Don't get me wrong. I fully expect the capitalist system to do everything in and above its power to continue to exploit all of humanity. That's who they are. That's what they do. What gets me about July 4th is this year, despite all of the above mentioned and much more, this annual fake out will take place with the full compliance of millions of otherwise decent and honest people. That's the part that has always struck me. How conscious people, who I have conscious conversations with on June 30th can turn around and wear red, white, and blue and "celebrate America" on July 4th. There is literally no conceivable way that people could actually be this confused.
First, the day itself is a complete lie just from a basic historical standpoint. How the hell can you claim a day that's supposed to represent freedom for 300 million people who live in this country when most of those people were either slaves and not acknowledged as human beings (Africans), systemically exterminated and not acknowledged as human beings (Indigenous peoples), and oppressed and not acknowledged as equal human beings (European women), on July 4th, 1776. Apparently, either the propaganda of this capitalist system is something people just have no capacity to resist, or folks are just burying their heads in the sand (probably a little of both) because come next Wednesday, most everyone, including sizable populations from all those segments I mentioned, will be celebrating "freedom" as if nothing previously mentioned here is reality.
For me, the 4th of the Lie has always been just that. Well, there was the celebration of my parent's wedding anniversary on July 4th. My parents, fresh victims of Jim Crow racism in Louisiana and California once they moved out here, told me from the time I could talk that the 4th had absolutely nothing to do with our family and our people. We did celebrate their anniversary until my father passed away in 1999. Since then, I've been free to focus on that day as a day of mourning for the suffering of humanity. Pretty much every year for the last 20 years, I wear my "African in amerikkka" shirt on that day. If I don't, I wear some form of resistance clothing. And, every time I wear that shirt on that day, someone sees it and asks me why I'm wearing it, on that day. The degree of civility I utilize to respond to them depends completely on the degree of civility they use in asking the question, but even the most innocent inquiry challenges basic sanity. Isn't asking an African that question the same as asking a mouse why they don't seem to see the need to celebrate the glory and wonderful existence of cats?
The last question was completely rhetorical. I think I understand very well why people respond the way they do to the 4th. We have been completely remote control programmed to celebrate all of these imperialist holidays. The capitalist classes are master propagandists. No one knows how to deliver a message better than multi-national corporations. They use their massive influence e.g. control of the mass media, to institutionalize all these imperialist holidays as propaganda for their message of supporting them, at all costs. American nationalism is fueled by fear and ignorance. There is no credible threat to the safety and security of the United States and there never has been. Even the Soviet Union at its top nuclear capacity only had a portion of the weaponry held by the U.S. and today there is no other power on Earth that can even come as close as the Soviets to the U.S. stockpile. The U.S. has more military in more parts of the world than any other country. And, any threat the U.S. claims e.g. North Korea, Iran, Cuba, etc., can be directly traced to historical and systemic U.S. aggression against those countries. So, there's no threat, but the capitalists know they have to convince people here that there is a threat and the way they do that is by constantly promoting the concept that your "freedoms" and way of life in this country are under threat by somebody. This week its North Korea. Last week, ISIS. The week before, Al Queda. Before that Qaddafi, then Khomeni, etc, etc., etc. The capitalist classes know that 95% of you are not going to pick up a book about anywhere else in the world and read it if someone put a gun to your head. So, they know they needn't worry about you developing an understanding and analysis of what is actually happening in the world. They have worked so hard to get most of you so uninterested in the world that 75% of people born in the U.S. have no passport, the lowest percentage by far of any technologically industrialized country. They know most of you are not reading about anywhere and you aren't traveling anywhere, so that leaves you 100% dependent upon them for your interpretation of the world. If they feed you their crap that the world wants to kill you, they can then easily convince you that your only salvation is clinging to their flag and their empire. This system is absolutely ill-refutable. That's why the capitalists can kill and plunder the entire planet and no one in the U.S. even blinks. That's why you not only cannot get an intelligent conversation with people, even U.S. military personnel who engaged in the countries, about Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Vietnam, etc, you can't even find too many people who are even qualified to point out these places on a map. And any questions about the history and geo-political realities of these countries would produce an absolute oblivion. Yes, American nationalism is a tool to control you. And, the 4th is a propaganda mechanism to perpetuate the tool.
That's why anyone who has a true sense of justice has to take the position that American identity, in any form, shape, or construct, is the complete and undeniable equivalent to white supremacy. In other words, it is absolutely impossible for you to be an American and not be white supremacist, and that's with the advanced understanding that white supremacy is a philosophical construct which means even brown people can be white supremacists e.g. advancing the notion of white supremacy. You can't justify it. You can't rationalize it. There is no separating the two. So, every time you say "we bombed them" you are buying into the myth that you are a part of the U.S. war machine. When you say "our troops" you are buying into their agenda. Whenever you say "we" when referencing this criminal empire you are defacto identifying yourself as a part of the empire. And, when you do that, you are subconsciously saying what the empire does is ok because in that mindset, you are not going to be able to seriously denounce this system as corrupt because doing so would require you to denounce yourself as corrupt. What you are also doing is putting into place the belief that this system can be saved. It would have to be saved because you are a part of it and if you are a part of it, destroying the system means destroying you. All of these mind tricks are the work of imperialism. You see, the 4th is their commercial. Each year that they run it, they convince you, reinforce within you, that you are with them. That's their design.
This certainly doesn't have to be the end of the road or the conclusion of this story. We believe that oppression breeds resistance. So, since we know the 4th is nothing more than a propaganda tool for big business, you can decide not to play along. You do have that capability. I was proudly one of the persons who started commemorating and organizing 4th of the Lie commemorations on July 4th several years ago. I worked with other party comrades to initiate this idea in Miller Park in Sacramento, California, U.S., in 2002 because we got tired of sitting around on this day just having to bear the hypocrisy. We wanted to build an institution that would promote a different healthier message. That we the message that Africans are always fighting against the U.S. empire. We were not free on July 4th and the day is a slap in the face to all of us who maintain our dignity. Instead, we should use the day to strengthen our resolve to fight back against this backward, decadent system. We use this institution to suggest to other communities that the decision to be American - and unwittingly support white supremacy - is your choice. You can chose not to do that. You can decide that instead, you are European descendants of colonizers who denounce the ideas and actions of your ancestors. You can declare that you prefer instead to embrace a narrative of justice, not skin color. For all people, these are your choices. And since its your choice its not my job to do your work for you. In the Western U.S., our organization is doing some version of a 4th of the Lie commemoration in Oakland, California, U.S., Portland, Oregon, U.S., and Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S. If you are not near any of those cities, you can do what we did in 2002, just organize a simple potluck and invite people. Start with 15 people. Bring some music. Have a discussion about what the day actually is compared to what they want you to think it is. That may not sound like much, but those of us who understand movement building realize that if people in different pockets, in different cities, met in groups of 10/15 people and did that, millions of people would be doing it. If millions of people are engaging in this type of rejection of the capitalist version of the 4th, we are actually participating in a concerted effort to change the narrative. That level of conscious building is how revolutions form my friends (and enemies).
There is no grey area. There is no middle ground. Make the correct decision to resist being an American because you don't want to be a white supremacist. And make absolutely no mistake about it. Whether you are a liberal bourgeois white supremacist, a white supremacist in blackface, or a white sheet wearing white supremacist, to us, its all the same thing at the end of the day because the results are the same. Justice is being trampled upon. You still have a few days left to decide to do something different.