Thursday, December 8, 2022

Independence Day For Whom?

July 3, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( As most Americans celebrate its 239th independence day from Great Britain, the 4th of July which began in 1776, we all would be wise to remember that African Americans were neither all free nor independent when this holiday first began. For that matter, many would say we are not free now either – at least not mentally, politically, legally or economically. So I must ask the question “what are we celebrating and why”? I find it odd and interesting that the “founding fathers” of this country came here because they did not like being mistreated, objected to unfair taxation and disagreed with the laws of Great Britain – yet they came to this land and mistreated Africans and Indians on a scale far worse, cancelling out independence for indigenous people, capturing others and enacting slavery. They oppressed, killed, deceived, betrayed, enslaved and then celebrated. This truth can neither be forgotten, nor denied nor explained away.

CLICK THE LINK BELOW FOR THE HISTORY:                                      

Before we get into the truth about the 4th of July, let’s explore the facts. The Continental Congress decided to declare independence on July 2, 1776, not July 4th. The date on which the Declaration was delivered to Great Britain was November, 1776. The declaration was signed on August 2, 1776. Congress first declared July 4th to be a national holiday as part of a bill to officially recognize several holidays, including Christmas. That is why the 4th is the day of celebration. John Hancock, the President of the Continental Congress at that time, was the first and only person to sign the July-4th-Independence-Day-QuotesDeclaration on July 4, 1776. The 56 signers of the Declaration did not sign on July 4, 1776, nor were they in the same room at the same time on the original Independence Day. The official signing event took place on August 2, 1776. Our people must learn the facts of history and more important, the truth of history.

Thomas Jefferson wrote a passage to be added to the Declaration f Independence which condemned slavery but guess what? It was removed. According to

“When Thomas Jefferson included a passage attacking slavery in his draft of the Declaration of Independence it initiated the most intense debate among the delegates gathered at Philadelphia in the spring and early  summer of 1776.  Jefferson’s passage on slavery was the most important section removed from the final document.  It was replaced with a more ambiguous passage about King George’s incitement of “domestic insurrections among us.”  Decades later Jefferson blamed the removal of the passage on delegates from South Carolina and Georgia and Northern delegates who represented merchants who were at the time actively involved in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.”

Source: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson: Being His Autobiography, Correspondence, Reports, Messages, Addresses, and other Writings, Official and Private (Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Maury, 1853-1854).

What was happening with African Americans in 1776? And here is a trick question. Does a whip make fireworks? Food for thought. Only in January of 1863, almost 100 years after the Declaration of Independence, did Abraham Lincoln issue the Emancipation Proclamation which “freed” all enslaved people in this country. But thee slaves were not actually freed until the end of the civil war. And even then, freedom had to be backed up by the Union army and slaves were forcefully freed in the south against the confederate slave owner’s wishes. Yet even today, there is a controversy over southern former slave states flying that same confederate flag, racism and the mistreatment of minorities by those who wish slavery was never outlawed in the first place.

In 2015, are we independent even now? Don’t get me wrong, I am aware there were free African Americans in the north, but the north still had oppression and racism (New England, Rhode Island, Boston etc.) while the south was much worse. The Federal Constitution referenced in the Federal Census of 1790-1930 even counted slaves as only 3/5 of a resident for tax purposes. Wow.

Click the link below for historical information on legal slavery in this country, documents and laws.

This year and every year after, when you light up the grill, remember the fires that burned our lynched ancestors. Remember the struggle continues in Ferguson, Baltimore, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and so many more areas. When you roast marsh mellows on a stick or slide meat and vegetables on a skewer, remember those who dangled from ropes only decades ago and even years ago. When you kick back at the pool or look up at the fireworks or take the day off, remember our people who never had those opportunities. My tears are for them and my sadness is for those of us who fail to realize these conditions still exist today.

This year REMEMBER. This year step up and make things better for you, your family, your community and your race. This year face the truth and prepare for battle. This year no more excuses. Let’s get full of the facts. Let’s get full of the truth/ Let’s make sure the past never repeats itself.

Staff Writer; Marque-Anthony

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