5k in September, VaCay, Friends, Less Hair

I ran in a few road races at the beginning of the summer and while I enjoyed them, I also knew that I would enjoy them more if I was in shape and actually competing with other runners. I actually wrote a whole post about it: https://schlegelsbagels.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/road-races-better-more-fun-when-in-shape/

So, I’ve been on a race hiatus and recently decided to sign up for one on September 16th in Philadelphia. The race is called Rock’N’Roll Half Marathon in Philadelphia. Contrary to the race title, I am not a running a half-marathon yet-I need to allow myself a lot more time to get in good shape to run that. I will be running the 5k. As I’ve noted, my 5k PR came this past spring on the track in 17:10. I have not run many 5k’s in my life and I have 2 months to train for this race. I would love to go for a PR, but I’m not sure because of some different circumstances if I will be able to train enough to do that. We go on vacation for 2 weeks starting this week and once we get back my position with City Year starts up right away. Once this starts, I will be taking the train into Philly early and probably not getting home until at least after 6:00 so I will need a lot of will power to get out and train well each day. The race will also be on the roads, which is slower than racing on the track.

However, I am really excited. I’ve never run in a big city race and I’m sure having lots of people cheering will help. Considering those circumstances, I’ve decided a good goal is sub-18 minutes. This goal requires me to put in miles and other preparation. Throughout college, I never really had high mileage at all. Little injuries combined with the fact I was usually training for the mile/800 meant I was conservative with how many miles I put in. My guess is I usually ran around 25-30 miles a week and my high was around 40.

Considering that, part of my training goal is to have 3 weeks of 35-40 mile weeks before the race. Intertwined in these weeks will be some workouts specific to a 5k.

The big thing will be staying healthy. If I’m healthy and able to run I will be happy. I don’t plan on being hard on myself if I don’t reach this goal, but I figure it will be a good motivator as well.

Image result for rocky

This Wednesday I’m leaving with my family to go to Ireland and England! My Mom’s cousin is getting married this Saturday in Wexford, Ireland, where my Grandma grew up. We will then go to England to stay with my Grandma and to spend time with my Mom’s side of the family. I always really enjoy going to England because this is the only time I get to see my family across the Atlantic.

This past weekend I got to spend time with good friends. My friend Jonah moved into an apartment in Philly and he had a little move-in party. Veronica also came. Recently she said that she wanted to go clubbing-lolz-and we basically did. We went from Jonah’s new apartment as a big crew to a bar nearby that had a big dance floor. ‘Twas a lot of fun. Then the next night Veronica and I were at Nolan’s house with Jamie and Vince. Once again, we had a really nice time.

And yesterday I shaved my beard and got a haircut! I definitely look a little different. I thought about keeping the mustache but ultimately decided against it. Here’s a look at the transformation.


Factory Farms and Plant-Based or Animal Based Diets- Which is Really Healthier for You?

Throughout college I was a self-claimed part-time vegetarian. Basically, I went through phases of eating meat and not eating meat. Currently, I am a pescetarian-meaning I eat fish but not land animals. Is this going to be a phase? Probably. Why just fish and not land animals? That’s hard for me to answer. The reasons I like to tell people for why I don’t eat meat are mostly ethical.

Do I like the taste of meat? Yes. However, I’m aware-as are most people in this country-that there are problems with how meat is produced in the US. Most people just don’t know what those problems are and it is easy to dismiss the thought and deem it unimportant. Mainly, the problems reside around how animals are treated. Look up factory farms and you will find some scary information. Many of us like to envision the nice farm environment where farmers have great relationships with their pets and the animal deaths are “humane,” but this is far from the truth for most of the meat produced. Animals are kept in large quantities in terrible conditions a lot of the time.

Another issue that I try to grapple with is whether there really is a humane way to kill an animal? Many would respond that as long as the death is quick and the animal feels no pain it is fine. However, for me I struggle thinking that another living being’s death should be taken lightly. Many of the main sources of meat: cows, chicken, pigs, fish, are really intelligent animals. Their cognitive abilities are rather impressive. And they do suffer and feel pain very similarly to how we do. I find it hard to confront truths about animals and to think about whether I am really okay with eating what is/was another living being? I’m not trying to argue here that other people should feel bad about eating meat, as you read I do so myself at times-I’m more sharing some of my own thoughts on the matter and wondering out loud. My main focus is how meat is produced.

To learn more on the subject of how meat is produced there are many documentaries you could look up, or reading a book can help a lot. At the moment, I am reading a book called Eating Animals by Jonathan Saffran Foer that I am really enjoying. This book is incredibly informative. When you look into the subject, how meat is produced in factory farms (99% of meat in the US comes from these) really seems to be morally reprehensible a lot of the time.

Onto the subject of how we eat. There seems to be a prevailing belief that you need to eat animal products in order to be truly healthy. Animals contain certain vitamins (such as B12) that you cannot really find elsewhere unless you take a supplement. At least, that’s what I’ve come to learn. Watch this guys’ talk below:


This guy seems to argue that eating any animal products is ultimately unhealthy for you. This goes directly against what many of us are told. Is it possible he is right? I’m really not sure. It seems to help in the short term health-wise eating a vegan diet, but how about long-term? Most people argue for eating meat because of the protein. He immediately tries to debunk this by saying that most of don’t even know the scientific term for protein deficiency because most people don’t seem to ever have this.

What really gets to me is when he argues that eggs, yogurt, and other non-meat animals products are unhealthy. These are some of my faves and other people insist these are healthy for you. He is very adamant that cholesterol, animal protein, and most fats are terrible for you.

For now, I will still eat non-meat animal products, fish, and lots of veggies/fruits to go with it. I’m interested to learn more, though. And I would love to hear other’s thoughts on this!

“Dining Under the Stars” in Media: Definitely Worth Going to

Every Wednesday night during the summer months all the restaurants in the lovely and quaint location of Media, PA, take part in what’s called “Dining Under the Stars.” The streets are closed off from drivers and every restaurant places tables and chairs right outside their location. I have gone multiple times with my family, friends, Veronica, and highly suggest going if you live relatively close or find yourself in the area. \

Whether going for a romantic night out, looking for some drinks and food with friends, or trying to have a nice family meal, Media offers all of that. I find it to be a lot of fun to walk around after eating to take in the atmosphere and all of the other cool activities they have going on, such as music, cornhole, and other interactive games.

Here is a copy to the link of participating restaurants:


Some of my favorites include:

Iron Hill Brewery 

Dos Gringos Mexican Kitchen 

Brick and Brew

Shere-e-Punjab (Indian)

Yia It’s All Greek To Me


Image result for media dining under the stars

Being Busy

There seems to be an underlying belief in our culture that it is always good to be busy. This idea seems to be strongly related to working. America has a culture and reputation elsewhere of working long hours with short vacation time for many people. In contrast, many countries in Europe require by law that workers be given a certain amount of vacation with a much longer duration. Check out Michael Moore’s documentary “Where to Invade Next” to get an idea of what work culture is like elsewhere, among other notable differences in other countries:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4897822/

In many circumstances hard work is valuable and important, obviously. However, the point I am trying to make is that overworking simply for the sake of doing work is not necessary. Instead, as more and more athletes and other countries recognize, taking adequate amounts of rest benefits a person in many ways and leads to more productive work. If you over-train in running without taking enough rest then your body will eventually burn out and you will probably never run at your peak. As many people have heard before, those who do too much work at their jobs tend to be over-stressed and not as productive. I know these are all generalizations and there are easy come-back arguments for each point, but if one travels to Europe for vacation one will notice a much more relaxed atmosphere in general. I think the brain can only be productive for a certain amount of time, and considering the incredible mind-body connection we all have, the two go hand in hand. When one trains too much, one tends to get injured. When one works too much and feels stressed out, one tends to get sick. The macho-man approach of “I don’t need sleep” has been proven wrong unless you have a genetic mutation where you can function well (without lots of caffeine) on 4-5 hours or something below the average of at least 7 hours.

