Ex Slaves Talk About Slavery in the USA

 

Hearing the voices of the people in this video hits my emotions with sadness. These are people whose lives were abused and kept isolated from knowledge. They had no idea how they were going to take care of themselves when they were “turned out” like cattle when they were freed. Free now to do what?

Slaves had no value except for the labor of their bodies, their mind never considered. What talents they had never had a chance to succeed. White church going people priding themselves on being chosen by God, (they were taught) thinking their behavior toward people of color, who were stolen from their country, their own ancestry thrown away, was acceptable.  It was not. The ignorance of some people even today who think they are better human beings, smarter and more deserving than the people their own recent generations enslaved is overwelming.

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Many have said they aren’t racist, maybe even believe they aren’t, but it’s bred into them. They cross to the other side of the street in fear if a black person walks toward them. They’ve been taught black men might rob them, grab a purse, demand their wallet, when the color of skin doesn’t determine if someone will do you harm. Still, they move far away just in case.

There is a lot talk about racism on social media.  Just today I added comments on a person’s post who was down playing racism as not really existing anymore. I only hear this coming from Republicans – Democrats, they say, hype it up as a means to put down Trump because he has had positive things to say about White Nationalism and that people in the KKK are good people, too. He has gotten a lot of support from the young Nazi groups who are infiltrating colleges, wanting to enter politics because they believe America should be white – again. But America was never white.

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I’m sure it’s not that cut and dried between political parties – Republicans are racist and Democrats aren’t – but if social media shows the temperature of how hot a subject is, I just don’t see Democrats posting a blatant love of wanting to see America being strictly a white Christian society.  I DO see that in what Republicans post. It is because Democrats espouse wanting an equal society of all people, with equal education, quality of living as well as healthcare for all, whether you are gay or elderly, @Black, Red or White. Republican politicians don’t want that. They want to control wealth of any kind, because they deserve it. Minorities take that away from them, undeservingly in their minds. Supporting Trump supports life as they think it should be, no matter what minority it hurts.

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This could be a long conversation that would be fruitless to print. It wouldn’t change anyone’s mind because they will believe what they want to believe. In the South they have tried to change history by teaching children ideas such as – the slaves had it pretty good. FREE housing, food and clothing. They had it much better here as slaves than they did in Africa. Really? But it doesn’t change reality. America trafficked in the human slave trade, raped the women and created the beginning of the mixed race of half black and half white, considered to be black  the white doesn’t matter.

I have been writing about racism in one form or another since 2014. We need to truly understand what slavery did to this country – our identity has been wrapped around this issue since the beginning. It has affected incarceration, education, jobs, family life with missing fathers and mothers due to incarceration and being given longer and harder sentences. None of that has changed.

13th amendment

The 13 amendment to the Constitution allowed slavery to continue – if they were charged with a crime and in prison. They could still work the fields and White overseers on horseback with shotguns and dogs still patrol them to this day, along with many other jobs they can work for pennies, maybe.

From the begining of freedom the list of what constituted a crime was much longer for a black man than a white man. That continues today. Sentences handed out are different depending on your skin color  Many more black males are killed by white cops with little or no repercussions. We all know this. The facts are easy to look up. But many don’t want their minds changed. They cling to conservative news with a vengeance.

The idea that you, if you are white, are better than other races is instilled in you from the time you are able to hear, by family, church and community  They teach it to their children because it was what they were also taught as children. The same reasoning applies to your belief in any NVreligion.

I was raised in a white neighborhood and didnt go to school with black children until I entered Jr. High. There was one black boy in 5th and 6th grade. My parents never had an unkind word to say about black people, negroes, or any other race.actually they had nothing to say good or bad. We weren’t exposed to them. They lived on the “other” side of town. I didn’t know how to react to them. I remember wanting to touch one to see if their skin felt different, and what did their hair feel like? I was uncomfortable around them.

It took me a long time to work it out. Today I have three grandchildren who have a black mother or father. It scares me knowing how imbedded racism is in our society. Unless it changes we will always be divided. Sadly, I don’t think it will change. You have to want to understand  You have to search for the truth. Unfortunately, too many people love to hate.

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Why America Needs a Slavery Museum

 

 

man's hands in handcuffsDoes America need a slavery museum? ( video at the bottom of the page) Do the people still not understand what happened – what is still happening? Apparently not enough – white people – because black people understand it quite well.

For ten years I have devoted my life to understanding racism and everything that the word means. It has stained America almost from its beginning. What gives any man the right to own and abuse human beings. The white children of that time were raised to believe they had that right to offset the guilt of their parents, who needed to believe they had the right to enslave people and they needed their children to believe it, too. Each generation taught the next. Their wealth and/or stature could only be passed on if parents could keep that belief going through the generations. It was, and is still, obscene. It didn’t matter that these fine upstanding white people professed to also be Christian.

Politicians who continue to this day to enslave the black man for their profit and to continue to believe in their superiority, they suppress their ability to get an education, while screaming loudly they are such fine Christians. They would like to use the bible as their rule of law, but only if it can be applied to kj them as superior, turning Christianity into a farce.

Today, in the prisons, using the 13th amendment from the time it was added, to legally enslave black people, it amazes me that our politicians, our Christian Politicians, continue with propaganda to sway people into believing black people need to be enslaved because they are dangerous and stupid and need to be controlled to keep America safe.

