EDITORIAL & COMMENT
HISTORY IS HISTORY
Lunkhead DeSantis needs a moral enema
Nothing remotely redeemable about slavery
By JARRETTE FELLOWS, JR., Editor-in Chief
America knows it must atone for slavery. Two actions the US government must implement are, issuing reparations to the descendants of slaves for the grueling labor their forebears suffered for 244 years without recompence; and issuing an official apology for their suffering.
One action that must be rebuked and condemned led by Americans with blackened souls, is that slaves benefitted from slavery by acquiring workable skills like cooking in the master's kitchen, blacksmithing or growing crops.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis is proffering this lie, advocating that slavery offered redeemable value to the indentured.
Forced labor at the point of physical reprisal was not a benefit. It was extreme stress, threatening a slave's psychological and mental well-being. We will never know the number of slaves that suffered strokes, cardiac episodes, and mental breakdown under the duress of slavery—both during the transatlantic passage crowded in the dank holds of slave ships, and during nearly two-and-a-half centuries of hell on Earth.
It must be noted that the long voyages at sea bore no likeness to comfort for the prostrate enslaved Africans who were immersed in filth—often their own urine, excrement and vomit.
Slave ships were cargo ships specially built or converted for transporting enslaved Africans from Africa to the Americas. Slave ship owners wanted to carry as many slaves as possible and divided the hull into "between decks" or "tween decks". Slave ships were part of the transatlantic slave trade that lasted from 1500 to 1863. Some names of slave ships were Adelaide, Antelope, Aurore, and La Amistad.
DeSantis and the racist perverts in his administration want to teach a "sanitized" version of slavery to middle school children that slavery had a layer of light to it—that slaves acquired important skills in the provision of their daily labor, and they desire to "lighten" the horrid legacy of slavery to children.
But the dark legacy of slavery cannot be white-washed. DeSantis is a man of moral turpitude in need of a moral enema. He is depraved and needs purging. DeSantis is morally and ethically unfit to be Florida's governor, much less president of the United States.
There was no redeemable value in slavery, an atrocity in which human beings were lynched, burned at the stake, branded, disfigured physically, the women and girls raped, families broken into pieces and sold to the highest bidder ... slavery was abject dehumanization.
Toiling in the cotton fields, the "big house" or amid the blacksmith's forge, was not the job corps or employment enrichment. The forced labor—all of it—without a cent of recompence, was driven by the crack of a bull whip, whether by the more severe version akin to flogging, which could kill a man or the use of a whip to goad a man to work harder or to demonstrate power over them.
Slave owners also used the brunt of a hard stick to discipline women and children in the master's house.
According to e-Notes.com, slave owners were beholden to resort to a host of exceedingIy cruel measures to punish slaves that veered from the masters' rule of law. One such brutality was to drive nails into a barrel, where a slave would be forced to enter, and the barrel subsequently rolled down a hill.
Another punitive savagery was the use of thumbscrews in a device that resembled a vice containing sharp spikes. Thumbs (and sometimes toes) were placed in the vice and slowly crushed.
Punishment was not always physical but mental as well. Slaves often saw loved one such as a husband, wife or child sent away never to be seen again as a form of punishment. The separation of family members in front of one another was used as an instrument to punish slaves.
The willful harm of one family member in front of another as a means of getting what the slave owner wanted was another instrument to punish slaves. Additionally, slave owners often punished the adults by whipping their innocent children in place of them.
Using rope to hang slaves was also a cruelty, and later, the use of the gun to repress slaves was used. In some slave narratives, using an axe to cut off a slave's big toe or the entire foot to punish runaway slaves was also a common practice.
In some instances with problem runaways, slaves were publicly burned alive suspended by chains over a large bonfire to discourage other would-be runaways.
Finally, "choosing" different slaves to work in the homes of the master in hopes of dividing and conquering the slave population was a tactic to foil the hopes of collectivizing against the master.
There were also times that slaves were fitted with heavy metal collars around the neck used to keep them in line as well as to serve as an actual restrictive device when connected to a chain.
One thing that was not considered a punishment in the strict sense, but was quite horrible was the relatively constant practice of rape by male slave owners of their female slaves. It was something considered normal with many slave owners. The bastard children of these rapes were also considered slaves unless the owner saw fit to "free" them.
History is history and therefore cannot be undone. America's slave legacy is forever a part of the strata, a smear that ensued for 244 years. DeSantis' governorship cannot erase this. And it will never be sanitized.
Whispers of those tortured souls wrested from the Atlantic seaboard of West Africa, will always remind us in the cold darkness through the howling wind, to never forget.
