Gary R. FlowersConsciousness Over Cookouts
"Fellow-citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! Whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, today, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I [we] forget...'may my right hand forget her cunning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!... to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world.'"
Frederick Douglas, July 4, 1852
As the United States of America celebrates another Independence Day (July 4), recognizing a principled stand by early American colonists against the tyranny of England's King George, we should learn from the words of Frederick Douglas, who in 1852 eloquently cited the hypocrisy of our nation to celebrate the liberty of independence amidst the institution of slavery.
While African Americans are free from the brutality of physical bondage, our minds, in the words of Douglas, seem to "...chime in with the popular theme..." of hot dogs, hamburgers, John Phillip Sousa, and fireworks.
In short, we need to place consciousness over cookouts.