by Solomon Comissiong
“We must reject all forms of injustice, as well as symbols of inequality that have been imposed upon us. The 4th of July holiday,” says the author, “is one of those repugnant symbols.”
The 4th of July: Indoctrination, Oppression and Hypocrisy
by Solomon Comissiong
“This system presents lies as truths, oppressors as saints, murderers as heroes, and imperialist wars as justified acts of benevolence.”
Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels built a career on deception and totalitarian control of information throughout Germany. His tactics were extraordinarily effective in the manufacturing of consent with many German citizens. He burned books, controlled the media, and even the arts. Controlling these vehicles of information was critical in effectively controlling the minds of German people. In many ways he was Adolph Hitler’s “right hand man” and his hatred for Jewish people rivaled that of Hitler’s. Goebbels, like Hitler, was a reprehensible and evil human being. The mental programming he masterminded created an atmosphere of consent and complicity throughout many circles of German people. However, as effective as Goebbels’ actions were, they pale in comparison with the mass indoctrination and programming that exists throughout the United States.
The United States government operates a most awesome mass propaganda program that even permeates the corporate media system. This propaganda system is virtually ubiquitous – operating throughout society, including educational systems, professional sports and Hollywood. This writer has strong disdain for this duplicitous propaganda system. However, I must respect it, if for nothing else, its sheer effectiveness. This system presents lies as truths, oppressors as saints, murderers as heroes, and imperialist wars as justified acts of benevolence. This system also cleverly presents repression as democracy. It is a system that not only (and expectantly) convinces the white masses of these lies, it also, ironically, (and sadly) convinces people of color of these blatant falsehoods. And this is one of the great achievements of America’s false propaganda machine – it can convince the oppressed that the system works for them.
America is a nation founded on theft of land, massacres, genocide, deceit, slavery, and white supremacy. These are undeniable truths for anyone who accurately knows its history. However, unfortunately, most Americans have been methodically shielded from these facts (and perspectives), by the government that controls their minds. American schoolchildren are routinely fed large doses historical lies. These impressionable youth are trained not to critically think for themselves, as well as to embrace the perspectives of European thugs that inflicted so much carnage. Sadistically, children of color are taught reprehensible lies that lead them believe that the Euro-American’s “Founding Fathers” are their “Founding Fathers. Without progressive intervention these children grow up to be adults of color parroting what they have heard over and over again saying things like, “the Founding Fathers would have never accepted that.” One thing is certain, the so-called “Founding Fathers” would have gladly accepted those people of color who repeat such nonsense, as slaves on their stolen land. They should more appropriately be referred to (especially by American born Africans) as the “Founding Slave Masters.” It should be considered mental abuse to allow young children of color to grow up believing that oppressors, like George Washington, are their “Founding Fathers.” George Washington enslaved over 300 Africans and waged war on indigenous people of “America.” This author hopes that if more people of color knew these truths about the so-called “Founding Fathers” they would never refer to them as anything less than vile men.
“Children of color are taught reprehensible lies that lead them believe that the Euro-American’s “Founding Fathers” are their “Founding Fathers.”
It’s difficult to think of America’s so-called “Founding Fathers” without thinking about the contradictory 4th of July holiday. The 4th of July (aka, Independence Day) is a federal holiday that essentially commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776. It reads, “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.” What is truly interesting about that document and July 4th 1776, in general, is that at the same exact time countless Africans were being held (violently against their will), in some of the most inhumane conditions known to man. They were forced to work sun up till sun down (throughout the calendar year), for evil shiftless white men and their families. As a matter of fact, the wretched institution of chattel slavery would linger on for almost another 100 years. This author cynically wonders if the so-called “Founding Fathers” thought that being a slave meant that one was immersed in “Life, Liberty or the Pursuit of Happiness” or that you could be a slave and still be considered an “equal” man or woman.
It should be clear that the Declaration of Independence was not written with the interests of enslaved Africans in mind or the interests of indigenous people whose land was stolen by these amoral men and their devilish ancestors. As a matter of fact, many of the more prominent so-called “Founding Fathers” enslaved Africans including (but not limited to): George Washington, John Jay, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry and John Hancock. This annual holiday (July 4th/Independence Day) is largely predicated on a time when Africans had no rights and were held in bondage simply to live out their lives working for the good-for-nothing white people who enslaved and brutalized them. And we must never forget the indigenous first nations people whose land, livelihood, and lives were stripped away from them in order to create this white settler state (America). Knowing these facts, how can any person of color celebrate this most hypocritical holiday? Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Understanding this important aspect of American history, how can any moral white person rejoice during this holiday? White privilege, white supremacy, blind indoctrination and pervasive apathy are significant contributing factors. Institutional racism runs rampant throughout America – holidays like the 4th of July make sense in such a society.
