DOUGLAS V. GIBBS is a renowned constitutionalist who serves as President of the Constitution Association, as a fellow of the American Freedom Alliance, has been an AM Radio host since 2011, and has been an instructor of the U.S. Constitution since 2008. This is his tenth book.
A True Origin Story
America’s Christian Foundation:
Challenging The 1619 Project, and Critical Race Theory
By Douglas V. Gibbs
Copyright © 2022 Douglas V. Gibbs
All rights reserved.
Contains some material previously published online in POLITICAL PISTACHIO, the blogsite of author Douglas V. Gibbs
Subjects: United States – History │ Slavery │ Christianity │ 1607 Project
All Scriptures are taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version.
Printed in the United States of America
Cover designed by Douglas V. Gibbs
For the earnest consideration of all Americans, the bewitched youth, curious worldwide onlookers and those dedicated to the cause of Liberty. This book is affectionately and respectfully dedicated to the more than 200 million Christians in America, and even more so to those who have erroneously believed the false narratives being taught about American History whether they are persons of faith, or not.
“There is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of [slavery]; but there is only one proper and effectual mode by which it can be accomplished, and that is by legislative authority; and this, as far as my suffrage will go, shall never be wanting.” – George Washington to Robert Morris. (1786)1
“It should never be lost sight of, that our destiny for good or for evil, for time and for eternity, is, by an all-wise God, committed to us; and that all the helps or hindrances with which we may meet on earth, can never release us from this high and heaven-imposed responsibility.” – Frederick Douglass (1848)2
“Cant – the word is English…In its more general meaning it denotes an unreal manner of speech, thoughtlessly imitative, or used with the consciousness of its untruth, to attain any kind of object, whether it be in religion, politics, or be concerned with theory or actuality…Every nation, every class and every group united by theory or interest has its own cant. It has partly become such a mere matter of convention, of pure form, that no one is any longer deceived by its emptiness, and a fight against it would be shooting idly at sparrows. But this does not apply to the cant that appears in the guise of science and the cant which has become a politicized battle cry.” – Eduard Bernstein (1899)3
“As early as 1928, the Communists declared that the racial differences among our people constituted the weakest and most vulnerable point in our social fabric. By constantly probing and straining at this one spot, they calculated that eventually the cloth could be torn apart and that Americans could be divided, weakened and perhaps even set against each other in open combat…They want hatred violence and bloodshed between the races, and they don’t care how they get it or whom they use, even children if necessary.” – G. Edward Griffin (1969)4
“After 1848, Marx earned the power of counterrevolution…and began to believe that existing systems of government and economy could not be overthrown until a relatively informed and organized proletariat could be mobilized to do so…Marx understood the power of mass communication and the need to control it and shape it to frame events and opinions. In other words, the purpose was to propagandize, not inform…banning people, speech, words, broadcasts, and social media access; and redefining language, history, knowledge, and science—all of which are occurring or pursued in our current culture and environment—are the trademarks of totalitarianism.” – Mark R. Levin (2021)5
In its own note the 1619 Project book’s editors indicate that the use of the word “slave” was avoided when possible, inserting instead “enslaved person” in the hopes of preserving the humanity of those who were enslaved during the era of slavery. Terms like “plantation” and “master”, states the editors, were also minimally used, replaced with euphemisms. The tactic in the note is to send a message that slaves were not seen as persons by the majority of the free population at the time, so in the hopes of rescuing the dignity of those who were enslaved the word “person” was added when referring to them. In truth, as one will read about in this book, while there was a segment of the American Population who viewed slaves as no more than property, and had no problem stripping them of their humanity, the attitude was not as widespread as the 1619 Project would like you to believe. In fact, most of the Founding Fathers not only abhorred slavery, and in the U.S. Constitution the word slave was not used as well; “Person” was. A majority of the Founding Fathers viewed those who were enslaved as being MEN as they were, themselves.
Note: In the 168 words of anti-slavery language Thomas Jefferson included in the original draft of the Declaration of Independence he refers to those enslaved as MEN, putting the word in all CAPS for emphasis. Earlier in the same document Jefferson also penned, “all men are created equal.”
– Douglas V. Gibbs
PREFATORY AND PERSONAL
Writing politically is an art that dots my ancestral canvas for centuries. I have been a writer my entire life without even realizing that I was journeying in footsteps similar to that of my forefathers. Writing has always been a joy, and the consequences have always been that of satisfaction, especially when regarding a work’s connection with the educative and inspirational qualities it contains and delivers. This, however, is the first publication I have endeavored that contains an underlying motive reaching beyond the mere desire to educate and inspire.
I wish to be a positive influence on the cause of liberty, and a devastating hammer in relation to the effort of extinguishing a raging counterrevolution against the American Revolution of the Eighteenth Century, and its contractual successor, The United States Constitution, debated and written at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the Summer of 1787.
I intend to prove that the continuous aspirations of the enemies of the U.S. Constitution are not only political in nature, but that those who populate the ranks against American Liberty are indeed radical revolutionaries who are intent on performing the act of overthrowing our Blessed Law of the Land using the tools of insurrection and propaganda that includes, but is not limited to, the revision of American History. The end-game by the enemy is simple; the establishment of a totalitarian system modeled after the very monsters America has slain during its short history as a functioning union of states and as an active member of a part of the global population who once, long ago, stood against tyranny.
To reveal the subject as intelligible to those unacquainted with the true vision of the anti-American forces, we battle against some explanatory foundation was necessary in many parts of this book. Every effort to avoid a mixture of history, political opinion, ideological fact, conspiracy and Scripture (better known as “religion and politics”) was fruitless, so all of the above swim freely and necessarily in the waters presented, of which are also infested with a broad classification of sharks, other sea-going predators, parasites, and cockroach-like creatures that a cultural revolution based on utopian schemes typically breeds.
The emergence, growth, and ascendency to a position recognized globally as being that of a world power by the United States of America, no matter the morality or justification of the components along the way, would be too voluminous to completely place in a single work such as this one. Therefore, a majority of the historical and political components needed to present the primary thesis of this work are only included. I suppose you could call them “highlights,” but as the reader proceeds and perhaps comes to an opinion that a particular fact, person (or group of people) or historical event was omitted, recognize my fair reader that the reality is that what was needed to present the topic was provided, and everything else simply did not make it to these pages. Any consideration that an item was omitted for any reason other than the fact that it simply did not make it to these pages is folly. In the end I simply desired this book would remain shorter than the length of a number of pieces of legislation that haunt the Halls of Congress, and therefore could be read during the span of one’s lifetime. In short, what was included in this work was simply what was necessary to sufficiently introduce and examine the general details of the topic at hand in an intelligible and navigable manner.
