The Fourth of July Reminds Black America That Our Liberty Is Still Suppressed

We will hear much myth about the virtues of American democracy and liberty.
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Photos: YouTube

Today, America is celebrating the Fourth of July marking another chapter in the history of the country with the usual Independence Day pomp and ceremony. Phony politicians will give grandstanding glorifying speeches about so-called “American exceptionalism.”

We will hear much myth about the virtues of American democracy and liberty.

But on this Fourth of July, these tired trite notions will ring more false and hollow than at anytime in recent memory–especially, for Black America which has been hard-hit by the COVID-19 crisis, and the ongoing unaddressed pandemic of police prejudice and murder. The institutional systemic racism, that was always a prevalent feature of this nation, has now been entirely exposed. The inequalities many have been ignoring and trying to coverup for decades is now there for all to see.

African-Americans have always faced a plethora of health problems in America. Our people suffer and die disproportionately from several diseases including: asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, strokes, just to name a few. Even the Center For Disease control admits that many of the negative health factors our people suffer from are a consequence of social factors like: living in poverty, high unemployment, homelessness–and a lack of adequate medical care, made crystal clear by the COVID crisis. American racism is now acknowledged to be a serious health crisis.

This Fourth of July, the consequences of the historical falsehoods about the true state of American democracy are now far more evident than ever before.

COVID-19, along with the toxic presidency of Donald Trump, has fully revealed the phony facade of the American reality, particularly as it relates to race, racial economics and Black political self-expression. 2020 was a watershed year. It showed many the ugly underbelly of an America ruled by economic exploitation, corporate greed, and political chicanery–largely, by the Republican Party.

Today, we will hear the lying lips of political actors waxing poetic prose about American freedom. And we will hear this while Black people are discriminated against in every aspect of American life. And while Blacks are disproportionately killed in a myriad of ways in American society.

In 2020, our people suffered horrific despair, death, and destruction. Besides the heavy death toll we experienced because of COVID, our businesses have and are suffering. Many have collapsed. Along side all this, police murder continued unabated and this was illustrated devastatingly by the 9 minutes and 29 seconds slow-lynching killing of George Floyd, seen the world over.

For African-Americans, the notion of America being a nation of freedom has always been problematic, at the very least, if not an absolutely fraudulent statement. Of course, the July 4th, 1776 Declaration of Independence was not declared with Blacks in mind, even though it hypocritically stated: “ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Somehow, the “unalienable Rights” of Black people were suppressed for the sake of economic exploitation.

Moreover, the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation did not really give African-Americans full freedom. 2020 made it painfully obvious that we are still not fully free right now.

In America, freedom remains the sole province of some, even though it has been largely paid for by the blood and lives of the people who are most despised by white America, and those who are most unfree.

No group in America has contributed more to the success and wealth of this nation that African-Americans. But in 2021, we still see the hatred America has for our people. At this very moment, white supremacy and right-wing racism is on the rise unlike anything most of us have ever seen in our time.

After a year where we saw COVID death disparities, and the continuing state-sanctioned police murders of Black people, we witnessed white rage attempt to overturn an election, and a government, that was secured by the decisive votes of Black Americans. The January 6th insurrection by Trump’s MAGA Mob terrorists–incited by the twice impeached Donald Trump–should also be seen as an attack on Black political self-expression, coming one day after the historic Georgia U.S. Senate wins of Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Black man; and Jon Ossoff, a Jewish man. After all, those who brought us here never intended us to be citizens–never mind voting citizens.

Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise us that in 2021 we are seeing brazen, in-your-face, voter suppression laws popping up anywhere Republicans control state legislatures and governorships. The GOP, which has mastered voter suppression tactics over the last fifty years, will now be emboldened further by last week’s politically partisan Supreme Court ruling in the Arizona case.

The current Republican Party, which likes to claim they are the same as that of Lincoln, is busy implementing laws that will disenfranchise Black Americans because of Trump’s big lie about election fraud. So, today when we hear Republicans giving speeches about freedom we must remember they are doing everything in their power now to limit freedom for Black Americans, as well as other minorities. The GOP is also helping white supremacists in their attempt to “make America great again,” for whites again.

The emerging non-white America has the rabidly racist Trump backers in a homicidal frenzy. This means we will be witnessing more incidents similar to what we saw on January 6th.

The American Revolution was fought to free the 13 colonies from the clutches of England, which was seen by white America as tyrannical. But the tyranny that African-Americans faced–including after the end of the Revolutionary War–was more exploitative than anything England ever did to the American colonists.

It is indeed ironic that a nation which extols the virtues of freedom continues to deny full freedom to those who made their freedom possible and America a wealthy nation.

America the “land of the free?” To steal a phrase from departed singer David Bowe “this is not America, no.”

Happy Fourth.

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