G8 Summit at Camp David in Maryland, on May 19, 2012.
Good afternoon, everybody. It has been a great pleasure to host the leaders of some of the world’s largest economies here at Camp David. I think the surroundings gave us an opportunity to hold some intimate discussions and make some genuine progress.
For the past three years, our nations have worked together and with others first to rescue a global economy from freefall, then to wrestle it back to a path of recovery and growth. Our progress has been tested at times by shocks like the disaster in Japan, for example. Today it’s threatened once again by the serious situation in the eurozone. (more…)
David Walker was a powerful Black Abolitionist who called for the end of slavery. David Walker was born to a free mother and an enslaved father and in 1829 he wrote a 76 page which is argueably the most powerful piece of anti slave literature ever. If we KNOW and UNDERSTAND our history we would be hard pressed to throw away the great legacy that these men and women of ALL races fought so hard for us to obtain! Here are excerpts from this powerful document:
David Walker’s Appeal
Excerpts from the Appeal
My dearly beloved Brethren and Fellow Citizens.
Having traveled over a considerable portion of these United States, and having, in the course of my travels, taken the most accurate observations of things as they exist — the result of my observations has warranted the full and unshaken conviction, that we, (coloured people of these United States,) are the most degraded, wretched, and abject set of beings that ever lived since the world began; and I pray God that none like us ever may live again until time shall be no more. They tell us of the Israelites in Egypt, the Helots in Sparta, and of the Roman Slaves, which last were made up from almost every nation under heaven, whose sufferings under those ancient and heathen nations, were, in comparison with ours, under this enlightened and Christian nation, no more than a cypher — or, in other words, those heathen nations of antiquity, had but little more among them than the name and form of slavery; while wretchedness and endless miseries were reserved, apparently in a phial, to be poured out upon, our fathers ourselves and our children, by Christian Americans!
We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom. . . symbolizing an end as well as a beginning. . .signifying renewal as well as change for I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago.
The world is very different now, for man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe. . .the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God. We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution.
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it. First Inaugural Address 4 march 1861
Let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man, this race and that race and the other race being inferior and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal. Address to Chicago Abolitionists (10 July 1858); quoted in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1953), 501
You enquire where I now stand. That is a disputed point. I think I am a whig; but others say there are no whigs, and that I am an abolitionist. When I was at Washington I voted for the Wilmot Proviso as good as forty times, and I never heard of any one attempting to unwhig me for that. I now do more than oppose the extension of slavery.
I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except negroes.” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be take pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy[sic].
- Letter to longtime friend and slave-holder Joshua F. Speed (24 August 1855)
CHAPTER 13|Document 40Thomas Paine, Dissertation on the First Principles of Government
1795Life 5:221–25 The true and only true basis of representative government is equality of rights. Every man has a right to one vote, and no more in the choice of representatives. The rich have no more right to exclude the poor from the right of voting, or of electing and being elected, than the poor have to exclude the rich; and wherever it is attempted, or proposed, on either side, it is a question of force and not of right. Who is he that would exclude another? That other has a right to exclude him.
(From the On Line Speech bank
Address to Captain John Smith
I am now grown old and must soon die, and the succession must descend in order, to my brothers, Opitchapam, Opechancanough, and Kekataugh, and then to my two sisters, and their two daughters.
I wish their experience was equal to mine, and that your love to us might not be not be less than ours to you. Why should you take by force that from us which you can have by love? Why should you destroy us who have provided you with food? What can you get by war? We can hide our provisions and fly into the woods. And then you must consequently famish by wrongdoing your friends.
What is the cause of your jealousy? You see us unarmed and willing to supply your wants if you come in a friendly manner; not with swords and guns as to invade an enemy. I am not so simple as not to know that it is better to eat good meat, lie well, and sleep quietly with my women and children; to laugh and be merry with the English, and, being their friend, to have copper, hatchets, and whatever else I want, than to fly from all, to lie cold in the woods, feed upon acorns, roots and such trash, and to be so hunted that I cannot rest, eat, or sleep. In such circumstances, my men must watch, and if a twig should but break, all would cry out, “Here comes Captain Smith.” And so, in this miserable manner to end my miserable life. And, Captain Smith, this might soon be your fate too through your rashness and unadvisedness.
I, therefore, exhort you to peaceable councils, and above all I insist that the guns and swords, the cause of all our jealousy and uneasiness, be removed and sent away.