During the construction of this publication I realized there may be an eventuality of a bombardment of criticism from its detractors. The entire hierarchy of those who stand against America’s Heritage of Liberty will no doubt reach deeply into their tool box as professional liars and work endlessly to disprove the truth contained in this book. I say “bring it on.” While legitimate questions will arise in the minds of the readers of this work, and accusations will escape the lips of the enemies of liberty regarding the personality and personal history of the author, as well as the motive which impelled him to undertake the work, the truth is clear on the pages of this book and I expect those who stand against the truth to take much offense to the words on these pages. Questioning someone’s “privileges” or lineal placement on the rungs of the societal ladder will not, and does not, alter the realities presented in this book, nor the basic truth that American Liberty has done more for the betterment of all humanity than any political system in history.
After spending my years on Earth in careful study of the true history of America’s Heritage of Liberty I became consumed with the rise of Cultural Marxism that, to my surprise, turns out to be much older than I. What is being taught and propagandized by mainstream institutions is glaringly inconsistent with the various historical sources I have subjected myself to during my lifetime. The chisel-like axes of the movement championing impractical schemes of social reform have been chipping away at the pillars of this country’s great foundation for over two centuries. I am in many ways surprised at how many people have fallen for the thinly disguised deception that they are being intellectually programmed by. From a political maturity standpoint it reveals itself to me as being the operation of a mature mind versus the impressions of a mind that still embraces the innocence and gullibility of childhood. In short, most Americans are intellectually defenseless against the infiltration into our culture of the false narratives that they are being bombarded by on an endless basis. Unfortunately, they have fallen for the mantra to “trust and obey”.
The encroachments by the allies of the statist infestation that has gripped our constitutional republic has not advanced without opposition, but with its own style of creeping incrementalism the opponents of liberty have worked tirelessly to this critical crossroad in history. In the end, the question is simple. Will American Liberty set like a falling sun on the western horizon, or are we only beginning to fight and succeed in battling back the forces of evil that stand against our inherent system and legacy of liberty?
Douglas V. Gibbs, Murrieta, California, March 11, 2022
When the New York Times’ 1619 Project first emerged I paid it little attention. The pro-constitution community I spend most of my time in reacted to the Critical Race Theory companion immediately with disdain. I was told about the 1619 Project’s inaccuracies and its conflicted messaging, and without really digging into it I figured the reaction by my contemporaries was likely on target. Considering its original source, the New York Times, I viewed it as a likely carefully organized, coordinated, and calculated attack on America’s Founding. Desconstruction of America’s History is a key component in the schemes of Cultural Marxism. The strategies are designed to convince the inhabitants of this great land that the birthing process of the United States of America is so flawed that somehow that means that all that followed is flawed. If America began with a great lie, then the whole thing is just one big stinking lie.
The whole claim by Nikole Hannah-Jones (originator of the 1619 Project) to having an intellectual exchange about the history of slavery in the United States is not only a lie, but it has, as likely hoped for by Hannah-Jones, committed lingering harms to the social fabric of the United States. In other words, it is doing as it was intended to do. However, while the harms exist, the reality is that the false narrative has also awakened a sleeping giant. America’s Christian Community, and those who may or may not share that Christian Faith but believe in the true story of America’s Origin, have rejected the 1619 Project lock, stock, and barrel.
The unfortunate truth of the matter is that Christian public opinion doesn’t matter to these people. The launch of the New York Times’ 1619 Project magazine feature and sizable advertising budget was not aiming to pierce the Christian community. It was aimed at sparking outrage in a segment of the population searching for an excuse for outrage, and it gave the progressive leftists in the education industry exactly the hammer they had been waiting for to pound anti-Americanism into the skulls of the younger generations of America’s Youth, many of whom would then rebel against their Christian and patriotic parents with their new found nuggets of alleged truth.
The year, 1619, was chosen carefully. There is no truth to its claim. The continent’s first slaves arrived long before 1619, and America’s first slaves began to arrive on the Atlantic Coast from Africa in what would become the Thirteen Original Colonies in 1645, not 1619 (during the decades prior there were shipments from Caribbean Islands like Barbados to a few of the colonies, Massachusetts 1636 or 1637, Maryland and Delaware 1632).6a The number of African slaves lagged behind the much larger number of European and other indentured servants well into the 18th Century. But, most folks associate America’s Christian Founding with the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock in 1620. From the point of view of most Americans who are not neck-deep into American History as would be somebody like me, as far as they are concerned the first Christians arrived in North America, fleeing from religious persecution, in 1620. So, 1619 was chosen to make it look like slaves were really the reason for America’s founding, not Christianity, because 1619 comes before 1620. The true year of 1645 was not spectacular enough, nor early enough, to slam home the anti-American agenda that tries to reduce our complex history of slavery into sweeping generalizations and false narratives.
Rather than a composition of history and knowledge, the 1619 Project is nothing more than a series of untruths geared towards progressive activism that aims to alter the education system into a direction that is more in line with their Critical Race Theory commentary.
The 1607 Project: America’s Christian Founding, while designed to correct the narrative we are being fed by the 1619 Project, began as a project simply aiming to educate my readers about the foundational truths regarding America’s Faith in The Creator from the very start. In fact, when the idea first popped into my head I was aware of the 1619 Project’s existence, but I was relatively unaware of it beyond what I had read by other authors and commentators in my pro-constitution circle. Then, I came across a database considered to be the “Gold Standard” in the study of slavery according to Henry Louis Gates, Jr., of PBS.6b The numbers I was experiencing as I manipulated the slavevoyages.org database7 revealed to me a handful of things, including confirming for me the reality that the English Colonies and the United States were actually minor players in the overall scheme of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Accounts claiming that America’s role was anything larger than what I was seeing were simply false. I, then, wrote an article titled “Slavery Sleight of Hand” on my blog8, and later submitted it to a few of the outlets I write for. The interest portrayed by the public readership in what I wrote was fascinating.
“https://www.statista.com/chart/19068/trans-atlantic-slave-trade-by-country-region/ shows how many slaves were sent to each region in the New World and Europe during the time period of 1514-1866, this time showing a number 307,000 going to the U.S. (which contradicts the 377,613 number from the previous chart). Something I took notice of on this particular page is that the article opens with the 1619 Project claim that in August of 1619 the first ship with enslaved Africans arrived in what was then the colony of Virginia. Curious, I decided to go to the database Gates at PBS mentioned, which turns out to also be the source for Katharina Buchholz, the author of the statista pieces, to see if I could find out how many slaves was estimated to have arrived in the New World in 1619 as we are being told. Using the https://www.slavevoyages.org/assessment/estimates part of the slave trade database I left only the U.S. box check-marked, then set the years from 1501 to 1625. According to the database there were zero slave arrivals in the U.S. portion of North America during that time period. Kind of contradicts the 1619 Project claim, doesn't it?”
I spent two weeks mulling over what I had learned. I knew we were being lied to, but even a database used by folks who don’t necessarily agree with me politically provided a big, fat goose egg when it came to the year 1619.
