Today is July 4th, a.k.a Independence Day, a.k.a ID4, according to the seminal 1996 film. A day commemorating when some white dudes won their valiant fight to stop paying taxes to some other group of white dudes. For over 240 years, America has taken to grand fireworks displays, cookouts and a solid run of Will Smith movies to celebrate the occasion. While I get this is an important moment and whatever for white people, I just want to remind y’all that all holidays matter.
America isn’t the only place with an independence day worth celebrating. How about the Haitian Independence Day, which, by and large, would make for a much better Will Smith movie than the American one. The Haitian Revolution was driven by slaves who emancipated themselves and was one of the largest slave rebellions in history. Toussaint Louverture was a charismatic general who was instrumental in leading the Haitians to freedom.
I’m just saying, a movie about Louverture and an army self-liberated formerly enslaved people fighting for their country’s freedom would hit much harder than another movie starring *insert serious white actor* talking about being free from British tyranny while they got slaves in the next room. If we’re not going to make that movie, the least we can do is celebrate the holiday.
If you really ain’t fucking with the British like that, why not celebrate the Ghanaian Independence Day? I mean they were the first sub-Saharan African country to liberate themselves from British colonial rule. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a fact worth lighting fireworks, grilling food and getting a little too turnt while “Ante Up,” blasts in the background.
Matter of fact, Somalia’s Independence Day was just this past Wednesday. Were y’all out here eating Somali food and celebrating almost 60 years of Somali independence? Didn’t think so.
Those aren’t American enough for you? Well then count this as my vote to make Juneteenth the official Independence Day .
I’m just saying, folks. It’s the day when all Americans were actually, you know, independent.
I mean, sure I get it, people died in the Revolutionary War to earn independence from Britain, but hey, folks died in the Civil War, too. It took over 100 years, the brutalization of countless black bodies, redlining, the civil rights movement, the brutalization of more black bodies and a pandemic for y’all to finally go “You know, maybe we should celebrate Juneteenth.” Why not go all the way and make it the whole damn holiday? We’ve given the Revolutionary War it’s proper due for over 200 years, I think we can switch it up now.
The point is, if you’re going to celebrate the American (read: white) Independence Day, then you have to celebrate all independence days. Otherwise, you’re the real racist.
Now excuse me, I’m about to sip on this Hennessy and play Call of Duty with the fellas. Just because I’m indifferent towards the holiday doesn’t mean I’m about to waste a day off.
Happy Saturday, y’all.