Whenever anyone mentions slavery or the atrocities of the past, 3 arguments are always brought up. Let's eliminate them once and for all:
The first is the most popular:
It's not white people's fault because Africans sold other Africans.
People LOVE this argument.
So let me tell you a story:
Contrary to popular belief, the first enslaved Africans didn't arrive in America in 1619. In fact, the first documented slave rebellion in America took place in Georgetown SC in 1526.
But the people who brought those slaves here were Spanish, so for some reason, it doesn't count since it wasn't English territory.
(Bruh, I don't know. You know how they do.)
So why am I bringing up old stuff?
Well, this is important because the Spanish learned the slave trade from the Portuguese, who started this African slavery shit. In the 1400s, Portuguese ships started going to Africa and kidnap slaves and bring them back.
By the 1500s, 10% of Lisbon was black. (It would still be a while before they got a decent soul food restaurant). Portugal really liked the slavery trade, so in 1575, they set up shop in present-day Angola to basically start the Wal Mart of slavery.
They built forts, opened up slave-trading markets and tried to colonize the Ndongo people.
There was just one problem:
The Ndongo kept kicking the Portuguese people's ass.
To be fair, the Ndongo kicked EVERYONE'S ass. After years of trying, the Portuguese got a bright idea.
They were going to get some help.
They made a deal with the neighboring Imbangala, a Spartan-like warriors tribe. The Portuguese gave the Imbangala guns to fight the powerful Ndongo. In exchange, Portugal would enslave the Ndongo as prisoners. The Imbangala agreed in 1618
Over the next 3 years, the Portuguese would enslave 50,000 Ndongo and put them on ships
One of those ships was the San Juan Bautista, which left Africa in 1619 with 350 Ndongo. A few months later, "20 & odd" of those Ndongo "prisoners of war" arrived on the coast of Virginia.
But here's what no one ever explains:
The Imbangala traditionally did not allow women to have children because they didn’t want any weaknesses in their society. Pregnant women had to leave. The tribe could only grow by raiding villages and forcing prisoners to serve as soldiers.
After a period of time, the POWs were freed & initiated into the tribe through a ritual.
THIS temporary period of service is what the Imbangala thought the Portuguese were also doing.
Africans had no understanding of white people's cruel idea of generational, perpetual slavery.
When I talk about "slavery" in the context of American history, we must realize that American slavery was a distinct form of race-based slavery that didn't exist anywhere else in the world. It is the foundation of anti-black racism in America.
Roman enslaved other Romans, prisoners of war, exiles, etc. So did Egyptians, Greeks and every other society in history. Even the European countries who enslaved Africans didn't enshrine the racial aspects into their foundation.
Only America did that.
But you shouldn't take my word for it. Take the word of James Madison:
"The federal Constitution, therefore, decides with great propriety on the case of our slaves, when it views them in the mixed character of persons and of property. This is in fact their true character...
"It is the character bestowed on them by the laws under which they live; and it will not be denied, that these are the proper criterion; because it is only under the pretext that the laws have transformed the negroes into subjects of property"
These are not my words. These are the words of the man who WROTE THE CONSTITUTION.
That quote comes from the Federalist Paper No. 54 when the Founding Fathers debated the value of black life.
Thomas Jefferson, another Founding Father wrote:
"The blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind."
In Scot vs Sanford in 1857, the Supreme Court said that black people "are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word "citizens" in the Constitution"
Adding: 'They were at that time considered as a subordinate and inferior class of beings who had been subjugated by the dominant race, and, whether emancipated or not, yet remained subject to their authority, and had no rights or privileges..."
"They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race either in social or political relations, and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect."
Notice, the Supreme Court said this about ALL black people, not just slaves.
And when every other civilized nation outlawed slavery (long before America did) they didn't enshrine race-based subjugation laws into their laws.
America did that.
Again, don't take my word for it. Take the Supreme Court's word in Plessy v. Ferguson:
"The object of the [Fourteenth] Amendment was undoubtedly to enforce the absolute equality of the two races before the law
it could not have been intended to abolish distinctions based upon color, or to enforce social, as distinguished from political equality, or a commingling of the two races upon terms unsatisfactory to either."
THIS is why American race-based slavery is different than any other form of slavery. Because it wasn't just slavery. It was and still is part of America's DNA
Well, aside from the fact that it is enshrined into the Constitution, you can't understand any social, political or economic part of America without discussing slavery. This rarely-told story explains the concept:
This story is the purest example of how slavery affects every single person in America and is irrefutable proof that history has been whitewashed to make white people feel better
Almost every person in America believes that the second amendment (the right to own guns) was about the right to protect the people from the government.
It is an absolute, unignorable FACT that the right to bear arms was about slavery and white people's fear of a slave revolt.
