Posts Tagged ‘Declaration of Independence’


Oh, hold up. Wait a minute: Is it Independence Day? The day of the 1776 that many were “partying?” Oh yes, it’s July 4th. The 243rd of the Independence. And yes like before, we can celebrate in all. Plus I said last year and I dare say it again to comment this: The Struggle Continues!

Wake up, Americans! It’s our birthday/anniversary or just call it our day off from work and school. And of course it’s our day to have our say as citizens for another 4th of July Birthday. Let me also say that if we partied or conversated last year with folks whom are not around this year then maybe that was the last conversation. And just to think that this 4th of July is the last 4th under the 2010’s decade. And it’s the first 4th of July that many have to recognize the 400th Anniversary of the last Trans Atlantic Slave Trade of the year 1619. For us Wisconsin folks: our Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes is celebrating his first 4th of July as the first African-American Lt. Governor of the Badger State. That’s indeed a FIRST! Similar to the pivotal aspect of Juneteenth Day of last month.

However like last year we still deal the same issues of black lives being targeted harshly. We still deal with the factors of our LGBTQIA brothers and sisters being judged harshly when it comes to the same sex practices and marriages in the United Methodist Church after the “decision” was made in St. Louis dealing with the General Conference. We also still deal with the twisted laws of misinformation, harassment, bullying after someone tries to give someone a drink, and many other factors America harbors. And yes black folks: many of us still fight among each other in determining our so-called blackness in a harsh manner to the likes of Sen. Kamala Harris.

Let’s be honest here, when “you know who” got elected of course many of us got real stupid. Admit it. As a matter of fact when I referenced the factors of us black folks fighting among each other we still are. We still have this inner hate that whenever we see one of us make it, in a sense of success we sometimes cringe and bear down with the hate of making sure that we tear down our folks in a hateful manner. And yet to quote our Muslim brothers like Malcolm X , this is a classic case of divide and conquer. Where have I heard those words before? Oh yeah, when the Ex-Governor Scott Walker utterly used them during his campaign. Admit the truth. Even though it happened in Wisconsin, but the message still was a look out in a sense of a warning shot.

Another shot of endearment, is with our LGBT Communities. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in a sense that it resonates the rights of the Gay/Lesbian folks. And even 50 years later in 2019 many of us Americans are still dealing with the issues, lifestyles, choices that many of them go through each time. Oh we see it everyday. And yet this does infact deal with the church! Mainly my denomination of the United Methodist Church. You all know the story with that decision by the General Church in which many of the worldly conservatives kept the part of the LGBT stuff held at bay! And it still being held at bay. However many have to look and also realize that the decision is NOT STOPPING THEM to serve in the church! Already, LGBT Bishops and Ministers are actually coming though and having the chance to minister in the practice that they really wanted to do. In a church in Missouri that gained headlines, there was a confirmation class ceremony to welcome new members. But the youth of that church made a stand that they were not ready to be members based on the issues of their LGBT friends that encountered. They decided to leave the offer on the table until a fair change is acceptable. Keep in mind that this church is United Methodist. And is geared toward the LGBTQIA audience.

For many of us, our laws and confidence had been lacking. In a recent poll conducted on CNN via their New Day Reality Check Segment regarding Patriotism:

Patriotism dipping down?

Is there a thing called let down? Or melt down? Ever since 45 got into the office (thanks to many who didn’t VOTE UP in 2016) it seems that our sense of Patriotism has been hijacked and overtaken by those who actually feel a sense of anger towards a previous administration. Of course I’m talking about Obama. But also issues of previous years faults and failures that the country had endured in the modern 20th Century towards the baby version of the 21st Century era. And yes, even the communities that has been long forgotten, overlooked and never had a chance to compete with the popular big cities and folks to recognize. Of course, many felt that way for years before 45 and Obama was into the president’s chair. When many make a reference to move out of Milwaukee or any other northern city to go to Atlanta or Texas for example, and stated the reasons why they moved because of the weather, or in this case: racism, crime, and many other factors that played. Now the southern states as much as the rest of country must realize that racism and problems similar are EVERYWHERE!

Most recently, there was this Nike Shoe that came out this week with the old Betsy Ross Flag on the back. We all seen it right?

Let me say this: who wanted to buy some $140.00 Nikes?! And yet when the shoes dropped, many felt that the flags on the back were from a time when slavery was rampant. And word what that Betsy Ross didn’t actually make the flag in the first place! One of Betsy Ross’ slaves according to the recent stories was the original creator of the flag that had the circle stars and 13 stripes. But I had to fact check about America’s Seamstress that did the first flag. According to the real inside intel, Elizabeth Griscolm Ross (her real name) was born in the mid 1700’s and yet did not owned any slaves under her name. Betsy was from a family of Quakers that was against slavery. Uh-oh! Who didn’t know this? Raise your hands right now! For all those that said that she did that, you must get your facts straight right now! See this is what happens when misinformation gets twisted and not knowing the actual proof of this.

