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Letter: Fourth of July celebration is not just for whites only

Fourth of July celebration is not just for whites only

When Douglas Turner writes “This [July 4] is a holiday for white people,” he betrays both a sophomoric petulance toward all things American that is so in vogue in today’s media and a woefully simplistic and uninformed understanding of the facts surrounding the founding of this great country.

The Declaration of Independence, like the Constitution to follow, required approval by each of the colonies because each colony was a sovereign entity. America was not at war with England; 13 colonies were.

Those 13 colonies had idiosyncratic beginnings, cultures and economics. But they shared two things in common: a bristling against what they saw as unjust meddling by a tyrannical government in their affairs and a solitary trust in local politics.

This set of circumstances would, following the ineffective Articles of Confederation, lead to the political necessity of enduring slavery “… in order to form a more perfect union.”

Without such a compromise on slavery, which was ultimately cast aside following the American Civil War at the cost of over 600,000 mainly white deaths, there would have been 13 independent colonies and not the federal republic we have today. That maligned republic is responsible for abolishing slavery, voiding the Jim Crow laws, enacting the Voting Rights Act of 1964 and establishing a host of regulations to create economic and political opportunities specifically for minorities, including the descendants of former slaves.

The Fourth of July a white man’s holiday? The readers of The News deserve better commentary than this.

Lee C. Broad

Amherst

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