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Unfulfilled campaign promises, accusations of corruption, and even an attempted self-coup cannot turn the many supporters of Peruvian President Pedro Castillo against him. The president has probably ceased to represent hopes for change,  but he still symbolizes —perhaps more now than ever— structural discrimination in Peru.

In Lima, the political, economic, and intellectual elites are intrigued. They wonder why the majority of Peruvians in the streets are demanding Castillo’s release. They are even more disconcerted by the minority that insists he be reinstated.

Disconcerted Elites

It is not surprising that the ruling class is disoriented. For decades they have been isolated from the rest of the country, moving about comfortably in Lima’s de facto Apartheid, perpetuating a dynamic that tends to dehumanize Indigenous, working-class Peruvians. So, it is only natural that they should be incredulous onlookers, incapable of interpreting the national reality.

They promote theories of “subversive affiliation,” accusing people of being “mercenaries” and “lacking intelligence” to explain the support Castillo enjoys. “Some protesters do not have the right information,” said a newscaster on Cuarto Poder, a Sunday news show known for spreading false accusations of electoral fraud against Castillo’s victory. They are “terrorists” and “hoodlums,” said several members of Congress who had pushed unconstitutional laws to reduce the number of votes required to remove the president. “They are funded by Congressman Guillermo Bermejo,” suggested the Minister of Defense, who has called out the army, thus doubling the amount of State violence meted out on the protesters.

27 Deaths so far

The wounded and each of the 27 persons killed by the police so far come from the low-income, Indigenous or peasant population.

Many of those who still support Castillo lack the titles and university degrees that the newscaster, the Minister, and un-democratic Congress members have. However, Castillo’s supporters show a refined understanding in realizing that the defense of the president is linked to their own lived experiences of discrimination, and above all, their future as a social group. Forgetting that the tragic circumstance of Castillo is intertwined with the assorted forms of racism that all these “second class” Peruvians have experienced, would be to deny their own history of oppression. Allowing the idea of the “rural teacher elected president” to be shattered would prevent other low-income Peruvians from attempting to enter the presidential elections. Fear of meeting the same fate would discourage humble, provincial politicians from running, making it more unlikely to ever break Lima’s central control and the patterns of exclusion in modern Peru.

Racism Against Indigenous Heritage

Adding to concerns about a dim future is the tremendous empathy the social groups that identify with this rural school teacher have with Castillo. During his short presidency, Castillo was subjected to various forms of racist stigma, unleashing a “mirror effect” among his sympathizers. He was called a “donkey” and a “cholo de mierda” (“damned Indian”). His opponents mocked his wife, Lilia Paredes, for how she dressed and spoke.

In Lima, the political, economic, and intellectual elites are intrigued. They wonder why the majority of Peruvians in the streets are demanding Castillo’s release. They are even more disconcerted by the minority that insists he be reinstated.
It was natural for rural and Indigenous Peruvians to see themselves in him, even more so when the opposition constantly linked him to the phantom of the Shining Path guerrillas. The working class has been demonized with that false accusation for years. Precisely for this reason, conservative members of Congress repeated ad nauseum that Castillo was a “communist,” which meant he somehow was affiliated with a terrorist group. Little did it matter that early on the president had abandoned his progressive agenda, making it clear that he was not even a social democrat. In its endless efforts to depose him, the opposition organized dozens of protests under slogans like, “The Last Stand” and “Terrorism, Never Again!” These slogans evoked an atmosphere of civil war, “us against them,” that reverberated against the marginalized classes who knew they were “them”—the enemy.

The Judicial Branch of Government v. the Executive

The Peruvian system of justice played a key role in humiliating the president through lawfare—acting with unprecedented celerity, in contrast to its notorious sluggishness. The behavior of the Prosecutor’s Office was particularly aggressive. Prosecutor Patricia Benavides made history when she delivered the charges against President Castillo to Congress: this was the first time in the history of Peru that the Attorney General had filed constitutional charges against a sitting president. According to Benavides, Castillo was the leader of a “criminal organization” that hand-picked government contractors and took bribes for political appointments. Although superficially supported by evidence and legality, it was clear that it had political overtones, as she communicated this to the nation via a bizarre, televised press conference during which she seemed to call for his impeachment and removal from office.

Direct Attacks on Castillo’s Family

Perhaps the hardest thing for Castillo’s voters to swallow was the cruelty of the judicial proceedings. At the prosecutor’s request, the police raided the home of the president’s sister, without consideration of the fact that his elderly mother was there recovering from appendicitis. The mother was so traumatized she wound up back in the hospital. The Presidential Palace was also raided—unheard of treatment that did not happen even under administrations that stole tens of millions of dollars, such as that of former President Alan García. But perhaps the act that sparked the most outrage was that inflicted on Castillo’s daughter, when a judge remanded her to two and a half years of pretrial detention. Images of the young woman being arrested—without a trail—appeared in media outlets across the country, sending an unambiguous message of humiliation.