The truth will stand.
Keep the original promise
By JARRETTE FELLOWS, JR., Editor-in-Chief
Initially, I didn't believe reparations to Black Americans for the forced labor and indignities of slavery for 244 years stood a snowflake's chance in a boiling desert. The US government hasn't even so much as broached an official apology for the denigration and despair of slavery, much less offer recompense to the victims.
But due to the mulish advocacy of a smattering of pro-reparations groups, alas, the movement is gaining traction—to the point where state governments, cities, towns, and municipalities are moving ahead, implementing their own strategies how best to extend reparations to America's descendants of domestic enslavement.
Though many Americans thumb their noses at reparations as a form of affirmative action or a welfare handout to Black Americans, nothing is further from the truth. Slavery provided undergird to early America. Slaves, who toiled for hours daily over the span of 244 years, mainly picking cotton, gave rise to the American textile industry valued at $343.70 billion in 2023. They were never compensated one penny for their labor.
The year was 1619—considered a significant starting point to slavery in America—when privateer The White Lion brought 20 enslaved Africans ashore in the British colony of Jamestown, VA. They were seized from the Portu- guese slave ship Sao Jao Bautista. Throughout the 17th century, European settlers in North America turned to enslaved Africans as a cheap, plentiful labor source. The compounded interest on slave labor of the time, would be astronomical in 2023.
Though it is impossible to give accurate figures, some historians have estimated that 6 to 7 million enslaved people were imported to the New World during the 18th century alone, depriving the African continent of some of its healthiest and ablest men and women. Given the hours of toil over 244 years, the millions of slaves forced into the humiliating grind and the human psychological toll in terms of broken families, the auction of family members, lynchings, and other atrocities, there may be never be adequate compensation for slavery.
But reparations could be years from fruition because no agreeable solution has emerged from the mishmash of ideas under consideration. Hard cash, college scholarships, substantial reduction on mortgage loans ... have all been bandied about.
The idea that has spurred the most debate is the cash option. Recent polling data in 2021 revealed that 62 percent of Americans were opposed to cash payments, while 38 percent were in favor.
One form of reparations I have yet to hear in the debate arena, may be the simplest and least complicated of all—the original promise of 1865: Forty Acres and a Mule.
Forty acres and a mule was part of Special Field Orders No. 15, a wartime order proclaimed by Union General William Tecumseh Sherman on Jan. 16, 1865, during the American Civil War to allocate land to some freed families in plots of land no larger than 40 acres. Sherman later ordered the army to lend mules for the agrarian reform effort.
The field orders followed a series of conversations between Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton and radical Republican abolitionists Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens, following disruptions to the institution of slavery provoked by the American Civil War. Many ex-slaves believed, after being told by various political figures, that they had a right to own the land they had been forced to work as slaves and were eager to control their own property. They widely expected to legally claim 40 acres of land.
However, President Abraham Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson, tried to reverse the intent of Sherman's wartime Order No. 15 and similar provisions included in the second Freedmen's Bureau bills. Some land redistribution occurred under military jurisdiction during the war and for a brief period thereafter. However, federal and state policy during the Reconstruction era emphasized wage labor, not land ownership for Black people.
Almost all land allocated during the war was restored to its pre-war White owners. Several Black communities did maintain control of their land, and some families obtained new land by homesteading. Black land ownership increased markedly in Mississippi, particularly during the 19th century.
The state had much undeveloped bottomland (low-lying alluvial land near a river) behind riverfront areas that had been cultivated before the war. Most ex-slaves acquired land through private transactions with ownership peaking at 15 million acres or 23,000 square miles in 1910, before a recession caused problems that resulted in the loss of property for many.
For the reasons aforementioned where the US government allocated 40 acres of land to ex-slaves, then took
the land back from them—providing 40 acres, and perhaps a grant for farming equipment for persons whose land might encompass areas suitable for agrarian pursuits—appears to be one viable option.
Land ownership should never be ruled out as recompense. For instance, an acre of land in New Jersey can run nearly $200,000. In California, an expensive locale for real estate, averaging between $5,000 to $12,000 an acre, an additional grant of $500,000 to develop the land would seem plausible in a reparations package. It's going to depend on the type and location of the land.
If owning property equates to wealth-building, then owning 40 acres of prime land of appreciable value would seem to be plausible—certainly worthy of the debate. Perhaps, there should be a number of options on the table. Forty acres of land in a prime location where the demand is palpable, should be one of them.
