“As a people, Americans are remarkably familiar with all facts which make in their own favor.
Whatever makes for the wealth or for the reputation of Americans, and can be had cheap! will be found by Americans.
America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future.
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 denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; 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.
Go where you may, 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:
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.”
Frederick Douglass, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” 5 July 1852