I woke up in the middle of the night on January 16, 2022 and changed the name of my book from “America’s Christian Founding” to “The 1607 Project – America’s Christian Founding.” The lies perpetuated by Hannah-Jones and the New York Times needed to be addressed directly. I, then, ordered the book, “The 1619 Project” and decided my book would be more than a simple lesson regarding America’s founding. We were going to take on the 1619 Project head on.
Whether or not with this book we put to rest the false claims in what has become a mainstream discussion, I ask that the reader use something that the education system has been attempting to dull for quite a while; your critical thinking skills. As you consume my information simply assess for yourself what seems to be more likely. The 1607 Project was not designed to teach you what to think, but to encourage the reader to navigate the waters of America’s History, both in terms of its Christian Founding and its brush with slavery. The aim is to add to the conversation, and to provide some context that may help the reader recognize that much of what we are being taught is simply not true. America truly was founded on Christian Principles, and the Founding Fathers truly were intellectual and enlightened individuals who saw the slaves in America as being a part of a worldwide tragedy, and saw the Atlantic Slave Trade, and Slavery in America, as something they needed to work towards ending as soon as could logically be done. In fact, one of the reasons for the American Revolution was to ultimately put a death nail in the coffin of slavery. After all, when it came to abolition, it was the Americans who led the way in the New World. America was not only not founded on the sin of slavery, but it was America who led the charge to ending the institution of slavery in The West.
Douglas V. Gibbs
Douglas V. Gibbs
I was nine years old when Schoolhouse Rock on ABC had pushed me to the point of wanting to learn more than what was being aired about U.S. History, the U.S. Constitution, and the people who make up the complicated fabric of American Exceptionalism. While I recognized, as I learned, that our history as a country was dotted with things that were not anything to be proud of, even at that age I recognized the importance of still keeping those things close to our vest. As a Christian, especially as one watches the turbulent history of Israel in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, the reality that we learn our greatest lessons from turbulent times had already been instilled in me. Or, as I like to say with a little biting sarcasm in today’s modern era of my much older years, “We tend to become wiser as we get older, you know, because of all of the correct decisions we made in life, right?”
Of course, the answer is that we tend to learn from our mistakes. It is our missteps that make us wiser and that teach us to stand more firmly on the ground.
“Don’t pray for patience,” I tell my audiences, “because God has no problem obliging you with hard lessons to help you learn patience along the way.”
My early childhood studies of American History included pretty much anything I could get my hands on: scholarly journals, magazines, old books, newer books, and cheap paperback books. If the publication allowed me to hop on board the train of history of our country, I became a more than willing passenger. While I enjoyed digesting the complicated themes of the antebellum period, the War Between the States, our slow trudge from Abraham Lincoln to Woodrow Wilson, the world wars, and everything since, it was the colonial years and the founding era that caught my attention the most. Schoolhouse Rock had an episode about the Preamble of the United States Constitution, and it was through that Saturday morning cartoon that I learned how to recite those 52 magical words; though I have to admit, since Schoolhouse Rock delivered them in song it was hard for me to recite the “We the People” stanzas without singing those words in the same tune (or a very poor variation, thereof) as in the way I learned them.
Watching Schoolhouse Rock I enjoyed the episodes about math and grammar. In fact, I learned how to count by threes due to Schoolhouse Rock. The Mother Necessity short with the old woman in her rocking chair going through a list of American inventions that wound up as photographs on her wall was among my favorites, and that one spurned my interest in innovation and science. However, it was the sequence of productions about our Founding Era that really got me excited. “No More King,” and the one about the Preamble, had me on the edge of my seat. I told my mom I wanted to learn more. School was not moving fast enough for me. So, she took me to the library. I visited the school library as much as I could. As I got older and we moved out of North Long Beach I found myself visiting the Riverside City College library, and ultimately Corona’s Public Library and the University of California at Riverside collegiate library doing all I could to quench my hunger for knowledge about America’s Heritage that I found myself battling with.
The basic theme was that while all kinds of things were going on in the world of colonialism, and in particular the Spanish were the ones that raped and pillaged as they conquered their lands, the English decided to do it a little differently. Charters were issued, and Christian families and investors were the early settlers in the British Colonies. Rather than arrive with a military force trained for survival and battle, the English arrived knowing very little about how to take care of themselves. The English didn’t want to kill the natives, as we often saw with the Spanish. The English people who would eventually lead to our ancestors who would go by the name of Americans sought the help of the native population. They made treaties with the Indians, and they prayed as often as they could regarding their survival, and their opportunity to share their Christian Faith with the people who already populated North America. In short, my education revealed to me that America’s launch as a group of colonies was not a story about slavery, nor of some bloody genocide of the natives that resided here before the British settlers arrived, but was instead about folks seeking to escape the tyranny of religious persecution and the life of being subjects so that they could pray as they desired, in the manner they desired, and for them to throw off the bonds of servitude to a monarchy that demanded them to be nothing more than peasants groveling for the king’s favor.
I had yet to acknowledge the irony that the very people trying to escape an established church created the same environment in their own settlements in North America, and that the children and grandchildren of those early settlers who had escaped the bondage of being mere subjects in Britain would participate in a slave trade that had already grown into a worldwide phenomenon, by that moment in history.
During my years in North Long Beach, which at the time was quite a mixture of skin colors in my neighborhood, I was friends with a variety of folks and without knowing of the iconic words by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I became friends with the group I hung out with not because of the color of their skin, but because of the content of their character. My mom always said something about the fact that she was proud her children were color-blind when it came to our relationships with other people. I didn’t know what she was talking about. I wasn’t color-blind, and I was not fond of the term. If a person was black, brown, Asian, or otherwise, I was not blind to the fact; I simply did not care. Content of character was upfront and foremost for me when it came to how I judged others, and in regards to my decisions about if I should be friends with them. My observations of their actions, how they carried themselves, the things they said, and the attitude through which their conversations with carried out were the determining factors concerning my willingness to include them in my inner-circle. In short, I had friends of many colors and ethnic backgrounds.
In my neighborhood conversations on the subject of white skin color or black skin color simply did not exist. We rode our bikes and played things like cops and robbers and Cowboys and Indians just like any other kids. It never occurred to us that the black kids perhaps were not supposed to be Indians, or the sheriff. It never occurred to us that in some sectors of our neighborhood there were folks who were experiencing a different kind of education that hammered out an American Story that focused only on the bad parts of the history of America. Heck, we didn’t even realize that to some folks out there who may be watching us play Cowboys and Indians, in their minds they didn’t see kids innocently acting out our version of the Wild West with glee, but instead a clash of civilizations that, according to some, resulted in the genocide of a people, and the stealing of their lands.
We were just playing Cowboys and Indians.