CALLOUT: It’s time to get back to those U.S. History Books! And actually get to the point of who the folks were when the country got started. Even if they were Slave-traders/Owners that raped and pillage. Start it up all over again!

We need to continue to know so for that the next generation of Americans don’t get caught up in the Okie-Doke like many of us gone through. Sure many of us had the beginning stages of our countries history that “scratched the surface” however as time goes on and as we continue to progress more into our history, then of course we’ll ask those hard questions like, why didn’t they taught me this in school? Maybe the folks who set up the curriculum way back when didn’t go hard enough! And yes, when Nike yanked the Betsy Ross kicks many had to question exactly what Colin Kaepernick was thinking. I know! Colin never dissed the flag in all, but was addressing the Betsy Ross Flag was used around an ugly time when America had harvested vile white supremacy like a bad habit. That is the truth!

But on this 243rd edition of America’s birth, we need to go even HARDER THAN HELL to get our sense back. It’s going to take not just education, but even HARDER THAN HELL of more educational historical facts to actually get to the point of this holiday and beyond. I’ll bet many of you right now are probably thinking about Juneteenth Day. Remembering how it was supposed to get the info and the truth out. And the joy of getting it right. Even folks who celebrated Juneteenth in the past have gone crazy with problems! Not with standing the thought of it. But understanding the gist to get to the moral compass of our nation. Yes, in 2016 the votes swayed to 45 and many of us are feeling this lack of patriotism. And not voting AT ALL! When was the last time that America had an urge of patriotism that really mattered? Don’t just say 9/11! And when was the last time that Black folks in THIS COUNTRY felt like being normal citizens that fit in with the colonial cause for the better all day everyday? We already know the answer. And basically this has been the talk of the town over and over again ever since the country got started. And I’m also sure that many have been looking for those answers ever since. And still looking.

Well, as they say: The Struggle Continues!

And also to quote the late great Nipsey Hussle: The Marathon Continues.

#Happy4th

#IndependenceDay

#243


Hope many of us had another chance of celebrating the 4th.

Happy 4th by the way.

As in the 4th of July, you know America’s Birthday in all? And I’m sorry to say that many aren’t feeling the goodness in all in which many have came so far in advance of getting that American Dream that many continue to thrive for all this time. And yet, it’s still out there. So for this 243rd edition of the Birthday, it’s time to go deep into the thoughts of asking and yes to come clean. Oh, who am I kidding: with all the meltdown of Patriotism, 45 has this so-called celebration in DC, more black folks denouncing the holiday again but overlooking the good, Nike goes crazy with the Air Max Shoes with the Betsy Ross Flag on it, and everyday shenanigans that makes us Yanks really worried. And yet: I’m scratching my head again.

There is a difference betweeen the “Pledge” and the “Declaration”. Who knows the truth?

For real though, had many really paid attention to 45’s 4th of July Parade with Tanks, and other related copy cat stuff like North Korea?

DYI: (did you know) that in the original draft of the Declaration of Independence, there was this item? (courtesy of the Library of Congress) “he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, & murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another. ”

*This was an idea to strike the issue of slavery out of America. Our founding fathers had this idea in mind (even though more of them were slaveowners) before the states of Georgia and South Carolina had to intervene. And you wonder why asking!

This needs to be asked. We all heard the rendition of Frederick Douglass’ “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Speech and yet no one read “The American Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr? Yes! he wrote that in a sermon in 1965 for Independence Day. Who did not read this? By the way Douglass’ speech is really titled: “The Meaning of Fourth of July for the Negro.”

Who still watches the last 4th of July footage of President Barack Obama from 2016? Where he mentioned about “imperfections in our union”?

It’s a fact: there was no parties for the black folks in 1776 when the country was declared. So many had to ask, why the constant stuff like: “This is not my holiday. My holiday was Juneteenth Day.” And also state like, I don’t vote. What kind of ISH is this? And for the record, there were African Americans like Peter Salem and James Armistead Lafayette that fought along the sides of the Continental Army in which…..to gain their freedom. Including John Chavis, Lambert Latham, Oliver Cromwell, Prince Estabrook, just to name few Black Patriots of the era.

The late great Coretta Scott King once said: “Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation”. Agree or Disagree?

