The F Word: Building Highways, not Gates

Human Rights

If as is highly possible, this election will be a glass ceiling breaker. Our question from the start has been what is that going to mean for the whole house? Well, a few weeks ago, in a conversation with culture critic Jeff Chang, I quoted someone with a few things to say about that. Anna Julia Cooper. Born into slavery. Graduate of [Oblen 00:22:17] College in the Sivan in Paris. Cooper gave a lifetime of speeches. One line of one of which appears on today's U. S. passports. Check it out. She's the only woman whose words appear because the whole of that Cooper's speech is so relevant to where we are now. Here's some more of it from 1893, the congress of representative women.

"Let women's claim be as broad in the concrete as in the abstract. We take our stand on the solidarity of humanity. The oneness of life and the unnaturalness and injustice of all special favoritism. Whether of sex, race, country, or condition. If one link of the chain be broken, the chain is broken." Said Cooper. "A bridge is no stronger than it's weakest part and a cause is no worthier than it's weakest element."

She continued, "Lest of all can women's cause afford to decry the weak. We walk then as toilers of the universal triumph of justice and human rights. To go to our homes from this congress demanding an entrance. Not through a gateway for ourselves, our race, our sex, or our sect, but a grand highway for humanity."

Anna Julia Cooper continued, "The colored woman feels that woman's cause is one and universal and that not until the image of God whether in parian or in ebony is sacred and in-viable. Not until race, color, sex, and condition are seen as the accidents and not the substance of life. Not until the universal title of humanity to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is conceded to be inalienable to all. Not until then is women's lesson taught and women's cause one. Not the white woman's, nor the black woman's, nor the red woman's, but the cause of every man and of every woman who has arrived silently under a mighty wrong."

Thank you Anna Julia Cooper, Hillary Clinton, and all your crew. I hope you're listening.

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