big thing: Americans reflect on Independence Day

Photo: Simon Shin/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

America's leaders are re-examining how they view Independence Day, Axios' Fadel Allassan writes

Why it matters: Some people of color say it's still difficult to reconcile celebrating the country's independence while also acknowledging its past and current inequities.

  • Back in 1852, abolitionist Frederick Douglass reminded his audience that most Black people in the U.S. were still slaves when the country adopted the Declaration of Independence.
  • Here in 2020, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot — the city's first Black female and openly gay mayor — tells Axios that "time and time again, the murders of innocent, unarmed Black people — Black Americans — remind us that much of our history is focused on the protection of unalienable rights for white people."

Between the lines: Civil rights activist Dolores Huerta tells Axios that people of color have often fought for the U.S. in wars against ideas perceived as anti-American, like Nazism and fascism.

  • "When we talk about a celebration, I like to think of it as a commitment. We have to think of the Fourth of July as a celebration and a recommitment to the idea of a nation for the people and by the people."
  • "We have a lot of work to do to get to that 'more perfect union.' But seeing all the demonstrators and marchers — I think that is our redeeming grace," Huerta says.

The bottom line: "When you look around the country, you see governance by the very individuals that weren’t even considered people at the time of the Declaration of Independence," Lightfoot says.

  • "Their ability to hold such positions is emblematic of the shared power of voting."
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2. Pic du jour
Photo: Bob Levey/Getty Images

Baseball inches closer: Batboy Chase Wornell disinfects a warm-up bat during batting practice on the first day of summer workouts for the Houston Astros.

  • The MLB cancelled its All-Star Game for the first time since the end of WWII.
3. Catch up quick

Native Americans have protested the mascot for years, including this demonstration in Denver in 2013. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post

  1. The Washington Redskins will conduct a review of the team's name after mounting pressure from the public and corporate sponsors. Go deeper.
  2. About 70% of employees at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will be furloughed by August due to a decline in revenue from immigration and visa application fees that help fund the agency, the New York Times reports.
  3. Relief from the fireworks barrage? Consumer fireworks sales such as sparklers and firecrackers have increased so much during the coronavirus pandemic that supplies may soon run out. Go deeper.
  4. Instacart has raised $100 million in new funding, on top of the $225 million it announced last month, the company tells Axios. This brings its valuation to $13.8 billion. Go deeper.
4. 1 helpful thing

Ocean City today. Photo: Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images

Ocean City, Maryland, is handing out prizes to people wearing masks.

  • Officials plan to roam the boardwalk on the Fourth from 5 to 7 p.m., awarding prizes at random to families and individuals, per AP.
Mike Allen