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  • Morning Bell: Frederick Douglass’s Irrepressible Faith in America

    As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, it is fitting to reflect upon the tortured experience of blacks in this country. Looking back upon four centuries of African-American history two things are undeniably clear: for the greatest part of America’s history, blacks were grossly mistreated and the country has come a long, long way since the first slaves were brought to Jamestown in 1619.

    Most astounding, in this latter regard, is the seismic shift in popular attitudes regarding blacks since the Civil Rights movement began. It’s hard to believe that Mad Men depicts a world that is less than fifty years removed from us.

    Yet for all the progress the country has made—the abolition of slavery, the end of segregation, and the change in hearts and minds—not everyone draws inspiration from this admirable story of overcoming. The persistence of stark socio-economic disparities between black and white Americans, the extraordinarily high incarceration rates of black men, and the desolation in many inner cities have led many to “wallow in the valley of despair,” to borrow a phrase from Dr. King’s most famous speech.

    Such despair in turn has fueled a radical critique of America that is increasingly prevalent among scholars and activists who deal with race relations. America, we are told, is founded on a racial contract that excludes all non-white males. As former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall explained: “the prevailing opinion of the Framers regarding the rights of Negroes in America” was, and here he goes on to cite approvingly the infamous Dred Scott decision “that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.” From there, it’s a straight line to the conclusion reached by John Hope Franklin, author of the standard history of African Americans, From Slavery to Freedom: “Racial Segregation, discrimination, and degradation… stem logically from the legacy that the Founding Fathers bestowed upon contemporary America.”

    While Dr. King reminded us that the country was built on the “promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” leading voices today instead reject the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution as racist documents and turn away from the traditional goal of integration. If America is built on a foundation of racist ideas, then no real change is possible within the existing conditions, and the solution to the African-American predicament must lie beyond the country as we know it. America must be fundamentally transformed if the promise of justice for all is to be realized.

    This critique of America, which feeds off the despair among impoverished black Americans, is particularly pernicious for fostering an even deeper alienation among those who most need to believe in the American Dream to improve their lot. Indeed, it is very difficult to see how the upward-looking labor required to lift blacks out of endemic urban poverty is to be sustained if those most in need of help have accepted the idea that America has no place for them. This critique will only worsen the problems it refuses to answer.

    Today, as we honor Martin Luther King, we have a moral duty to re-affirm the promise of justice for all at the heart of the American Founding and make the case, as forcefully as we can, for the integrationist faith in America. To do so, we turn to a former slave: the great 19th century abolitionist and indefatigable advocate of civic and political equality, Frederick Douglass.

    As Peter Myers explains in a new First Principles essay entitled “Frederick Douglass’s America: Race, Justice, and the Promise of the Founding”:

    Douglass endures unequalled as the invincible adversary of racial despair and disaffection—the pre-eminent exemplar and apostle of hopefulness in the American promise of justice for all. At the heart of all that he learned and taught were these simple propositions: that the natural-rights principles epitomized in the Declaration of Independence were universally and permanently true; that the everlasting glory of America’s Founding lay in its dedication to those principles; and that the salvation of the nation lay in its rededication to them.

    Myers goes on to recount the story of how Douglass, who as a former slave initially sided with the abolitionists of the day in rejecting America and its Constitution “for supporting and perpetuating this monstrous system of injustice and blood,” eventually developed, through a careful study of the Founding, an “irrepressible faith in America.” In America’s dedication to principles of natural human rights set forth in the Declaration of Independence, Douglass found reason to love and identify with his country, despite the injustices that he and his people had suffered.

    Douglass’s uplifting journey from alienation to a “rationally grounded hopefulness” should embolden all those of us who believe in America and her dedication—shaky at times, but always eventually triumphant—to the natural equality of men.

    Quick Hits:

    • The U.S. debt has surged to an all-time high $14 trillion, $45,300 for every person in the country.
    • According to The New York Times, the Stuxnet virus responsible for slowing Iran’s nuclear program was “designed as an American-Israeli project.”
    • House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has declined to attend Wednesday’s White House state dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao.
    • Late Friday night, the Obama administration announced they would further ease restrictions on Cuba’s communist government.
    • Study up on Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit with The Heritage Foundation’s Key Asian Indicators: A 2011 Book of Charts.
    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    39 Responses to Morning Bell: Frederick Douglass’s Irrepressible Faith in America

    1. Robert says:

      Who of us will not be moved by the anguish of Frederick Douglass. He lost a mother he hardly knew; and although she was blood of his blood, he could not mark the place of her burial. But, Mr. Douglass was more eloquent than he knew. He did not realize how exquisitely he had forged from a defiant heart the words would so well mark her grave: Neither by stones or stakes, but in words that will tell his love forever. For there in the meter of her son’s words, in the mansion of his good and noble soul, her grave is well placed, well marked and revered, there and forever in our American heart.

