20 Sep, 2020 06:45 am

Column: America’s many episodes of division

Column: America’s many episodes of division
The day after the Republican National Convention closed, when President Donald Trump came to New Hampshire for a gathering at which most people defied safe-distancing and the wearing of masks, I heard from a man who has been out of touch with me for...

David Blight’s powerful take on American political life leading up to our Civil War in his biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, suggests the most famous African American in the 19th century struggled to decide whether the common ground on which our country might finally agree to stop treating Black people as property would be religious, moral or political.Long after the Civil War was decided — on bloody ground called, among other names, Antietam, Gettysburg and Vicksburg — historians were slow to agree that slavery was its essential cause.He was a protester then, making the case for abolishing slavery in the years before the Civil War.They had five children whose lives were shaped in part by the demands and dangers faced by their father, who protested slavery in the years leading to the Civil War and then fought racial injustice during Reconstruction.

Polls tell us many young people have lost confidence in democracy.At the same time, young people don’t have much confidence in Donald Trump, who has talked and acted as though he has nothing but contempt for democracy and is ignorant of the pandemic.

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