Author Topic: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?  (Read 1433 times)

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Offline contest_sanity

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Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« on: July 04, 2020, 02:25:50 PM »
As one thing to think about:



For more info on this specific point (and more), check out the following podcast: https://open.spotify.com/episode/0bDcdRErQiDeLE4NytdtRR?si=uwLwk4JsSwuvn46hbusdrw

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2020, 02:50:15 PM »
The revisionist history and pure hatred for this country and white people that some like Hannah-Jones hold is problematic.

On topic... Do they really think we have forgotten that slavery existed in this country, and have to be reminded every half an hour? Can we acknowledge that history, recognize we still have room and ability to grow, and that we don't need to tear everything down because nothing in our nation is salvageable?
"Nostalgia is just the ability to forget the things that sucked" - Nelson DeMille, 'Up Country'

Offline KevShmev

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2020, 03:04:56 PM »
The revisionist history and pure hatred for this country and white people that some like Hannah-Jones hold is problematic.

On topic... Do they really think we have forgotten that slavery existed in this country, and have to be reminded every half an hour? Can we acknowledge that history, recognize we still have room and ability to grow, and that we don't need to tear everything down because nothing in our nation is salvageable?

Exactly.

Independence Day is absolutely worth celebrating. 

Anyone who doesn't want to celebrate it, fine by me, but leave those of us want to the fuck alone and don't try making us feel bad about it either.

Note: I still think fireworks are mostly dumb. :P :P

Okay, rant over.  :lol :lol

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2020, 03:06:22 PM »
This feels like silliness.
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2020, 03:14:17 PM »
It isn't even like we get together on July 04, sit around the picnic table, and talk about how wonderful the founding of our country was, all while pretending slavery never happened. We get together with our family and friends, chow 2 or 3 or 75 hot dogs, and light some fireworks*. And I recall saying this last year... neighbors in my community get together (it will be fewer this year due to Covid) on July 04 to enjoy each others' company. Neighbors who are White, Korean, Pacific Islanders, and Black. And it's pretty cool. We are trying to build a community and togetherness, unlike others like Hannah-Jones, who aren't trying to build anything at all.


*not mostly dumb
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2020, 03:19:08 PM »
It isn't even like we get together on July 04, sit around the picnic table, and talk about how wonderful the founding of our country was, all while pretending slavery never happened. We get together with our family and friends, chow 2 or 3 or 75 hot dogs, and light some fireworks*. And I recall saying this last year... neighbors in my community get together (it will be fewer this year due to Covid) on July 04 to enjoy each others' company. Neighbors who are White, Korean, Pacific Islanders, and Black. And it's pretty cool. We are trying to build a community and togetherness, unlike others like Hannah-Jones, who aren't trying to build anything at all.


*not mostly dumb

Haha, well said. It is an excuse to get together with family and friends and have a good time.  COVID has thrown a monkey wrench into it this year, but life goes on, at least until COVID kills us all. :P :P

Offline contest_sanity

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2020, 04:29:13 PM »
It's not revisionist history at all. We founded our country by taking the lands of indigenous nations. Our fledgling nation built its economy on the foundation of slavery. I think today is a great day to at least be aware and maybe sensitive to the fact that other groups of people might view this holiday differently. As Langston Hughes wrote: "America never was America to me."

Also, I don't understand the distaste for Nikole Hannah-Jones. She's worked on building a lot of things. Her 1619 Project I think is very valuable for understanding and working to heal race relations in this country. I think people should take a look:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html

Stadler talks a lot about not demonizing the other side and yet it's been stated in this thread that Hannah-Jones hates both America and white people. I don't think that's accurate. I just think people have very different visions of what a "Great America" looks like. 

I'm not saying that our founders weren't fighting for good ideals, but those same ideals were a cruel mockery even at the time, as those same people that wrote grand sentences announcing freedom also were enslavers. So maybe we can recognize and remember Independence Day, but perhaps with a mixture of celebration and lament.

And lastly, leave you alone? I just made a post on a discussion forum. Nobody had to even come in here and respond, as I'm sure people knew my take was pretty leftist before even opening the thread. I'm not necessarily trying to make anyone feel guilty; I was just trying to present an alternative viewpoint... and in fact present an internal conflict that I have within myself. Because I was tempted to just let the day slide by without saying anything, but I just can't do that anymore: not when I see the pain that black, indigenous, and other people of color are going through.

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2020, 05:12:11 PM »
I apologize if I came out of the gate pretty harsh on your post. You and I seem to disagree on, well, most everything, but I always read your posts and did not want to seem I was dismissing that one out of hand.  :)

Below is one article upon which I was basing my assessment of Hannah-Jones. I see she says "she does not hate them [white people]" and it is not clear if she likens all white people to devils, or just European explorers and settlers. Regardless, historians and experts have called for corrections to her project which she acquiesced to, and it seems to offer little in the way of unity or reconciliation.

https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/25/in-racist-screed-nyts-1619-project-founder-calls-white-race-barbaric-devils-bloodsuckers-no-different-than-hitler/

I Have read some of her work, but have soured on it due to similar articles. In the interest of fairness I will try to read more.

