Posts Tagged ‘Independence Day’

Happy 4th again, y’all.

We already know that the country has turned another age in all, but we already know that the struggle indeed continues. And yes if you’re Black, you might 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 in all, I’m scratching my head again.

Did anyone actually read the Declaration? I mean really?

Black folks, we know about the slavery side of 1776, but what about those whom served in both armies that guranteed freedom? Yes blacks did served under the flag back then.

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. Did you know this?

With all the parades in America, why not enough black folks?

Frederick Douglass’ speech “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?

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

Why do certain folks 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 year?

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?

What about Jimi Hendrix’s version of the Anthem?

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

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

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

Is “every way” the American way?

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

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

This is interesting, can this be done? Singing Lift Every Voice And Sing on Independence Day?

Check out @Tiffanydloftin’s Tweet:

Can the hashtag #MelalinPatriot be a thing to follow? Melalin relates to black by the way.

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

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

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. We were forced to be bought and paid in auctions, but like Cicely Tyson said in one of Tyler Perry’s movie Madeas Family Reunion: “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! I was listening to one of my local black radio hosts on WNOV. 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 which was a forgotten comment! And of course, America ate up the idea of slavery and served it until 1865, when the slaves were declared free. According to, Roland Martin was on the Wendy Williams Show last year (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? And after celebrating Juneteenth, did we fully gained OUR freedom? Let that sink in.

Callout: Freedom is still not free. Even after 241 years. And even after 152 years. Let’s be real, the struggle to get to that freedom thing is going to take a four letter word of WORK!

And by the way if a black man or woman or kid wants to celebrate BOTH the Fourth and Juneteenth, even if you fly the flags, let them. Just let them. Some folks celebrate their birthdays on the days. Or a anniversary. Or whatever. Let’s be clear. For those of us whom are so conscious and woke, look: your opinions are just that. With all due respect. Let the folks whom are “Melanin Powered” have their day. Leave them alone! 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. You say that forcefully and folks will still sleep. I mean correct me if I’m wrong that 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.





Say it again.

We American folk got a birthday. 241 years. And the first strange US Birthday under #45. We know.

Oh, Happy Birthday, United States.

We are in the 241st Chapter and yes it gets more interesting. But however as in the concerns about the country are going on, with the mess of the now #45, we still as a nation need to have a fortitude to move forward. We still deal with the concerns of Black Lives really matter to the fullest. We already know that the issue of racism STILL LINGERS! We already know the concerns of the communities, especially Black Communities that face trouble everyday. We still have to get our folks to get the jobs, education, ownerships and many other factors we still face every single today. Of course many today took the time out to acknowledge the document of the Declaration of Independence, in which has the infamous words that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men (even women) are created equal.” We know. Heck, we’ve been knowing that since the day we read the Declaration. But we’ll be honest, the words we know from the document looked good and nice, but we still haven’t lived up to the hype of the follow up. There is still discrimination out there as much as being called a N*gger on the streets or not getting that house, that car, or even that job that you want badly. In the last 241 years on a presidential scale, we’ve elected 45 presidents and some were dumbfounded. Others, game changers. President Barack Obama was a Game Changing Commander in Chief. He was the catalyst that many had hoped for. And I chose him twice as a candidate to lead the nation. Why did I voted for him? Enthusiasm and Vision. That’s it! Nothing else. Yes of course I wanted to see someday a black man to lead the nation in the White House. The very same White House that was built by slaves. And last time, many of the so-called patriots called out Michelle Obama for saying that. Well guess what, it was the truth. The very same acknowledgement that many in the black community don’t acknowledge the 4th. You may have heard it many times: Our people were in bondage. They were shacked, branded, didn’t have any rights to be themselves. And that is hard reality that not a school teacher didn’t acknowledge. Of course we can wave the flags now and don’t even care about it. But that then around that time, we couldn’t do (in the words of Chris Farley) JACK SQUAT!

