Posts tagged with Slavery
The biggest impediment to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, dream of a society in which color is not considered important is the continued used of the extremely racist term "African-American". The term implies the descendants of slaves are a separate race whose members belong in Africa rather than the United States even though many have ancestors who were living in North America long before the American Revolution.
The term "African American" arbitrarily segregates people by skin color. The term treats people with dark complexions as if they only had African ancestors even if more of their ancestors came from somewhere else. For example, sportscasters call Asian ancestry golfer Tiger Woods "African American" even though his mother is Asian and his father had Asian and North American ancestors as well as African ancestors.
. The only inherent difference between black and white Americans is a half dozen genes that control skin color. A person can have a dark complexion even though a majority of skin color genes come from European ancestors because the genes that code for dark complexion are dominant and only a couple are needed for a relatively dark complexion. One of the genes that codes for a dark complexion is common among peoples of North America and Asia as well as Africa
North American residents have been having sex across the color line since the first African slaves had sexual relationships with their Spanish masters in the 16th Century Spanish colonies located in what are now Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Sexual relations occurred with the North American peoples who lived in the vicinity of plantations for the first two hundred years of American slavery and accepted runaway slaves into their villages.
Initially slaves in the British colonies were indentured servants who only had to serve as slaves for a few years. Most early slaves were from the British isles, especially Ireland where the English were anxious to take ownership of Irish lands. Initially the more expensive African slaves were also treated as indentured servants.
By the mid 17th Century slave owners decided to turn the dark skinned slaves into permanent slaves with white slaves continuing to be indentured servants. To increase the number of permanent slaves some slave owners required white female slaves to mate with African male slaves so that the resulting dark skinned babies could be kept as permanent slaves. Laws adopted during the period preventing sex across the color line were primarily intended to keep free white from having dark skinned babies who would have been born free rather than slave
Virtually all the African ancestors of slaves arrived before Congress outlawed importation of Africans in 1808. Only about 500,000 Africans were imported into North America which means that virtually all slaves were born in North America to parents of mixed ancestry; .
The slave genome continued to receive new DNA from plantation owners and overseers until slavery was ended. In slave societies it is common for men of the master class to have sex with women of the slave class. The most prominent example of this practice in the United States was the relationship between President Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings.
Southern laws prohibiting sex across the color line continued to be ignored if the female was black such as in the case of the mother of Sen. Strom Thurmond's black daughter. Dr. King is known to have had a white male ancestor who provided his "Y" chromosome. As recently as the early 1960's, young southern white women were told that boy friends who received passionate good night kisses might seek sexual satisfaction in the black community.
White men could rape black women without fear of prosecution until the 1960's.
Sex across the color line has increased since the 1960's because of acceptance of relationships between white women and black men.
It's likely that some children of mixed ancestry were passing for white by the early 18th Century. Many whites who researched their ancestry after the "Roots" television series were surprised to find ancestors whose military records included the letter "C" after the name for "Colored". President Warren G. Harding acknowledged he had some black ancestors. It is very likely that President Abraham Lincoln got his dark curly hair from a black ancestor. Many of his contemporaries believed he had slave ancestors.
It's time we Americans recognize that America is not the home of a black race and a white race, but instead is the home of a single race whose ancestors were red and yellow, black and white.
The Impressions lamented in their song "This is My County" -- "Some people think we don't have the right To say its my country Before they give in, they'd rather fuss and fight Than say its my country"
It's time we started allowing the descendants of slaves to call America, rather than Africa their country. If light skinned Americans whose ancestors all arrived after the Civil War can call themselves 100% Americans, why must dark skinned Americans whose ancestors may have arrived before the American Revolution be treated as part American and part something else. Many slaves earned their freedom by helping to defeat the British during the Revolution.
Dr. Martin Luther King's dream of a color blind society cannot be realized as long as the media and black leaders continue to perpetuate the old southern myth that the descendants of North American slaves are a different "race" from light skinned Americans. The term "African American" is an extremely racist term that implies the descendants of slaves belong in Africa rather than the United States even though many have ancestors who were living in North America at the time of the Revolution.