Quote
I think today is a great day to at least be aware and maybe sensitive to the fact that other groups of people might view this holiday differently.

If the original post had said just that, I think every member here would raise a bratwurst to you. You were more eloquent in your sentence than a Pulitzer Prize winner was in hers.

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Offline TAC

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2020, 06:00:38 PM »

Quote
I think today is a great day to at least be aware and maybe sensitive to the fact that other groups of people might view this holiday differently.

If the original post had said just that, I think every member here would raise a bratwurst to you. You were more eloquent in your sentence than a Pulitzer Prize winner was in hers.

Exactly. The OP just came out throwing bombs.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Northern Lion

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2020, 07:45:01 PM »
It's not revisionist history at all. We founded our country by taking the lands of indigenous nations. Our fledgling nation built its economy on the foundation of slavery. I think today is a great day to at least be aware and maybe sensitive to the fact that other groups of people might view this holiday differently. As Langston Hughes wrote: "America never was America to me."

Also, I don't understand the distaste for Nikole Hannah-Jones. She's worked on building a lot of things. Her 1619 Project I think is very valuable for understanding and working to heal race relations in this country. I think people should take a look:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html

Stadler talks a lot about not demonizing the other side and yet it's been stated in this thread that Hannah-Jones hates both America and white people. I don't think that's accurate. I just think people have very different visions of what a "Great America" looks like. 

I'm not saying that our founders weren't fighting for good ideals, but those same ideals were a cruel mockery even at the time, as those same people that wrote grand sentences announcing freedom also were enslavers. So maybe we can recognize and remember Independence Day, but perhaps with a mixture of celebration and lament.

And lastly, leave you alone? I just made a post on a discussion forum. Nobody had to even come in here and respond, as I'm sure people knew my take was pretty leftist before even opening the thread. I'm not necessarily trying to make anyone feel guilty; I was just trying to present an alternative viewpoint... and in fact present an internal conflict that I have within myself. Because I was tempted to just let the day slide by without saying anything, but I just can't do that anymore: not when I see the pain that black, indigenous, and other people of color are going through.

The bolded part is how most nations have begun.  On the principle of conquering.  Like it or hate it, that's just how it's been done for thousands of years.  So we can't blame America for this because it's not unique.  And those indigenous people probably conquered the people that existed before them.  It's not pretty, but it's common.

Although hideous, slavery has also been a part of most nations on earth throughout history.  And of all different types of people.  Thankfully though, at least we finally abolished it and that is to be commended.  Although liberty didn't exist for blacks at the time of the founding of our county, it does now.  The principle of the day of independence is to celebrate our liberty.

I do not believe July 4th is a racist holiday at all.  However, I do wish that April 9th would be made a national holiday to commemorate when the slaves were liberated as well.
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Offline TAC

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2020, 07:55:08 PM »
Although hideous, slavery has also been a part of most nations on earth throughout history.  And of all different types of people.  Thankfully though, at least we finally abolished it and that is to be commended.  Although liberty didn't exist for blacks at the time of the founding of our county, it does now.  The principle of the day of independence is to celebrate our liberty.

Yes.



I do not believe July 4th is a racist holiday at all.  However, I do wish that April 9th would be made a national holiday to commemorate when the slaves were liberated as well.

Or Juneteenth.

I have no problem with that. Companies may drop Columbus Day as a holiday and adopt one that means more for black people.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline contest_sanity

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2020, 08:04:31 PM »
Thanks, Cool Chris. I'm not really sure I deserve any apologies, as, admittedly, my OP was phrased in a provocative manner. On the other hand, had I simply said "some people view things differently," that might not have generated any discussion at all lol...

Here's the full Hannah-Jones quote for anyone who is interested in more context. Source: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/black-history-american-democracy.html

"Conveniently left out of our founding mythology is the fact that one of the primary reasons some of the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery. By 1776, Britain had grown deeply conflicted over its role in the barbaric institution that had reshaped the Western Hemisphere. In London, there were growing calls to abolish the slave trade. This would have upended the economy of the colonies, in both the North and the South. The wealth and prominence that allowed Jefferson, at just 33, and the other founding fathers to believe they could successfully break off from one of the mightiest empires in the world came from the dizzying profits generated by chattel slavery. In other words, we may never have revolted against Britain if some of the founders had not understood that slavery empowered them to do so; nor if they had not believed that independence was required in order to ensure that slavery would continue. It is not incidental that 10 of this nationís first 12 presidents were enslavers, and some might argue that this nation was founded not as a democracy but as a slavocracy."