Another point related to being busy is what are we being busy with? I like the quote below alluding to the ants being busy as well. While ants do work together as a cohesive community, a lot of the time they are just going around doing the same old thing. If someone is being busy just for the sake of being busy, even though they may not see it that way, there is a good chance they are distracting themselves so they don’t have to spend time alone or do something they don’t want to do. Or, they are preventing themselves from being busy with something more important and may not realize it, such as spending time with your family, or if you have kids, then your children. I distract myself a lot. I know what it is like to keep myself busy with extra schoolwork or going out shopping for things/ doing work just for the sake of doing it. Whatever job I end up pursuing in the future will be one that keeps me busy with purpose (hopefully). That purpose can mean something a lot different to me than someone else. However, I think I will really struggle if I try to work in a job that is extremely repetitive and one where I feel I am not helping others. What are you busy with?





Hairy Look?

This is the longest my hair and beard have ever been. Sort of got the man bun done? Would love to hear thoughts on the look.



And a couple weekends ago I went to visit Jamie’s house for the first time in Jersey! I picked up Joe on the way and we had a really good time. Had the picture on my phone as well next to the man bun pic so I thought it would be fun to put up to look back on one day.


“The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” by Frederick Douglass

I read this speech in my “Captive Voices” English class in which we mostly read slave narratives. Frederick Douglass’s story particularly moved me and this speech below he makes after he escapes slavery helps show his intellect.

The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro

by Frederick Douglass


A speech given at Rochester, New York, July 5, 1852

Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens:

He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my ability, than I do this day. A feeling has crept over me quite unfavorable to the exercise of my limited powers of speech. The task before me is one which requires much previous thought and study for its proper performance. I know that apologies of this sort are generally considered flat and unmeaning. I trust, however, that mine will not be so considered. Should I seem at ease, my appearance would much misrepresent me. The little experience I have had in addressing public meetings, in country school houses, avails me nothing on the present occasion.

The papers and placards say that I am to deliver a Fourth of July Oration. This certainly sounds large, and out of the common way, for me. It is true that I have often had the privilege to speak in this beautiful Hall, and to address many who now honor me with their presence. But neither their familiar faces, nor the perfect gage I think I have of Corinthian Hall seems to free me from embarrassment.

The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, the distance between this platform and the slave plantation, from which I escaped, is considerable-and the difficulties to he overcome in getting from the latter to the former are by no means slight. That I am here to-day is, to me, a matter of astonishment as well as of gratitude. You will not, therefore, be surprised, if in what I have to say I evince no elaborate preparation, nor grace my speech with any high sounding exordium. With little experience and with less learning, I have been able to throw my thoughts hastily and imperfectly together; and trusting to your patient and generous indulgence I will proceed to lay them before you.

This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the Fourth of July. It is the birth day of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. This, to you, as what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day. This celebration also marks the beginning of another year of your national life; and reminds you that the Republic of America is now 76 years old. l am glad, fellow-citizens, that your nation is so young. Seventy-six years, though a good old age for a man, is but a mere speck in the life of a nation. Three score years and ten is the allotted time for individual men; but nations number their years by thousands. According to this fact, you are, even now, only in the beginning of your national career, still lingering in the period of childhood. I repeat, I am glad this is so. There is hope in the thought, and hope is much needed, under the dark clouds which lower above the horizon. The eye of the reformer is met with angry flashes, portending disastrous times; but his heart may well beat lighter at the thought that America is young, and that she is still in the impressible stage of her existence. May he not hope that high lessons of wisdom, of justice and of truth, will yet give direction to her destiny? Were the nation older, the patriot’s heart might be sadder, and the reformer’s brow heavier. Its future might be shrouded in gloom, and the hope of its prophets go out in sorrow. There is consolation in the thought that America is young.-Great streams are not easily turned from channels, worn deep in the course of ages. They may sometimes rise in quiet and stately majesty, and inundate the land, refreshing and fertilizing the earth with their mysterious properties. They may also rise in wrath and fury, and bear away, on their angry waves, the accumulated wealth of years of toil and hardship. They, however, gradually flow back to the same old channel, and flow on as serenely as ever. But, while the river may not be turned aside, it may dry up, and leave nothing behind but the withered branch, and the unsightly rock, to howl in the abyss-sweeping wind, the sad tale of departed glory. As with rivers so with nations.

Fellow-citizens, I shall not presume to dwell at length on the associations that cluster about this day. The simple story of it is, that, 76 years ago, the people of this country were British subjects. The style and title of your “sovereign people” (in which you now glory) was not then born. You were under the British Crown. Your fathers esteemed the English Government as the home government; and England as the fatherland. This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home, did, in the exercise of its parental prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper.

But your fathers, who had not adopted the fashionable idea of this day, of the infallibility of government, and the absolute character of its acts, presumed to differ from the home government in respect to the wisdom and the justice of some of those burdens and restraints. They went so far in their excitement as to pronounce the measures of government unjust, unreasonable, and oppressive, and altogether such as ought not to be quietly submitted to. I scarcely need say, fellow-citizens, that my opinion of those measures fully accords with that of your fathers. Such a declaration of agreement on my part would not be worth much to anybody. It would certainly prove nothing as to what part I might have taken had I lived during the great controversy of 1776. To say now that America was right, and England wrong, is exceedingly easy. Everybody can say it; the dastard, not less than the noble brave, can flippantly discant on the tyranny of England towards the American Colonies. It is fashionable to do so; but there was a time when, to pronounce against England, and in favor of the cause of the colonies, tried men’s souls. They who did so were accounted in their day plotters of mischief, agitators and rebels, dangerous men. To side with the right against the wrong, with the weak against the strong, and with the oppressed against the oppressor! here lies the merit, and the one which, of all others, seems unfashionable in our day. The cause of liberty may be stabbed by the men who glory in the deeds of your fathers. But, to proceed.

Feeling themselves harshly and unjustly treated, by the home government, your fathers, like men of honesty, and men of spirit, earnestly sought redress. They petitioned and remonstrated; they did so in a decorous, respectful, and loyal manner. Their conduct was wholly unexceptionable. This, however, did not answer the purpose. They saw themselves treated with sovereign indifference, coldness and scorn. Yet they persevered. They were not the men to look back.

As the sheet anchor takes a firmer hold, when the ship is tossed by the storm, so did the cause of your fathers grow stronger as it breasted the chilling blasts of kingly displeasure. The greatest and best of British statesmen admitted its justice, and the loftiest eloquence of the British Senate came to its support. But, with that blindness which seems to be the unvarying characteristic of tyrants, since Pharaoh and his hosts were drowned in the Red Sea, the British Government persisted in the exactions complained of.

The madness of this course, we believe, is admitted now, even by England; but we fear the lesson is wholly lost on our present rulers.

Oppression makes a wise man mad. Your fathers were wise men, and if they did not go mad, they became restive under this treatment. They felt themselves the victims of grievous wrongs, wholly incurable in their colonial capacity. With brave men there is always a remedy for oppression. Just here, the idea of a total separation of the colonies from the crown was born! It was a startling idea, much more so than we, at this distance of time, regard it. The timid and the prudent (as has been intimated) of that day were, of course, shocked and alarmed by it.

Such people lived then, had lived before, and will, probably, ever have a place on this planet; and their course, in respect to any great change (no matter how great the good to be attained, or the wrong to be redressed by it), may be calculated with as much precision as can be the course of the stars. They hate all changes, but silver, gold and copper change! Of this sort of change they are always strongly in favor.