“How can any person of color celebrate this most hypocritical holiday?”
If more people of color truly understood the long legacy of oppression that America has imposed upon non-white people (without regret), the aura of resistance within those communities would be palpable. Systematic indoctrination permeates all of American society, leaving many aimlessly wallowing in a quagmire of ignorance. Perpetual misinformation acts like psychological opiates, thus rendering many Americans to suffer peacefully. Despite the fact that many Americans (regardless of color) are affected by this process of social engineering, it is people of color who are most negatively impacted. It truly is an awful spectacle to behold when a society’s most oppressed people become that plantation’s most faithful cheerleaders. They, in essence, are unwittingly cheering for their own oppression, as well as that of people that look just like them.
This is why we routinely witness any number of American-born-Africans supporting America’s military excursions throughout the globe, including that of imperialist wars. In 2011 many were caught mindlessly cheering on President Barack Obama’s imperialist war on an African nation (Libya). Witnessing sons and daughters of Africa cheering on an American led war of aggression and imperialism is a most disconcerting sight, especially when it is being waged on their ancestral homeland. It is ironically sad. They have been methodically programmed to accept Euro-American wars of conquest as if they were their own. It is akin to enslaved Africans rooting for their colonial master each time they conquered a “new land,” only to further expand their empire of chattel slavery on plundered resource-rich land.
Imagine if more American born Africans knew about the seemingly countless coups and assassinations of democratically elected leaders that the US government has orchestrated. What if they knew about the CIA backed assassinations of people like Patrice Lumumba of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1961? What if they cared to know about the US’s imperialist military “interventions” in placed like Grenada and Panama? And what if more anti-abortion hypocrites gave a damn about the hundreds of thousands of children who have been killed in Iraq, alone, by way of direct US military involvement and murderous sanctions? What if more black people gave a damn about the scores of drone attacks, air strikes and night raids that the brown-faced war mongering president (alone) has approved of since taking office in January of 2009? Clearly many of Obama’s supporters care more about frolicking around so that they can say there is a brown face in the White House, more than they care about countless civilians being killed by way of the direct actions of that same brown face. Their actions speak volumes. However, many Americans have been infused with a kind of artificial ignorance known as “American Exceptionalism.” In essence, their ignorance is a part of the US government’s social engineering experiment functioning as intended. Why else would so many African-Americans unconditionally extoll a military that is responsible for taking so many lives of color abroad. Their programmed ignorance keeps them mentally numb to the true realities of America’s military aggression.
“Witnessing sons and daughters of Africa cheering on an American led war of aggression and imperialism is a most disconcerting sight.”
It is a sad sight to behold each time this author sees “NBA Cares” commercials featuring a procession of black/African professional basketball players senselessly praising the US military. They say things like, “I support our armed forces because they protect us at home.” This is a purposeful embellishment of a false-truth. This writer wishes he could tell those players that those soldiers are not protecting your interest or their own. They are protecting the collective interests of a sociopathic empire, and those that ultimately control it. Those soldiers are being used similar to mercenaries, ultimately working for the largest corporation in America – the Unite States government. Those nations they invade, from Vietnam to Afghanistan, were never any threat to attack the US. Soldiers are fed even larger doses of pro-US lies, than is the average propaganda drunk American. This makes them much easier subjects to be trained to carry out systematic atrocities against innocent civilians. American society teaches them to be racist and xenophobic, and then the military reinforces those sentiments, all the while training them in the art of cold blooded murder. When Staff Sargent Robert Bale (and company) killed at least 17 Afghan civilians, it was unfortunately not a unique occurrence within the tainted history of America’s military conquests. Regrettably, many black/African professional athletes are systematically cajoled in front of television cameras to parrot lies about America’s legacy, without any knowledge of these horrific truths. It would be as if a slave master got his most physically talented “bucks” (a racist term often used by enslavers of Africans to describe black men) to parade around praising the system that mercilessly oppressed his people. Yet, we routinely see black/African professional athletes tearing up during the national anthem, with their right hands across their chests. What are they tearing up for? This author would like to believe they are tearing up thinking about the innumerable people of color who were systematically murdered in order this empire to be built. Who will think of those people this 4th of July holiday as the fireworks are being lit and the grills are being fired up?