      "My mother died when I could not have been more than eight or nine years old, on one of old master’s farms in Tuckahoe in the neighborhood of Hillsborough.

      Her Grave Is As the Grave of the Dead at Sea,

      Unmarked and without Stone or Stake.

    2. L Frank Morgan, Newh says:

      Please consider all those born and raised poor without regard to skin color

    3. Zan says:

      I am a Frederick Douglass Republican – check out theconservativemessenger.com

      He has a new book out soon that will show you how you too can say you are a

      Frederick Douglass Republican – Respect the Constitution – Respect for Life – Personal Responsibility – Less Government

    4. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      1-16-11 FROM – Ken Jarvis – LVKen7@Gmail.com

      B. Hall Syosset N.Y. on January 13th, 2011 at 11:32am said:

      This is for Ken Jarvis. Some suggestions on what to cut. These are in no specific order. The DOE {dept of education} School scores have fallen since it was instuted. All Federal employees a 25 % pay cut. All Congressmen A 25% cut in pay.

      It’s called public service not public enrichment Both Freddie and Fanny should be run like a business not a slush fund.

      *** B. – How does F&Fanny run?

      Do they MAKE Loans to buyers?

      I don't think so.

      ===

      At least 50% of the socalled Czars and their staff should be fired. Obamacare repealed. Federal employees union pensions cut by 25%. Repeal the 16 th amendment and replace it with a fair tax or flat tax and fire al least 50% of IRS staff.. Have all so called earmarks be subject to congressional up or down votes.

      *** Earmarks. Interesting.

      WHO Does Earmarks?

      Congress.

      Who wants to STOP THEM?

      Congress.

      DUH.

      ===

      *** They can cut the defense budget it they

      End Commissaries on bases.

      ====

      Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI on January 14th, 2011 at 3:32pm said:

      Thanks Ken Jarvis – is that $250,000 gross income, adjusted gross income or after tax income? Is it based on Schedule C income or W-2s?

      *** Ben – Thanks for Asking.

      THAT is why –

      We NEED ONLY Need One Tax,

      a 10% NATIONAL SALES TAX – NSTx

      Where ALL taxes are PAID

      When the purchase is made.

      A NSTx TO REPLACE the current income tax.

    5. Diane Wamberg says:

      The factual history of blacks that have served our country date far back but the shining star is Fredrick Douglass. It is equally sad to realize that the Fredrick Douglass Foundation, which embodies his teachings, was denied a permit for an office on the South side of Chicago. This sort of discrimination leads to the problem of blacks being kept in the slavery that they were freed from

    6. Linda , Virgina says:

      Excellent article – I'm glad I subscribe

    7. Jaime Cancio Bakersf says:

      I pose this question, who was the first slave owner in America and what was his race? Everyone in America will be surprised to discover this easy to find fact.

    8. Jack Maclean says:

      Dr. Martin Luther King gave the most memorable speeches I have ever heard (I have a Dream,) which brought me to understand the true meaning of equality. It changed how I view life and American citizenry. Dr. King spoke often though, especially in advocating a non-violent social change, that this citizenry is not granted without individual responsibility, a lesson we would all be well advised to renew.

      Why can't America experience the emergence of national pride that Nelson Mandela produced in South Africa under President Barack Obama?

    9. Harley Spoon, Austin says:

      Frederick Douglass was "gung ho" about a Republican Party that has not existed since his time…Even the Republican Party of his time failed miserably (and purposefully) to keep its promises to the "freed" slaves while it was selling its soul to the greed mongers and eventually the "Robber barons"…

      Whatever happened to that "40 acres and a mule" Lincoln promised? Today, Douglass would have no use for the narrow scoped Republican/Teapublican Party we see before our eyes. Neither would the the greatest Republican president, Teddy Roosevelt. Today's Republican Party is no more than a pawn for the oligarchs, plutocrats and global corporate fascists (I did not say "Nazis) and that would not make Frederick Douglass happy!!!!!!! Moreover, the people who hated LBJ for forcing "Civil Rights", "voting rights" and "open housing" are now the core of the Republican Party…as LBJ predicted!!! I suspect Douglass would be ashamed of the Republican/Teapublican Party of 2011. So would MLK be!!! The right wing of the American Body Politic can fool itself…It cannot fool history…for long!!!