These people were called Tories in the days of your fathers; and the appellation, probably, conveyed the same idea that is meant by a more modern, though a somewhat less euphonious term, which we often find in our papers, applied to some of our old politicians.

Their opposition to the then dangerous thought was earnest and powerful; but, amid all their terror and affrighted vociferations against it, the alarming and revolutionary idea moved on, and the country with it.

On the 2nd of July, 1776, the old Continental Congress, to the dismay of the lovers of ease, and the worshipers of property, clothed that dreadful idea with all the authority of national sanction. They did so in the form of a resolution; and as we seldom hit upon resolutions, drawn up in our day, whose transparency is at all equal to this, it may refresh your minds and help my story if I read it.

“Resolved, That these united colonies are, and of right, ought to be free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown; and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, dissolved.”

Citizens, your fathers made good that resolution. They succeeded; and to-day you reap the fruits of their success. The freedom gained is yours; and you, there fore, may properly celebrate this anniversary. The 4th of July is the first great fact in your nation’s history-the very ringbolt in the chain of your yet undeveloped destiny.

Pride and patriotism, not less than gratitude, prompt you to celebrate and to hold it in perpetual remembrance. I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ringbolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.

From the round top of your ship of state, dark and threatening clouds may be seen. Heavy billows, like mountains in the distance, disclose to the leeward huge forms of flinty rocks! That bolt drawn, that chain broken, and all is lost. Cling to this day-cling to it, and to its principles, with the grasp of a storm-tossed mariner to a spar at midnight.

The coming into being of a nation, in any circumstances, is an interesting event. But, besides general considerations, there were peculiar circumstances which make the advent of this republic an event of special attractiveness. The whole scene, as I look back to it, was simple, dignified and sublime. The population of the country, at the time, stood at the insignificant number of three millions. The country was poor in the munitions of war. The population was weak and scattered, and the country a wilderness unsubdued. There were then no means of concert and combination, such as exist now. Neither steam nor lightning had then been reduced to order and discipline. From the Potomac to the Delaware was a journey of many days. Under these, and innumerable other disadvantages, your fathers declared for liberty and independence and triumphed.

Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men, too-great enough to give frame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. The point from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favorable; and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration. They were statesmen, patriots and heroes, and for the good they did, and the principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honor their memory.

They loved their country better than their own private interests; and, though this is not the highest form of human excellence, all will concede that it is a rare virtue, and that when it is exhibited it ought to command respect. He who will, intelligently, lay down his life for his country is a man whom it is not in human nature to despise. Your fathers staked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, on the cause of their country. In their admiration of liberty, they lost sight of all other interests.

They were peace men; but they preferred revolution to peaceful submission to bondage. They were quiet men; but they did not shrink from agitating against oppression. They showed forbearance; but that they knew its limits. They believed in order; but not in the order of tyranny. With them, nothing was “settIed” that was not right. With them, justice, liberty and humanity were “final”; not slavery and oppression. You may well cherish the memory of such men. They were great in their day and generation. Their solid manhood stands out the more as we contrast it with these degenerate times.

How circumspect, exact and proportionate were all their movements! How unlike the politicians of an hour! Their statesmanship looked beyond the passing moment, and stretched away in strength into the distant future. They seized upon eternal principles, and set a glorious example in their defence. Mark them! Fully appreciating the hardships to be encountered, firmly believing in the right of their cause, honorably inviting the scrutiny of an on-looking world, reverently appealing to heaven to attest their sincerity, soundly comprehending the solemn responsibility they were about to assume, wisely measuring the terrible odds against them, your fathers, the fathers of this republic, did, most deliberately, under the inspiration of a glorious patriotism, and with a sublime faith in the great principles of justice and freedom, lay deep, the corner-stone of the national super-structure, which has risen and still rises in grandeur around you.

Of this fundamental work, this day is the anniversary. Our eyes are met with demonstrations of joyous enthusiasm. Banners and pennants wave exultingly on the breeze. The din of business, too, is hushed. Even mammon seems to have quitted his grasp on this day. The ear-piercing fife and the stirring drum unite their accents with the ascending peal of a thousand church bells. Prayers are made, hymns are sung, and sermons are preached in honor of this day; while the quick martial tramp of a great and multitudinous nation, echoed back by all the hills, valleys and mountains of a vast continent, bespeak the occasion one of thrilling and universal interest-nation’s jubilee.

Friends and citizens, I need not enter further into the causes which led to this anniversary. Many of you understand them better than I do. You could instruct me in regard to them. That is a branch of knowledge in which you feel, perhaps, a much deeper interest than your speaker. The causes which led to the separation of the colonies from the British crown have never lacked for a tongue. They have all been taught in your common schools, narrated at your firesides, un folded from your pulpits, and thundered from your legislative halls, and are as familiar to you as household words. They form the staple of your national po etry and eloquence.

I remember, also, that, as a people, Americans are remarkably familiar with all facts which make in their own favor. This is esteemed by some as a national trait-perhaps a national weakness. It is a fact, that whatever makes for the wealth or for the reputation of Americans and can be had cheap! will be found by Americans. I shall not be charged with slandering Americans if I say I think the American side of any question may be safely left in American hands.

I leave, therefore, the great deeds of your fathers to other gentlemen whose claim to have been regularly descended will be less likely to be disputed than mine!

My business, if I have any here to-day, is with the present. The accepted time with God and His cause is the ever-living now.

Trust no future, however pleasant,
Let the dead past bury its dead;
Act, act in the living present,
Heart within, and God overhead.

We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and to the future. To all inspiring motives, to noble deeds which can be gained from the past, we are welcome. But now is the time, the important time. Your fathers have lived, died, and have done their work, and have done much of it well. You live and must die, and you must do your work. You have no right to enjoy a child’s share in the labor of your fathers, unless your children are to be blest by your labors. You have no right to wear out and waste the hard-earned fame of your fathers to cover your indolence. Sydney Smith tells us that men seldom eulogize the wisdom and virtues of their fathers, but to excuse some folly or wickedness of their own. This truth is not a doubtful one. There are illustrations of it near and remote, ancient and modern. It was fashionable, hundreds of years ago, for the children of Jacob to boast, we have “Abraham to our father,” when they had long lost Abraham’s faith and spirit. That people contented themselves under the shadow of Abraham’s great name, while they repudiated the deeds which made his name great. Need I remind you that a similar thing is being done all over this country to-day? Need I tell you that the Jews are not the only people who built the tombs of the prophets, and garnished the sepulchers of the righteous? Washington could not die till he had broken the chains of his slaves. Yet his monument is built up by the price of human blood, and the traders in the bodies and souls of men shout-“We have Washington to our father.”-Alas! that it should be so; yet it is.

The evil, that men do, lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones.

Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions! Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold, that a nation’s sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish, that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation’s jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the “lame man leap as an hart.”

But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common.-The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fa thers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrevocable ruin! I can to-day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people!

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea! we wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.”

Fellow-citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, “may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!” To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then, fellow-citizens, is American slavery. I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave’s point of view. Standing there identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July! Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery-the great sin and shame of America! “I will not equivocate; I will not excuse”; I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and just.

But I fancy I hear some one of my audience say, “It is just in this circumstance that you and your brother abolitionists fail to make a favorable impression on the public mind. Would you argue more, and denounce less; would you persuade more, and rebuke less; your cause would be much more likely to succeed.” But, I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light? Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slaveholders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They ac knowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia which, if committed by a black man (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of the same crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment. What is this but the acknowledgment that the slave is a moral, intellectual, and responsible being? The manhood of the slave is conceded. It is admitted in the fact that Southern statute books are covered with enactments forbidding, under severe fines and penalties, the teaching of the slave to read or to write. When you can point to any such laws in reference to the beasts of the field, then I may con sent to argue the manhood of the slave. When the dogs in your streets, when the fowls of the air, when the cattle on your hills, when the fish of the sea, and the reptiles that crawl, shall be unable to distinguish the slave from a brute, then will I argue with you that the slave is a man!

