Independence Day, a time for Americans to come together and celebrate the birth of our nation, was recently marred by controversy when Representative Cori Bush (D-MO) took to Twitter with a divisive message. The congresswoman used the auspicious occasion to renew calls for reparations, inciting substantial backlash.
Her tweet was a provocative one, stating, “The Declaration of Independence was written by enslavers and didn’t recognize Black people as human. Today is a great day to demand Reparations Now.” This surprising commentary sparked an immediate and largely hostile response from those who found the timing and content of her message inappropriate.
Among the critics who took to the digital battlefield was writer Ian Miles Cheong, who challenged Bush’s stance, asking, “Don’t you think more than enough white people paid for it with their blood during the Civil War?” His question underscores a commonly held perspective among many conservatives: that the issue of slavery was laid to rest with the sacrifices made during the Civil War.
Jeremy Redfern, press secretary for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, also joined the fray, dryly noting, “You’re gonna need reparations for this ratio.” This remark points out the overwhelmingly negative response Bush’s tweet received.
Yet another user suggested that “Today is a great day to shut up,” a sentiment that seemed to echo widely across the Twitterverse.
Adding a more substantial critique, Chris Loesch contested Bush’s interpretation of history, saying, “This is rubbish. Cori has no knowledge of what the framers did or didn’t believe evidently or what their efforts were. She should understand why people like Frederick Douglass honored and revered them.”
Kurt Schlichter, attorney, and columnist, dismissed Bush as a “buffoonette,” while political commentator Varad Mehta called her tweet an “absolute pile of rancid filth.”
Libby Emmons, editor-in-chief of The Post Millennial, offered a balanced historical perspective, noting that “Of the 56, 11 signers were guilty of enslaving others. Jefferson’s clause about the need to abolish slavery was removed from the document in order to appease the colonies that backed the practice. Adams, Franklin, and 2 others were abolitionists.”
While the subject of reparations remains a contentious topic in American politics, it’s clear that many found Bush’s Independence Day demand to be out of step with the day’s spirit of unity and celebration. To be effective, political discourse must seek to bring people together, not push them further apart. As we continue to strive for equality and justice, let’s remember that our shared American identity is our strongest asset.