It wasn’t until my teenage years, and our relocation to Corona, California, that my lessons in the dynamics between the races began to percolate. All I knew when I was growing up in North Long Beach was that my friends, though largely white, included a fair number of black kids, an Asian, and even a couple Mexican kids. Their ethnic heritage didn’t mean anything to me. I was a product of my environment, and my environment as a kid in elementary school was that each of those kids were my friends, and our interactions in the schoolyard was nothing less and nothing more than interactions that were dominated by games, and other forms of playing as children normally do. I knew that the older kids at the other schools participated in something called “gangs”, and I knew that the older kids drew lines that pretty much separated the whites, blacks, and Mexicans from each other, but as a little kid, I didn’t care about such things.
During my sixth grade year my first girlfriend was named Tricia. A Mexican girl. Once I started hanging out with her my black friends began to retreat from my life. Apparently, and I had not known this until I began hanging on the monkey bars with my cute little Mexican beauty, you don’t mix black and brown. The black kids hated Mexicans, and the Mexicans hated the blacks. It made no sense to me, but that was just how it was with the older kids.
Corona was quite a culture shock for me, as a result. I went from a life with many black friends, who I learned were not fond of Mexicans once I began holding hands with my little señorita, to a school in Corona that was close to a 50/50 mixture of white and Mexicans, with a grand population of two black kids that were nothing like the black friends I hung out with back in Los Angeles County.
My cultural dilemma resolved itself quickly. My first friend on my first day of school in my new junior high was Ignacio. It didn’t cross my mind that he was Mexican, or that my black friends back in North Long Beach might frown upon me hanging out with Nacho. He and I got along great, we had similar interests, so we became friends. In fact, I never thought about the skin color thing with him back then. We were simply friends because we liked each other.
Forty-plus years later, by the way, Ignacio and I are still friends, and when we can we occasionally get together to talk about the good old days.
My education continued, and Nacho was a history-buff just like me. Granted, he was more into World War II and the war machines of the early twentieth century. Nonetheless, I began to dig deep into American History again, learning about how the “Pilgrim fathers landed…on the bleak New England coast…weakened and wearied by the long sea voyage…”9
I learned that when “The Mayflower had arrived at Provincetown Harbor on Saturday, November 11” it was Sunday so “the Pilgrims remained aboard ship, worshipping God under the direction of Elder Brewster…they believed that the entire Sabbath must be devoted to worship.”10
“The expedition of the Mayflower [was] something more than a voyage of discovery and exploration; it was a real ‘home hunt’; and the first New England ‘wash day’ on this sandy beach really showed the determination of the women to stay and ‘settle down.’ It was the introduction of family life into the new land and the new home to which they had come.”11
Two groups resided on board the Mayflower, we learned. The Saints and the Strangers. The Saints were Puritans, but a separatist group who were seeking the opportunity to worship as they pleased, and the Strangers were members of the Anglican Church or the established Church of England.
Mutiny was brewing among the Strangers as the Mayflower dropped anchor.
“Mutiny could not simply be ignored. To meet the situation, those in command decided once again to rely upon the Word, drafting as formal and formidable a document as they knew how. The church covenants long in use among the Separatists plainly served as a model…As soon as the document was completed, the entire Pilgrim company was called together to hear it slowly read aloud, perhaps in the skipper’s cabin on the poop deck, as painters have usually chosen to picture the scene attending the birth of the now celebrated Mayflower Compact.
“‘In ye name of God, Amen,’ it began. ‘We whose names are underwritten, the loyall subjects of our dread soveraigne Lord, King James, . . . doe by these presents solemnly & mutualy in ye presence of God, and one of another, covenant & combine ourselves together into a civill body politick, . . . and by vertue hearof to enacte, constitute, and frame such just & equall lawes, ordinances, acts, constitutions, & offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meete & convenient for ye generall good of ye Colonie, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.’”
“The covenant was the first signed by those who had the right…For generations, ever since John Quincy Adams rescued it from oblivion in 1802, the Mayflower Compact has been hailed as a great charter of freedom, which it was. It did not apply to all, to be sure, and its promise of ‘just & equall lawes’ was often more honored in the breach than the observance. But for its day it was an extraordinary document, a remarkable statement of revolutionary new principles, an important milestone in our long, hard, and often bloody ascent from feudalism, from that degrading ‘aristocratic’ system of power and privilege for the few which had held Europe in irons for centuries, vestiges of which still remain to plague us…the Pilgrim leaders did not believe in equalitarian democracy though they were moving in that direction. They favored a change in the hierarchical structure above them, but not below. That change in the foundations of society would come in due time, but long after the Pilgrims had gone to their rewards.”
“‘American democracy was not born in the cabin of the Mayflower, or in the Boston town meeting,’ as has been well said by Mr. Samuel Eliot Morison, son of Massachusetts and her most distinguished historian, ‘but on the farming, fighting frontier of all the colonies, New England included.’”12
To preserve unity, the Saints drew up the now famed Mayflower Compact and had all sign it. Under the remarkable document Saints and Strangers alike constituted themselves a civil body politic to be ruled, in the phrase of the Compact, by ‘just and equal laws.’
As some of the text above reveals, the document was far from perfection, and it was not necessarily one that fully espoused the kind of liberty established by the U.S. Constitution more than a hundred and fifty years later, but the foundation was not laid on the back of slavery, but on the Word of God.
I grew up in very humble conditions and in less than privileged environments. Fortunately, I had an aunt who bought me a bunch of books every year at Christmas. Each year her book buying followed a theme, and once she realized U.S. History had caught my attention, she had no problem ensuring I had plenty to read when it came to that topic.
The book that stands out to me the most in my aging memories is “The Kite that Won the Revolution” by Isaac Asimov. The pages introduced me to Benjamin Franklin, and his tendencies to dabble in more than the processes and challenges involved in creating a new republic founded on principles of liberty. I quickly realized, getting back to that thing about our history being littered with some not-so-great things, that at the heart of America’s greatness is not what the episodes of our journey may have been, but the principles upon which that system was built.
In short, while the circumstances may not have always been stellar, the pillars of what was being built were based on solid principles of liberty and individualism that would launch the United States into a position of greatness never seen before in world history.
Whether or not certain people, based on race, ethnicity, or religion were properly represented never occurred to me as a young man. It wasn’t because I don’t care about diversity, or the fact that our population contains a rich variety of humanity’s herbs and spices, but because even at an early age, before I ever heard any quotes by people like Martin Luther King or Frederick Douglass, I viewed people through a lens that was constructed on the basic idea that the most important thing about a person was the content of their character.
My mom made sure that we also, as children, realized that there is always more to the story than one can see. “Never judge a book by its cover” was expanded into “What seems gray on the surface is likely full of color and texture once you dig deep enough.” So, while America’s History as it was presented to me was the usual dose that everyone gets, I knew deep down that there was more to it than what I was being told. All I had to do was discover what the deeper layers actually were.
