For many, the 4th of July is a powerfully positive sort of day. This is the yearly celebration of America’s independence from the British monarchy, and a moment in which our exuberant, liberty-loving forefathers told the rest of the world that all men are created equal and that they would be putting their lives on the line to guarantee liberty and justice for all.
These are the ideals that we still strive for each and every day, and those who don’t agree simply aren’t choosing to uphold the values of our nation’s founding.
The 4th of July isn’t about America’s sins, but rather it is about celebrating the our impetus as a nation free from the rule of tyrants and royalty.
Colin Kaepernick doesn’t see it this way, however.
Colin Kaepernick issued a fierce rebuke of Independence Day, slamming the ‘celebration of white supremacy’ and calling out America for ‘centuries’ of abuse against black people.
The star athlete and activist took to Twitter to share the powerful rejection, along with a video of actor James Earl Jones reciting Frederick Douglass’s renowned speech ‘What to the Slave Is the 4th of July?’
The video showed a series of shocking visuals, including photos of slave auctions, Ku Klux Klan members, lynchings, videos of officers brutally beating black inmates and of police brutality, racist caricature drawings and the works.
Then came his stark statement.
‘Black ppl have been dehumanized, brutalized, criminalized + terrorized by America for centuries, & are expected to join your commemoration of ‘independence’, while you enslaved our ancestors,’ Kaepernick said in his tweet.
‘We reject your celebration of white supremacy & look forward to liberation for all.’
While Kaepernick’s assertion that African Americans have faced a great deal of hardship throughout American history is not incorrect, his characterization of Independence Day as being somehow complicit in this racism is an obtuse and purposefully “edgy” take on American history, and will almost certainly be met with fierce criticisms.
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