National anthem protester and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has received a schooling from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), after the activist used the words of abolitionist Frederick Douglass out of context.
What are the details?
On Independence Day, Kaepernick tweeted out an excerpt from Douglass' speech, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" along with a video showing historic images of slaves interspersed with modern clips of police using force.
The quote read, "What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? This Fourth of July is yours, not mine...There is not a nation on earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour."
Cruz responded to Kaepernick's message by saying, "You quote a mighty and historic speech by the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass, but, without context, many modern readers will misunderstand."
The senator went on to explain, "This speech was given in 1852, before the Civil War, when the abomination of slavery still existed. Thanks to Douglass and so many other heroes, we ended that grotesque evil and have made enormous strides to protecting the civil rights of everybody.
"Douglass was not anti-American, he was, rightly, and passionately, anti-slavery," Cruz continued. "He concluded the speech as follows:
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.
Sen. Cruz finished his thread by sending a link to the full text of the Douglass speech, encouraging "everyone, READ THE ENTIRE SPEECH; it is powerful, inspirational, and historically important in bending the arc of history towards justice."
Cruz wasn't the only one to take notice of Kaepernick's cherry-picking.
National Review editor Charles C.W. Cooke also reacted to the former quarterback's tweet by posting additional quotes from the Douglass speech before asking Kaepernick, "Are you afflicted by some ugly malady that prevents you from finishing reading a document? Or did you just want to provide an impression wholly unsupported by the evidence?"