What is July 4th to US Imperialism? What is It to the Oppressed?

Share

Hits: 1286

The Declaration of Independence implicitly legalized the enslavement of Black people and the genocide of Native people within the context of the developing American capitalist nation-state.”

July 4th is once again approaching and principled left forces need to use the day as a teaching moment. In a speech given on July 4th, 1852, Frederick Douglas spoke before a packed Rochester Hall and did just that, highlighting the hypocrisy that stains the July 4th celebration of the American Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence, as Douglass emphasized, held no worth to the millions of Black people in the United States whose existence was subjected to the racism and exploitation of chattel bondage.  Over a century and a half later, the celebration of July 4th remains not only a practice of hypocrisy, but also a blatant co-sign US imperialist plunder all over the planet.

Liberty, independence, and equality are abstract ideas.  Their presence in the Declaration of Independence must be placed in proper political-historical context.  White capitalists, many of them slave-owners, wrote the Declaration of Independence. Independence from the British Crown for the American, slave-owning colonial bourgeoisie meant the ability to develop a settler colonial-capitalist order free from the British Empire’s restrictive policies.  Most notably, the likes of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were concerned about a British mandate to abolish chattel slavery in its colonies, a policy that had the potential to severely weaken the colonial bourgeoisie and prevent further expansion of the capitalist system in North America. The Declaration of Independence implicitly legalized the enslavement of Black people and the genocide of Native people within the context of the developing American capitalist nation-state.

The likes of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington were concerned about a British mandate to abolish chattel slavery in its colonies.”

This is the type of  “liberty” that is celebrated annually every 4th of July. Douglass addressed the antagonisms brought forth by the July 4th “holiday” when he asked:

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; y our national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.”

Douglass’s indictment of the American way of life remains true. Despite the relentless misinformation war waged by the US imperialist corporate media and education system, the conditions of oppressed people are far worse now than they were at the date of Douglass’s speech.  Black America and Native peoples reside in the US in a state of neo-slavery.  As indigenous nations battle against President Obama’s pipe-line incursions for survival under genocidal exclusion in forced residence on reservations, Black America’s masses live with the daily colonial realities of police-state terror, mass imprisonment, and economic and social death. Undocumented immigrants, many of whom are indigenous Chicanos, are super exploited for their labor and have been deported in record numbers by Obama Administration.  The internal landscape of US imperialism is by definition the highest stage of Anglo-American settler colonialism, the founding social system that inspired Douglass’s July 4th analysis.

 The US settler state is now an imperialist one that ensures the exploitation and misery of billions of people around the globe.  The US has nearly 1000 military bases all over the world and spends trillions per year in overt and covert military operations.  Recent corporate media focus has been on the re-invasion of Iraq to “protect” the Iraqi state from terrorist insurgents. This ignores the 1.6 million Iraqi people that died during the decade-long US occupation alone.  Imperialist rhetoric of bringing “stability” to Iraq flies in the face of the fact that the US military-intelligence apparatus sponsors ISIS and other terror groups all over the Middle East and North Africa inside the allied nations of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the GCC and NATO alliances.  US imperialism is scorching the earth, either by militarizing neo-colonial allies or conducting “humanitarian intervention” to justify overt invasion, as was the case in Libya and now again in Iraq. For the victims of US imperialism forced to live under imperialist political instability and economic dependence, the 4th of July is indeed a “hallow mockery” and “mere bombast, fraud, and deception” as Douglass eloquently put it in his speech.

Black America’s masses live with the daily colonial realities of police-state terror, mass imprisonment, and economic and social death.”

In the era of Obama, US imperialism has been very vocal in its disregard for humanity.  In 2010, President Obama joked that he would “predator drone” the Jonas Brothers band, making a mockery out the thousands of people his Administration has murdered by drone strike. The Obama Administration’s left-flank imperial politics has branded imperialism and corporate exploitation with anti-Black racism (see Obama’s 2013 Morehouse graduation speech) and fascist nationalism (see Obama’s 2014 West Point Commencement speech).  Additionally, Hilary Clinton is making quite a name for herself in mainstream political discourse after stating on CNN that  “Just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean the child gets to stay.” This answer came after the question of immigration was raised in relation to the thousands of children that have been crossing the border of Mexico from Central America. The architects of imperialism are exposing their own illegitimate system, and by extension, the sham that July 4th represents.  The ruling class’s vocal and visible ruthlessness is both a signal of decay in the US imperialist system and of the political crisis among left forces in the US that allow such brutality to be carried out with impunity.

