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Fourth of July--How do we celebrate when there's so much bad history?  RSS feed

 
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  When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

 
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Dustin Rhodes wrote:

  When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.



I do believe the writers forgot that "All Men" includes any human since they didn't specify any nationality or region of origin for "All Men", thus including those Native Americans that were here before anyone from Europe ever showed up.
Then the writers lied with their Unalienable Rights statement, because they were not talking (ever) about "All Men", they were talking about European invaders only.
This means that even before the "fathers of the Nation" sat down to write their document, they had already done to others the very things they were starting a revolution over.
I wonder how they would have felt about it if they had been pushed off their land or killed by those they needed help from just to survive their first winters in the country they invaded.

The worst part is that I see people today give up their freedoms because they are to lazy to go vote or vote out someone who should be out of the positon they were elected to over and over and over, until they have no concept of what they are supposed to be doing for "the people".

Redhawk
 
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I've spent the last 30min trying to find the right way to respond, balancing my utter disappointment in the hypocrisy of how peoples behaved in the past, and my affirmation that the ideals represented here are true, good, and necessary.

I'm pleased with what these men did in this specific instance, and am horrified that peoples' apathy, selfishness, and xenophobia took over these good intentions.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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What they did was admirable for the colonists, not so much for the people whose land they stole by murdering them.

I understand your being pleased, you didn't loose over half your nation due to those men's occupation of the land they wanted to call their own.

Do not worry about responding, it would be hollow.

Just understand that the constitution of the US was not meant for "All Men" it was for a select group.

 
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Well, what ever was meant by the founding fathers, I am still proud of our ancestors that fought for freedom for what ever their reason was.

Many of us would not be here if it wasn't for them.

I am also proud of our servicemen who fought in WWII, even though they might not have anything to do with Independence Day.  Memorial Day is for all who fought and served their country.


Happy Fried Chicken Day!


 
Bryant RedHawk
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I am with you there Anne.
My family has a history of military service from WW1 through Vietnam, I was in Vietnam after my father was there. Don't think I am against this country, I am not. 

I celebrate Memorial Day, Veterans Day and most of the other National holidays. July 4th is Independence day, I do not celebrate that because it was the beginning of the end of my people's way of life.

 
Nicole Alderman
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The more I learn about our history, the more conflicted I become. Many Europeans fled here to escape persecution. Some were kind to the inhabitants. Many were not, and persecuted others even as they had escaped persecution. So many natives dies simply because of disease, a--usually unintended--consequence of the Europeans. And, so the land looked "uninhabited" (though I gather that they knew it had been recently been inhabited, as some took items from the empty villages and made note of the garden).

But, by the time of the Revolution, there there was already a large history of Europeans not seeing the native inhabitants as humans. The European settlers made treaties and bought land from other countries...but they--by and large--simply took land from natives. They pushed out the native farmer, made them flee, didn't let them vote, and didn't honor their treaties. It turns my stomach and makes me want to vomit.

There's much that my ancestors did that turns my stomach. The fact that so many did not treat natives as equals, makes me sick. The fact that a group of them dressed up as natives, formed a club based on their very limited characterizations of natives, and did not let any of those said natives into their club is revolting. I recently found out about the Improved Order of Redmen, which still is functioning, and was started way back with those dudes who dumped tea in the ocean dressed "like" native Americans.

So, while I am happy that my ancestors found a home and that I exist, and that our government is one where we can vote for our laws and representatives, I am NOT happy about how it was formed on the blood of so many natives, so much unfairness, and so many broken treaties. I wish that, instead, that the Europeans immigrants had been able to form a nation WITH the native tribes and people, and shared the land and honored the treaties.

I would like to say that we have learned from those mistakes and no longer does the government treat tribal nations like that...but I sadly do not think that is the case.

In Christianity, we have a phrase, "Love the sinner, hate the sin." Perhaps I can love my country, while still hating the horrid acts it has committed, and working to make it better.
 
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Hi Nicole.  I completely agree with your statements. 

While it is great to celebrate with family and friends the founding of a nation that promotes much in the way of a good life, I think it is also very important and valuable to contemplate and address the situation fully for what it is. 

Perhaps I can love my country, while still hating the horrid acts it has committed, and working to make it better.

  I completely agree.  I am very thankful to have the privilege of being born in Canada, for instance, but I make no mistake in absolving and forgetting the wrongs of the past that have made this possible.  I consider myself a dissident, and my meaning of that is that, while patriotic to my 'Canadian' identity, and having a love for the land and things that make my Nation as free as it is, I am against much of it's policies which continue to not only trod upon the basic rights of it's citizens, but continues to erode the heavily trampled, if not completely outright disregarded rights of the indigenous peoples who were much better stewards to this place.   People get down on me for being critical of our government, telling me that we have it so good, compared to so many other people in the world.  But what is good?  When we can, and should, do so much better, why should we rest on our laurels?  Should it not be our goal to strive on improving on things?  It would, in my opinion, be not only very wrong to not challenge any authority and policy which erodes human and natural rights, it would do a total injustice to those who have laid down their lives or put a huge amount of their time and energy to ensure that we have the right to do so.  The problem's associated with our present damage on the land is, in my thinking, a bigger view /macrocosm of how we have treated our Indigenous population in history and is still ongoing in the present.  As such, I think it is important to have this as part of the memory of Canada Day, or the U.S.'s Independence Day.   

The system of Apartheid in South Africa was based on Canadian government policy toward our Indigenous population, which, although now improving, has a long way to go toward reconciliation and aid to get things even approaching a balance or rightful place in our society.  Here is An article about the Boil Water Advisories on many Indigeous Reservations.

The U.S. may not have the notorious and nefarious distinction of having Apartheid based on it, but it's own history is no less sever and ongoing:

I recently found out about the Improved Order of Redmen, which still is functioning, and was started way back with those dudes who dumped tea in the ocean dressed "like" native Americans.

  You might also be interested to know about the Skull and Bones Club and It's very prominant members
I don't know whatever became of the Lawsuit, lodged against the club by the family of the Apache warrior Geronimo over the theft and possession of his skull :  a New York Times article about the lawsuit
 
Roberto pokachinni
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I'm sorry, Anne.  You had very good intentions in starting this thread on the celebrations that people should be allowed to have, but I think that it is right also to consider how we got here. 

I also find it interesting that the thread title ends in the term "Salad Days" which has a double meaning, since the term is used to describe the period in one's life when one is young and inexperienced.  This rings true, to me, about the state of our respective Nation's and our democracies, and it is time that we reevaluate them, and mature into better policies.
 
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