    10. Scott G. Alexander says:

      I have the same birthday as Dr Martin Luther King Jr,and I am extremely honored to share it with such a man of Honor,Dignity,and Truth.I also applaude Fredrick Douglas for his courage in his quest for truth.I am also a bit diappointed with Mr Douglas when he turned his back on America's first civil rights leader who along with two of his sons gave their life so that others could be free,and that man was John Brown.I totally agree with Dr King,it is the content of a persons character not the color of their skin,or their spiritual understanding,or the socio-economic background from which they came,but, with their ability to use their mind to create harmony and not excuses to act differently and demand preferential treatment.

    11. Jeff Dover, Fountain says:

      Because many black people in this country listen to false prophets such as Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and the clown Al Sharpton is unfortunate. There are many college professors who are only too happy to echo the words and opinions of those charlatan black "leaders". However, Blacks who fail to see past these prurient people will be left behind as others who do believe in and understand the promise of our constitution come to this nation. The press has been flanked by other press and will no longer be able to cover the lies and fan the flames to the extent that they were able to do so in the past.

      With a gradual curtailment of entitlements and grants, in concert with the new outlets for truth, I'm optimistic that many black people who are now stuck in the lie will find their way out into the mainstream of American life and prosperity. Racism is a thing of the past and has been for years. Except for the isolated instances where there's nothing anyone can do about it, it shall remain so.

    12. Walter Moore says:

      To hold on to an insult to the black race, such as Dred Scott, is an attempt to exact forever the Reparations offered to black's once slavery was abolished 145 years ago. Dred Scott was patently unconstitutional and should be labeled as such in history as evidence that, without the exercise of free-speech and legislation made law without redress, the dictates of a few should not be applied to exploit the many,i.e, "Obamacare". As serious an insult as Dred Scott was, there have been too many on the racial side of the question who use Scott for the sake of their own recognition, elevation, and desire to segregate themselves from the the "national experiment" that all of us who, as legitimate citizens, have a unalienable right to be protected by under the US Constitution. Thus, the prevailing attitude of black racial leaders and the US Government is to use their view of enforced separatism to leverage more public largesse from the US Treasury – that's not what I heard in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      Instead of calling blacks to project themselves, based on their own inate qualities, to take inclusive stands in the American opportunity, we find too few of them distinguishing themselves independently of racial quotas, affirmative action, and overall reclamation`of the "black family unit" destroyed by government social welfare programs, which have nearly bankrupted our country. Such exploitative concepts serve as kindling for people like Rev. Jeremiah Wright who seek the destruction of our Constitution as punishment for Dred Scot and other separatist ideals no longer practiced in the culture at large despite their claims to the contrary. Dr. King was right – it's not the color of your skin, but the content of your character that elevates a(ny) man to his full and rightful status in our society.

    13. Joseph Arsenault Dre says:

      So long as people are in charge of distributing justice, there will be injustice. At least in America there is a system for trying to right the wrongs. When the countries of Africa become the Utopia for black people, then criticize our country.

      Joe A

    14. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Frederick Douglass was against the Constitution before he was for it. When he read it, he became enraged at the "3/5ths Clause". What's the 3/5ths Clause? It's a part of

      the Constitution that counted black slaves as 3/5ths of a person for census purposes.

      However, when it was explained to him, he was for it. He thought that it was the greatest document for freedom ever written.

    15. Clearhead -- U.S.S.O says:

      As long as any group insists upon distinguishing themselves from another group, there will be a separation between those two groups. Case in point: A young man whom I consider almost a son, another member of my family, my equal, and a true friend, is black. I am white. So what? He is simply a fellow AMERICAN. He is not a "person of color", an "African-American" or any other ridiculous appelation, he is my dear friend who is an AMERICAN!! What is wrong, or discriminatory about that? Nothing.

    16. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      - and the desolation in many inner cities have led many to “wallow in the valley of despair.”

      Slavery is injust – no arguement, but:

      it seems to me that all ethnic groups coming to the US have gone through a phase of discrimination then through hard work have elevated themselves from the "valley of despair." It seems to me that this work ethic has been squashed by the rise of entitlement programs since the rise of LBJ "Great Society" which has destroyed the family unit in the African American community. Detroit is a classic example of this model. ADC and the other give away programs have done nothing to help but have created generations of single parent households. The problem is self perpetuating. The solution is clear: self reliance and hard work.