Every week there were news stories that diminished the standing of Castillo. These went from symbolic, such as when an officer disrespected him by snatching away a sword during a ceremony, to offenses that directly impacted his presidential duties. In an unprecedented move, Congress voted to prevent him from attending the inauguration of Gustavo Petro in Colombia. This was the first time the legislature vetoed a president’s right to carry out the fundamental task of representing the State abroad. Then it became habitual. Two more trips were blocked. The latest was when he requested permission to attend the Pacific Alliance summit; however, this event was canceled by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in protest. All indications were that the opposition in Congress was happy to tip the balance of powers and pass unconstitutional laws to subjugate the Executive, pushing toward his overthrow. Once they succeeded, they joyfully captured the moment with group selfies, immortalizing what they had been working towards over the past 17 months.

The Oligarchy Celebrates

In the eyes of Castillo’s supporters, this triumphalist celebration, the constant insults, the obstruction of presidential functions, and the abusive way that justice was served, all show that Peru is stuck in an oligarchical past. There is a ruling class that resists allowing the poor and working classes to be represented in the highest echelons of power. The lesson is: Even if such Peruvians managed to reach the highest political spheres, they would still be treated like inferiors.

Today the judicial and legislative branches of Peru continue to perpetuate this attitude of contempt for the people, using their legal tools arbitrarily. In a clumsy attempt at self-preservation—hours before an impeachment vote—Castillo announced the dissolution of Congress. While his conduct amounted to a self-coup, the supposedly democratic institutions that remained standing broke the law themselves when they sanctioned him. Congress deprived him of his immunity in an express trial in which he had no right to a defense. The judiciary is holding him prisoner under inapplicable charges. One of them is the charge of “rebellion,” which even the former dictator Alberto Fujimori could not be tried for, even after consummating his dictatorship with tanks in the streets.

One only needs to review recent history to see why tens of thousands of Peruvians, having given up the high hopes they were holding in Pedro Castillo, remain by his side. Not only do they identify with the racial injustices the president suffered—and his arbitrary imprisonment—they also feel orphaned by structures that keep political representation out of their reach. They look around and only see institutions controlled by authorities that despise them and are now ready to kill them to maintain the status quo. The inability of the elites to understand this fact only proves that the demands of the protesters are right. Maybe it is too much to ask the architects of this political and social tragedy in Peru to stop misinterpreting it.

Francesca Emanuela is a Peruvian political scientist who graduated from Madrid's Universidad Complutense.





Above Photo: Peruvians have been protesting since December 7, demanding the release and reinstatement of President Pedro Castillo, the closure of the Congress, new elections and a new constitution through a Constituent Assembly. (Peoples Dispatch).

Update: Peoples Dispatch reports from the ground in Peru where massive mobilizations are continuing in support of the ousted president Pedro Castillo. According to Peru’s National Human Rights Coordinator, as of December 23, 27 protesters had died because of violent repression by public security forces. What are the people demanding and what has been the new government’s response?

On Tuesday, December 20, Peru’s Congress, with 93 votes in favor, 30 against, and one abstention, approved a bill to advance general elections to April 2024, and to conclude the presidential and legislative terms in July of the same year. The elections were originally scheduled for April 2026.

As it is a constitutional reform, in order to take effect, the bill must be ratified in a second vote in the coming months with at least 87 votes. This is the second time the Congress has voted on an early election proposal. Last week, on December 16, legislators rejected a bill that called for holding general elections in December 2023.

The decision to change the electoral calendar came following the call for further intensification of nationwide protests demanding the release and reinstatement of ousted left-wing President Pedro Castillo, the resignation of the de-facto President Dina Boluarte, the dissolution of the right-wing dominated unicameral Congress, fresh parliamentary elections, and the establishment of a Constituent Assembly to change the country’s 1993 Constitution. On Monday, December 19, several Indigenous, peasant, and social movements from Apurímac, Arequipa, Ayacucho, and Puno regions, among others, called on the citizens to strengthen strikes and reinforce roadblocks across the country, beginning December 20.

The legislators of the left-wing Free Peru party, which sponsored Castillo’s presidential candidacy in 2021, voted against the bill and insisted on their demand to call for Constituent Assembly elections alongside the next general elections. In the vote last week, the Free Peru legislators abstained from voting, putting forth this demand.

