America the Hypocrite

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Slavery, American Civil War Pages: 3 (1083 words) Published: February 21, 2013
Terianna Yeldell
Professor Stevenson
America the Hypocrite
In the article “The Hypocrisy of America,” on July 4, 1852, in the Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York, Fredrick Douglas explores the Fourth of July holiday and how it is hypocritical to slavery. His audience is the Americans celebrating this holiday. While the Americans celebrate, he grieves. He grieves because he believes to make a man a slave in an enlightened free place is a cruel insult. Douglas also goes on about whether or not slavery is divine. He accepts that slavery, to him, is not divine. This is calling Americans that celebrate this holiday is a hypocrite.

In his essay, Douglas explains that Americans praising this holiday are mocking slavery. He states that, “this Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony.” (Douglas) He continues on slavery and the holiday by starting that on July 4, that there are still slaves who are still suffering. If he forgets that then it will be treachery. Douglas declares, “If I do forget, if I do not remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day “may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.” [Psalms 137:6]” (Douglas) He is saying this holiday is not for African Americans because they were still slaves.

Douglas proceeds on about how the action of slavery looks bad on America. “I do not hesitate to declare with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this Fourth of July holiday.” (Douglas) Lastly, he goes on about slavery in America, and how it is not divine, and how this should be displayed. “The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against...
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