with a foundational reference to
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass
Standing Up to Goliath by Rebecca Friedrichs
The MIND Captive in Servitude
“I have found that, to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason.” -Frederick Douglass
In order for the BODY to be captive in servitude, the MIND must be controlled too. Which comes first? Today, it can feel like the minds of our children are being compromised in American public school education. The very system which was said to represent all, seems to represent very few. Those who claim to unite us are dividing us. Even DEI policy, which was written and passed by the school board to promote inclusion, 6 months later, has quietly excluded an entire town from their plan. The systems who claim to represent our children, are merely representing their own pocket books. Federal and State Governments … Teachers’ Unions and School Districts … Public Libraries … Dictionaries … Activists.
Parents who have had enough are leaving and recognizing that books are cheap. Equity and Inclusion schemes are not. The mind of my child is not property of the state. Let history be the teacher. Let curiosity be a guide. Let a free mind solve problems.
PART 1 INTRO : Slave To
PART 2 : Slave To MAN
PART 3 : Slave To SCHOOL
PART 4 : Slave To DEATH
Does the social justice warrior of today seek to stir empathy among us for the plight of the 19th century abolitionist?
I see bitterness and anger without education and understanding. As social groups fight over who is more oppressed, our kids suffer. Concerned parents are labeled the problem when in reality, COULD IT BE THAT THEIR CHILD’S MIND IS BEING HELD CAPTIVE IN SERVITUDE ?
Frederick Douglass was a forgiving man. Throughout his narrative, I noticed he did not speak with hate in his heart. He had every human right to be angry and seek vengeance, but it was liberty he sought. He did not allow bitterness to distract him from that goal. Douglass writes of finding strength and encouragement in the Lord throughout his life.
It is with great humility he prefaces this opinion with, “I may be deemed superstitions, and even at the risk of sounding egotistical, in regarding this event as a special interposition of divine Providence in my favor.” But to be true to himself he writes. “From my earliest recollection, I date the entertainment of a deep conviction that slavery would not always be able to hold me within its foul embrace; and in the darkest hours of my career in slavery, this living word of faith and spirit of hope departed not from me, but remained like ministering angels to cheer me through the gloom. This good spirit was from God, and to him I offer thanksgiving and praise.”
His character reminds me of Ephesians 4:31 when Apostle Paul tells them,
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
Meanwhile the words of Frederick Douglass are used by extreme Progressives to justify the use of violence and their hatred for America. It has infiltrated into our public schools. At the secondary public school level, it is becoming less a place to peacefully LEARN and more a dangerous BATTLE ground.
A valuable lesson about learning to read.
“Very soon after I went to live with Mr. and Mrs. Auld, she very kindly commenced to teach me the A, B, C. After I had learned this, she assisted me in learning to spell words of three or four letters. Just at this point of my progress, Mr. Auld found out what was going on, and at once forbade Mrs. Auld to instruct me further, telling her, among other things, that it was unlawful, as well as unsafe, to teach a slave to read. To use his own words, further, he said, ‘If you give a n** an inch, he will take an ell. A n** should know nothing but to obey his master – to do as he is told to do. Learning would spoil the best n** in the world. Now,’ said he, ‘if you teach that n** (speaking of myself) how to read, there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master. As to himself, it could do him no good, but a great deal of harm. It would make him discontented and unhappy.’ “
“These words sank deep into my heart, stirred up sentiments within that lay slumbering, and called into existence an entirely new train of thought. It was a new and special revelation, explaining dark and mysterious things, with which my youthful understanding had struggled, but struggled in vain. I now understood what had been to me a most perplexing difficulty – to wit, the white man’s power to enslave the black man. It was a grand achievement, and I prized it highly.”
“From that moment, I understood the pathway from slavery to freedom … Whilst I was saddened by the thought of losing the aid of my kind mistress, I was gladdened by the invaluable instruction which, by the merest accident, I had gained from my master. Though conscious of the difficulty of learning without a teacher, I set out with high hope, and a fixed purpose, at whatever cost of trouble, to learn how to read.”
Formula for how to overcome extreme adversity.
“The very decided manner with which he spoke, and strove to impress his wife with the evil consequences of giving me instruction, served to convince me that he was deeply sensible of the truths he was uttering. It gave me the best assurance that I might rely with the utmost confidence on the results which, he said, would flow from teaching me to read. What he most dreaded, that I most desired. What he most loved, that I most hated. That which to him was a great evil, to be carefully shunned, was to me a great good, to be diligently sought; and the argument which he so warmly urged, against my learning to read, only served to inspire me with a desire and determination to learn.”
“In learning to read, I owe almost as much to the bitter opposition of my master, as to the kindly aid of my mistress. I acknowledge the benefit of both.”
