Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Independence Day?

Because of Jena.

And the Newark women.

And Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District #1.

And the criminalization and mistreatment of immigrants.

And continual violence against all of us.

And our overwhelming silence...

...a still-relevant perspective on the Fourth of July:
I say it with a sad sense of disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me.

This Fourth of July is yours, not mine.

You may rejoice, I must mourn.

-Frederick Douglass
(What to the Slave is the Fourth of July)
July 4, 1852

One hundred fifty-five years ago. Apparently, not long at all.

1 comment:

Quinn said...

This just makes me ache. I've been feeling pretty blue about this holiday this year especially.

Revelations and ruminations from one southern sistorian...