Who bought the Betsy Ross Kicks from Nike? $140.00 dollars worth?

CALLOUT: Ok. I like Old Navy. And Old Navy is celebrating it’s 25th Anniversary. And yes around this time, the store had all the flag T-Shirts out for the holiday, which was selling during the Memorial Day Weekend. But on Facebook,it was noted that they were selling the shirts in a Purple theme design signifying the silver anniversary on 4th of July. But I need answers: Why did Old Navy had to sell 1,994 shirts online and then when word got out, they were gone?! Somebody really tell me something and yet that is a something worth scratching my head for!

And also, when Old Navy got the purple shirts out, there was a message on the back that transcribed almost with the original pledge of allegiance. Without the words “Under God” on it. And many of the folks on social media went nuts. Why, sway?

It seems that some black folks do celebrate the 4th. And guess what, you know Malia Obama’s birthday is on the holiday, right? And she’s just now 21.

Who’s rocking the Essence Festival this weekend in New Orleans? For the 25th time in a row!

Of all the patriots past and present: who were or are the patriotic introverts in American History that defied the odds? No matter what time-frame, era, gender, race, creed, class, preference, or next generation status?

OK, many folks had to ask: with all this stuff concerning the 4th with fireworks, why not of that for Juneteenth Day? Better start now! We need Black Pyrotechnic Workers!

Milwaukee: last night began a new era in our “July 3rd before the 4th traditional fireworks.” The Milwaukee Brewers, American Family Insurance and other private businesses forged together to bring the now “Lakefront Fireworks”. When the fog was getting to be worse, it kind of cleared. But we had our show. So, how did they do? And also they will be back in July 2020. Ahead of the DNC Convention in the city!

In the first half of Summerfest, Pop Artist Lizzo (you know the one that dissed John Williams’ song Jaws being lazy) had a difficult spot with a member of the security squad member that racially encountered Lizzo’s hair stylist and another stylist after her first Big Gig Performance. And yet, it was Lizzo’s first coming off the heels of the 2019 BET Awards. My question is, has that Summerfest Security Guard Member been fired yet?! And will anyone book Lizzo in the future in Milwaukee? You know already that the city is segregated.

Speaking of the DNC: How are the ideas coming along, Milwaukee? We are about ONE YEAR this month away from welcoming the Democrats to the Brew City!

Speaking of Dream Teams: Which team right now in 2019 is a team that nobody is taking seriously but noticing? Oh, it has to be a U.S. Team.

Speaking of Dream Teams: Which team comes to mind as being a Super team that started the super teams and actually won more than one game and undefeated? Again, it has to be a U.S. Team.

Will the Milwaukee Streetcar be able to “extend the play” in terms of fares and sponsorship between now and 2020? And its still free to ride so far.

How will all U.S. Cities celebrate the 4th of July next year in 2020?

How did many of you played Mortal Kombat 11, the tower version with Jax Briggs, Sonya Blade, etc? Just in time for the 4th.

What is the one place in America that many haven’t gone but need to go?

Seriously asking: is every way the American way?

Seriously asking: Who in the living heck is #ADOS?!! Also known as American Descendants of Slaves? Word is that they don’t know enough knowledge and self hate of being black. And also, what is ADOS’s real agendas regarding the support and assistance of the African-American Community or the Black Community at large that is not very snobbish!

ADOS: Who IS This?!!!

Seriously asking: is there a thing called opportunity to earn your keep? In an American way?

Check this: how will the 4th of July historians really align themselves with the discussions of the 400th anniversary of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade? Which was in 1619?

Should all black historians really align with the 4th in a sense of expressing their own truths to be self-evident that all men SHOULD BE created equal?

The one thing still remains, how will the struggle continue for the better now since the 4th and Juneteenth are now in the rear view? This is an everyday question.

Oh hold up. What up with this? You young Americans and world wide folks take notes on this flow of Hip-Hop!

Second question: for all the triggered folks in America, one of members of Chloe and Hallie will be featured in The Little Mermaid and the triggered folks got mad and pissed all because a black woman is getting the part of Ariel. And they got mad on the Fourth. Really?!

Speaking of being Patriotic: which UNSUNG figures in current American History seemed to be the most patriotic in terms of speaking out against racism, police brutality, white supremacy, and many other shameful acts? Hint: We are talking someone or somebody that is all flag waving celebrating and being very VERY conscious about the issues of America’s problems at hand at the same time!

And…..another thing, anyone noticed that “A Capitol Fourth” was way better than 45’s Celebration in DC? Yeah I said it! And I hate to say it that in the 18th Century, there were no runways and airports. SPOILER ALERT!