According to an opinion poll released on December 18 and conducted by the polling agency IPSOS Peru, 85% of citizens are in favor of bringing general elections forward and 62% are in favor of political reform before the next elections to resolve the long-standing socio-political crisis in the country.

Coup, Resistance, Repression

Castillo, a 53-year-old former rural school teacher and union leader, was overthrown in a legislative coup carried out by the right-wing opposition majority Congress on December 7, after he tried to dissolve Congress and rule by decree. He was swiftly arrested following his dismissal for allegedly “breaching constitutional order.” On December 12, the Congress, controlled by Peru’s traditional political elites who have felt threatened since his electoral victory, approved a bill to deprive Castillo of his presidential immunity, enabling the Prosecutor’s Office to criminally prosecute him. On December 15, the Peruvian judiciary accepted the Prosecutor’s Office’s request for the extension of Castillo’s preventive detention to 18 months.

Castillo’s forcible removal and illegal arrest brought tens of thousands of citizens, mostly those from the long-neglected countryside of Peru who feel deeply represented by Castillo, into the streets demanding structural changes to the country’s political system. For the past two weeks, since December 7, Indigenous and peasant communities, popular movements, social organizations, student associations, and trade unions have been organizing demonstrations and roadblocks and occupying local airports in different parts of the country.

The Boluarte government has responded to this social uprising with a strong security clampdown, including the declaration of a state of emergency at the national level and deployment of armed soldiers and police officials. According to Peru’s National Human Rights Coordinator (CNDDHH), in the past 15 days of anti-coup protests, 27 protesters have died as a result of violent repression by public security forces, in addition to 60 serious hospitalizations and 113 arbitrary arrests.

The de-facto government’s repressive policies have been condemned by numerous political and social leaders as well as national and international human rights organizations.

On December 20, a delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) arrived in the capital Lima to meet with authorities and human rights organizations as part of a fact-finding mission on the volatile political situation.

Oligarchic power is being resisted everywhere: Below, Frabce.


Boluarte’s First Cabinet Reshuffle

The growing popular dissatisfaction with her government forced Boluarte to reshuffle her ministerial cabinet just 11 days after its inauguration and make five changes. On Wednesday, December 22, Boluarte swore in her former Defense Minister Luis Alberto Otárola as the new Prime Minister and the head of her Council of Ministers.

On December 19, Boluarte had announced that she would reshuffle the cabinet and dismiss Prosecutor Pedro Miguel Angulo from the position of prime minister, arguing that she was looking for someone who not only has institutional knowledge but is also “a little more political to be able to face social protests.”

Boluarte appointed Army General Jorge Luis Chávez as her new Defense Minister, who also led this ministry during the administration of former President Martin Vizcarra (2018–2020).

Boluarte also appointed Óscar Manuel Becerra as the new Education Minister and Leslie Urteaga Peña as the new Culture Minister, replacing Patricia Correa and Jair Pérez, respectively, who resigned from their positions on December 16, following the massacre of seven protesters in Ayacucho at the hands of security forces the day before.

Boluarte also swore in Víctor Rojas Herrera as the new Interior Minister, replacing César Cervantes.

Vladimir Cerrón, progressive leader and the founder of the Free Peru party, rejected Otárola’s appointment as the new Prime Minister. “With changes in the Interior and Defense portfolios, they will not be able to evade responsibility for murders in protests, the ministers will be investigated. Otárola’s designation as PM ratifies the government’s heavy hand and the conflicts will continue until there is a new social contract,” tweeted Cerrón.

Verónika Mendoza, former presidential candidate for the progressive New Peru movement, also criticized Boluarte’s new cabinet. “Congress and the government mock the mobilizations throughout the country and the death of 27 Peruvians. Yesterday Congress decided to stay until July 2024. Today Ms. Boluarte appointed as Prime Minister the person directly responsible for the militarization and deaths. Then Dina Boluarte says that she ‘doesn’t understand’ why people mobilize. Another year and a half with this government and this Congress? Impossible. The crisis would only deepen,” Mendoza wrote on Twitter.

Boluarte’s Conflict With Mexico

The Boluarte administration’s handling of the protests has also been criticized by the heads of state of several Latin American countries.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is among those who have explicitly expressed support for Castillo, and repeatedly called on Peruvian authorities “to respect human rights and not to repress the people.”

On December 20, President López Obrador, during his morning press conference, said that “the doors of Mexico are open for Pedro Castillo, his family, and all those who feel harassed or persecuted in Peru.”

Hours later, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced that the Mexican government had granted asylum to Castillo’s wife Lilia Paredes and their two minor children, who had sought refuge at Mexico’s embassy in Lima.

