Speech delivered by Ryan Bomberger in Lincoln Park, DC on Tuesday, July 14th at the Center for Urban Renewal and Education’s (CURE) “Emancipation Celebration Rally” to defend the Emancipation Memorial.
Thank you Star Parker and CURE for making this rally possible. I actually can’t believe I’m standing in the very same place that my childhood hero—Frederick Douglass—once stood to praise this very memorial. Like Douglass, I have a passion for words. Words can change everything. God spoke the world and Life into existence…with words. Now that’s revolutionary. Like Douglass, I too am “biracial” with black and white biological parents. Like Douglass, I too was conceived in rape. I was adopted and loved by two amazing parents—who happen to be white. My mom is the one who taught me about Frederick Douglass, Benjamin Banneker, Harriet Tubman and George Washington Carver. An avid reader herself, she provided me books about these and many more victors because she understood I wasn’t a victim. Like Douglass, I was humanly unplanned. But the circumstances of our conception don’t change the condition of our worth. And the condition of our beautiful pigmentation doesn’t change the circumstances of our equality.
We are all created equal. Black. White. And every hue in between. Douglass understood this so deeply. That’s why the tagline of his The North Star newspaper declared: “Right is of no sex, truth is of no color, God is the Father of us all, we are all brethren.” Amen!
Apparently, it’s now racist to say “we’re one human race.” Well, call me a “racist” I guess. The word seems to have no meaning these days. When we separate ourselves into different categories by color, it doesn’t end well. The social construct of race has never elevated humanity. I almost want to even reject the vernacular that still affirms “race”…so I’ll call it skinism. It’s this very sin—in the form of slavery–that is being called out in this profound memorial. In Boston, they decided to purge history and remove a replica of this statue. The tearing down of statues is about so much more, though, than objects that cause “offense” to the Left. It’s about suppressing and controlling speech, whether historical or present. Ironically, Frederick Douglass spoke in Boston in 1860 about the crucial nature of free speech, saying: “Equally clear is the right to hear. To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker. It is just as criminal to rob a man of his right to speak and hear as it would be to rob him of his money.”
He went on to say: “Slavery cannot tolerate free speech.” Amen! Neither can “progressivism.” Neither can LGBTQ activism. Neither can pro-abortion feminism. Neither can a Marxist Black Lives Matter movement.
Instead of tearing down statues, our culture needs to build up Biblical statutes—like loving one another, forgiving one-another, and understanding that from One blood God created us all.
Unlike multi-million dollar athletes who tout their complete ignorance of the past while flouting their fake oppression in the present, Frederick Douglass knew racism in a deeply personal way. LeBron James can keep pretending that he’s a slave on the NBA plantation…sign me up for that work detail! Colin Kaepernick wants to pretend it’s still 1852 and abuses the unifying legacy of America’s most prominent abolitionist. Douglass was actually enslaved, actually shackled by real systemic racism that once defined the very DNA of this country.
Yet, he refused to dwell in anger and unforgiveness. Douglass said these words on the day he dedicated this Freedmen’s Memorial: “I refer to the past not in malice, for this is no day for malice; but simply to place more distinctly in front the gratifying and glorious change which has come both to our white fellow-citizens and ourselves.”
This country was transformed by people—black and white—who believed that we’re all created equal. This Emancipation Memorial should be a reminder to never see any group of humans as non-persons—born or unborn—and that American history is best relayed by reality, not revised by mob mentality.
Here in America, we still desperately need emancipation from ideological slavery. Too many are so “woke” yet so blind.
But Truth opens blind eyes. Douglass was fearless in speaking it. He understood that courage doesn’t need a crowd, just relentless conviction. Today we stand in solidarity against chaos and anarchy and those who try to tear down truth under the guise of racial justice. There IS no justice without truth. I will fight for both. We will fight for both. May God emancipate the soul of this nation.
Ryan Bomberger is the Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of The Radiance Foundation. He is happily married to his best friend, Bethany, who is the Executive Director of Radiance. They are adoptive parents with four awesome kiddos. Ryan is an Emmy Award-winning creative professional, factivist, international public speaker and author of NOT EQUAL: CIVIL RIGHTS GONE WRONG. He loves illuminating that every human life has purpose.
The views expressed in opinion articles are solely those of the author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by Black Community News.