Black on the Fourth of July

This week America celebrated the Fourth of July.  I don’t do a lot to observe the holiday because I do not have a lot of family in the area and I don’t have much experience cooking on the grill.  I don’t have children so I don’t buy fireworks.  But I did enjoy the day off and even when I have had to work on the Fourth of July I enjoyed the holiday pay.

This year on social media I saw numerous posts and tweets being circulated encouraging Black people not to celebrate the Fourth.  Some of the social media messages even criticized Black people that do observe the Fourth of July.  I found these memes to be annoying and arrogant.  “Woke” people on social media often come across that way.

Look.  I get it.  I totally understand why so many Black people feel the way they do about the Fourth of July.  Blacks were enslaved in 1776 and the freedoms that this country is supposed to offer her citizens were never intended to be enjoyed by Blacks.  When you consider the culture of America when the Bill of Rights and the Constitution exposed how hypocritical and callous this country is towards Africans.

But despite what Blacks have faced throughout American history we are the greatest patriots of all.  America as we know it would not exist without Blacks.  The U.S. has the biggest economy the world has ever seen and it was built by Black labor.  In history class American students learn the phrase “Cotton is King” which refers to the juggernaut which was the cotton industry in the 1800s.  It wasn’t savvy business decision that made cotton king it was slave labor and brutal, savage force that made cotton king.

The cotton industry of the 1800s supported the textile industry of the early 1900s which was closely related to the northern Industrial Revolution.   The Industrial Revolution gave opportunities to European immigrants in the North East.  Without Blacks immigrants never would have had an America for which to come.

African Americans are only about 12% of this country and we only live in a few areas but we have influenced the culture in many ways even though we often don’t receive recognition for our contributions.  Blacks have influenced American music, cuisine, sports, fashion, politics, fine arts and sciences.  Without us American culture would be bland an utterly unrecognizable.

I’m not sure that the world had ever or has ever seen anything quite like the American Civil Rights fight of the 1960s.  A group of people that have been reviled and thought of as farm animals in the land where they were born stood up to the U.S. federal and state governments and won in mostly peaceful demonstrations.  People that have had their features mocked and ridiculed proclaimed that Black is beautiful and the said loudly that they were Black and proud.  That took bravery.

Since the 1960s other groups have mimicked the Black civil rights movement.  I don’t believe the feminist, LGBT or immigrant civil rights movements would have ever taken shape without the Black movement first.  Once again we provided inspiration for others in this country.  As far as immigration is concerned Blacks once again paved the way for the way for the next wave of newcomers in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.  Most of these immigrants come from brown countries and they would not have stood a chance if African Americans hadn’t stood up to White racism first.

We’ve been here trying to make America great all along.  No one really has tried to hold America accountable for her actions they way Blacks have.  We believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights more than anyone.  Because we actually support all Americans having the same rights.  So if you don’t want to celebrate the Fourth of July then don’t.  But if you see other African Americans enjoying fireworks, a cookout or a day at the lake don’t judge and spare us the self righteous “woke” routine.

My family has probably been in this country about seven generations now and they sacrificed greatly for me to have the opportunities that I have in this country.  I’m proud to be an African American and the Fourth of July can be seen as a day to salute patriots and freedom fighters such as Harriet Tubman, Malcom X and Angela Davis.

We deserve to be protected by police instead of targeted by them.  We deserve equal opportunities and access to quality jobs and education.  And se deserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in this country that those that came before us suffered greatly for.

 

 

#$%^& is Dangerous for America

I am so sick of hearing the name #$%^&.  Every time you turn on the TV, radio or computer you learn more about this man’s rants.  And they are just rants; no plans, no solutions.  I am so disappointed that the media is giving him so much attention.  This man is dangerous and bad for America and democracy.

I think it’s a safe be to say that #$%^& is not going to win.  I have enough faith in my fellow Americans that I can confidently go into 2016 without the fear of an absolute idiot who is hideous to look at being elected.  But he is still a danger and his actions are destructive to the American political system.

It has often struck me as unfair that Americans are only given two choices when it comes to choosing political leadership.  America is a nation that thrives on choice and competition.  If you want to go out for a cheeseburger you are offered numerous choices.  If you want jogging shoes there are limitless sellers and shoes to consider.  If you need a new lipstick you can spend and hour at the drug store trying to choose one because the options seem limitless.  There is even an ice cream chain called 31 Flavors.

The competition for consumer dollars is a good thing.  It gives us more and better choices at better prices.  If I have a favorite product or retailer I will support their competitor from time to time just to keep the competition going.  Once there is one choice there is no need to remain competitive and pleasing to consumers.  Businesses will stop working for their customers and soon customers will be working for them.

But when it comes to choosing a president our choices are this or that.  In other democratic countries voters are given numerous choices.  You can find the right candidate that speaks to your needs.  Often times we vote based on who we want to keep out of office more than who we believe is a great candidate.

I have never been tempted to vote for a Republican candidate.  I am a working class, border line poor, unmarried Black woman from America’s rust belt.  Republicans don’t have much to offer my demographic.  In fact people like me are used as the butt of their jokes or as a fear factor.

I think that Barack Obama is a great man and a wonderful and heroic leader for this country.  He could have beaten any candidate that the Republicans nominated.  But I feel like the Republicans handed Barack Obama his victories twice.  In 2008 and 2012 the Republican party nominated absolutely laughable candidates that no level headed American could vote for.

But the Republicans having taken the cake with their new candidate.  He is wildly popular among gun rights fanatics, pro life terrorists and White supremacists.  And that is enough to make him the front runner in every Republican popularity poll that is published.  The runner up to #$%^& is Ben Carson who is the Republican favorite among religious fanatics and people who want a candidate that will keep the Blacks in their place.

The problem with that is that #$%^& will never, ever win.  Ben Carson will never, ever win.  And that makes running for president on the Democratic ticket too easy.  For now the politicians vying to be the Democratic nominee for President are trying because they have to compete against one another.  But once the nomination is made all they have to do is be more appealing to the American voting public that D. #$%^&.  Anyone can do that.

If the Republicans continue down the road they are on they will leave sensible Americans, which are the majority only one choice.  Once that one choice is comfortable with that they will stop trying to serve us and We the People we end up serving them.  I’m starting to wonder if some of these political campaigns are a ruse that is designed to destroy democracy in America.  I’m not a conspiracy theorist but these campaigns just can’t be serious.

The United States has so many problems.  But I really do love this country.  As a Black American person I don’t have any significant ties to any other nation.  It’s a beautiful place with lots of resources and an interesting history.  We could have such a nice country if we would just stop all of the hillbilly madness.  If you are an American voter please say no to hillbilly madness in 2016.