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Who is speaking here?

Who is speaking here?


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Our English teacher gave us an exercise to do: We got different texts what people could have said and our task now is to find out: Who said it and when?

Our current topic is "The early years of the US", so I think it should be between 1750 and 1770. But I really have no idea what this text could refer to. I already found out 5/6 of the texts, but I can't solve this one. Can you give me a hint, please?

Cite: Have you heard about it yet? Five people! No wonder everyone is angry!

Could it be one of the British colonists? But why is he so angry? And who could this "five people" be?

P.S.: Yes, this is a homework question, sorry. The thing is, I really have no idea and also already had a look at the book if I could find any information, but that's not the case.


It's most probably about the Boston Massacre, in which five people were killed.


History of English

The history of the English language really started with the arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain during the 5th century AD. These tribes, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, crossed the North Sea from what today is Denmark and northern Germany. At that time the inhabitants of Britain spoke a Celtic language. But most of the Celtic speakers were pushed west and north by the invaders - mainly into what is now Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The Angles came from "Englaland" [sic] and their language was called "Englisc" - from which the words "England" and "English" are derived.


Germanic invaders entered Britain on the east and south coasts in the 5th century


10 Inspiring Latinas Who’ve Made History

“People think of Latina women as being fiery and fierce, which is usually true”, says Zoe Saldaña, “but I think the quality that so many Latinas possess is strength.” From Selena to Sylvia Rivera, Latinas have shown their strength, fortitude and skill in every discipline and field, including science, the arts, law, and politics. Here we take a look at a handful of the inspiring Latinas who have made history, shaped the society we live in, and changed our world for the better.

"NASA Astronaut Ellen Ochoa" (2014-04-15), автор – Candy TorresLatino USA

On April 8, 1993, Ellen Ochoa became the first Hispanic woman in the world to go into space. Ochoa was aboard the Discovery shuttle for a total of nine days while conducting important research into the Earth’s ozone layer. Since that ground-, or sky-, breaking moment, Ochoa has gone on a further three space flights, logging 1,000 hours in space in total.

And, as if her first pioneering mission wasn’t enough, in 2013 Ochoa became the first Hispanic director, and second female director, of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

"Joan Baez" (1962), автор – Ralph CraneLIFE Photo Collection

“We shall overcome”, sings Joan Baez, legendary folk singer, at the March on Washington for civil rights in 1963. “We are not afraid today, oh deep in my heart I do believe, we shall overcome someday” Baez lived by these words, as a passionate spokesperson for the anti-war effort, a civil rights activist, and a powerful, unforgettable singer-songwriter. Baez is probably most well-known for her relationship with Bob Dylan, but it was her human rights advocacy, her breathtaking voice, and her continual fight for justice for the marginalized and oppressed that have secured her place in the history books.

"Dolores Huerta" (1999), автор – Barbara CarrascoSmithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

Doing back-breaking work under the unforgiving sun, sleeping in rough shacks with dozens of men to a room, all for below-poverty-level wages farm workers in the early Twentieth Century, most of whom were immigrants from Central America, had a hard, painful, unjust life. That is, until Dolores Huerta and others like her, came along. In 1965, Huerta created the United Farm Workers, an organization that worked tirelessly to improve the working conditions for farm workers. By leading boycotts, picketing, protesting and lobbying, Huerta was instrumental in bringing about legislation that protects some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

"Latin Music Legends: Selena stamp" (2011-03-16), автор – United States Postal ServiceSmithsonian's National Postal Museum

Born Selena Quintanilla on April 16, 1971, in Texas, the artist known as ‘Selena’ was a pop superstar who brought Mexican Tejano music to the masses. She’s one of the most influential Latin artists of all time, winning a Grammy award in 1993 and a gold record in 1994 with Amor Prohibido. Selena, along with Rita Moreno and Gloria Estefan, was one of the few Latin pop stars who crossed over into the mainstream. She was tipped to be the next Madonna, but tragically her career was cut short when she was shot by the president of her fan club over a dispute over the latter’s embezzlement of Selena’s company money. On the posthumous release of her last album, a nation mourned the death of this lost talent.

"Sylvia Rivera at Gay Liberation Front's Demonstration at Bellevue Hospital, 1970" (1970), автор – Richard C. WandelThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

Sylvia Rivera, a mixed race Venezuelan-Puerto Rican trans woman, was a pioneering LGBT activist who fought tirelessly for trans rights, often credited as the person to "put the "t" in LGBT activism”. Together with Marsha P. Johnson (who allegedly threw the first brick in the Stonewall riots), Rivera created the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) organisation, which provided a home for trans people living on the streets in 1970s New York. A tireless advocate for LGBT people, ethnic minorities, and the homeless, Rivera dedicated her life to helping others. Sylvia’s Place and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project were both named in her honor and still work for the safety and rights of LGBT people to this day.

