Frederick Douglass heaped scorn on those who naively hoped that liberty for the slaves could be won without struggle. This struggle would take many forms. It “may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle.”
Frederick Douglass warned Americans that they must earn their liberty through struggle.
“The whole history of the progress of human liberty,” he said, “shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. . . . If there is no struggle there is no progress.”
He heaped scorn on those who naively hoped that liberty for the slaves could be won without struggle.
He said, “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.
This struggle would take many forms. It “may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle.”
Such struggles are necessary because “[p]ower concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
This blog is based on a passage in my book Visions of America, at page 66 (first published in 2004, together with Visions of the Church). For the supporting sources, please see the endnotes to that page of my book.
For more of my thoughts inspired by Juneteenth, please read “Juneteenth: George Washington”, “Juneteenth: Frederick Douglass Learns To Read”, “Juneteenth: Frederick Douglass Denounces America’s Hypocrisy”, and “Juneteenth: Harriett Beecher Stowe Writes Uncle Tom’s Cabin”.
For my thoughts on related themes, please read my blogs “Raising the Star-Spangled Banner—Americans”, “Racism Is America Gone Astray”, “The 500-Year Marathon To Overcome Racism”, “The ‘United States’ Compared to ‘America’”, “George Washington Refuses To Become a King”, “Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address—Unifying Americans”, “Martin Luther King, Jr.—Restoring Hope and Giving a Vision”, “Nationalism Is Patriotism Gone Astray”, “How Do We Build a Civilization That Is Good—That Is Very Good?”, “We Need Inspiring Visions of a Bright Future. Why?”, “Speaking Up”, “Irresistible Hurricanes of the Holy Spirit”, “Parking Cars”, “St. Francis of Assisi Made the Way of Jesus Great Again”, “Hypocrisy: Taking Away What You Gave”, “Pandemic Wisdom: Visions of America”, and “Pandemic Wisdom: Scattering the Church”.