Abolitionist ramblings

My Frederick Douglass lecture today turned into a long discussion of:

a) what is Snopes.com and when to use it (spinning off of people not being sure Douglass actually wrote his own narrative originally)

b) where we see people using persuasive tactics in contemporary writing (discussed anti-vaccine rhetoric and stories, Autism Speaks and the problems with their approach, photoshopping and fake videos, etc.)

c) “Nothing about us without us” — the social justice mantra that says it’s critical to include the people directly affected, and that ideally, any movement for change should come from the ground up — discussing in the context of white abolitionists like Garrison, who meant well, and who even did some good, but whom Douglass ended up breaking with over practicalities, methodology, etc.

I think it was all sufficiently coherent and relevant, but if not, I blame the cold. There was a point when I was talking about parents who have their kids kidnapped and sent to re-training camps, and I had to have my students help me figure out how I’d gotten there from the previous topic….

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