"Untitled (Facial Hair Transplants)" (1972), автор – Ana MendietaHammer Museum

Ana Mendieta became a refugee at the age of 12, fleeing the regime change in her native Cuba for Dubuque, Iowa. This sense of displacement and loss would later be visible in Mendieta’s incredible artworks. Most of her 200 artworks use the earth as their medium — drawing on native forms of knowledge, spiritualism, and magic, as well as being profoundly feminist in their approach and subject matter. Often overlooked in the art history books in favor of her husband, Carl Andre, who was controversially cleared of Mendieta’s murder in 1985, Ana Mendieta is only now getting the recognition she deserves in the art world.

"U.S. Representatives including Nita Lowey, Pat Schroeder, Patsy Mink, Jolene Unsoeld, Eleanor Holmes Norton and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen walking by the U.S. Capitol on their way to the Senate / Library of Congress" (1991-10-08), автор – Maureen Keating, photographerNational Women’s History Museum

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has had a career of firsts: she was the first Latina to serve in the Florida house the first Latina in the Florida senate the first Latina to serve in the US House of Representatives the first Latina and the first Cuban-American in Congress and the first woman to ever be chair of a regular standing committee of the House. A true political pioneer in every sense, the Republican representative announced her retirement this year after forty-years of service to her constituents and local community.

"Julia de Burgos" (1981), автор – Carlos IrizarryMuseo de Arte de Puerto Rico


The Controversial History Of Whistleblowers And Those Who Are Speaking Out

Continental Naval officers gathered below the deck of the USS Warren on February 19, 1777 to sign a petition to the Continental Congress documenting abuses by their commander. Without any legal protections for speaking out, those men understood that they could be branded as traitors for denouncing the highest-ranking American naval officer in the midst of war. According to the book by Allison Stanger, author of

Whistleblower laws have changed, but are they making progress

Today, whistleblowers not only receive protection from retaliation but can get a monetary reward as an incentive offered by the government to individuals for exposing certain wrongdoing. Federal laws require the government to reward whistleblowers with a percentage of the money that it recovers as a result of their tip. Whistleblowers may receive up to 30% of the total monetary recovery as a reward. In the United States, there are four main whistleblower reward programs

    : whistleblower rewards for reporting violations of the federal securities laws. : whistleblower rewards for reporting violations of the Commodity Exchange Act. : whistleblower rewards for reporting tax fraud or underpayments. : whistleblower rewards for reporting fraud against the government.

Just to give you an idea of those who have been involved in whistleblower cases, I reached out to a few I knew.

Ted Siedle is a former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) attorney, a Forbes contributor and a specialist on whistleblower cases. Siedle, who specializes in Wall Street malfeasance as it relates to management of pension funds and other retired accounts. Siedle told me, “The culprits frequently are Wall Street money managers, investment consultants, lawyers, brokers and custodian banks. The victims—pension stakeholders—including taxpayers who contribute to these plans and state workers who are counting on them in retirement.”

Today’s whistleblower cases have brought to light wrongdoing within the government, corporate America, banking, defense contracting and healthcare. In any industry where there is big money, there is the potential for interest by government enforcement agencies to uncover wrongdoing and reward those who come forward with key information. Siedle, has not done too bad for himself and the clients he has represented. Ted’s career as an independent financial investigator has involved dozens of whistleblower claims, mostly with the SEC. In 2015 JPMorgan Chase JPM paid $307 million to settle claims of improperly sending clients to its own house mutual and hedge funds. Last summer, an online news agency in Rhode Island, GoLocal, identified Ted as the recipient of a $48 million SEC whistleblower payment, awarded for his part in identifying JP Morgan Chase’s impropriety. In early 2018, the SEC Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the agency that regulates futures trading, approved a further payment of $30 million to him. Still this pales in comparison to the biggest whistleblower reward of all time . that of Bradley Birkenfeld.

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Birkenfeld, who has embraced the moniker of “Lucifer’s Banker” was the sole whistleblower who single-handedly brought down centuries-old Swiss banking secrecy when he revealed that thousands of wealthy Americans were not paying federal income, state income and wealth taxes. In 2005, after a rewarding career at Credit Suisse CS , Barclays Bank and UBS, Birkenfeld was compelled to break his silence on the banks’ role which enabled tax fraud across the world. After attempting to go to his legal and compliance officers at UBS only to be rejected, Birkenfeld went to the U.S. authorities with the largest and longest running tax scandal in the history of the United States. Despite his efforts as a whistleblower, he too would plead guilty to a single felony conspiracy to commit tax fraud and served 30 months in prison. His vindication came when his historic whistleblowing led to the recovery of over $25 billion in back taxes, fines and penalties . and counting. The case set off a domino effect of international investigations into offshore banking’s secret crimes, including the Panama Papers. Birkenfeld’s take was over $104 million IRS whistleblower reward. Today, he travels the world as a philanthropist, speaker, author and supports whistleblower efforts worldwide.

His new book, Lucifer’s Banker UNCENSORED, is a followup to his earlier book, Lucifer’s Banker, which was a detailed account of his life leading up to the whistleblower case. In “UNCENSORED” Birkenfeld talks about ongoing cases and whistleblower opportunities in which he has been involved over the past few years. Conservative writer and political consultant Peter Schweizer wrote the forward to Birkenfeld’s book, “’Uncensored’ descends into these dark places and exposes how wealthy people can hide their assets from the government - and use those assets to help corrupt the very same governments.” In this book, Birkenfeld is naming names of those who he believes were excluded from prosecution through political clout. I spoke to Birkenfeld about his book and he is still as outspoken as ever, “As Donald Trump is draining the swamp in the U.S., I drained the Swiss swamp for every American taxpayer.”

