Every year as we approach the fake state of America’s “independence” day and celebration, I want to focus on/remind others of why the U.S. should never be celebrated with the imperialist violence of 2023 not being rare, but the perpetuation of centuries of American-specific brutality and injustice against Black and Brown people. America is synonymous with terrorism—domestic and international—inflicted upon anyone deemed threatening to the preservation of a white supremacist society, which is the reason the U.S. spends more on its military (the main cause of climate change and widespread murders of Brown and Black people across the world) than China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, and Brazil combined; has the highest incarceration rate in the world; allows countless police officers to brutalize and murder its citizens; praises their constant cycle of war-mongering Presidents; currently assists Israel in their genocide of Palestine; has allowed Native Americans to die of COVID without medical help at a disproportionate rate, and committed countless other atrocities against non-white people throughout its history. These many examples are perfect arguments for the elimination of the colonized America (give the land back to the indigenous people!) and why there should never be celebration for the U.S.
In 1852, Frederick Douglass addressed a group of New York-based abolitionists with the speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Douglass wrote the letter as a detailed reminder of how America consistently treated enslaved people as second-class citizens while boasting equal freedom and liberty for all, due to the Declaration of Independence establishment. While presenting his speech, Douglass said, “But, such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. — The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.” And a century later, Malcolm X condemned the same terrorist state, saying, “I’m not standing here speaking to you as an American, or a patriot, or a flag-saluter, or a flag-waver — no, not I. I’m speaking as a victim of this American system. And I see America through the eyes of the victim. I don’t see any American dream; I see an American nightmare.”
If the past centuries since white colonizers stole Native American land, committed genocide against the indigenous communities, and forced enslaved people to build literally every part of society that exists today isn’t enough injustice for Americans to stop celebrating their Fourth of July, then the past few years of increased police violence, absolute disregard of public health policies and practices, mass deaths, and continued oppression of Native people should be the end all. 2023 and every subsequent year’s “independence” day (as well as the entire country) should cease to exist. Black and Brown people have suffered enough and it’s time for white America to reckon with its racist, bigoted, and homicidal past and current actions. And only when the land is returned to indigenous people and Black people are paid what’s owed to them will we even begin the process of healing from this imperialist nation. I will never participate in a celebration for or honor the U.S., not today or any day, and I hope you’ll join me.