Monday Open Thread | Happy 4th of July

Happy Fourth of July.

Woman awes internet with national anthem at Lincoln Memorial:
Jun. 29, 2016 11:43 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Florida woman’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Lincoln Memorial led to a burst of applause from onlookers — and a hugely popular online video.

The Washington Post reports Star Swain is an assistant principal in Tallahassee, Florida who was visiting Washington, D.C.

In the video Swain says “I’m scared,” before launching into the song. After she finishes the final notes, visitors at the memorial cheer.
Benny Bolden, a friend and elder at her church, told the Washington Post it started out as a dare.

Another performance at the Lincoln Memorial:

As always, the words of Frederick Douglass:

A speech given at Rochester, New York, July 5, 1852

Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens:

He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my ability, than I do this day. A feeling has crept over me quite unfavorable to the exercise of my limited powers of speech. The task before me is one which requires much previous thought and study for its proper performance. I know that apologies of this sort are generally considered flat and unmeaning. I trust, however, that mine will not be so considered. Should I seem at ease, my appearance would much misrepresent me. The little experience I have had in addressing public meetings, in country school houses, avails me nothing on the present occasion.

The papers and placards say that I am to deliver a Fourth of July Oration. This certainly sounds large, and out of the common way, for me. It is true that I have often had the privilege to speak in this beautiful Hall, and to address many who now honor me with their presence. But neither their familiar faces, nor the perfect gage I think I have of Corinthian Hall seems to free me from embarrassment.

The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, the distance between this platform and the slave plantation, from which I escaped, is considerable-and the difficulties to he overcome in getting from the latter to the former are by no means slight. That I am here to-day is, to me, a matter of astonishment as well as of gratitude. You will not, therefore, be surprised, if in what I have to say I evince no elaborate preparation, nor grace my speech with any high sounding exordium. With little experience and with less learning, I have been able to throw my thoughts hastily and imperfectly together; and trusting to your patient and generous indulgence I will proceed to lay them before you.

This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the Fourth of July. It is the birth day of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. This, to you, as what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day. This celebration also marks the beginning of another year of your national life; and reminds you that the Republic of America is now 76 years old. l am glad, fellow-citizens, that your nation is so young. Seventy-six years, though a good old age for a man, is but a mere speck in the life of a nation. Three score years and ten is the allotted time for individual men; but nations number their years by thousands. According to this fact, you are, even now, only in the beginning of your national career, still lingering in the period of childhood. I repeat, I am glad this is so. There is hope in the thought, and hope is much needed, under the dark clouds which lower above the horizon. The eye of the reformer is met with angry flashes, portending disastrous times; but his heart may well beat lighter at the thought that America is young, and that she is still in the impressible stage of her existence. May he not hope that high lessons of wisdom, of justice and of truth, will yet give direction to her destiny? Were the nation older, the patriot’s heart might be sadder, and the reformer’s brow heavier. Its future might be shrouded in gloom, and the hope of its prophets go out in sorrow. There is consolation in the thought that America is young.-Great streams are not easily turned from channels, worn deep in the course of ages. They may sometimes rise in quiet and stately majesty, and inundate the land, refreshing and fertilizing the earth with their mysterious properties. They may also rise in wrath and fury, and bear away, on their angry waves, the accumulated wealth of years of toil and hardship. They, however, gradually flow back to the same old channel, and flow on as serenely as ever. But, while the river may not be turned aside, it may dry up, and leave nothing behind but the withered branch, and the unsightly rock, to howl in the abyss-sweeping wind, the sad tale of departed glory. As with rivers so with nations.

Fellow-citizens, I shall not presume to dwell at length on the associations that cluster about this day. The simple story of it is, that, 76 years ago, the people of this country were British subjects. The style and title of your “sovereign people” (in which you now glory) was not then born. You were under the British Crown. Your fathers esteemed the English Government as the home government; and England as the fatherland. This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home, did, in the exercise of its parental prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper.

But your fathers, who had not adopted the fashionable idea of this day, of the infallibility of government, and the absolute character of its acts, presumed to differ from the home government in respect to the wisdom and the justice of some of those burdens and restraints. They went so far in their excitement as to pronounce the measures of government unjust, unreasonable, and oppressive, and altogether such as ought not to be quietly submitted to. I scarcely need say, fellow-citizens, that my opinion of those measures fully accords with that of your fathers. Such a declaration of agreement on my part would not be worth much to anybody. It would certainly prove nothing as to what part I might have taken had I lived during the great controversy of 1776. To say now that America was right, and England wrong, is exceedingly easy. Everybody can say it; the dastard, not less than the noble brave, can flippantly discant on the tyranny of England towards the American Colonies. It is fashionable to do so; but there was a time when, to pronounce against England, and in favor of the cause of the colonies, tried men’s souls. They who did so were accounted in their day plotters of mischief, agitators and rebels, dangerous men. To side with the right against the wrong, with the weak against the strong, and with the oppressed against the oppressor! here lies the merit, and the one which, of all others, seems unfashionable in our day. The cause of liberty may be stabbed by the men who glory in the deeds of your fathers. But, to proceed.

