Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July

I'm in Colorado right now celebrating a wedding, but before I left I came across this speech by Frederick Douglass originally given on the Fifth of July, 1852. Some highlights to ponder on this Fourth of July:
I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common.Ă‘The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me....

Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Amercans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom? speaking of it relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively. To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.
Click here for the full text of this magnificent and moving speech.

May we all say a prayer of gratitude today for the liberties that ALL Americans now enjoy.

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