Sunday, July 03, 2005

Spangles & Glitter for the 4th

Fellow-citizens; above your national, tumultous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions!...I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July!

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 binds herself to be false to the future.

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation's ear, I would, today, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.

The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced. your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals...more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty...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 religious parade, and solemnity, are...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 these United States, at this very hour.

Excerpts from "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" 5 July 1852. Frederick Douglass.


Anonymous said...

shit - I feel like shit. Not only do I not know what to do (there's really not much I can do) about the terrible situation - hell - I don't even know how to tell my kids that we're not celebrating the 4th of July anymore.

-Super Stevens

Kate-A said...

Don't feel shitty. It's still a good day to celebrate life, friends and family. ;)

Anonymous said...

That's good advice. And I am trying my best to keep those good thoughts uppermost in my mind. Thanks Kate.

-super stevens

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