Free

by Mrs. Smith on July 4, 2020

Star Spangled Salute: The Declaration of Independence | KFDI 101.3
Land of the free, home of the brave, one nation under God…
You know what’s lacking?
Acknowledgement.
Dude. Can we PLEASE stop with the half-blind “We’re so great!” stuff?
YES, there is tremendous **potential** in the form of government established by the US Constitution in 1787. The men who created it were brilliant. They were led by the hand of God. Awesome. Truly. It’s such a great story. I love it. In fact, before I carry on about what’s lacking…

Let’s take one tiny moment to look at what led up to the creation of our nation.

It was a straight up miracle that the colonists were able to scrounge together enough resistance to even attempt the Revolutionary War. Most colonists **liked** England and were proud to be a part of the British Empire.
They tried talking it out first, you know. Sent delegates to the King.
“Hey, so, we’re paying taxes but not having a say in what you’re doing with said taxes.  How does this benefit us, exactly? Could we maybe, you know, have some representation here in Parliament? We’re upstanding citizens, you know! We love you! Let us have a voice here.”
When their complaints fell on deaf ears, they got a little braver.
“For reals, Your Majesty, NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION. We mean it.”
Still no luck.

Note the England-Superiority complex going on, y’all.

They were measly colonists an ocean away. No need to change anything. How rude of them to even ask. In fact, in response to their whining, King George III went and raised taxes on their beloved tea.
You know what, we’re not buying your stupid tea. Boycott! In fact, that’s not good enough — you can take your tea and toss it in the ocean.

Rioting is the language of the unheard.

The King was not amused. Instead of understanding, Hey, these people really want a seat in Parliament, maybe we should think about it –he sent soldiers.
That’s what tipped the scale towards full on rebellion. Goodbye, King. You won’t hear us, we’re done.
A lot of people don’t understand what a huge mega big deal it was that the Revolutionary War happened at all. They know we got delegates together, got this treasonous paper signed, and went for completely radical change.

Happy 4th of July, y’all.

But the people in the colonies were anything but united on the whole “go to war, be independent” thing. There were a lot of “Tories” who wanted to keep the peace with England. Many, many people didn’t see how it could possibly work out, and can you blame them? The odds were certainly against us. And what were they mad about? Taxes. They weren’t paying even close to what we’re paying now. But it mattered.

Miracles

So anyway.
It was a miracle that enough people decided to go through with this.
It was a miracle that they managed to get an army together, and eventually attract allies to come in and help.
It was a straight-up miracle that we won the war.
And then, ragged and fragile with our victory fresh, it was a little bit of a miracle that George Washington turned down the creation of a new monarchy… That’s what people had been used to, right? And General Washington had made a LOT of personal sacrifices to lead them to victory. People loved him. Revered him. All but worshipped him. He was the best of men.
But that’s why I said it was only a little bit of a miracle that he turned down the throne. If you knew him, you’d know that King George the First was never even a remote possibility on American soil. He didn’t seek power. He helped birth this newborn nation, but after the labor was over, he just wanted some peace and quiet. Alllllllllll done.

The REAL miracle was that he showed up at the convention to “amend” the Articles of Confederation.

The recently-liberated colonies were verrrrry loosely holding together after the war. It wasn’t going well. The Articles got them through war time but were inadequate for the long-term. So James Madison put that Convention together…. but let’s be real. Most of the delegates came because the biggest celebrity of their lifetime was going to be there. They didn’t really want to do another big radical change. Just fix things up a little. Nothing big. And if Washington will be there, well yeah, of course I’ll be there…
But in reality, Washington’s responses to Madison’s pleading that he come were along the lines of:
Y’all can figure it out without me. Best of luck, James. I’m not coming.
and
For reals, I really am done with the public sector. I’m retired. I helped get you here. I wish you the very best.
and
Love you dearly, but for the love of humanity, James, leave me alone.
Talk about a gamble! If Washington hadn’t showed up, for sure there would have been no US Constitution created in Philadelphia that long, hot summer. The delegates would have railed into Madison for lying, and then gone home gossiping about what a jerk he was.
But -wonder of wonders- to Madison’s great relief, Washington came and most of the delegates stayed, even after it became obvious that Madison had a LOT more in mind that just revisions…

And then it was a miracle that these proud, stubborn men agreed on something.

We celebrate the 4th of July because that bold, brazen move known as the Declaration of Independence turned out to lead to a victory and then it churned out a Constitution that created a nation.
So many miracles.
So much respect for the sacrifices that went into this.