And yes even Frederick Douglass had the infamous words of “What does the slave mean to the Fourth of July?” in calling out the hypocrisy of celebrating America’s Freedoms except black slaves. Let’s calculate: Between 1776 and 1852, how many years was that? 76 years. 76 years of us and a few supporters to call out the hate against America’s DNA counterpart of Slavery. Ain’t that something? Plus also I’ve read the “E Plurbis One” book by News Commentator, Sophia A. Nelson and she states in the book that two of our founding fathers, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin even got on America’s case of harboring slaves during the start of the country’s founding, around 1775 and 1776 sparingly. She even highlighted that a female,  Harriet Beecher Stowe who written the novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” called out the hypocritical attitudes of the country regarding Slavery. So guess what Americans: Before Frederick Douglass, other folks called out slavery during the Revolutionary War era. Even evangelist and England’s own son, John Wesley who later founded Methodism (aka the United Methodist Church) called out slavery being inhumane.

But then you got black folks on the day like today saying remember Juneteenth Day! I didn’t forget. Heck, I fly my flags ON BOTH HOLIDAYS! You read that right. I do both holidays. There was time that yes I flew both FLAGS on the Fourth. No question. But however the thought of flying BOTH FLAGS outside of my house on Juneteenth Day was a long thought of an idea. So the week of Flag Day of June 14th, I keep them both out until the 19th. So yes, the idea of displaying the flags of the U.S. and Wisconsin was well planned indeed. But took the idea to how it was displayed. Until we see buntings of the Red Black and Green, THEN WE CAN BE IN BUSINESS.

But to back about Juneeteenth Day, look, for my black readers, what I’m about to say might sting. We all go hard about Juneeteenth all day everyday. No question. But I have to ask this. Read this article from Juneteenth:

This holiday is the “black version” of the 4th, but like many other 4th’s we celebrate we are still not free. Does that sound familiar? Think about it. Sounds familiar? We talk about it all the time, but when ever problems come up in regarding the shootings of unarmed black folks, racism, not getting the house/car due to a thing of running credit checks, I know that many of you today asked that same old question: “Have we gained our independence? Not just on the fourth, not just on the 19th of June, or any other non related holiday or occasion? So the question shouldn’t be pointed on the fourth, but also on the 19th as well. And the thing like the fourth this is a hard reality for the 19th: When the food is put away, when the flags, lights, fireworks, staging areas, the beer, the brats, or red kool-aid are all put away. And when the last person goes out to go home, or group to leave the exits, I got three words for the celebrations: THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES! No matter what happens now, a year from now, or whenever, the struggle continues!

So I ask again: Have we gained our independence from both the Fourth of July and Juneteenth Day?  Until that happens, we will indeed know and reminded in this era that INDEED the struggle continues!

So: Happy 4th, and for you late comers: way happy Juneteenth.






The Struggle Continues Red White and Blue

Oh, the struggle!

If you are blessed to be alive today, thank God that you are allowed to breathe!

For many of us, it’s the 4th of July. The infamous American holiday that many celebrate with the family and friends, neighbors, food and drinks, decorate the house with patriot like colors, and of course with the games to kick back and relax.Yes thus far, the framework of America’s Independence is just in progress. MATTER of fact, it’s always been in progress. One of these days when that one July 4th Holiday in which might be huge, it would serve notice about all the so far agendas that we need to conquer.

For yes, us African Americans, we are still on watch. No I’m not trying to be conscious, but yes we are on watch every time! All the things we went through and still going through. Many of us, in the African American community still have this confusion about should we embrace the holiday while on the other hand to realize that our black forefathers and forefathers were still slaves. It’s true! Now I know many are going to say, “It didn’t happen to you!” They’re right. It didn’t happen to us, TODAY! Today we reflected the portion through the Facebook Postings, the Instagram Pictures, or many other social media outlets. We know this. And the thing is that is the main reason why many or some in the black community don’t want no part of the celebration of America’s birthday. However, there are those whom do recognize the slavery portion and do partake in the 4th. Why, because it’s a choice. Such as of what Usher displayed at the Essence Festival in which he had on a white shirt with “July Fourth” crossed off in red and blue colors, while on the bottom it had “Juneteenth” as in Juneteenth Day. And the question on his jacket was, “Have we truly achieved our Independence?” We already know the answer of not very much. Look what happened in South Carolina with 9 members of Emanuel AME Church was killed by a BOY named Dylann Roof. Or the constant shootings against innocent black men, or denying black applicants for jobs just because their name is like Jamal, or Niqua, or because the company would like to prefer more white applicants than BLACK folks! Tell me I’m wrong!

Photos courtesy of Stephen's Spot

The annual US Bank Fireworks are a Milwaukee tradition that dates back to 1911 in a way to celebrate America’s Independence. – Photos courtesy of Stephen’s Spot.

