Patricia Suzanne | Throwing Logs on July 4: Whose Holiday Is it?

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While most Republicans and Democrats issued celebratory messages on Independence Day this year, a few (Democrats -— surprise!) chose instead to throw logs on the racism fire they have unnecessarily fueled over the past year. 

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, said she is starting a new family tradition for the Fourth of July – “We’re going to watch that video that The New York Times put together of Jan. 6.” So festive! Her “green” constituents must be pleased – one less family emitting barbecue smoke pollution. 

Rep. Cori Bush, D-Missouri, infamously tweeted, “When they say that the Fourth of July is about American freedom, remember this: the freedom they’re referring to is for white people. This land is stolen land, and Black people still aren’t free.” 

Geez, Cori, how did you manage to throw off your shackles and get elected to Congress? How did Clarence Thomas get appointed to the Supreme Court and Barack Obama get elected president? And if America is so racist, why are so many Black Africans purposefully immigrating to the U.S.?  

Not to be outdone, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, tweeted, “The Declaration of Independence says all men are created equal. Equal to what? What men? Only white men? Isn’t it something that they wrote this in 1776 when African Americans were enslaved?” 

Hello, Maxine. Who, exactly, sold Africans into slavery? Quick answer – it was other Africans, and the enslaved people were sold to a variety of European countries, not simply transported to the Americas. The enslaved were usually captives taken during tribal wars – common practice over many centuries. You might find this article enlightening: www.thoughtco.com/african-slave-traders-44538. 

The history of the world is a history of slavery. The concept wasn’t invented in America. (Remember Moses and the Jewish slaves in Egypt?) Can you name a country other than the United States that fought a civil war to free people from bondage? Or any other country even discussing reparations, not to people who directly experienced bondage, but to those whose great-great-plus grandparents may have been enslaved more than 160 years ago? 

For the sake of argument, let’s say we were able to ascertain who actually has “slave blood,” a monumental task to begin with. Even if you could do all the ancestral and DNA testing and generate a cheat-proof system, still there would be issues. 

Think of it – reparations money would surely come from the pooled tax dollars of all Americans. So doesn’t that mean recipients would be funding part of the plan? Recent immigrants who played no role in America’s “sinful past” – why should they pay for such a plan? And could we expect a ripple effect – descendants of other “wronged” groups insisting on compensation for historic discrimination? 

Where would it end? 

Beyond actual payment details lies another important question, two words worth considering about many aspects of life — “THEN what?” Will money make the protests disappear? Make people satisfied? Bring people together? Is it a magic elixir to shut down complaints of “unfairness”? 

You know the answer. 

Independence Day is for all Americans, regardless of skin color or heritage.  

When 56 of our country’s founders signed the Declaration in 1776, they understood that their bold move of standing up to the king of England would cost them dearly. These brave men pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor when they took that first step to free the American colonies from British rule. 

Despite what you may hear from Waters, Bush, McCaskill and their narrow-minded friends, thousands of Black people played vital roles in the Revolutionary War – not as slaves to Founding Fathers, as you’ve no doubt heard, but as active freedom fighters, participating in every major battle. 

We know the story of Paul Revere, or think we do, but our version stems from a famous poem written in 1860 by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, almost 100 years after the events of that night. Three additional men rode to warn the patriots that “The British Are Coming” — Samuel Prescott, William Dawes and Wentworth Cheswell. Guess what? Cheswell was Black, his grandfather, Richard, a former enslaved laborer in New Hampshire who bought his freedom, purchased land and married a white woman. 

Wentworth was not only a free man, but also was the elected town constable in Newmarket, New Hampshire, the first known Black man to hold public office in the Americas. For his heroism in the Revolutionary War, some consider Wentworth Cheswell a Black “Founding Father.”  

The holiday has passed, but it’s vital to remember that freedom isn’t free. We’ve all learned that hard lesson over the past year and a half, with many of our personal liberties severely restricted. 

The question is — Who among you will pledge your life, your fortune and your sacred honor to stand up to tyranny? 

Patricia Suzanne is a professional writer, retired small business owner, and conservative Republican activist. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.

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