John McCain Introduces Frederick Douglass
Updated: Jun 11, 2020
Each soul is equal in worth to the next.
Without that fundamental truth institutionalized and codified,
we will never have equality of opportunity and governance.
Ann: John, is that you? I am seeing you with Frederick Douglass.* Can that be right?
Senator McCain: Yes, indeed it is, he is and was a man after my own heart. No sitting around and wringing his hands, no shrinking from the task at hand, step out, make it happen because, if you don’t, much worse will follow you to your grave. Mr. Douglass?
Mr. Douglass: Yes, Senator, thank you. I wanted to come by to join my brothers and sisters who have spoken on this blog, in particular that great warrior, Harriet Tubman, who gave no quarter and yet never succumbed to hatred. If anyone could be excused for that it was she, and she stands today as a role model in that and other regards for me and many others.
In my life I suffered with every slave that wore the white man’s yoke because I knew what it was to be a possession, less than an animal who often received kinder treatment. I walked the long road to freedom. I mingled with the white man, joined him when his cause supported ours, and yet never did he completely understand the black man’s heart or experience. So in the end we must speak for ourselves. Speak our own truth and not that of any other however appealing it maybe to our self-aggrandizement and self-interest.
I ask all of you watching what I hope is a great transformation for the human race not to let this moment pass you by. If it does, there will be fires and fighting in the streets for eons to come. This time we cannot let it go, and we will not. I see many white folks in solidarity this time, and I remember those of my time like William Garrison who was a raging abolitionist and comrade in arms with the black man's cause. He accomplished much but somehow never quite lost the conviction of the white man’s role as caretaker in his heart.
That is not good enough, and it will not stand today. This time freedom must come with recognition that each soul is equal in worth to the next. Without that fundamental truth institutionalized and codified, we will never have equality of opportunity and governance. When that equality finally does happen, when we truly recognize that we spring from the same tree, a new world of free men will emerge.
Mr. Douglass: Well, of course. I am afraid I was a man of my time and could see my way through to the valiant heart of the black man and worked assiduously on behalf of suffrage for black women, but in the end allowed myself to compromise. We are all a product of the limitations of our times, I am afraid, but today is different. We are asked today to be the product of a new age dawning, no compromise which abandons fundamental principles can be considered. Each person must chart their own course and find a way to stand up and be counted in this critical time. It can be done.
John and I are both fighters in one way or another. He had not a racial bone in the body he once used, and I know him to be true to the hard core values of holy devotion, yet he too was a product of his times and blind in other ways. We must all strive to open our eyes to our own limitations, limitations in vision, conviction, and in action. This is a new world dawning, and the Holy Ones will lead the way if we give them a chance.
I thank you for the opportunity to speak here, and I thank John for the introduction. We are working together and separately for the same cause, the dawning of light upon the world such that it will never again devolve into darkness and oppression. Please join us in that fight.
June 9, 2020
*Frederick Douglass 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. Wikipedia.