July 05th, 2021
Quite frankly, the 4th of July has never meant that much to me, personally. Just another holiday. No Celebration of Independence ... just talk and fireworks.
I always remind myself when America gained its Independence from England, there were 1 million plus enslaved persons of African descent, in America. That number grew exponentially. Frederick Douglass', in his famous speech, "What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?" suggests that positive statements about American values, such as liberty, citizenship, and freedom, were an offense to the enslaved people of the United States because of their lack of freedom, lack of liberty, and lack of citizenship. Douglass referred not only to the captivity of enslaved people, but to their merciless exploitation and the cruelty and torture to which they were subjected while enslaved.
Some in White America have opined that Blacks should go back to Africa if they are that dissatisfied. To that let me say, I am not going anywhere. My ancestors made great contributions to the development of this country after being kidnapped from Africa, whether American History wants to admit it or not. My ancestors made White America obscenely wealthy, working for free, and in chains. And Like James Baldwin, As an American citizen, I reserve the right to "criticize America perpetually.”
We in Black America have survived the insidiousness of White Privilege, and the evilness of White Christian Racism and its Non-Christian reasoning. We have survived the ongoing disrespect we endure daily because of our Black hue of skin, and the ridiculousness of founding documents ONLY intended for White Americans.
We have survived a racist president and his racist voters, and we have survived White Progressive Christian Do-Gooders, who want to pray donald trump's planted degeneracy and racism away. We have survived a Congress declaring the end of slavery, making Juneteenth an official holiday, but a Congress who has not passed an anti-lynching law, and a Congress who has not apologized for slavery---and a Congress that certainly has not considered REPARATIONS ... and all because of who we are.
We will survive a racist Supreme Court, who even with a colleague, who looks like me, who is my color--BUT NOT MY KIND--disregards my "Lived experiences" as a Black person in a Racist America, and the injurious deadly impact of racism.
We will also survive White America's vicious evil blaming of their Racism on Critical Race Theory, which most in White America cannot define.
So no it is not Independence Day for me and those who look like me...AND AGAIN, WE ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE.
Then, as now, for US, The Struggle Continues!
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Rodney. L. Hurst, Sr.