January 16, 2012

Frederick Douglass on Barack Obama

128 years ago, Frederick Douglass provided the explanation for why people are so hard on President Obama. The quote below is worth remembering next time we are invited to pile on.

"Though the colored man is no longer subject to barter and sale, he is surrounded by an adverse settlement which fetters all his movements. In his downward course he meets with no resistance, but his course upward is resented and resisted at every step of his progress. If he comes in ignorance, rags and wretchedness he conforms to the popular belief of his character, and in that character he is welcome; but if he shall come as a gentleman, a scholar and a statesman, he is hailed as a contradiction to the national faith concerning his race, and his coming is resented as impudence. In one case he may provoke contempt and derision, but in the other he is an affront to pride and provokes malice."

Frederick Douglass

September 25, 1883

2 comments:

Madfoot said...

Somehow, I suspect Frederick Douglass would be a harsher critic of Obama than most people in politics are, were he alive today. I hardly think of him as a political apologists, or a hack.

Villager said...

Madfoot - You could be correct. Frederick Douglas was known as a very harsh critic of the powers-that-be. However, at the end of the day he would look at the two candidates for President -- Mitt Romney and Barack Obama -- and he would conclude that the decision isn't even a close one for any member of the Black community. Mitt Romney used the words 'African American' and 'Black' more during his time this week with the NAACP than he's used either phrase in his entire adult life.

Just sayin'...