Which National Anthem rendition was and is still the best: Whitney Houston, Jimi Hendrix, or Beyonce?

Which America the Beautiful rendition was and is still the best: John Legend, Aretha Franklin or Ray Charles?

This needs to be asked black folks: so the 4th of July “is not considered our holiday” in all, but which holiday is? Oh, if it’s Juneteenth, the word is that many in the Black Community don’t celebrate that either as much as Black History Month. Most of that are facts!

Black folks, when we see our own dress up in Red White and Blue, why do we get upset? Look, many can do Red White And Blue as much as Red, Black and Green and Rainbows. If we can do those without those looks without any disdain, is that considered independent? Or in this case being your own person? Not to offend, but JUST SAYING! As they say, do you!

Which of us in the black community doesn’t mind celebrating the 4th or being greeted “Happy 4th”, but also celebrate Juneteenth Day? Who does BOTH?! This is for those whom are more independent than just being one-sided!

Every Black Family must decorate their houses for Juneteenth Day. Put out the official Juneteenth Day flag and display it. Can that be done? Oh….if those don’t like the Stars and Stripes for the 4th, fly the Juneteenth.

How many times that we were reminded to “Take your place” from the scene of Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Family Reunion? Not put you in your place, but TAKE YOUR PLACE! Just a reminder: Cicely Tyson’s character centered this statement!

When 2020 arrives: is respirations on the list FINALLY?!

When July 4th, 2020 arrives next year, are we going to act more Patriotic and actually VOTE?!! Forget about all the speeches that are anti this or that, what about just going to ballots and VOTE!

When July 4th, 2020 gets here, how many of will not rely on Facebook to sway our votes in a Patriotic manner?

When July 4th, 2020 gets year in a Patroitic manner are we just going to not do nothing or actually get something started to create things HAPPEN?

By the time July 4th, 2020 passes, 10 days later, will be the 2020 DNC Convention in Milwaukee. Will the DNC be Brew City Ready?

And the final question of this 4th of July…….when 2020 gets here are we still going to work towards freedom instead of painting it like a bad habit?

Until the next one: The Struggle (like marathon) Continues!


PDVD_024

Happy 4th yet again, y’all.

We already know that the country has turned another age in all, but we already know that the ongoing struggle in America indeed continues. And yes if you’re Black, you probably had been called out being a sellout all because you wore the Red/White/Blue instead of the Red/Black/Green. Or you might have sang the National Anthem without any concern except the fact the third verse had a racial thing attached. But as we put away the fireworks and flags in all, I’m scratching my head again.

Ok, did anyone actually read the Declaration? I mean really? What was summarized?

Black folks, we already know about the slavery side of 1776, but what about those whom served in both armies of the Continential, and the British that guaranteed freedom? Yes blacks did served under the flags back then.

Here is a question: I was reading Sophia A. Nelson’s book, “E Plurbis One”, and two of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams were against slavery. And slightly before the founding year, the idea was shot down. Did you know this?

With all the 4th of July parades and parties in America, why not enough black folks? (At least the parade side)

Frederick Douglass’ speech from 1852 “What to the slave mean to the Fourth of July?” is like a call out to the “hypocritical attitude” of being free for most, not many. Any questions on that?

Best movies to watch on the fourth happens to be ranked of all time? Must include Independence Day and The Patriot.

I hear black folks saying, “that flag wasn’t meant for us!” Well, what flag is?

Why do certain folks like to scream out “Fourth of You Lie?!” And also to add, “what are you celebrating?” Like really?

How come we didn’t point out the verse “No heirling for a slave” before like last couple of years in the National Anthem?
NATIONAL ANTHEMS RENDITIONS:

Was Whitney Houston’s version of the Star Spangled Banner from 1991 the best ever?

Was Marvin Gaye’s Star Spangled Banner from 1983 good? Like 35 years ago?

What about Jimi Hendrix’s version of the Anthem?
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL RENDITIONS:

Which “America The Beautiful” was and is the best to hear? – Aretha Franklin, John Legend or Chloe/Halle ? (Reference Wrestlemania)
USA DREAM TEAMS

Which Team USA Basketball team was better: 1992 or 2008? ’92 all the way!

Which team is America’s team deserving? I STILL say the Green Bay Packers!

And which “USA Dream Team” is in the making right now in sports that NOBODY is talking about but will have to examine? I might say the US Rugby Team. Who knows?

When will the real American businesses recognize “Made in America” like really?

Chris Rock once said, “Happy White People’s Independence Day”. Last year, Damon Wayans Jr said “Happy racist white people’s day”. Both got slandered and attacked after telling the truth. Well white folks and everyone else, had their punchlines “told the truth?”

