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Monday, July 04, 2005

My American Dream

[Crossposted at Join the Cipher]

On the Fourth of July I usually feel a little off. I am an American by birth and so one might think I want to celebrate in the founding of our country. However I can never shake the double-edged sword of reality as expressed by Frederick Douglass in his famous speech, "What to The Slave is the 4th of July?"

I feel like the 4th of July can be a sick joke, a mockery of freedom and liberty. The Founding Fathers regarded a lack of absolute political autonomy as tyranny, yet accepted a culture of owning other humans as legal property. Am I the only person who thinks that doesn't make any sense at all?

In reflecting on the 4th of July this year, I started to have a dream: what if in 1776, under this new nation with freedom and justice as founding ideals, all men were truly regarded as equals. What if there were blacks and whites, fighting side by side for the freedom of all peoples?

We'd have a vastly different nation, no doubt a much better one- a more perfect union.

Black people would have more of our own names.

The wealth of the many would not be so concentrated in the hands of the few.

We would be moving together for freedom and liberty- all the people of the United States of America- Europeans, Africans, Asians, and Native American Indians in all of our various cultural and ethnic blends.

Since things didn't happen that way, but we're all Americans now, can we move toward that ideal together? Can we progress our society to true representation of freedom, justice, and democracy? I don't know if we will, but I believe we can.

Emancipated by Talib @ 2:28 PM

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I hope we can move toward that ideal, too. I like what Bruce Springsteen said in his NY Times editorial before the election: "It is through the truthful exercising of the best of human qualities - respect for others, honesty about ourselves, faith in our ideals - that we come to life in God's eyes. It is how our soul, as a nation and as individuals, is revealed. Our American government has strayed too far from American values. It is time to move forward. The country we carry in our hearts is waiting."

Posted by Blogger LB @ Monday, July 04, 2005 4:44:00 PM #

Everything makes sense if the founding fathers didn't look at us as humans. The same way people look at animals today are the same way the founders looked at us. It's unfortunate that the way we are being treated now hasn't really improved. The abuse is more high tech now, just look at all the people in jail for minor offenses, and compare that to Bush & Co. abuses. The drug companies, etc. They are the real criminals.

Posted by Blogger Cynthia @ Tuesday, July 05, 2005 9:57:00 AM #
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