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America’s Declaration of Independence has served as a model for other nations. One hundred sixty-nine years after its ratification, on Sept. 2, 1945, the leader of the independence movement in Viet Nam, Ho Chi Minh, stood in Ba Dinh Square in Hanoi to deliver his Proclamation of the Birth of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, “Tuyen Ngon Doc Lap Viet Nam Dan Chu Cong Hoa.”
Six years ago, on Jan. 1, 2009, Oscar Grant III, 22, was shot and later died of bullet wounds received when Johannes Mehserle, then a BART police officer, fired his gun at point blank range into Grant’s back – after Grant and his friends had been taunted with racial epithets and assaulted by Mehserle and other BART officers on the scene, while Mehserle’s partner, Tony Pirone, held Grant down with both hands and a knee on his head and neck.
Over 65 million people in the U.S., perhaps a fifth of our sisters and brothers, are not enjoying the “unalienable rights” to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” promised when the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776. They are about 20 percent of our U.S. population. This July 4 can be an opportunity to remember them and rededicate ourselves and our country to making these promises real for all people in the U.S.
“We’re going to JAB the City of Oakland Police Department in the ass until they do what they’re supposed to do.” – Jeralyn Blueford, Nov. 10, 2012, on the steps of Oakland Police Department headquarters. On Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m., join Angela Davis and Alan’s parents for ‘Honoring Alan Blueford’ on what should be his 19th birthday: Laney College Theater, 900 Fallon, Oakland
ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero said President Obama’s signing of the NDAA is “a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law.” Time will tell whether the NDAA will survive scrutiny by the courts and in the court of public opinion.
The key factor thus far in failing to harness the mass support of the people is the lack of broad-based, articulable demands around which the uncommitted people who may support our message but not our movement can be educated, organized and mobilized to join the movement and transform not only the nature and structure of U.S. society, but the WORLD.
The new book by Manning Marable, “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention,” will help us to get a deeper understanding of Malcolm X and the times we’re living in now. This will not be a direct result of what Marable has done, but rather of what needs to happen now because of what he has done.
This June 19, millions of Americans, particularly African Americans, will celebrate Juneteenth. Yet slavery’s abolishment, under the 13th Amendment, didn’t really end slavery, as many people believe. The 13th Amendment merely codified America’s “peculiar institution” under penal statutes.
Although America’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution are premised on the principles of democracy, the historical treatment of America’s citizens of color is replete with racial dichotomies. Today’s youth need to know that Dr. King was only 25 when he began to fight back with the year-long Montgomery bus boycott.
It is time for a revolution. Government does not work for regular people. It appears to work quite well for big corporations, banks, insurance companies, military contractors, lobbyists, and for the rich and powerful. But it does not work for people.
This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhumane mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel in your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrevocable ruin! I can today take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people!