In the spirit of Frederick Douglass, this July 4th should be a moment not of celebration, but of deep reflection for left political forces. What does “American Independence” really mean?  Does it mean the freedom for US imperialism to destabilize nations, murder millions, and force the world into its political and economic sphere of influence?  Does it mean the independence for US imperialism to imprison the largest number of (mostly Black) people in the world?  Is “liberty” defined by the US imperialist system’s centuries-long colonization of Native and Black America, now taking form in the privatization of entire cities like Black Detroit?  The answer is yes to all of the above. The masters of deceit can’t and won’t end the imperialist system the July 4th holiday represents. Only we can do that. Instead of going out to celebrate this farcical holiday, let’s organize our communities and people in the direction of liberation from the US imperialist system.


Originally published on 2014-07-01

About the author: Danny Haiphong is an activist and case manager in the Greater Boston area. You can contact Danny at: wakeupriseup1990@gmail.com

Source: Black Agenda Report

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

 

READ MORE!
U.S. Conceals Thousands of Airstrikes in Middle East
On February 5, Military Times published a report stating that Washington has failed to publicly disclose potentially thousands of lethal airstrikes conducted over several years in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. The investigation reveals that in Afghanistan in 2016 alone, the U.S. air force carried out at least 456 bombings. The open-source report published by the Air Force Command doesn’t include these figures.According to the Military Times, the information was obtained from “Congress, American allies, military analysts, academic researchers, the media and independent watchdog groups” and it shows that much of what the Pentagon has disclosed may be misleading or simply ...
READ MORE
Remembering Edward Herman: Explains the Role of Media Propaganda in Justifying War
On November 11, distinguished scholar, political economist, media analyst/critic, peace champion Ed Herman passed away at age 92.It was fittingly on the 99th anniversary of WW I’s end. Endless wars followed “the war to end all wars” – a legacy of mass slaughter and destruction Herman deplored, championing elusive world peace.Along with his friends and family, I mourn his passing, a valued friend and colleague, a contributor to my 2014 book, titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks World War III.”He and other distinguished contributors made the book successful, published in Russia and France.Ed Herman’s writing ...
READ MORE
Afghanistan: The Forgotten Proxy War
July 3, 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of when the United States’ first military assault against Afghanistan with the CIA-backed Mujahideen began. It would be a mistake to treat the present-day conflict as being separate from the U.S. intervention that began in 1979 against the then-government of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan. Afghanistan was not always known as the chaotic, ‘failed state’ overrun by warlords as it is now; this phenomenon is a product of that U.S.-led regime change operation. The article below, originally published on March 30, 2019, summarizes and analyzes the events that transpired during and after the Cold War ...
READ MORE
Remembering Jasenovac: The lesser Recognized Concentration Camp
While the numbers are not as high as Auschwitz or Treblinka, Jasenovac was notorious for its cruelty and the high number of young children who were victims.April 22 is a date that binds two groups of people who shared the same tragic fate. It is the date that commemorates the revolt of the prisoners of Jasenovac, the death camp that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Jews, Serbs and Roma.While the numbers are not as high as Auschwitz or Treblinka, Jasenovac was notorious for its cruelty and the high number of young children who were victims. The saddest ...
READ MORE
Genocidal Corporate Media
Genocidal corporate media presstitutes follow the all-too-familiar script of blaming the victim for the crimes perpetrated by aggressor nations. NATO terrorists, for example, are invading and occupying Syria, and the Syria government is blamed for the ensuing disasters, but the presstitutes omit this this from their narratives and instead find creative ways to blame the al Assad government whose duty it is to protect Syria, its sovereignty, and its territorial integrity. When terrorists are occupying cities, as they do in Syria, innocent people will always be victimized, including during government operations to clear out the terrorist infestations, but the presstitutes blame ...
READ MORE
The 6 Reasons China and Russia are Catching Up to the U.S. Military
Why the Gap In Military Superiority Is Closing? China and Russia are still behind the U.S. militarily. But they are both showing surprising breakthroughs that – sometime down the road in the future – could threaten U.S. hegemony. The Washington Times reported last month: Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Wednesday warned Russia and China are quickly closing the military technology gap with the U.S. as inconsistent military budgets and slower innovation threaten America’s lead in the military world. *** “It’s evident that nations like Russia and China have been pursuing military modernization programs to close the technology gap with the United States,” he continued. “They’re ...