Heard that the new San Antonio Spurs player, Lonnie Walker IV had to delete his tweet after he posted about not celebrating the 4th and telling everyone to stay woke. Umm………why was the tweet deleted after not standing his proof enough?

Is “every way” the American way?

How many Americans did not know what Juneteenth Day was about?

How many Americans did not know that Juneteenth Day came approximately 89 years total after 1776?

Speaking of that: Black folks, an idea here: we should wear the numbers 89 or 87 on July 4th (in either red white and blue; or red black and green) to symbolize the amount of years it took black folks to get the freedom we all talk about. Can that be done? And yes we can rock it for Juneteenth Day.

It’s 2018: you know you can be revolutionary by voting in the Midterms, right?

How many Americans did not know that the 4th of July is not always about fireworks?

How many Black T-Shirt makers can create a #MelaninPatriot shirt? or a “The Struggle Continues” in the Stars and Stripes and sell it?

Speaking of Juneteenth yet again, you know the official colors of the Juneteenth Day Flag is Red, White and Blue, right?

We know that Philly throws 4th of July Celebrations alot due to the birth of the nation. But can Milwaukee have a 4th of July party concerts with the locals musicians?

Speaking of Patriotic: which figures in American History seemed to be the most patriotic in terms of speaking out against racism, police brutality, white supremacy, and many other shameful acts?

Which zodiac sign is more like a patriot? I say……..my sign, Sagittarius.

Who is the more of the local patriots that knows the game in the local communities of the struggle, and I dare say the culture?

Milwaukee needs a 4th of July style laser light/fireworks/DJ Show. Who can do this?

Besides the Military, is the average community organizer, or everyday union worker or an everyday working person/volunteer that is very UNSUNG is also patriotic or revolutionary?

And now for the final question: Don’t be offended by the picture below.

Relax and breathe.

Black folks: we know already that many of us don’t really celebrate the 4th Of July by an example of the memes below. And yes, our ancestors were in shackles, branded, whipped, had no freedom, no liberty, no justice, no peace to be us. We were stripped from our former names to get the names like Toby out of Roots. We were forced to be bought and paid in auctions, but like Cicely Tyson said in one of Tyler Perry’s movie “Madea’s Family Reunion” in the line to the family: Now it’s time to take your place!” We also have this tendency to tell folks not to celebrate the 4th all because our ancestors were slaves. We weren’t beaten. But the legality of those beatings linger into police brutality, racism, sexism, discrimination among minorities, and others. We get sensitive when we see our brothers and sisters wearing red white and blue and shake our heads. Why?!!!!

If a black man or a black woman wants to celebrate the 4th in a way different, LET THEM CELEBRATE! Last year, I was listening to one of my local black radio hosts on WNOV 860. There was a black female caller who expressed about the celebrations of Juneteenth Day. However she also expressed about celebrating the Fourth of July. As we all know from her comment that this country was built on the backs of us Black folks either as slaves and freed people. We definitely know this and should know. And the thing is we always hear about us going back to Africa. Well many people forget, not too many in Africa like us African-Americans maybe because many of us haven’t been there! Many forget that part of the slavetrade, came out of Africa (partially sold by other blacks) which was a forgotten comment! And of course, America ate up the idea of slavery and served it up until 1865, when the slaves were declared free. According to Vibe.com, Roland Martin was on the Wendy Williams Show the year before (after she talked smack about the HBCU’S), cited that black people were “technically free”:

If you had to place a marker on when black folks were technically fully free Americans, it’s 1970.

So as I look at this meme with the word Independence spelled wrong, (don’t blame the Public Schools) a Tupac pic, and all the talk about Juneteenth Day being celebrated and something forgotten, and with the ongoing crimes, racism, sexism, discrimination, police brutality, war against blacks lives, undocumented murders against black folks and many other concerns, I must ASK this:

Have we fully gained our Independence so far? And after celebrating Juneteenth, did we fully gained OUR freedom as of right now? Let that sink in.

Callout: Freedom is still not free. Even after 242 years and even after 153 years. Let’s be real, the struggle to get to that freedom thing is going to take a ongoing four letter word of WORK!