As brilliant and amazing as the Founding Fathers were, however,
THEY DIDN’T QUITE NAIL IT.

What started in 1776 with “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”
and led to “secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity…” in 1787
WAS ONLY EVER A HALF-ASSED ATTEMPT.
Nice principles. Great ideas. Eternal truth. Genius & innovative set-up in terms of government structure.
But… It was NOT liberty and justice for all.

It was liberty and justice for white males. Period.

There was no liberty for Black people. No justice for the Indigenous people. No equality for women.
When history gets retold, we don’t even point it out – as demonstrated up until 2 lines ago.
Maybe humanity wasn’t ready for it.
Maybe they were too chicken (or more likely, stubborn) to go all the way with it.
Maybe it was just too big a leap to make given the culture they had all grown up in.
Most of the Founders enslaved other humans, you guys. That doesn’t mean what they created was garbage, but it also is not okay. It was not and is not okay to treat people like objects. And a whole-picture view of history gives you deeper understanding of why things went the way they went.

For whatever reason,

the principles this country was SUPPOSED TO BE founded on weren’t applied universally. You didn’t count as “human” if you weren’t white, and you didn’t get a say if you weren’t male.
We set ourselves up with a new nation where every white man became King unto themselves. They were free from being lorded over by a king and the nobility that kept your average-Joe oppressed. You didn’t have to be what they told you to be or do what they told you to do.
You, the white male, were free.
Great.
Wonderful.
Perfect.
Love it.
Congratulations.
So happy for you.
…Except that it should have been every PERSON – male, female, white, black, Native, immigrant, all the things – truly being equal under the law, and it wasn’t.
THIS IS WHY we have what we have today.
THIS IS WHY capitalism is seen as an enemy instead of the freaking incredible gift it is.
THIS IS WHY we haven’t really been living in a free-market society EVER, even if it looked like it from the perspective of the free, white male.
Eventually, we fought a war to free those who were enslaved.
Eventually, women were given the right to vote.
Eventually, Missouri got rid of the law that allowed someone to shoot and kill a Mormon.
Eventually, people stopped stealing from the Indigenous people… kind of.

But really…

All this time, there has been no deep-down, sincere repentance. No collective change of heart. Only celebrating how awesome we are. The people who see otherwise and say otherwise are shushed. We’re still judgy and self-righteous and don’t want to be bothered if it isn’t us being directly inconvenienced.
Are we *really* all that different from the hard-hearted King George the Third Supremacist mindset?
Are we really?
How do we prove that?
As far as I can tell, we still aren’t there yet.
Native American women go missing and nobody cares.
They get slammed with Covid19 and instead of sending supplies, they get sent body bags.
Instead of listening to people in pain, we throw tear gas at them – and then we think we’re all kinds of justified in being cruel when it turns into a riot BECAUSE WE WERE CRUEL.
How’s that any different from the Boston Tea Party, exactly?
Newsflash: It’s not.
Rioting is still the language of the unheard. Duh.
So then, if you want to de-escalate the situation and prevent war, YOU ASK QUESTIONS AND LISTEN, which is not what George III did, and we see how that worked out.

In summary.

We have succeeded in many things because of the freedom granted to some of us. We have some remarkable accomplishments under our belt, white people. We have innovated and been blessed in DIRECT proportion to how truly good we’ve been. Good job, us.
But I’m sorry-not-sorry to burst your bubble here. If you’re driving people off their land and burning down Black Wall Street and imprisoning the Hawaiian Queen and incarcerating Japanese-Americans AND THEN hiding your real history from your children YOU ARE NOT -truly- GOOD.

You as a collective are in denial.

True repentance means you DEEPLY acknowledge what happened. You want to make amends. You have a change of heart!!!! You don’t hide from yourself.
And that hasn’t happened to a great enough extent. Not even close.
In many circles we’re still working on just admitting that there was and is a problem.
So the way I see it, the thing worth celebrating right now is that the Founding Fathers had the wisdom to set up a government that could be radically changed nonviolently. All you have to do is show up and vote.
Sort of.
You first have to get good people to run for office. That’s easier said than done.
Nevertheless.
You are (supposed to be) allowed to speak up when you don’t like something. You can totally talk about it. You can gather assemblies. You can teach others freely.
You, the average person, are supposed to have just as much say as anybody else.
We’ve messed it up and polluted the system, and we haven’t ever REALLY treated everyone fairly — but technically, it’s not game-over yet.
**That’s** what makes America such an exciting place to live.

Let’s celebrate the way our government gives us a built-in opportunity to change.
God knows, we need to.

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