It’s the same as any other day.
I was on Facebook this morning, and that’s not something I usually do. However, I recently connected with quite a few intelligent kings & queens who share a mutual interest in themes of pro-black, self discovery. I logged onto Facebook on July 4th expecting the usual parade of American flag leggings, custom Nike Roshes, and body-con stars and stripes dresses. It was there and unfortunately, many of the offenders were my family members. I must say that R(ed)B(lack)G(reen) was represented there as well and it was quite refreshing. Aside from the ‘stars and stripes’ clothing being hideous, there are historical and personal implications that lie within the fabric. I was extremely disappointed when I saw that one of my closest cousin’s had posted the following status, “Everybody celebrated 4th of July last year, but now we got alllllll these reasons why “black people” shouldn’t be celebrating. Reasons that yall probably haven’t even researched, just reposting stories because you see it on Facebook. You guys make me so tired sometimes…lol”
I scratched my brow, took a screenshot, sent it to my best friend (to share my anger) and began typing my response for Facebook (featured later in this post). I scrolled through her comments to see what her friends were saying. Amongst the agreeable laughter and silly antics, a few comments stood out, (many of which were by my cousin, in response to her friends and other family members):
“I’m about to start going back to last year on people’s page & finding their 4th of July pics…everybody wanna be a black panther this year lol” Uh, girl….What….?
“Trust me I know! I was thinking the same thing. Been celebrating this holiday for years and I’m not about to stop. I want my baby to enjoy holidays. But also know his history” I don’t…get…it. I really don’t understand this position.
“Facebook politicians lol been eating ribs and pop n firecrackers all their lives now they’re boycotting cause of something Frederick Douglas supposedly said!” Boy…bye.
“they gonna eat ribs & pop firecrackers today too, they just ain’t gonna let Facebook see! Lol” Hm…okay.
“I’m starting a new race I can’t deal!” Good idea. Call it “Coon-Americans”
“I shoulda just been Mexican bc i swear they don’t have all these problems” Ummm.. what? And unfortunately, this ignorant comment was made by my cousin.
One comment in particular, “Exactly what I’m saying!” was posted by another one of my cousin’s. I went to her page, trying to see what she was saying and found this status:
“I kind of get irritated when people want to post things about what holidays “really mean” & Relate it to how it was for black folks. Yall did the same thing for Memorial Day. Like now all of a sudden you don’t want to celebrate a holiday that you’ve been celebrating all your life because you see a post & Now all because one person say they are not going to celebrate, You don’t want to celebrate? 😂😅 This is such a monkey see, Monkey do world. How come you haven’t been doing your research on what you celebrate? & Why do people always believe what they see instead of doing their own research?😳Something I won’t understand. But anywho, HAPPY INDEPENDENCE to everyone, this is the day AMERICA gained its own freedom. Be grateful, we could’ve still been under the control of Britain. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸”
To say I was annoyed is an understatement. I mean… what the HELL? I don’t get it, y’all. I really don’t. She also engaged in a brief… “discussion” with a member of the military in her comment section. (See it below)
This was my response to ALL of the madness and ignorance. I couldn’t take it any longer:
“I bet you celebrated the 4th last year.” “Being black doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate 4th of July.” Well, honey the implications of this “holiday” are deeper than your ribs and your cookouts and those hideous american flag leggings. I refute all of that with “When you know better, you do better.” Black Independence Day is June 19th (December 6th if you want to be technical). Blacks were still enslaved for almost an entire century after this “Independence” day. Yes, today is an Independence Day, but it’s not yours. Then the question, “Why does “slavery” still matter?” is posed. Well… because history is CLEARLY repeating itself. Today y’all are posting all these statuses saying “Shut up with all that Black Power stuff.” “It’s not that deep.” But tomorrow, when you hear about someone’s family bbq being raided/shut down or a late night massacre or a 16 year girl being body slammed at a family pool party or God forbid, another church burning, you’ll be back to your bandwagon “AmeriKKKa” “They Killing Us All” “Black Lives Matter” stance. Turn up at the cookouts and parties because you WANT to, not because you’re celebrating a false sense of liberation. It’s sad that there’s so much bashing within our own community when someone speaks an opinion that’s contrary to popular belief. This really isn’t even a holiday though lol… On one hand I don’t know why “woke” blacks insist on giving this “holiday” so much attention by telling people why they shouldn’t celebrate it. Just don’t celebrate or acknowledge it & when you’re asked about it, pop off at the mouth with facts. Then, on the other hand, we have to educate and expand. There’s nothing more liberating than enlightenment.
And now, making y’all aware is wrong? I never said don’t go eat all the food you want & don’t watch fireworks but of course y’all can & will blow things out of proportion to justify your blissful ignorance. I’m not shaming anyone for “celebrating” “their country’s” “history”, but if you’re not open to knowledge, shame on you, boo.
It goes without being said that this post got a lot of attention and it didn’t come as a surprise to me, that it wasn’t from many of my family, “friends” or members of the black community.
I posted a photo on my Instagram on the 3rd of July saying that the moment I saw someone in those sinful patriotic leggings (or dresses, tanks, t-shirts, shorts (I cringed each time I sold a pair at work), flip-flops, bathing suits, bonnets, pockets) etc… I was going to speak on it in an unapologetic manner. A loyal follower of mine made sure she got her laugh of the day and shamelessly sent me a picture of a girl wearing the stars and stripes leggings. With that being said, here are a few of the most memorable images from “Independence Day” 2015 featuring MY Instagram captions.
*I debated on whether or not to keep names visible but because they’re my family and I do love them, I will protect them… but only this time 😉 I also apologize for the sloppy cover job. Rock with me.
*UPDATE: GO USHER! Know What You’re Celebrating, Fools!