The dark skinned peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa might be of a different race from the light skinned peoples of northern Africa and Europe, but Americans have had too much sex across the color line over the last 400 years to be of different races.
The only inherent difference between black and white Americans is a half dozen genes that control skin color. A person can have a dark complexion even though a majority of skin color genes come from European ancestors because the genes that code for dark complexion are dominant and only a couple are needed for a relatively dark complexion. One of the genes that codes for a dark complexion is common among peoples of North America and Asia as well as Africa
Americans have been having sex across the color line since the first African slaves had sexual relationships with their fellow Irish slaves or with slave owners. Sexual relations also occurred with the North American peoples who lived in the vicinity of plantations for the first two hundred years of American slavery and accepted runaway slaves into their villages.
In the mid 17th Century some plantation owners required Irish female slaves to mate with African male slaves so that the resulting dark skinned babies could be kept as permanent slaves. Initially slaves in the British colonies were indentured servants who only had to serve as slaves for a few years. Most early slaves were from the British isles, especially Ireland Later slave owners decided to switch to having permanent slaves with the dark complexioned slaves becoming permanent slaves and the white slaves being indentured servants.
The only African ancestors of slaves arrived before importation of Africans was outlawed in 1808. Only about 500,000 Africans were imported into North America during this period which means that most slaves were born in North America to parents of mixed ancestry; .
The slave genome continued to receive new DNA from plantation owners and overseers until slavery was ended. Southern laws prohibiting sex across the color line were ignored if the female was black such as in the case of the mother of Sen. Strom Thurmond's black daughter. Dr. King is known to have had a white male ancestor who provided his "Y" chromosome. White men could rape black women without fear of prosecution until the 1960's.
It's likely that some children of mixed ancestry were passing for white by the early 18th Century. Many whites who researched their ancestry after the "Roots" television series were surprised to find ancestors whose military records included the letter "C" after the name for "Colored". President Warren G. Harding acknowledged he had some black ancestors. It is very likely that President Abraham Lincoln got his dark curly hair from an black ancestor. Many of his contemporaries believed he had slave ancestors.
It's time we Americans recognize that America is not the home of a black race and a white race, but instead is the home of a single race whose ancestors were red and yellow, black and white.
The ruling in the same sex marriage issue before the Supreme Court will indicate whether the United States is still a democracy or has become a judicial oligarchy. In a democracy, elected officials decide major social issues like how government will treat the ancient mating practice of marriage. In a oligarchy, non elected officials dictate policy to elected officials based on their personal views.
One of my favorite movie quotes is from "The Teahouse of the August Moon". Glenn Ford plays an American officer attempting to explain democracy to the Japanese after World War II. He says, "democracy is where the people have the right to make the wrong decisions." The statement is the essence of democracy. If elected officials make the wrong decision on behalf of the people voters can rectify the situation by electing replacement officials to make the right decisions. If non-elected officials make the wrong decisions the people have no recourse other than overthrowing the government.
People don't become infallible just because they hold a high government office even if they are absolute monarchs who have supposedly been chosen by their deities to run the government. Those of us who are familiar with the history of the Supreme Court known that it is extremely fallible. The Supreme Court has made some extremely bad decisions, particularly.when it has gotten involved in social issues with decisions involving social theories rather than law.
The decision in Dred Scott v. Sanford is easily the worst decision in the history of the Supreme Court. The Court attempted to use the case to deal with the divisive social issue of slavery. Chief Justice Roger Taney's ruling inflamed northern public opinion against slavery which many northerners regarded as immoral. The decision insured that slavery would be a major issue in the 1860 presidential election. The decision didn't cause the Civil War, but provided the catalyst to turn the controversy over slavery and broader economic issues into a war.
The 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision is the Court's second worst decision. The Court's acceptance of the questionable social concept of "separate but equal" condemned generations of black southerners to mistreatment including rape and murder. The Court refused to admit that "separate but equal" was nonsense until the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.