Now this is no secret, I celebrate the 4th of July. But I am reminded that even though it’s fine to decorate the colors of Red White And Blue on your house, or go to Wal-Mart or Old Navy to purchase a flag shirt, or to see the fireworks before and on the Fourth (Milwaukee knows this too well), or any other “Americana” related items, but I am totally reminded as a black man, that the struggle continues! That stuck in me. Matter of fact,  its a reality now. Hey, I even say that after my birthday celebrations in December. The Struggle Continues!  And yes, for you conscious black folks who love to reflect all the things that are RGB, yes, I hear you. And I dig your radicalism, but here is something you should know. I also never forget the African side,  nor lessons, nor the teachings of our ancestors that either were struggled, enslaved, shackled, branded, demeaned, or separated by the earlier mindset which that yes our folks went through. Mainly it really started with those who were BLACK SLAVE TRADERS! I want those who feel this way to understand. I’m not calling BS on this. Last time I checked the stories, we all seen Roots when Kunta Kente was taken and captured by BLACK SLAVE TRADERS. Another was The Book of Negroes, and in the first part, the character Aminata was captured, separated, branded by slave traders, but morely started by BLACK SLAVE TRADERS! You talk about brainwashed or selling out; Guess what? the Black Slave Traders were brainwashed also in the attempt to sell off those whom were our black ancestors during the slave trade. I’m sorry to say this but it’s the darn truth! Look it up! Even I get drilled in the teachings in the house that I grew up in. What I’m saying is that we know the part of slavery that dealt with our people, but we must NOT overlook the portion that our own people helped the slavery track started up. We need to take a look at all sides no matter what the subject it is. Even if its the subject of Slavery. And yes we gotta be real about it! Just to add also, I do recognize and also celebrate Juneteenth Day.

Now talking about struggles: What struggle continues today? The Struggles of everyday life. Jobs, healthcare, finance, racism,  security, or a right to take down a confederate flag. Bree Newsome, made news of repelling up a flag pole in South Carolina unhooked the Confederate Battle Flag . And yes she and James Tyson got arrested on the spot. And of course, there have been talks, interviews and commentary about them doing a thought that many had wished. But we all know that the flag got put up and will be taken down in votes. So when the votes come, even though the “stars and bars” will be taken down officially, but the talk of racism in other forms will indeed not rest!

And that is what America must do. It must not rest nor left alone on the laurels of Racism or Discrimination that the country has endured for the last 239 years. It must learn and do a plan to let our concerns flow. If our concerns don’t flow, or cry out, someone will do it for us! And this is one of the reasons why I say that “The Struggle Continues!” So yes, thus far America has made some strides of examples of Healthcare, Same Sex Marriage (whether you agree or disagree), jobs, finance, Housing, anything Education related,  and other areas, but the true thought in all of this, that the constant struggle and I mean (the constant struggle) in America still lingers! Yes Americans, we can celebrate and observe this 239th edition of the country’s Independence. BUT………the Struggle continues and the beat goes on!

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)


Well let me begin with a simple statement: Happy Birthday, America. All 237 years of the Declaration of Independence. In a country that is still trying to get “there”. And country where the creed where “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”. – We better. And we should. But in the recent events of Voting and Gays, I have to comment that the issues of both has been mixed.

Now I have to pick on the Supreme Court again. In that 5-4 decision that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was recently not revised, there has been this facade that the Justice Roberts, and Justice Clarence Thomas and others who felt that it was years ago and and it’s changed, based on race and votes: NEWSFLASH! Things haven’t changed that much. I wish I had a box. A “loaded box.” I want to put Justice Roberts and others who feel things that changed in their view, I want them to go through the most segregated, poor related areas of America. Especially in the inner cities of America where mostly African-Americans are getting shafted almost everyday! I want them to go to the meetings in which those who are fighting the redistribution of the voting areas just to make it harder for folks to get to the polls and have a voice to vote. Just as also to go to the districts who have a hard time getting a ID just because to VOTE! I’ve been voting since 1996, and I’ve been voting in every single election since. Big or small. And 2012 was by far the best voting year I’ve been in. In Milwaukee, I was one if the 87%  in the black community that voted up big time! And those think that we black folks have been voting too much. Whaaaaaaaaat?!! – As the folks say now.  Seriously, is this how we are celebrating the 4th this year?! And I dare to ask this again: How is striking down the Voting Rights Act of 1965, is a back burner to Gay/Lesbian Rights? Like I said in my previous blogs, those in the Gay Community: Express your platform. I don’t care about it. Have a ball. Let me take pictures on my Nikon in Milwaukee. But however, what they have to understand that the real Civil Rights like the VRA per say, is the original plateau. Not a copycat. I hate to put this on the day in which we honor the 4th, but I have to say that “Real recognizes Real”. Period.

