i was thinking of a lot of things i wanted to say about this day, but what kept coming to mind were quotes i have heard about america…so i compiled them. they represent a full range of feelings and analysis. my only addition? liberation and independence happen within you. if anything in your life requires the oppression or destruction of other lives, then you are not yet liberated.
that said, i love fireworks.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live
out the true meaning of its creed:
‘We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Americans! your republican politics, not less than your republican religion, are flagrantly inconsistent. You boast of your love of liberty, your superior civilization, and your pure Christianity, while the whole political power of the nation (as embodied in the two great political parties) is solemnly pledged to support and perpetuate the enslavement of three millions of your countrymen. You hurl your anathemas at the crowned headed tyrants of Russia and Austria and pride yourselves on your Democratic institutions, while you yourselves consent to be the mere tools and body-guards of the tyrants of Virginia and Carolina. You invite to your shores fugitives of oppression from abroad, honor them with banquets, greet them with ovations, cheer them, toast them, salute them, protect them, and pour out your money to them like water; but the fugitives from oppression in your own land you advertise, hunt, arrest, shoot, and kill. You glory in your refinement and your universal education; yet you maintain a system as barbarous and dreadful as ever stained the character of a nation-a system begun in avarice, supported in pride, and perpetuated in cruelty. You shed tears over fallen Hungary, and make the sad story of her wrongs the theme of your poets, statesmen, and orators, till your gallant sons are ready to fly to arms to vindicate her cause against the oppressor; but, in regard to the ten thousand wrongs of the American slave, you would enforce the strictest silence, and would hail him as an enemy of the nation who dares to make those wrongs the subject of public discourse! You are all on fire at the mention of liberty for France or for Ireland; but are as cold as an iceberg at the thought of liberty for the enslaved of America. You discourse eloquently on the dignity of labor; yet, you sustain a system which, in its very essence, casts a stigma upon labor. You can bare your bosom to the storm of British artillery to throw off a three-penny tax on tea; and yet wring the last hard earned farthing from the grasp of the black laborers of your country. You profess to believe “that, of one blood, God made all nations of men to dwell on the face of all the earth,” and hath commanded all men, everywhere, to love one another; yet you notoriously hate (and glory in your hatred) all men whose skins are not colored like your own. You declare before the world, and are understood by the world to declare that you “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; and are endowed by their Creator with certain in alienable rights; and that among these are, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and yet, you hold securely, in a bondage which, according to your own Thomas Jefferson, “is worse than ages of that which your fathers rose in rebellion to oppose,” a seventh part of the inhabitants of your country.
– Frederick Douglass
Slavery has never been abolished from America’s way of thinking.
– Nina Simone
You killin in my name I get the blame
So much arrogance
Its an embarrassment
Go see a therapist
For your paranoia of terrorists
Analyze the flaws in your character
Do u really love me–or just lust for power–America?
the land that has never been/and yet must be.
– Langston Hughes
America will never be destroyed from the outside.
If we falter and lose our freedoms,
it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
– Abraham Lincoln
How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye?
Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.
– Mark Twain
You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.
– Malcolm X
I threw a rock, then I ran
Cause I couldn’t stand anymore within the grip of the man
Y’all wanna ask me who’s sane
These biological gasses are eating my brain
Its a political grab bag to rape mother earth
Thirty seconds after they bagged dad for what he’s worth
Thousands will die now so millions can smile later
– Pharoah Monche
Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there,
no constitution, no law, no court can save it.
– Judge Learned Hand
I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.
– James A. Baldwin
I love this country not only because my ancestors’ blood is in the soil but because of its potential, what I believe it can become.
– James Boggs
Creating a more perfect union is sacred work, requiring faith and courage. The only way to protect democracy is to advance it.
– Vincent Harding
the democracy we’re creating is not about winning a seat at the table but about changing the rules of the game. We’re addressing the question of power internally, in order to build our sense of self, of family, of community.
– pamela chiang
My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
– Thomas Paine
These are the times to grow our souls. Each of us is called upon to embrace the conviction that despite the powers and principalities bent on commodifying all our human relationships, we have the power within us to create the world anew.
– Grace Lee Boggs