For the present, it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Is it not astonishing that, while we are ploughing, planting, and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses, constructing bridges, building ships, working in metals of brass, iron, copper, silver and gold; that, while we are reading, writing and ciphering, acting as clerks, merchants and secretaries, having among us lawyers, doctors, ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators and teachers; that, while we are engaged in all manner of enterprises common to other men, digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific, feeding sheep and cattle on the hill-side, living, moving, acting, thinking, planning, living in families as husbands, wives and children, and, above all, confessing and worshipping the Christian’s God, and looking hopefully for life and immortality beyond the grave, we are called upon to prove that we are men!

Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Americans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom? speaking of it relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively. To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding.-There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.

What, am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters? Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood, and stained with pollution, is wrong? No! I will not. I have better employment for my time and strength than such arguments would imply.

What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman, cannot be divine! Who can reason on such a proposition? They that can, may; I cannot. The time for such argument is passed.

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.

Take the American slave-trade, which we are told by the papers, is especially prosperous just now. Ex-Senator Benton tells us that the price of men was never higher than now. He mentions the fact to show that slavery is in no danger. This trade is one of the peculiarities of American institutions. It is carried on in all the large towns and cities in one-half of this confederacy; and millions are pocketed every year by dealers in this horrid traffic. In several states this trade is a chief source of wealth. It is called (in contradistinction to the foreign slave-trade) “the internal slave-trade.” It is, probably, called so, too, in order to divert from it the horror with which the foreign slave-trade is contemplated. That trade has long since been denounced by this government as piracy. It has been denounced with burning words from the high places of the nation as an execrable traffic. To arrest it, to put an end to it, this nation keeps a squadron, at immense cost, on the coast of Africa. Everywhere, in this country, it is safe to speak of this foreign slave-trade as a most inhuman traffic, opposed alike to the Jaws of God and of man. The duty to extirpate and destroy it, is admitted even by our doctors of divinity. In order to put an end to it, some of these last have consented that their colored brethren (nominally free) should leave this country, and establish them selves on the western coast of Africa! It is, however, a notable fact that, while so much execration is poured out by Americans upon all those engaged in the foreign slave-trade, the men engaged in the slave-trade between the states pass with out condemnation, and their business is deemed honorable.

Behold the practical operation of this internal slave-trade, the American slave-trade, sustained by American politics and American religion. Here you will see men and women reared like swine for the market. You know what is a swine-drover? I will show you a man-drover. They inhabit all our Southern States. They perambulate the country, and crowd the highways of the nation, with droves of human stock. You will see one of these human flesh jobbers, armed with pistol, whip, and bowie-knife, driving a company of a hundred men, women, and children, from the Potomac to the slave market at New Orleans. These wretched people are to be sold singly, or in lots, to suit purchasers. They are food for the cotton-field and the deadly sugar-mill. Mark the sad procession, as it moves wearily along, and the inhuman wretch who drives them. Hear his savage yells and his blood-curdling oaths, as he hurries on his affrighted captives! There, see the old man with locks thinned and gray. Cast one glance, if you please, upon that young mother, whose shoulders are bare to the scorching sun, her briny tears falling on the brow of the babe in her arms. See, too, that girl of thirteen, weeping, yes! weeping, as she thinks of the mother from whom she has been torn! The drove moves tardily. Heat and sorrow have nearly consumed their strength; suddenly you hear a quick snap, like the discharge of a rifle; the fetters clank, and the chain rattles simultaneously; your ears are saluted with a scream, that seems to have torn its way to the centre of your soul The crack you heard was the sound of the slave-whip; the scream you heard was from the woman you saw with the babe. Her speed had faltered under the weight of her child and her chains! that gash on her shoulder tells her to move on. Follow this drove to New Orleans. Attend the auction; see men examined like horses; see the forms of women rudely and brutally exposed to the shock ing gaze of American slave-buyers. See this drove sold and separated forever; and never forget the deep, sad sobs that arose from that scattered multitude. Tell me, citizens, where, under the sun, you can witness a spectacle more fiendish and shocking. Yet this is but a glance at the American slave-trade, as it exists, at this moment, in the ruling part of the United States.

I was born amid such sights and scenes. To me the American slave-trade is a terrible reality. When a child, my soul was often pierced with a sense of its horrors. I lived on Philpot Street, Fell’s Point, Baltimore, and have watched from the wharves the slave ships in the Basin, anchored from the shore, with their cargoes of human flesh, waiting for favorable winds to waft them down the Chesapeake. There was, at that time, a grand slave mart kept at the head of Pratt Street, by Austin Woldfolk. His agents were sent into every town and county in Maryland, announcing their arrival, through the papers, and on flaming “hand-bills,” headed cash for Negroes. These men were generally well dressed men, and very captivating in their manners; ever ready to drink, to treat, and to gamble. The fate of many a slave has depended upon the turn of a single card; and many a child has been snatched from the arms of its mother by bargains arranged in a state of brutal drunkenness.

The flesh-mongers gather up their victims by dozens, and drive them, chained, to the general depot at Baltimore. When a sufficient number has been collected here, a ship is chartered for the purpose of conveying the forlorn crew to Mobile, or to New Orleans. From the slave prison to the ship, they are usually driven in the darkness of night; for since the antislavery agitation, a certain caution is observed.

In the deep, still darkness of midnight, I have been often aroused by the dead, heavy footsteps, and the piteous cries of the chained gangs that passed our door. The anguish of my boyish heart was intense; and I was often consoled, when speaking to my mistress in the morning, to hear her say that the custom was very wicked; that she hated to hear the rattle of the chains and the heart-rending cries. I was glad to find one who sympathized with me in my horror.

Fellow-citizens, this murderous traffic is, to-day, in active operation in this boasted republic. In the solitude of my spirit I see clouds of dust raised on the highways of the South; I see the bleeding footsteps; I hear the doleful wail of fettered humanity on the way to the slave-markets, where the victims are to be sold like horses, sheep, and swine, knocked off to the highest bidder. There I see the tenderest ties ruthlessly broken, to gratify the lust, caprice and rapacity of the buyers and sellers of men. My soul sickens at the sight.

Is this the land your Fathers loved,
The freedom which they toiled to win?
Is this the earth whereon they moved?
Are these the graves they slumber in?

But a still more inhuman, disgraceful, and scandalous state of things remains to be presented. By an act of the American Congress, not yet two years old, slavery has been nationalized in its most horrible and revolting form. By that act, Mason and Dixon’s line has been obliterated; New York has become as Virginia; and the power to hold, hunt, and sell men, women and children, as slaves, remains no longer a mere state institution, but is now an institution of the whole United States. The power is co-extensive with the star-spangled banner, and American Christianity. Where these go, may also go the merciless slave-hunter. Where these are, man is not sacred. He is a bird for the sportsman’s gun. By that most foul and fiendish of all human decrees, the liberty and person of every man are put in peril. Your broad republican domain is hunting ground for men. Not for thieves and robbers, enemies of society, merely, but for men guilty of no crime. Your law-makers have commanded all good citizens to engage in this hellish sport. Your President, your Secretary of State, your lords, nobles, and ecclesiastics enforce, as a duty you owe to your free and glorious country, and to your God, that you do this accursed thing. Not fewer than forty Americans have, within the past two years, been hunted down and, without a moment’s warning, hurried away in chains, and consigned to slavery and excruciating torture. Some of these have had wives and children, dependent on them for bread; but of this, no account was made. The right of the hunter to his prey stands superior to the right of marriage, and to all rights in this republic, the rights of God included! For black men there is neither law nor justice, humanity nor religion. The Fugitive Slave Law makes mercy to them a crime; and bribes the judge who tries them. An American judge gets ten dollars for every victim he consigns to slavery, and five, when he fails to do so. The oath of any two villains is sufficient, under this hell-black enactment, to send the most pious and exemplary black man into the remorseless jaws of slavery! His own testimony is nothing. He can bring no witnesses for himself. The minister of American justice is bound by the law to hear but one side; and that side is the side of the oppressor. Let this damning fact be perpetually told. Let it be thundered around the world that in tyrant-killing, king-hating, people-loving, democratic, Christian America the seats of justice are filled with judges who hold their offices under an open and palpable bribe, and are bound, in deciding the case of a man’s liberty, to hear only his accusers!