Also, to address NL's point: of course many nations have engaged in conquering and enslavement. Not always chattel slavery, however, where almost 240 years of enslavement carried on, but anyway -- my hope is that, even now, America might do better than what every nation typically does: by first embracing our total history and then at least considering how we might heal the wounds of that history, which still reverberate today.

Offline TAC

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2020, 08:07:52 PM »
So the colonies revolted against England so they could keep slaves??
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline eric42434224

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2020, 08:11:09 PM »
So the colonies revolted against England so they could keep slaves??

Actually yes, that was a part of it.  Read about it a few weeks ago. There were some legal decisions in England that would mean the end of slavery in the colonies, and that was the final push for many colonies to go in against the crown.
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Offline contest_sanity

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2020, 08:26:31 PM »
https://thefederalist.com/2020/06/25/in-racist-screed-nyts-1619-project-founder-calls-white-race-barbaric-devils-bloodsuckers-no-different-than-hitler/

I read this article, and the editorial written by Hannah-Jones. First it seemed pretty funny to me that they were slamming her for an editorial in like her college newspaper from when she was a sophomore. Cancel culture, anyone? But I don't really disagree that the European settlers of the Americas were extremely savage killers. And I think for anyone who wants to look a little more in-depth into the 1619 project, it shows how slavery set forth reverberations that still echo strongly today.

As just one example -- on average today, black incomes are only about 60% of white incomes and, even more shocking, black wealth is only 10% that of white wealth.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2roWLzrqOjQ & also his book "The Color of Law"

Now if that isn't a modern reverberation of what slavery set in motion, I don't know what is. And I know they'll be people to disagree with the premise, but I'd be happy to get into it point by point if people want to.

So the colonies revolted against England so they could keep slaves??

I believe that was certainly part of their motivation, yes. And also, the wealth and economic independence that slavery could produce also enabled the colonies to assert their autonomy. Imagine what the colonial economy might have looked like without thousands of unpaid slaves doing much of the difficult work; maybe in such a case the colonies would have been much too weak to even assert their independence from Britain.

Offline TAC

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2020, 08:37:46 PM »
So, I'll have to dig deeper, but my understanding is that England promised to free the slaves during the Revolution to enlist them against the colonies. Obviously, that would perk up the southern colonies' interest in the revolution. Heck, saving their southern economy caused them to revolt against the North.

 
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline Northern Lion

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2020, 11:34:33 PM »
Although hideous, slavery has also been a part of most nations on earth throughout history.  And of all different types of people.  Thankfully though, at least we finally abolished it and that is to be commended.  Although liberty didn't exist for blacks at the time of the founding of our county, it does now.  The principle of the day of independence is to celebrate our liberty.

Yes.



I do not believe July 4th is a racist holiday at all.  However, I do wish that April 9th would be made a national holiday to commemorate when the slaves were liberated as well.

Or Juneteenth.

I have no problem with that. Companies may drop Columbus Day as a holiday and adopt one that means more for black people.

I honestly had never heard of Juneteenth until this year, but yeah, that would work too.  I'm a little surprised we don't have some holiday commemorating the liberation of the slaves.  We really should.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2020, 08:08:44 AM »
MLK Day is a national holiday, and was signed into law by a Republican president (!!), so we can't overlook that, especially since he is only one of three to get a nationally recognized holiday in his name, the other two being Columbus and George Washington. 

I'd be good with Juneteenth becoming a national holiday.

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2020, 11:01:24 AM »
Me too, except for that stupid name.
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Offline lordxizor

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2020, 12:23:06 PM »
yeah, as long as the official name isn't Juneteenth, I think a national holiday is justified. Call it emancipation day or liberation day or something appropriate please.

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2020, 02:53:58 PM »
Some states have made Columbus Day, Indiginous People's Day.

As I've said. I could give two shits about these things.

Until the day, the Gov't respects our people and our sacred lands, we will continue to have problems. We are the caretakers of this land you call America. We know what is here and what you people should leave alone. We know this land, we understand this land. You people needed our help to survive here.

Until that day, I will not celebrate America's "Freedom" day
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Online Stadler

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2020, 11:39:54 AM »
Thanks, Cool Chris. I'm not really sure I deserve any apologies, as, admittedly, my OP was phrased in a provocative manner. On the other hand, had I simply said "some people view things differently," that might not have generated any discussion at all lol...

Here's the full Hannah-Jones quote for anyone who is interested in more context. Source: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/black-history-american-democracy.html

"Conveniently left out of our founding mythology is the fact that one of the primary reasons some of the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery. By 1776, Britain had grown deeply conflicted over its role in the barbaric institution that had reshaped the Western Hemisphere. In London, there were growing calls to abolish the slave trade. This would have upended the economy of the colonies, in both the North and the South. The wealth and prominence that allowed Jefferson, at just 33, and the other founding fathers to believe they could successfully break off from one of the mightiest empires in the world came from the dizzying profits generated by chattel slavery. In other words, we may never have revolted against Britain if some of the founders had not understood that slavery empowered them to do so; nor if they had not believed that independence was required in order to ensure that slavery would continue. It is not incidental that 10 of this nationís first 12 presidents were enslavers, and some might argue that this nation was founded not as a democracy but as a slavocracy."

