Tag Archives: slavery

Rep. Trent Franks: African-Americans were better off under slavery

Oh Wow.  RACIST!!   I want to thank Think Progress for posting this.  This is some straight BS!  If you are a black person living in AZ you need to campaign really, really hard to get this man out of office.  Here’s the info:

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) — one of the most conservative member of Congress, according to a new National Journal ranking — decried the strained state of political discourse in an interview today with blogger-activist Mike Stark. While defending hate radio host Rush Limbaugh, Franks said bipartisanship and “true tolerance” is about “being halfway decent to each other in spite of the differences.” But when the conversation turned to abortion, Franks made a clearly indecent comment, claiming that African-Americans were probably better off under slavery than they are today:

FRANK: In this country, we had slavery for God knows how long. And now we look back on it and we say “How brave were they? What was the matter with them? You know, I can’t believe, you know, four million slaves. This is incredible.” And we’re right, we’re right. We should look back on that with criticism. It is a crushing mark on America’s soul. And yet today, half of all black children are aborted. Half of all black children are aborted. Far more of the African-American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by policies of slavery. And I think, What does it take to get us to wake up?

What?  Huh?  Don’t believe me?  Watch it (beginning 6:20):

Franks continued by saying, “[S]ometimes we get angry and say things that we shouldn’t say, and I apologize…[for saying things] that are intemperate. But I don’t want to hide from the truth.”

Truth? Readers, is this the truth? AZ, is this the truth that you want your Representatives to believe in?

Update: Salon.com has picked up the story.  They report this: Abortion-rights opponents like to compare abortion and slavery; the Dred Scott vs. Sandford case is often seen on the right as the 19th century equivalent of Roe v. Wade. Still, the comments caught the attention of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

“To compare the horrors and inhumane treatment of millions of African Americans during slavery as a better way of life for African Americans today is beyond repulsive,” said Stephanie Young, a DCCC spokeswoman. “In 2010, during the 2nd year of our first African American president, it is astonishing that a thought such as this would come to mind, let alone be shared. The next time Congressman Franks wants to make assumptions about what policies are ‘best’ for the African American community, he should keep them to himself.” [Full Article]

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The Simpsons Celebrate Black History Month and Their Racially Mixed Heritage

I’m sitting here watching the Black History Month Episode of “The Simpsons”.  The title “The Color Yellow”.  Um…really?  Must they co-op the title of one of the most beloved pieces of fiction in the black community?

When Miss Hoover asks her students to research their family history, Lisa is horrified to discover that most of her ancestors were bad people – a motley crew of horse thieves and deadbeats. But while rummaging through the attic, Lisa happens upon a diary kept by her ancestor, Eliza Simpson. As Eliza’s story unfolds, Lisa learns that her family was part of the Underground Railroad, a group that helped slaves escape to freedom. Eliza recounts liberating a slave named Virgil (guest voice Brown), but when Lisa presents her findings at school, some of her classmates refute it, leaving Lisa determined to exonerate her family’s name.

Wow, one of Mr. Burns ancestors just checked over one of Homer Simpson’s ancestors like a slave on the auction block.  He noted that if anyone knows how to estimate the value of a man, he does. I don’t know what to say, but I think I like this episode. Wouldn’t you just know it, Antebellum Marge was an abolitionist who fell in love with a brother and ran off to Canada! Oh as a descendant of their union, Lisa is 1/64th black.  She says, “That’s why my Jazz is so smooth!”. Homer says “That’s why I make less than my white co-workers!”.  Wow. Good episode, but I like “Nate, Peter’s black ancestor” on Family Guy better.

I guess I get the title now.  Are they saying that the Simpsons are yellow in the way black folks commonly use the word…yella gal or high yellow?  Interesting.

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Dr. Gates donates his handcuffs to the Smithsonian

None of the black people I know have ever been given their handcuffs as a “You got arrested” souvenir.  Apparently Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. received more than a beer at the White House after his traumatic arrest…on his front porch.   He’s donated the handcuffs used on him to the Smithsonian Institution’s black history museum.  This makes me wonder…what other items will be on display with these handcuffs?

  • One of the night sticks used on Rodney King
  • Handcuffs used on famous African Americans (MLK, Tupac, Diana Ross, etc)
  • A replica of a Montgomery, Alabama jail cell from the Civil Rights era
  • That horrible neck brace will the bells on it that you sometimes see in illustrations found in books on slavery.