    17. jim smith says:

      Today, in America, we have literally millions of of African Americans who are striving, growing, achieving and largely being ignored by the mainstream media and our so called "Black Leaders" They have been doing it awhile, despite the "blood extortionists" like Al Sharpton & Jesse (of nekkid women fame) Jackson. In honoring Dr. King, it's essential to remember these millions as they continue to make our country great, contribute to our culture and pay their taxes.

    18. Clara H.Sciartelli says:

      We attended a Dr. ML King Birthday NAACP memorial yesterday and the program began with the singing of our National Anthem then it was followed by the singing of the Afro-American National Anthem. I never knew there was such an athem. Has anyone ever heard this before?

    19. Kevin, Peoria AZ says:

      It would have been nice had the article gone into what Douglas discovered in his "careful study of the Founding" was the statement in the Constitution concerning blacks being 3/5 of a person. Douglas had been led to believe by the abolitionists that the statement referred to blacks as lesser men due to their color. However, Douglas discovered that was far from the truth. The founders were actually trying to strip the slave states of some of their congressional representation. A freed black could count as a whole person where as a slave only counted as 3/5s. Originally the founders had not wanted to count salves at all, however the southern states would have none of that. They would not vote to ratify if they didn't get to count their slaves. It all boiled down to representation in congress was dependant upon population and if the southern states got to count all of their slaves they would get more representatives in congress. It was finally settled upon to count them as 3/5s. I wish the article would have covered this as a real writer could have said it much better.

    20. Frank Gado, White Ri says:

      Frederick Douglass was a truly magnificent man, a giant. We should know him better..

      We need to bear in mind that the attitude ascribed to "the Framers" applied only to some of them. And it is historically inaccurate to blame the Framers for the Dred Scott decision. A truer picture of the attitudes of most of the Northern elite lies in the epics written at the start of the national period–particularly Joel Barlow. Barlow's vision of American greatness requires extirpation of the stain of slavery and the thinking that enabled it.

      Perhaps the Heritage Foundation might revisit Barlow–not only his Columbiad but also his Advice to the Privileged Orders of Europe. Both are long out of print.

    21. Gordon Borner, Belde says:

      Though the evils of slavery were not constitutionally dealt with until the 13th & 14th Amendments following the Civil War, both the Declaration of Independence declares & the The Preamble of the Constitution of the United States infers that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights".

      If the "Founding Fathers" of our country had pushed for Abolition of Slavery during the establishment of our Country and Constitution, there most likely would not have been any "Slave State" that would have signed the Documents and our country would have been very different or "not founded at all".

      Fortunately, with time and perserverance of men & women of good will, slavery was dealt with.

      Unfortunately, equal rights of all peoples are not recognised in the hearts and minds of some people. This takes a "re-creation" of their hearts and minds by allowing their Creator to do so.

    22. B. Hall Syosset N.Y. says:

      O this day it's important to note that Douglass upon reviewing the Constitution said that it was not an anti black document but that it was an anti-slavery document. He pointed out that the 3/5th statement was not an opinion that blacks were not wirth 3/5 of a white man but thats how they should be counted for sensus reasons. Here is the back story: The south said that slaves were property but should be counted in the sensus for congressional apportionment, The north replied that chairs were property also and that they should be counted as people for the sensus also. A compromise was agreed to and thats how the 3/5th came into the Constitution.

    23. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. -- Topsy.com

    24. Harley Spoon, Austin says:

      David G. Mills: It's the Corporate State, Stupid

      It's the Corporate State, Stupid

      David G. Mills

      Information Clearing House

      "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." – Benito Mussolini.

      The early twentieth century Italians, who invented the word fascism, also had a more descriptive term for the concept — estato corporativo: the corporatist state. Unfortunately for Americans, we have come to equate fascism with its symptoms, not with its structure. The structure of fascism is corporatism, or the corporate state. The structure of fascism is the union, marriage, merger or fusion of corporate economic power with governmental power. Failing to understand fascism, as the consolidation of corporate economic and governmental power in the hands of a few, is to completely misunderstand what fascism is. It is the consolidation of this power that produces the demagogues and regimes we understand as fascist ones.

      While we Americans have been trained to keenly identify the opposite of fascism, i.e., government intrusion into and usurpation of private enterprise, we have not been trained to identify the usurpation of government by private enterprise. Our European cousins, on the other hand, having lived with Fascism in several European countries during the last century, know it when they see it, and looking over here, they are ringing the alarm bells. We need to learn how to recognize Fascism now.