"Separate but equal' wasn't the only nonsense theory the Court accepted in the late 19th Century. The Court prevented state government from protecting workers from exploitive employers by accepting a nonsense theory called "freedom of contract". Under this theory, government protection of workers supposedly prevented their "free" ability to contract with employers. The Court ignored the fact that workers weren't in a position to negotiate. They had to accept bad working conditions or risk possible starvation.
The same sex marriage issue before the Supreme Court is not about whether homosexuals should be allowed to marry. Homosexuals have always been allowed to get married and many have married individuals of the other anatomical sex. Many individuals strongly encourage their homosexual acquaintences to marry a member of the other sex.
The issue before the Supreme Court is whether to radically change the ancient definition of marriage. The arguments for same sex "marriage" are just as nonsensical as the arguments for "separate but equal' and "freedom of contract".
Marriage is first and foremost a biological process. It is the dominant human mating practice and existed before the establishment of formal governments. Marriage unites the two different types of human beings (male and female) to form a unit capable of reproducing the species. Scientists know that the male body produces a chemical that benefits the female body. Marriage seems to provide health benefits to men, but it's unclear whether chemistry is involved.
The two individuals may even become chemically addicted to each other. Addiction could explain why a woman will take her abusive husband back much like an alcoholic with liver disease will continue to drink.
Governments have traditionally protected marriage because of the benefits to society marriage provides by encouraging production of new members. Benefit programs were established at a time when the time requirements of household duties such as cooking and cleaning meant it was best for one parent to provide the income and the other to handle family duties. Such benefits may or may not still be needed, but any decision in this area should be handled by those selected by the people rather than those selected by a few politicians.
Providing some of these benefits, such as tax breaks or access to the Social Security benefits of another, may discriminate against single adults who cannot obtain comparable benefits. Government can justify this discrimination because of the potential benefit to society of the new members heterosexual marriage may provide even when a given couple doesn't intend to produce a new member.
Providing benefits. such as Social Security or health care, to same sex couples illegally discriminates against single adults. Society can receive no benefit from same sex couples. Two women cannot produce a child together. To become pregnant a woman has to obtain sperm from a man outside the relationship just like she would if she were a single adult.
The Court's intervention in social situations in the past has led to disasters such as the Civil War and southern Jim Crow laws. Decisions about social issues require months or even years of study. The idea that individuals who have no advanced education in the social sciences can decide a complex social issue after a few hours of rhetoric is lunacy.
The Court has often claimed that it attempts to "discover the law". Under the U.S. Constitution a law is a measure that has been approved by Congress and signed by the President or passed over his veto. Congress has defined "marriage" as the union of a man and a woman which is consistent with centuries of Anglo American law. If the Court changes the definition of marriage then it will be making a new law and usurping the power of Congress and depriving the voters of their right to choose the people who make important social decisions. If the Court is going to overturn this definition of marriage by the people's elected representatives, then it is time for members of the Court to also face the electorate.
One of the worst abuses of American slavery was the fact that slave owners could take a mother's children away from her and sell them to someone else.
The corrupt Vermont court system is treating Lisa Miller and her daughter Isabella like they are slaves. A compassionless judge named William Cohen has forced Miller to leave the country to avoid having to turn her daughter Isabella over to a woman who is unrelated to Isabella.
While Lisa Miller was being treated at a state hospital for a suicide attempt, hospital personnel, of unknown sexual orientation, suggested to Lisa that she might be homosexual. Instead of going to an objective psychiatrist for evaluation she went to the homosexual run Whitman-Walker health clinic in the Washington, D.C., area where, not surprisingly, she was told she was homosexual. She subsequently developed a relationship with Janet Jenkins and decided to be artificially inseminated to have a child in 2002. The couple split up a year later.
Miller moved to Virginia and decided she didn't like the homosexual lifestyle, probably because she wasn't a homosexual to begin with. Initially there was a visitation arrangement for Isabella with Jenkins. Miller says she cut off the visitations because Isabella was uncomfortable with the visitations and according to Miller had talked of suicide.