Also, to address NL's point: of course many nations have engaged in conquering and enslavement. Not always chattel slavery, however, where almost 240 years of enslavement carried on, but anyway -- my hope is that, even now, America might do better than what every nation typically does: by first embracing our total history and then at least considering how we might heal the wounds of that history, which still reverberate today.

I think that quote IS slightly revisionist history, and certainly overly dramatic.  I respect her emphasizing all variables as opposed to the traditional narrative (religion!) but let's not swing the discussion too far in the other direction.   We were not a "slave economy", full stop.  Certain INDUSTRIES were "slave economies", and certain geographic regions were "slave economies", but it's an exaggeration to say we wouldn't exist but for.   OUR FOUNDING FATHERS - even those that held slaves - were also "deeply conflicted" over the slave issue, and - rightly or wrongly - kicked the can down the road in favor of forming the union, with an idea toward addressing it further when circumstances would allow.   (The ultimate compromise, you might say).   This notion that had we not rebelled, had we not formed the Union that slavery would have been over sooner is not reflective of anything I've ever read on the matter, including the more liberal interpretations of history (I'm thinking Zinn here).

Whether it was slavery, taxation, commerce generally, protectionism against other invaders, expansionism... the nation was formed because it was increasingly untenable to maintain the empire from 3,650 miles - plus/minus from DC to London - away.  And the "10 out of 12" is misleading, since two of the ten had freed their slaves prior to taking office (and prior to the Emancipation Proclamation) and several more either freed their slaves, supported abolitionism, or opposed the expansion of slavery. Surely in today's "cancel culture" that counts for nothing, but it's relevant to the accuracy of her point.   

Further, if you consider the "primary" Founding Fathers - John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington - only Jefferson and Madison never took an official stand as abolitionists (and you can argue that even Jefferson did that, in his final remarks before his passing in 1825).  Adams, Franklin, Hamilton and Jay were abolitionists.

I'm not at all suggesting that our history is clean here; far from it.  But it's a problem to look at 1775 through 2020 lenses, and using words like "dizzying profits" and "slavocracy" seems to be pandering to that current lens. 

Offline XJDenton

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2020, 03:15:56 PM »
All I can say is if I was a Native I would have a hard time seeing July 4th as anything other than the start of the destruction of my culture, and mass killing of my ancestors.
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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2020, 03:33:55 PM »
All I can say is if I was a Native I would have a hard time seeing July 4th as anything other than the start of the destruction of my culture, and mass killing of my ancestors.

I think that's basically exactly what Benjamin is saying a few posts above yours.
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Offline XJDenton

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2020, 03:41:27 PM »
All I can say is if I was a Native I would have a hard time seeing July 4th as anything other than the start of the destruction of my culture, and mass killing of my ancestors.

I think that's basically exactly what Benjamin is saying a few posts above yours.

Seems so. I must admit I posted without reading many/any of the replies.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2020, 12:16:09 PM »
However, I do wish that April 9th would be made a national holiday to commemorate when the slaves were liberated as well.

Yes!  That would be awesome.

All I can say is if I was a Native I would have a hard time seeing July 4th as anything other than the start of the destruction of my culture, and mass killing of my ancestors.

This "Native" (who does not like being called a "Native") does not see it that way at all.
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Offline XJDenton

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #26 on: July 09, 2020, 01:07:24 PM »
However, I do wish that April 9th would be made a national holiday to commemorate when the slaves were liberated as well.

Yes!  That would be awesome.

All I can say is if I was a Native I would have a hard time seeing July 4th as anything other than the start of the destruction of my culture, and mass killing of my ancestors.

This "Native" (who does not like being called a "Native") does not see it that way at all.

Hence why I said "If I was". I don't pretend to speak for all, just how I see the situation as I see it.
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Offline TAC

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2020, 01:19:28 PM »
Thanks, Cool Chris. I'm not really sure I deserve any apologies, as, admittedly, my OP was phrased in a provocative manner. On the other hand, had I simply said "some people view things differently," that might not have generated any discussion at all lol...

Here's the full Hannah-Jones quote for anyone who is interested in more context. Source: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/black-history-american-democracy.html

"Conveniently left out of our founding mythology is the fact that one of the primary reasons some of the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery. By 1776, Britain had grown deeply conflicted over its role in the barbaric institution that had reshaped the Western Hemisphere. In London, there were growing calls to abolish the slave trade. This would have upended the economy of the colonies, in both the North and the South. The wealth and prominence that allowed Jefferson, at just 33, and the other founding fathers to believe they could successfully break off from one of the mightiest empires in the world came from the dizzying profits generated by chattel slavery. In other words, we may never have revolted against Britain if some of the founders had not understood that slavery empowered them to do so; nor if they had not believed that independence was required in order to ensure that slavery would continue. It is not incidental that 10 of this nationís first 12 presidents were enslavers, and some might argue that this nation was founded not as a democracy but as a slavocracy."