Slavery was something I knew existed at one time, but I never really saw it as a black and white thing. Slavery is slavery. History is cluttered with stories of slavery, from the enslavement of the Israelites by the Pharaoh in Egypt to the enslavement of persons taken from Africa during the Atlantic Slave Trade. Sometimes, it’s a one-sided deal like with God’s Chosen People, and sometimes it is a situation based on the operations of more than one group. In the case of the Atlantic Slave Trade, while white Europeans were the primary buyers, the sellers were African. No matter the demand for slaves, without suppliers the whole institution stops in its tracks. Or, as some folks like to say, “It takes two to tango.”
The view of slavery by the black community, of course, will not even be close to mine. Perhaps I will never understand the journey others have had whose skin does not necessarily match mine, and I suppose that is an ongoing truth that goes back to the beginning of time. How can one truly understand if they have never walked a mile in the other man’s shoes?
My generation saw racism as something that was in the past. As far as we were concerned, such things were in the rearview mirror of history. So, I didn’t think much about it as a kid.
Ronald Reagan was President of the United States when I was in high school, and after I graduated I voted for him in his reelection. Dad flew the American Flag at our house, and I served under that flag in the United States Navy during my first four years of adulthood. Never once did I stop and think, “Gosh, could that flag be considered a racist one in the eyes of certain people?” Reagan referred to Americans as “we”. Integration had been the goal of the Civil Rights Movement, and the U.S. Constitution applies to all Americans regardless of color, so the points brought up by Nikole Hannah-Jones, and her consortium of writers, in The 1619 Project never occurred to me as a younger person. It wasn’t until the race-baiters of the political world began calling America racist that the possibility even occurred to me. From my point of view there was little or no racism in the United States, and those who were racist, as far as I was concerned, were known to be, and probably lived somewhere in the hidden corners of the Ozark Mountains or the Appalachians.
One day I was approached and told I was a racist for thinking such a thing. And, in fact, I am racist and there is nothing I can do about it. It’s inherent because I have white skin.
Someday, I would need to pay reparations for that racism, and the sins of my ancestors.
Never mind that no person on either side of my family ever owned slaves. Never mind that I myself had never owned slaves, and the people demanding money for the sin of slavery were never slaves themselves. I have been told that none of those things matter. The violent storm of American History demands reparations. It all started with a foundation of slavery; a foundation that stubbed the toe of freedom when a ship called the White Lion landed in Virginia with slaves on board in 1619.
Except, it didn’t.
The ship landed, that much is true. But it was not only not full of African slaves as The 1619 Project desires you to believe. In fact, one of the first documented slave owners was one of its passengers, and he was a black man. It may be true that the early stirrings of slavery in America landed on the shores of Virginia in 1619, but the story is much more complex than what has been presented. And, whether the first slaves stepped foot on the Atlantic Coast in 1619, 1645, or some other time in history, the reality is that despite the early presence of slavery the United States of America ultimately shed itself of slavery, and because of its sound and all encompassing principles of liberty and individualism, the American System of Liberty has pulled more people out of the slavery of poverty and tyranny than any other system in history.
The truth is, America’s foundation is not rooted in slavery nor the cries of slaves who landed here in 1619, but on the solid rock of the Holy Bible which first landed here in 1607 with the founding of Jamestown, and consistently ever since.
After all, we must be reminded that when Thomas Jefferson penned that “all men are created equal” he was referring to everyone, regardless of their condition of freedom (or lack thereof) at the time. America was founded on the idea that God’s gift of Natural Rights applies to all, and that governments are instituted to secure those rights, not interfere with them. In no place in the U.S. Constitution does it segregate any group of people. There is no place in the Constitution that says women could not vote, or that blacks were less than human. The truth is, the principles of the American System call for true equality, true liberty, and true prosperity as a result of liberty and a laissez-faire market. The problem has never been the American System. The problem is human nature. The problem has been the nature of the people, and their narratives that were often in opposition to the principles of America’s Heritage.
America’s principles of liberty, despite an onslaught of attacks against the truth, and the obstacles we have encountered during our journey as a free country, have endured for over two centuries. The 1619 Project aims to change the narrative. The 1607 Project aims to clarify the true narrative, and bring context to a discussion that is being presented in a manner that, to be frank, is full of lies and deception. History is important, but it must be viewed through the lens of who was there, not through some narrative of a revolutionary movement based and born in the bowels of Cultural Marxism. Truth is truth, no matter what one’s color of skin may be. Right and wrong also is not subject to change due to the perception of one’s privilege, or lineal history.
Liberty is liberty, and tyranny is tyranny. Anything that is not liberty does not come from God, and America’s history is a good testimony to that fact.
My journey through life has at least taught me common sense, and the willingness to dig deeper than what is on the surface, or beyond what someone says. And after more than two centuries of history my personal journey of a little more than half of a century has taught me that God was the foundation of America, and has remained the foundation through our ups and downs, and now that tyranny is finally trying to rip apart our country it is doing it by trying to convince everyone that God is not the keystone we think He is. Instead, they want you to believe slavery was at the foundation. It’s a tactic of division. It is a scheme designed to create a struggle between groups. It is a page out of a very old playbook to divide and conquer. The communists used it, the fascists used it, the dictators of ancient empires used it, and a serpent in a garden used it. If my journey in life has taught me anything, it is that the attacks against America’s founding are not coming from God’s side of the equation.
The Republic for Which it Stands
There is an old saying; “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The ideology that stands in opposition of the U.S. Constitution has been working to change the American System since the moment the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia was completed, September 17, 1787. Perhaps even sooner than that. The problem for them was that the American concept of liberty, and its articulation in the United States Constitution was so magnificently constructed that in order to change America away from such a system the people would have to be convinced that the system is somehow broken. After the Era of Good Feeling during the years of domination by the Jeffersonian Republicans the first change to the American System, aside from John Marshall’s work to strengthen the concept of unfettered federal supremacy, was to dismantle the mechanisms of the republic and make the United States more of a democracy.
Andrew Jackson, the Father of the Democratic Party, believed that the best way to preserve the promise of liberty would be to move America’s political system away from being a constitutional republic and closer to democracy; rule by the people.
Prior to the rise of the Democratic-Republican faction within the Jeffersonian Republican Party a number of mechanisms were in place that ensured that the United States, and each of the States, enjoyed a republican form of government. In order for utopianism (early term for socialism) to take hold the checks and balances in place needed to be removed. The oversight of the federal government by the individual States proved to be a large part of what was holding change back, and those who desired the rise of an oligarchy, partly through the use of the Schemes of Leveling (redistribution of wealth), realized that democracy was the way to do it, and the sovereignty of the individual States stood in the way.
Changing the lexicon became an early tactic. Alexander Hamilton despised federalism in the sense that he didn’t think the Constitution went far enough in the creation of a centralized government, but to conceal his enmity towards federalism he hijacked the word and named his political party the Federalist Party. Through his political influence Hamilton challenged the very principles of the constitution with concepts like implied powers and The Bank of the United States. His followers, like Chief Justice John Marshall, implemented judicial review so as to utilize unconstitutional powers through the courts to move America towards the concept of being a firm union with a central government that is considered have supremacy over all governmental bodies of the union. The bankers worked through the central banking systems to manipulate America’s economy, the international BAR influenced the legal institution of the United States so as to nudge the political system in the directions they deemed best for the European ruling elites. Then, in the name of abolishing slavery, Abraham Lincoln completed the mission, moving the country away from being “the United States are” to “the United States is”.
