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Kaepernick cherry-picks historic quote to bash America, Ted Cruz swoops in and schools him with ‘context’

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Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick was schooled by Sen.Ted Cruz and Charles C.W. Cooke after his embarrassing attempt to slam America on Independence Day.

The Nike brand ambassador took the time to post a video on the Fourth of July with a pre-Civil War quote by abolitionist Frederick Douglass and was promptly exposed for misleading and missing the “context” of the words spoken by Douglass nearly a decade before the Civil War began.

(Image: Wikimedia)

“What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? This Fourth of July is yours, not mine…There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour,” Douglass said in the portion of the speech Kaepernick shared on Twitter.

The text was accompanied by a graphic video montage with images of slavery, lynchings, the KKK and recent videos of police abuse of African-Americans. The images played out with a voice reading from Douglass’ speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” which was given on July 5, 1852 at a meeting of the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society in Rochester, N.Y.

Nine years later, the Civil War broke out and, with the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of American lives, ended with the freedom of slaves.

Kaepernick’s tweet gave no other commentary other than the video and portion of the speech by Douglass. He was soon given a much-needed lesson in history – and truthfulness.

“You quote a mighty and historic speech by the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass,” Sen. Cruz tweeted, “but, without context, many modern readers will misunderstand.”

The Texas Republican followed with a series of tweets giving the necessary “context” and other parts of the speech that give a clearer perspective on the words of Douglass, who was not delivering the message as a complete condemnation of America but offering hope for the future based on the nation’s founding documents and principles.

Cruz then shared another portion of the same Douglass speech.

“Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country.

“There are forces in operation, which must inevitably, work the downfall of slavery. ‘The arm of the Lord is not shortened,’ and the doom of slavery is certain.

“I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from ‘the Declaration of Independence,’ the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age.”

 

Cruz followed with another tweet encouraging everyone to read the entirety of Douglass’ speech along with a link to the full text.

Kaepernick, who made headlines this week after his reported opposition to a planned release of a Nike sneaker featuring an early version of the U.S. flag. Nike pulled the Betsy Ross shoe from production, sparking a wave of backlash just ahead of the national holiday.

Author and editor of National Review Online, Charles C. W. Cooke, also called out the former San Francisco 49ers player with another portion of Douglass’ speech, conveniently not addressed by Kaepernick.

He added quotes from the same section as Cruz before delivering a scathing rebuke to Kaepernick for giving an “impression wholly unsupported by the evidence.”

Frieda Powers

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