February 2, 2017
Keep it up, Frederick Douglass!
by Ian Dreiblatt
The following words were, for the most part, not exactly uttered by the president of the United States yesterday.
My fellow Americans!
I write today to share my tremendous and very real message of greatness about Frederick Douglass. Born a slave in 1818, Douglass wrote three books that are beautiful, just beautiful, hugely important in changing the shape of this country. He was the first African-American to run for vice president, a legendary orator, a great feminist. Huge with the egalitarian, just loves the egalitarian. He died in 1895, and he has been doing some really great work. Just fabulous stuff. He is somebody who I would not say, “You’re fired,” ha ha ha. Well, maybe I would — I don’t know, he is accomplishing a lot, but I flew here in a very big airplane. Very big, best pilots in the world.
The point is, big impact. Very big impact. Very very big impact.
Let me tell you something. Frederick Douglass once wrote, “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” And that’s very true, very true. Just fabulous. Huge support. Very meaningful to me, because my inauguration was, this is true, basically game over, because we said, “We will have the most people, and the best people,” and there they were, it was a line of people from the White House straight to my home, Trump Tower, in New York City. If you oppose me, go home! I think is what Frederick Douglass is trying to tell us.
Not like my home, of course, in terms of luxury. Because we have the best luxury. Huge luxury. Last night, we ate KFC—wonderful food, the most actual poultry—out of one of Nixon’s old dress shoes. Exceptional shoe. Well, let me tell you something, folks: I have some pretty great shoes too, ok?
Frederick Douglass though. Folks, what an important person. I notice the recognition — very big, very major recognition. And the media—which is fake news, ok?, I read all the papers, people—says, “The president doesn’t even know who Frederick Douglass is.” Ha! Frederick Douglass, I love what he’s doing, ok? I’ve said many times, to my fans, that, hey, this guy is getting more recognition than ever, and I respect that. And Frederick Douglass wrote, “No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.” Well, I thought that was beautiful. Just a beautiful, elegant statement. Such elegance, unbelievable. And let me tell you something, I really thought about it. Really real thoughts, so deep, ok? And then I decided, you know what?, skip the ankle. We can put the chain on their wrist, their waist, their other ankle. Great solutions, very very high leadership. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say, people are very impressed with me.
And also, Frederick Douglass said, “It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.” Folks, I think he may be talking about me. Frederick Douglass is getting recognized more and more, wanted to sing at my inauguration. Wanted to throw me a whirlwind. I mean, for crying out loud! Is that unbelievable? But let me tell you: there is so much admiration here, very great admiration. And that is mutual, because I think I may have played a role in some of the recognition Frederick Douglass is getting.
And anyhow, I promise to act surprised. We are gonna have some beautiful whirlwind.
So yes, very very very big impact, Frederick Douglass. We’re going to be tired of the impact — ha ha!, but that’s ok! We forgive you, Frederick Douglass! Folks, is he a great sport or what?
Ian Dreiblatt is the director of digital media at Melville House.