Frederick Douglass continued to learn reading through friends he made in his neighborhood. They shared books and school lessons with him.
“I was now about twelve years old, and the thought of being a slave for life began to bear heavily upon my heart. Just about this time, I got hold of a book entitled ‘The Columbian Orator.’ …In the same book, I met with one of Sheridan’s mighty speeches on and in behalf of Catholic emancipation.”
A 1797 publication of Enlightenment era thought. “The Columbian Orator presents 84 selections, most of which are notable examples of oratory on such subjects as nationalism, religious faith, individual liberty, freedom, and slavery, including pieces by Washington, Franklin, Milton, Socrates, and Cicero, as well as heroic poetry and dramatic dialogues. Augmenting these is an essay on effective public speaking which influenced Abraham Lincoln as a young politician.”
“The disadvantage of men not knowing the past is that they do not know the present. History is a hill or high point of vantage, from which alone men see the town in which they live or the age in which they are living.” -G.K. Chesterton
You may think religious faith taught in public school ended hundreds of years ago, but actually Scripture and prayers were part of the curriculum up until the 1960’s. The New England Primer by David Barton says “it was the first textbook ever printed in America and was used to teach reading and Bible lessons in our schools until the twentieth century. In fact, many of the Founders and their children learned to read from the Primer.”
Follow My Blog.
Note: Everything written in blue is a quote from Rebecca in her book, Standing up to Goliath.
Rebecca talks about “the old McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers” and ” … ‘Selections for Memorizing: Growth Booklets’ are full of Scriptures from the Holy Bible, prayers, writings, and poems about kindness, moral character, and even the vital importance of the Education Triangle. They were printed en masse by …”
You’ll never guess who … None other than National Education Association!
NEA was taken over by the unions in the 1960’s. Before then, teachers spoke out more, because “NEA was a positive association formed by teachers to support their profession and the children in their care.”
Longtime NEA council, Bob Chanin, has spoken about how proud they are for destroying those wholesome values. When he first came to the NEA, he says
” …No one really gave a damn about what NEA did or what NEA said. It was the proverbial sleeping giant. A conservative, apolitical, do nothing organization. But then NEA began to change. It embraced collective bargaining. It supported teacher strikes … And the more we said and did, the more we pissed people off, and in turn, the more enemies we made.”
Friedrichs says “There are three vital ingredients for a successful education, and none of them include the policies or politics pushed into schools today by unions… Incredibly, union forces actively work against the triangle because as you will see, one of the unions’ main tactics and sources of strength is to divide and isolate, so the relationship between many parents, teachers, and kids have been damaged.”
And just like that, teachers hands are tied. The cuffs are put on because if they want to keep their job they have to “talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk”.
In her book Rebecca says, “School boards are the only ones with the authority to hire and fire superintendents, and teachers’ unions spend mass quantities of money and resources across the country to get their favored candidates and union activists onto local and county school boards, so the unions can control district high officials.” Very sneaky, and I know it all too well after running for school board myself in 2021.
“State and national teachers’ unions are behind the large scale student protests in schools across our country, but union messaging claims students are leading the charge, so mass quantities of students get silenced.”
“Rebecca Friedrichs tells real-life stories that expose state and national teachers’ unions as the money and muscle behind the degradation of America’s schools and culture.”
In 2016 “These insights and more led Rebecca and nine other teachers to the US supreme Court where their case, Friedrichs v California Teachers Association, et al., sought to restore the First Amendment rights of all teachers and government employees. They argued no one should be forced to pay fees to abusive, politically driven unions, and were poised to change the very landscape of American education.”
Sadly, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died at age 79, just months (maybe even days) before the final decision was called. He was considered the swing vote in favor of their case. Fortunately Mark Janus’s case moved forward, Janus v. AFSCME, and they won. “Now the entire USA is ‘Right to Work’ in the public sector.” Says Rebecca. She did not give up there though. She started a website called “For Kids and Country,” where you can learn more about “Keep your Local” union and get rid of the state and national teachers’ unions. (See her website link at the end)
“Why would unions inspire protests against duly elected community members who were putting the desires of families first?”
“After being forced to use Common Core resources that push the same political agenda the unions push and after reading up on grants offered by the Gates Foundation, my guess is they have about ten million reasons. That’s about the amount of money NEA and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) accepted from the Gates Foundation to support Common Core curriculum development.”
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
“Aaron soon discovered a new “racial equity” disciplinary approach had been bargained in the teachers’ union contract in the district, which disturbed Aaron and other educators who were voiceless in the decision. Under the new approach, an outside group was hired to come into the district to help weed out ‘systemic racism.” Instead of holding all students to high behavioral standards, the district was now focused on blaming teacher racism for student disciplinary issues and reducing suspensions for students of color even when their violent or disrespectful behaviors merited commonsense discipline.”