Also, to address NL's point: of course many nations have engaged in conquering and enslavement. Not always chattel slavery, however, where almost 240 years of enslavement carried on, but anyway -- my hope is that, even now, America might do better than what every nation typically does: by first embracing our total history and then at least considering how we might heal the wounds of that history, which still reverberate today.

I think that quote IS slightly revisionist history, and certainly overly dramatic.  I respect her emphasizing all variables as opposed to the traditional narrative (religion!) but let's not swing the discussion too far in the other direction.   We were not a "slave economy", full stop.  Certain INDUSTRIES were "slave economies", and certain geographic regions were "slave economies", but it's an exaggeration to say we wouldn't exist but for.   OUR FOUNDING FATHERS - even those that held slaves - were also "deeply conflicted" over the slave issue, and - rightly or wrongly - kicked the can down the road in favor of forming the union, with an idea toward addressing it further when circumstances would allow.   (The ultimate compromise, you might say).   This notion that had we not rebelled, had we not formed the Union that slavery would have been over sooner is not reflective of anything I've ever read on the matter, including the more liberal interpretations of history (I'm thinking Zinn here).

Whether it was slavery, taxation, commerce generally, protectionism against other invaders, expansionism... the nation was formed because it was increasingly untenable to maintain the empire from 3,650 miles - plus/minus from DC to London - away.  And the "10 out of 12" is misleading, since two of the ten had freed their slaves prior to taking office (and prior to the Emancipation Proclamation) and several more either freed their slaves, supported abolitionism, or opposed the expansion of slavery. Surely in today's "cancel culture" that counts for nothing, but it's relevant to the accuracy of her point.   

Further, if you consider the "primary" Founding Fathers - John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington - only Jefferson and Madison never took an official stand as abolitionists (and you can argue that even Jefferson did that, in his final remarks before his passing in 1825).  Adams, Franklin, Hamilton and Jay were abolitionists.

I'm not at all suggesting that our history is clean here; far from it.  But it's a problem to look at 1775 through 2020 lenses, and using words like "dizzying profits" and "slavocracy" seems to be pandering to that current lens.

Thank you.
would have thought the same thing but seeing the OP was TAC i immediately thought Maiden or DT related
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Offline eric42434224

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2020, 04:03:59 PM »
Thanks, Cool Chris. I'm not really sure I deserve any apologies, as, admittedly, my OP was phrased in a provocative manner. On the other hand, had I simply said "some people view things differently," that might not have generated any discussion at all lol...

Here's the full Hannah-Jones quote for anyone who is interested in more context. Source: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/black-history-american-democracy.html

"Conveniently left out of our founding mythology is the fact that one of the primary reasons some of the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery. By 1776, Britain had grown deeply conflicted over its role in the barbaric institution that had reshaped the Western Hemisphere. In London, there were growing calls to abolish the slave trade. This would have upended the economy of the colonies, in both the North and the South. The wealth and prominence that allowed Jefferson, at just 33, and the other founding fathers to believe they could successfully break off from one of the mightiest empires in the world came from the dizzying profits generated by chattel slavery. In other words, we may never have revolted against Britain if some of the founders had not understood that slavery empowered them to do so; nor if they had not believed that independence was required in order to ensure that slavery would continue. It is not incidental that 10 of this nationís first 12 presidents were enslavers, and some might argue that this nation was founded not as a democracy but as a slavocracy."

Also, to address NL's point: of course many nations have engaged in conquering and enslavement. Not always chattel slavery, however, where almost 240 years of enslavement carried on, but anyway -- my hope is that, even now, America might do better than what every nation typically does: by first embracing our total history and then at least considering how we might heal the wounds of that history, which still reverberate today.

I think that quote IS slightly revisionist history, and certainly overly dramatic.  I respect her emphasizing all variables as opposed to the traditional narrative (religion!) but let's not swing the discussion too far in the other direction.   We were not a "slave economy", full stop.  Certain INDUSTRIES were "slave economies", and certain geographic regions were "slave economies", but it's an exaggeration to say we wouldn't exist but for.   OUR FOUNDING FATHERS - even those that held slaves - were also "deeply conflicted" over the slave issue, and - rightly or wrongly - kicked the can down the road in favor of forming the union, with an idea toward addressing it further when circumstances would allow.   (The ultimate compromise, you might say).   This notion that had we not rebelled, had we not formed the Union that slavery would have been over sooner is not reflective of anything I've ever read on the matter, including the more liberal interpretations of history (I'm thinking Zinn here).

