Unveiling of Frederick Douglass Statue Highlights DC's Continuing Fight for EqualityPosted under Washington DC Concierge
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 19, 2013
Unveiling of Frederick Douglass Statue Highlights DC's Continuing Fight for Equality
Douglass' Demand For Vote in Congress for DC Still Unanswered
The addition of the Frederick Douglass statue to the U.S. Capitol collection is a great moment for the people of the District of Columbia. Douglass is not only a great leader of the struggle for equal rights for all people, but a great American. It is appropriate that his legacy, and the role of Americans who live in the District of Columbia, will be on display for the entire nation to see.
Representation for the District of Columbia among the 50 states in the form of a statue depicting one of our great leaders is long overdue. And, unfortunately, so is one of Frederick Douglass' hopes for his nation: that Americans living in the District of Columbia would have equal voting representation in the United States Congress.
When Douglass began fighting against slavery, full equality for African Americans seemed like a distant dream, despite what today we would clearly view as a deplorable and degrading institution. When he fought for the rights of women to vote and to fully participate in American life -- something that we take for granted today – the power structure of Douglass' day considered the notion of equality for women a fantasy. But one of his lesser known struggles – the fight to bring full citizenship to people of the District of Columbia – has somehow remained out of reach. Yet, most Americans believe it just makes sense for Americans living in DC to have the same rights as everyone else, including a vote in Congress.
"A statue of Frederick Douglass is an appropriate symbol for the 632,000 residents of the District of Columbia," said DC Vote Executive Director Kimberly Perry. "Douglass is well known as an international icon of freedom and equality. His actions helped to change America for the better. However, his demand for self-government and full voting representation in Congress for the people of the District of Columbia has never been fulfilled . Our failure to address this injustice continues to stain the fabric of our American democracy."