This morning while doing my review of the news of the day I came across one of the most simple, yet provocative articles I have read in quite a while, “Ann Coulter: Democrats ‘Dropping the Blacks and Moving on to the Hispanics’.”
While I am no advocate for the messenger Ms Coulter, and disagree with many of her core views inside the article there were statements brought to the national stage that for far too long have went ignored.
“I think what – the way liberals have treated blacks like children and many of their policies have been harmful to blacks, at least they got the beneficiary group right,” Coulter said. “There is the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws. We don’t owe the homeless. We don’t owe feminists. We don’t owe women who are desirous of having abortions, but that’s – or – or gays who want to get married to one another. That’s what civil rights has become for much of the left.” When asked whether immigrant rights were not civil rights, Coulter responded, “No. I think civil rights are for blacks. What have we done to the immigrants? We owe black people something. We have a legacy of slavery. Immigrants haven’t even been in this country.” Ann Coulter on ABC Video
My background and experience has positioned me to oddly be able to see the need for this dialogue on the topic; in my eyes having it triggered by a stark conservative is only more of a statement of the need to have a full conversation on the presented issues with a honest view of history. While many have connected me with the destruction of the black community, those same detractors fail to have a historical grasp on this countries long cyclical history of slavery, convict leasing, chain gangs and now mass incarceration. My role as a kingpin was as much a stop-gap to poverty, as it was a seller of drugs. Mass poverty, unemployment and lack of legacy wealth created an environment of unmotivated black youth in the early 1980′s. I see many similarities today. If left unresolved these similarities will heat from a slow simmer until they boil over as we are seeing in urban centers across the nation, such as Chicago. My gift and curse was an ability to motivate the unmotivated to put in effort and help them see a true economic result. In amassing my fortune what I came to know is people — no matter their background — must be made to feel that they have a purpose. For many blacks that are direct descendants of slaves, that purpose was stripped when their knowledge of family history or goals for family futures was purposefully disrupted in the interest of American expansion.Note: My analysis below deals moreso with lack of recognition of a duty and action that the American government has to descendants of slaves, rather than dealing with the right of other groups to access Civil Rights gains. I believe Civil Rights are due to all Americans, and are cornerstones to achieving the American Dream.
Lets start with context so there is no question as to what Ms. Coulter speaks to in her shortened comments above. America is only 236 years old, the Independence of the country was gained in 1776. While in contrast America’s African slavery lasted from 1619, to at least the date used by most textbooks 1862. But as can be seen in pieces such as “PBS Slavery by Another Name” American slavery really lasted until 1942. Through the use of convict leasing and vagrancy laws America kept Blacks subjugated well into the 20th century. It is only in 1942 that government officials made slavery illegal and acted to enforce the rights of African American slaves to be free. President Roosevelt signed circular No. 3591 legislation on December 12, 1941, finally, effectively making slavery illegal in the United States in 1942. So in all American slavery was some 320 years long, being that it started before the country’s Independence and lasted well into its more modern existence (a full 150 years longer than the entire history of the country). The form of slavery used in America, this country of independence and freedom, was one whereby blacks were intentionally culturally stripped, unable to create familial structure, unable to create financial wealth and unable to create any sense of identity — stripping men down to a sense of nothingness where in some cases they did not even know their own birth dates.
During this period America became one of the wealthiest countries the world has ever known. This occurred primarily on the back of the rest of the world’s inability to compete with America’s free slave labor advantage in creating everything from cotton in the 1700′s to steel in the 1900′s with no labor cost. During this entire time black slaves amassed little to no wealth, and were in fact not even allowed to stay in structured families without threat of being ripped from their social fabric by being sold.The period from 1942 until the early 1970′s was known as Jim Crow, whereby the descendants of slavery were made to be second-class citizens. They were largely unable to vote, unable to organize and unable to truly create wealth for their descendants. Note:Blacks were a group so ostracized they were unable to even see criminal justice done. A little known fact is despite all of the rampant racially motivated killing that went on throughout the country over nearly 100 years between 1877 and 1966, during a time of heavy peonage (a form of involuntary servitude) only one white farmer was convicted of the murder of one of his black “peons”. Stopping and now doing the math from 1776 until around 1970 blacks were truly unable to amass wealth for themselves, but created the wealthiest country the world has known. It is for that which our families are owed a great debt. Note: This means that blacks with ties to slavery, were slaves for 83 percent of the countries entire history, and in addition slaves some 150 years before the country officially became independent. What this has left behind is a society that is ripe for what has been entitled the New Jim Crow whereby mass incarceration has been used as tool to incarcerate in mass the descendants of those same slaves. Shackles are shackles, and chains are chains as much as we refuse to view them as such. This mass incarceration has been a great job creator as America poured billions into the War on Drugs, essentially creating crime that needed to be processed by officers, judges, attorneys and court staff. All of this being done at the cost of so many black males lives. In 1982 at my height, there was no Google, and we had no real knowledge of global affairs. What we did know is that Reganomics had led to a trickle down that was not occurring. It cut off social programs, job training and led to massive downturns in the ghetto economically. But had our great grand-parents been given their just due, we would not be in the position to have to wait for economics to trickle. We would have been our own pipe, trickling to others as any other group in the country’s twelve plus generations were doing by 1980.
Read/learn more at Huffington Post.