Criticism of Douglass

December 16, 1853

Signed by “N.B.”, here is an article titled, The Mask Entirely Removed.  The context is twelve columns in Douglass’s paper, which are in response to articles in several other  papers, including one in The Liberator.  The topic for this response is “his feelings and attitudes towards his old friends and associates in the cause of emancipation.”  Here are excerpts only.

“The history of the Anti-slavery struggle has been marked by instances of defection, alienation, apostasy, on the part of some of its most efficient supporters for a given time; but by none more signal, venomous, or extraordinary, than the present.  Mr. Douglass now stands self-unmasked, his features flushed with passion, his air scornful and defiant, his language bitter as wormwood, his pen dipped in poison; as thoroughly changed  in his spirit as was ever ‘arch-angel ruined’, and as artful and unscrupulous a schismatic as has yet appeared in the abolition ranks.” …..   “He now assumes an attitude which is eliciting the warmest encomiums from the most malignant enemies of the Anti-Slavery movement, and which is undisguisedly  hostile to his old companions in arms. No marvel, therefore, that he can speak of the ‘Garrisonians’ with as much flippancy of any of our pro-slavery contemners; or that he can aver, ‘Word-wise, these Garrisonians are my best friends — deed-wise, I have no more vigilant enemies’;  or that he is able to say of the “Refuge of Oppression’, that ‘of late, it has become the best part of Mr. Garrison’s paper, and about which nobody cares  a single straw;’ or that he cam utter the monstrous untruth, that, ‘a fierce and bitter warfare’ is waged against him, ‘under the generalship; of William Lloyd Garrison,’ with a view to destroy his anti-slavery usefulness !!”

“Jaundiced in vision, and inflamed with passion, he affects to regard us as the ‘disparager’, (!) of the colored race, and artfully endeavors to excite their jealousy and opposition by utterly perverting the meaning of our language.”………”Yet Mr. Douglass presumes upon the color of his skin to vindicate his superior fidelity to that cause, and to screen himself from criticism and rebuke! This trick cannot succed.”

The article continues with remonstrance to Douglass because he has been critical of Charles L. Remond, William C. Nell, and Oliver Johnson.  It concludes with a promise that an article from Douglass’s paper which he complains has not been included in The Liberator, will be printed in the next one.

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