Ah, July 4th. What a great time it is in the US. I can’t remember exactly what it is we are celebrating but I love how we use fireworks, which were created in America. It’s also great because we get to eat sweet corn perhaps for the first time all summer. Thank God our ancestors brought corn over from England and Ireland. Can you imagine a summer without corn?
I think, as a fan of history, that this is the perfect time to reflect on the great history of our country. We are certainly going through some interesting times these days and I think it’s important to trace the roots of where we are and see how we got here. Will you travel back in time with me to honor July 4th?
The first people
America can trace our history all the way back to um…when did the Mayflower land? Well, at least 500 years ago. People came over to America because it was the land of the free and the home of the brave and that is what they were. They wanted to be able to use their guns and practice their religion, so they came to this empty land and decided to build their empire here. Now, they did encounter some Indians when they got here, and they did their best to get along with those people at first. They even let the Indians teach them how to farm and stuff. But you know, this really needed to be a white man’s land and these Indians just didn’t seem to get that, so they had to go. If the Indians had just tried to assimilate maybe things would have been smoother. I think you can talk to the Cherokee about that, but I’m not sure.
Anyway, living in this new country was really hard. There were a lot of trees and rivers and stuff and there were not any Starbucks or Target stores, and there were several other changes as well. Our ancestors tried to get the Indians to help with farm work and stuff but the Indians just fell over and died. Now, luckily the fates were with us from the start. There was a whole continent where the weather was always gross and there was just no civilization – Africa. So our ancestors started bringing those folks over so they could be productive and help out with planting fields and other stuff. In return, these African people got homes, food, and lots of other stuff. Now it’s true that sometimes bad things had to be done to the African helpers if they weren’t really getting how lucky they were. Much like the Indians, if they had just understood how privileged they were things would have gone better.
Why we are celebrating
So the years went on and our ancestors were still having to deal with the Indians and the Africans who were all like, “This sucks” for some reason. But we had our own problems. England was making us talk British and drink tea, so we threw tea in the water somewhere (California?) and that started a war. The English really like their tea When the war did break out the English tried to steal our guns, so we wrote up the Declaration of Independence that said that everyone except the Africans, the Indians, women, and people from other countries who were trying to live here could pursue happiness via Christianity and gun possession. Thomas Jefferson really wanted to drive the point about the guns home, so he not only signed his name really big but he also created fireworks to mimic the sound of American guns.
At some point between that and now some of our ancestors wrote up the Constitution. The guys who wrote that up were very conscious of the fact that the whole world was watching them, including us in the future, so they decided to give freedom to everyone just like they had. That meant that people who had come from Africa could continue to help out our ancestors, Indians could try to assimilate into white culture, and women could continue to make food and babies just like they always want to do. Some cynical people have said it’s crappy that only white guys wrote up this document, but I mean, they had settled the country and like, the whole continent by then, so I think everyone at the time was ok with this and we’d be ok with it now.
From the start, America has been about and for people who were born here and who have white skin and also who are men, and that’s really the way it should be. Like I said, they did all the work. With guns. That is the ancestry we are celebrating tomorrow, going back to when our forefathers declared that no British person would take our guns or make us drink tea.
Happy July Fourth!