I’ve been attending a daily rally against immigrant family separation and to abolish ICE. it’s a small gesture, but useful, and we gather outside of a local politician’s office.
Today is the 14th day.
I know I couldn’t be the only one who needed something a little less blindly patriotic to do, and since the 2nd Civil War failed to happen, I thought I’d do some digging and found this NYT article about all the various revolts and days of resistance that have happened on July 4th.
Abolitionists resisted repeatedly on July 4th:
The most famous abolitionist July 4 protest took place in 1854, when (William Lloyd) Garrison mounted a platform adorned with an upside-down, black-bordered American flag and burned a copy of the Constitution. From the same stage that day, Henry David Thoreau declared that the moral failure of the United States affected even his ability to enjoy the outdoors, noting that “the remembrance of my country spoils my walk.”
Gay people resisted on July 4th, 1986, in response to Bowers v Hardwick, which upheld the criminalization of same sex sex acts.
Black people resisted on July 4th: not just that amazing Frederick Douglass speech but in 1970 with a Black Declaration of Independence, which read in part:
For creating, through Racism and bigotry, an unrelenting Economic Depression in the Black Community which wreaks havoc upon our men and disheartens our youth.
For denying to most of us equal access to the better Housing and Education of the land.
For having desecrated and torn down our humblest dwelling places, under the Pretense of Urban Renewal, without replacing them at costs which we can afford.
It is incredible. Read the whole thing.
So yeah, I feel like I’m in a long line of people – and amongst many others today – who are not feeling it. Instead, I propose Celebrate Immigrants Day, because this country wouldn’t be shit without them.