Whether it was slavery, taxation, commerce generally, protectionism against other invaders, expansionism... the nation was formed because it was increasingly untenable to maintain the empire from 3,650 miles - plus/minus from DC to London - away.  And the "10 out of 12" is misleading, since two of the ten had freed their slaves prior to taking office (and prior to the Emancipation Proclamation) and several more either freed their slaves, supported abolitionism, or opposed the expansion of slavery. Surely in today's "cancel culture" that counts for nothing, but it's relevant to the accuracy of her point.   

Further, if you consider the "primary" Founding Fathers - John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington - only Jefferson and Madison never took an official stand as abolitionists (and you can argue that even Jefferson did that, in his final remarks before his passing in 1825).  Adams, Franklin, Hamilton and Jay were abolitionists.

I'm not at all suggesting that our history is clean here; far from it.  But it's a problem to look at 1775 through 2020 lenses, and using words like "dizzying profits" and "slavocracy" seems to be pandering to that current lens.

Are these conclusions or opinions from just this quote, or from the whole article (that I cant see). 
Respectfully, I see many assumptions made from the quote that don't make much sense TBH.
If the quote above is the only source material we are working with, then I will comment....until then, I bid you all a Good Day MF'ers.
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rumborak

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #29 on: July 12, 2020, 10:44:32 PM »
Thanks, Cool Chris. I'm not really sure I deserve any apologies, as, admittedly, my OP was phrased in a provocative manner. On the other hand, had I simply said "some people view things differently," that might not have generated any discussion at all lol...

Here's the full Hannah-Jones quote for anyone who is interested in more context. Source: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/black-history-american-democracy.html

"Conveniently left out of our founding mythology is the fact that one of the primary reasons some of the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery. By 1776, Britain had grown deeply conflicted over its role in the barbaric institution that had reshaped the Western Hemisphere. In London, there were growing calls to abolish the slave trade. This would have upended the economy of the colonies, in both the North and the South. The wealth and prominence that allowed Jefferson, at just 33, and the other founding fathers to believe they could successfully break off from one of the mightiest empires in the world came from the dizzying profits generated by chattel slavery. In other words, we may never have revolted against Britain if some of the founders had not understood that slavery empowered them to do so; nor if they had not believed that independence was required in order to ensure that slavery would continue. It is not incidental that 10 of this nationís first 12 presidents were enslavers, and some might argue that this nation was founded not as a democracy but as a slavocracy."

Also, to address NL's point: of course many nations have engaged in conquering and enslavement. Not always chattel slavery, however, where almost 240 years of enslavement carried on, but anyway -- my hope is that, even now, America might do better than what every nation typically does: by first embracing our total history and then at least considering how we might heal the wounds of that history, which still reverberate today.

I think that quote IS slightly revisionist history, and certainly overly dramatic.  I respect her emphasizing all variables as opposed to the traditional narrative (religion!) but let's not swing the discussion too far in the other direction.   We were not a "slave economy", full stop.  Certain INDUSTRIES were "slave economies", and certain geographic regions were "slave economies", but it's an exaggeration to say we wouldn't exist but for.   OUR FOUNDING FATHERS - even those that held slaves - were also "deeply conflicted" over the slave issue, and - rightly or wrongly - kicked the can down the road in favor of forming the union, with an idea toward addressing it further when circumstances would allow.   (The ultimate compromise, you might say).   This notion that had we not rebelled, had we not formed the Union that slavery would have been over sooner is not reflective of anything I've ever read on the matter, including the more liberal interpretations of history (I'm thinking Zinn here).

Whether it was slavery, taxation, commerce generally, protectionism against other invaders, expansionism... the nation was formed because it was increasingly untenable to maintain the empire from 3,650 miles - plus/minus from DC to London - away.  And the "10 out of 12" is misleading, since two of the ten had freed their slaves prior to taking office (and prior to the Emancipation Proclamation) and several more either freed their slaves, supported abolitionism, or opposed the expansion of slavery. Surely in today's "cancel culture" that counts for nothing, but it's relevant to the accuracy of her point.   

Further, if you consider the "primary" Founding Fathers - John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington - only Jefferson and Madison never took an official stand as abolitionists (and you can argue that even Jefferson did that, in his final remarks before his passing in 1825).  Adams, Franklin, Hamilton and Jay were abolitionists.

I'm not at all suggesting that our history is clean here; far from it.  But it's a problem to look at 1775 through 2020 lenses, and using words like "dizzying profits" and "slavocracy" seems to be pandering to that current lens.

Thank you.

Seconded! Thanks Stadler.
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Online Stadler

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #30 on: July 13, 2020, 08:05:26 AM »
Thanks, Cool Chris. I'm not really sure I deserve any apologies, as, admittedly, my OP was phrased in a provocative manner. On the other hand, had I simply said "some people view things differently," that might not have generated any discussion at all lol...

