The Original #AntiFa: US Abolitionist John Brown

skipmaclure.files.wordpress.com_2016-05-09_08-34-51.jpgJohn Brown’s 209th Birthday: Whites against Systemic Racism – [May 9, 2009] – John Brown, the fiery white abolitionist and anti-racist was born on this day, in 1800. Virtually all historians and analysts who have dealt seriously with Brown have accented his militant actions against U.S. slavery. Yet Brown was also a man of ideas–in the long tradition of thinkers who have articulated the great ideals of freedom, justice, equality, and human rights. In the West one of the first major thinkers in this freedom-loving tradition was the English figure, John Locke, who had an influence on the thought of North America’s influential philosopher of freedom, Thomas Jefferson. Yet both Locke and Jefferson were heavilyg involved in and supportive of the anti-freedom slavery system. While white Europeans like Jean-Jacques Rousseau articulated strong critiques of slavery, before Brown no other white Americans had lent their pens, in a major way, to the effort for the destruction of slavery. Brown presented his ideas in letters, circulars, agreements, and interviews. There he often uses phrases like “struggle for liberty,” “friends of freedom,” and “lovers of liberty and human rights,” placing himself squarely in the tradition of radical theorists of democracy. Brown goes well beyond the ideas of virtually all the white thinkers of his day by extending the ideas of freedom and human rights to enslaved African Americans.

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