For Independence Day, Colin Kaepernick tweeted an excerpt from abolitionist Frederick Douglass that read:
“What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? This Fourth of July is yours, not mine…There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.”
Senator Ted Cruz responded to Kaepernick’s tweet by making “two critical points” in what was could be considered a brief history lesson for the former NFL player.
Cruz said, “You quote a mighty and historic speech by the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass, but, without context, many modern readers will misunderstand. Two critical points:
“(1) This speech was given in 1852, before the Civil War, when the abomination of slavery still existed. Thanks to Douglass and so many other heroes, we ended that grotesque evil and have made enormous strides to protecting the civil rights of everybody.
“(2) Douglass was not anti-American; he was, rightly and passionately, anti-slavery. Indeed, he concluded the speech as follows: (See Below)
“Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country.
“There are forces in operation, which must inevitably, work the downfall of slavery. ‘The arm of the Lord is not shortened,’ and the doom of slavery is certain.
“I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from ‘the Declaration of Independence,’ the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age.” Continued Below
Cruz concluded, “Let me encourage everyone, READ THE ENTIRE SPEECH; it is powerful, inspirational, and historically important in bending the arc of history towards justice.” He provided the link: https://rbscp.lib.rochester.edu/2945
Part of Cruz’s Official Response To Kaepernick
You quote a mighty and historic speech by the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass, but, without context, many modern readers will misunderstand. Two critical points: https://t.co/x4oLfa9DrH
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 5, 2019
Moments after Cruz replied to Kaepernick, New York Times editorial board member, Mara Gay, scolded Cruz when she said, “Frederick Douglass is an American hero, and his name has no business in your mouth.” Continued Below
Cruz fired back and said, “Let’s see. You’re on the editorial board of the NYT. You respond to any view you don’t like, not with facts or reason, but w/ ad hominem attack.”
He continued, “And you seem dismayed that I linked to Douglass’s entire speech, so readers can judge for themselves. You represent your employer well.”
With that said, “Gay was left no choice but to agree with Cruz, as she stated, “You’re right. Everyone should read these remarks in their entirety.”
“I was offended because I felt Douglass’ powerful words were being used to diminish an American who has tried to make the country fairer for all. In that spirit, peace and Happy Independence Day weekend to you,” she concluded.
You’re right. Everyone should read these remarks in their entirety. I was offended because I felt Douglass’ powerful words were being used to diminish an American who has tried to make the country fairer for all. In that spirit, peace and Happy Independence Day weekend to you.
— Mara Gay (@MaraGay) July 5, 2019