Some words of wisdom from the brave and brilliant abolitionist Frederick Douglass. His message, is just as relevant today as it was 150 years ago. African-Americans, among other groups, have experienced great abuse and marginalization and in many ways the playing field is still not even. Ensuring full legal equality, equality of opportunity and a good education for all its citizens are vital responsibilities of the government. But, grand efforts of the state to ensure equality of outcomes, such as the war on poverty, have bore little fruit. And in the end, we as individuals and groups can only rise through our own efforts, education and cultural evolution.
"Everybody has asked the question. . ."What shall we do with the Negro?" 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 wormeaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! I am not for tying or fastening them on the tree in any way, except by nature's plan, and if they will not stay there, 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!"