My Interview with Susan B. Anthony and a Confession from the Author

Updated: May 23, 2021


#APAEverywhere

#Netflix #NelsonMandela

#SusanBAnthony

#Addiction #SocialMedia

#EthicalSelfActualization


May 1 marks the beginning of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage month and to honor equality and justice, I decided to look into the past for a great thinker and trendsetter whose words might resonate in modern times.


Saw this quote on the Netflix show, Frontier, from Nelson Mandela, which I thought was intriguing:


Fools multiply when wise men [and women] are silent.”*

* I added the “and women” to Mandela’s quote



Image - Peter Max, taken at the Park West Fine Art Museum & Gallery Las Vegas


One woman who was not silent was the great Susan B. Anthony, who I am using for my inspiration.


Similar to my interviews with Sigmund Freud and Jackie Robinson, (see Interviews with Dead People on the Social Musings by Austin blog here: https://www.socialmusingsbyaustin.com/blog/categories/interviews-with-dead-people), I am using Susan B. Anthony’s actual words, many of which come from her seminal declaration at this country’s 100th birthday, Declaration of Rights of the Women of the United States, delivered on July 4, 1876.


You can find the entire written declaration and more information here: https://awpc.cattcenter.iastate.edu/2017/03/21/declaration-of-rights-of-the-women-of-the-united-states-july-4-1876/



AustinFromAustin: Ms. Anthony, thank you so much for joining Social Musings with AustinFromAustin. Surely you must see similarities with today from your lifetime in the 19th century?


Anthony: “Our faith is firm and unwavering in the broad principles of human rights proclaimed in 1776, not only as abstract truths, but as the corner stones of a republic.” “We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all the civil and political rights that belong to citizens of the United States, be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever.”


AustinFromAustin: It is fascinating to hear your words today as they still ring true. To that end, where have we been successful over the last 150 years?


Anthony: We should celebrate “our great achievements as a people: our free speech, free press, free schools, free church, and the rapid progress we have made in material wealth, trade, commerce and the inventive arts”; “we do rejoice in the success, thus far, of our experiment of self-government.”


AustinFromAustin: We certainly have progressed a great deal technologically, and I do hope that we have a renaissance in philosophy, arts, culture and kindness in the very near future.


Anthony: However, certain glaring disparities in this country still exist, including “the fact of sex, not the quantity or quality of work, in most cases, decides the pay and position;” “In making our just demands, a higher motive than the pride of sex inspires us; we feel that national safety and stability depend on the complete recognition of the broad principles of our government.”


AustinFromAustin: I did see statistics recently that on average, women earn $0.82 for every dollar men earned in 2019...


Anthony: Exactly. In sum, “The whole evil comes from the failure to apply equal justice to all mankind, men and women alike.”


AustinFromAustin: Are you excited about what is yet to come for us all?


Anthony: “If I could live another century! I do so want to see the fruition of the work for women in the past century. There is so much yet to be done…”“The young blood, fresh with enthusiasm and with all the enlightenment of the twentieth century, must carry on the work.”


AustinFromAustin: Thank you so much Ms. Anthony. I am sure that this generation will indeed internalize your words and embody your spirit.



Image - Peter Max, taken at the Park West Fine Art Museum & Gallery Las Vegas


The overwhelming response to Social Musings by Austin has been positive. Thank you all for your kind words; it is so good to connect with many of you whom I have not contacted in years.


Because I do not want to be hypocritical, I must make a confession. Let me say this loud and clear - I am not and never will be a saint. I am not Ghandi, Mother Theresa or the Pope; I am not trying to supplant your rabbi with my musings. I have done things in my life which would shock the puritanical interests in our society. In fact, you will be able to read explicit details of my sordid endeavors in a forthcoming book which I am currently writing.


I continue to struggle with addiction, something I face on a daily basis. I readily admit I am addicted to social media, and it has had a negative impact on my life; yet, it is a necessary evil since ultimately I plan to use social media to find a large readership and to connect with readers. How does one rationalize this? I am still trying to figure that out.


What I am trying to do with Social Musings is share my real-life experiences of trying to achieve ethical self actualization. I am at the very beginning of a rest-of-my-life journey, and I want to share my journey so that you can maybe learn from my mistakes and try to improve yourself too. I never have and never will hold myself out to be perfect, and you do not have to take my advice at all; in fact, you can disagree with me. That is your personal right as a human being in a democracy - the right to your own opinions.


What we should not do is judge others, for when you pass judgment on someone, you might be doing it subconsciously because you feel (or desire to feel) superior to the person who you are judging. This judgment isn’t equitable, as we are all equal in the words of the great Susan B. Anthony (actually, I think we are all equally messed up in my opinion). The fact that no human being is “perfect” means that we all have plenty of opportunities for personal renewal. I try to keep an open mind and attempt not to judge people, because I don’t want to be judged, as I know I am full of flaws. I am trying to be better, though, and I look forward to sharing my journey with you in the future.


Have a nice weekend.


Connect with me on Social Media:

Instagram: austinfromaustin1

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/austin-rosenthal-2a4a943/

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