Slavery

Celebrating The Real Meaning Of July 4–Promotion Of Freedom, Equality, And Democracy!

Independence Day–July 4–is a holiday to celebrate the promotion of Freedom, Equality, and Democracy!

The 245th Independence Day is a sobering day, as the Republican Party is trying mightily to cover up the Fascist authoritarian attempt of Donald Trump and his treasonous and seditionist supporters to destroy the Constitution and rule of law, as they did on January 6, 2021, with the US Capitol Insurrection.

The Republican Party is also trying to destroy the ability of people of color to vote, something enshrined in the Constitution by the 15th Amendment in 1870, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The right wing Supreme Court, with five of the six conservatives appointed by Presidents who lost the popular vote, and the sixth one (Clarence Thomas) accused of sexual abuse, along with Brett Kavanaugh, has also worked to destroy the Voting Rights Act.

And the danger exists that if one Democratic Senator is unable to vote on any legislative action or were to pass away, the possibility of the Democrats losing control of the Senate to Mitch McConnell is a horrifying reality.

And were Stephen Breyer to continue to ignore the need for his retirement from the Supreme Court, to insure that Joe Biden can select his replacement before the midterm elections, the threat exists that the Republicans then, if not sooner, would gain control of the Senate, and we could face a 7-2 Court, instead of a 6-3 Court!

On this 158th Anniversary of the third and last day of that turning point of the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg, the tremendous sacrifices of the three day battle which insured the eventual victory of freedom over slavery, let us NOT forget that the battle to preserve freedom, equality and democracy goes on!

21 States Are Mounting Efforts Restricting Education On Racism, Bias, Contributions Of Specific Racial Or Ethnic Groups!

It is extremely alarming that at least 21 states, and counting, are mounting efforts to restrict education on Racism, Bias, and Contributions of specific racial or ethnic groups in the teaching of American history (Social Studies) in public schools at all levels. This is occurring in Republican governed states.

This includes the Southern and Border States of Arkansas, Florida Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma.

It also includes the Midwestern states of Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, and South Dakota.

It also includes the Western states of Arizona, Idaho, Montana and Utah, and the New England states of New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

At the same time, at least 9 states are working to expand education on Racism, Bias, and Contributions of specific racial and ethnic groups, including the Northeastern states of Connecticut, Delaware, and New Jersey; the Midwestern states of Illinois and Minnesota; and the Western states of Colorado, Washington, Wyoming, and California.

To forbid truthful discussion of Slavery; Jim Crow Segregation Laws; Racial Violence Against African Americans; Mass Murder of Native Americans; Anti Hispanic and Anti Asian discrimination; and Discrimination Against Women is promoting a Big Lie, that none of this happened, and continues to be a reality!

Truth and Facts matter, and to promote Right Wing propaganda is outrageous, and makes the job of teachers of History and Social Studies an impossible position!

Texas State Legislature Has Gone Totally Bonkers On So Many Issues!

Texas has a long history of racism against African Americans and Latino Americans, but the state has gone way beyond those reprehensible examples of prejudice and hatred.

Now they are making it ever more difficult for people of color to be able to vote in future elections.

They have also made abortion practically impossible with their newly enacted laws that prevent a woman after six weeks, long before most would even know they are pregnant, from being able to have an abortion, and already, the number of abortion providers has been restricted in recent years.

Also, all restriction on guns are coming to an end, which alarms law enforcement professionals.

And the state is making it clear that teachers of the social sciences are not permitted to teach about the true history of America and of Texas, the realities of slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and about the extermination of native Americans, and other unpleasant truths, what the opponents call “critical race theory”. Instead, only a patriotic version of history is to be taught, which will hamstring teachers, and yet will not, necessarily, prevent students from learning the truth elsewhere, and wish to discuss it in classes.

As an historian and political scientist for a half century, if this author and blogger were much younger, he would be unable to “practice his craft”, teach truth and facts, and this is totally outrageous!

Lawsuits on all of these issues are essential, as Texas is undermining the rule of law in so many ways!

Open White Supremacy And Racism In The American Presidency

The reality of the history of the American Presidency is that white supremacy and racism is rampant.

Nine of the first twelve Presidents owned slaves, and many of them mistreated them, including cruelty and separation of families by slave sales.

Also, many Presidents clearly saw native Americans as subhuman, and had no concern about the loss of life and the stealing of native American lands.

Additionally, many Presidents saw people of Asian or Latino heritage as being inferior, and treated them in openly racist ways.

The story of American history is of widespread massacres of people of color, no matter what their ancestry, and not just in the South, but nationwide.

Most American Presidents ignored what was going on, but some were more vocal and outspoken in their white supremacy and racism, enunciating their hateful, prejudiced views.

The vocal group, willing to make it part of their Presidencies include Andrew Jackson, regarding native Americans and African Americans; Andrew Johnson, toward African Americans during Reconstruction; Woodrow Wilson, who made clear his disregard for civil rights for African Americans, and open disdain for people of Asian ancestry, as well as the nations they originated from (China and Japan); and now Donald Trump, who has used the racist and white supremacist language to appeal to his base in a gross manner.

