Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly… Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’re dependent on more than half the world. This is the way our universe is structured, this is its interrelated quality. We aren’t going to have peace on Earth until we recognize the basic fact of the interrelated structure of all reality.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
Happy Interdependence Day.
Mark Charles reflects on the legacy of the Declaration of Independence and the nation-state that built its house on this foundation:
There is one part of our history that we have no idea what to do with. Our colonialism.” —Mark Charles
Listen to James Earl Jones read Frederick Douglass’ 1852 July 4th speech (transcript and audio):
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 life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine.” —Frederick Douglass
Why did the Declaration’s writers use the words they use? Robert Parkinson explains the historical context:
Upon hearing the news that the Congress had just declared American independence, a group of people gathered in the tiny village of Huntington, N.Y., to observe the occasion by creating an effigy of King George. But before torching the tyrant, the Long Islanders did something odd, at least to us. According to a report in a New York City newspaper, first they blackened his face, and then, alongside his wooden crown, they stuck his head ‘full of feathers’ like ‘savages,’ wrapped his body in the Union Jack, lined it with gunpowder and then set it ablaze.” —Robert Parkinson
The relationship between the evolving U.S. pledge of allegiance and the nation’s domestic and foreign wars:
The Pledge of Allegiance actually comes into play in the late 19th century. It was devised in no small measure because the United States had only recently fought the bitter Civil War, where upwards of 700,000 people were slaughtered on battlefields and in their houses. And it was thought that this artificially-constructed former slaveholders’ republic needed some kind of glue to help to bring disparate elements together.” —Gerald Horne