If you know of wrongdoing, there are a number of reliable websites that might be helpful . or write me and I can point you in the right direction.


WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 12 October 2020

For example, herd immunity against measles requires about 95% of a population to be vaccinated. The remaining 5% will be protected by the fact that measles will not spread among those who are vaccinated.

For polio, the threshold is about 80%.

In other words, herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it.

Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic. It is scientifically and ethically problematic.

First, we don&rsquot know enough about immunity to COVID-19.

Most people who are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 develop an immune response within the first few weeks, but we don&rsquot know how strong or lasting that immune response is, or how it differs for different people. We have some clues, but we don&rsquot have the complete picture.

There have also been some examples of people infected with COVID-19 being infected for a second time.

Second, the vast majority of people in most countries remain susceptible to this virus. Seroprevalence surveys suggest that in most countries, less than 10% of the population have been infected with the COVID-19 virus.

Letting the virus circulate unchecked therefore means allowing unnecessary infections, suffering and death.

And although older people and those with underlying conditions are most at risk of severe disease and death, they are not the only ones at risk. People of all ages have died.

Third, we&rsquore only beginning to understand the long-term health impacts among people with COVID-19. I have met with patient groups suffering with what is now being described as &ldquoLong COVID&rdquo to understand their suffering and needs so we can advance research and rehabilitation.

Allowing a dangerous virus that we don&rsquot fully understand to run free is simply unethical. It&rsquos not an option.

But we do have many options. There are many things that countries can do and are doing to control transmission and save lives.

It&rsquos not a choice between letting the virus run free and shutting down our societies.

This virus transmits mainly between close contacts and causes outbreaks that can be controlled by implementing targeted measures.

Prevent amplifying events.

Empower, educate and engage communities.

And persist with the same tools that we have been advocating since day one: find, isolate, test and care for cases, and trace and quarantine their contacts.

This is what countries are proving works, every day.

Digital technologies are helping to make these tried-and-tested public health tools even more effective, such as mobile applications to support contact tracing efforts.

Germany&rsquos Corona-Warn app has been used to transmit 1.2 million test results from labs to users in its first 100 days.

The Aarogya Setu app from India has been downloaded by 150 million users, and has helped city public health departments to identify areas where clusters could be anticipated and expand testing in a targeted way.

In Denmark, more than 2700 people have been tested for

COVID-19 as a result of notifications received through a mobile application.

And the United Kingdom has rolled out a new version of its NHS COVID-19 app, which had more than 10 million downloads within the first week.

As well as alerting users that they may have been exposed to a positive COVID-19 case, the app allows users to book a test and receive results, keep track of the places they&rsquove visited and receive the latest advice on local restrictions.

WHO is working with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to help countries evaluate the effectiveness of their digital contact tracing apps.

This is just one example of the innovative measures countries are taking to control COVID-19.

There are many tools at our disposal: WHO recommends case finding, isolation, testing, compassionate care, contact tracing, quarantine, physical distancing, hand hygiene, masks, respiratory etiquette, ventilation, avoiding crowds and more.

We recognize that at certain points, some countries have had no choice but to issue stay-at-home orders and other measures, to buy time.

Many countries have used that time to develop plans, train health workers, put supplies in place, increase testing capacity, reduce testing time and improve care for patients.

WHO is hopeful that countries will use targeted interventions where and when needed, based on the local situation.

We well understand the frustration that many people, communities and governments are feeling as the pandemic drags on, and as cases rise again.

There are no shortcuts, and no silver bullets.

The answer is a comprehensive approach, using every tool in the toolbox.

This is not theory: countries have done it and are doing it today, successfully.

My message to every country now weighing up its options is: you can do it too.


WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020

In the past two weeks, the number of cases of COVID-19 outside China has increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries has tripled.

There are now more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries, and 4,291 people have lost their lives.

Thousands more are fighting for their lives in hospitals.

In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher.

WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction.

We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.

Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.

Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO&rsquos assessment of the threat posed by this virus. It doesn&rsquot change what WHO is doing, and it doesn&rsquot change what countries should do.

We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. This is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus.

And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled, at the same time.

WHO has been in full response mode since we were notified of the first cases.

And we have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action.

We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.

As I said on Monday, just looking at the number of cases and the number of countries affected does not tell the full story.

Of the 118,000 cases reported globally in 114 countries, more than 90 percent of cases are in just four countries, and two of those &ndash China and the Republic of Korea - have significantly declining epidemics.

81 countries have not reported any cases, and 57 countries have reported 10 cases or less.

We cannot say this loudly enough, or clearly enough, or often enough: all countries can still change the course of this pandemic.

If countries detect, test, treat, isolate, trace, and mobilize their people in the response, those with a handful of cases can prevent those cases becoming clusters, and those clusters becoming community transmission.

