The 2020 presidential cycle is underway, with at least two dozen Democratic Party presidential hopefuls clamoring for media attention, primary voters, polling numbers, and donations to eventually become the party nominee to oppose incumbent President Donald Trump. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is one of the main competitors in the crowded field of candidates and recently took to selfies to raise enthusiasm and support for her campaign.
The Washington Post may need a history lesson after it wrote a glowing piece that compared the progressive white female senator to black abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass was a former slave, born on a Maryland slave plantation, and he escaped slavery on his third escape attempt. Once he was in the northeastern United States, he became an avid abolitionist. He started the anti-slavery newspaper The North Star, gave multiple anti-slavery speeches on the speaking circuit throughout the United States and also in Ireland and Great Britain, wrote an autobiography of his life, and was an influential figure in President Abraham Lincoln’s policy on the treatment of black U.S. soldiers during the U.S. Civil War.
Contrast Douglass’s life with Warren’s. Warren was born and raised in Oklahoma and claimed she was part-Native American. A DNA test subsequently disproved Warren’s claim that she had significant Native American ancestry. Warren became a professor at Harvard University, was once considered a minority professor by the university, and ran for the U.S. Senate. As a 2020 presidential candidate vying for the Democratic Party’s nomination, she has staunch progressive views, which are a stark contrast to Douglass’s.
At a glance, it is not apparent if Douglass or Warren have any policy similarities or similar backgrounds.
Yet, the Washington Post said that although they “look nothing alike,” Warren’s recent selfie campaign reminded them of Frederick Douglass’s photographs. The Post claimed that Douglass’s photographs normalized “the idea of black excellence and equality” while Warren’s selfies “could do the same for a female president.”
The Washington Post appeared to stretch the truth in order to suit their political purposes, to which we at Accuracy in Academia have provided the necessary history lesson for the Washington Post and its viewers. Too often, history is distorted and re-interpreted for partisan and political purposes, as it was in this case.