Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

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I know I haven’t posted anything lately about books I have been reading.  The last couple of times I have tried, half way through writing a post, I lose it.  It is frustrating kind of on a scale of trying to sweep cooked rice.

However, I just finished reading Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.  I had my son read it for school since he is studying about the early 1800s in history right now.  So of course, I read it, so we could discuss it.

I really wasn’t sure.  A book written by a slave couldn’t be written that well.  I was wrong.  He kept me reading.  It is a hard book to read in that Mr. Douglass describes some brutal beatings and torture of some of his fellow slaves.  If you are squeamish it might be hard to read, however, I think everyone should read this book.  It focuses on the dehumanizing of one race of people by the other.  That is so dangerous.  We can never ever let ourselves think of any human being as non-human.  Anything can be done to the other without the least bit of bothering to the conscience if we think that way.  Isn’t that how the Holocaust happened?  Isn’t it how we can justify abortion…it is my body, the fetus (not the baby) isn’t human?

Actually it is happening now less than 100 miles from where I live.  A white supremacist group is trying to take over a small town.  People are trying to stop it.  There was a rally this weekend to show support of all people.  The interesting thing was the newspaper then stated that one of the white supremacists members said none of it bothered him because to him those people weren’t human.  Oh, such dangerous words.  So dangerous of a way to think.

I do not remember who said it, but when you don’t know your history you are doomed to repeat it.  We need to know our history, the good and the bad.  Let’s not repeat the bad things.

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