Since Trump has the advantage of modern media reporting and social media, particularly Twitter, which the others did not have, his white supremacy and racist rants are much more dangerous than those of Jackson, Johnson, and Wilson.

Vandalism Of Confederate Statues,Works Of Art, Is Outrageous, While Renaming Military Forts Can Be Done By US Government, And Schools And Streets If Supported By Popular Vote

A major controversy has developed about removing statues and renaming schools, military forts, and streets of those who were involved on the Confederate side of the Civil War.

There is no debate that the Confederate States of America was based on the preservation of slavery and white supremacy.

So it is perfectly appropriate to rename schools, military forts, and streets that honor such political and military figures of the Confederacy. The US government can simply decide to change the names of the forts, but to rename schools and streets should be up to popular vote of those in the communities.

At the same time, the Confederate Flag should not be permitted on public property.

However, should the destruction of statues be promoted?

My answer is absolutely not, as statues are works of art, and should be respected, and should not face damage, vandalism, and destruction.

There should be a vote of the appropriate population that decides if such Confederate statues should be peacefully removed, and put in museums.

And this move to destroy statues of non Confederate leaders, including Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, as well as other historical figures, must be resisted forcefully.

Yes, the early Presidents were slave owners, and yes, many Presidents had racist backgrounds, but it is all part of history, and we cannot allow so called “purification of history” to please radicals who wish to destroy the American past!

Rather, teach the truth, but honor the important contributions of Presidents and others who also did good deeds.

We are not going to allow destruction of Mount Rushmore, but also, we are not going to allow destruction of Stone Mountain, which honors Confederate leaders. This is part of our history which needs to be taught and exposed, but not allowing violent action to suppress!

We cannot deny our past, and we cannot destroy our past, clear and simple!

Trump Rally In Tulsa, Oklahoma A Reckless Act In Midst Of Pandemic

Donald Trump is once again proving his lack of basic decency, by following through on a massive indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the day after the celebration of the end of slavery on June 19, 1865, when African Americans in Texas were informed that the Civil War was over, and that they were free men and women, what is called Juneteenth.

But it is also the 99th anniversary of the worst race riot in American history, destroying the prosperous black community in Tulsa, and at least 300 people killed.

But Donald Trump, being an open racist, does not care about the history, and also the exposure of a large number of Trump followers who will be close together, without social distancing and no requirement to wear face masks, in the middle of the CoronaVirus Pandemic, that has killed 120,000 people so far.

How much more immoral and unethical could Donald Trump be? But he has shown a total lack of concern for human life, and loves to promote hate and division.

So expect a major increase in the pandemic in Oklahoma and nearby states in the days and weeks after this massive rally!

How Will Reparations For Slavery Resound? Compared To Japanese American Reparations

In 1988, the American government officially apologized to the Japanese American community for the mass internment of about 110,000 people of Japanese ethnicity, who had been denied their civil liberties from February 1942 to late 1945 during World War II.

It was the proper and moral thing to do to recompense the 50,000 survivors of those internment camps with $20,000 compensation for each survivor.

But no payment was made to the offspring and later generations of Japanese Americans who had not lived in the camps.

Now a movement has begun to call for reparations for African American slavery, and it is making steam among many Democratic Presidential aspirants.

There is no question of the horrors and abuses visited on 4 million African Americans, who were born slaves, emancipated at the end of the Civil War, and suffered segregation, lynchings, denial of civil rights, and economic exploitation.

An attempt was made to provide “40 acres and a mule” for each black family after the Civil War, promoted by the Republican Party, but it never really got off the ground.

That was an historical wrong, and compensation similar to this brief attempt should have been pursued in the late 19th century, but sadly it was not done.

But all those who were in slavery are long dead, and many of those who suffered under segregation, lynchings, denial of civil rights, and economic exploitation are also gone.

The African American experience has put that community at a disadvantage, but how can anyone figure out how to, in theory, compensate people who were not directly the victims of past wrongs?

Who would qualify, and how would one decide what an appropriate response in economic terms would be? It could lead to every ethnic and racial group demanding the same, and there is no way the US government could implement such a compensation plan, and not alienate those groups that would feel they were being blamed and assessed for something they had no role in bringing about.

Certainly, economic opportunity and new civil rights enforcement should be provided, but to have a compensation package in money terms would be an endless situation subject to much fraud.

So the answer is NOT to provide any specific compensation, because for the victims of slavery and segregation, their lifetimes have passed, and instead work on promoting fair and equitable treatment for all those whose ancestors were so shabbily treated.

This would include compensation for marijuana drug convictions for possession, and compensation for those imprisoned for years on the basis of failure to provide for a fair trial on various other charges, as often has happened in many states, particularly in the South.

Election Day 2018—Karma Is Due For Donald Trump, And The Future Of American Democracy Is At Stake!

So now America has arrived at Election Day 2018, a time when Karma is due for Donald Trump, and the future of American democracy is at stake.

America has never been at a time of crisis as we are now, since the Great Depression and Pearl Harbor.

