21st Century: Query 139 (Frederick Douglass)
“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will.”
~ Frederick Douglass (1857) was an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery in Maryland, he became a national leader of the abolitionist movement in Massachusetts and New York, gaining note for his oratory and incisive antislavery writings. In his time, he was described by abolitionists as a living counterexample to slaveholders’ arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Northerners at the time found it hard to believe that such a great orator had once been a slave.
How might this claim from 1857 offer an important message for 2020? Based on Douglass’s claim, how are we failing our country by not demanding an end to the corruption, starting at the Presidential level?