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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