Here's the full Hannah-Jones quote for anyone who is interested in more context. Source: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/black-history-american-democracy.html

"Conveniently left out of our founding mythology is the fact that one of the primary reasons some of the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery. By 1776, Britain had grown deeply conflicted over its role in the barbaric institution that had reshaped the Western Hemisphere. In London, there were growing calls to abolish the slave trade. This would have upended the economy of the colonies, in both the North and the South. The wealth and prominence that allowed Jefferson, at just 33, and the other founding fathers to believe they could successfully break off from one of the mightiest empires in the world came from the dizzying profits generated by chattel slavery. In other words, we may never have revolted against Britain if some of the founders had not understood that slavery empowered them to do so; nor if they had not believed that independence was required in order to ensure that slavery would continue. It is not incidental that 10 of this nationís first 12 presidents were enslavers, and some might argue that this nation was founded not as a democracy but as a slavocracy."

Also, to address NL's point: of course many nations have engaged in conquering and enslavement. Not always chattel slavery, however, where almost 240 years of enslavement carried on, but anyway -- my hope is that, even now, America might do better than what every nation typically does: by first embracing our total history and then at least considering how we might heal the wounds of that history, which still reverberate today.

I think that quote IS slightly revisionist history, and certainly overly dramatic.  I respect her emphasizing all variables as opposed to the traditional narrative (religion!) but let's not swing the discussion too far in the other direction.   We were not a "slave economy", full stop.  Certain INDUSTRIES were "slave economies", and certain geographic regions were "slave economies", but it's an exaggeration to say we wouldn't exist but for.   OUR FOUNDING FATHERS - even those that held slaves - were also "deeply conflicted" over the slave issue, and - rightly or wrongly - kicked the can down the road in favor of forming the union, with an idea toward addressing it further when circumstances would allow.   (The ultimate compromise, you might say).   This notion that had we not rebelled, had we not formed the Union that slavery would have been over sooner is not reflective of anything I've ever read on the matter, including the more liberal interpretations of history (I'm thinking Zinn here).

Whether it was slavery, taxation, commerce generally, protectionism against other invaders, expansionism... the nation was formed because it was increasingly untenable to maintain the empire from 3,650 miles - plus/minus from DC to London - away.  And the "10 out of 12" is misleading, since two of the ten had freed their slaves prior to taking office (and prior to the Emancipation Proclamation) and several more either freed their slaves, supported abolitionism, or opposed the expansion of slavery. Surely in today's "cancel culture" that counts for nothing, but it's relevant to the accuracy of her point.   

Further, if you consider the "primary" Founding Fathers - John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington - only Jefferson and Madison never took an official stand as abolitionists (and you can argue that even Jefferson did that, in his final remarks before his passing in 1825).  Adams, Franklin, Hamilton and Jay were abolitionists.

I'm not at all suggesting that our history is clean here; far from it.  But it's a problem to look at 1775 through 2020 lenses, and using words like "dizzying profits" and "slavocracy" seems to be pandering to that current lens.

Are these conclusions or opinions from just this quote, or from the whole article (that I cant see). 
Respectfully, I see many assumptions made from the quote that don't make much sense TBH.
If the quote above is the only source material we are working with, then I will comment....until then, I bid you all a Good Day MF'ers.

I apologize up front for the perhaps confusing use of double quotes; some of it is to reference directly her words, some of them are more general concepts - and acceptable use of the device, but confusing.   The conclusions/opinions attributed to her are from the entire article.   The notes about the Founding Fathers are from a variety of sources; in a pinch they can be confirmed through Wiki or the primary sources for that article.

Regardless of the specific items, which of course we can discuss, the general point stands:  it's a sordid past this country has, and doesn't need drama or exaggeration to make that point. 

Offline eric42434224

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #31 on: July 15, 2020, 08:14:13 AM »
Thanks, Cool Chris. I'm not really sure I deserve any apologies, as, admittedly, my OP was phrased in a provocative manner. On the other hand, had I simply said "some people view things differently," that might not have generated any discussion at all lol...

Here's the full Hannah-Jones quote for anyone who is interested in more context. Source: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/black-history-american-democracy.html

"Conveniently left out of our founding mythology is the fact that one of the primary reasons some of the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery. By 1776, Britain had grown deeply conflicted over its role in the barbaric institution that had reshaped the Western Hemisphere. In London, there were growing calls to abolish the slave trade. This would have upended the economy of the colonies, in both the North and the South. The wealth and prominence that allowed Jefferson, at just 33, and the other founding fathers to believe they could successfully break off from one of the mightiest empires in the world came from the dizzying profits generated by chattel slavery. In other words, we may never have revolted against Britain if some of the founders had not understood that slavery empowered them to do so; nor if they had not believed that independence was required in order to ensure that slavery would continue. It is not incidental that 10 of this nationís first 12 presidents were enslavers, and some might argue that this nation was founded not as a democracy but as a slavocracy."

Also, to address NL's point: of course many nations have engaged in conquering and enslavement. Not always chattel slavery, however, where almost 240 years of enslavement carried on, but anyway -- my hope is that, even now, America might do better than what every nation typically does: by first embracing our total history and then at least considering how we might heal the wounds of that history, which still reverberate today.

