The following appeared on Portside:
The U.S. "celebrated" yet another racially segregated holiday, this one involving the birth of the republic.
Emails were flying on Black-oriented list-servs--I must have gotten at least six--providing the text of Frederick Douglass' now iconic remarks of 7.4.1852 denigrating what others were celebrating and, fundamentally, calling into question the legitimacy of the nation born in 1776.
Danny Glover's rendition of Douglass' remarks was replayed on numerous Black-oriented radio stations (I heard it at least twice) and now has become an essential part of this holiday for some of us, like turkey on Thanksgiving.
Minister Robert Muhammad of the Nation of Islam in Houston, whose organization's membership, particularly Black membership, dwarfs that of any leftist grouping, invited me on to his Pacifica radio program and we compared notes about how Texas secession in 1836 compared with Confederate secession in 1861--and North American secession from the Empire in 1776--all as examples of seeking independence in order to maintain enslavement of Africans.
Chris Rock, actor and comedian, castigated "White People's Holiday"--and, predictably, was scorned in the "Washington Post", which wondered why he was complaining since he was rich.
Meanwhile, trusty and reliable portside.org posted an interesting commentary about Tom Paine, adopted by the U.S. Left--like Douglass has been adopted by African-Americans-- as an exemplar of 1776, though he played no role in the U.S. government, was denounced repeatedly by subsequent U.S. leaders most viciously by Theodore Roosevelt)and died in obscurity in North America (reputedly a mere handful attended his funeral, signifying his popularity--or lack thereof--in certain circles, unlike his so-called 'Founding Father' counterparts).
Portside.org also posted a commentary denigrating Britain's leaders at the time of 1776 and hailing those who rebelled against his rule--of course, no light was shed as to why African-Americans might take a differing view as to the founding of this republic, i.e. that in June 1772 in Somerset's Case London seemed to prefigure abolition throughout the Empire, to which certain forces took umbrage, particularly slaveholders--who occupied the presidency in subsequent years, along with lawyers for slaveholders, e.g. John Adams.
Is there something wrong with this picture? Is there anything that can be learned from it to advance the struggle against the detritus of African enslavement?