In glaring violation of justice, in shameless disregard of the forms of administering law, in cunning arrangement to entrap the defenceless, and in diabolical intent this Fugitive Slave Law stands alone in the annals of tyrannical legislation. I doubt if there be another nation on the globe having the brass and the baseness to put such a law on the statute-book. If any man in this assembly thinks differently from me in this matter, and feels able to disprove my statements, I will gladly confront him at any suitable time and place he may select.

I take this law to be one of the grossest infringements of Christian Liberty, and, if the churches and ministers of our country were nor stupidly blind, or most wickedly indifferent, they, too, would so regard it.

At the very moment that they are thanking God for the enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, and for the right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, they are utterly silent in respect to a law which robs religion of its chief significance and makes it utterly worthless to a world lying in wickedness. Did this law concern the “mint, anise, and cummin”-abridge the right to sing psalms, to partake of the sacrament, or to engage in any of the ceremonies of religion, it would be smitten by the thunder of a thousand pulpits. A general shout would go up from the church demanding repeal, repeal, instant repeal!-And it would go hard with that politician who presumed to so licit the votes of the people without inscribing this motto on his banner. Further, if this demand were not complied with, another Scotland would be added to the history of religious liberty, and the stern old covenanters would be thrown into the shade. A John Knox would be seen at every church door and heard from every pulpit, and Fillmore would have no more quarter than was shown by Knox to the beautiful, but treacherous, Queen Mary of Scotland. The fact that the church of our country (with fractional exceptions) does not esteem “the Fugitive Slave Law” as a declaration of war against religious liberty, im plies that that church regards religion simply as a form of worship, an empty ceremony, and not a vital principle, requiring active benevolence, justice, love, and good will towards man. It esteems sacrifice above mercy; psalm-singing above right doing; solemn meetings above practical righteousness. A worship that can be conducted by persons who refuse to give shelter to the houseless, to give bread to the hungry, clothing to the naked, and who enjoin obedience to a law forbidding these acts of mercy is a curse, not a blessing to mankind. The Bible addresses all such persons as “scribes, pharisees, hypocrites, who pay tithe ofÝ mint, anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith.”

But the church of this country is not only indifferent to the wrongs of the slave, it actually takes sides with the oppressors. It has made itself the bulwark of American slavery, and the shield of American slave-hunters. Many of its most eloquent Divines, who stand as the very lights of the church, have shamelessly given the sanction of religion and the Bible to the whole slave system. They have taught that man may, properly, be a slave; that the relation of master and slave is ordained of God; that to send back an escaped bondman to his master is clearly the duty of all the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; and this horrible blasphemy is palmed off upon the world for Christianity.

For my part, I would say, welcome infidelity! welcome atheism! welcome anything! in preference to the gospel, as preached by those Divines! They convert the very name of religion into an engine of tyranny and barbarous cruelty, and serve to confirm more infidels, in this age, than all the infidel writings of Thomas Paine, Voltaire, and Bolingbroke put together have done! These ministers make religion a cold and flinty-hearted thing, having neither principles of right action nor bowels of compassion. They strip the love of God of its beauty and leave the throne of religion a huge, horrible, repulsive form. It is a religion for oppressors, tyrants, man-stealers, and thugs. It is not that “pure and undefiled religion” which is from above, and which is “first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and with out hypocrisy.” But a religion which favors the rich against the poor; which exalts the proud above the humble; which divides mankind into two classes, tyrants and slaves; which says to the man in chains, stay there; and to the oppressor, oppress on; it is a religion which may be professed and enjoyed by all the robbers and enslavers of mankind; it makes God a respecter of persons, denies his fatherhood of the race, and tramples in the dust the great truth of the brotherhood of man. All this we affirm to be true of the popular church, and the popular worship of our land and nation-a religion, a church, and a worship which, on the authority of inspired wisdom, we pronounce to be an abomination in the sight of God. In the language of Isaiah, the American church might be well addressed, “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me: the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons, and your appointed feasts my soul hateth. They are a trouble to me; I am weary to bear them; and when ye spread forth your hands I will hide mine eyes from you. Yea’ when ye make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood; cease to do evil, learn to do well; seek judgment; relieve the oppressed; judge for the fatherless; plead for the widow.”

The American church is guilty, when viewed in connection with what it is doing to uphold slavery; but it is superlatively guilty when viewed in its connection with its ability to abolish slavery.

The sin of which it is guilty is one of omission as well as of commission. Albert Barnes but uttered what the common sense of every man at all observant of the actual state of the case will receive as truth, when he declared that “There is no power out of the church that could sustain slavery an hour, if it were not sustained in it.”

Let the religious press, the pulpit, the Sunday School, the conference meeting, the great ecclesiastical, missionary, Bible and tract associations of the land array their immense powers against slavery, and slave-holding; and the whole system of crime and blood would be scattered to the winds, and that they do not do this involves them in the most awful responsibility of which the mind can conceive.

In prosecuting the anti-slavery enterprise, we have been asked to spare the church, to spare the ministry; but how, we ask, could such a thing be done? We are met on the threshold of our efforts for the redemption of the slave, by the church and ministry of the country, in battle arrayed against us; and we are compelled to fight or flee. From what quarter, I beg to know, has proceeded a fire so deadly upon our ranks, during the last two years, as from the Northern pulpit? As the champions of oppressors, the chosen men of American theology have appeared-men honored for their so-called piety, and their real learning. The Lords of Buffalo, the Springs of New York, the Lathrops of Auburn, the Coxes and Spencers of Brooklyn, the Gannets and Sharps of Boston, the Deweys of Washington, and other great religious lights of the land have, in utter denial of the authority of Him by whom they professed to be called to the ministry, deliberately taught us, against the example of the Hebrews, and against the remonstrance of the Apostles, that we ought to obey man’s law before the law of God.2

My spirit wearies of such blasphemy; and how such men can be supported, as the “standing types and representatives of Jesus Christ,” is a mystery which I leave others to penetrate. In speaking of the American church, however, let it be distinctly understood that I mean the great mass of the religious organizations of our land. There are exceptions, and I thank God that there are. Noble men may be found, scattered all over these Northern States, of whom Henry Ward Beecher, of Brooklyn; Samuel J. May, of Syracuse; and my esteemed friend (Rev. R. R. Raymond) on the platform, are shining examples; and let me say further, that, upon these men lies the duty to inspire our ranks with high religious faith and zeal, and to cheer us on in the great mission of the slave’s redemption from his chains.

One is struck with the difference between the attitude of the American church towards the anti-slavery movement, and that occupied by the churches in Eng land towards a similar movement in that country. There, the church, true to its mission of ameliorating, elevating and improving the condition of mankind, came forward promptly, bound up the wounds of the West Indian slave, and re stored him to his liberty. There, the question of emancipation was a high religious question. It was demanded in the name of humanity, and according to the law of the living God. The Sharps, the Clarksons, the Wilberforces, the Buxtons, the Burchells, and the Knibbs were alike famous for their piety and for their philanthropy. The anti-slavery movement there was not an anti-church movement, for the reason that the church took its full share in prosecuting that movement: and the anti-slavery movement in this country will cease to be an anti-church movement, when the church of this country shall assume a favorable instead of a hostile position towards that movement.