      Dr. Lawrence Britt has written an excellent article entitled “The 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism.” An Internet search of the number 14 coupled with the word fascism will produce the original article as well as many annotations on each of the 14 characteristics of fascism that he describes. His article is a must read to help get a handle on the symptoms that corporatism produces.

      But even Britt’s excellent article misses the importance of Mussolini’s point. The concept of corporatism is number nine on Britt’s list and unfortunately titled: “Corporate Power is Protected.” In the view of Mussolini, the concept of corporatism should have been number one on the list and should have been more aptly titled the “Merger of Corporate Power and State Power.” Even Britt failed to see the merger of corporate and state power as the primary cause of most of these other characteristics. It is only when one begins to view fascism as the merger of corporate power and state power that it is easy to see how most of the other thirteen characteristics Britt describes are produced. Seen this way, these other characteristics no longer become disjointed abstractions. Cause and effect is evident.

    25. Sandy, Bay City, MI says:

      I was at the Library of Congress last summer. I was amazed to find that in the rough draft, there WAS put in a clause to abolish slavery. However, in order to get all 13 states to ratify it, especially those in the south, they deleted it. First things had to come first.

    26. Maria Island Park, N says:

      Douglass knew that even though his body was born into slavery, his spirit, his essence, called him to something higher. Just imagine the courage, mental toughness, understanding and fortitude he mustered to bring himself from a life as someone's personal property to not only freedom, but world-renown as a writer and lecturer. Douglass sets an example for all of us in that he didn't set limits on how far his character could take him. His external circumstances certainly played a role in how he saw the world but they didn't determine the course of his spirit.

      We remember Douglass and Dr. King as civil rights leaders, but I believe they served a much higher purpose – to remind us that we have all been endowed with potential for greatness that is not particular to nor exempt from any race. It is a birthgift to every human from a colorblind God who seeks not perfection, but only our absolute best. Douglass demonstrated by his life that great men aren't born into great circumstances. They create them. This attitude is in perfect alignment with our nation's founding principles. Still, in spite of all of the efforts of men and women like Douglass and King, too many Americans sadly find it easier to be judged upon anything but the "content of their character".

    27. Bryan Head, Seattle says:

      The first African slaves in America were brought by the Spanish in 1526, as part of the short-lived San Miguel de Gualdape colony in South Carolina, which was founded by Spanish explorer Lucas Vásquez de Ayllón. The colony quickly failed when leaders started fighting among themselves, and the slaves took the opportunity to revolt and fled to take refuge among native residents of the area. The Spanish abandoned the colony soon afterward. This was of course many years before the British began colonizing America.

    28. jeff, U.S.A. says:

      Your link has a big mistake. Australia and New Zealand are NOT Asian countries. They are part of the region called Oceanian.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Oceanian_co
      Bad information in :

      Study up on Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit with The Heritage Foundation’s
      http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2011/01/

      Interesting books on Frederick Douglass are available for free at books.google.com. (Search books.google.com, then click on full preview for the books available for free download )

      "Life and times of Frederick Douglass" (1882) by Frederick Douglass

      "Frederick Douglass" (1907) by Booker T Washington

      "In memoriam: Frederick Douglass" (1893)

      • Brandon Stewart Brandon Stewart says:

        @Jeff Thanks Jeff. We added Australia and New Zealand in order to include them in discussions of the region.

    29. Mike, Chicago says:

      In order to achieve equality, we must abolish public aid except for those who truly need it… i.e. the disabled and infirmed. There is discrimination and injustice in the amount of public and private aid that minorities, in particular blacks, receive.

    30. Bobbie says:

      Here is a man that rose above the ignorance of others. He understood all men to be created equal, he also respected the fact that not any one of mankind are of the same heart and mind.

      He rose above what Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson capitalize on. These two men are the poorest of examples of anyones humanity. Although they get great credit for exemplifying human weakness!

    31. Barry Dennis Woodsto says:

      I admire Dr. King. I admire all those who fight for justice and equality in large and small ways.

      I do not admire community leaders and politicians who trade on oppression to further their own ends. I do not admire those who find profit is the misery of their fellows. I do not admire those who refuse to lead, even when given the opportunity.

      I do not admire those who trade on the weaknesses of their fellow human beings.

      So, on Dr. King's birthday, and on all the birthdays of everyone like him, I say to Preachers and Pastors, Rabbi's and Imam's, politicians and

      community leaders, would-be and real time parents everywhere: Have courage.