Now I want to pick on Milwaukee. Right now, we have our annual Summertime festival of music taking place called “Summerfest”. It’s an 11 day festival, full of music ranging from Folk, to Hip-Hop. Rock to R&B. Indie to homegrown. Instrumental to vocal. We got it all. Summerfest has been around since 1968 and yes it still remains one of the best Festivals in the country. And I dare say the Midwest. And it’s right on the Lake Michigan Shoreline and I’ve worked there twice. But however, I was reading a news article about a Caucasian woman, Cassandra Struve who is in her 20’s, was beaten up by 2 black females all because of her playing a Cab Calloway song on her Saxophone. Right near Summerfest, mind you. And it’s becoming a uproar in the community yet again, about the rate of Segregation in the City. Yes, Milwaukee is still the remaining top Segregated City in the country. However this attack on this young woman was just hate. My question is after all of this, to the two black females that jacked her up, do they know a Cab Calloway song? Or the career of Cab Calloway? Just saying. Plus however, I know I’ve heard this in church that let’s say you have someone on your job who heard about this, and a white person per say comes up to a black employee and asks did you cause this? What is up with you people? The two keywords that I’ve heard in the sentence that was demeaning is “you people”. First, the black employee did nothing wrong to that person. It’s more of that dialogue that continues to fuel the racism on both angles. That’s a double standard. Remember when Darius Rucker was slandered on Twitter by a so-called white person who said to him to “leave country music to the white folk?” I’ve haven’t said this in a while, but that double edged sword is mighty sharp!

So now, we’ve read the Declaration of Independence. And We’ve read the” all men are created equal”. But sadly, after this day is over, after the food has been eaten, after the fireworks have been silenced at your parks or districts, after the parades and television specials like A Capitol Fourth has been concluded for another year, there will be more stories of Segregation, Racism, the hate on African-American men/women, LGBT, voting rights, Minority concerns, education, jobs, healthcare, residence rights, civil rights, and others will still be on the pulse. Even the ratchetness of folks will continue to escalate. No matter what is displayed. This summer in the Month of August, will mark the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. – The very same event in which we all know that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave on of the best speeches on the planet, “I Have A Dream”. Now, I want to provoke the thought here, if those who use Dr. King as a preface of making their points across against those of let’s say black column writers who write things that are not understandable to others, one question: What have they done to maintain King’s dream? I dare to ask those who are well “conservative” the Tea Party, some progressives,  independents, or those who have weird usernames on the JSOnline comment stuff, what have they done? I can say this: NOTHING! Nothing but talking.  It’s time to get back to the Old School Tree of Learning. Or in this case: rebuild the tree! But on a side note, I do decorate my residence with the red white and blue, and yes John Adams did say that the holiday is a annual festival – “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.”

We should know.

And plus, I had to sample a page out of the playbook of Eugene Kane today via Facebook. He writes and comments:

Happy 4th of July!
But don’t get it twisted:
1776: “All men are created equal.”
1865: “…& blacks.”
1920: “…& women.”
1924: “…& Indians.”
2013: “…well, maybe not blacks…”

REAL TALK and Just Saying.

With that being said. Happy Birthday America.

The struggle continues and the beat goes on.

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.


Stephen’s Spot

Greetings Americans. Happy B-Day. 235 years, huh? Not knocking the notion on Americans Independence here. But I am glad by the grace of God that I can still type and breathe on this day of Independence. But also are those who don’t have a heart nor will to celebrate. I was reading The Grio website, about two articles: one about blacks shouldn’t celebrate the fourth and the other about the 4th belonging to us. Yes, it’s true not everyone will or had celebrated the nation’s independence. For most who keep score at home, the Declaration of Independence was signed at the same time when blacks were still slaves. It took from 1776 to 1865 just to get the shackles off of the ankles of my black forefathers. Frederick Douglass asked the question in his day; “What to the slave is the Fourth of the July?