Even those countries with community transmission or large clusters can turn the tide on this virus.

Several countries have demonstrated that this virus can be suppressed and controlled.

The challenge for many countries who are now dealing with large clusters or community transmission is not whether they can do the same &ndash it&rsquos whether they will .

Some countries are struggling with a lack of capacity.

Some countries are struggling with a lack of resources.

Some countries are struggling with a lack of resolve.

We are grateful for the measures being taken in Iran, Italy and the Republic of Korea to slow the virus and control their epidemics.

We know that these measures are taking a heavy toll on societies and economies, just as they did in China.

All countries must strike a fine balance between protecting health, minimizing economic and social disruption, and respecting human rights.

WHO&rsquos mandate is public health. But we&rsquore working with many partners across all sectors to mitigate the social and economic consequences of this pandemic.

This is not just a public health crisis, it is a crisis that will touch every sector &ndash so every sector and every individual must be involved in the fight.

I have said from the beginning that countries must take a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach, built around a comprehensive strategy to prevent infections, save lives and minimize impact.

Let me summarize it in four key areas.

First, prepare and be ready.

Second, detect, protect and treat.

Third, reduce transmission.

Fourth, innovate and learn.

I remind all countries that we are calling on you to activate and scale up your emergency response mechanisms

Communicate with your people about the risks and how they can protect themselves &ndash this is everybody&rsquos business

Find, isolate, test and treat every case and trace every contact

Protect and train your health workers.

And let&rsquos all look out for each other, because we need each other.

There&rsquos been so much attention on one word.

Let me give you some other words that matter much more, and that are much more actionable.

We&rsquore in this together, to do the right things with calm and protect the citizens of the world. It&rsquos doable.


A Brief History of the Uighurs

Uighur dancer performs to music in Siniang, China on January 1, 1943.

Related

The violence that has claimed at least 156 lives in the western Chinese region of Xinjiang this week is rooted in long-standing grievances among China's Uighur minority. The Turkic-speaking Muslim Uighurs were traditionally the dominant ethnic group in the region whose Mandarin name, Xinjiang, means simply "New Frontier" — perhaps a reflection of the fact that the region was only brought under Beijing's control in its entirety during the 19th century rein of the Qing dynasty. And this week they have found themselves in violent confrontation with Han Chinese, who have become a significant majority in the capital, Urumqi, thanks to Beijing's settlement policies.

Despite an official ideology that recognized them as equal citizens of the communist state, Uighurs have always had an uncomfortable relationship with the authorities in Beijing. In 1933, amid the turbulence of China's civil wars, Uighur leaders in the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar declared a short-lived independent Republic of East Turkestan. But Xinjiang was wholly subsumed into the new state forged by China's victorious Communists after 1949, with Beijing steadily tightening its grip on the oil rich territory. Its official designation as an "autonomous region" belies rigid controls from the central government over Xinjiang, and a policy of settling hundreds of thousands of Han Chinese there that has left the Uighurs comprising a little less than half of the region's roughly 20 million people. (See pictures of the race riots in China.)

The Uighurs have deep roots in the region, descending from the ancient Sogdian traders once observed by Marco Polo. Unlike many of the nomadic tribes of Central Asia, the Uighurs are an urban people whose identity crystallized in the oasis towns of the Silk Road. A walk through the bazaars of old Uighur centers such as Kashgar, Khotan or Yarkhand reveals the physical legacy of a people rooted along the first trans-contintental trade route: an astonishing array of hazel and even blue eyes, with blonde or brown or black hair — typically tucked beneath headscarves or the customary Uighur felt cap.

Its cosmopolitan setting also gave the Uighurs' homeland a rich mix of religious and cultural traditions. Xinjiang is the home to some of China's oldest Buddhist temples and most celebrated monks, while Islam arrived in the tenth century and became dominant in the subsequent centuries. Most Uighurs today practice a brand of Islam that is peaceful and tolerant and mixed with the mystical strains of Sufism. One of their holiest sites is the tomb of an 18th century concubine who, according to legend, naturally exuded an overwhelming and intoxicating musk. (Read "Palau: Next Stop After Gitmo?")

The discovery of dozens of Uighurs at guerrilla camps in Afghanistan after the U.S. invasion of 2001 highlighted the fact that some have, in recent years, been lured by a more fundamentalist form of Islam. Many analysts believe this development has been a reaction to the strict controls imposed by the communist authorities who have restricted religious freedoms: The numbers of Uighurs permitted to make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca has been limited Uighur government employees are forbidden from fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan the political authorities appoint the Imams at every mosque, and often dictate the sermons preached during Friday prayers.

Curbs on religious freedom have been accompanied by cultural restrictions. The Uighur language, written in Arabic script, has been steadily phased out of higher education, having been once deemed by Xinjiang's Communist leader to be unsuitable for China's "scientific development." Uighurs in Xinjiang are often denied the right to travel outside of China, or even within it. Those who do manage to move to China's major cities eke out a desperate living as migrant workers, often viewed with distrust and suspicion by the larger Chinese population. The immediate cause of Sunday's protest in Urumqi appears to have been a mass attack on a community of Uighur laborers in a southern Chinese factory town thousands of miles away from Xinjiang.

