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This 4th of July, I’ll Pass on the Apple Pie

This 4th of July, I'll Pass on the Apple Pie -

Written by: Agnes Fischer

America is a nation founded on the theft of land, genocide, slavery, and white supremacy.

That’s a statement you won’t soon see in a high-school history book. You will also never read that of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 49% of them owned slaves.

It needs to be made perfectly clear that the Declaration of Independence was not written with African slaves, nor with the interests of the Indigenous race in mind.

So, as Aunt Becky’s apple pie is being lauded as the hit of the party today, as Glenn Campbell’s “God Bless The USA” is being piped through the backyard speaker system, and while the chicken and corn-on-the-cob is being grilled, let it be known that the Founding Fathers did not truly believe that all men were created equal.

America is a nation founded on the theft of land, genocide, slavery, and white supremacy.

As Fredrick Douglass so eloquently stated in 1852:

“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 denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and 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 the United States, at this very hour. Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival….”

Black people in America gained their freedom in 1865, when slavery was abolished 152 years ago.

However, many of us are still rolling our eyes over the infamous line in the Declaration of Independence that says something about, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, as we consider mass incarceration along racial lines, the school-to-prison-pipeline, the ongoing epidemic of police brutality, and the continued genocide of Native communities.

This 4th of July, I'll Pass on the Apple Pie -

White Supremacy might ask you today to come together as one America.

It might ask you to unite; to forget about the sins of our fathers, those relics who no longer exists.

White supremacy in all of its glorious privilege might ask you to leave the past in the past, and move forward. It might tell you to focus on the good, using the excuse that, after all, every nation has a sordid past, and that we must overcome.

Essentially, that is only asking Black and Indigenous people to never mind the promise that didn’t apply to them back in 1776. It perpetuates the illusion that American independence applies to all, and stifles any hope of truly obtaining real equality.

This 4th of July, I'll Pass on the Apple Pie -

 

We can not come together as one America when for so many, this day is a punch in the gut.

Let’s start having real conversations about how the Fourth of July is one big contradiction. That the extirpation of Black and Indigenous people was built on white silence, and white complicity.

Let us agree that when “the land of the free” is mentioned in our patriotic songs, that those words were not written to represent the entirety of this nation.

Let us agree that there are many folks who were completely left out of the reason others will celebrate today. There will be no fireworks for them, no Glen Campbell playing in their backyards.

Let us agree that the only way to move forward as one America – is to acknowledge people’s truth.

For me personally, until that happens, I’ll pass on the apple pie.

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This 4th of July, I'll Pass on the Apple Pie -

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