Thomas Paine *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK WRITINGS OF THOMAS PAINE *** Editor: Moncure Daniel Conway
XXIV. DISSERTATION ON FIRST PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNMENT. (1)
1 Printed from the first edition, whose title is as above, with the addition: "By Thomas Paine, Author of Common Sense; Rights of Man; Age of Reason. Paris, Printed at the English Press, me de Vaugerard, No. 970. Third year of the French Republic." The pamphlet seems to have appeared early in July (perhaps the Fourth), 1795, and was meant to influence the decision of the National Convention on the Constitution then under discussion. This Constitution, adopted September 23d, presently swept away by Napoleon, contained some features which appeared to Paine reactionary. Those to which he most objected are quoted by him in his speech in the Convention, which is bound up in the same pamphlet, and follows this "Dissertation" in the present volume. In the Constitution as adopted Paine's preference for a plural Executive was established, and though the bicameral organization (the Council of Five Hundred and the Council of Ancients) was not such as he desired, his chief objection was based on his principle of manhood suffrage. But in regard to this see Paine's "Dissertations on Government," written nine years before (vol. ii., ch. vi. of this work), and especially p. 138 seq. of that volume, where he indicates the method of restraining the despotism of numbers.—Editor.,
There is no subject more interesting to every man than the subject of government. His security, be he rich or poor, and in a great measure his prosperity, are connected therewith; it is therefore his interest as well as his duty to make himself acquainted with its principles, and what the practice ought to be.
Every art and science, however imperfectly known at first, has been studied, improved, and brought to what we call perfection by the progressive labours of succeeding generations; but the science of government has stood still. No improvement has been made in the principle and scarcely any in the practice till the American revolution began. In all the countries of Europe (except in France) the same forms and systems that were erected in the remote ages of ignorance still continue, and their antiquity is put in the place of principle; it is forbidden to investigate their origin, or by what right they exist. If it be asked how has this happened, the answer is easy: they are established on a principle that is false, and they employ their power to prevent detection.
(The following speech was delivered less than three months after Douglass had attended the Anti-Slavery Convention on Nantucket Island, at which he agreed to lecture for the Massachusetts Society; it is one of his first recorded anti-slavery speeches)
THE CHURCH AND PREJUDICE
(Speech delivered at the Plymouth County Anti-Slavery Society, November 4, 1841)
At the South I was a member of the Methodist Church. When I came north, I thought one Sunday I would attend communion, at one of the churches of my denomination, in the town I was staying. The white people gathered round the altar, the blacks clustered by the door. After the good minister had served out the bread and wine to one portion of those near him, he said, “These may withdraw, and others come forward;” thus he proceeded till all the white members had been served. Then he took a long breath, and looking out towards the door, exclaimed, “Come up, colored friends, come up! for you know God is no respecter of persons!” I haven’t been there to see the sacraments taken since.
FIGHTING REBELS WITH ONLY ONE HAND
(Douglass’ Monthly, September 1861)
What on earth is the matter with the American Government and people? Do they really covet the world’s ridicule as well as their own social and political ruin? What are they thinking about, or don’t they condescend to think at all? So, indeed, it would seem from their blindness in dealing with the tremendous issue now upon them. Was there ever anything like it before? They are sorely pressed on every hand by a vast army of slaveholding rebels, flushed with success, and infuriated by the darkest inspirations of a deadly hate, bound to rule or ruin. Washington, the seat of Government, after ten thousand assurances to the contrary, is now positively in danger of falling before the rebel army. Maryland, a little while ago considered safe for the Union, is now admitted to be studded with the materials for insurrection, and which may flame forth at any moment.–Every resource of the nation, whether of men or money, whether of wisdom or strength, could be well employed to avert the impending ruin. Yet most evidently the demands of the hour are not comprehended by the Cabinet or the crowd. Our Presidents, Governors, Generals and Secretaries are calling, with almost frantic vehemance, for men.–“Men! men! send us men!” they scream, or the cause of the Union is gone, the life of a great nation is ruthlessly sacrificed, and the hopes of a great nation go out in darkness; and yet these very officers, representing the people and Government, steadily and persistently refuse to receive the very class of men which have a deeper interest in the defeat and humiliation of the rebels, than all others.–Men are wanted in Missouri–wanted in Western Virginia, to hold and defend what has been already gained; they are wanted in Texas, and all along the sea coast, and though the Government has at its command a class in the country deeply interested in suppressing the insurrection, it sternly refuses to summon from among the vast multitude a single man, and degrades and insults the whole class by refusing to allow any of their number to defend with their strong arms and brave hearts the national cause. What a spectacle of blind, unreasoning prejudice and pusillanimity is this! The national edifice is on fire. Every man who can carry a bucket of water, or remove a brick, is wanted; but those who have the care of the building, having a profound respect for the feeling of the national burglars who set the building on fire, are determined that the flames shall only be extinguished by Indo-Caucasian hands, and to have the building burnt rather than save it by means of any other. Such is the pride, the stupid prejudice and folly that rules the hour.