No more would the country be seen as a federation of States who enjoy rights as sovereign members of the union with various mechanisms of oversight in the government to keep it from becoming tyrannical; the United States became a nation indivisible, ruled over by an all-powerful national government.
The Old World hoped for a divided America at the beginning of the War Between the States, but wound up with something better in their minds; a national system compliant with the demands of the ruling cartels of Europe.
Fabien influence after the war nudged America into the Progressive Era, a thirty year span from about 1890 to 1919 during which both parties proudly entertained socialist politics, and participated in the institution of labor unions in the name of dealing with industrialization, the federal reserve in the name of modernizing the monetary system, the Sixteenth Amendment so as to institute a progressive direct tax against the people in order to pay for the reforms in society and the interest owed to the federal reserve, and the Seventeenth Amendment in the name of dealing with political corruption which, it turned out, was simply a projection of what they were really up to.
Mechanisms that made this country a republic were being dismantled one by one. No longer would the State legislatures have any influence over the federal government’s budget, the federal lawmaking process, the regulation of the value of the currency, the ratification of treaties with other countries, nor the nominations of persons to serve in the highest offices of the federal government along with those who would be democratically elected by a general population that was being dumbed down by the education system and media so that they would not only fail to realize that what was happening was unconstitutional, but be thoroughly convinced that the changes being implemented were innovative and in the best interest of the efforts of those in charge to save our democracy.
The word democracy became synonymous with republic. The narrative demonized the concept of States’ Rights, altering the concept into a publicly accepted narrative that proclaimed the sovereignty of the States as being dangerous and an antiquated relic of history that enabled the continuation of slavery during the antebellum period until bloodshed overcame and drowned the sins of the racist Southern States. The federal government became the savior of the people, the fountain of good intentions that ensured that society ran in an orderly manner rather than in disunited chaos. Finally, America was united as a nation, truly together under a single banner of a national government.
Early on the word democracy was inserted into the conversation of American politics. The word was being used so much so that James Madison felt it necessary to distinguish between republic and democracy multiple times in a number of the Federalist Essays he authored following the signing of the Constitution.
While James Madison’s arguments against democracy largely focused on direct democracy, or pure democracy, the dangers of leaving too much power in the hands of “rule by the people” was an apparent concern of the Father of the Constitution, as well as a number of his contemporaries. In his writings it is apparent that from his point of view democracy and republic do not mean the same thing, and the schemes of democracy were not only undesirable, but posed as a grave threat to the security of the republic.
In Federalist #1013, Madison defined a democracy as being a system where the “people assemble and administer the government in person.” A republic was described by Madison as “a government in which the scheme of representation takes place”. Unfortunately, the basic political opinion that resides in mainstream consideration of Madison’s explanation has determined that his Federalist Paper explanation was designed to indicate that a democracy in the eyes of the Founders only meant a “direct democracy,” and a republic was simply a representative system, of which would include a “representative democracy”. However, if we examine the political system created by the Constitution that is hardly what the Founders created, and presented to the States for ratification.
The fear of tyranny by a majority rule was a common theme among the Founding Fathers who did not necessarily throw in with Alexander Hamilton’s political theories and call for a more centralized government. Numerous barriers were put in place to guard against an unrestrained majority rule. The barriers were implemented by granting suffrage to more groups than the general population. At the federal level, for example, the State Legislatures were also provided a voice in government, as I indicated earlier while explaining how those mechanism have been dismantled.
The early federal elections only provided to the general population a direct democratic vote of the members of the House of Representatives. The President was voted for by Electors, who had been appointed by the State Legislatures, and no popular vote was conducted in an effort to sway the vote of the Electors in the direction of the public demand. The U.S. Senate was elected similarly, with an even greater emphasis on control over the process by the state legislatures, as opposed to a direct democratic vote.
While three branches were created, for, as John Adams wrote in defense of the American Constitution, every body must have a head, a legislature and a judiciary, the republican form of government was designed to be unlike “those countries in Europe…in which all the authority was to be collected…collecting all authority into one center.”14 But, the American system still required the components of government.
As I like to explain it to the classes I instruct, “Shays’ Rebellion revealed the weaknesses of the government under the Articles of Confederation. The statesmen of that time realized that under the Articles the government was but a lamb, and what they needed was a lion. The problem with lions, however, is that lions eat people. So, how do you create a lion, but restrain it in such a way that it is not dangerous to the very people it is supposed to serve?”
A balance needed to be achieved that created a central government with enough strength to handle the external issues. The authorities it would be granted would be those required in order to operate as the head of the country, while barring it from interfering with the operations of the States. The federal government needed to be strong enough to engage in the common defense of the union, engage in trade with other countries, ensure the protection of the trade routes by being in charge of maritime law beyond the shores of the States, mediate in disputes so as to ensure domestic tranquility, and have enough power to handle all of the other issues directly connected to the protection, preservation, and promotion of the union. The States would retain their sovereignty and, because the federal government was handling the issues that central governments of countries typically address, the States would be able to handle their own individual operations that directly influence their own local issues. As James Madison explains in Federalist #45, “The powers reserved to the States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”15
As John Chambers explains in his booklet, “What is a Republic?”, a republic is a “mixed government.”
The truth is, liberty is a rare commodity in history. Most governments in history, and a majority of the governments today, are oligarchies, which are systems in which a powerful few rule over the population. An oligarchy tends to be a tyranny. If for some reason at one point it is not, because it has a benevolent ruler, that period of reduced tyranny always leads eventually to full bondage due to various factors, which, more often than not, are because eventually there is a change at the top of who the ruler is.
Chambers wrote, “As natural as rain, a group of people will choose to be governed by a Monarchy, an Aristocracy, or a Democracy.
If most of the people in a group cannot take care of themselves, then those who can take care of them will, and an Aristocracy will arise whether anyone wants it or not.
Similarly, if everyone in the group is headed in the same direction, a monarchy will naturally arise. The group can’t help it. The people will choose someone to lead them.
Finally, if everyone in a group can take care of himself and also watch out for the well-being of others, they will form a democracy. It will arise without anyone suggesting it. It just happens.
The problem with each of the natural forms of government is that people run it. People can change from day to day. Any whim of the king, or the bureaucrats, or the mob, can take everything away from you. We need something more stable, something to count on, no matter how often the rulers change.
About 2500 years ago, the Roman Monarchy faced this very problem. The monarch had been selected by tribes that had joined together rather than destroy each other. The monarchy was a government of the tribes – a thing of the tribes.
Romans demanded a new government based on Law rather than the whim of the ruler. They formed a new government based on the People rather than the Tribes. They called their new government Res Publica, the People’s Thing – what we call republic today.
