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I realize that many folks here on PaganSpace may not
agree with this post and that I risk alienating some
friends here. Pardon my rant, but, each July 4th weighs
heavy on my heart.

A long time ago in high school American History class,

when I'd had enough of the teacher's watery-eyed
glorification of the founding of this country, I simply
reminded him that this Nation was founded on genocide.
Needless to say, I was banned from further participation
in the class

I wonder, how many Americans have really read the the Constitution
or the Declaration of Independence that this weekend honors? And
taken time to consider how this may apply to us today.
For full text refer to Wikipedia:
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people
to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another,
and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal
station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them,
a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should
declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
"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. That to
secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their
just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of
Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the
People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying
its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form,
as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness..”

And, that at the time this paper was drawn up the signers considered the
original inhabitants of this land:
“...merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an
undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

The people who had lived here for thousands of years were (in my opinion)
fighting terrorism and defending their homeland.

I found this essay that to me, “...makes the point that "independence" and
"freedom" don't necessarily mean the same things to America's first

"The 4th of You Lie" by Jimmie Beason (Osage/Mvskoke)
“Every year on the 4th of You Lie (July), patriotic Americans engage in
their multiple colored foray of pyromania by blowing up fireworks to
celebrate the birth of the United Snakes.
This is appropriate as it's a metaphor for Indigenous genocide. The fuse
of colonization was lit and exploded with Manifest Destiny and conquest
ripping through OUR freedom; a true Freedom that existed for thousands
of years before the European invasion of our continent.
Amerikkka's policies toward us have done nothing to help, only to
destroy. Treaties were made and signed with the "utmost honor" only to
be broken. In 1492, it is estimated that 5 million Native people
inhabited the Western Hemisphere. By the 1800's our population was
educed to 600,000. At the end of the 19th century—250,000...
...An op-ed piece in the LA Times claims the "Declaration of
Independence's vision endures." I can't argue with that. As specified in
the Declaration, the threat of "merciless savages" has been a guiding
force throughout US history. It's responsible for the genocide of Native
Americans, slavery and its continuation until the Civil War, Jim Crow
laws against minorities, prejudice and hate against immigrants,
isolationism and xenophobia, the red scare and the nuclear arms race,
and the Vietnam War.
It's still responsible for much: our paltry foreign-aid budget and
colossal military budget, our anti-immigration hysteria, our war on
drugs and drug users, our fear of homosexuals with their "lifestyle" and
"agenda," our disdain for "welfare queens" and "gangsta rappers"--indeed,
for any minorities ... who don't play by the white man's rules. Not to
mention the Bush administration's promotion of torture, the Guantánamo
Bay concentration camp, the illegal invasion of Iraq, the phony war on
terrorism, and the ongoing violation of our constitutional rights.
...Yep, it's good to know so many of our present policies are based on
the Puritans' self-righteous certainty of their superiority over everyone,
especially the Indians. That vision of a white male Christian dominion
over the world endures. So let's all raise a glass and toast another
glorious 4th of July.”

This weekend, watch how much money will be burned up with all of the

fireworks and the term, “fiddling while Rome burns” comes to mind.
fiddle while Rome burns:
to spend time enjoying yourself or doing things that are not important
when you should be dealing with a serious problem Usage notes: This
phrase comes from a story about the Roman emperor Nero, who fiddled
(= played the violin) while the city of Rome was burning.
Environmentalists claim that the government is fiddling while Rome burns.

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Replies to This Discussion

AHA! Better, Aleya. Thank you. =]
Now there's a "fuck political correctness, deal with the raw truth, amerikkkan muthafuckas!" (done with scholarly diction) RANT! Preaching to the choir, Aleya Floralia?

For god sake...
Now that I've had the chance to read it without the pieces missing...

War and genocide are global, in the past (and some countries, in the present) the way one territory gains more territory is by slaughtering natives of that territory they're attempting to take as their own, or forcing them to submit and accept. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying that it's kind of ridiculous to put all this together for it.
That's true. Massive conflict with the natives didn't come about until quite a bit later, when large numbers of settlers started moving westward. Regardless, it's just what people do, and it's not considered 'genocide'. Just war. War for territory, goods, etc.... Citizens die, it happens, but rarely is it an act of genocide.

the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.

"Hey, we hate natives, let's kill them all for bullshit reasons!" Not quite.
Aleya Floralia, m' dear... almost all of us (here in the U.S. of A.) are the great, great, great, grandchildren of the conquering peoples from Europe who moved here with superior technology, and took what they wanted. It's been happening since the Paleolithic era, and continues still. What we're about in the current Neopagan subculture within Western Culture - is recovering all that can be recovered from our pre-Xtian ancestors, and making it work within the 21st century. Wallowing in angst over what is PAST is indulgent and frankly, a waste of your time and energy. Personally, I happen to be the first generation of my Polish family to be born on the American continent... should I feel guilty about what past generations of dead white folks I am not related to did?

The real questions should be about - where do we go from here?
Then so is celebrating the fourth indulgent.. and the rockets red glare... bombs bursting in air. Why keep repeating it?
The 4th is a celebration of independence from Great Britain, aka the evil empire which had very little to do with your ancestors, and a great deal more to do with mine. On both sides of that conflict.

Aleya, what you should be looking for are what followed after the independence of the USA, and even then... it wasn't the rosy world you have portrayed. Bad events happened on both sides of that rather long ongoing war. Or maybe it would be better called a "police action", since there wasn't but one or two actual wars fought.

Now I'm not trying to say it was right, preferred, or even should be indulged. But the question really should be, "How do we move on from this point?"

It would be wonderful if the practice of this country kept with our ideals more, but it is for all of us to make a difference. Perhaps instead of spending our money on fireworks and bbq we could give money or time to help an under represented group, like the Native Americans in some way.
My ancestor was Mohawk Chief Joseph Brant, he fought with the British to defeat the Pilgrims. I'm proud of that, I know my crafty rebel streak comes from my Dad's side of the family : )
Great suggestion - to do something other than blowing up fireworks. It is for each of us to make a difference and the possibilities are unlimited.
Just read up on your ancestor, Chief Joseph Brant bore the name Thayendanega, meaning "he places two bets" given to him by his parents. How fitting a name for "this remarkable individual, who was at ease drinking tea from fragile china cups, but could also hurl a tomahawk with deadly accuracy." according to
Horn up again : )

...ty Bow!


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