Widespread Uighur alienation has prompted some to resort to violence. Following the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., Beijing convinced Washington to list the little-known East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as a terrorist organization. Some Uighurs were captured by coalition forces in Afghanistan and sent to Guantánamo, but many have subsequently been released. The specter of Uighur terrorism loomed over Xinjiang after a series of attacks and bombings hit the province during the build-up to last year's Beijing Olympics. The extent of the ETIM's tactical capabilities and its connections to other more prominent terrorist outfits remains unclear. Other exiled Uighur movements are avowedly secular, such as the World Uyghur Congress led by Rebiya Kadeer, accused by Beijing of fomenting the recent riots.

Beijing casts its own role in Xinjiang as that of a benevolent force for progress, citing the economic development spurred by its billions of dollars of investment. To be sure, Urumqi is now a city of skyscrapers, but its population is almost 75% Han Chinese, and the Uighurs claim they're frozen out of jobs — and see themselves as the victims of China's own westward expansion.

China's approach to the region is captured in a recent plan to bulldoze much of Kashgar's historic Old City — an atmospheric, millennia-old warren of mosques and elaborate mud-brick houses — and replace it with a tourist-oriented theme park version, resettling its Uighur population (who were not consulted) in "modern" housing miles away from the city.

But the events in Urumqi seem to suggest that as long as Uighurs feel helpless in the face of what they see as encroachment by an often-hostile culture, the potential remains high for new outbreaks of violence.


Who is speaking here? - History

Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) was the best known and most influential African American leader of the 1800s. He was born a slave in Maryland but managed to escape to the North in 1838.

He traveled to Massachusetts and settled in New Bedford, working as a laborer to support himself. In 1841, he attended a convention of the Massachusetts Antislavery Society and quickly came to the attention of its members, eventually becoming a leading figure in the New England antislavery movement.

In 1845, Douglass published his autobiography, "The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: an American Slave." With the revelation that he was an escaped slave, Douglass became fearful of possible re-enslavement and fled to Great Britain and stayed there for two years, giving lectures in support of the antislavery movement in America. With the assistance of English Quakers, Douglass raised enough money to buy his own his freedom and in 1847 he returned to America as a free man.

He settled in Rochester, New York, where he published The North Star, an abolitionist newspaper. He directed the local underground railroad which smuggled escaped slaves into Canada and also worked to end racial segregation in Rochester's public schools.

In 1852, the leading citizens of Rochester asked Douglass to give a speech as part of their Fourth of July celebrations. Douglass accepted their invitation.

In his speech, however, Douglass delivered a scathing attack on the hypocrisy of a nation celebrating freedom and independence with speeches, parades and platitudes, while, within its borders, nearly four million humans were being kept as slaves.

Fellow citizens, pardon me, and allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I or those I represent to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? And am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits, and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions. Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold that a nation's sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation's jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the "lame man leap as an hart."

But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you, that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation (Babylon) whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrecoverable ruin.

Fellow citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions, whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are today rendered more intolerable by the jubilant shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, "may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!"

To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs and to chime in with the popular theme would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world.

My subject, then, fellow citizens, is "American Slavery." I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave's point of view. Standing here, identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this Fourth of July.

Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity, which is outraged, in the name of liberty, which is fettered, in the name of the Constitution and the Bible, which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery -- the great sin and shame of America! "I will not equivocate - I will not excuse." I will use the severest language I can command, and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slave-holder, shall not confess to be right and just.

But I fancy I hear some of my audience say it is just in this circumstance that you and your brother Abolitionists fail to make a favorable impression on the public mind. Would you argue more and denounce less, would you persuade more and rebuke less, your cause would be much more likely to succeed. But, I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light? Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slave-holders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia, which, if committed by a black man (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death while only two of these same crimes will subject a white man to like punishment.

What is this but the acknowledgment that the slave is a moral, intellectual, and responsible being? The manhood of the slave is conceded. It is admitted in the fact that Southern statute books are covered with enactments, forbidding, under severe fines and penalties, the teaching of the slave to read and write. When you can point to any such laws in reference to the beasts of the field, then I may consent to argue the manhood of the slave. When the dogs in your streets, when the fowls of the air, when the cattle on your hills, when the fish of the sea, and the reptiles that crawl, shall be unable to distinguish the slave from a brute, then I will argue with you that the slave is a man!

For the present it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Is it not astonishing that, while we are plowing, planting, and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses, constructing bridges, building ships, working in metals of brass, iron, copper, silver, and gold that while we are reading, writing, and ciphering, acting as clerks, merchants, and secretaries, having among us lawyers, doctors, ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators, and teachers that we are engaged in all the enterprises common to other men -- digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific, feeding sheep and cattle on the hillside, living, moving, acting, thinking, planning, living in families as husbands, wives, and children, and above all, confessing and worshipping the Christian God, and looking hopefully for life and immortality beyond the grave -- we are called upon to prove that we are men?

Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? That he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to understand? How should I look today in the presence of Americans, dividing and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom, speaking of it relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively? To do so would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven who does not know that slavery is wrong for him.

What! Am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters? Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood and stained with pollution is wrong? No - I will not. I have better employment for my time and strength than such arguments would imply.

What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine that God did not establish it that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman cannot be divine. Who can reason on such a proposition? They that can, may - I cannot. The time for such argument is past.

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. Oh! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation's ear, I would today pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened the conscience of the nation must be roused the propriety of the nation must be startled the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed and its crimes against God and man must be denounced.

What to the American slave is your Fourth of July? I answer, a day that reveals to him more than all other days of the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him your celebration is a sham your boasted liberty an unholy license your national greatness, swelling vanity your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mock your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy - a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.

Go search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.

Frederick Douglass - July 4, 1852

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Who Was Charles Curtis, the First Vice President of Color?

Next week, when she takes the oath of office, Senator Kamala Harris will make history as the first woman, first African American, and first person of South Asian heritage to become vice president of the United States. But she won’t be the first person of color in the office. That honor belongs to Charles Curtis, an enrolled member of the Kaw Nation who served as President Herbert Hoover’s veep for his entire first term from 1929 to 1933. Prejudice against Native Americans was widespread and intense at the time, but Curtis’s ascent to the office speaks to his skillful navigation of the political system. His rise also tells a broader story of how prominent Native Americans viewed how their communities should assimilate within a predominately white society and government. The policies Curtis pursued in Congress and then as vice president, specifically those on Native issues, cloud his legacy today despite his groundbreaking achievements.

Curtis was born in 1860 to a white father from a wealthy Topeka family and a mother who was one quarter Kaw (a tribe also known as Kanza or Kansa). When he was young, Curtis’ mother died, and his father fought in the Civil War for the United States. Growing up, he spent time living with both his sets of grandparents and for eight years, he lived on the Kaw reservation. Curtis grew up speaking Kanza and French before he learned English.

Mark Brooks, site administrator for the Kansas Historical Society’s Kaw Mission site, says Curtis was known for his personal charisma.

“He had a knack for conversation,” Brooks says. “He was just a very likeable person even early on when he was just a young boy in Topeka.”

In 1873, the federal government forced the Kaw south to Indian Territory, which would later become Oklahoma. The adolescent Curtis wanted to move with his community, but, according to his Senate biography, his Kaw grandmother talked him into staying with his paternal grandparents and continuing his education.

“I took her splendid advice and the next morning as the wagons pulled out for the south, bound for Indian Territory, I mounted my pony and with my belongings in a flour sack, returned to Topeka and school,” Curtis later recalled, in a flourish of self-mythologizing. “No man or boy ever received better advice, it was the turning point in my life.”

Charles Curtis (left) sits with Herbert Hoover. (Library of Congress)

Curtis gained some fame as a talented horse rider, known on the circuit as “Indian Charlie.” But his grandparents on both sides encouraged him to pursue a professional career, and he became a lawyer and then a politician. Contemporary accounts cite his personal charm and willingness to work hard served him well in politics. Kansas politician and newspaper editor William Allen White described him carrying books with the names of Republicans in each Kansas township, mumbling the names “like a pious worshiper out of a prayer book” so that he could greet each of them by name and ask about their family.

Despite the racist treatment of the Kaw by white Kansans—which included land theft and murder—many whites were obviously willing to vote for Curtis.

“The one thing that might have lightened the persecution of Curtis was that he was half white,” Brooks says. “He’s light-complected, he’s not dark-skinned like a lot of Kanza. His personality wins people over—unfortunately, racists can like a person of color and still be a racist, and I think that’s kind of what happened with Charlie. He was just a popular kid.”

Curtis rose within the Republican Party that dominated Kansas and became a congressman, then senator, and eventually Senate majority leader. In office, he was a loyal Republican and an advocate for women’s suffrage and child labor laws.

Throughout his time in Congress, Curtis also consistently pushed for policies that many Native Americans today say were a disaster for their nations. He favored the Dawes Act of 1887, passed a few years before he entered Congress, which allowed the federal government to divide tribal lands into individual plots, which eventually led to the selling of their land to the public. And in 1898, as a member of the Committee on Indian Affairs, he drafted what became known as the Curtis Act, extending the Dawes Act’s provisions to the so-called “Five Civilized Tribes” of Oklahoma.

“[The Curtis Act] enabled the dissolution of many tribal governments in Oklahoma on the path to Oklahoma becoming a state,” says Donald Grinde, a historian at the University at Buffalo who has Yamasse heritage. “And of course, that [opened up] tribal land in Oklahoma to white settlers, sooners.”

Curtis also supported Native American boarding schools, in which children were taken from their families and denied access to their own languages and cultures. Abuse was rampant. Grinde cites the schools as a factor in the population decline of Native Americans between 1870 and the 1930s.

“You tell mothers, ‘OK, you’re going to give birth to a child, but at 5 they’re going to be taken from you,’” Grinede says. “Lots of Indian women chose not to have children.”

