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The 4th of July Hypocrisy
4th of July
America's Independance Day is just days away. Already many are making plans on how to celebrate the upcoming holiday. The media also is gearing up by showing patriotic films and discussing the freedoms we all have because of the battles fought. Citizens are bursting with pride for this country. But there's another story that is not so hidden underneath all of this fanfare and celebrating.
The Other Story
Now as we celebrate this Independance Day, we must not forget that the freedoms being celebrated was not for Black America. The falsehood that this holiday carries sickens me. It's just as ridiculous as the untruths surrounding Lincoln and his decision to free the slaves. We are about to celebrate a holiday that started July 4, 1776. However many "citiizens" weren't free until December 6, 1865. Every year for the past 240 years this lie has continued to be celebrated without question. For 89 years this country continued to enslave its black citizens. Treating them as nothing more than cattle. These same citizens that fought side by side with with white Americans for the same freedoms. Many blacks lost their lives in these battles and fought proudly for this country. They fought because they wanted the same freedom. Even though they were already enslaved they fought with their slave masters to defeat England. These soldiers were rewarded with a slap in the face once the war actually ended. So even though they shedded blood and tears as well, they went back to being enslaved. America immediately started to celebrate their independance while continuing to oppress the men that fought beside them only because of color.
As we acknowledge this freedom celebration, another celebration goes unnoticed every year. On June 18, 1865 the slaves of Texas learned of their freedom. For the past 142 years Juneteenth has been celebrated by some. Most Americans are not even aware of this holiday. But shouldn't it be celebrated just as much as our other Independance Day? It marks a freedom for citizens of this country and is American history. This holdiay is not even taught in schools. We are taught that Lincoln ended slavery on January 1, 1963. However by 1865 Texas still had and estimated 250,000 slaves. On June 18, 1865 when Granger arrived to occupy Texas and enforce the contents of General Order No. 3,, the slaves finally learned that they had been freed two years. Texas recognized the holiday offically by 1874. This is a gross disregard by the citizens of this country not to recognize this holdiay on a larger scale. But who cares that some slaves finally gained their freedom? We have the 4th of July and that seems to be all we need. So please excuse me if I don't share your enthusiasm about the upcoming holiday.
And in the words of the late Fredrick Douglas "Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common.-The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrevocable ruin! I can to-day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people!"