Two amazing Americans!

February 9, 2017

Brian Jones overcomes speechlessness to express his gratitude to President Trump.

Dear Donald J. Trump,

You are an amazing president. I mean that. You amaze me. Almost every day. Your speech on Black History Month left me speechless. I read the transcript, and I literally could not speak afterwards. It was amazing.

I am so glad you mentioned Frederick Douglass in your Black History Month speech. You are so right about Frederick Douglass! He really has done an amazing job. And you are absolutely right that he is being recognized more and more.

Frederick Douglass was born a slave, and yet he figured out a way to teach himself how to read--amazing! When Douglass witnessed his master explaining the danger of slaves learning to read--that it led to freedom--he called it "the first decidedly anti-slavery lecture" he had ever heard.

But I don't have to tell you what education and literacy have meant to African Americans. As you know, we practically started public schooling in the South during the Reconstruction era, and fought for many years to be included in public schooling in the Northern and Western states. And now, Vice President Mike Pence has used his tie-breaking vote to get Betsy DeVos the job of Secretary of Education. That, too, has left me speechless. Wow.

Donald Trump (left) and Frederick Douglass
Donald Trump (left) and Frederick Douglass

You and Frederick Douglass have so much in common! You both wrote a book! Yours was The Art of the Deal. His was My Bondage and My Freedom.

Douglass describes how he stood up to his overseer and physically fought him. Once he was no longer afraid of the overseer and no longer afraid to die, Douglass wrote that "This spirit made me a freeman in fact, while I remained a slave in form." I don't have to tell you the rest: Douglass bravely escaped from slavery and became an outspoken anti-slavery author and activist.

Your book describes how you built a personal empire making real estate deals. Both amazing! Both should be required reading for Black History Month!

You and Frederick Douglass have both had to battle against the media. You, Mr. President, have had to correct the media over and over again when they claimed that your inauguration crowd was not as large as Barack Obama's. Frederick Douglass had to convince the media that he was a human being worthy of equal respect and rights. Some people didn't believe a Black person could write or say the things he wrote and said. He had to correct them again and again. So frustrating. For both of you!

FREDERICK DOUGLASS fought for women's rights. He was a regular attendee at conferences where women were organizing for the right to vote. "Woman knows and feels her wrongs as man cannot know and feel them," Douglass said at one such conference, "and she also knows as well as he can know, what measures are needed to redress them." He continued: "We can neither speak for her, nor vote for her, nor act for her, nor be responsible for her."

You, too, Mr. President have frequently stated that you "love women." You were a regular attendee at the Miss America Pageant--which you owned! Both you and Frederick Douglass are so misunderstood.

Frederick Douglass and you were both concerned with immigration. You two don't get enough credit for how much you care about this issue!

Frederick Douglass argued against a law that stopped Chinese immigrants from coming into the United States. Douglass emphasized the common humanity of people worldwide. "The grand right of migration and the great wisdom of incorporating foreign elements into our body politic," he wrote, "are founded not upon any genealogical or archeological theory, however learned, but upon the broad fact of a common human nature."

Just like Frederick Douglass, you, too, have said things about immigration. Many things! Both amazing!

I don't have to tell you how Frederick Douglass was both a critic of and an adviser to another amazing president, Abraham Lincoln. Douglass advised him to arm the slaves and turn the Civil War into a war of liberation. Lincoln had Douglass. You have Ben Carson...and Steve Bannon! Amazing!

Who knows--maybe you and your advisers will end up carrying out another civil war?

Happy Black History Month.

Brian Jones

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