Here’s a prediction: The Washington Redskins will never play another game in the National Football League. I feel more confident about that than I do about there ever being another season for the National Football League.
Dan Snyder, the owner of Washington’s football team, and possibly the worst owner in the league, has resisted even considering changing the name. And let’s not quibble on this fact: The name “Redskins” is racist. If you don’t believe that, then walk up to a Native American and say, “How, Redskin.”
People generally hate change, especially in tradition. It’s not always racist when someone resists changing the name of their favorite football team. People feel like they own a part of their team. I’d hate it if my team, the New Orleans Saints, had to change their name…or the Chicago Cubs. It’s bad enough rooting for a team owned by a Trump supporter, but…
I must confess I wasn’t aware of this historical fact and least of all who Frederick Douglass was. I think that the emphasis in my history classes was placed on other topics. It’s as an adult that I’m learning so much about so many things.
In view of the current times that we are collectively experiencing, I think this is the most appropriate subject I want to post about on this July 4th, “America’s birthday” … the Birth of A Nation.
On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave a keynote address at an Independence Day celebration and asked, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Douglass was a powerful orator, often traveling six months out of the year to give lectures on abolition. His speech was delivered at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York. It was a scathing speech in which Douglass stated,
“This Fourth of July is yours, not mine, You may rejoice, I must mourn.”
In his speech, Douglass acknowledged the Founding Fathers of America, the architects of the Declaration of Independence, for their commitment to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”:
“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.”
Frederick Douglass’ Descendants Deliver His ‘Fourth Of July’ Speech
The U.S. celebrates this Independence Day amid nationwide protests and calls for systemic reforms.
In this short film, five young descendants of Frederick Douglass read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” which asks all of us to consider America’s long history of denying equal rights to Black Americans.
This video was inspired by Jennifer Crandall’s documentary project “Whitman, Alabama“.
A text version of the full speech is available here.
~~Published July 3, 2020~~
The U.S. celebrates this Independence Day amid nationwide protests and calls for systemic reforms. In this short film, five young descendants of Frederick Douglass read and respond to excerpts of his famous speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” which asks all of us to consider America’s long history of denying equal rights to Black Americans.
FEATURING (alphabetically) Douglass Washington Morris II, 20 (he/him) Isidore Dharma Douglass Skinner, 15 (they/their) Zoë Douglass Skinner, 12 (she/her) Alexa Anne Watson, 19 (she/her) Haley Rose Watson, 17 (she/her).
How the Mighty has fallen indeed!! … “America is sick. While the rest of the world is in recovery, we seem to be on a prolonged stay in the ICU. It didn’t have to be this way. But people dying, jobs lost, people in masks and cities on fire seem a fitting end to an otherwise horrific presidency.”
A little over a week ago, my wife and I made a choice. We decided to travel back to our home state of Ohio. We knew it was a risk. We knew we’d be leaving ourselves vulnerable, riding around on planes and through airports—hoping for the best outcome. So far, so good.
We did everything we could to avoid contracting Covid. We wore our masks, washed our hands often, and tried to physically distance as best we could, especially from some of our most vulnerable family members. Luckily, everyone on the plane was required to wear a mask, as was everyone in and around the airport. I felt somewhat safe because of the compliance, which was close to 100%. We won’t know for sure for another two weeks whether we’re in the clear.
That said, I couldn’t help but think how surreal the whole ordeal was. Never in a million…
On the 4th of July, the birth of this nation, it’s difficult to celebrate in 2020.
For almost 4 years, the nation has been in a chokehold … yes, a chokehold … by an unworthy, sorry excuse of a ‘so-called’ president.
There’s nothing to celebrate tomorrow: 2.8 million infected with the virus. 130,000+ dead Americans from COVID-19, 40,000,000+ unemployed, rampart racial inequalities and major civil unrest, police brutality against African-American men and women unabated, impending loss of economy, climate change out of control.
America, once the leader of the world is laughed at and pitied by the world.
All because this buffon managed to ‘squeeze’ by into the Oval!
All those in silence are complicit of this perfidy!
#BoricuaPride … ” … that possibility allowed a New York-born Puerto Rican and the most diverse Broadway cast you’ve ever seen to reimagine the country’s founding through the voices of the same people of color who protest for equal treatment in the United States to this day.”
“Hamilton” and Puerto Rican pride go hand in hand.
That pride, for those who don’t know, is instilled at an early age, as it was for me. It’s the daily Puerto Rican Day Parade of your mind, or as Kanye West put it, “Puerto Rican Day Parade floatin’.” It’s your abuelos demanding you always know and never forget where they came from (in my case, Mayagüez and Ciales). It’s Roberto Clemente’s rocket arm and humanitarianism.
It’s Rita Moreno in everything she does, and listening to Frankie Ruiz sing “pues boricua me hiciste, hasta la muerte” and wondering how music can sound so amazing. It’s Rosie Perez and that one-of-a-kind voice. It’s Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony shaking their bon-bons and singing their hearts out in the Latin music invasion of the 90s.
#BoricuaPride … “this Hamilton, played with relentless energy and sly charm by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the music, book and lyrics, also belongs to the New York of 2016. Filmed (by the show’s director, Thomas Kail, and the cinematographer Declan Quinn) in front of a live audience at the Richard Rodgers Theater in June of that year, the movie, while not strictly speaking a documentary, is nonetheless a document of its moment.”
The opening scenes of the filmed version of the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” which starts streaming on Disney+ on Independence Day weekend, pull you back in time to two distinct periods. The people onstage, in their breeches and brass-buttoned coats, belong to the New York of 1776. That’s when a 19-year-old freshly arrived from the Caribbean — the “bastard, immigrant, son of a whore” who shares his name with the show — makes his move and takes his shot, joining up with a squad of anti-British revolutionaries and eventually finding his way to George Washington’s right hand and the front of…
Trump’s actions speak for themselves. Trump may be the greatest traitor in the history of our country. Americans should raise a white feather to Trump and to the Republicans who enable his criminal actions.
Benedict Donald was a traitor when he asked Russia to help him in 2016. He was a traitor when he stood next to Putin and said he believes Putin over our own intelligence agencies. He was a traitor when he asked Ukraine to do him a “favor“. And every Republican who stood by and did nothing, as Benedict Donald betrayed our country, are all traitors as well.
I don’t care who you are or if you’re a Republican or a Democrat when it comes to science. You should listen to scientists, not politicians. You should especially listen to scientists over stupid politicians.
While Donald Trump and his surrogates keep downplaying the seriousness of the coronavirus and put a happy spin on it, people close to Trump continue to catch it. A Secret Service agent who accompanied Mike Pence to Arizona, a virus hotspot, has contracted the virus. While the Trump campaign was setting up its hate rally in Tulsa several members of the campaign and two Secret Service agents caught the virus.
Before the rally was held in Tulsa, everyone who is not a dumbass knew it was a horrible and stupid idea. Oklahoma was and still is a hotspot for the coronavirus. It was very dangerous to go to a hotspot and jam 19,000 people into…
In our rush to fix all that is broken, it is possible to go too far. There is always that single step that will be over the line, where even the staunchest of allies will begin to look askance and turn away. Once taken, it is difficult to walk it back. I see this coming, where all the justified fury of decades, centuries even, will be lost as the righteous cause is hijacked by those with a different agenda or purpose.
The murder of George Floyd was the spark; however, it is the desired outcome that must resonate with all members of society. Believe me, it must be the majority, or that change will never happen. During the first Civil Rights fight, there were multiple small fights, each time more people were moved. The final straw then was Bull Conner, Birmingham, Alabama, the spring of 1963 and his attack on…