Frederick Douglass Speech On Justice

Frederick Douglass, in his speech entitled What to the Slave is the 4th of July, uses rhetoric in a way that closely mirrors how Socrates would feel in respects to the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. He believes that justice is an important step to being equal, that the State is being inconsistent with its application of justice compared to what it actually believes, and that those who still participate in the American slave-trade are doing something completely unjust and not being punished for it. Socrates believed that justice was absolutely necessary for people to have equality. Frederick Douglass agrees, arguing that black men, even in the free states in the North, have no right to justice, and therefore no equality. Socrates says …show more content…
This isn’t brought up explicitly in Frederick Douglass’ speech but clearly he felt those who were involved in the American slave-trade were unjustly commit atrocities and remaining unpunished. In his dialogue with Polus, Socrates says “the infliction of death, and exile, and the deprivation of property are sometimes a good and sometimes not a good,” (Gorgias, 470d) and in those cases which are good, since “injustice, and doing what is unjust, is the greatest evil” (Gorgias, 479c) and while “paying what is due gets rid of this evil”, “if it isn’t paid, the evil is retained” (Gorgias, 479d). In writing this, Plato argues that not paying for injustice leads to the injustice staying in the soul which does not help facilitate the well-ordered soul for a well-ordered being. For Douglass’ speech, he asserts that the church leaders are “wickedly indifferent” (Douglass) to slavery, and their wicked “business is deemed honorable” by those who are not involved in the slave trade. His statements say the people who have real power in the country, the church leaders, do not care that the slave trade continues in the United States though if the same oppression happened, the church would claim injustice. The American slave-traders are getting away with the systematic oppression of the entire race and the only people that can punish them, the church leaders, are allowing it through purposed ignorance and

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