COLUMBIA, MI––The colonizer has so imbued the population of the U.S., particularly its African and Indigenous subjects, with its colonial propaganda that surely all who celebrate the Fourth of July do so mindlessly without critically thinking about what in fact the holiday celebrates.
We were taught that the Fourth of July marks the day on which U.S. colonial settlers adopted the Declaration of Independence and eventually defeated a tyrannical and undemocratic British government that unfairly levied taxes against European settlers of U.S. colonies. We’re taught that this bestowed upon them “certain unalienable rights” and a representative government.
However, we––colonialized peoples––should recognize the holiday as another colonial ploy devised to impose a distorted and disturbing narrative upon us.
We are led to believe that various European empires—British, Spanish and French—that occupied North America were enemies to each other.
We were told that those forces who formed an “American” identity and fought and died for freedom best represented the will of the people, even our people, whether we realized it or not.
Colonized people have been lied to
Let it be known that the truth is, and it will always withstand the test of time, that the settlers only represented the will of themselves and the European nation.
By no measure, regardless of what you are told or led to believe, did they want African and Indigenous peoples to be free, independent and self-governing.
We were viewed as nothing more than their machines of prosperity, and remain so to this very day.
As Chairman Omali Yeshitela has so rightly and forcefully pointed out, our land, resources, and labor—all of which was stolen from us as a vicious consequence of genocide and enslavement against African and Indigenous peoples—enriched the entire European world, producing and reproducing life for the European nation.
Every year, African children across the country are forced to watch documentaries and read books and stories about the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and the fomenting of the American Revolution.
We ourselves may have learned as children that Thomas Jefferson was the principal author and editor of the Declaration and was a paragon of a man who represented freedom and equality.
Yet, he was one of the wealthiest slave owners in the United States and routinely raped a 14-year-old enslaved African, Sally Hemmings.
This rape was romanticized in the film “Sally Hemmings: An American Scandal” which is shown to children across the country each year.
Although Europeans fought each other over our land, resources, and labor, they were, and still are, equally concerned about ensuring that the European nation was secured and prosperous.
Independence Day gives the nod to white power
The so-called founding fathers of the colony called the United States are credited with creating an immaculate set of democratic rights; but these are meaningless to colonized people within U.S. borders.
How can one claim to offer to people certain unalienable rights when he has stolen their land, occupied it, and robbed them of their humanity in order to meet his own needs?
How can this country declare itself to be the leader of the free world when its genesis is anchored by genocide and slavery?
Africans and Indigenous peoples are captive nations within the United States.
We have not known independence nor freedom for the past 500 years.
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