The new government had elements of Monarchy in it. When a single ruler was needed, it would be there. It also had aristocratic and democratic "branches" when those are needed. Because it is made up of other forms, it is called a "mixed" government. A Republic is a Mixed government.
The genius of a mixed government is to construct it in such a way that no branch can do its job without the other branches also doing theirs. That way, no branch becomes so powerful that a whim of a ruler gains too much power. Each branch has to work with the others but, at the same time, not be ruled by any other. A Republic is not natural. It is constructed; it is man-made.
The constant struggle in a Republic is to not decay into one of the Natural forms. The People’s Thing, to serve the people, requires constant attention from the people.
Heed the famous words of Benjamin Franklin. Directly after the Constitutional Convention, the story goes, Mrs. Elizabeth Powel anxiously asked Franklin: "Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?"
"A republic," answered Franklin, "if you can keep it."”16
Republican forms of government are designed to properly distribute power so that tyranny can never take hold. No part of government possesses all power, or the power to act independently without approval from some other part of the system. A separation of powers, in the case of the United States, was also instituted in order to ensure the different parts of government could not collude together in pursuit of establishing tyranny. Federal issues remain only in the realm of the federal government, State issues remain with the States, and local issues are handled by local government.
In addition to a separation of powers the system also has multiple constituencies in the system so that only one group does not possess all of the representation.
In the federal government, while the people democratically votes in the members of the House of Representatives, originally State suffrage was present in the U.S. Senate. There were also mechanisms that enabled the counties to be involved at the State level, and city leadership to participate in the county legislative process.
With so many divisions of power the likelihood of tyranny gaining a foothold in the system is practically nil. The only way for tyranny to grab a hold of the reins of America’s republic as defined by the United States Constitution would be by slowly altering the republic into something else, like a democracy.
Recognizing that the mechanisms of a republic was the primary obstacle holding back the rise of tyranny through the reign of a ruling elite those who pursue power realized the republic would need to be changed into a democracy. Then, once a democracy, through deception and manipulation the people themselves would then gladly vote tyranny into office, fully convinced that those who promise to be benign rulers only have the common good as the primary focus of their endeavors.
The Founding Fathers were well aware of the objectives of tyrants. Daniel Webster explained, “It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions…There are men, in all ages…who mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters...They think there need be but little restraint upon themselves…the love of power may sink too deep in their own hearts.”17
On today’s political battleground the aim is to finish the job of dismantling the republic through various means in play.
1. Eliminate the final two pieces that still makes the country a republic; the Electoral College, and the Amendment Process including ratification by the States.
2. Through a process called “deconstruction” convince Americans that their System of Liberty is flawed because of the alleged flaws that exist in America’s history, such as slavery, and colonialism.
3. Revise history so that it reflects the deception being used to deconstruct the American System of Liberty.
Americans will not accept socialism if they believe their liberty and free market economic principles are operating in a manner that is best for their own happiness, personal economic welfare, and the prosperity of the country overall.
Various false narratives have been thrust upon the American People over the last two hundred years. We have been convinced that (to name a few) the courts are the ultimate and final arbiters of the Constitution, that secession of the States is wrong and illegal, that the War Between the States was only about slavery, States’ Rights is a racist concept, that the Founding Fathers fought the Revolutionary War to preserve slavery, that the early Americans were colonialists no different than the powerful white privileged toxic men of Europe, and that the foundation of America’s entire system was founded upon slavery because a slave ship known as The White Lion landed on the shores of Virginia in 1619, delivering the first slaves to the Atlantic Coast.
The reality is that all of those arguments I just listed are false. History has been revised, and the false narrative is being taught in the classrooms of public education in order to encourage the youth of this country to revile America’s foundation of liberty so that they may become socialist revolutionaries willing to commit violence if necessary to overthrow the U.S. Constitution and instill in its place the very kind of oligarchy the Framers of the Constitution were working to protect us from.
While the pages of this book will include evidence that prove wrong the deceptions connected to the narratives presented by The 1619 Project, Critical Race Theory, and other strategically divisive arguments being used by those who would approve of declaring the U.S. Constitution “unconstitutional”, the reality is that their efforts are deceptive specifically because America’s political and economic systems are so successful. America’s Liberty and prosperous economic foundation that is based on an idea known as Laissez-faire, which means: Let the common man choose and act; do not force him to yield to a dictator; has been so successful that it epitomizes what is right and good about individualism and the consent of the governed. One might even argue that “left and right” in the scheme of politics doesn’t even apply when such a system in place. It becomes more of an up versus down, or a “right versus wrong.”
The left-right paradigm presented by the enemies of the Constitution, in truth, does not exist.
There is a right and a left in politics, but it is not what has been presented to the American People. On the political spectrum the U.S. Constitution is dead center. Supporting it does not make someone “right-wing”. Only anarchy, and conditions less centralized than what the Constitution offers, would technically be to the right, politically. Everything else, it turns out, is to the left of the U.S. Constitution.
Democracy technically resides to the right of the U.S. Constitution since the checks and balances and “multiple constituencies” of a republic do not exist in a democracy. Historically, democracy is used by those who seek to rule as a tool to ultimately bring about an oligarchy.
Like democracy, anarchy never lasts, and when the people get to the point of crying out for someone to bring order to the chaos being caused by the unstable right-of-center systems, the very people who created the lawlessness of anarchy or the corruption of a democracy guided by the wealthy and the powerful, the very people who launched society into either of those systems, then step up claiming it is they who can bring order back to the lawless society. The new leaders then establish an oligarchy, leading the people into the bondage of tyranny on the opposite side of the spectrum.
The purveyors of racial division in this country are well-aware that democracy is the vehicle they need to drive America into a position of changing from a constitutional republic to a Marxist tyranny of statism and equal misery under the iron fist of a ruling elite. They are trained Marxist revolutionaries and they have decided that it is in their best interest to take away your liberty and block your access to your God-given Natural Rights. Only the interest of the community is important, and the common good is what they say it is, regardless of any dissent that may arise from individuals who dare to stand against their new order of society.
Elie Mystal, author of the book “Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution,” in an interview on ABC’s daytime program, “The View”, told the hosts that the United States Constitution is “trash” written by slave-owning white people.
Co-host Ana Navarro asked, “Are you arguing for throwing out the Constitution? Should the Constitution be thrown out? What do we do? Is it a living document, or is it a sacred document?”
Mystal replied, “It’s certainly not sacred. Let’s start there. The Constitution is kind of trash. Again, let’s just talk as adults for a second.”
Co-host Joy Behar said, “What did you say?”
Mystal said, “It’s kind of trash. It was written by slavers and colonists and white people willing to make deals with slavers and colonists. They didn’t ask anybody who looked like me what they thought about the Constitution.”
