Frederick Douglass (1818 -1895) was born a slave in Maryland in 1818 and became one of the first great American Black leaders when he published his autobiography, Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass, An American, where he describes his life from slave to statesman and someone who had the attention of Abraham Lincoln on the subjests of slavery and the Civil War.
Seven months ago, handsome, dynamic Wes Moore, Maryland’s first Black governor and only the third Black governor elected in the history of the USA, was sworn in gto office by placing his hand on a Bible that belonged to Douglas, saying:
“I’m not just an admirer, but someone who is a true connoisseur of his life, of his teachings, of his writings. And I’ve wondered what he would think about this moment, particularly with his life, with his sacrifice, with his frustrations.”
Remember in 2019, when that twice-impeached, mango-hued, grifter of a president described the famed 19th century abolitionist as:
“… an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more.”
Douglass died in 1895.
President Rapey Von Tinyfinger added:
“Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and millions more black Americans who made America what it is today. Big impact.”
Remember little Sean Spicer? He was the lying press secretary before pig farmer Sarah Huckabee Sanders, or the charming Kayleigh McEnany, you know, the one who liked to hide in the bushes at The White House. Spicer:
“I think he wants to highlight the contributions that he has made, and I think through a lot of the actions and statements that he’s going to make, I think the contributions of Frederick Douglass will become more and more.”
Honoring Douglass was common for both Democratic and Republican presidents. In 2002, President George W. Bush celebrated Douglass’ relationship with A. Lincoln, describing them as “two men, very different, who together ended slavery.”
President William Jefferson Clinton urged people to visit Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington DC.
In 1850, Congress had passed the Fugitive Slave Act which made it legal for enslavers to ruthlessly pursue human beings across state lines and force them back into slavery, tightening tensions between the northern states and the southern states over slavery.
This nation has a long history of brutalizing fellow Americans. Slavery was about separating families, often by brutalizing black women through rape and selling their children for profit. Into the mid-20th century, the federal government made it a practice to separate Native American children from their parents, placing them in federal-controlled boarding schools. And, of course, even family internment is not new in America. During World War II, the federal government’s internment of Japanese-American citizens, a policy fueled by racism not dissimilar to the MAGA administration’s actions against Muslims, kept families together in camps for years.
”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 boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, 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.”
Douglass’ words cut deep now that the Republicans, once the party of Lincoln, fully embrace by the ideological descendants of Confederate traitors like Jefferson Davis. Today’s Republican Party’s mix of racism and conservatism are a symptom of a very well used virus in American society. #MAGA