Those who forget history will be doomed to repeat it.

All quotes below pulled from Women, Race & Class by Angela Y. Davis….

Frederick Douglass, in an article titled “The Rights of Women” published in his abolitionist newspaper North Star, July 1848:

In respect to political rights, we hold woman to be justly entitled to all we claim for men. We go further, and express our conviction that all political rights which it is expedient for men to exercise, it is equally so for woman. All that distinguishes man as an intelligent and accountable being, is equally true of woman, and if that government only is just which governs by the free consent of the governed, there can be no reason in the world for denying to woman the exercise of the elective franchise, or a hand in making and administering the law of the land.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, abolitionist and suffragist, in a letter to the editor of the New York Standard, December 1865:

Although this may remain a question for politicians to wrangle over for five or ten years, the black man is still, in a political point of view, far above the educated white women of the country. The representative women of the nation have done their uttermost for the last thirty years to secure freedom for the negro; and as long as he was lowest in the scale of being, we were willing to press for his claims; but now, as the celestial gate to civil rights is slowly moving on its hinges, it becomes a serious question whether we had better stand aside and see “Sambo” walk into the kingdom first. As self-preservation is the first law of nature, would it not be wiser to keep our lamps trimmed and burning, and when the constitutional door is open, avail ourselves of the strong arm and blue uniform of the black soldier to walk in by his side, and thus make the gap so wide that no privileged class could ever gain close it against the humblest citizen of the republic?

Elizabeth Cady Stanton speaking at the first annual meeting of the Equal Rights Association, May 1867:

With the black man, we have no new element in government, but with the education and elevation of women, we have a power that is to develop the Saxon race into a higher and nobler life and thus, by the law of attraction, to lift all races to a more even platform than can ever be reached in the political isolation of the sexes.

Frederick Douglass speaking at the Equal Rights Association convention in 1869:

When women, because they are women, are dragged from their homes and hung upon lamp-posts; when their children are torn from their arms and their brains dashed upon the pavement; when they are objects of insult and outrage at every turn; when they are in danger of having their homes burnt down over their heads; when their children are not allowed to enter schools; then they will have [the same] urgency to obtain the ballot.

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3 Responses to Those who forget history will be doomed to repeat it.

  1. Pingback: Revisiting the racism of white feminism. « Fighting Words.

  2. Chris Fung says:

    I didn’t think it was a cheap shot, but then I knew about the quotes and about some of the history behind it. People who don’t agree with your juxtaposition of the two quotes are either ignorant, or in denial or willfully opposed to the idea of real social justice. Or perhaps some mixture of all three.

    I for one thought your post was valuable.

    in struggle

    Chris Fung

  3. Thanks for your words, Chris. Peace.

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