And by the way, I need to say this: If a black man or woman or a black kid wants to celebrate BOTH the Fourth and Juneteenth, even if they fly the flags, or decorate the house, man let them. Just let them! Stop the calling out the coon or sellout names. That can somewhat die now. Some folks celebrate their birthdays on those days. Or a anniversary. Or whatever. Malia Obama’s birthday is July 4th….Hello! Let’s be clear, for those of us whom are so “conscious and woke”, look: your opinions are just that. Your own! Let the folks whom are so “Melanin Patriot Powered” have their day. Leave them alone! Let them reclaim their time. No one is not forcing you to celebrate the holiday, where as you should not force anyone to say: “Remember and celebrate Juneteenth Day!” Trust me you will not win that argument at all. I’m just saying, you say that forcefully and folks will still sleep. I mean correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t one of the Bill of Rights has the words, “Freedom of Expression” in it? Hey, let that sink in! And this applies to us like everyday.

Can I get a “Hotep” peace mixed in with a thanks of God Bless America?

Thank You.


US Bank Fireworks n Milwaukee, WI

Independence Day has come and gone for another year. If you celebrated this year thus far with the fireworks, barbecues, day off from work, or any other reason to celebrate the legendary holiday of American Observances, then yes you have been blessed. BUT since the festivities has now been silenced until next year in July, the struggle continues. Many don’t think so. But plenty, we have to realize that of the objective to journey on. 

Dear US Americans (either by birth or by immigrant): It’s me Stephen, an African-American male blogger by hobby, but not by trade.

Happy Birthday America. Another year of our young 238 years has been celebrated, culminated or observed. Yes, we have we have well brought more of our Red, White, and Blue in various ways in terms of celebrations and cookouts. Even most of us have the “Independent Mindset” of takes to be independent among other things. Yes, I do have a confession as an African-American: And I’m using the term “AFRICAN-AMERICAN” Loosely. Not tightly. I do get down with the patriotic side of my Americana talents of decking the house with the RWB, and many others. So yes, I do celebrate Independence Day like everyone else, but I also reflect the observances for those who are no longer here living and also in dedication to those who have struggled for many many years tried to celebrate. Even here in Milwaukee, by going to a July 3rd US Bank Fireworks Show that was most improved. For those who don’t live in Milwaukee, my home city kicks off the 4th of July a day early due to the Lakefront Fireworks near Veterans Park and the Milwaukee Summerfest Grounds.  We do it big here! It’s our annual tradition that goes back to about 1911 in our County Parks.

I don’t mean to demean my own party of observances. During the signing of the Declaration of Independence in the hot July year of 1776, yes I do know and realized that my black people weren’t part of the celebration. They weren’t part of the folks who embraced the unification of the country’s birth due to one thing: Slavery. Many of my African-American compatriots, or brothers and sisters denounced the 4th of July as a farce. Some (not all)  go far by saying “Fourth of YOU-LIE!” based on the reaction of history that is still being talked about amongst us in 2014. Even in the era that we have a Black President in the White House. Speaking of that, Malia Obama just turned 16 on the nation’s b-day. And if you got a birthday on the 4th, or got married on the 4th, hey Happy Birthday and Anniversary. Getting back, the main reminder of the fourth, goes back to Frederick Douglass, when he published his famous writing, “What is the slave to the Fourth of July?” He published that on July 5th, 1862 which is about 162 years in the making. We know what he said. We know how he felt. And there are those today who read that same document have to draw comparisons of what Douglass was feeling in terms of not being included, left out, or not being mentioned or skipped over due to the skin tone and hate of being black. This includes voting rights, civil rights, jobs, health care, economics, living status, immigration rights, and many other factors that is still around. Even racism and other forms of discrimination. Just a reminder I don’t see any utopias!

 

What gets me that, if we are the country that is still on the pulse of all men are created equal, what is about the notions that are not equal? When I hear and see or read about African-Americans get the racism bug, and other folks of non-black had to bust out with the “get over it” speech, what are we are supposed to get over?! Those who say that, need to be in the boots or shoes of us black folks that go through this thing EVERYDAY! This is not some get over it fix. It’s real life on the real here. It’s kind of like were dealing with another version of Jim Crow remixed. Am I right? Or is it some figment of imagination?

Call out: How many of us encountered racism on the 4th? Be honest!

But hold up! How many of us have encountered racism and actually did nothing or something about it? Basic question to ponder. And don’t be like and say as a reminder  “Oh, I’m colorblind.” That’s a farce. When you meet a person of a different race, yes YOU WILL see color. And when you go home, same thing. When that encounters, it’s another reminder that America as young and old as is need to improve. Just to think that the figures of Dr. Maya Angelou, Ruby Dee, and even Bobby Womack and among others are not here to reappear. I know that many are about to break out the wise words of Dr. King in his I Have A Dream Speech. That one line that everyone knows. BUT: I advise by reading the entire speech!