What would happen if black males all over the nation requested that they be given their former chains and handcuffs so that they could be donated to the Smithsonian as a testament  to the record incarceration rates of black men in America.  Surely, 50 years…100 years from our children would marvel at the shear size of the collection of metal bonds.  Would they be amazed and say, “There’s no way that so many people of one race could have been accused of/guilty of that much crime!”.  Or perhaps they will just shake their heads and say, “Nothing has changed.”.

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Thanksgiving: The ugly truth, slavery connection

The REAL story of the “first” Thanksgiving

In December of 1620 a splinter group of England’s Puritan movement set anchor on American soil, a land already inhabited by the Wampanoag Indians. Having been unprepared for the bitter cold weather, and arriving too late to grow an adequate food supply, nearly half of the 100 settlers did not survive the winter.

On March 16th, 1621, a Native Indian named Samoset met the Englishmen for the first time. Samoset spoke excellent English, as did Squanto, another bilingual Patuxet who would serve as interpreter between the colonist and the Wampanoag Indians, who, lead by Chief Massasoit, were dressed as fierce warriors and outnumbered the settlers.

The Wampanoag already had a long history with the white man. For 100 years prior to the Pilgrim landing, they had encounters with European fishermen, as well as those who worked for slave traders. They had witnessed their communities being raided and their people stolen to be sold into slavery. They did not trust the newcomers.

But Squanto was an exception. He had lived with the British, after being captured by an earlier sailing vessel. He had a deep fondness for the Europeans – particularly that for a British Explorer named John Weymouth, who treated Squanto like a son.

Chief Massasoit and Samoset arrived at the colony with over 60 men, plus Squanto, who acted as a mediator between the two parties. Squanto was successful at making a peaceful agreement, though it is most likely that there was a great deal of friction between the Native community and the colonists. The Englishmen felt that the Native peoples were instruments of the devil because of their spiritual beliefs and trusted only the Christian-baptized Squanto. The Native people were already non-trusting of the white man, except for Squanto, who looked at the Europeans as being of “Johns People.”

It was Squanto who then moved to the English colony and taught them to hunt, trap, fish and to cultivate their own crops. He educated them on natural medicine and living off the land. A beloved friend of the Pilgrims, for if it wasn’t for him, they would not if survived. The Puritian Pilgrims thought of him as an Instrument of God.

Several months later the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims decided to meet again to negotiate a land treaty needed by the settlers. They hoped to secure land to build the Plymouth Plantation for the Pilgrims. The Native people agreed to meet for a 3-day negotiation “conference”. As part of the Wampanoag custom – or perhaps out of a sense of charity towards the host – the Native community agreed to bring most of the food for the event.

The peace and land negotiations were successful and the Pilgrims acquired the rights of land for their people.

In 1622 propaganda started to circulate about this “First Thanksgiving”. Mourts Relation, a book written to publicize the so-called “wonderfulness” of Plymouth, told of the meeting as a friendly feast with the Natives. The situation was glamorized by the Pilgrims, possibly in an effort to encourage more Puritans to settle in their area. By stating that the Native community was warm and open-armed, the newcomers would be more likely to feel secure in their journey to New England.

The sad, sad truth (what happened next)

What started as a hope for peace between the settlers and the Wampanoag, ended in the most sad and tragic way. The Pilgrims, once few in number, had now grown to well over 40,000 and the Native American Continue reading

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The root of all evil: Dollar Bill Poem

Keep it real, Dollar Bill.

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Nebraska might “regret” slavery, but no apologies

EURweb.com – Lawmakers will consider a resolution that only expresses ‘regret.’ *State lawmakers in Nebraska will consider a resolution that expresses regret for slavery, but doesn’t issue an apology, reports the Associated Press.

Members of a legislative committee struggled on Wednesday with the language of the resolution that they ultimately advanced to the full Legislature for consideration. The Judiciary Committee finally decided that expressing “profound regret” for the state’s role in slavery was more appropriate than issuing an apology. Lawmakers in New Jersey, Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia have already issued apologies for slavery. The Nebraska Territory banned slavery in 1861, the year the Civil War started. But Nebraska was a center of turmoil over slavery in the 1800s.

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Meeting David Wilson – Reparations

MSNBC will be airing a documentary about David Wilson, an African-American journalist whose research brought him to North Carolina to meet a descendant of his ancestors’ slave master. This will be airing Friday, April 11th at 9PM. You can’t get more direct than this if you want to talk about race relations in this country. I can’t wait to watch this. Tell us what you think.

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