“I find a strong hypocrisy in how white people infinitely demand that black people need to be angelic, nonviolent saints in regards to protest, while whites have used violence to procure their alleged freedoms.”
Of course, no one needs a history lesson here. The 4th of July — Independence Day — is an American holiday commemorating the penning of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Objectively speaking, it’s a beautiful day, marked with it’s use of fireworks, and anything that glows in the dark or lights up a night sky.
What Makes a Patriot?
From an abolitionist’s standpoint, I have no issue with patriotism in itself. I as an abolitionist photographer/writer/speaker I have more of an issue with HOW patriotism is executed, versus patriotism itself. While many critics of America refuse the title of patriot, I would argue that they are. They all are patriots. Nothing is more patriotic than holding America accountable, in proper judgement, objectively. Holding America accountable for her sins and crimes as well as her victories is no different than being a parent holding a child to the same. One should not allow Americanized Taliban to essentially run amok with the title of “patriot”. There’s a difference between patriotism, and nationalism.
Another aspect of what it means to be a patriot, is resistance. If one were to ask me, I’d say that resistance is more descriptive of what define a patriot than any adherence to tradition or ceremony.
Suppression, oppression and persecution are things not congruent with the idea of America (I state “idea”, because there’s a distinction between America as an idea and America as a reality), thus, it matters plenty that there are actually people who are willing to stand up and fight for the human right to exist freely, to have all rights as American citizens DEFENDED properly (because rights don’t mean shit if they are not defended equally).
From this point, I’ll have to highlight the incongruency of how rights are protected and defended, and how true patriots are viewed modern day.
Colin Kaepernick, is without question, an American Patriot. This is a fellow who stood up (or knelt) during a time of violence, inhumane and grossly unconstitutional police practices, and in essence decided that his silence as a relatively affluent NFL star quarterback cannot be bought by his paycheck, which is what white supremacy constructs for black athletes. One can argue that kneeling shows more reverence to the flag than standing, but yeah. Kaepernick should be considered a national hero.
Black athletes, similar to black churches, have been silent for years. Black athletes have have long traded in actually being a patriot for counterfeit patriotism; pleasing the powerful and silencing the weak. Not Kaepernick though. White supremacy in America, Congruent with the history of the United States, decided to punish Kaepernick for, merely being more visible than a poor, unknown neighborhood protester. Despite being pushed out of the NFL via white supremacy, he’s still my favorite quarterback. I don’t care about his stats, I care about his judgement.
Resistance is a White Privilege
This brings me to my point: American resistance is by large a white privilege. Black people from a sociological standpoint, are not allowed to have voice, speak out against oppression, suppression or persecution (and yes, when a society punishes you for thinking, that’s textbook persecution). We are not even allowed to have memory. The only reason why white people have not actively powered up gas chambers is because black people, to them, were meant to be exploited; the murdering and lynching is a side-effect. We were not brought here, this land called America, to ever be free. If anyone thinks so, I suggest asking Philando Castile for his take on the matter. Or Sandra Bland. Or Freddie Gray. Or Richard Collins III. Or Darrien Hunt. Or Army Sergeant James Brown. Or Tamir Rice. Or Timothy Caughman. Or Jordan Davis. The list goes on, and keeps building.
Fact: The Revolutionary War was a VIOLENT Protest
“Looking at the 4th of July — a celebration of a very successful violent protest — and then telling black people that violence is an ineffective protesting tool, is a slap-in-the-face hypocrisy. It’s another one of those “white lies”. And we all know that white lies have long replaced white hoods.”
I find a strong hypocrisy in how white people infinitely demand that black people need to be angelic, nonviolent saints in regards to protest, while whites have used violence to procure their alleged freedoms (congruent with the rest of world history of Europeans).
The Boston Tea Party was a set of American whites, destroying British property throwing highly taxed tea into the Boston Harbor. The company who owned the tea was the East India Company (British), so think about it; had this been modern day and you replaced tea with petroleum, and change the East India Company to Exxon, and you have terrorist activity. Overall no matter how it’s framed, it’s destruction of property — which means any person reverent of our American forefathers and patriots should view destruction of property as valid protest. What’s good for the white goose should be good for the black or antifascist gander. But it is not.
The Revolutionary War, was a violent protest. One can even argue that white people have NO IDEA how to protest nonviolently; they show up protesting taking down statues with alt-reich fueled KKK torches, and conduct hostile takeovers of remote government buildings with guns in hand. Looking at the 4th of July — a celebration of a very successful violent protest — and then telling black people that violence is an ineffective protesting tool, is a slap-in-the-face hypocrisy. It’s another one of those “white lies”. And we all know that white lies have long replaced white hoods.
The fact that American resistance to white supremacist paradigms gets demonized goes further when you realize what such protesters are called. These protesters, are called “Un-American.”
How? It’s funny because I’ve been in a multitude of nations and I’ve never seen a nation do this. One doesn’t become, Un-Italian, for example. There is no such thing as Un-German, or Un-French. There is no Un-Nigerian or Un-Filipino, but there is a such thing as Un-American. Why? How? The fact that no other European nation does this highlights the fact that this Un-American form of othering people is a uniquely American thing.
It seems that those who are in power in America (white males), simply do not like the notion of empowering others, especially those whom they exploit. So it’s a great rhetorical device to construct — this “Un-American” thing — to anathematize and otherwise silence those who seek empowerment and an end to various forms of exploitation and oppression. All of this points to the fact that resistance is a white privilege.
Was Anyone “Free” on Independence Day in the First Place?
One can argue if the people of America ever grasped freedom in the first place. If white people were dependent on the exploitation of black people, were they ever free? Were they ever independent? Breaking from British capitalism and exploitation of others to create your own exploitation of others, should be, objectively speaking, NOT considered independence.
I suppose I’ll enjoy the food and fireworks still and I hope you do too. I will mostly likely go to the gun range and work on my pistol and sniper rifle shooting before nightfall, however. America as the reality, still has a lot of work to do. I have no issue with those who enjoy the 4th of July. I have a problem with those who think that our independence is already won. It isn’t. The good news is the fact that there myself and others who won’t stop until that independence is actually ours.
Just understand that everyone is not free, including those who think they are. Understand that if you are celebrating the 4th of July, you are celebrating a violent protest where approximately 25,000 Colonial Americans died and approximately 24,000 British Soldiers died. Understand that your American self might be “the British” to your fellow American, if you know what I mean.