Back to me celebrating in all: Yes I do celebrate the 4th. I celebrate for me, my family, my American values. Plus I celebrate my earned opportunity of Independence, Liberty, and the right to blog what I want on WordPress. Even my work. Even my church. Even my Alumni groups that contribute each year. And my community ideas and concerns of improvement. I even celebrate for my black folks who were slaves that got whipped, shackled, branded by force, beaten up and even killed in trying to get that one word etched: Freedom.

I also realized that Freedom is not free. It’s not. That is harder to work for because, there are obstacles everyday no matter what we go through. And I hope those of my culture and as many other cultures have to realize the similar notions. No shade. No generational cards. So in closing: We can celebrate. We can observe. BUT: like Melissa Harris-Perry’s father always says, and I believe him: the struggle continues.

Sincerely, (and Independently, patriotically rightfully so)

Stephen


Dear America:

First, I hope those of us had a good 4th of July. No matter what we did, in terms of Barbecues, Games, Families, Friends, Events, and Fireworks. Oh and yours truly had a sentimental holiday of reflecting the reasons why the 4th of July exists – TRUTHFULLY! But however as I was reading my twitter news feeds, Chris Rock wrote this in terms of  of his viewpoints. He wrote, as quoted: “Happy white peoples independence day [sic] the slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks.” When he wrote that, I’ll bet some weren’t happy. I for one understood what he  wrote. Now I know what your’e thinking. He’s agreeing with Chris Rock just because he’s and him are the same ethnic label. First off, I don’t have to agree with anyone with the same color as me. And vice-versa. However of what Chris Rock wrote, part of that is the truth. In other words, Real Talk.  I’ll say it again, part of that, IS the truth. It’s just like I wrote last year when the country was celebrating 235, in terms of the celebration, “but at what costs?” And in the blog, I referenced Frederick Douglass asking “What is the slave to the 4th of July?” Remember that? Now if those in the social media world (ala Facebook) who attacked Chris Rock for being racist, CHECK YOURSELF! Obviously, and apparently those who dissed him didn’t get the memo or slept on Frederick Douglass of the question asked. Frederick Douglass also said in his letter the following examples in which most would argue similar to today’s standards: “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 cruelly to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, 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 these United States, at this very hour.” 

That’s what he said on July 5th, 1852. Exactly 160 years ago TODAY! As of the day of this blog.   Now I have read on Chris Rock’s Facebook Page that someone asked “when was the Black’s Independence Day and answered you have none!” – Can I reference Juneteenth Day, June 19th, 1865?  This occurred sometime after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Just a score, Lincoln was shot in April of 1865.

It’s very disturbing that those who accuse the Twitter Message of Chris Rock wrote, didn’t ask themselves what did he meant by that? I also said that last year, after the day is over, the same everyday problems will occur. Racial Profiling will continue. Discrimination against Americans of Color will continue in various examples. High Employment, and other problems that most of us Americans will still be a barrier to get around to the finish line. Even though this is the year of the Dragon, the Apcolypse, or when if Obama remains President, we can assure that this message of what Chris Rock said or tweeted shouldn’t put a damper of concern of Celebrating the 4th in a positive way.

  • Now, Did I have decorations outside of my residence? Yes.
  • Do I fly my flag and wear my Old Navy Flag Shirts, Of course.
  • Or, did I go to a event, or a movie on the 4th or before the 4th in Milwaukee like fireworks? Absolutely.
  • Did I wish someone a Happy Birthday on the 4th? Yes I did.
  • Do I appreciate the men and women who serve the country, and those had served? Always.  So for those who are serving, and have a feeling of being slapped, with all do respect, don’t get it twisted!

It’s just like I heard in church about doing God’s work, and having obstacles in the way. And yes, I believe that most of us in the 50 states and territories probably read the Declaration of Independence like a bible verse, and I dare ask, do we still uphold the values of us citizens? Like for example, we often say that hey, America is good country, but we continue to not hire that certain someone because of a certain skin color. Or descendants of slavery. Like HELLO! Lot of you probably are going back to the books or Googling “Frederick Douglass” and researching the links about his thoughts of the Fourth 160 years ago. Now you’re saying “well that was 160 years ago, and we’ve got a Black President now”. MAYBE! But you still have to realize the pain of what the country went through and is going through. Hey we all want to get to finish line, but right now, in regarding this, just as hating on Black History Month or anything that is considered well “Non-American likable”, it’s just like punting on fourth down. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. Let me put a spin on this: We: the United States of America MUST BETTER OURSELVES to hold these truths to self-evident, that all MEN (or Citizens) are and should be created equally! Like that?

