That’s right. The statue of Frederick Douglass, a former slave who fought for abolition and education, was ripped down in Rochester, New York on Sunday. It was removed from its pedestal by unknown vandals and found by authorities nearly 50 feet from its base leaning against a fence next to the Genesee River. The despicable act was carried out on the 168th anniversary of Douglass’s famous “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” speech given in the same town in 1852.
Carvin Eison, a member of the initiative ‘Re-energizing the Legacy of Frederick Douglass’, the group responsible for putting up the statue, told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle another statue will have to be erected as the damage is so severe. He noted it was painful to see “a monument that we put so much work and thought and love and care into” mistreated and vandalized.
“I feel (we should) put a monument back here immediately so whoever did this knows that we are not going to be deterred from what our objective is, and our objective is to continually celebrate Frederick Douglass,” Eison told the local outlet.
The city of Rochester, New York has 13 statues of the abolitionist throughout the city — the memorials were unveiled in 2018 to commemorate the bicentennial of Douglass’s birth.
The famous speech, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” delivered 168 years ago in Rochester, called out Americans for celebrating Independence Day while slaves were still in chains.
“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim,” Douglass said in the famous oration. “To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless.”
Born into slavery, Douglass was chosen to live in his owners’ home and learned the alphabet from the slaveholder’s wife, Sophia. She was ordered to stop teaching but Douglass continued to seek knowledge from white kids in the neighborhood.
He learned to read and did so constantly. He taught other slaves how to read the New Testament until slaveowners broke the meetings up with weapons.
Moved around frequently, Douglass worked for different masters until his escape to New Bedford, Massachusetts where he hid from slave hunters for three years.
His intellect and speaking skills landed him as agent for the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. He went on to write his famous biography, The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, a classic in American literature. He also started an anti-slavery newspaper, The North Star.
Douglass later befriended Abraham Lincoln and served as an advisor to the sixteenth president throughout the civil war.
According to Britannica, he went on to serve as assistant secretary of the Santo Domingo Commission, marshal and recorder of deeds in Washington D.C. and U.S. Minister and Consul General to Haiti.
Douglass fought and spoke for abolition for the his entire life — he also was an early advocate for women’s rights.
“To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker,” Douglass once said.
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Parents, advocates call on leaders to step down after ZERO children pass math at 13 Baltimore state schools
How long will leaders who let our children down blame Covid-19 for their failures? Anger swept across Baltimore, Maryland, after not a single student passed their state math exams, and almost 75 percent testing at the lowest possible score.
The Daily Mail reports “The poor performances came in the latest round of Maryland‘s state testing, where 13 high schools in the city – a staggering 40 percent – failed to produce a single student with a ‘proficient’ score in math.” Baltimore City Schools not only received $1.6 billion last year from taxpayers, but the school district also received $799 million in Covid relief funding from the federal government.
“So, it’s not a funding issue. We’re getting plenty of funding,” said Jason Rodriguez, deputy director of Baltimore-based nonprofit People Empowered by the Struggle, to Fox Baltimore. “I don’t think money is the issue. I think accountability is the issue…This is educational homicide, there is no excuse for the failure, which has come after years of warnings over the city’s poor education standards,” added Rodriguez.
A bombshell study published this month by the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) found that 16 million students were chronically absent during the pandemic. “The millions of students had missed more than 10 percent of schools days during the 2021-22 year, twice the number seen in previous years. More than eight in 10 public schools also reported stunted behavioral and social-emotional development in their students due to the pandemic, according to a May survey cited in the report.”
However, six years ago a similar report by Project Baltimore found that 13 schools in the city had zero students test ‘proficiently’ in math. An almost identical finding. “We’re still dealing with these same issues year after year,” Rodriguez continued. “It’s just scary to me and alarming to me because we know that what’s happening now, you know, it’s just opening up the floodgates to the school-to-prison pipeline. I’m beyond angry… This is why we’ve been calling for the resignation of the school CEO.”
Daily Mail notes that Rodriguez’s group has previously held rallies over the mounting educational crisis in the city, and in 2021 led calls for Baltimore City Schools CEO Dr. Sonja Santelises to resign over low test scores and falling graduation rates.
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