NYT Journalist to Cruz: Frederick Douglass’s Name Has ‘No Business in Your Mouth’

circa 1855: Ex-slave, American abolitionist, agent of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society and US Minister to Haiti in 1889, Frederick Douglass (Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey) (1817 - 1895). He became the first black man to be received at the White House, by President Abraham Lincoln. (Photo by Library Of Congress/Getty Images)
Library Of Congress/Getty Images

New York Times journalist and editorial board member Mara Gay took aim at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) Friday after the Texas senator set the record straight on Colin Kaepernick’s failed attempt to turn a Frederick Douglass quote into a slam on America on Independence Day.

“Frederick Douglass is an American hero, and his name has no business in your mouth,” Gay tweeted in response to Cruz’s thread, which added much-needed context to Kaepernick’s misleading quote.

On Independence Day, Kaepernick tweeted an out of context quote from the famed abolitionist. It read:

What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? This Fourth of July is yours, not mine…There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.

In fact, Douglass called the Constitution a “glorious liberty document” and expressed hope that America would right the wrongs of slavery.

“Read its preamble, consider its purposes. Is slavery among them? Is it at the gateway? or is it in the temple? it is neither,” he said in the same speech from which Kaepernick grabbed the quote.

Cruz reiterated the point in his thread.

“This speech was given in 1852, before the Civil War, when the abomination of slavery still existed,” Cruz explained. “Thanks to Douglass and so many other heroes, we ended that grotesque evil and have made enormous strides to protecting the civil rights of everybody.”

“Douglass was not anti-American; he was, rightly and passionately, anti-slavery,” he continued.

In the last tweet, the Republican lawmaker did nothing more than encourage people to read Douglass’s speech in its entirety.

Evidentally, the New York Times journalist took issue with people reading the speech and making a judgment for themselves.

Cruz issued a pointed response Friday afternoon.

“Let’s see. You’re on the editorial board of the NYT,” Cruz began.

“You respond to any view you don’t like, not with facts or reason, but w/ ad hominem attack. And you seem dismayed that I linked to Douglass’s entire speech, so readers can judge for themselves,” he continued. “You represent your employer well.”


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