Isabella's talk of suicide could indicate Jenkins was sexually abusing her. The National Institute of Health has reported an increased risk of suicide among abused children. Sexual abuse of children can be difficult to deal with. Some children may be reluctant to talk about incidents. Other children may invent incidents.. Some abusers don't consider what they are doing to be wrong even though society might disagree. One of the best examples is singer Michael Jackson not thinking he was doing anything wrong by sleeping in the same bed with young boys.
If there was physical contact, Jenkins might thought of it as as mother daughter thing, but Isabella might have thought of the contact with Jenkins in terms of Jenkins' past physical relationship with Isabella's biological mother.
Judge Cohen didn't bother to examine the situation, but instead decided to punish Miller for not accepting his arbitrary orders by giving Jenkins custody of the child she is not biologically related to. In a traditional marriage relationship the male partner has a right to share custody of a child if he is the biological father. There is no legitimate reason to grant an equal right to custody of a mother's child to a male or female partner who is not biologically related to the child. Only the mother should be allowed to decide if custody should be shared.
Granting custody rights to a non-related partner in effect makes the mother a slave. She becomes like the slave mothers whose children could be arbitrarily taken away from them and given to other unrelated individuals.
Vermont, or at least Judge Cohen, apparently supports some version of the archaic notion that a mother is the property of her partner and cannot act independently. Cohen apparently doesn't believe that a mother has a right to protect her child from questionable behavior by someone the child is not biologically related to.
Homosexuality isn't the only type of behavior a mother might conceivably object to in a former partner. Let's consider the hypothetical situation of a mother who has adopted a vegan lifestyle and doesn't want her child to have to spend time with a former partner who might feed the child meat that the mother believes is unhealthy and morally wrong. The difference between the mother and former partner wouldn't need to be that great. The mother might be concerned that the former partner had unhealthy eating habits and would feed the child a lot of potato chips, candy, fatty foods, sugary drinks, etc..
Janet Jenkins is a woman. Unless she has some medical problem that prevents pregnancy, she can have her own baby. Lisa Miller worked 24 hours a day for nine months to make Isabella. Lisa's body made Isabells without any help from the government or Janet Jenkins. If Janet Jenkins wants a child she should have one of her own and stop trying to use a corrupt court system to steal Lisa Miller's child. Lisa Miller is supposed to be a free woman not a slave. The government shouldn't be able to treat her like a slave whose child can arbitrarily be taken away and given to someone else.
Jesse Washington recently reported that many dark skinned Americans recognize that they are not "African" Americans in spite of what some racists say.
The term "African-American" perpetuates the principle tenet of Southern racism: "part black, all black" under the "one drop rule".
Those who use the term are in effect segregating Americans with dark complexions from the rest of the population they may be related to. Those who use the term believe that those with dark complexions should only be able to claim their African ancestors and should forget about ancestors who came from Europe, North America or Asia even if most of a person's ancestors came from places other than Africa.
The media in particular apply the term indiscriminately to any American with a dark complexion. For example, they call golfer Tiger Woods "African American" even though his ancestry is predominately Asian. His mother is Asian and his father had Asian as well as African and American Indian ancestors.
Dr. Martin Luther King dreamed of a day in which color would not be important. Unfortunately, the media along with many politicians and black leaders are still preoccupied with skin color.
Members of the media still falsely claim that differences in skin color among Americans indicate a racial difference. Perhaps there is an European "race" that is white and an African "race" that is black, but if there is an American race it is red and yellow, black and white. We Americans are a mixture of peoples from all parts of the world.
As the Lakota say, Aho Mitakuye Oyasin (We Are All Related) regardless of the color of our skin.
The fact that a person has dark skin doesn't mean a majority of ancestors came from Africa. Dark skin only means a person received one or more of the half dozen skin color related genes that produce "black" skin from an African ancestor. Some of the genes associated with dark complexion are also present in persons from other parts of the world, especially India and Australia. The versions of the skin color genes that cause dark skin are dominant genes which means if a person has a dark version of the gene, complexion will be dark even if the other gene is associated with light skin. Incidentally, the African gene pool includes the albino gene which means some residents of Africa have pale skin.