Lock down the criminal meister to save the Republic
If the US Department Of Justice does not indict, convict, and imprison the 45th president for planning, inciting, and calling for the Jan. 6 insurrection at the nation's Capitol, it's the beginning of the end for the USA. Perhaps this is why America is not mentioned in prophecy in the Book of Revelation of the Holy Bible. Students of the Bible know what I mean.
America, the mightiest nation in history, is conspicuously absent from the prophetic final and greatest military battle in world history—Armageddon; the Battle of Megiddo, a coming great war campaign between the forces of good and evil at the end of time, when the Kings of the East march on Israel. Revelation 16:16.
Many Bible scholars believe the Kings of the East are Russia and China. Those familiar with geo-politics know the USA is Israel's staunchest ally of any nation on Earth, and would never allow Russia or China to attack her without intervening—unless America is severely weakened by some kind of implosion from within.
Remember the oft-quoted phrase, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." The origin of the phrase is a warning to the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew, 12:25:
“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.”
America is severely divided. It escalated in 2016 when the 45th POTUS was sworn in, and deepened when he was defeated in a re-election bid in 2020, after which he plotted to overturn the election with a scurrilous scheme of lies and deceit that exploded with a violent seizure of the Capitol.
And alas, a federal indictment on 40 charges against a clearly sociopathic, psychopathic lunk is but days away. I hope the DOJ has a large enough strait jacket on hand. I have a feeling when the "judgment" comes down, this ex-prexy is going to behave like an insolent toddler in a grocery store told by his mom he cannot ride in the shopping cart.
The DOJ must shackle and lockdown this criminal meister if this democratic republic is to survive.
America the Imperiled!
military juggernaut on the scale of the US arsenal.
The might of the US navy alone is unfathomable.
But, as the nation bears witness today, a house divided against itself will crumble. No one ever believed that chilling scenario could happen here—
until Jan. 6, 2021.
An angry mob incited by an irrational, unhinged defeated incumbent president stormed and attacked
merica's defeat in a full-scale conflict has never been a pressing concern for the nation's military leaders. Never in world history has there been a
the capitol in a failed coup to overturn the 2020 presidential election, which was fairly and decisively won by Joseph R. Biden by a 7 million vote margin to make him the nation's 46th president. He won the Electoral College 306 to 232. The reverse of the margin Donald Trump won by in 2016. He called that a "massive landslide victory."
Trump didn't call President Biden's victory a landslide. Instead, he lied—calling it a "stolen" election. "The Big Steal," as it has infamously come to be known, fueled by Trump's petulant incessant drone, has created ever-widening fissures in the land along political, social, racial and gender lines.
Factions in Trump's camp—namely the ultra-radical Proud Boys and Oath-Keepers advocate blood in the streets; a civil war with race as a catalyst.
These are perilous times in America. We have witnessed a number of senseless tragic mass murders inspired by Trump's caustic rhetoric, fueling massacres of 9 Black Americans at a Charleston, SC church; 10 others at a Buffalo, NY supermarket; and 23 Latino Americans at an El Paso, Texas Walmart.
These people are not patriots, as they claim to be. Patriots don't seek the blood of fellow Americans. These people are the enemy—willing to destroy the nation in the name of white supremacy, white nationalism, and racial purity. More than 74 million of the US electorate with views like these or views that correlate to radically conservative beliefs, voted for Donald Trump.
This demographic also believes the Trump lie that the 2020 election was stolen by Blue-leaning poll workers and ballot tabulators. A deranged Trump, detached from reality and sound reasoning encouraged thousands of his followers—many armed, to descend on the Capitol and stop the Electoral College certification of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States of America.
The belligerent mob overcame a grossly outnumbered Capitol police force and barnstormed the Capitol build- ing, shattering windows and compromising entrance points with many senators, congress persons and staff still at work. The rioters—who earlier chanted, "Hang Mike Pence," for refusing to bend to Trump's will to de-certify the Biden victory—failed to seize the proceedings in the Capitol chambers where there could have been bloodshed against certain Democratic lawmakers.
Evidence presented at the Jan. 6 Hearings have shown that the former president played a measured role in the violence that permeated the Capitol.
Trump mocks a second run at the highest office in the land in 2024. But, if United States Attorney Merrick Garland and the US Justice Department have a modicum of a sense of justice, they will levy charges against Trump and his co-conspirators to subvert a fair and legal presidential election with a coup that fell all so short.
We believed Donald J. Trump should see the inside of a prison for his recalcitrance, effort to malign the US Constitution, his decades of blatant tax evasion—and most of all, his clear evidentiary role in the violent Capitol insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021.
Should none of the aforementioned be brought to bear, the least that should occur, is this very dangerous demagogue should be branded and legally barred from ever again holding public office.