Frederick Douglass Money Quote saying saying On July 5, 1852, in Rochester speech, “What to the slave is the 4th of July?” He asked why Americans just 76 years before risked their lives to avoid a tea tax, but thought nothing of slavery. Frederick Douglass said:
“You can bare your bosom to the storm of British artillery to throw off a three-penny tax on tea; and yet wring the last hard earned farthing from the grasp of the black laborers of your country” — Frederick Douglass
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The quote highlights Douglass’ view that white Americans were willing to revolt against Britain for minor financial impositions on themselves, yet imposed a brutal system of unpaid labor and oppression on black people for substantial economic gain.
It draws attention to the inconsistency between embracing freedom from taxation for whites while denying basic human rights and freedoms from black slaves.