Calling black Americans African-Americans denies them the opportunity to claim their European (especially Irish) and North American ancestry. The first Africans in the English colonies worked with the Irish in the fields and occasionally became sexually involved with them. In some cases planters deliberately forced Irish women to have children by African men to produce children of a desired complexion. Later, Irish overseers and plantation owners sometimes offered favors for sex or just raped slaves.
Until the 1960's Southern white men could rape black women without fearing punishment. Some black women voluntarily had sex with white employers or their sons. Former Sen. Strom Thurman fathered a daughter by his parent's 16-year-old housekeeper when he was a young man. Young southern women were told that if their good night kisses were too passionate, their boyfriends might seek sexual satisfaction in the black community.
Some black Americans can trace their ancestry back to President Thomas Jefferson and his virtual wife Sally Hennings. DNA tests confirmed the claim that Sally Hennings descendants were also descendants of Thomas Jefferson. The tests examined the "Y" chromosome which is passed from father to son.
A test of the "Y" chromosome of Martin Luther King III indicates that he and his civil rights leader father Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had a north European male ancestor like about 33% of black American males.
The Spanish who established colonies in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia in the 16th Century using African slaves were less likely than the British to bring wives and instead used their slaves for sexual satisfaction. The French in Louisiana also had a shortage of white women. The French, unlike the English, even used terms indicating the proportion of African and European ancestry.
African slaves of the Spanish started a long association with the original inhabitants of North America that continued in the British colonies. The Africans left behind when Spain withdrew from Florida joined with the Seminoles. In the English colonies the Cherokees and some other tribes socialized with the Africans, gave refuge to runaway slaves or had African slaves of their own.
Many white Americans, including former President Warren G. Harding, have African ancestors. Some believe as many as four other white presidents had African ancestors. After the "Roots Miniseries" many whites who researched their family histories were surprised to find ancestors who served in the military who had a "C" after their names for "colored".
Most whites with African ancestors probably don't even know it because their African ancestors whose skin was light enough to pass for white covered up their past. It would only take a few generations of people with mixed parentage to have descendants with skin light enough to pass for white. If only one gene were involved, the math of inheritance would indicate that if two parents each had one black parent and one white parent approximately 25% of their children would have white skin. The math is more complicated with the involvement of multiple genes, but the probability of some light skinned children increases with each generation.
Racists sometimes suggest that black males have a greater propensity for violence especially against women and falsely ascribe that characteristic to their African ancestors. If some black men actually have a genetic tendency to commit rape and murder it would be far more likely that they inherited the gene from a white male ancestor who raped one of their black female ancestors than that they inherited it from an African male ancestor.
Another popular stereotype is that blacks have "rhythm" which they are supposed to have inherited from their African ancestors. Although the slaves' African heritage would have influenced their music, it seems more likely that the social and biological association with the musically oriented Irish would be more responsible for the black emphasis on music.
The Irish responded to the repressive treatment by the English through musical expression. They would have passed that tradition along to the Africans whom they initially worked with as "indentured servants" and later supervised after black slavery was established. The slaves blended their Irish and African traditions with their own situation. They concentrated on expressing themselves through music because their oppressors didn't allow other ways to "fight" their situation. Watch Irish groups like Riverdance and Celtic Woman and then say that black Americans could only have gotten "rhythm" from African ancestors.
The first African "servants" arrived in Jamestown in 1619 only 14 years after the founding of the settlement. During the two centuries of the Atlantic slave trade only about 500,000 additional Africans were imported into North America. Britain led the way to ending the Atlantic slave trade in 1807 and the United States quickly followed to outlaw the importation of slaves without prohibiting the internal slave trade. Thus, the vast majority of the 4.5 million blacks living in the U.S. in 1860 were born here to parents and grandparents who were born here. A substantial portion had at least some ancestors who were living in North America at the time of the American Revolution.