Historian Jeanne Eder Rhodes, a retired professor at the University of Alaska and enrolled member of the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes, says land division under the Dawes and Curtis Acts ultimately “destroyed everything” for many Native American tribes. At the time, however, Curtis’ positions were far from unique among Native Americans. While many were dead set against land division and other policies pushed by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, others believed that tribes must assimilate into white American society and adopt norms like individual land ownership.

“At the turn of the century when he’s working there are very prominent Indian scholars and writers and professional Indian people who are all talking about these issues,” Rhodes says. “Some of them are opposed to the idea, some of them are opposed to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, some of them are working for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.”

She said Curtis, like other Native American assimilationists, was concerned with issues like the education and health of Native American people, who were already suffering immensely in a pre-Dawes Act United States. And, she said, if Curtis hadn’t supported assimilation, he would never have gotten far in the era’s white-dominated politics.

“What do you do when you’re in a situation like Curtis?” Rhodes says. “He’s proud of his heritage and yet he wants to be in a position where he can do something to support Native issues. I think he tried his best and I think he regretted, in the end, being assimilationist.”

As Curtis approached his late 60s, already having achieved so much, he had one more rung to climb on the political ladder. In 1927, when Republican President Calvin Coolidge announced that he would not run for another term, he saw his chance to run for President the following year.

His plan was to run a behind-the-scenes campaign, seeking support from delegates who he hoped would see him as a compromise candidate if they couldn’t come together behind one of the frontrunners. Unfortunately for him, that scenario didn’t pan out Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover won on the first ballot.

By this time, there was already bad blood between Curtis and Hoover. The senator had bristled at Hoover’s choice in 1918 to campaign for Democratic candidates and tried to stop then-President Warren G. Harding from appointing him to his cabinet, which he did anyway in 1921. Seven years later, the Republican Party saw putting the two together on their ticket as the solution to a serious problem: Hoover was tremendously unpopular with farmers. Curtis, Kansas’ beloved veteran senator, offered the perfect choice to balance out the Commerce Secretary.

Charles Curtis (left) with the 13-tribe United States Indian Band at the U.S. Capitol. (Library of Congress)

But what about his race? Grinde says Republican Party leaders and voters would have been aware of Curtis’ Kaw identity.

“They recognized that he was one-eighth Indian, but he had served the interests of white people for a long, long time,” Grinde says.

He also notes that the relationship of white Americans of the time with Native American identity was complicated. For some white people with no cultural links to Native nations, it might be a point of pride to claim that their high cheekbones marked them as descendants of an “American Indian princess.”

Despite his assimilationist politics, throughout his career Curtis honored his Kaw heritage. He had an Indian jazz band play at the 1928 inauguration and decorated the vice presidential office with Native American artifacts. And, even if many Native American people were unhappy with the land allotment plans he had championed, many Kaw were proud of him. When he was chosen for the vice presidential slot on the Republican ticket, Kaw communities in Oklahoma declared “Curtis Day,” and some of his Kaw relations attended the inauguration.

After all he had achieved to reach the vice presidency, Curtis’ time in office was anticlimactic. Hoover remained suspicious of his former rival and, despite Curtis’ enormous expertise in the workings of Congress, kept him away from policy. Washington insiders joked that the vice president could only get into the White House if he bought a ticket for the tour. The best-known event of his term involved a dispute over social protocol between Curtis’ sister, Dolly, and Theodore Roosevelt’s daughter, Alice. Dolly acted as Curtis’s hostess since his wife had died before he became vice president, and asserted that this gave her the right to be seated before the wives of congressmen and diplomats at formal dinners. Alice bristled over what she characterized as the questionable “propriety of designating any one not a wife to hold the rank of one.” And, aside from personal squabbles, the onset of the Great Depression made the White House a difficult place to be. In 1932 the Hoover-Curtis ticket lost in a landslide defeat to New York Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Speaker of the House John Nance Garner.

And yet, Brooks says, Curtis did not lose his taste for politics. After his defeat he chose to stay in Washington as a lawyer rather than go home to Topeka. When he died of a heart attack in 1936, he was still living in the capital.

“That had become who he was,” Brooks says.

About Livia Gershon

Livia Gershon is a freelance journalist based in New Hampshire. She has written for JSTOR Daily, the Daily Beast, the Boston Globe, HuffPost, and Vice, among others.


Gwendolyn Brooks

First Black author to win Pulitzer Prize

Gwendolyn Brooks was a writer who was recognized for her work in poetry. Her poems, like those in her book “A Street in Bronzeville,” were about the black experience in America at the time. In 1950, Brooks won a Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry “Annie Allen.” The award made her the first Black author to win the prestige prize.

Brooks wrote several other works before passing away in 2000, "Maud Martha," "We Real Cool" and "Blacks. She is one of the most highly regarded poets of 20th-century American poetry.


My Take: If you hear God speak audibly, you (usually) aren’t crazy

Editor's Note: Tanya Marie (“T.M.”) Luhrmann is a psychological anthropologist and the Watkins University professor in the department of anthropology at Stanford University in Stanford, California. She is the author of "When God Talks Back: Understanding the American Evangelical Relationship with God."