This was a real question that had to be answered. What did it meant? The slaves didn’t have any right or privileges. The only key to their freedom at the time was joining up with the Continental Army under George Washington. And the same with the British. Read about this stuff and you’ll know why, especially those who refuse to celebrate. I think to myself, what would it take for African-Americans to celebrate the 4th? What would it take? The previous holiday independence for us black folk was Juneteenth Day. Most of us think and believe that is OUR Fourth of July. This however, not much. I think one option that would be beneficial for this, is to summarize that even though that African-Americans had it bad in various eras in American History, but there were some positives. And also those positives lead to pointers to help build this nation. Why can’t that be recognized by US?! (that much) Why can’t other folks give us credit that we deserve? Ranging from Fresh Ideas of inventions, to novels, to handling the ability to take out Osama Bin Laden.  That’s right George W. Bush fans. At least give President Obama credit or some street cred on this.

Sadly after this day is over, and we the next day go back to work or summer school, the same everyday problems will continue happen ranging from Racial Profiling, High Unemployment, and discrimination against blacks for not getting the jobs in general. For once this happened to me. Last year, I wrote about Dresser Waukesha for not hiring African-Americans in Wisconsin. I was one of the 390 African-Americans who received a $5,000 Check based on the thought that I was dissed because of my black skin color. All I did was handed in a resume. The city I reside in, is one of the most segregated cities in the United States. The issue is the fact that yes, independence was handed to me personally. And yet I begin to ask, if this country of America is SUPPOSED to be a nation of freedom, why was I discriminated against my race over job opportunities? IN WISCONSIN! Five years ago, I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stout with a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Management. I used the notion of getting the degree by using Distance Education in which some here in the Milwaukee area (either locally or personally) thought I had to go onto campus just to finish it. Also, some of those locally ranged from the Milwaukee Urban League, Manpower and a company that was too personal – Spherion. They dissed me folks. All because they thought that I wouldn’t find a job in all. They thought I was wasting my time and attacking me all because I wouldn’t do the education thing the old school way. After realizing this, it was not my mother’s education, my father’s education, NOR my sister’s education. This was MY education. I made this Stout thing for me, and I finished this Stout thing for me. Talk about getting my independence. When I got my degree, I thought about the haters that I previously described (as in Having Anger Towards Everyone Reaching Success). This Distance Education thing may not be a traditional thing for some, but it worked for me in getting that piece of paper. Where are the haters on this issue now?

I know this doesn’t mean much today, but it does. I know that getting a $5,000.00 check didn’t meant much, but it does. OK so I have my reasons to get my independence day on. But seriously, I think it would take a while to get us black folks to try to celebrate this 4th of July. And any other 4th in the future. We still go through mess and have to sing God Bless America? Seriously?!!

So this is the 235th year of Independence. But now, at what costs? So as we celebrate, put these in order. Thank God First. Then thank the troops. Then your friends, neighbors, jobs, families and of course YOU! Why God has to be thanked first before the Armed Forces? If it hadn’t been for God, we wouldn’t have a Independence Day to celebrate, PERIOD! And as for the Army Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard are concerned, they do a fine job. All the power to them. But they have to realize that they must give God the Glory first too!

Take note Americans.

“Without struggle, there can be no progress” – Frederick Douglass

On July 4th, 1776 the United States of America was born in Philiadelphia, PA. The mission of the time was to give the country an independent form of being its own country. The Colonists of John Hancock, Ben Franklin and others helped to shape form the use of “Independence” to integrate causes of being free. Still, after 230 years of the Declaration of Independence, America has a lot of “freedom fighting “to do.  “Freedom fighting comprises of racism (which is world wide), sexism, freedom to speak, perform religion (in a positive manner) , dress and many others that we continue to face each day. Now for the other countries who don’t like America, based on our way of life, and prosperity, we shouldn’t let their comments stand in our way of maintaing the properous objectives of strengthing this country. Since 9/11, our freedoms were “challenged” due to the World Trade Center bombings and we began to wonder, is this the type of country that is supposed to be dragged down like that? not apparantly, but then again anything can happen, and we must to maintain the hypothesis to ask and answer why we need to be the America again.
In honor and respect, of the 4th, I found several reasons why this holiday is a favorite of mine:
Independence –
Freedom –
Opportunity –
Liberty –
Justice –
Honor –
but most of all – prosperity!