The Address of the President of the Czech Republic on the Occasion of the Day of Independence of the USA

6/30/2020

Dear ambassador King,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, thank you for the invitation, but celebrating independence doesn’t mean celebrating independence only of the state or of the nation. We celebrate the independence of citizens, of the faith and of the nations and this is the topic I want to speak about even if it is very uncomfortable, very impolite and not so boring as usual.

I want to say that in the present world we face attacks on independence of our citizens - either in the States, or in the Czech Republic. This danger cannot be omitted. And we must face it, that’s why I am uncomfortable. Just imagine the present situation - the riots on the streets, the burning of the cars, destroying of statues in both countries, Mr Ambassador, in both countries - and more than that. There are stupid fellows who declare themselves value leaders, or even opinion leaders.

As for my values, let me remind you of an old song which says: “It was good for my father, it was good for my mother, it is good enough for me.” So I do not need any big brothers who will say what the values are and not only for the president, not only for the ambassador. We need free thinking, we need common sense. And the same is the case of the so-called opinion leaders. I do not need any new big brother, that’s why I do not need any new opinion leader. So, all this, in both countries, is the situation against independence.

And let me conclude, Mr Ambassador, with a very provocative sentence. Please, believe me I am here not only as an independent citizen, I am here also as a friend of America. You know that. And in both positions I say that the slogan “Black Lives Matter” is a racist slogan because all lives matter.

Thank you.

Miloš Zeman, the President of the Czech Republic, Residence of the U.S. Ambassador, Prague, 30th June 2020