On July 4, I found myself in a familiar location refusing to celebrate America’s independence when her history has and continues to perpetuate her racism, bigotry, sexism, and homophobia upon her citizens of color. This fork in the road, is a place where Black men and women eventually come, when the mind & soul merges, and in a flash, clarity awakes them out of a long deep sleep into the reality of who they are in a society that allows their characters to be defined by the lies told upon my people and the color of our skin.
Being Black in America, we are expected to follow the unspoken rules of patriotism. We are required to praise the holiness of the star and stripe and the gift of freedom each of us is given as citizens on the day we are born. We are taught to plant our feet, place hand over heart and recite the pledge of allegiance to this so-called great nation of democracy while ignoring the atrocities leveled against the darker skinned Americans. However when patriotism, pride, and liberty diametrically goes against self-preservation, the right to assemble, protest and speak up for those migrants seeking freedom, it difficult for me and (should be) for any person of color to be in a celebratory space on this country’s Birthday.
So why am I expected to pledge allegiance to a flag that still allows the mass killing of black men just because they are afraid of who we are? Why am labeled anti-white because I’m Pro-Black? Why is unemployment still double digits in our communities when the national unemployment rate is now a single digit? Why are we so conditioned to accept their scraps as a come up? Simply, because we have been conditioned to believe we are not deserving of more and nor the fulfillment of the American Dream.
Being an American tells the world we are powerful, wise and fearless in our pursuit life, liberty, and the America way. But when you are Black that pursuit comes with great agony, responsibility and the pressure to maintain our collective focus of expressing who and what you are, openly and freely. Our gifts, sometimes in a world where color matters and their White privilege when applied, becomes the proverbial whip used to instill fear, cause meekness and the acknowledgment of America’s failed promise to its citizens of color simply because her faith of whiteness becomes the subliminal messaging that White is Always right.
This mind control by them upon a darker skin people was created to cause my people to stop in their track and revert back to a time where we lived in fear of our lives and safety. Where separate but “suppose” to be equal, ruled the land and Jim Crow the bastard child the Statue of Liberty and Uncle Sam just did whatever he felt he could do to its darker citizens, rings louder today than ever before.
So today, as I have every day since my feet were planted in what some would say, is hollowed ground stand at the Crossroad Between what America claims she is and the reality of what she does to her people of color. So long as we sit on the sidelines accepting them to limit our movement out of poverty, maintain their system of poorly educating our children and creating a system where we fear for our lives and the lives of our families we can never hold those truths that are self-evident that all men are created equal when inherently we know that bitch named America has no intentions of adhering to the principles it spoke 241 years ago when it declared her independence from the Tierney of the Crown.
So I want you to ask yourself this, with all you know, all you see and hear why did you celebrate this country’s Independence when it continues to dismiss and mistreat you because of the color of your skin?