Indigenous Peoples Day

Red Cloud - Wikipedia
Red Cloud; picture credentials: Wikipedia

They made us many promises—more than I can remember— but they never kept but one; they promised to take our land, and they took it

Red Cloud, a leader of the Oglala Lakota from the years 1868-1909

This past Monday, October 12, was what is commonly known as Columbus Day, or in some states, Indigenous Peoples Day. Fourteen states —Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin— plus the District of Columbia and more than 130 cities observe Indigenous Peoples Day instead of, or in addition to Columbus Day. Personally, I do not recognize Columbus Day as a day that should be celebrated. Listed below are the reasons why. This topic might be triggering as it deals with rape and murder; if it is to you, please do not click further!

RBG

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies of metastatic pancreatic  cancer at 87 - The Boston Globe
Ruth Bader Ginsburg; source The Boston Globe

Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020); rest in power

Yesterday marks a tragic event as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lost her battle to cancer. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an advocate for gender equality. She was rejected as a Supreme Court clerk despite going to two of the finest law schools and having ringing recommendation, because she was a woman. She never gave up. Ten years later, she sent her first brief to the Supreme Court. She is the reason why the Supreme Court had struck down a state law based on gender discrimination for the first time. She was the second woman to ever be confirmed to the court. She is one of their most prominent members as she has served 27 years on the nation’s highest court. Throughout her legal career, she was an advocate for the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights, including woman’s right to reproductive health decisions. RBG’s legacy will live on forever as a fighter. Despite not even being considered for the Supreme Court clerk, she persevered and eventually became one of the members on the nation’s highest court. Despite struggling through five bouts of cancer: colon cancer in 1999, pancreatic cancer in 2009, lung cancer in 2018, and pancreatic cancer again in 2019, she still served on the court and lived to the old age of 87. RBG will live on forever as a feminist and an advocate for the people.

There will never be a new world order unless women are a part of it.

Alice Paul

Alice Paul | National Women's History Museum
Alice Paul: women’s rights activist, suffragist, feminist

Today, August 18th, marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment. The 19th amendment represents the fight and protests that suffragettes put up against men in order for their voice to be heard. It represents almost a century long struggle. The 19th amendment guarantees women the right to vote.

Edit August 20:

It was recently brought to my attention that this amendment wasn’t inclusive for all women. The 19th amendment marks the United States’ allowance for white women to vote. Up until 1924, Native Americans weren’t considered citizens of the United States. Along with that, they also didn’t have voting rights until 1924. Also, it wasn’t until 1965 that Black people got the right to vote under the Voting Rights Act signed by former President Lyndon B. Johnson. I apologize for not knowing all of the details before I posted this. As a blog, I aim to inform myself, so I am able to inform all of you guys. I have attached a link to a pdf that has a useful timeline of voting in America. If it can’t pop up for any reason, I have included the URL here.

WHAT THE FOURTH OF JULY MEANS TO OTHERS

Today is the Fourth of July, a federal holiday in the United States meant to represent the birth of American Independence as on the same day in 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. At this time, I’ve been more and more reluctant to even celebrate today. On July 4th, 1776, Black Americans were still enslaved and Native Americans were being subjugated. Furthermore, women were still struggling to gain any sliver of authority and voice. Why should we be celebrating a day where all Americans weren’t free? Why should we be calling this day, Independence Day? Should we be celebrating Independence Day when the majority of people living within the United States are not free? There are people locked up in cages because of ICE. They are not free. The USA has the most incarcerated people in the entire world. This is America. Why should we be saying that we are free and independent if all we’ve done is replaced one oppressive structure for another?

Now, I shall share the words of Frederick Douglass from his speech: “What, to the American Slave, is your 4th of July?”

“What, to the ⁣American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hallow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.”

Originally published July 4