Following this, the Boluarte government expelled Mexican Ambassador Pablo Monroy Conesa, declaring him a “persona non grata” and giving him 72 hours to leave the country, in protest against what the administration said was Mexico’s “repeated” and “unacceptable interference” in Peru’s internal affairs.

Mexican Foreign Minister Ebrard described the decision of the Peruvian government as “unfounded and reprehensible.” Later, through a statement, the Foreign Ministry instructed Monroy Conesa to return to Mexico “in order to protect his safety and physical integrity.”

On December 22, Monroy Conesa, accompanied by Castillo’s wife Lilia Paredes and her son and daughter, arrived in Mexico, where they will reside as political refugees.

Meanwhile, President López Obrador said that Mexico is determined to maintain diplomatic relations with Peru, “because we need to maintain our embassy to provide protection to Mexicans who reside, work, and live in Peru, among other reasons.”

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Up to You.

^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

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West’s Support for Extremism “Blows Back” in New York Shooting

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Brian Berletic

West's Support for Extremism "Blows Back" in New York Shooting

The tragic mass shooting in Buffalo, New York was carried out by an extremist with an ideology stemming from modern-day |\|AZlSM practices most openly in Ukraine. Just as Western support for extremists in Syria blew back in the form of global terrorism, its support for |\|AZlS in Ukraine is emboldening and encouraging their toxic ideology worldwide.

Visit The New Atlas Website: https://newatlas.report/ (backup site): https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/ Odysee (YouTube alternative): https://odysee.com/@LandDestroyer:8 Rumble (YouTube alternative): https://rumble.com/c/c-1459863

Brian Berletic is an ex- US Marine Corps independent geopolitical researcher and writer based in Bangkok, formerly writing under the pen name “ Tony Cartalucci ” along with several others. His new online venue is The New Atlas, found on most leading video platforms.


By TGP editors
(Below material from a local news source in the Buffalo area)

The young shooter (Gendron) making the "V" sign. V for what?

One of the victims in the attack was identified as Aaron Salter, a retired Buffalo Police officer who was working as a security guard at Tops. Officials said Salter attempted to stop the attack and shot Gendron in the chest, but he was unharmed because he was wearing tactical body armor.

The alleged manifesto carries on for numerous pages about the type of gear that was chosen specifically for the attack, from his helmet and weapon all the way down to his underwear. It plots his breakfast, arrival time, live stream and getaway.

Gendron apprehended.

The writer says he will plead guilty in trial if he survives the rampage.

Gendron said only four words in court Saturday before being taken away: “I understand my charges.”

Payton Gendron in custody, during arraignment.

The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of The Greanville Post. However, we do think they are important enough to be transmitted to a wider audience.


Up to You.

^3000US citizens have no real political representation.

We don't live in a democracy. And our freedom is disappearing fast.

I don't want to be ruled by hypocrites, whores, and war criminals.

What about you? Time to push back against the corporate oligarchy.

And its multitude of minions and lackeys.

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Black Agenda Report: Community Control of Police is the Best Remedy


30 Jun 2021

Community Control of Police is the Best Remedy Chicago leads the nation in moving towards community control of the police, with a majority of the city’s board of aldermen in favor. Jasman Salas, co-chair of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Oppression, which is spearheading the measure, said, “We cannot beg officers to change…or for more training…or for body cameras…or for window dressing and superficial changes. We must demand community control of the police.”

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Tactics & Strategies

John Rachel

Look upward, angel, says the author. That's where the real enemy is.

I’ve been asking myself a question. I’ve been asking it very quietly, because if I ask it out loud, I’ll be mobbed for being a racist pig. Here’s the question: Why is it racist to state this straightforward moral proposition?

All lives matter.

I get the obvious argument. Allegedly up until now, it’s only been us privileged white folks whose lives have mattered. Black lives didn’t matter before. Only white lives. So now black lives matter.

It’s symmetry. Get it?

The problem with this is obvious. Do the lives of 68,000 mine workers in West Virginia who have died from black lung disease since 1968 matter? Their lungs end up black but the victims are white. Did the lives of the 58,220 soldiers who died in the Vietnam War matter? 52,980 of them were white. That pile of white corpses resulting from a senseless, illegal war didn’t seem to matter. Did the lives of millions suffering through the Great Depression, some starving to death, matter? Granted, African-Americans got hit harder. But the white folks didn’t seem to matter enough to keep the predators from crashing the economy again in 2008, then putting everyone in debt up to their eyebrows.