Feeling themselves harshly and unjustly treated, by the home government, your fathers, like men of honesty, and men of spirit, earnestly sought redress. They petitioned and remonstrated; they did so in a decorous, respectful, and loyal manner. Their conduct was wholly unexceptionable. This, however, did not answer the purpose. They saw themselves treated with sovereign indifference, coldness and scorn. Yet they persevered. They were not the men to look back.

As the sheet anchor takes a firmer hold, when the ship is tossed by the storm, so did the cause of your fathers grow stronger as it breasted the chilling blasts of kingly displeasure. The greatest and best of British statesmen admitted its justice, and the loftiest eloquence of the British Senate came to its support. But, with that blindness which seems to be the unvarying characteristic of tyrants, since Pharaoh and his hosts were drowned in the Red Sea, the British Government persisted in the exactions complained of.

The madness of this course, we believe, is admitted now, even by England; but we fear the lesson is wholly lost on our present rulers.

Oppression makes a wise man mad. Your fathers were wise men, and if they did not go mad, they became restive under this treatment. They felt themselves the victims of grievous wrongs, wholly incurable in their colonial capacity. With brave men there is always a remedy for oppression. Just here, the idea of a total separation of the colonies from the crown was born! It was a startling idea, much more so than we, at this distance of time, regard it. The timid and the prudent (as has been intimated) of that day were, of course, shocked and alarmed by it.

Such people lived then, had lived before, and will, probably, ever have a place on this planet; and their course, in respect to any great change (no matter how great the good to be attained, or the wrong to be redressed by it), may be calculated with as much precision as can be the course of the stars. They hate all changes, but silver, gold and copper change! Of this sort of change they are always strongly in favor.

These people were called Tories in the days of your fathers; and the appellation, probably, conveyed the same idea that is meant by a more modern, though a somewhat less euphonious term, which we often find in our papers, applied to some of our old politicians.

Their opposition to the then dangerous thought was earnest and powerful; but, amid all their terror and affrighted vociferations against it, the alarming and revolutionary idea moved on, and the country with it.

On the 2nd of July, 1776, the old Continental Congress, to the dismay of the lovers of ease, and the worshipers of property, clothed that dreadful idea with all the authority of national sanction. They did so in the form of a resolution; and as we seldom hit upon resolutions, drawn up in our day, whose transparency is at all equal to this, it may refresh your minds and help my story if I read it.

“Resolved, That these united colonies are, and of right, ought to be free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown; and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, dissolved.”

Citizens, your fathers made good that resolution. They succeeded; and to-day you reap the fruits of their success. The freedom gained is yours; and you, there fore, may properly celebrate this anniversary. The 4th of July is the first great fact in your nation’s history-the very ringbolt in the chain of your yet undeveloped destiny.

Pride and patriotism, not less than gratitude, prompt you to celebrate and to hold it in perpetual remembrance. I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ringbolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.

From the round top of your ship of state, dark and threatening clouds may be seen. Heavy billows, like mountains in the distance, disclose to the leeward huge forms of flinty rocks! That bolt drawn, that chain broken, and all is lost. Cling to this day-cling to it, and to its principles, with the grasp of a storm-tossed mariner to a spar at midnight.

Read the rest at the link above.

This entry was posted in African Americans, Black History, Culture, History, Open Thread, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

79 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Happy 4th of July

  1. Chicas, Liza, Eliihass check your email.

  2. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “Motions hearing for 4th Freddie Gray officer scheduled for Tuesday”

    Lt. Brian Rice, the highest-ranking officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray, will go to trial this week on manslaughter, assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges.”

  3. rikyrah says:

    h/t POU:


    It began at the lunch hour one day in the fall of 1925, when there were perhaps 60 black students at Michigan out of a student body of some 10,000.

    An African-American student named Lenoir Bertrice Smith had only a short break between classes. There was no time to run home for lunch, and she hadn’t brought anything along.

    So she and a white friend, Edith Kaplan, stepped into a restaurant near Nickels Arcade and sat down for a quick bite.

    They waited a long time.

    Finally a bus boy came to their table and set a pile of dirty dishes on the table between the two young women.

    Lenoir Smith looked at the dishes, then rose from the table.

    Before attending U-M, Smith’s white friend Edith Kaplan had never spent time with black people. So it took her a moment to grasp what was happening.

