I Make No Pretension to Patriotism

I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard on this or the other side of the Atlantic, I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.

–Frederick Douglass, “Love of God, Love of Man, Love of Country,” Syracuse, New York, September 24, 1847.

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