You get the picture. Everyday Americans are endlessly subjected to indignities which degrade the quality of their lives, sometimes consigning them to death. There has been nothing race-specific about such abuse, and white folks have not been exempt.

It's a class question

Class warfare is color blind. To the ruling class — the 0.001% who have the wealth and power — race, ethnicity, religious beliefs pretty much don’t matter. As long as you have a body and a brain they can put to use in maximizing profit, you matter. When they’re done with you, well, now you don’t matter. Your problems are your problems. We might be deluded into believing that as a nation we’re all in this together. We’re not. You and I are in it together. The rich and powerful are in it for themselves.

Same with the imperial project, the ambitious design to rule the world. As long as you can hold a rifle and shoot straight, color of skin, gender, sexual preferences, etc are not an issue. Yes, gender and sexuality have mattered as a disciplinary and effectiveness concern within the ranks of the military. But the people who decide on the wars couldn’t care less about the details, as long as our military does the job, and makes the world safe for plunder and profit-seeking subjugation. [That's why the US armed forces have led the country in desegregation, and now even the Pentagon chief is Black.)

The point is, no lives matter to the ruling class, except their own.

So back to the question: Why can’t we say ‘all lives matter’?

You’re not going to like the answer.

It’s because ‘All lives matter’ is unifying … and ‘Black lives matter’ is divisive.

Can’t have everyone on the same team. A populous united under a single banner would be an unstoppable force for change, justice, fairness, equality. Slice and dice. BLM vs Proud Boys vs Antifa vs Boogaloo Bois vs NFAC vs Karens … keep everybody in a huge brawl!

Now let’s see where this strategy takes us. If we say ‘Palestinian lives matter’, we’re Jew haters. If we say ‘Russian lives matter’, we’re commie-loving Putin-apologists. If we say, ‘Asian lives matter’, we’re cheerleaders for the Wuhan Flu super-spreaders. If we say ‘All lives matter’, we’re nigger-hating white supremacists.

Divide and conquer. Divide and oppress. Works every time.

We can look to a couple telling examples of prominent spokespersons who powerfully advocated for ‘all lives’ not that long ago.

Fred Hampton

Fred Hampton was a much-admired, highly successful organizer for the Black Panther Party in Chicago. The corrupt white municipal leaders there tolerated him until the very end. But Fred got out of control. He started organizing white and Latino youth groups, normally considered black-hating racists, to fight a common enemy, the political and economic elite of the city. “Through a long and arduous process, he had succeeded in building a ‘Rainbow Coalition’ of working class blacks, latinos, and whites.”

That would get him killed. He was brutally assassinated by a hit squad from the Chicago Police Department in the middle of the night as he slept.

Another example is more familiar. He’s the author of this quote.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

In the last year of his life, Martin Luther King, Jr. called for unity, a struggle against “cruel manipulation of the poor.” The ruling elite knew a bad thing when they saw it. We all sorrowfully know what happened.

How convenient it is that now ONLY black lives matter, when it is only by standing shoulder to shoulder, black folks with their white, brown, yellow, and red brothers and sisters, emboldened and unified, working together to defeat our common enemy, that anything will matter at all. Separated from one another into isolated pockets, protecting our own territory and exclusive interests, only the lives and fortunes of the rich and powerful, the tiny elite aristocratic minority, who purposely and systematically work to keep us disunited and at one another’s throats, will matter.

Which is exactly how “they” want it.

John Rachel has a B.A. in Philosophy, is a novelist and established political blogger. He has written eight novels, three political non-fiction books, and a fantasy/travel/cookbook about the dietary preferences of mermaids. His political articles have appeared at OpEdNews, Russia Insider, Greanville Post, Dissident Voice, Nation of Change, and other alternative media outlets.

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A Historical Reminder of What Defines the United States, As Told by A Former Slave (Frederick Douglass)

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Cynthia Chung

We live in tumultuous days… one could say “the end of an era”.

It is clear that there is a storm coming, however, the question is will it be the sort of storm that provides sustenance and relief to drought-stricken and barren lands, or will it be the sort of storm that destroys indiscriminately and leaves nothing recognizable in its wake?

There is such a heavy tension in the air, the buildup we are told of centuries of injustice, oppression and murder. It feels like the entire world’s burden has laid itself upon one culprit and that it is high time that that villain pay for past blood spilled.

That villain is the United States.

It is common to hear that this nation was created under the hubristic banner of “Freedom from Empire”, while it brutally owned slaves and committed genocide on the indigenous people. That the “Declaration of Independence” and the “U.S. Constitution” are despicable displays of the highest degree of grotesque hypocrisy, and that in reality the U.S. was to replace one system of empire with another and far worse.

