It's that time of year again, July 4th. And once again, for your holiday reading pleasure, we would like to share two of Facing South's favorite pieces for Independence Day:
PATRIOTISM'S SECRET HISTORY
By Peter Dreier and Dick Flacks
The Nation, May 16, 2002
Many Americans believe that the left is "antipatriotic" (and even anti-American), while the political right truly expresses the American spirit and reveres its symbols. Particularly since the late 1960s -- when the movement against US intervention in Vietnam gained momentum -- the terms "progressive" and "patriotism" have rarely been used in the same sentence. But who remembers that the "Pledge of Allegiance" was written by a Christian socialist, "Ballad for Americans" a favorite of the radical Paul Robeson, and "America the Beautiful" penned by an anti-imperialist poet?
WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS THE 4TH OF JULY?
By Frederick Douglass
July 5, 1852
At a meeting sponsored by the Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society, abolishionist Douglass delivered a speech that took aim at the pieties of the nation -- the cherished memories of its revolution, its principles of liberty, and its moral and religious foundation. The Fourth of July, a day celebrating freedom, was used by Douglass to remind his audience of liberty's unfinished business.