The celebration of America’s Independence Day is not unlike the rejoicing of other US holidays. Their legacy, too, is stained with oceans of blood. Thanksgiving Day is the commemoration of the massacre of scores of Indigenous people throughout America’s stolen northeast. Columbus Day is the celebration of an evil man who mass murdered, raped and mutilated entire populations of Indigenous people throughout the Caribbean and parts of present day so-called “Latin America.” Memorial Day and Veterans Day are essentially celebrations of the memorializing of US war veterans who served in Americans military conquests. However, what the rulers fail to tell their faithful subjects (Americans) about is the narrative of innocent civilians who were systematically destroyed by way of those conquests. Innocent civilians are never to be memorialized, especially those of color. Those brutal causalities of America’s imperialist wars are simply deemed “collateral damage.” America supported oppression in regions like Southern Africa while native black Africans were struggling to gain their independence from brutal white minority regimes in places like Angola and South Africa (two name a couple). And today the US finances the oppression of Palestinians each year as it militarily funds Israel by the tune of 8 million dollars per day. This July 4th, how many Americans will give a damn to think about the Palestinians who are being systematically oppressed?
“With a brown-faced pirate in the White House black/African people have become even more accepting of this nation’s imperialistic wars.”
Americans continue to accept this brutality furnished with their tax dollars, as well as with their silent consent. Americans are a classic case of social engineering and mass indoctrination. It is one thing for the “average” white American to support this country’s global wars on nations of color and it is another thing for people of color to support them. It is not acceptable in either case. However, it says a lot about the level of mental confusion, and overall indoctrination, when people of color roundly support, and make excuses for the US government’s global march of death. And with a brown-faced pirate in the White House black/African people have become even more accepting of this nation’s imperialistic wars. They continue to make baseless excuse after baseless excuse for their favorite war monger and the attacks he orchestrated in places like Libya. At least with curious George W. Bush people of color knew they were up against someone who cared little about their collective interests. However, Barack Obama has thrown many of these same people in to a full-fledged state of confusion. The dangerous aspect of this unfortunate scenario is that are not only confused, but that they are cheerleading for someone who could not give a damn about their plight in America, nor that of world’s people of color. His policies speak volumes. I call them “Obamacies”. Regretfully, Obama’s ability to sing songs by Al Green allows him to cover up his war crimes in the morally blind eyes of his most faithful supporters of color.
White America has long done its best to filter black/African history, if not completely omitting it all together. America’s public educational system is a virtual cesspool of lies, indoctrination, and all out mental programming. Despite these reprehensible facts regarding schooling in America, it remains Euro-centrically based. This has ensured that the strong history of anti-white supremacy activism that has come out of communities of color will be omitted from the vast majority of America’s classrooms. Innumerable children may never learn about the historically accurate heroic efforts of men and women to resist oppression like: Nat Turner, Ida B. Wells, Gabriel Prosser, and Sojourner Truth (to name only a few).
When it comes to the hypocritical and reprehensible history of this holiday, every so-called African-American would be better off if they knew of the powerful speech Fredrick Douglass gave in 1852 in Rochester, New York. On that day Douglass said:
"What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy -- a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.
Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival...."
In 2012 Mr. Douglass’ eloquent speech is just as relevant as it was in 1852 when countless Euro-American hypocrites paraded around celebrating a baseless holiday while millions of Africans remained in bondage. Today, not only are white Americans celebrating a holiday submerged in hypocrisy but people of color are too. They have not only been indoctrinated, like their white counterparts, they have assimilated – shedding much of their cultural tradition of opposing war, social injustice and white supremacy. Perpetual wars of aggression and imperialism, a prison industrial complex, social inequality, and police brutality, are all staple aspects of the American Empire – no hypocritical holiday will change any of that. However, there is one thing that can lead towards a giant step in righting these horrific wrongs.
“America’s public educational system is a virtual cesspool of lies, indoctrination, and all out mental programming.”
People need to wake up, especially those of color. Those of us who are informed must do all that we can to socially and historically enlighten, not just our peers, but also the youth. This enlightenment can, and will, awaken a social revolution that has been clamoring to be resurrected. The time is now. Pick up your pens, grab the megaphones and begin the long arduous process of not only speaking out (and writing), but organizing communities as well. There is no substitute for face-to-face organizing. Merely posting and “liking” pages on social media networks won’t do it. Those things can only serve as supplementation to community organizing and grassroots efforts needed to mobilize galvanize and then organize the masses (community by community) toward the establishment of a society completely free of social injustice. We all play a part – if we so desire. However, we must reject all forms of injustice, as well as symbols of inequality that have been imposed upon us. The 4th of July holiday is one of those repugnant symbols. The choice is ours (collectively). Will it be freedom or injustice? How principled a stance are we willing to take? Ignorance and acceptance of injustice can no longer be bliss – they must be frowned upon. Creating our own social justice narratives and holidays starts with real social justice victories (for all), and it begins now. There is no other alternative if we want a society devoid of oppression and injustice. Peace, justice and equality are within our collective grasp.
Solomon Comissiong is an educator, community activist, author, public speaker and the host of the Your World News media collective (www.yourworldnews.org). Solomon is the author of A Hip Hop Activist Speaks Out on Social Issues. He can be reached at: [email protected]