These are weighty charges indeed, and nobody can deny that great crimes against humanity have been committed. However, it is important that we review this history in full, for if we lose sight of the forest, we will be losing sight of an ongoing battle that is still waging.

We will have abandoned the work of past heroes that has been left unfinished and will have replaced it with the false idol of anarchy, mistaking its ‘empty-promises of liberty’ as a mark of what constitutes a ‘true freedom’.

How can we avoid such ‘empty-promises’ and strive for ‘true freedom’?

There is no better account in addressing such a question as that of Frederick Douglass (1817-1895), a former slave who would become an advisor to Abraham Lincoln during the dark days of the Civil War and the Consul General to Haiti in his elder years.

A TRUE American hero.

From Slavery to Freedom

Frederick Douglass was born in Talbot County, in the State of Maryland. Though it was impossible to know his exact date of birth, he gathers that the month of February 1817 is as accurate as possible. The name given to him by his dear mother was, in the words of Douglass “no less pretentious and long” than Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey (Frederick’s mother was believed to be the only slave in the region who knew how to read).

Frederick recalls that in his youth “I was just as well aware of the unjust, unnatural, and murderous character of slavery, when nine years old, as I am now. Without any appeals to books, to laws, or to authorities of any kind, to regard God as ‘Our Father’ condemned slavery as a crime.

Already, by the age of nine, Frederick had set himself upon not only the idea of escape from this destitution, but was always mindful to an education wherever he could find it.

Luckily, in this unhappy state his only adult friend Miss Lucretia, (daughter of Captain Anthony the slaveholder of Frederick), arranged for Frederick, at the age of ten, to be sent away from the plantations to live in Baltimore with her husband’s brother Hugh Auld.

It was in Baltimore that Frederick would learn how to read.

Years go by and at around the age of fifteen or sixteen, Frederick is sent back to the plantations (over a family squabble), and not surprisingly is found to be wholly unfit for a life of hard-labour as an obedient slave. He is thus promptly sent to “Covey, The Negro Breaker” to lodge with for a period of one year.

For six months, Frederick was whipped and beaten on a regular basis. From the dawn of day till the complete darkness in the evening, he was kept hard at work in the fields, and was worked up to the point of his powers of endurance.

Until one day he decides finally that it is better to resist and risk the consequences than continue to live such a contemptible life as a mere brute. He decides one day to simply refuse to be treated as an animal, not to strike back but to oppose the striking.

As Frederick states:

A man without force is without the essential dignity of humanity. Human nature is so constituted, that it cannot honor a helpless man, though it can pity him, and even this it cannot do long if signs of power do not arise. He only can understand the effect of this combat on my spirit, who has himself incurred something, or hazarded something, in repelling the unjust and cruel aggressions of a tyrant. Covey was a tyrant and a cowardly one withal. After resisting him, I felt as I had never felt before. It was a resurrection from the dark and pestiferous tomb of slavery, to the heaven of comparative freedom. I was no longer a servile coward, trembling under the frown of a brother worm of the dust, but my long-cowed spirit was roused to an attitude of independence. I had reached the point at which I was not afraid to die. This spirit made me a freeman in fact, though I still remained a slave in form. When a slave cannot be flogged, he is more than half free. He has a domain as broad as his own manly heart to defend, and he is really ‘a power on earth’. From this time until my escape from slavery, I was never fairly whipped. Several attempts were made, but they were always unsuccessful. Bruised I did get, but the instance I have described was the end of the brutification to which slavery had subjected me.”

The Abolitionist Cause in Light of the Preservation of the Union

“…that the fathers of the Republic neither intended the extension nor the perpetuity of slavery and that liberty is national and slavery is sectional.”
– Frederick Douglass

To make a long story short, Frederick would successfully escape the South and on September 3rd 1838, arriving in New York at the age of 21, he would finally embark on a life as a free man.

It would be only four or five months living in New Bedford before Douglass would meet William Lloyd Garrison, one of the most prominent leaders of the Abolitionist movement. It did not take long for Douglass to be invited along their speaking tours to recount his story as a runaway slave from the South.

Though Douglass would owe much of his future as a great orator and writer in thanks to his Abolitionist friends who gave him a strong start in this direction and introduced him to many important figures, Douglass would eventually distance himself from the Abolitionist “scripture”.

This distancing was caused by Douglass’ later recognition that there was in fact, no “pro-slavery” character in the U.S. Constitution as Garrison had been stating.