By T.M. Luhrmann, Special to CNN

(CNN)—In the Bible, God spoke directly to Abraham. He spoke directly to Moses. He spoke directly to Job. But to your neighbor down the street?

Most people reading the ancient scriptures understand these accounts of hearing God’s voice as miracles that really did happen but no longer take place today, or maybe as folkloric flourishes to ancient stories. Even Christians who believe that miracles can be an everyday affair can hesitate when someone tells them they heard God speak audibly. There’s an old joke: When you talk to God, we call it prayer, but when God talks to you, we call it schizophrenia.

Except that usually it’s not.

Hearing a voice when alone, or seeing something no one else can see, is pretty common. At least one in 10 people will say they’ve had such an experience if you ask them bluntly. About four in 10 say they have unusual perceptual experiences between sleep and awareness if you interview them about their sleeping habits.

And if you ask them in a way that allows them to admit they made a mistake, the rate climbs even higher. By contrast, schizophrenia, the most debilitating of all mental disorders, is pretty rare. Only about one in 100 people can be diagnosed with the disorder.

Moreover, the patterns are quite distinct. People with schizophrenia who hear voices hear them frequently. They often hear them throughout the day, sometimes like a rain of sound, or a relentless hammer. They hear not only sentences, but paragraphs: words upon words upon words. What the voices say is horrid—insults, sneers and contemptuous jibes. “Dirty. You’re dirty.” “Stupid slut.” “You should’ve gone under the bus, not into it.”

That was not what Abraham, Moses and Job experienced, even when God was at his most fierce.

For the last 10 years, I have been doing anthropological and psychological research among experientially oriented evangelicals, the sort of people who seek a personal relationship with God and who expect that God will talk back. For most of them, most of the time, God talks back in a quiet voice they hear inside their minds, or through images that come to mind during prayer. But many of them also reported sensory experiences of God. They say God touched their shoulder, or that he spoke up from the back seat and said, in a way they heard with their ears, that he loved them. Indeed, in 1999, Gallup reported that 23% of all Americans had heard a voice or seen a vision in response to prayer.

These experiences were brief: at the most, a few words or short sentences. They were rare. Those who reported them reported no more than a few of them, if that. These experiences were not distressing, although they were often disconcerting and always startling. On the contrary, these experiences often made people feel more intimate with God, and more deeply loved.

In fact, my research has found that these unusual sensory experiences are more common among those who pray in a way that uses the imagination—for example, when prayer involves talking to God in your mind. The unusual sensory experiences were not, in general, associated with mental illness (we checked).

They were more common among those who felt comfortable getting caught up in their imaginations. They were also more common among those who prayed for longer periods. Prayer involves paying attention to words and images in the mind, and giving them significance. There is something about the skilled practice of paying attention to the mind in this way that shifts—just a little bit—the way we judge what is real.

Yet even many of these Christians, who wanted so badly to have a back-and-forth relationship with God, were a little hesitant to talk about hearing God speak with their ears. For all the biblical examples of hearing God speak audibly, they doubt. Augustine reports that when he was in extremis, sobbing at the foot of that fig tree, he heard a voice say, “Take it and read.” He picked up the scripture and converted. When the Christians I know heard God speak audibly, it often flitted across their minds that they were crazy.

In his new book, "Hallucinations," the noted neurologist Oliver Sacks tells his own story about a hallucinatory experience that changed his life. He took a hearty dose of methamphetamines as a young doctor, and settled down with a 19th century book on migraines. He loved the book, with its detailed observation and its humanity. He wanted more. As he was casting around in his mind for someone who could write more that he could read, a loud internal voice told him “You silly bugger” that it was he. So he began to write. He never took drugs again.

Now, Sacks does not recommend that anyone take drugs like that. He thinks that what he did was dangerous and he thinks he was lucky to have survived.

What interests me, however, is that he allowed himself to trust the voice because the voice was good. There’s a distinction between voices associated with psychiatric illness (often bad) and those (often good) that are found in the so-called normal population. There’s another distinction between those who choose to listen to a voice, if the advice it gives is good, and those who do not. When people like Sacks hear a voice that gives them good advice, the experience can transform them.

This is important, because often, when voices are discussed in the media or around the kitchen table, the voices are treated unequivocally as symptoms of madness. And of course, voice-hearing is associated with psychiatric illness.

But not all the time. In fact, not most of the time.

About a third of the people I interviewed carefully at the church where I did research reported an unusual sensory experience they associated with God. While they found these experiences startling, they also found them deeply reassuring.

Science cannot tell us whether God generated the voice that Abraham or Augustine heard. But it can tell us that many of these events are normal, part of the fabric of human perception. History tells us that those experiences enable people to choose paths they should choose, but for various reasons they hesitate to choose.

When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. sat at his kitchen table, in the winter of 1956, terrified by the fear of what might happen to him and his family during the Montgomery bus boycott, he said he heard the voice of Jesus promising, “I will be with you.” He went forward.

Voices may form part of human suffering. They also may inspire human greatness.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of TM Luhrmann.


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