Now, do we, the Citizens of America want America to continue to be the greatest nation on earth? Hire more African-American workers as well as those others trying to look for a house and a good paying job. Clean up the streets, Volunteer for a company or organization, Get our children safe and educated, have those coming from other countries that want to live here to give them a chance to learn and earn, get out and vote responsibly, end the constant bickering of President Obama and imaginary things of him taking your guns, worrying about the Birth Certificate, or his stance of Gay Marriage.  And stop becoming a racist in the country even more all because now hating a Black President! I went there! Is this getting the country to respect each other? Just saying in general.

Regards,

Stephen’s Spot


There seems to be a buzz about the big news this week. Straight from the Oval Office and straight from the President. If you’re referring to his stance on Gay Marriage, it is. What I am about to say that might make you mad. It might make you feel whatever, and like always like a Sagittarius, I’m going to tell the truth whether it helps, or hurts. And for those who are extremely sensitive about this topic, I will advise you not to read this blog. Now if you’re not afraid, you have my permission to read on as usual.

Yesterday, the President gave his response about his view of Gay Marriage, and many like others have an opinion about it. There are many viewpoints from both sides for and against. And third option of truth. Yes, he does support it and I think I may have read a earlier clue in Rolling Stone about having equality for all families. The issue of Rolling Stone that just came out for May 10th. He described in context that after “don’t ask don’t tell” that he is working on fairness for the Gay and Lesbian folks in terms as being full fledged members of the American family. Folks there’s proof in the pudding right there. So that is one part of the news that rocked the nation sort of speak. I heard what he said on Good Morning America like everyone else, but my mind goes back to Rolling Stone, in my view.

Obama Kids Shaped President on Same-Sex Marriage

Now what is my stance on this? I’ll tell you . My stance on Obama’s viewpoint of Gay Marriage is fair game. Technically, I will say this as a Christian, a Citizen, an African-American, a registered voter,  and many other things that I label or connect to (OK I’ll put that on the shelf for a second as an individual). Here’s something I need to know: I have NO PROBLEM with President Barack Obama’s viewpoint of Gay Marriage in terms of support. NONE!  There might be those who maybe against it because of the stance of religion, or upbringing in families with the One Man and One Woman thing. Fine. However, speaking of religion, hate to provoke the thought, for those who say it’s a sin, or they’re setting a bad example per say, why is it always that I hear in church that you should “love thy neighbor” or my personal favorite, “judge not yet ye be judged”? Or what happened to respecting other people? My late grandfather once said treat people as if YOU wanted to be treated! That was and is REAL TALK! How many of those who go to church ACTUALLY keep that in mind each time, without bashing  or commenting the thought of some folks having the lifestyle of being Gay or Lesbian or involved with Same Sex Marriage? How many of those who go to work, ACTUALLY keep in mind about treating workers fairly with respect without bashing or commenting the thought of some folks on their job being apart of the LGBT community or Same Sex Marriage? Chris Rock once said if you don’t like gays, you might have a gay son. Or whoever you hate, might be in your family! Can I get a witness? How many of those who go to movies, the mall, the concerts, the clubs, a best friends wedding or funeral, special project or whatever ACTUALLY keep in mind about not talking smack about those who are in Same Sex Marriages? Just asking. Simply because it’s a humanity thing to realize that it’s just a way to keep peace and respect for all. And for that, can Bristol Palin do the same thing without bashing Sasha and Malia Obama? For God’s sake, they are kids! Bristol needs to check herself badly of what her previous situation having a baby out of wedlock, while being a teenager! (***KIM Effect = Keep It Movin***) All of this or part of this needs to ponder. I thought that this country of America needs to remind itself about the part of Declaration of Independence when it says that “we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.” We see this every 4th of July, and sometimes in classes way back. But the more we read it, do we actually do this everyday? If that were to be the case, there wouldn’t be folks being racists, sextists, against the LGBT, or many other citizens who declare and take upon themselves truthfully as American citizens. No matter what they got in them.  Some of us probably have folks who are part of the LGBT groups. And they probably do everyday jobs to help their kids, families and community.  So what’s the fuss?

Frankly, the announcement itself I think wont probably last. We’ll go back by talking about the debates, the economy, jobs, health care, and many other things that America needs to understand of going to important issues. Sort of like if Tom Barrett wants to get Walker in a corner and boot him out by June 5th.  Obviously, this will be more talked about in various terms or examples. And yes it will be on the campaign trail. However since this is a “sensitive topic” and I’m going there as is, this NEEDS to be talked about without our heads being stuck in the sand for the next generation to ask “why this?”

Once again, do I have problem with this despite whatever? Absolutely NOT!  No reason to be.