Americans! your republican politics, not less than your republican religion, are flagrantly inconsistent. You boast of your love of liberty, your superior civilization, and your pure Christianity, while the whole political power of the nation (as embodied in the two great political parties) is solemnly pledged to support and perpetuate the enslavement of three millions of your countrymen. You hurl your anathemas at the crowned headed tyrants of Russia and Austria and pride yourselves on your Democratic institutions, while you yourselves consent to be the mere tools and body-guards of the tyrants of Virginia and Carolina. You invite to your shores fugitives of oppression from abroad, honor them with banquets, greet them with ovations, cheer them, toast them, salute them, protect them, and pour out your money to them like water; but the fugitives from oppression in your own land you advertise, hunt, arrest, shoot, and kill. You glory in your refinement and your universal education; yet you maintain a system as barbarous and dreadful as ever stained the character of a nation-a system begun in avarice, supported in pride, and perpetuated in cruelty. You shed tears over fallen Hungary, and make the sad story of her wrongs the theme of your poets, statesmen, and orators, till your gallant sons are ready to fly to arms to vindicate her cause against the oppressor; but, in regard to the ten thousand wrongs of the American slave, you would enforce the strictest silence, and would hail him as an enemy of the nation who dares to make those wrongs the subject of public discourse! You are all on fire at the mention of liberty for France or for Ireland; but are as cold as an iceberg at the thought of liberty for the enslaved of America. You discourse eloquently on the dignity of labor; yet, you sustain a system which, in its very essence, casts a stigma upon labor. You can bare your bosom to the storm of British artillery to throw off a three-penny tax on tea; and yet wring the last hard earned farthing from the grasp of the black laborers of your country. You profess to believe “that, of one blood, God made all nations of men to dwell on the face of all the earth,” and hath commanded all men, everywhere, to love one another; yet you notoriously hate (and glory in your hatred) all men whose skins are not colored like your own. You declare before the world, and are understood by the world to declare that you “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; and are endowed by their Creator with certain in alienable rights; and that among these are, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and yet, you hold securely, in a bondage which, according to your own Thomas Jefferson, “is worse than ages of that which your fathers rose in rebellion to oppose,” a seventh part of the inhabitants of your country.

Fellow-citizens, I will not enlarge further on your national inconsistencies. The existence of slavery in this country brands your republicanism as a sham, your humanity as a base pretense, and your Christianity as a lie. It destroys your moral power abroad: it corrupts your politicians at home. It saps the foundation of religion; it makes your name a hissing and a bye-word to a mocking earth. It is the antagonistic force in your government, the only thing that seriously disturbs and endangers your Union. it fetters your progress; it is the enemy of improvement; the deadly foe of education; it fosters pride; it breeds insolence; it promotes vice; it shelters crime; it is a curse to the earth that supports it; and yet you cling to it as if it were the sheet anchor of all your hopes. Oh! be warned! be warned! a horrible reptile is coiled up in your nation’s bosom; the venomous creature is nursing at the tender breast of your youthful republic; for the love of God, tear away, and fling from you the hideous monster, and let the weight of twenty millions crush and destroy it forever!

But it is answered in reply to all this, that precisely what I have now denounced is, in fact, guaranteed and sanctioned by the Constitution of the United States; that, the right to hold, and to hunt slaves is a part of that Constitution framed by the illustrious Fathers of this Republic.

Then, I dare to affirm, notwithstanding all I have said before, your fathers stooped, basely stooped

To palter with us in a double sense:
And keep the word of promise to the ear,
But break it to the heart.

And instead of being the honest men I have before declared them to be, they were the veriest impostors that ever practised on mankind. This is the inevitable conclusion, and from it there is no escape; but I differ from those who charge this baseness on the framers of the Constitution of the United States. It is a slander upon their memory, at least, so I believe. There is not time now to argue the constitutional question at length; nor have I the ability to discuss it as it ought to be discussed. The subject has been handled with masterly power by Lysander Spooner, Esq. by William Goodell, by Samuel E. Sewall, Esq., and last, though not least, by Gerrit Smith, Esq. These gentlemen have, as I think, fully and clearly vindicated the Constitution from any design to support slavery for an hour.

Fellow-citizens! there is no matter in respect to which the people of the North have allowed themselves to be so ruinously imposed upon as that of the pro-slavery character of the Constitution. In that instrument I hold there is neither warrant, license, nor sanction of the hateful thing; but interpreted, as it ought to be interpreted, the Constitution is a glorious liberty document. Read its preamble, consider its purposes. Is slavery among them? Is it at the gate way? or is it in the temple? it is neither. While I do not intend to argue this question on the present occasion, let me ask, if it be not somewhat singular that, if the Constitution were intended to be, by its framers and adopters, a slaveholding instrument, why neither slavery, slaveholding, nor slave can any where be found in it. What would be thought of an instrument, drawn up, legally drawn up, for the purpose of entitling the city of Rochester to a tract of land, in which no mention of land was made? Now, there are certain rules of interpretation for the proper understanding of all legal instruments. These rules are well established. They are plain, commonsense rules, such as you and I, and all of us, can understand and apply, without having passed years in the study of law. I scout the idea that the question of the constitutionality, or unconstitutionality of slavery, is not a question for the people. I hold that every American citizen has a right to form an opinion of the constitution, and to propagate that opinion, and to use all honorable means to make his opinion the prevailing one. Without this right, the liberty of an American citizen would be as insecure as that of a Frenchman. Ex-Vice-President Dallas tells us that the constitution is an object to which no American mind can be too attentive, and no American heart too devoted. He further says, the Constitution, in its words, is plain and intelligible, and is meant for the home-bred, unsophisticated understandings of our fellow-citizens. Senator Berrien tells us that the Constitution is the fundamental law, that which controls all others. The charter of our liberties, which every citizen has a personal interest in understanding thoroughly. The testimony of Senator Breese, Lewis Cass, and many others that might be named, who are everywhere esteemed as sound lawyers, so regard the constitution. I take it, therefore, that it is not presumption in a private citizen to form an opinion of that instrument.

Now, take the Constitution according to its plain reading, and I defy the presentation of a single pro-slavery clause in it. On the other hand, it will be found to contain principles and purposes, entirely hostile to the existence of slavery.

I have detained my audience entirely too long already. At some future period I will gladly avail myself of an opportunity to give this subject a full and fair discussion.

Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. There are forces in operation which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery.

“The arm of the Lord is not shortened,” and the doom of slavery is certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from “the Declaration of Independence,” the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age. Nations do not now stand in the same relation to each other that they did ages ago. No nation can now shut itself up from the surrounding world and trot round in the same old path of its fathers without interference. The time was when such could be done. Long established customs of hurtful character could formerly fence themselves in, and do their evil work with social impunity. Knowledge was then confined and enjoyed by the privileged few, and the multitude walked on in mental darkness. But a change has now come over the affairs of mankind. Walled cities and empires have become unfashionable. The arm of commerce has borne away the gates of the strong city. Intelligence is penetrating the darkest corners of the globe. It makes its pathway over and under the sea, as well as on the earth. Wind, steam, and lightning are its chartered agents. Oceans no longer divide, but link nations together. From Boston to London is now a holiday excursion. Space is comparatively annihilated.-Thoughts expressed on one side of the Atlantic are distinctly heard on the other.

