Frederick Douglass: Three-Penny Tea Tax

Posted by admin on Tuesday, July 4, 2017

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 Quote
 

“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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This quote from Frederick Douglass criticizes the hypocrisy of white colonists who fought against British taxation yet exploited black slave labor to enrich themselves.

He suggests it was brave to risk life and limb over a small tea tax, yet perfectly acceptable to ruthlessly extract every last penny of value from enslaved black workers.

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.

Birthday: c. February 1817 – February 20, 1895

 

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