You must first understand 3 things:
1. James Madison wrote the Constitution.
Of course, many people provided input and ideas but he is regarded as the primary architect.
2. The Consitution didn't initially have a Bill of Rights
Why do you think they're called AMENDMENTS?
The first 10 amendments to the Constitution( the Bill of Rights) were added in 1791, 2 years AFTER the Constitution was written.
3. EVERYTHING was about slavery.
In 1788, eight of the original 13 colonies had decided to ratify the Constitution. They needed one more state to ratify it and Virginia held its constitutional convention to decide whether or not to sign it.
The holdup was Patrick Henry the governor of Va. and George Mason.
Patrick had a slick mouth game. If he was alive today, he could talk Donald Trump into attending a Black Lives Matter meeting.
Mason was smart AF and was the 2nd-largest slaveowner in Fairfax County, Va.
Mason and Patrick Henry lived in Eastern Virginia, where the MAJORITY of the population was slaves.
They were concerned about uprisings and wanted to make sure they'd be able to fight control and hunt slaves. Before the Revolution,, THAT'S what the state militias primarily did.
BOTH of these men knew that the state militias couldn't fight a government army. In fact, the First Continental Congress said: "Man, we need to come together like the Avengers because the British are kicking our militias' ass!"
And when they looked for someone to lead the army, Mason, Madison and Henry were like: "I know a guy." that guy was the largest slaveowner in Fairfax County, so they gave him the job.
His name was George Washington.
But back to Virginia's convention:
The Constitution said that Congress could raise an army to prevent an invasion. Madsion had even written a provision that provided for: "a well-armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country..."
NOTICE, it said "country"
but Mason and Henry was like:
"But what about the slave patrol?"*
Not an actual quote.
See, the PRIMARY job of the STATE militias was to hunt, control and suppress slave uprisings and Virginians were afraid that the northern states were going to arm black people and have them free the slaves. (Remember: Blacks fought with the British in the Revolution)
In fact, in Virginia, SC and other Southern States, white men between 18 and 60 were REQUIRED to serve on slave patrols and "search and examine all Negro-Houses for offensive weapons and Ammunition."
Ministers and sick people were excused but they had to get a court excuse. Rich people also paid people to patrol for them.
In 1720's these mandatory patrols were militarized.
THIS is where the state militias that fought in the Revolution came from.
This is also why the FIRST draft had a second part:
"but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person"
They were SLAVE PATROLS
"In this state there are two hundred and thirty-six thousand blacks, and there are many in several other states. But there are few or none in the Northern States. . . . May Congress not say, that every black man must fight? Did we not see a little of this last war?"
"If there should happen an insurrection of slaves, the country cannot be said to be invaded"
George Nicols even said of the Constitution: "There is no power in the states to quell an insurrection of slaves" George Nichols.
Virginia agreed to ratify but only with the suggestion that Congress consider 20 amendments, including a right to bear arms.
James Madison didn't want to do it but he was running for Congress. People in Va. had heard that he was going to take their guns and give them to slaves.
So James promised that if he was elected, he'd include a bill of rights in the Constitution. He begrudgingly did it because he thought each states should have their own Bill of Rights. In fact, the final draft contained two small changes:
The second half, giving people the choice to object on grounds of religion serve on state slave patrols was gone.
But the second small change reflects the ties to the original slave patrols.
It made no mention of the "country" like the first draft. Instead, it said:
"A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free STATE the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
The slave patrols/militias would form the Confederate Army for the Civil War. After the Civil War, Congress explicitly abolished state militias.
So in 1866, a group of men who served as a slave patrol, a militia AND Confederate soldiers came together to start a militia.
They dedicated themselves to the idea that the Second Amendment was for white men and that black people couldn't own guns. and their first mission was to disarm newly freed black people
On Easter Sunday, 1873 a white militia killed 100-280 black people in the Colfax Massacre for the simple act of voting.
Some of the people in the white mob were arrested and convicted.
The Supreme Court Case United States v. Cruikshank eventually overturned those convictions. The decision was partially based on the fact that the convictions were unconstitutional.
The decision would unleash a new age of terror and inequality we now call Jim Crow
But the reason that the Supreme Court found the convictions to be unconstitutional was simple:
The constitution guarantees the militia the right to own guns, EVEN if their primary purpose was to deny others the right to own guns. Here's why:
The mob argued that they were a militia and that they were convicted by a law that outlawed armed militia. Indeed they were tried under the Enforcement Act, which outlawed militias in Confederate states. The mob said they were being targeted.
This would be the first time anyone argued Second Amendment rights before the Supreme Court. The case is still used by groups like the NRA.
The Enforcement Act, outlawing those racist militia groups had another name:
The Ku Klux Klan Act
You can follow @michaelharriot.
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