I think that quote IS slightly revisionist history, and certainly overly dramatic.  I respect her emphasizing all variables as opposed to the traditional narrative (religion!) but let's not swing the discussion too far in the other direction.   We were not a "slave economy", full stop.  Certain INDUSTRIES were "slave economies", and certain geographic regions were "slave economies", but it's an exaggeration to say we wouldn't exist but for.   OUR FOUNDING FATHERS - even those that held slaves - were also "deeply conflicted" over the slave issue, and - rightly or wrongly - kicked the can down the road in favor of forming the union, with an idea toward addressing it further when circumstances would allow.   (The ultimate compromise, you might say).   This notion that had we not rebelled, had we not formed the Union that slavery would have been over sooner is not reflective of anything I've ever read on the matter, including the more liberal interpretations of history (I'm thinking Zinn here).

Whether it was slavery, taxation, commerce generally, protectionism against other invaders, expansionism... the nation was formed because it was increasingly untenable to maintain the empire from 3,650 miles - plus/minus from DC to London - away.  And the "10 out of 12" is misleading, since two of the ten had freed their slaves prior to taking office (and prior to the Emancipation Proclamation) and several more either freed their slaves, supported abolitionism, or opposed the expansion of slavery. Surely in today's "cancel culture" that counts for nothing, but it's relevant to the accuracy of her point.   

Further, if you consider the "primary" Founding Fathers - John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington - only Jefferson and Madison never took an official stand as abolitionists (and you can argue that even Jefferson did that, in his final remarks before his passing in 1825).  Adams, Franklin, Hamilton and Jay were abolitionists.

I'm not at all suggesting that our history is clean here; far from it.  But it's a problem to look at 1775 through 2020 lenses, and using words like "dizzying profits" and "slavocracy" seems to be pandering to that current lens.

Are these conclusions or opinions from just this quote, or from the whole article (that I cant see). 
Respectfully, I see many assumptions made from the quote that don't make much sense TBH.
If the quote above is the only source material we are working with, then I will comment....until then, I bid you all a Good Day MF'ers.

I apologize up front for the perhaps confusing use of double quotes; some of it is to reference directly her words, some of them are more general concepts - and acceptable use of the device, but confusing.   The conclusions/opinions attributed to her are from the entire article.   The notes about the Founding Fathers are from a variety of sources; in a pinch they can be confirmed through Wiki or the primary sources for that article.

Regardless of the specific items, which of course we can discuss, the general point stands:  it's a sordid past this country has, and doesn't need drama or exaggeration to make that point.

Well if the actual article was used, then I can't really comment as I have not/will not read it (at least at this time).

On the general point, I agree intellectually, from a point of view of the group in power so to speak......but perhaps sometimes some drama is needed.  We have so understated and white-washed our history, we shouldn't be surprised when the marginalized groups that were on the short end of our history, start speaking out about that history with a bit of drama, in order to effect some change.
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rumborak

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2020, 08:22:42 AM »
Fundamentally, I don't disagree.  But the drama needs to be recognized for what it is and treated accordingly.   My response was in part to Contest_Sanity saying, and I quote (it's the first line of his post earlier on this page): "It's not revisionist history at all."

We can disagree on this point if you like, but generally speaking I'm not in favor of battling "X" by just letting someone else do "X" for a while.  If "X" is bad, it should be treated as bad, and we should - as smart, sentient, innovative animals - find another way.   That applies to "X" as "drama", "discrimination", "violence", whatever you want to put in there.   

Offline eric42434224

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Re: Is the 4th of July celebration problematic?
« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2020, 08:41:38 AM »
Fundamentally, I don't disagree.  But the drama needs to be recognized for what it is and treated accordingly.   My response was in part to Contest_Sanity saying, and I quote (it's the first line of his post earlier on this page): "It's not revisionist history at all."

We can disagree on this point if you like, but generally speaking I'm not in favor of battling "X" by just letting someone else do "X" for a while.  If "X" is bad, it should be treated as bad, and we should - as smart, sentient, innovative animals - find another way.   That applies to "X" as "drama", "discrimination", "violence", whatever you want to put in there.

But "X" might not be "bad"...... "X" might still be truth, just not from your perspective.  History has been written from the perspective of those in power.  They have told that "truth" to their perspective, as they were the group in power.  That the other marginalized side now expressing their perspective doesn't necessarily have to be drama or revisionist....it is just the marginalized sharing their perspective of the same History.

Maybe we are not talking about the same thing.  I'm on *vacation, so I can't really participate in this discussion in any meaningful way, so I will bow out.  :)

*As much of a "vacation" one can have in the Corona Pit called FL....I have 2 closet organizers to build and install, as well as new ceiling fans, for my 2 daughters bedrooms.  Then BBQ and Pool :)
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rumborak

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