READ MORE
German Interests in the War Against Yugoslavia
Churchill once said that in war the truth is so precious it has to be surrounded with a bodyguard of lies. In Germany over the last two months one clearly saw the fabrication of such a bodyguard. Even as air attacks proceeded against civilian targets—destroying factories, electricity works, refineries, bridges, streets, railway lines and apartment blocks— German government representatives spoke of a ” humanitarian action ” . Despite the fact that the NATO attacks unleashed the massive wave of refugees and reduced towns and villages in Kosovo to ruins , it has been maintained to the very end that the aim ...
READ MORE
Libya: Is this Kosovo all over Аgain?
Another NATO Intervention?Less than a dozen years after NATO bombed Yugoslavia into pieces, detaching the province of Kosovo from Serbia, there are signs that the military alliance is gearing up for another victorious little “humanitarian war”, this time against Libya. The differences are, of course, enormous. But let’s look at some of the disturbing similarities.A demonized leaderAs “the new Hitler”, the man you love to hate and need to destroy, Slobodan Milosevic was a neophyte in 1999 compared to Muammar Qaddafi today. The media had less than a decade to turn Milosevic into a monster, whereas with Qaddafi, they’ve been ...
READ MORE
Pompeo the Warmonger Supports Authoritarian Regimes
On January 2 [2019, editor] US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Brazil, and his Department noted that in discussions with Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo they “highlighted the importance of working together to address regional and global challenges, including supporting the people of Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua in restoring their democratic governance and their human rights.” Pompeo declared that the US and Brazil “have an opportunity to work alongside each other against authoritarian regimes.”From this we gather that Pompeo is a strong advocate of democratic governance and will always make it clear that the United States supports unfortunate people living in countries having “authoritarian ...
READ MORE
Nothing Left to Steal in Montenegro
As Europe’s longest ruler, it is a surprise that Milo Djukanovic is only 58. He has served as prime minister or president of various iterations of Montenegro since 1991 – spanning the collapse of Yugoslavia and across and beyond independence of the nation in 2006.What is the secret to Mr Djukanovic’s success? The answer is depressingly predictable: clientelism and the buying – or, depending on your perspective, stealing – of power.The beauty of Montenegro hides this ugly truth. Most know it as a tourist idyll with pristine beaches, crystal lakes and picturesque mountains. But holidaymakers rarely realize they enter less ...
READ MORE
New Old World Order? The Foreign-Policy of the George W. Bush Administration
Will the election of Republican George W. Bush as President usher in changes in foreign policy with regard to Serbia, Yugoslavia, and the Balkans? Will there be a continuation of „humanitarian interventionism“, „military humanism“, „economic globalism“ and „globalization“? The Bush Administration foreign policy team has rejected the selective humanitarian interventionism of the Bill Clinton/Al Gore Administration, as espoused by Madeleine Albright and James Rubin. John Hulsman, Balkans adviser to Bush, announced that Bush was concerned about „imperial overstretch“ and has rejected a foreign policy that uses the US military in „nation building“. Hulsman has announced a „philosophical sea change“ in Balkans ...
READ MORE
Donald Trump: It was a Great Mistake to Bomb the Serbs Who were Our Allies in Both World Wars
Donald Trump with Larry King on the occasion of the anniversary of the bombing of Serbia criticized Bill Clinton and criminal attack on Serbs, the ally of America in both wars. “The Clintons have made a mess in the Balkans and Kosovo. Look what we did to Serbia in an aerial bombardment from a safe height. Those same Serbs rescued American pilots in World War II. It is a mistake that we bombed a nation that has been our ally in two world wars. Clintons believe that was a success, and I find it shameful. I extend an apology to all the Serbs ...
READ MORE
The Caliphate of Trump
They are the extremists. If you need proof, look no further than the Afghan capital, Kabul, where the latest wave of suicide bombings has proven devastating. Recently, for instance, a fanatic set off his explosives among a group of citizens lining up outside a government office to register to vote in upcoming elections. At least 57 people died, including 22 women and eight children. ISIS’s branch in Afghanistan proudly took responsibility for that callous act -- but one not perhaps quite as callous as the ISIS suicide bomber who, in August 2016, took out a Kurdish wedding in Turkey, missing the bride and groom but killing at ...
READ MORE
Newly Declassified Documents: Gorbachev Told NATO wouldn’t Move Past East German Border
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was given a host of assurances that the NATO alliance would not expand past what was then the East German border in 1990 according to new declassified documents.Russian leaders often complain that the NATO extended an invitation to Hungary, Poland and what was then Czechoslovakia to joint the alliance in 1997 at the Madrid Summit in contravention of assurances offered to the Soviet Union before its 1991 collapse. The alliance has dismissed the notion that such assurances were offered, however, scholars have continued to debate the issue for years. Now, however, newly declassified documents show that ...
