Frederick Douglas On Equality And Justice For Slaves And Women

1393 words - 6 pages

The idea of Americanism as viewed by Frederick Douglass comes in two variations. The first being the Americans who’s fathers fought for unalienable rights given to each man, Americans who love liberty, welcome refugees from around the world with open arms, the purest of Christians following the word of God. The second type of American being the more truthful in the eyes of Douglass is the American whom sits idly on the accomplishments of these same fathers that fought tooth and nail against the British for freedom. When the opportunity to create massive change and liberation for slavery and the rights of women, to stand by these unalienable rights that are supposedly extended to each man, the argument falls upon deaf ears. The liberties that Americans so gleefully claim are nothing but a sham, hiding behind Christianity and riding along the coattails of their fathers hard fought change for such liberties. Frederick Douglass criticizes what it means to be an American and argues that the liberties promised within the constitution should be extended beyond the wealthy oppressors; the freedom to be ones own should be extended to all citizens of the United States. The time to make change is now while America is still young and in its development. In order for Americanism to reflect the ideology in which many of its citizens blindly view it as, Frederick argues that the government and its citizens must stop hiding behind their inconsistent politics, fake Christianity, and to not shrink away at the site of change in order to bring about truth to the words that their founders fought so hard to ink to paper providing equal freedom to all citizens.
Both slaves and women within the United States felt the vast inconsistencies that plagued the government in its rulings of whom received freedom of their own selves. A system filled with as Douglass calls them “tyrannical legislation”, laws and rulings that decided who received the liberties promised within the constitution to the citizens of the United States. One such example of a law that played directly into the pockets of the white male elite was the Fugitive Slave Act. A law in which paid a judge ten dollars for every black man ruled a run away as oppose to five dollars to the option offsetting him free. Making it so even free black individuals receive no justice, as Douglass states, “For black men there neither law, justice, humanity, not religion. The Fugitive Slave Law makes mercy to them a crime; and bribes the judge who tries them.” Even as white men claim their right to vote through their entitled liberty given to them by the founders of the U.S., somehow these liberties fall short of any person not sharing the same color of skin. Various laws are put into place to keep the separation of liberties well intact, Douglass provides this vast separation with an example of laws active within Virginia, “There are seventy two laws […] which if committed by a black man, subject him to the punishment of...

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