Thursday, February 02, 2017

an open letter to president trump

Dear Mr. President:

I join you in your recently stated admiration for Frederick Douglass and welcome the growing appreciation for all that he has done. Mr. Douglass was an amazing man. As a boy he taught himself to read and to write, and then took it upon himself to see that other enslaved blacks also learned. After he won his freedom, he worked tirelessly as a writer and newspaper editor for the cause of abolition and also for women's rights. He served as an adviser to President Lincoln during the Civil War and later served as an ambassador to Haiti.

I once heard a legend about Frederick Douglass' ghost and how he torments the dreams of racist men in power, particularly at the White House. According to this legend, such men have terrifying dreams where a black man accosts them and harshly reprimands them in a powerful oratory. Supposedly it was after one such visitation that President Lyndon B. Johnson abandoned the cause of segregation and ultimately became our nation's highest public official to push Congress to enact the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts.

If there is any truth at all to the legend, I must say I look forward to seeing what Frederick Douglass does next.

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