As we find ourselves upon the system’s celebration of its independence from England, the 4th of July represents the United States replacing England as the imperialist power trying to control North America—and later the world.

Two of the greatest “telling truth to power” statements are Frederick Douglass’ classic, “What to the Slave is the 4th of July” and Mumia Abu Jamal’s, “What to the Prisoner is the 4th of July.”

Mumia and Douglass in turn are in the tradition of W.E.B. Dubois’ description of the U.S. as, “the land of the thief and the home of the slave,” and Martin Luther King’s as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world.”  Today’s structural collapse of U.S. imperialism and it hijacking Bolivan President Evo Morales’ jet (which they suspected was carrying freedom speaker, freedom “leaker”, Edward Snowden) calls on us to reject patriotism, the Patriot Act, and any of the U.S. holidays created to celebrate empire and racism at home and abroad.  So happy July 26th to our friends in Cuba who are celebrating a real revolution, and let’s celebrate today’s “holiday” by reading Douglass and listening to Mumia with our children, grandchildren, and friends.

 

What to the Slave is the Fourth of July
Written by Frederick Douglass in 1852, narrated by Bernard White (Audio re-posted from KPFK’s Democracy Now)
 Click here to download.

Spanish Version
 Click here to download.

 

What to the Prisoner is the 4th of July
 Written by Mumia Abu Jamal in 1993, narrated by Bernadette Devlin McAliskey (Audio re-posted from Prison Radio)
 Click here to download.

 

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