Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony in Rochester, New York.
Donald Trump made a reference to Susan B. Anthony at a White House thing, ending Women’s History Month.
Some in the press pointed out that there are only 4 women cabinet members in the Trump White House. That’s not the problem. The problem is Trump despises women and he and his Party are enacting stuff that will hurt women, particularly poor women and women of color.
“Have you heard of Susan B. Anthony?” he asked a White House gathering of women.
What a jerk.
Did one of his people slip card with Susan B. Anthony’s name to him just before his appearance? Maybe he thinks she is still alive, like he thought Frederick Douglass is still alive?
Does he know that the radical feminist Anthony and Frederick Douglass were close friends?
Does he know that Anthony was an outspoken abolitionist?
That Susan B. Anthony collaborated with Harriet Tubman on the Underground Railroad?
That Anthony and Douglass are buried not far from each other in the same cemetery in Rochester, New York?
That there is a statue in a Rochester park of the two of them together? It is called “Let’s Have Tea.” They are sitting together face-to-face with a table between them set with a teapot, two cups, and two books.
Susan B. Anthony was born in 1820 into a Quaker family full of activist traditions. Anthony traveled and campaigned for the abolition of slavery and women’s rights.
On more than one occasion Anthony gave a speech challenging white people to oppose slavery. She painted a picture of slavery for her white audiences.
“Let us feel that it is our own children,” she said, “ruthlessly torn from our yearning mother hearts, sold on the auction block to the highest bidder. ‘Make the slave their neighbor, and love him as oneself’,” she admonished, quoting Matthew 22:30.
“We are bound up with the slave-holder in his guilt,” Anthony would tell her white audiences.
Douglass and Anthony met in 1845 while he was on a speaking tour.
In 1847 Douglass and his wife, Anna, moved to Rochester, where their home became one of the stops on the Underground Railroad.
In 1848 Frederick Douglass attended the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls and wrote about it in his paper, The North Star.
“All that distinguishes man as an intelligent and account able being, is equally true of woman; and if that government is only 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 laws of the land.”
The Douglass and Anthony friendship was seriously tested when it came to suffrage for former slaves and women under the Civil Rights Bill of 1866.
Neither African Americans nor women could vote.
Anthony proposed universal suffrage and opposed Black men being given suffrage before women.
The 15th Amendment guaranteed all citizens the right to vote, regardless of race, but did not include voting rights for women.
Douglass tried to persuade his friend to support its ratification.
“When women because they are women are dragged from their homes and hung upon lampposts, . . . then they will have the urgency to obtain the ballot.” Asked if that was not also true about Black women, he responded, “Yes, but not because she is a woman but because she is black.”
The amendment was ratified in 1870.
Anthony, although arrested for voting in 1872, died before she could do so legally.
Does Trump know Susan B. Anthony?