It's time we recognize that the only African ancestors of the descendants of slaves arrived here centuries ago. We need to recognize that those dark skinned Americans whose ancestors were slaves are just as deserving of being called regular Americans as those of us with light skins without any modifier that segregates them from the rest of us.
Americans with dark skins should be allowed to claim all of their ancestors, not just those who provided the genes responsible for their skin color. Those of us with light skins need to accept the possibility that many of those with dark skins are our distant cousins. Those of us whose ancestors arrived here a couple of centuries ago or came from the British Isles, especially Ireland, likely had relatives who had sexual relations with the descendants of Africans. We could also have ancestors who came from Africa. Those whose ancestors have lived in the south for several generations, especially if they have dark naturally curly hair, could easily have an ancestor who passed for white at some time in the past.
Americans need to recognize that color is only skin deep. It doesn't totally define us.
The scariest part of the Democrats "Obamacare" legislation is the fact that Democrats believe we are nothing more than elements of Interstate Commerce. The last time the federal government treated human beings as elements of Interstate Commerce was during slavery.
The federal government has traditionally excluded small businesses with under $500,000 in sales that don't sell across state lines from Interstate Commerce regulations such as the minimum wage law. So how can individual Americans be considered elements of Interstate Commerce?
Commerce involves the transfer of money or property by entities that exist for that purpose. Democrats seem to feel that if you have a job or buy food you are a business enterprise rather than a human being with the right to make your own decisions about what to do with the portion of the money you earn that the government lets you keep.
It shouldn't be surprising that Democrats think of us as slaves considering that the Democratic Party was the party of slavery. Before you bring up Barack Obama's color keep in mind that if his African ancestors had any association with American slavery it was because they captured and/or sold slaves not because they were slaves.
"Socialism" is a word that is often thrown around without anything more than a vague definition. Some people take a simplistic view that if government does something it's socialism.
The Russian government that called itself a "Socialist Republic" provides an example of what socialism is. What the Soviet Union called socialism is basically the system that existed under the Russian emperor and old European monarchies. The only significant difference was that the government was not headed by an hereditary monarch but by a small group of people one of whom served as leader until he died or was deposed by the others.
Under socialism people are treated as the property of the government (emperor). Under socialism people belong to the government. Under our system the government is supposed to belong to the people.
Under socialism the government controls the people, in some cases even determining their careers. Under our system the people are supposed to control the government.
Under socialism the people serve the government. Under our system government is supposed to serve the people
Under socialism government tells people what they must do. Under our system, government tells people what they cannot do, especially to each other.
Obamacare is socialism under this definition because government attempts to control people's private lives by forcing them to purchase insurance regardless of their personal needs and desires.
The Democrats are telling young adults they don't have an option of using money to start a business or purchase a home before starting to buy insurance. Obama is like Mr. Potter in "It's a Wonderful Life" who wanted people to pay rent to him instead of having an opportunity to using the rent money to pay on a mortgage. Many young adults would like to save the money they would spend on health insurance to use as a down payment on a home.
Medicare and Medicaid are not socialism because the money for them comes from taxes assessed to the general working population. Individuals have the option of other insurance or paying their own bills and coverage is not based on how much has been paid with the exception of the optional Medicare coverage. Medicare recipients are expected to meet a minimum residence requirement and have to have paid the tax before becoming eligible.
A government health insurance program based on general taxes that allowed individuals to have private insurance or pay their own medical costs if they wanted to would not be socialistic. Such a program would be socialistic if it prohibited people from having private insurance or restricted the treatment they could purchase.
Democrats support for Obamacare demonstrates their limited intelligence. They are like children in that they are incapable of seeing unwanted consequences of their actions.
Most Democrats believe that women should be able to make their own decisions about having abortions. The Supreme Court says government has only limited authority to restrict abortion because of the individual right to privacy.
If government can control health care decisions on the grounds that humans are elements of Interstate Commerce than individuals no longer have a right to privacy in health care decisions. Government can prohibit medical procedures, including abortions, as a means of limiting health care costs. Persons have a right to privacy, but elements of commerce do not.