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Independence Day, also known as the 4th of July, is a federal holiday in the United States that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776 by delegates from the 13 colonies. July 4th, 2019, represents 243 years of “independence” in what is now known as the United States of America. This is very ironic, since the Blacks who were brought to this continent for the purpose of providing free labor served as slaves for 244 years; and if you count Juneteenth, you can add two more years. Consequently, the total years of Black servitude amounts to 246 years. So, the United States has been “free” for 243 years, and the slaves have been “free” for 246 years. Basically, the United States gained its wealth from almost 250 years of free labor. In conjunction with this, it must be remembered that the colonists took the land on which we all reside from Native Americans, who were disenfranchised and placed on “reservations” and are subjected to laws passed by the European interlopers.

Today, in 2019, a number of incredible events are reminding us what is meant when Donald J. Trump, our 45th president, says he wants to “Make America Great Again.” If the truth be told, that means that we will go back to the days when exploitation of humanity by white Americans was the norm. For the entire time that African Americans have been on these shores they have been maltreated. They have been denied opportunities, subjected to economic violence, and disproportionately incarcerated to such an extent that the present has been called the Age of Mass Incarceration due to the large numbers of Black and brown people caught up in the criminal justice system. Law enforcement personnel seems to be waging war on the Black community in this land of the “free.” Those who have been charged with protecting and serving are killing Black people to such an extent that Black children are being trained how to act in the presence of the police in order to keep from being killed by them.

Today, years later, some of the most egregious atrocities are occurring. Independence Day 2019 finds us in the throes of a Constitutional crisis. Our president, who has demonstrated an obvious fascination with the world’s authoritarian leaders, is pulling the country down in the eyes of reasonable people around the world. Moreover, because of extreme politically-motivated xenophobia, Trump has vowed to build a wall between the United States and Mexico for the purpose of keeping those fleeing violence in their homelands out of America. As a result, thousands of refugees are being kept in what fits the definition of “concentration” camps at the U.S. border. Children have been separated from their parents, with some who will never be reunited with them. Children have died in the camps. Children have allegedly been sexually abused in the camps. It is said that human trafficking is occurring in the camps.

On top of this, Trump is promising to implement an even more draconian strategy of what amounts to community sweeps. People have been asked for identification at bus stops and El stations. People are afraid to go to work due to fears of being identified and taken away by ICE agents. A genuine blanket of terror is hovering over America where refugee children are kept in cages, and where they are not able to get basic necessities like tooth brushes, soap, etc. So, America, supposedly on the verge of becoming great again, finds citizens held hostage by a Republican Party and a president who seems to have lost all notions of civility. Americans are more uptight than ever before, with people wondering what will come next as they watch our president cozy up to authoritarian leaders.

The bottom line is that Independence Day 2019 finds Americans residing in a land of active concentration camps. It is as though no lessons were learned during Nazi Germany and her treatment of citizens; we seem to be going down that same road. The Democratic Party recently held the first of a series of debates for the purpose of finding a candidate that will be able to keep Donald Trump from having a second term. Ominously, a prominent Republican said, after watching the debates, that it seems more than feasible that Donald Trump could have a “third” term. This is scary. If we are not careful in our voting strategies, we may find ourselves without a reason to celebrate future 4ths of July; we may find ourselves residents of an authoritarian regime! A Luta Continua.

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