READ MORE
The Six Day War – Myth and Reality
The Six Day War of June 1967, a series of battles fought by the armed forces of the state of Israel against a combination of Arab armies, is one of manifold significance. From a military standpoint, it presented a model strategy of how to prosecute and win a war waged on several fronts.The stunning victory also created a sense of euphoria among communities in the Jewish Diaspora: Among American Jews, a segment of Jewry David Ben Gurion viewed with disdain because of their failure to migrate en masse to Israel, a new sense of commitment in both emotional and financial ...
READ MORE
Remember Hiroshima
Author’s note:This article was first published more than eleven years ago in February 2006 under the title Is the Bush Administration Planning a Nuclear Holocaust?The first part I of this text was published as a separate article entitled:  The Dangers of a Middle East Nuclear War, New Pentagon Doctrine: Mini-Nukes are “Safe for the Surrounding Civilian Population”. The results of this research were then integrated in my book entitled Towards World War Three Scenario, The Dangers of Nuclear War, Global Research Publishers, 2011Nuclear war with Russia, China, Iran and North Korea is “on the table”. Non-nuclear states in the Middle East are ...
READ MORE
The Criminal Actions of the Kiev Regime in East Ukraine
More than 6,400 civilians have been killed and nearly 16,000 injured as result of criminal actions of Kiev regime during the conflict in Donbass, Chairman of the Russian Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin said on Thursday. Also, more than 10,000 residential infrastructure facilities have been fully or partially destroyed and burnt. Since last April, more than 1 million Russian-speaking residents of Lugansk and Donetsk regions had to flee their homes, and more than 110,000 people having a refugee status have applied for the Russian citizenship. The war has been continuing. Ukrainian capital being wrapped in smoke due to a spate of regional ...
READ MORE
Ukraine could Learn from Kosovo’s Troubles
There was an interesting announcement recently that went almost entirely unnoticed in the Canadian media. On June 17, Peter Szijjarto, foreign minister of Hungary’s centre-right government, made the startling declaration that his national security forces will erect a four-metre wall along the entire 175 kilometres of shared border with Serbia. Szijjarto’s rationale for resorting to such a drastic measure results from a months-long flood of asylum seekers pouring into southern Hungary. While tens of thousands of these desperate illegal immigrants have been caught, detained and returned into Serbia, the vast majority have used the processing time for their asylum applications to simply ...
READ MORE
The Death of Milosevic and NATO’s Responsibility: Was He Assassinated?
On March 11, 2006, President Slobodan Milosevic died in a NATO prison. No one has been held accountable for his death. In the 12 years since the end of his lonely struggle to defend himself and his country against the false charges invented by the NATO powers, the only country to demand a public inquiry into the circumstances of his death came from Russia when Foreign Minister, Serge Lavrov, stated that Russia did not accept the Hague tribunal’s denial of responsibility and demanded that an impartial and international investigation be conducted. Instead, The NATO tribunal made its own investigation, known ...
READ MORE
NATO Intensifies its Preparations for War with Russia
Against the backdrop of US aggression against North Korea, NATO is intensifying its preparations for war with Russia, the world’s second largest nuclear power. A report in the German news magazine Der Spiegel (Issue 43/2017) based on a secret NATO document indicates how far plans for war have progressed. The news magazine concludes:“In plain language: NATO is preparing for a possible war with Russia.”In the document entitled “Progress report on the Alliance’s Enhanced Deterrence and Defence Disposition,” leading military figures call for a major boost to military capabilities in order to conduct a so-called “Major Joint Operation Plus.” The abstruse ...
READ MORE
U.S. Conceals Thousands of Airstrikes in Middle East
Remembering Edward Herman: Explains the Role of Media Propaganda in Justifying War
Afghanistan: The Forgotten Proxy War
Remembering Jasenovac: The lesser Recognized Concentration Camp
Genocidal Corporate Media
The 6 Reasons China and Russia are Catching Up to the U.S. Military
German Interests in the War Against Yugoslavia
Libya: Is this Kosovo all over Аgain?
Pompeo the Warmonger Supports Authoritarian Regimes
Nothing Left to Steal in Montenegro
New Old World Order? The Foreign-Policy of the George W. Bush Administration
Donald Trump: It was a Great Mistake to Bomb the Serbs Who were Our Allies in Both World Wars
The Caliphate of Trump
Newly Declassified Documents: Gorbachev Told NATO wouldn’t Move Past East German Border
The Six Day War – Myth and Reality
Remember Hiroshima
The Criminal Actions of the Kiev Regime in East Ukraine
Ukraine could Learn from Kosovo’s Troubles
The Death of Milosevic and NATO’s Responsibility: Was He Assassinated?
NATO Intensifies its Preparations for War with Russia
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS
Share