The far off and almost fabulous Pacific rolls in grandeur at our feet. The Celestial Empire, the mystery of ages, is being solved. The fiat of the Almighty, “Let there be Light,” has not yet spent its force. No abuse, no outrage whether in taste, sport or avarice, can now hide itself from the all-pervading light. The iron shoe, and crippled foot of China must be seen in contrast with nature. Africa must rise and put on her yet unwoven garment. “Ethiopia shall stretch out her hand unto God.” In the fervent aspirations of William Lloyd Garrison, I say, and let every heart join in saying it:

God speed the year of jubilee
The wide world o’er!
When from their galling chains set free,
Th’ oppress’d shall vilely bend the knee,

And wear the yoke of tyranny
Like brutes no more.
That year will come, and freedom’s reign.
To man his plundered rights again

God speed the day when human blood
Shall cease to flow!
In every clime be understood,
The claims of human brotherhood,
And each return for evil, good,
Not blow for blow;

That day will come all feuds to end,
And change into a faithful friend
Each foe.

Book Quotes and Chris Paul

I recently finished a book I liked a lot titled One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism. The author, Joseph Goldstein, is a renowned meditation teacher in the US and he is full of wisdom. The book covers a lot of Buddhist principles but does a great job of using anecdotes and real life situations to satisfy any reader. As someone with a preliminary interest in Buddhism right now, mostly because of meditation, this book explained lots of Buddhist topics in simple terms that I enjoyed. I thought I would share some quotes from the book that I really enjoyed. I also will share some thoughts on Chris Paul being traded to the Rockets.

Book Quotes:

“Reflecting on the existence of favorable circumstances in our lives and remembering that they are not always present arouse energy in us to make the best of these times-times that only exist through our precious human birth” (28-29).

“We all know that things change, but how many of us live and act from this place of understanding? When we truly and deeply see the truth of impermanence, our hearts and minds relax. We are less likely to hold onto things, or even our own desires, quite so desperately” (30).

Referring to Henry David Thoreau: “When his Aunt Louisa asked him if he had made his peace with God, he answered, ‘I did not know we had ever quarreled, Aunt'” (34).

“understanding that everything we do has an effect-all of our actions have consequences. In the Buddha’s teaching this is called the law of karma, the understanding that we are the heirs of our own actions” (36).

“In the moment that we awaken from being lost in a thought or feeling or reaction, in that very moment we can recognize that empty, clear, skylike nature of awareness itself” (38).

“Belief draws conclusions while faith flowers in openness” (48).

“Doubt is very seductive because it comes masquerading as wisdom. We hear these wise-sounding voices in our minds trying to figure out the dilemmas, difficulties, and paradoxes of our experience through thinking about them… The first step is to recognize when the doubting mind is present… In that moment, we cease to give them power. ‘I can’t do this’ becomes just another thought. We can then bring wisdom to bear on the process of doubt itself, noticing how it takes away from the direct experience of the moment” (52).

“From the Buddhist perspective, all of the moral precepts are rules of training, not commandments. We undertake them as a way of training the heart, out of care for the world and ourselves, rather than as an externally imposed set of rules. This is a critical distinction, because it enables us to look at our lives and our actions without guilt and crippling self-judgment and, at the same time, to consciously take responsibility for what we do” (57).

“Killing or physically harming others (or ourselves) heads the list of unskillful acts. We kill one another, kill animals for livelihood or sport, or kill things because we don’t like them in our space. These are acts of violence that rebound to us in the future” (58).

“Freedom is not simply doing what we want when we want it. That is addiction. Freedom is the wisdom to choose wisely” (72).

“No one can practice for us. The Buddhas just point the way” (72).

“The guide for our actions should not simply be whether something is pleasant or unpleasant right now, but whether wholesome qualities of mind and heart are being strengthened. It is those qualities that are the source of our more lasting happiness” (78).

“‘If you want to understand your mind, sit down and observe it.’ It was this clear, commonsense, undogmatic approach that so inspired me. There was nothing to join, no rituals to observe, no beliefs to follow. The mysteries of the mind would reveal themselves simply though the power of my own growing awareness” (88).

“The question for us, then, is how can our hearts stay open given the magnitude of suffering that exists in the world? We are bombarded with so many reports from distant lands-or even from the neighboring state-cataloguing the range of human distress. Is it even possible to open to it all with compassion?” (123).

“Finally, a great liberating mantra arose in my mind, reminding me of the truth of things: Anything can happen anytime. Changing conditions are not a mistake. It’s just how things are. We can use this mantra not only after the fact, but also as a daily practice of remembrance” (150).


Do not harm. Act for good. Purify the mind.


Chris Paul:

I really like that the Rockets are not sitting by passively letting the Warriors dominate the league. James Harden is in his prime and Chris Paul is one of the best point guards in the league. Paul can knock down 3’s, adds an important mid-range game that the Rockets were missing last year, and is one of the best defenders in the league. He is also a great leader and as a veteran will probably help the locker room atmosphere a lot. With Anderson, Gordon, and Ariza still in the mix the Rockets will still be bombing 3s. Now, however, they could also be really good in the half-court offense with Paul. How Paul and Harden work together should be interesting. I’m guessing they will play a lot together but also have time separate from each other on the court to lead the offense. D’Antoni loves the run and gun game and the Rockets had one of the best offenses in the league last year. Lots of people are worried and question how Paul and Harden can work together, but hey, it’s worth a shot in my books. Harden is one of the best scorers in the league right now and will continue to be. When Paul takes his man off the dribble defenders will have to decide whether to help on him or prevent the 3s from raining in. If they let him go, however, he has one of the best mid-range games around. I really hope this works out well to help make the league all the more competitive.



I hope you are doing well if you are reading this! If not, then I hope you are okay. I find that writing posts can be hard sometimes because focusing on one topic/ issue can take a lot of time and effort. That should not prevent me from putting in the work, but sometimes it does, in part thanks to my apathy. For this post I went through different thoughts I’ve had and found significant. I kind of went stream of consciousness so please excuse poor explanations and lack of evidence.

Corporal Punishment:

Yeah, so did you know corporal punishment in schools is still permitted in some states? Mostly Southern and some out West. Unbelievable. I’ve heard this before and the article I found (from 2014, but I’m guessing still mostly true) cites 19 states that allow this to happen in public schools. The analysis in the study found that a child somewhere in the US is hit every 30 seconds during the school day. The study also says that students are only really supposed to be hit for severe infractions of school rules, but can be hit for minor ones as well. Sounds to me like it really comes down to a teacher’s discretion. The study also shows that African-American and disabled students are disproportionately subject to corporal punishment.

I’d love to hear people argue to defend this form of punishment. This practice comes from religious roots, specifically evangelical Christianity. That defense combined with the argument that the punishment will modify disruptive behaviors is the only thing I can think one would say to defend this. However, there is no conclusive evidence that this form of punishment actually does modify behaviors. I think this practice is ridiculous and flat out abuse. 



Sex Education:

Check out the link below and learn some surprising facts about what states require when it comes to sex education in public schools. Now this just references public schools. Only 24 states and the District of Columbia require that public schools teach sex education. Think of all the private schools, specifically religiously affiliated schools, that do not allow this type of education. How many unwanted STI’s or pregnancies could have been prevented if students were taught facts about these important topics. It is easy to think that no one is that naive, but many people come from different backgrounds and areas. I’m pretty sure that a lot of teens have sex, no matter what school they go to. Just telling them to practice abstinence will not get you very far and leaves the door wide open. It’s actually kind of sad to think that schools don’t find this necessary to teach.



