Skip to comments.On MSNBC, Sub Host Dyson Defends Chris Rock Mockery of July 4th
Posted on 07/08/2012 11:29:48 PM PDT by Nachum
Substitute hosting MSNBC's The Ed Show, Georgtown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson defended comedian Chris Rock's recent lambasting of July 4 as "white people's Independence Day."
Dyson even invoked a quote from 19th century abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass expressing similar sentiments, missing the point that, in modern times, all Americans benefit from America's existence as an independent nation. By contrast, during the years slavery still existed in 19th century, it was more reasonable to complain that actual slaves were not benefiting from independence. Dyson rationalized:
What Chris Rock alluded to is hardly new. In 1852, Frederick Douglass gave a speech, "The Meaning of July Fourth For the Negro." At the outset, he praised the fathers of the republic. "They were statesmen, patriots and heroes. And for the good they did and the principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honor their memory."
But later in the same speech, he addressed the reality of his time. "I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary. Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me."
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“Let your moderation be known unto all men, The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever are honest, whatsoever are just, whatsoever
things are pure, whatsoever are lovely, whatsoever are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Philippians 4:5-9)
In 1867 in a city in post-war KY the only people who turned out en masse for the Independence Day were black. A few white Republicans, a judge, a preacher and some union officers came as dignitaries mostly, but other than that and some scattered friends it was a black festival. A black union soldier from Pennsylvania, in town visiting family, remarked when told the town's whites would not come out to celebrate, something to the effect that he would "come help" the local "negroes celebrate" freedom if "the whites were not patriotic enough" to do it, and the crowd roared their approval wanting him to continue speaking.
Because they were black the bitter townspeople refused them the use of the park and the celebration had to be outside the city on the side of a road. Later in the day, as people looked for rides home, some hired wagons with drivers both white and black to return to town. The white drivers of one wagon accepted the fare and drove their passengers partway to town only to kick them out to walk the rest of the way, and still had the gall to head back to pick up more unfortunates and bilk them of their money the same way- a disappointing note to an otherwise good day.
It ain’t funny when the joke is on you and your Country.
Slavery in the US lasted from the end of the American Revolution (where independence was recongnized) in 1783 until the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 - a total of 80 years (not the 400 years claimed by the perpetual parasites).
The balance of our 150 years slavery was illegal.
Chris Rock made way too much money for his attitude against whites, but he could only do that in AMERICA, the country he despises.
Litte dogs gotta bark for attention!
I’m sure black folks would have fared much better under the British in the late 1700s, or the Nazis or the Imperial Japanese after we lost WWII. Or African warlords on any day. /s
I wonder what Chris Rock would be doing today if no white person ever laughed at one of his routines.
And I wonder what would have happened to Chris Rock if he had been born in a muzzlem country and had decided to become a comedian we made fun of the zany and loveable quirks of izzlamic society.
Excellent verses, very apropos for the times in general and my life right now in particular... thank you.
Slavery in the British Empire was ended in 1833, or about 30 years before the USA.
Had there been no American Revolution, however, slavery in the larger British Empire might have taken a good deal longer to get rid of, as there would have been a lot more slaves and their master would have formed a much larger and more powerful interest group, as they did in the USA.
Fred Douglass was absolutely right.
Chris Rock is an idiot. More than 300,000 white men died in the fight to end slavery in this country.
“Slavery in the US lasted from the end of the American Revolution (where independence was recongnized) in 1783 until the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 - a total of 80 years (not the 400 years claimed by the perpetual parasites).”
I don’t get your logic. Did it matter to the slave wether or not their masters had declared independence from Britain? I’m not getting it.
It matters a lot when the accusation is that “this country” was built on slavery, or “this country” owes people who have no real connection to slavery at all “reparations”.
Bermuda is a country of the descendants of former slaves; compare & contrast.
I’m from the south. THIS country found slavery an absolute necessity. Hell, Rice Plantations, on the sea islands, were often wholly inhabitted by slaves, long before 1776. The agricultural culture of the southeast relied on labor and labor was slavery.
I’m from the north (NJ, the “Garden State”). We abolished slavery before the Civil War, and still had a viable agricultural economy - and still do.
There is no doubt slaves played a large role in the agricultural economy of the South. Again, the institution existed for 80 years in this country - not the 400 claimed by those with their hands out. This country can’t be held responsible for the policies of colonial powers that pre-dated our existence.
So you claim that on July 3, 1776 there was no slavery on this continent? No slaves working the farms of our Founding Father’s? You are not making any sense. Trying to whitewash history seldom works.
What is wrong with your math?
There was slavery when the country won its independence (which was years after 1776); it legally lasted for 80 years in the United States of America.
Any grievances against British, Spanish, Dutch, or French colonial administrations can be filed with the respective governments.
Using history as an excuse for every conceivable social ill or failure isn’t working at all.