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For BIPOC, the 4th of July is a grim reminder of the ways in which America has lied to us again and again.

The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, may be a time of celebration, fireworks, and picnics for white Americans, but for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), this day often evokes more complicated feelings. There is a certain irony to the fact of a global empire – built from the ground up on slave labor and Indigenous genocide – celebrating “freedom” from its former colonial status, without acknowledging the profound unfreedoms it has inflicted on the rest of the world’s people in order to achieve it. Most BIPOC know that the Declaration of Independence, supposedly signed on July 4th, 1776 (though historians agree that this was not the actual day of the signing), is a sham. The famous words of the Declaration, which most of us are taught in school – “all men are created equal” – echoes back in the contemporary conservative slogan “all lives matter.”

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