Black Folks, Fourth of July is Canceled
Americans are a few days away from celebrating our country’s birthday.
Fourth of July or Independence Day is right around the corner and I believe that African Americans have no reason to be festive this year. As for my Black (fill in the blank, hint it’s a three-letter word) Fourth of July is cancelled and quite honesty I have not celebrated since 2016.
These last several years in our country have been riff with violence and hate against African Americans. Don’t believe me? Review all the articles I have been prompted to write because of racial equality:
- How to Talk to Your Children About George Floyd.
- God, the Great Vindicator
- Remembering Tamir Rice: Why the World Will Not Love My Son
- Raising Dion: The Burden of being a Black Child
- Crazy Love and Radical Forgiveness
- Why I Ain’t Mad at Jussie and You Shouldn’t Be Either
- Nike, No Thanks: Why the Black Community Should Reconsider its Love Affair with Nike
- American Progress: Fifty Years After Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Poor Pepsi: Why Pepsi’s Recent Ad Campaign is Receiving Such Backlash and How to Revise it
- Poem: Black, White, Red, and Blue
Everyday there is a new story of a black person being killed by the police or some white vigilante. Every other month some black child has been denied excess to school for wearing their hair in it’s natural state.
Every day there is some act of violence against a person of color.
As a matter of fact, the current president of the United States of America posted a video online this Sunday of white people chanting “White Power!” In response to African Americans protesting for equality and justice after the death of George Floyd.
#45 took to Twitter to post a video of Trump supporters wearing red, white, and blue and other clothing items and signage in support of himself. These residents of Florida were “standing” against other onlookers who shouted in protest against their support of Trump.
He deleted the tweet a few hours later.
In 2017 and 2019 I did not celebrate the Fourth of July in direct response to the unfair treatment and police brutality against African Africans. In 2018 I did not celebrate because I didn’t feel good about reveling in my “freedom” when Trump had immigrant children caged at the border of America, separated from their families, and sleeping on the floor in prison garments, surrounded by armed guards.
Fourth of July is supposed to be the day that Americans rejoice because we are free from any other sovereign powers other than God. We are supposed to be happy that “All men are created equal” and yet there is no true equality among us.
African Americans who built this country with their bare hands are forced to accept schooling that keeps our children functioning under grade level, housing that is disproportionately inferior to our white counterparts, and then stay locked in a system of inferiority until we die.
Our young babies like Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice are shot to death for being kids and the jobs we are allowed are so substandard that many African Americans must post a GoFundMe account on social media just to bury their dead.
Excuse my French, but what the hell do I look like parading around in patriotic apparel and eating a damn hot dog while Atatiana Jefferson and Philando Castile rot in the ground? How crazy do I look shooting fireworks while Breonna Taylor’s killers roam free?
What in the world do I look like placing my hand over my heart singing “For the land of the free and the home of the brave…. When there are black men serving their 30th year in person for a minor drug possession offense, yet somewhere down the street, in some generified neighborhood in Brooklyn, some white guys have created a five star bakery were they sell nothing but edible delights.
America is not free until citizens are free, so why celebrate? Also, I live in the South and I know what many Black people do for the Fourth and how we stimulate the economy that day.
Many Black people buy hundreds of dollars of meat to grill. Many spend even more money on new clothes, shoes, alcohol, hairstyles, and fireworks.
Those purchases not only stimulate the American economy, but with intense detriment put our health at risk. Alcohol is full of sugar and other liver damaging properties. Charcoal designed for grilling is a major carcinogen, and copious amounts of red meat and pork aid in causing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and eventually a premature demise.
This year I believe we all should say ‘no’ to the foolishness and count July fourth as another day on the calendar. Hit America where it hurts- their pockets- so that maybe more action can be taken to establish a truly fair system for all people- not just taking Aunt Jemina off a box of processed flour and syrup.
There, the facts have been presented and the choice is yours, but I STRONGLY urge you to reconsider celebrating on July 4th 2020.