    Then she looked at Lenoir Smith, Kaplan recalled long afterward, and “I trembled with rage when I saw her face, and knew that the dirty dishes had not been accidental.”

    The two women went to see Oakley Johnson, a young instructor in the Department of Rhetoric. Lenoir Smith was taking Johnson’s class; she knew him to be sympathetic to the difficult situation of black students. The women asked Johnson what might be done.

    Johnson took them to see John Robert Effinger, dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. They hoped he might bring the University’s influence to bear on Ann Arbor restaurant owners who refused service to black students.

    Effinger’s response was “correct, cold and unsympathetic,” Johnson said.

    “Why, I’m very sorry about this,” Johnson recalled Effinger saying, “but, you know, the University has no control over the businessmen of the city. Our domain ends at the edge of the campus. We can’t do anything at all.”

    “But can’t you express the University’s desire that its students be treated properly? After all, they’re students here, regardless of color.”

    “No,” Effinger said. “My grandfather owned slaves in Virginia, but you mustn’t think I’m prejudiced. I would do something for you if I could.”

    “He seemed to think we were demented,” Johnson recalled.

    So the students and Johnson decided to do something for themselves. They gathered friends and declared themselves the Negro-Caucasian Club of the University of Michigan. It may have been the first such group on any American college campus.

    If not demented, they were certainly audacious.

  4. Ametia says:

    I’ve just finished watching WET SIDE STORY, for the fifty-eleventh time. LOL

  5. rikyrah says:

    Damon Young, 7/4/16

    It’s been well-established that President Obama discarded the last one of his fucks many moons ago; letting it go the same way Kappas forsake dignity at coed kickball games. We don’t know exactly where he left that last fuck, but my guess would be in a bathroom sink in Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street, which is where fucks often go to perish.

    Anyway, we’re now left with a preeminently fuck denuded Black President. Which matters because when fuck fleeced Black people 1) happen to still be employed and 2) have a predetermined expiration date on said employment, all the Blackness that needed to be suppressed to keep said job has a way of bubbling up. Like a Black-ass, fuck scrapped volcano. And it matters even more today, the day of the Obama family’s final Fourth of July at the White House. Which will undoubtedly be the Blackest thing the White House lawn has ever seen. We already know both Kendrick Lamar and Janelle Monae were invited to perform, and you do not invite both Kendrick Lamar and Janelle Monae to perform somewhere in 2016 unless you expect that somewhere to be charted in the Guinness Book of Blackness. So the only question that remains is exactly how Black will this BBQ be? Will it be acceptably, but not transcendently Black? (Like Jason Derulo.) Or will it be so Black that it even makes other Black people a little uncomfortable? (Like Kool-Aid at a wedding.)

    • Ametia says:


    • Ametia says:


      Trill Mickelson • 8 hours ago
      “Last year I went to a family member’s wedding and there was Kool-Aid. And fried chicken. And go-go music (plot twist: no one involved in this wedding was from DC, nor was the wedding itself anywhere near DC). If that wasn’t the Blackest event I’ve ever been to, it’s definitely an honorable mention.”

  6. Ametia says:

    Mama SHOE will put a BOOT in your BEHIND, if you don’t help. LOL

  7. rikyrah says:

    Back from watching Central Intelligence. I thought it was funny. The Rock makes a great straight man.

  8. rikyrah says:

    uh huh

    U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is seeking to prohibit Department of Justice officials from enforcing parts of the Americans with Disabilities Act at private voucher schools.

    The amendment, which Johnson submitted to be included in the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriation Act that has yet to pass, prohibits DOJ from enforcing provisions of the ADA that ensure equal access to public education.

    Johnson’s amendment says the provisions that protect students with disabilities from discrimination cannot be enforced in private voucher schools because the schools are not public, despite receiving public money in the form of a school voucher.

    A spokeswoman for Johnson’s Senate office said the amendment is meant to protect voucher schools from a “hostile” attitude the Obama administration and other Democratic lawmakers have toward voucher programs and comes months after the Obama administration closed a probe into the Milwaukee voucher system after a lawsuit alleging discrimination against students with disabilities.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Lips pursed.


    Jamie Stiehm: First Lady Michelle Obama’s Legacy Is Good, But Not Yet Great

    By Jamie Stiehm | @jamiestiehm
    July 3, 2016 | 5:15 p.m.

    Great news that Michelle Obama went to Africa and met with the president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, on girls’ education. I was really impressed, as I’ve often felt there was much more to her than met the public eye.

    I kept waiting for the first lady to speak out about her slave ancestors buried in South Carolina. Or her own journey as a girl from Chicago’s South Side to Princeton University and Harvard Law School. She crossed the city on the bus.

