July 4th By Msmaku Asrat

July 4th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

Today The US celebrates Independence Day marking the day when that famous document, the Declaration of Independence, was signed on July 4th 1776 thus bringing into existence one of the most remarkable nations in the world. The American Constitution, the oldest constitution in the world, was signed on September 17, 1787. Amendments have been made to the Constitution and the first ten are known as the Bill of Rights. The constitution guarantees life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It also envisages a government of the people, for the people and by the people. For the first time a simple “Mr” with no royal titles could be a president. The French Revolution which brought about the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizens with the famous motto of “Liberte, Egalite and Fraternity” was to come later in 1789.

One of the most remarkable achievement of the new U.S. government was launching of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806) which was sent by Thomas Jefferson when he was US President. The expedition was headed by his personal aide Captain Meriwether Lewis who in turn chose Second Lieutenant Clark as his deputy. The purpose was to chart the territory in the West ending in the Pacific coast. This party of only 33 people has left one of the most magnificent scientific, and cultural writings on record. This remarkable saga produced in many volumes, the leaders of the expedition record in minute detail the flora and fauna of the areas they passé through in a period of two years. They also produced 140 maps, collected hundreds of botanic specimens and signed scores of treaties with those inhabitants of the land, those perfect specimen of humanity, called Red Indians then but are now known as Native Americans.

To see this virgin land in the eyes of Lewis and Clark is to be present at the dawn of humanity when God just created the Earth, or to be present with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before they fell from Grace. The beauty of the mountains and valleys, the remarkable rivers and waterfalls, the vast expanses of land called the prairies where millions of buffalos cris-cross galloping to their watering holes in tens of thousands at a time creating their own mini dust storms is a memorable saga left for humanity as a historical record. Truly it was correct for the early Americans to call this land “God’s Own Country”

It was this pristine land which the Americans inherited that they almost totally destroyed in a space of a few centuries. First they killed the millions of buffalos by poisoning the rivers and streams they went to drink, in order to deny the “Red Indians” their means of livelihood; then they totally annihilated the “Red Indians” in a most horrible fashion in order to inherit their land; and then they abuse the land in wanton disregard to preservation in order to produce an industrial giant which the U.S. has became. So the very first holocaust against man, animal, and nature was performed in this remarkable land of so many possibilities.

I have to add that one of members of the expedition was a person called York, a slave and servant of Lewis who ended up being one of most valuable members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He returned back with him to Washington DC but ( Alas! ) died a slave never gaining his freedom. This should not be not a surprise since the giant of the American Revolution , Thomas Jefferson who could fashion those remarkable and memorable words and phrases, had many slaves himself. He has also several children from his slave mistress and she and her children from Thomas Jefferson remained slaves until the day they died.

When America declared its independence it decided not to follow other countries laws. The Declaration said “all men are created equal” But there have emerged a belief among a significant number that “men are born UNEQUAL and it is the task of the government to remedy this inequality” Also laws have developed where a Federal judge has more power than the population of an entire State. Is Democracy a work in progress or what?

So when we celebrate this day we must recall the past and also imagine the possibilities of what might have been or going to happen.

  1. AFRICAN
    | #1

    YES history is written from the point of the victor. We immigrants enjoy the right of rsidency either as a green card holder or citizen and continue to enjoy life as we have no bitter memory like the Red Indians whose land was taken by force. Hitler annihilated six million jews by poisioning and starvation. Red Indians disappeared from the face of their homeland even though there are few remaing social group. Their place of residency, nowadays, are called “Indian Reservation” where untold human misery is going on to this day. I have a MD in one of the New York state hospital who was in the Indian Reservation to study Obessity and told me that the situation is worse than the 1973-1974 Ethiopian drought because the mistreatment Red Indians recieved from the government was impossible to explain. The average young boy or girl whose age is between 12-15 weigh 200-350lb and they are dying systematically day by day. And the common food they consumed is not healthy ones but other food that include some chemical, sugarish as well as other ingrident. The goal is to eliminate the human race and that should not be a reason for the Indians to celebrate July 4. It is a day of horor, no more, no less.

  2. DRAMA
    | #2

    “DEMOCRACY IS A WORK IN PROGRESS”? DON’T YOU SEE HOW MANY YEARS IT HAS WORKED FOR IN THE USA? ARE YOU FROM CHINA? DEMOCRACY HAD BEEN IN ACTION AND IS ACTUALLY FUNCTIONING EFFECTIVELY. IT MAY HAVE HAD TINY LOOPHOLES HERE AND THERE, HOWEVER IT IS THE BEST SYSTEM OF OUR TIME. AND ALSO, ALL MEN ARE CREATED; HOWEVER THEY MAY HAVE DIFFERENT UPBRINGINGS THAT MAKES THEIR COGNITIVE, PHYSICAL, ETC DEVELOPMENT DIFFERENT FROM ONE ANOTHER. DON’T CONFUSE PEOPLE.

  3. tewbel
    | #3

    We should be thankful to this country where we enjoy freedom, peace and security that we have never had in our countries of origine and in no other country in the world. Here we live, work and enjoy life to the extent of our abilities. American democracy might have its failing but it is still the best political system in the world. Perfection is no attribute to any nation, but some are better than others.

  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    Nice commomorative account, Mr writer. Thank you.

    There is democracy in so many countries in the world although it may vary to some extent from country to country. I do not think America has become great solely because it is a mocratic nature. The infusion of new blood from other countries with less restrictions, the conducive atmopsphare for new comers for economic development and the self-help atitudes of Anericans have contributed a great deal to the greatness of the country.

    Happy July 4th America!!

  5. new era
    | #5

    @ tewbel,
    so you dont give a damn that that is the country that is terrorizing our people for the last 20 years.That leaves no doubt is about your allegiance.But why are you here on Ethiopian forum ?

    @ AFRICAN why not worry about the 7 million americans who starved to death during the great depression ? And what about the 50 million americans who would not survive without food aid these days ? And it gone be worse in the US in the coming months and years. I pray for you poor americans who as a free people elected and financed all those criminal politicians of the last several decades,because you will be held accountable.You have to fear the native americans and hispanics the most.

  6. AFRICAN
    | #6

    NEW ERA

    I wrote about the Red Indians because they are the most disadvantage social group THAN ANY OTHER member of American society. I did not write about black Americans because their bad history is somewhat over. You see there is a black American president. Didn’t call this a progress. Of course you shoud. But the Red Indians are in aseemingly solitary confinment in their homeland.

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