“Aaron learned the Obama administration put pressure on school districts by investigating them if their suspension rates for children of color were above a certain threshold. Districts received bonuses from the federal government if they lowered their suspension rates below certain criteria set for each district. If violence increased, the districts would obtain extra millions of dollars for ‘restorative justice implementation,’ which focused on counseling and therapy.”
Sound like So Wash Co at all?
“Aaron was outraged. He told me, ‘You cannot tell me, as a black man, that this is right. You’re setting black kids up for failure. They’re going to have enough obstacles as it is. Now you’re saying behavior doesn’t matter?”
Student Vouchers and School Choice.
“Aaron accepted a position as a dean at a private high school and he loves his new job. Students at this school are held to high academic and behavioral standards and parents are intimately involved in the education process…”
“Instead of learning from the success of these types of schools and asking themselves how we could mirror those accomplishments in our public schools, the education status quo criticizes and blames the wealthy and claims public schools are short on funds. Yet many private and charter schools do a much better job educating children with far less money.”
“A school voucher system would provide parents the power to choose the schools that were right for their children. According to the union representatives, vouchers were a personal attack on public school teachers, and if the initiative passed, the entire public school system would fall apart.”
I’m thinking though, that if it’s that fragile, it needs to be strengthened. It needs to be strong enough to compete with the private and charter school down the road.
There are some peculiar ways in which Douglass’ message has been twisted to conform to the countless social issues of our current time. As each generation rises and falls to the beat of it’s own technical, social and political revolution, I hope the raw message of Douglass is not getting lost. I see the morphing agendas layered one on top of the other, and it is disturbing to witness those who would USE his words rather than STUDY his words.
Angela Y. Davis
Angela Y. Davis is an educator, activist, and author whom Britannica.com describes as “a militant American black activist”. She is a feminist, a Marxist, and a long time member of the Communist Party. She advocates far-left policies on gender equity, prison reform and racial unity. Davis was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1944, joined the Black Panthers as a youth, became a doctoral candidate at the University of California, San Diego, under the philosopher Herbert Marcuse, and is currently a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
What does Angela Davis have to do with Frederick Douglass and slavery? She was born over 45 years after Douglass died, she was not a slave, and her fight for women’s rights in America today is unlike any woman’s rights initiatives of Douglass’s day. Back then, woman fought for the right to work outside the home, own a house, go to college and vote. Today, women fight for the right to marry other women, abort their babies, and for an unbiased society where women aren’t weak and men aren’t strong. Frederick Douglass would not recognize the feminist movement of today.
From what I have read of Angela’s earlier speeches and written work, she seemed like a very intelligent woman with an extensive education and a fire that burns strong with passion for righting the wrongs of her Country. I was able to find nuggets of common ground in her book. However, I did not intentionally rent the author Angela Davis from my library. I rented Frederick Douglass and what I got was a deceptive replacement. I was not looking for a book with overlying commentary, or the events and people who came AFTER he died. I was simply looking for HIS book.
This is the book I received.
The Narrative, in book form, believe it or not, is no longer available in the Washington County library system. Upon further inquiry from library staff, I was told yes there IS a copy, and it is this one pictured here. The author of this book APPEARS to be the Mr. Frederick Douglass “Himself,” but in fact it is the feminist activist Angela Davis. No offense to Angela Davis, but if I wanted to read about the feminist movement, I would have looked for another book.
An original of Douglass’s Narrative is becoming harder and harder to find though in public schools and county libraries. It is being replaced by the commentary of groups who have twisted Douglass’ words in order to justify hateful messages and condemn entire classes of people. A homeschool mother in SoWashCo tells me “I always scan the library for sale books any more because they are getting rid of so many good classics.”
“What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”
There is a lot more to be said about the man, Frederick Douglass, than just one line from the entirety of his life.
In mid July 1798, a young General Washington said, “Not only do I pray for it on the score of human dignity, but I can clearly foresee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our Union, by consolidating it in a common bond of principle.” from the book “The Negro and the Nation -A History of American Slavery and Enfranchisement” by George S. Merriam (See link at end)
by JAiME for SCHOOLS July 10th, 2022
REFERENCES “Slave To SCHOOL”
Book : Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave by Frederick Douglass with an introduction by John Stauffer
Book : Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave Written by Himself A New Critical Edition By Angela Y. Davis Featuring Her “Lectures on Liberation”
Book : Standing Up to Goliath, Battling State and National Teachers’ Unions for the Heart and Soul of our Kids and Country” by Rebecca Friedrichs
Book : The Negro and the Nation www.https://www.heritage-history.com/index.php?c=read&author=merriam&book=negro&story=america