Douglass states:

After a time, a careful reconsideration of the subject convinced me that there was no necessity for dissolving the union between the northern and southern states, that to seek this dissolution was not part of my duty as an abolitionist, that to abstain from voting was to refuse to exercise a legitimate and powerful means for abolishing slavery, and that the Constitution of the United States not only contained no guarantees in favor of slavery, but, on the contrary, was in its letter and spirit an antislavery instrument, demanding the abolition of slavery as a condition of its own existence as the supreme law of the land.”

During this time, Douglass would start his own anti-slavery newspaper called “The North Star”. Along with this new editorial responsibility, Douglass would no longer leave it to the “good advice” of his “more learned” Abolitionist friends, but would take the responsibility upon himself to seek out and come to know whether such assertions by the Abolitionists on the nature of the Republic were true.

 “My new circumstances compelled me to re-think the whole subject, and to study with some care not only the just and proper rules of legal interpretation, but the origin, design, nature, rights, powers, and duties of civil governments, and also the relations which human beings sustain to it. By such a course of thought and reading I was conducted to the conclusion that the Constitution of the United States – inaugurated to ‘form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty’ – could not well have been designed at the same time to maintain and perpetuate a system of rapine and murder like slavery, especially as not one word can be found in the Constitution to authorize such a belief…the Constitution of our country is our warrant for the abolition of slavery in every state of the Union…being convinced of the fact, my duty upon this point in the further conduct of my paper [The North Star] was plain.”

Abraham Lincoln would be elected as the President of the United States on March 4th, 1861. To which Douglass stated of the occasion:

It was Mr. Lincoln who told the American people at this crisis that the ‘Union could not long endure half slave and half free; that they must be all one or the other, and that the public mind could find no resting place but in the belief in the ultimate extinction of slavery.’ These were not the words of an abolitionist – branded a fanatic, and carried away by an enthusiastic devotion to the Negro – but the calm cool, deliberate utterance of a statesman, comprehensive enough to take in the welfare of the whole country…In a few simple words he had embodied the thought of the loyal nation, and indicated the character fit to lead and guide the country amid perils present and to come.

On Meeting Lincoln

“I still believed, and spoke as I believed, all over the North, that the mission of the war was the liberation of the slave, as well as the salvation of the Union…”
– Frederick Douglass

With this newly discovered orientation, Douglass not only put the preservation of the Union as something necessary and expedient but, most importantly, something that could not be sacrificed in striving for the Abolitionist cause.

Douglass would be one of the first to encourage the recruitment, through his paper “The North Star”, of black soldiers to join the Union’s war against the Confederate South. The thought was that by these men joining the war, they would prove their mettle in the cause for emancipation.

These were hard days, since black soldiers were not given equal treatment nor protection in the Union army. They also risked, if captured by the South, being enslaved, a sentence in Douglass’ words “worse than death”. Douglass had been assured that equal treatment would eventually occur, but it was too slow moving in his eyes and he refused to continue recruiting black soldiers into the Union army.

It was at this point that Douglass was invited to meet with President Lincoln to discuss his concerns over the matter.

Douglass describes his first meeting with Lincoln: “I was never more quickly or more completely put at ease in the presence of a great man than in that of Abraham Lincoln…Long lines of care were already deeply written on Mr. Lincoln’s brow, and his strong face, full of earnestness, lighted up as soon as my name was mentioned…I at once felt myself in the presence of an honest man – one whom I could love, honor, and trust without reserve or doubt.

One of the points of concern Douglass discussed with the President, was on the unfair treatment of black soldiers as POWs and suggested that the North should retaliate and commit the same treatment on their Southern POWs to dissuade this unequal treatment, to which Lincoln responded, “Retaliation was a terrible remedy, and one which it was very difficult to apply – that, if once begun, there was no telling where it would end – that if he could get hold of the Confederate soldiers who had been guilty of treating colored soldiers as felons he could easily retaliate, but the thought of hanging men for a crime perpetrated by others was revolting to his feelings…Though I was not entirely satisfied with his views, I was so well satisfied with the man and with the educating tendency of the conflict I determined to go on with the recruiting.

Douglass reflects on his decision:

“It was a great thing to achieve American independence when we numbered three millions, but it was a greater thing to save this country from dismemberment and ruin when it numbered thirty millions. He alone of all our presidents was to have the opportunity to destroy slavery, and to lift into manhood millions of his countrymen hitherto held as chattels and numbered with the beasts of the field.”

The Emancipation Proclamation

“Since William the Silent, who was the soul of the mighty war for religious liberty against Spain and the Spanish Inquisition, no leader of men has been loved and trusted in such generous measures as was Abraham Lincoln.”
– Frederick Douglass

Heading into the third year of the sanguinary Civil War, January 1st 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Douglass states of the occasion: “the formal and solemn announcement was made that thereafter the government would be found on the side of emancipation…It must be the end of all compromises with slavery – a declaration that thereafter the war was to be conducted on a new principle, with a new aim.

