Posts tagged with Thomas Jefferson
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.
President Barack Obama is solely responsible for the current government shutdown. He used the Republican opposition to his health care plan to manipulate them into a situation he could exploit.
He wants to use his media sheep to make the Republicans look bad so he can pursue his goal of gaining dictatorial control over the budget process. He wants the type of power the British monarchy lost centuries ago.
I wouldn't trust former President Thomas Jefferson with the type of control over the federal debt that Obama wants. Jefferson was not only a more honorable man than Obama, he may have had more intelligence than the last three presidents combined.
Obama's conduct of the so called shutdown indicates he is totally lacking in compassion and has contempt for the American people. Blocking public access to the various public monuments in Washington is vindictive and sick. I'm sure there are hundreds, if not thousands, of veterans in the Washington area who would be willing to stand guard over those sites if there is a need for such protection.
Obama says he won't negotiate. The only thing he will accept is total control over the debt ceiling. He apparently is willing to let the economy collapse if he can't get what he demands.
Would a sane president make such a threat?
It's time for Vice President Joe Biden and the cabinet to exercise their responsibility under the 25th Amendment to relieve a president who is acting irrationally from the position.
Various conditions can reduce a president's ability to handle the job. The president wouldn't need to be mentally ill to function improperly. Tumors and conditions that affect blood flow to the brain can interfere with a president's ability to handle the office. Alcoholism and stress can have a negative affect.
If President Obama is having some problem he would benefit from being removed from office before the problem permanently damages him. Many historians believe that the stress associated with various scandals killed President Warren G. Harding. The stress of Watergate nearly killed President Richard Nixon.
President Barack Obama made a major gaffe when he recently said that we are owned, or "belong to", government. In the United States the government is supposed to "belong to" the people instead of the other way around as he suggests.
We the people are supposed to own the government and tell it what to do. Obama and other elitists believe that government exists to control our personal lives and even tell us how much we can eat or drink.
Some government controls are necessary to prevent people from harming others. Government needs to restrict sale of some substances that can adversely affect physical or mental health or can cause people to harm others. However, there is no reason for government to regulate the size of soft drinks or treat all school children as if they had the same nutritional needs. Active children need more calories than those who spend all their time playing video games.
Too many officials at all levels of government think they are better than the rest of us and have some special right or knowledge to make decisions for us. Government officials who believe themselves superior will sometimes say "if you only knew what we know" when they really mean "if you knew only what we know."
One of my favorite movie quotes is by Glenn Ford's character in "Teahouse of the August Moon". Ford plays an American military officer helping the Japanese develop democratic government after World War II. He tells them: "Democracy is where the people have the right to make the wrong decisions."
All humans can make mistakes. I read a book review several years ago about some incredibly stupid things done by the high IQ members of Mensa. During President Lyndon Johnson's administration men who were considered to be the best and the brightest put half a million of us in Vietnam for no apparent reason other than that they didn't want to lose the war before the next election. They had no idea what victory meant and thus didn't know how to win.
President Thomas Jefferson once said: "I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion."
"It is the duty of the Patriot to protect his country from its Government."- Thomas Paine
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.