The Power is Now

America Independence Day

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by Eric L. Frazier MBA
President and CEO of The Power Is Now Media, Inc.

America is divided, and always has been, over race, but I believe that America will eventually change because darkness cannot stand the light. The light of scrutiny on American policies and its history of mistreatment of African Americans has never been brighter since the days of Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement.  The darkness has not left us, but we can all see now, even in the dark social and political unrest we continue to experience.

America is divided politically like never before.  Congress has been ineffective in working together to find common ground on anything.  Partisanship rules the day in congress.  Nothing is getting done unless it’s by the executive order of the President or a Supreme Court decision or congressional action by the reaction to mass shootings in the schools. The January 6th hearings, gun control legislation, abortion, and the nine billions we have given to Ukraine has paralyze the implementation of any domestic policy.  I believe we have achieve a new low politically, democratically and socially, and we can thank our Congress, the President and past President Trump for the state of our country.

So here is my take on the state of the Union this 4thof July or American Independence Day. The current state of the Union is massive debt, the threat of war with Russia, or the proxy war with Russia? The need for actual immigration reform, criminal justice reform, police reform, budget and debt ceiling congressional management. We still need Police cultural and de-escalation training. We still have a growing and out-of-control homeless population and no real solutions.  We have huge disparities in education, soaring home prices, shortage of affordable housing, predatory banking, discriminatory lending, widening  wealth gap and the worse race relations since LBJ.  Everything seems to be at an all time low.

For African American’s, we just celebrated our independence on June 19th.  Well, it is at least our second independence day.  Our first independence day was January 1st, 1863. I know what you’re thinking.  Did they forget the date? Anyway, about 4 million or more  Texans were told that we were free on June 19th, 1865,  2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation.  President Joe Biden made the day a Federal Holiday to celebrate their freedom.  We appreciate the acknowledgement but we’re is the conversation about reparation at the Federal level?  The Holiday is an acknowledgement of Slavery and our freedoms, but it lacks any substance about what the Federal Government can do about the impact of Slavery on African American.  Okay, so we will wait and dance, sing and make speeches until you get to it.

Slavery started in 1619 on the tobacco fields of Virginia.  We slaves to American people on the 4th of July 1776 and were 157 years in the slave trade by this time. Our families separated, our fathers and sons brutally enslaved and mistreated like animals and considered personal property.  Our mothers and daughters were beaten and raped and made in domestics workers and sexual abused by the plantation owners and workers. The families and their children were forced to do back breaking work and pick cotton from sunup to sundown.

On the 4th of July, we could have been on the menu somewhere in the South.  Perhaps the human barbeque burned at the stake or hanged on a tree for trying to run away; depending on the crowd’s mood that day.  So, the 4th of July is not the Independence Day for African Americans.  We were not included in the Declaration of Independence.  Our rights given to us by the creator were not confirmed in that document.  It would be years later in the constitution of the United States.

Since our freedom in 1865, African Americans have been a minority and outnumbered by white Americans. According to a few estimates, we were 4 to 7 million strong at the time of our freedom.  Today we represent only 12% of the population, approximately 40 million strong, but only have the political power to pick the President in states where there is a large black population and many delegates for the Electoral College.

Where our real power comes into play, especially in cities with a large black community, is in electing governors, mayors, district attorneys, police and fire chiefs, school boards, tax assessors, city council members, etc. Our real power is not national it is local to get anything done for African Americans politically or socially.  On a National Level it must be through the courts and legislation. It has been that way since the emancipation proclamation.  With the exception of the Declaration of Independence, all the liberties and freedoms we enjoy in this country has been born out of the black experience of living in America and our fight for freedom in the courts.   Locally we need to go to the polls.  Nationally we need to sue the Federal Government, which has always been a long road to justice. Will the change we need to see in America come quickly? Of course not.  Not in our lifetime but maybe for our grandchildren.

It is our youth that makes me hopeful about America and that our best days are yet to come.  Despite America’s racist history, African Americans continue to strive to make significant contributions in the United States and the world. We are magnificent and powerful people who know how to rise from adversity.  So, we celebrate America’s independence and pray that America truly learns what freedom means for all people and not just for White Americans. I will end this critic with the famous words of Frederick Douglas that sums up my take on American Independence day.

“This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrevocable ruin! I can today take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people!

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 sound of rejoicing is empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout 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.”- Frederick Douglas



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