It was at this point that Lincoln received criticism for extending the war unnecessarily. The South was ready to make certain concessions and the North was eager to end the war. By Lincoln announcing the Emancipation Proclamation, it was thought by many to be a reckless provocation making any possibility of peace fruitless.

On this subject, Douglass would meet with Lincoln for the last time, before he would be assassinated.

The main subject on which he wished to confer with me was as to the means most desirable to be employed outside the army to induce the slaves in the rebel states to come within the deferral lines. The increasing opposition to the war, in the North, and the mad cry against it, because it was being made an abolition war, alarmed Mr. Lincoln, and made him apprehensive that a peace might be forced upon him which would leave still in slavery all who had not come within our lines. What he wanted was to make his proclamation as effective as possible in the event of such a peace…He said he was being accused of protracting the war beyond its legitimate object and failing to make peace when he might have done so to advantage. He was afraid of what might come of all these complaints, but was persuaded that no solid and lasting peace could come short of absolute submission on the part of the rebels [the South]…He saw the danger of premature peace…I was the more impressed by this benevolent consideration because he before said, in answer to the peace clamor, that his object was to save the Union, and to do so with or without slavery. What he said on this day showed a deeper moral conviction against slavery than I had ever seen before in anything spoken or written by him. I listened with the deepest interest and profoundest satisfaction, and, at his suggestion, agreed to undertake the organizing of a band of scouts, composed of colored men, whose business should be somewhat after the original plan of John Brown, to go into the rebel states, beyond the lines of our armies, and to carry the news of emancipation, and urge the slaves to come within our boundaries.

…I refer to this conversation because I think that, on Mr. Lincoln’s part, it is evidence conclusive that the proclamation, so far at least as he was concerned, was not effected merely as a [political] ‘necessity’.

President Lincoln would be selected to continue a second term and was inaugurated on March 4th, 1865. About one month after the official end of the Civil War. Lincoln would be assassinated just a mere 41 days after his second inauguration.

Douglass writes, “His first inauguration arrested the fall of the Republic, and the second was to restore it to enduring foundations.” The fact that Lincoln’s leadership was savagely cut short was a tragedy for all who understood that the true foundation of the Republic was built upon the principle “liberty for all”.

In that sad moment, when the country heard of the death of their leader who was to bring them closer to this goal, Douglass states,

We shared in common a terrible calamity, and this ‘touch of nature made us’ more than countrymen, it made us ‘kin’.

Reflections on the Past

It is an utmost testament to the grace and nobility of Frederick Douglass’ character that as soon as the law and spirit of slavery had been broken, he made a point to no longer harbour hate and resentment for the past wrongs committed upon himself. He recognised that humanity was indeed inherently good and would ultimately strive towards goodness if left to its natural tendency… that to punish the children of those who committed crimes before them would destroy any good that ever existed in the world.

Douglass recounts:

If any reader of this part of my life shall see in it the evidence of a want of manly resentment for wrongs inflicted by slavery upon myself and race, and by the ancestors of…[those who once owned slaves], so it must be. No man can be stronger than nature, one touch of which, we are told, makes all the world akin. I esteem myself a good, persistent hater of injustice and oppression, but my resentment ceases when they cease, and I have no heart to visit upon children the sins of their father.

I will end here with an account of Douglass when he revisits the place where he was born a “slave” and sees his former “master” Captain Auld upon his request on his deathbed, over 25 years after Douglass had escaped to the North:

But now that slavery was destroyed, and the slave and the master stood upon equal ground, I was not only willing to meet him, but was very glad to do so…He was to me no longer a slaveholder either in fact or in spirit, and I regarded him as I did myself, a victim of the circumstances of birth, education, law, and custom.

Our courses had been determined for us, not by us. We had both been flung, by powers that did not ask our consent, upon a mighty current of life, which we could neither resist, nor control. By this current he was a master, and I a slave, but now our lives were verging towards a point where differences disappear, where even the constancy of hate breaks down and where the clouds of pride, passion, and selfishness vanish before the brightness of infinite light.

Note: This paper has used Douglass’ account of American history from his writings in his autobiography “Life and Times of Frederick Douglass”, for which the full pdf version can be found here.

This article was originally published on Strategic Culture Foundation.

Cynthia Chung is the President of the Rising Tide Foundation and a writer at Strategic Culture Foundation, consider supporting her work by making a donation and subscribing to her substack page for free.


All image captions, pull quotes, appendices, etc. by the editors not the authors. 
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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