Column: Colonists Wanted Independence from Britain So They Could Keep Slavery

Posted: Jul 05, 2021 12:15 PM
Column: Colonists Wanted Independence from Britain So They Could Keep Slavery

Source: W.L. Ormsby/Library of Congress via AP

Content Warning: This piece includes an embedded tweet with graphic language.

There were some really hot takes this 4th of July. Not just from media outlets like The New York Times and NPR, but from sitting members of Congress, like Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO). Even President Joe Biden, in his speech from Sunday, mentioned "we have never fully lived up to the words" of the Declaration of Independence. Well, they kept coming. Perhaps the most illiterate take, though, comes from Toure for The Grio.

Predictably, Twitter had not been kind, including and especially when it came to a history lesson. Toure was mercilessly ratioed.

The piece was published on July 3, but Toure chose not to tweet it out until July 4.

"F**k Fourth of July: The only independence day I recognize is Juneteenth," the headline screams. The subheadline acknowledges that "Black people are critical to America moving closer to living up to its promise," but continues with "But it’s still f**k Fourth of July for me."

Toure cites Nikole Hannah Jones and the 1619 Project, which even its supporters have acknowledged is inaccurate. This is in addition to it being incredibly anti-American. 

Here's his take on Critical Race Theory, too, which is to equate those who are against teaching impressionable young children about how evil white people are with those in favor of keeping slavery. Emphasis is original:

Jefferson’s section blamed slavery on Britain, suggesting King George had forced it on America. Congress ended up rejecting that section and created a Constitution that protected slavery without mentioning it. This reminds me of today, a time when white supremacy shapes American life so deeply that white people are fighting against the teaching of Critical Race Theory because nowadays, as it was back in the early days of America, this country is both engaged in racism and in working hard to pretend it’s not.

To go along with the point Toure makes in his profane tweet, his piece mentions this:

America wanted to protect its cash cow and, even more, it was wealth derived from slavery that allowed the colonies to afford to pay for the War of Independence. The founding of this country is intertwined with slavery. Why would we celebrate that? 

Toure's headline and closing both make mention of Juneteenth. President Biden recently signed legislation into law to make the day, which falls on June 19, a federal holiday. Emphasis is original:

In a world where the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and Eric Garner and more remain hyperpresent in the Black mind, we still see shocking and sometimes bloody things happening to Black bodies because of the people of America. So miss me with your Fourth of July celebration this year and every year. The only independence day I recognize is Juneteenth. 

It's truly a shame that we have people in this country who see the two as mutually exclusive.