      Teach personality responsibility and belief in one's self; teach morality-and practice it yourselves-you'll feel better for it. I don't know if there is a God, or not. I do know that the values we attribute to a God, and as taught by all men of faith, including Dr. King, will only work and succeed if faith is supported by effort, by the work-hard work-necessary to realize personal success through personal sacrifice and responsibility

      To Dr. King and his good works and memories, I salute you.

    32. Dinah Garrison Fairb says:

      @Jaime

      I can't remember his name, but you are right. Everyone would be surprised to find his skin color. Probably, most would just say it wasn't true. It is quite an irony.

    33. Pingback: (In Honor of Martin Luther King) Frederick Douglass’s Irrepressible Faith in America | Just Piper

    34. Amy, Georgia says:

      Actually, Douglass' view was changed for tactical reasons I am pretty sure. If you read Jefferson – the author, after all, of "all men are created equal," you get a very different view.

      The Jefferson Memorial reads as follows: “Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free.”

      Many folks can thrill to Jefferson’s call for freedom for the enslaved blacks (for that is to whom the reference applies). But almost no visitor could complete the rest of the statement, drawn from Jefferson’s Autobiography:

      “Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion have drawn indelible lines of distinction between them. It is still in our power to direct the process of emancipation and deportation peaceably, and in slow degree that the evil will wear off insensibly, and their place be, pari passu [at the same pace], filled up by free white laborers. If, on the contrary, it is left to force itself on, human nature must shudder at the prospect held up.”

    35. Amy, Georgia says:

      Douglass' revised position is almost certainly a tactical change. Abolition could not be sold by the Garrison repudiation of the American nation. But Garrison was actually closer to the truth than Douglass. Take the quote "All men are created equal," by Jefferson. Did Jefferson intend that to apply to Black people?

      The Jefferson Memorial reads as follows: “Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free.”

      Many folks can thrill to Jefferson’s call for freedom for the enslaved blacks (for that is to whom the reference applies). But almost no visitor could complete the rest of the statement, drawn from Jefferson’s Autobiography:

      “Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government. Nature, habit, opinion have drawn indelible lines of distinction between them. It is still in our power to direct the process of emancipation and deportation peaceably, and in slow degree that the evil will wear off insensibly, and their place be, pari passu [at the same pace], filled up by free white laborers. If, on the contrary, it is left to force itself on, human nature must shudder at the prospect held up.”

      Jefferson's comments in his writings could not have been unknown to Douglass or Lincoln. They simply choose to spin things differently.

    36. Laura, Ward, AR says:

      The following information is not to deminish the immoral and horrors of allowing slavery in the US. These are our history, some have tried to hide from the people.

      International slave trade banned in 1808. The US brought about 7% of all Africans transported across the Atlantic. Cuba topped the list.

      Dred Scott ruling of 1857, in a nutshell stated the US Congress had no authority over slaves in a state, only the citzens of that state did.

      Prior to 1860, many as 262,000 free blacks lived in the south more in the upper states than the lower.

      In May of 1870, under the authority of the 15th Amendment, Congress passed the first Forced Act. (legislation to end intimidation by the Klan and others, provided heavy fines and imprisonment for anyone hindering citizens from voting) In 1871 and 1872, passed more legislation aimed at more specific acts.
      The Panic of 1873, allowed the Democratic to win back most Southern state houses and in 1874 were elected amazingly, since 1858, to win theUS House of Representative.They had no intention of enforcing federal civil rights law. They supported segregation statutes known as the Jim Crow laws.

      The Republican-controlled lame-duck Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1875, which guaranteed "full and equal treatment to all persons of every race, and decreeing access to all public facilities.

      It took untill 1955, with Rosa Parks to bring Civil Rights for all back to the nations closed eyes.

      Eisenhower offered the first civil rights laws since 1875, The Civil Rights Act of 1957.
      It established the Civil Rights Commission. Most Southerns Democrats opposed the Bill and Southern Democratic governors refused to support the bill.

      Martin Luther King, Jr, a pastor started the movement which turned the country to support real Civil Rights changes in the US. He did in peace what others couldn't do with violence. After the successful bus boycitt, he assembled a hundred of black Christians ministers to establish the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which called for leaders to engage in nonviolence, with courage and presistence. It also moved the movement to the southern blacks who had to live with daily discrimination.

    37. Bobbie says:

      I was writing on behalf of Mr. Frederick Douglas.

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