Friday, July 4, 2008

The 4th of July by Frederick Douglass

This was in an Imani Foundation email on 7/4/2004. We thought it was worth
posting for discussion.
The Imani Foundation
In his speech to the Rochester Ladies' Anti Slavery Society on
7/5/1852, he would make it plain for those of us of color who fail to
see the irony of this professed holiday. Here is a piece:

Fellow citizens; above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the
mournful wail of millions! - whose chains, heavy and grievous
yesterday,are today rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts
that reach them...Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or
to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems
equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to
the present, and solemnly bids herself to be false to the future....

What to the American slave is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that
reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross
injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him,
your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license;
your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing
are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted
impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your
prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your
religous parade and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud,
deciption, impiety, hypocrisy - a thin veil to cover up crimes which
would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the
earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the
people of these United States, at this very hour"....

Frederick Douglass
The Imani Foundation

Seko VArner,
"God bless African, God bless America, God bless everybody !"
The Imani Foundation

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