Equal Opportunity is Freedom Equal Results is Oppression
By Providence Crowder
Transcript from this evening’s speech for the 9/12 Project’s August meeting
My name is Providence Crowder, and I’m so honored to have been invited tonight to speak with you all on behalf of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of NY.
But before I get into the discussion for tonight, I want to tell you briefly about what the Frederick Douglass Foundation of NY is.
What is the Frederick Douglass Foundation of NY?
- The Frederick Douglass Foundation is a public policy and educational organization (it’s a national organization and I’m with the NY chapter). We bring the sanctity of free market and limited government ideas to bear on today’s hardest problems with the assistance of elected officials, scholars from universities and colleges and community activists.
- Our platform and tenants are to honor the legacy of the man, Frederick Douglass himself, and what he fought for.
- Abolitionist, educator, and former slave Frederick Douglass believed in life, liberty, individual responsibility and limited government. And, after reading the U.S. Constitution for himself, he had a profound respect for it. We promote these ideas mainly through education and activism in hopes of influencing public thought, which ideally translates into influencing public policy.
Disclaimer: I’m not an expert by any means, I’m not politically savvy, I am just a concerned citizen who cares about the direction our nation is headed in, and I believe in educating myself, and others, so that we can be the informed electorate that Thomas Jefferson spoke about when he said,
“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.”
When we are informed, we notice when our nation is going off track. I’m no genius, but I’m informed enough to know that our current state of affairs is way off course.
My faith: I’m also a Christian so I speak from a biblical worldview and I believe that much of what ails us in our nation is more spiritual than anything else. The Bible teaches me:
“The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
So I pray and ask God for wisdom and guidance in all that I do and even tonight in speaking with you all that God guides my thoughts and speech.
My politics: I don’t believe in political saviors. I don’t believe that salvation politics work. I don’t believe there are perfect political parties because political parties are made up of imperfect and sinful people. And most of us, whether we believe in God, or don’t believe in God, live by principles and have moral standards and guidelines in which to inform our decision-making. And often times because of these guiding principles, concerning politics, we usually align more closely with one party over another or one person over another when it’s time to vote.
So I’ve been tasked with discussing with you all tonight a principle that I hold to be true, and that principle is: I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.
How many of you believe that? If you do, you are in good company.
- The founders of our nation believed that.
- Slavery abolitionists believed that.
- Many civil rights leaders believed that and preached that.
- The leaders and volunteers of the 9/12 Project believe that.
- I believe that.
I concur with you. As a member of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, I want to share with you a quote by the Frederick Douglass concerning this very topic:
Frederick Douglass once said this concerning the black American’s plight towards justice:
In regard to the colored people, there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. What I ask for the Negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us… I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! … And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! … Your interference is doing him positive injury.
What he demanded from the white man concerning black Americans was equal opportunity, justice, fair treatment under the law. Not special treatment. Anything more or anything less he called Continue reading