To add insult to injury after the ghastly and immoral act of slavery was forced upon Black people kidnapped from their homes in Africa, the American Government paid restitution to slaveholders for the loss of [their property] but not a single penny has been made available as compensation for what they did to Blacks for hundreds of years.
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act to compensate more than 100,000 people of Japanese descent who were incarcerated in internment camps during World War II. The legislation offered a formal apology and paid out $20,000 in compensation to each surviving victim.
John Tateishi who was incarcerated at Manzanar internment camp in California from age 3 until he was 6, wrote; The experience was both humiliating and disorienting. “We came out of these camps with a sense of shame and guilt, of having been considered betrayers of our country.” He says that after the war most families never spoke about it.
Even though the efforts of Black people were (a) what inspired the Japanese ‑American movement, & (b) that survivors of that tragedy were compensated, to this day the United States refuses to compensate African-Americans for the genocide it wrought on millions through the middle passage, hundreds of years of slavery, jim crow and the continuance of institutionalized racism.
“There were no complaints, no big rallies or demands for justice because it was not the Japanese way. More than 100,000 people of Japanese heritage from the West Coast were sent to war relocation camps during World War II.
But decades later and inspired by the civil rights movement, the Japanese American Citizens League launched a contentious campaign for redress. It divided the community along generational lines. Tateishi became a leader of the movement.
After World War 11 the United States unveiled a plan designed to put western Europe back on its feet after the war, despite the fact that the war was initiated by Germany. The brainchild of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, for whom it was named, it was crafted as a four-year plan to reconstruct cities, industries, and infrastructure heavily damaged during the war and to remove trade barriers between European neighbors — as well as foster commerce between those countries and the United States.
The Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Program, was a U.S. program providing aid to Western Europe following the devastation of World War II. It was enacted in 1948 and provided more than $15 billion to help finance rebuilding efforts on the continent. [History.com]
On January 31, 1865, the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United on December 6, In the same year, the Amendment was ratified and slavery was a thing of the past.
Or was it?
The 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States and provides that; “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, (except as a punishment for a crime), whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Rather clever indeed ‘there.” Let us end this civil war and get on with our lives, but this clause will be our on-ramp to reinstitute a crawling ‑pen form of slavery through mass incarceration.
That was exactly what they did.
Since that time African-American people have suffered through black codes, (laws designed across all states and territories that criminalized literally everything that black people did, including just standing around. Those vicious laws resulted in what is known as the prison chain gangs. The chain gangs originated as a part of a massive road development project in the 1890s. Georgia was the first state to begin using chain gangs to work male felony convicts outside of the prison walls. Chains were wrapped around the ankles of prisoners, shackling four or five together while they worked, ate, and slept.
Slavery reinstituted into the United States under the guise of convicted felons, which was perfectly legal and is perfectly legal today, it is right there in the 13th Amendment.
Slavery never ended in the United States, mass incarceration of African-Americans begun before the ink was dried on the emancipation declaration.
As it has done to Native American tribes from whom it stole the land, the United States Government has done nothing to repair the breach. In fact, it has systemically embarked on codifying laws, and enacting policies that are diametrically antithetical to the interest of African-Americans in every regard.
What is the reason for that degree of disdain you ask?
After all, Blacks slaved and died for hundreds of years to build wealth for white America. The wealth that they themselves have not benefitted from. It is not enough to claim that your white parents came long afterward and so you have nothing to do with slavery.
If that is your experience as a white person, you and your family already benefitted having arrived in an America that slave labor built. if that is your experience, shut your mouth, take a seat, or join the fight for social justice.
You are benefitting from the blood, sweat, and tears of our ancestors.
Apart from the lack of respect meted out to African-Americans, there is a notable hatred, not just from insignificant mindless trolls but from significant mindless trolls at all levels of the Government.
We see it in the white militias that show up as reinforcement to racist police in cities where Blacks and conscientious whites are demonstrating for the tearing down of institutionalized racism.
We see it in their Faux media. The number one issue in my opinion, that drives this level of raw racism and hatred, is fear that the very foundations of white supremacy are crumbling.
They are scared that what they did to Blacks will be done to them. As much as they hate Blacks, they also hate liberal whites who would join the fight for equality.
They fundamentally understand that as more and more whites join the cause of justice, the closer we all get to a more just society through the crumbling of white apartheid.
As they hated Abolitionists and used all kinds of violence against them, we must view the right-wing violence with the very same lens.
Mike Beckles is a former police Detective corporal, businessman, freelance writer, he is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog mikebeckles.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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