This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.

The following is a quote  from a speech by Abolitionist Frederick Douglas. It would not surprise me if this is the first time your read something like this. This is one of the many examples of how dissident views of the history and cultural “meaning makings” have been suppressed by the USA institutional educational and religious apparatus.

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 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 light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrevocable ruin I can to-day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea we wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lords song in a strange land? If I forget thee, 0 Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.”

Read the full speech by Frederick Douglass, Aboltionst (July, 4 1852) .

2 thoughts on “This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.

  1. Dear Sir: I am a missionary/Pastor in Santiago, Chile. I have given my life for the work for over 6 years. I find it hard to understand your judgement. I think it is something that is in your blood against this country. I am taking your name off my list, please do the same. I love my country of USA, and miss her today. I wish that you felt the same.
    Mike Sheffield
    Santiago, Chile

  2. Thanks for this Eliacin, I appreciate the call to reflection on the imperfect nature of the principalities and powers of this world.



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