We have a mentally unhinged President, whose lackeys keep on serving him, and whose party has rejected their responsibility to keep the President in tow.

We have a group of Republican politicians who have besmirched the reputation and principles represented historically by Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and many past Republican Senators, Congressmen, and Governors, who promoted the end of slavery, the growth of corporate regulation and social justice, and acceptance of the best aspects of the New Deal and international alliances in the war against totalitarian government.

But now, the Republican Party represents the acceptance of totalitarianism, and rejection of international alliances against evil, and domestically of basic principles of social justice and common decency.

If the Democrats do not win control of at least the House of Representatives, and hopefully also the Senate, today, and if they do not take control of a majority of state governments, then the future is gloomy, and will be intolerable for millions of decent, hard working Americans, and particularly so for women, racial minorities, Jews, the disabled, and gays and lesbians.

The Constitution and Bill of Rights are endangered by a man who “loves” Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin and other dictators, and rejects the friendship and alliance of Justin Trudeau, Angela Merkel, Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron, and other leaders of democracies around the world.

Even if one is not traditionally “religious”, today is a time for prayer for the survival of the Republic we created nearly two and a half centuries ago, and now endangered by a mad man with no ethics, morals, or scruples!

The Muslim Ban Decision Of The Supreme Court (Trump V Hawaii) Will Go Down As One Of Worst Decisions In 229 Years Of Our National History!

The Supreme Court has just made one of the worst decisions in its 229 year history, and has besmirched its own reputation in the process.

It will match such decisions as the Dred Scott Case of 1857; Plessy V Ferguson 1896; and Korematsu V US 1944—all racist decisions justifying slavery, racial segregation, and the internment of Japanese Americans in internment camps during World War II.

All have been roundly condemned, as violations of basic human rights and civil liberties, and now, once again, the Supreme Court has proved how it has allowed itself to promote discrimination and racial prejudice, all in the name of “national security”.

Instead of labeling African Americans or Japanese Americans, now the whole Islamic religion has been judged as a threat to national security, based on the hysteria and racism of Donald Trump.

We have, therefore, allowed an authoritarian who threatens our whole system of government to win a case based purely on bias and religious hatred.

This is a slippery slope that can lead to victimization in the future of people from other nations and other religions.

Jews who were refused entrance in the late 1930s, and now people from Central America who want to escape similar violence and bloodshed and are being held in detention away from their children, are just further examples of how religious prejudice and racism are winning out.

The John Roberts Court has undermined its own reputation in the process, and will be condemned in history.

And the fact that Merrick Garland, appointed by President Obama, was denied a hearing for the Supreme Court vacancy in 2016, led to Neil Gorsuch, who predictably now and in the future will advocate an extreme right wing agenda, harming our constitutional liberties for the next thirty years.

The fact that three members of the Court would not be there if the popular vote had won out in 2000 and 2016 just adds to the tragedy, as George W. Bush would not have been able to appoint John Roberts and Samuel Alito, and Donald Trump would not have been able to appoint Neil Gorsuch.

Sonia Sotomayor registered her vehement dissent, along with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the opposition of Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. But it was all for naught!

America’s reputation has been permanently damaged, and we are no safer against those Muslims who are extremists, who are now emboldened to do harm more than ever, and at the same time, those Muslims in America who have served in our armed forces honorably, and those who have done good work in other fields, have been slapped in the face.

Our most ugly side as a nation has been displayed for all to see, and anyone who believes in justice and fair play is weeping today, and will for the long term of our history as a nation, as tolerance and open mindedness have been denied!

The Behind The Scenes Plan To Prevent Harriet Tubman From Being On $20 Bill, And Keeping Andrew Jackson On It!

After years of total ignoring of the contributions of African Americans in our history as a nation, finally, last year, it was determined to change the $20 bill from President Andrew Jackson to abolitionist and runaway slave Harriet Tubman.

This decision by the Treasury Department elevates a person of color and a woman to an honor well deserved.

Taking Andrew Jackson off the front of the bill is not the tragedy that it is made out to be. He has been on the $20 bill since 1928, a century after he won the Presidency. And he would be placed on the back of the bill instead, so would not disappear.

Jackson is an important historical figure, but besides being a slave owner, which clearly in itself is not the biggest issue as many Presidents before the Civil War were slave owners, he stands out as negative for the mass murder of native American (The Trail of Tears), and for his strong condemnation of and efforts to block anti slavery literature from being able to be voiced through the US Mail system, as well as his destruction of the Second National Bank of the United States, which led us into the Panic of 1837.

Keeping Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill makes total sense, as he was a very constructive and influential figure in many positive ways in our history, while Jackson has so many negatives.

Now, however, it seems that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is moving toward stopping this change in the $20 bill, due to Donald Trump’s love affair with Jackson, and Trump’s insensitivity to the evil aspects of Jackson’s time in office, and his massive racist viewpoints.

It only adds to the image of Trump as racist, which one would think he would wish to overcome by avoiding changing the well laid plans on the $20 bill.

So there is a behind the scenes attempt to prevent Harriet Tubman from being placed on the $20 bill, and there must be strong public outrage at the idea and reality of such an action.