    When she first became first lady, it was clear no lovefest was in the works. She was wary. The walls were high, though most welcomed the Obamas with open arms.

    But the first black first lady was focused as she set up a household with two school-age daughters and her mother to help her manage. A three-generational family in the White House was refreshingly old-fashioned.

    The first lady is now showing a fuller side of herself. That’s the substance I hoped to see all along, so there’s an element of wish fulfillment. As it happens, President Barack Obama is blooming late in the life of his presidency.

    • Ametia says:

      Fuck you, Jamie, and…

      Have a STADIUM full of SEATS.

      FLOTUS Michelle Obama did come into the WH to assuge WHITE GUILT and abolish racism. What a liar too. The Obama were NEVER welcomed with ‘open arms’ as this POS tripe is alluding to.

      These beckies are BUTT-HURT, because First Lady Michelle Obama has done it HER WAY, and has not cow-towed to the Washington set. Her legacy as First Lady will never be dictated by wishful thinking and cookie-cutter expectations of who, the FIRST Black Lady should become, how she should behave, and what she should accomplish.

      BYE GIRL

      • yahtzeebutterfly says:

        Maybe Jamie Stiehm will improve in her ability to see reality later in her reporting career. Then she will have the chance to be considered a late bloomer. Maybe then there will be more to her than meets today’s public eye.

      • yahtzeebutterfly says:

        (p.s. – What I wrote above was a satire on her words in her article.)

      • Ametia says:

        I got you, yahtee.

        These folks are insecure and haven’t accomplished what they think they’re entitled to accomplish, like our FLOTUS. o they have to write and makeup shit as they go along.

  10. But why are folks getting mad about the truth? This ISH happened.

  11. Ametia says:

    Alrighty, Everyone, what’s on your menus for the day?

    • rikyrah says:

      Hot Dogs
      Polish Sausage
      Italian Sausage
      Smoked Sausage
      Chicken Breast
      Chicken Drumsticks
      Potato Salad
      Cole Slaw
      Mac and Cheese

      • Ametia says:

        Yummy! Send me a plate, please.

        Rib eye steak
        Chicken breast-bone-in
        Homemade lemonade
        Potato salad
        Field green salad
        Deviled eggs
        Apple pie
        Haden Das ice cream-pecan

  12. Ametia says:
  13. Ametia says:

    It’s MONDAY, Everyone! Enjoy your day with family & friends.

  14. rikyrah says:

    So, will the LEAVE voters finally admit that they were nothing more than goddamn RUBES?

    All the architects of this phuckery going DEUCES and PHUCK Y’ALL.

    Leaving someone else to clean up their bullshyt.

    • Ametia says:

      Yep, shit all over the place, and now you stupid fools can get your shovels and start scooping it up.

      BA BA SLEEPY SHEEP, have you any sense?

      NO SIR, NO SIR, just hand us a pence!

  15. rikyrah says:

    Found this in the comments over at BJ:

    RaflW says:
    July 4, 2016 at 10:46 am
    A friend of mine who is US born to parents who emigrated from India (and is married to a local girl, with three biracial kids) wrote this today. I think it’s perfect:

    “240 years ago today, 56 wealthy white men declared independence from the United Kingdom. They established a new nation based on the principles they saw as necessary to establish their freedom. Today, we all celebrate that day as Independence Day.

    But the story of this country is not in the actions of those 56 men, it is actually in the fights for freedom that followed. It is in the fights for the emancipation of Black people, the sovereignty of Native Americans, and the equal rights of women, immigrants, and LGBTQ people. It will be in the fights for the freedom for those whose oppression we cannot even understand or comprehend yet.

    Those 56 men may have declared independence for some that day, but the last 240 years have been filled with countless others who have courageously fought and continue to fight for their own independence. So on this Independence Day, let us honor them. Instead of simply celebrating what those 56 men did, let us resolve to continue the fight for our own freedom and for those around us who are still oppressed.”

  16. rikyrah says:

    Dawn Nicole Martin @dawnnicmar
    @PragObots Where are all the feminists standing against sexism & racism against Bmore State’s Attorney @MarilynMosbyEsq #AintSheAWoman

    • Ametia says:

      Ugh! We know that the HUMPSTER’s not going to be prosecuted. She’s needed to keep the FAKE HORSE RACE going between the DUMPSTER.

      2016 and Americans have decided to go along with these two morally, ethically, racially BANKRUPT presidential candidates.

      This is what the definition of ‘Make America Great Again’ means, for those folks, but NOT for me.

  17. America the Beautiful

  18. Liza says:

    Happy July 4th, y’all… Here’s to the warriors, thank you for all that you do.

  19. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning 😊, Everyone 😆

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