Being Caught Up on One Side

When a FOX news anchor says something, many of their listeners immediately agree and latch on to whatever they are told. When an MSNBC anchor says something, a lot of their listeners do the same thing. I use both sides for a reason. Now, one side may be more factual most of the time, but the main problem is that a lot of people immediately tend to agree with whatever side they affiliate themselves with on issues without a second thought. This does not just apply to politics. This can apply to religion and other things. If you think homosexuality is wrong just because the Church says so, then I would highly suggest reconsidering and thinking that through. I would argue you can still be a good Christian without buying into that dogmatism. I’m definitely being a hypocrite here when it comes to certain issues. I know I do the same thing when it comes to a lot of political issues without giving the necessary effort to look into things on my own. But remember that a big reason why Hilary lost is because of how much the right hated her. The right bought into this hatred big time. Watching people chanting “lock her up” at a rally was kind of scary. People still hate Hilary to this day and could not give you very sophisticated reasons why, but love espousing hate towards her. I am just using Hilary as an example here and not trying to defend her here.

NBA Draft

Let’s go Sixers!! Fultz is coming our way, as are some second rounders. Apparently some people think this could be one of the deepest drafts ever, so get excited. We will know in 3-5 years if that is true. I think Fox and Monk from Kentucky are both going to end up being 2 of the best players out of this draft. 

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear some comments if you can.



Here Comes Markelle Fultz

The Sixers just made one of the biggest blockbuster trades in the draft that I can remember. Not that I really remember other drafts super well. It’s just that this is the Sixers and people are really excited about what is happening. All evidence points to the Sixers selecting Markelle Fultz from Washington University with the 1st overall pick on Thursday night at the NBA draft. Below I take a quick look at what I consider to be potential positives and negatives.

Potential Positives:

Other than possibly Josh Jackson, most people seem to think that Fultz has the biggest upside out of anyone in the draft. I’m not going to pretend- as I think a lot of fans tend to do but would not like to admit to- that I 100% this is the right move because Markelle Fultz will for certain be one of the next big stars. I did not watch him play in college because he was on a team that won 9 games over the course of an entire season. However, I did watch his highlights tape and I can see why people are excited.

In the tape, his offensive credentials are obvious. He has a pretty long reach at 6’5 and is explosive. His jump shot looks pretty good as he could hit the 3 and score on pull-up jumpers. Most exciting is his finishing at the rim. He had some very crafty lay-ups and dunks. A lot of people seem to think he will compliment Ben Simmons well as they can both handle the ball. I sure hope that it works out that way.

This is a pretty exciting starting line-up in my books:

Pg/Sg= Fultz

Pg/Sg= Simmons (He will serve as a point forward. Similar to Lebron, he can cover and play almost any position on both offense and defense).

Sf= Robert Covington (Great defender. Needs to be consistent with 3 pointers).

Pf= Dario Saric (Let’s go. Could be rookie of the year).

C= Joel Embiid (Trust the Process).

Potential Negatives:

Again, Fultz was the star on a team that won only 9 games. I would argue that could be worrisome. Maybe the coach and the rest of the team were horrible, but I would hope that a star could help his team win a few more that just 9. He is only 19 years old, though, and I did not get to watch any of these games, so I’m not aware of how bad the rest of the team really was. Another concern is his effort on the defensive end. In the tapes I watched there were barely any defensive highlights. Fultz will hopefully be motivated by the press saying he is poor on defense to prove everyone wrong, but we will see. Such a young team is incredibly exciting, but I’m not sure how high everyone’s expectations should be for this upcoming season. Go +500 on the season? Make the playoffs? Win 35-40 total? I’m really not too sure. The first 10 games of the season should be a good indicator of what our expectations of such a young group should really be. In 2-3 years, however, fans have the right to expect a team that can compete in the Eastern Conference after such a long stretch of poor play.



Road Races- Better/ More Fun When in Shape

So over the past week I’ve run in 3 races. In my previous post I wrote about the Yardley 5k last Sunday, which went fairly well all things considered. Running barely any mileage I still broke 20 minutes on a really hot day and won my age group. Veronica’s Mom and sister ran as well, and my Mom and sister came to watch the race, so it was a joyous occasion, especially when we all ate brunch together afterwards.

This past Tuesday night I ran in a DMR with a couple of friends and Veronica at Germantown Academy. I learned about this race from Sam Stortz’s blog (bansheemann7 worth checking out for sure). He ran in the mile at this race in a fast 4:38. The race is open to the public and relatively cheap. We were doing this for fun as my friends do not usually run and Veronica is coming off 2 weeks of no running. We did not know what to expect in terms of competition. I ran 3:50, which is right about what I predicted. An older guy passed me on the last lap which frustrated me at first, but then I found myself smiling and happy for him. I bet he’s been training a lot compared to my scarce training thus far. My friends ran well considering they don’t really run anymore and Veronica somehow crushed a 5:29 mile all by herself. We managed to break 13 minutes which is pretty impressive when I think about it. Getting to cheer on my friends and Veronica as they ran felt like a real track meet. We did get 2nd place as well.

Last night I competed in the Media 5 mile. I said that ideally I would run around 6:30 or just under, but my main goal was to run 6:40 pace or under. I ran 6:41 pace, so I’m definitely counting that. I was not really racing anyway. When I’m not in great shape and just starting training, I consider it more of a really solid tempo workout. I made the mistake of starting farther back at the start of the race because I was talking to my Dad and some friends. I found myself using a lot of energy passing people at the beginning. If this was a flat course I definitely could have run 6:30 pace, but it is not at all. Instead, there are a lot of sharp turns and a crap ton of hills including a couple of really big ones. Despite the hills, this is probably my favorite road race, not that I have a lot of races to compare with. So many people come out to cheer at this race. The majority of the race is run through the neighborhoods of the Media borough. What’s great about the location is that almost everyone comes out of their houses to cheer us on. There are also multiple areas where kids hand out water and high five runners as they go by. I had loads of fun going by a lot of people. The last part of the race is the best as you finish on State Street where the streets is packed with fans cheering you on as you kick to the finish.

Now, as much fun as I’ve had in these races, I do realize that I would like to run in races when in better shape. I’m not trying to put hard expectations on myself with running because I am out of school (not that I wanted to put hard expectations on myself when in school), but if I’m going to pay money to run in these races I would like to be in shape and trying to compete against others. I enjoy easy runs/ swims and other forms of exercise, but I want that to be in a setting where I’m not paying money to do so. I really enjoy the feeling of racing and getting to do that out of college will be fun if I can stay healthy and put in the work. I think I am still capable of chasing PR’s. None will be easy, but that is why they are long term. I probably will not try to run in another road race for a bit with the hope of building more fitness, specifically aerobic fitness. Getting in some longer runs will be big if I want to race well. Long term I want to chase my 5k (17:10), indoor mile (4:50), and 2-mile (10:32). I’m hoping I can get after the mile and 2-mile at the Ursinus meets that the alumni run in: the twilight 2-mile in November and the alumni mile in February.

I’m big on thinking about why we do things. I recognize that there is an element of impressing other people, I think there always is for most people, but I want there to be a much bigger reason. This is for me. I want to push myself and see what my limits are. I’ve put a lot into running and training over the years, and I think there is more to give for sure. I’m interested to see how/ if my efforts with mindfulness can help benefit my running. Mindfulness helps one focus more on the present moment without letting thoughts take up as much space. Being able to recognize a negative thought as just a thought during a race and returning the focus to what I am doing could be huge.

Now, it is nice to have long term goals with running. However, I recognize that what I am doing now and each day is more important than what happens in the future. It’s nice to be excited about a future event and work towards it, but what I am doing to work towards it and how I am in that moment is most important. If I’m not healthy or something happens that prevents me from racing then none of those races will even happen. I want to try to enjoy and be present in all the training I do going forward. Whether running, swimming, lifting, general strength, or otherwise I want to work on being aware and present. Mindfulness, baby.

Thanks for reading!!