We know it’s not true. Anyone who doesn’t is ignorant.

While in prison Jamie has been beaten, medical care denied, locked up in a tiny cell deprived of human friendship, deprived of the warmth of human contact, deprived of an education for the sole purpose of making it difficult for him to survive when he gets out. Because they have denied him getting out of adseg for years he is not able to study for even his GED except for my providing a book. Will that get him a job when he is released in four years at the age of 39? Would he qualify for parole? Slaves were beaten if caught learning how to read and write. Keep a slave uneducated and they will always feel inferior.

Why would the prison and the corporations that control them do this? It is the same mentality of the slave owning plantations – to profit off a race of people they have determined to be inferior. The sick thing – in my own family, half my grandchildren are supposedly superior while the other half are inferior and will be subjected to the same harsh racism we see in the media today. From killings to being deprived service in a store. How can that be when they all come from me?

Do white people NEED to feel superior today, or is it inbred into their genes by now. I don’t understand why any person NEEDS to feel superior. Is it ::) already too late?

We DO NOT benefit from having a president whose ego is out of hand and thinks he is better than anyone at everything he does.  He has brought racism further into the light. He needs to be condemned for further ripping this country apart with our permission, because too many in this country turn a blind eye.

Slavery by incarceration needs to end.

 

 

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American Slavery, Reinvented

This goes along with several recent posts about slavery and the 13th amendment. People need to realize slavery is not a dead issue in America. People just choose to look the other way so they can pretend this is a “Christian” nation. Angola Prison touts itself as a Christian prison with chapels all over the grounds and inmates carrying bibles so they show they comply.

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Yep, Slavery is Still Legal – The 13th Amendment

13th amendment

 

Stop slavery

Jamie’s last letter also has a newspaper article included with that title. Parts of the article resonated with him and he underlined those places. Because he is living through what this newspaper is writing about it must have resonated fairly strongly with him. He carefully tore out the article to send to me.  I think it came from a USA Today by Jim Liske, the president of Prison Fellowship.  I don’t know the date except that it is fairly recent.

“13th AMENDMENT – Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted shall exist within the United states, or any other place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Black vs White death penaltyWhen slavery was abolished there were many ways it could be worked around by increasing what was a crime for black people. The most glaring was the death penalty. There was only one crime that would send a white man to death row – Murder. Not so for the black man. There were dozens of crimes that would get him hanged. When we look at our prisons today and see the percentage of white vs black not much has changed.

A compilation of newspaper articles of glaring racial discrimination startingin 1961, which still exists today in the form of “white privilege”.  An interesting read by the Equal Justice Initiative – A History of Racial Injustice –  http://racialinjustice.eji.org

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/race-and-death-penalty

“On Sept 15, 1963, the bomb that killed four girls at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala, showed America just how far we had to go to fulfill the promise of justice and equality for all, even a century after the 13th amendment ended slavery. Half a century after the bombing, the struggle is not over, in part because language in that same amendment still undermines the equal humanity of more than 7 million Americans who have been convicted of a crime

Ratified at the end of the Civil War, the amendment abolished slavery with one critical exception: Slavery and involuntary servitude actually remain lawful “as a punishment for crime”. In other words, according to this punishment clause, with the wrong controlled substance in your trunk,  there is nothing in the 13th amendment to ensure you won’t be considered a slave of the state. The language was ambiguous enough to be grossly abused. Son the clause was being used to reinstate slavery under another guise.

In 1866, just a year after the Civil War, a black man convicted of theft in Maryland was advertised for sale in the newspaper as punishment. The word “vagrancy” was code for being young, black and unemployed -could yield similar results.

Decades later famed abolitionist Frederick Douglas described how the widespread “convict lease system” exploited the punishment clause “States claim to be too poor to maintain state convicts within prison walls, Hence the convicts are leased out to work for railway contractors, mining companies and those with LARGE FARMING PLANTATIONS.” These companies assume control of the convicts, work them as cheap labor and pay the states a handsome revenue for their labor. Nine-tenths of these convicts are negroes.” So many blacks were behind bars because law enforcement tended to target them.

Importantly, Supreme Court decisions ensured no one today is sentenced to actual “slavery” as a form of capital punishment but Douglass’ critique still rings true. Black men are incarcerated six times the rate of white men, thanks in part to uneven enforcement and sentencing in the “war on drugs”. While drug use rates vary little among the races, people of color stand a much better chance of being searched, prosecuted and convicted than whites and government studies have shown they serve longer sentences.”

Whenever corporations have taken over any institution and it became “for profit”, quality went down and prices went up. Two other good examples of this is education and medical care. The prisons became an excellent source for free, or nearly free labor. There are so many American corporations as well as foreign corporations who benefit from this. There is a lot of talk on the internet about lowering the prison population. Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. I don’t believe it will amount to much. All corporations have stockholders to appease. Arrests may go down but sentences will go up. Our government has 20 year contracts with the corporations that run the prisons. That contract demands 90-100% capacity or they will have to pay the corporations money per empty bed that could amount to millions of dollars.

Slavery never ended. It’s time we do something about it. It is an ugly side of America.

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