He added, “This document was without the consent of black and brown people in this country and without the consent of women. I say if that was the starting point, the very least we can do is ignore what those slavers and colonists and misogynists thought and interpret the Constitution in a way that makes sense for our modern world.”18
Mystal, in his book, also argues for eliminating States’ Rights when it comes to certain issues and instituting a fully democratic national popular vote for Presidential Elections; thus, eliminating the Electoral College.
All of Mystal’s arguments are false, and his suggestions are dangerous, on their face. When it comes to the inaccurate offerings he claims to be fact he, either, did not properly research his material, or he is presenting his material with false facts well knowing that they are false in the first place in order to protect his anti-American narrative.
In 1790 more than 59,000 blacks lived “free” in the United States. By 1810 the free black population was 186,446.19 When it came to the 3/5s Clause, which was largely included in the Constitution at the insistence of South Carolina and Georgia after the other States had agreed to not count slaves when it came to figuring out the apportionment for the House of Representatives, “the 60,000 or so free blacks in the North and the South were counted on par with [free] whites.”20
“The ‘Father of the Constitution,’ James Madison, attacked slavery early in the Convention, stating, ‘We have seen the mere distinction of colour made in the most enlightened period of time, a ground of the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man over man’ (James Madison, Notes on the Federal Convention, 1787)...No delegates to the Constitutional Convention defended the morality of slavery. The best argument that they could muster on behalf of slavery was protecting their own economic interest.”21
In the question of whether or not black people were involved in the establishment of the U.S. Constitution, “In Justice Benjamin Robbins Curtis’s dissent in the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford, he convincingly showed that ‘in at least five of the States,’ black people ‘had the power to act, and doubtless did act, by their suffrages, upon the question of its adoption.’ The historical record shows that African Americans were an integral ‘part of the people of the United States who were among those by whom it was established’ during the ratification process in the various states.”22
It is a little known fact of American history that black citizens were voting in perhaps as many as 10 states at the time of the founding (the precise number is unclear, but only Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia explicitly restricted suffrage to whites).23
Like Mystal, Nikole Hannah-Jones would also like the United States to be more “democratic”. Chapter One of The 1619 Project is titled, “Democracy”.
As we have already discussed, the term democracy is thrown around quite a bit when people describe the type of government the United States possesses. In the simplest terms, a democracy is “majority rule.” There are more than a half dozen types of democracies ranging from a direct vote of the people for every governmental action to representative democracy which means representatives were voted into the halls of government by the general public to act on behalf of their constituents.
I can’t count how many times I have said, “A republic, not a democracy.”
In the Pledge of Allegiance we recite “to the republic for which it stands.”
I’ve been told the statement is a racist one.
Candidate Joseph Biden in 2019 said, “Our democracy is at risk. I never thought I would say those words. But it's true. Everywhere you turn, Trump is tearing down the guardrails of democracy.”24
In 2016 I couldn’t count how many times Hillary Clinton said, “I love our democracy.”
According to filmmaker and author Astra Taylor, who was behind the 2018 documentary What Is Democracy? and the 2019 companion book Democracy May Not Exist, but We’ll Miss It When It’s Gone, said, “This phrase, ‘We are a republic, not a democracy.’ I heard this phrase frequently, but always from a certain class of person. Always from a white man…That is a phrase that is uttered by people who, looking back on the sweep of American history, see themselves as safely at the center of the narrative, and typically they see their present privileges under threat. And so, they want to shore up the privileges that they possess, and they’re looking for a sort of historic hook.”25
Writer Ryan McMaken simply suggests in his article, “Stop Saying We’re a Republic, Not a Democracy”, that those who make the claim can’t explain why they think there’s a difference, and that in the end when the Founding Fathers were discussing democracy they were specifically referring only to direct democracy.26
In truth, the argument is not about democracy versus republic for some. Opponents of constitutional liberty claim they want democracy, but it is only a means of achieving a Marxist style society that they may or may not even think they understand that they want. All the followers of the “America is a racist country” narrative know is that they’ve been told that the American System is racist so a change must be made to get away from the racism. America is flawed, its system is flawed, and therefore the Constitution, American Exceptionalism, and the Stars and Stripes are all symbols of racism and hate.
While I was attending community college at night in the nineties, while I labored during the day digging ditches for a living, I made friends with a well-dressed black man who had spent most of his adult life as a banking executive. He was a bit older than I, and drove a car much nicer than mine. He needed a degree to move up in the company, so he was pursuing his bachelor’s degree at night as I was. After class we would talk in the parking lot for a while before traveling to our respective homes, and I learned more from him about the black experience in America than I did when I lived in a well-blended (when it came to ethnic diversity) neighborhood in North Long Beach as a child.
“I never understood as a kid,” he said to me, once, “why my dad was so intent on flying the American Flag on the front of our house. I asked him one day, ‘how is it that you are so proud of a flag of a country that has treated you so badly?’
“Dad had told me a number of stories about his younger years, which included racism that today we couldn’t even imagine. So, his willingness, and in fact patriotic desire, to fly that flag confused me.
“‘I love this country,’ he said to me. ‘I fought for this flag in World War II, and I would do it again if duty called me to do so.’
“That confused me,” said my friend with a frank look on his face. “How could he be so proud to fight for a government that passed racist laws, once allowed slavery to be legal, and acted in a manner that was discriminatory against him because of the color of his skin even up to that point in his life?
“‘I didn’t fight in the war for the American Government,’ he replied. ‘I fought for my flag and country. I fought for the Constitution of the United States. I fought for the principles upon which this country were founded. The problems you keep telling me about were committed by men who were doing wrong things, and passing wrong laws. But, I do not judge my country, or the principles of which this country was founded upon, by the actions of a few bad men. This country has done more for me than any other country could have ever done because of its foundation of freedom. I am not going to hate a flag, or my country, because of the failings of a few men.’”
According to Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave turned statesman, after studying the Constitution he determined it was not a pro-slavery document. He also recognized that human nature and human activities don’t always match the documents they claim they were elected to follow. Despite the largely anti-slavery attitude of the Framers of the Constitution, “regrettably, early Congresses did not pursue a consistent anti-slavery policy. This, however, is not an indictment of the Constitution itself. As Frederick Douglass explained: ‘A chart is one thing, the course of a vessel is another. The Constitution may be right, the government wrong.’”27
Cultural Marxism aims at souring our view of American History. Those who support the idea of deconstructing the history of the United States in order to convince their audience that a flawed history equals a flawed system spend their time toppling statues and talking about America’s abhorrent participation in the institution of slavery. The Atlantic Slave Trade, if you were to listen to these folks without having any context on the true history, was dominated by the Americans, and in fact the Thirteen Original Colonies were founded on slavery, and the English settlers nurtured slavery, grew slavery, and championed slavery for the purpose of putting more gold in their pockets, and because they were a bunch of old racist white people, anyway. Critical Race Theory goes so far as to explain that racism is inherent in the white race, and even the white people who claim they are not racist are racist to their core. Their denial, we are told, is proof they are racist. White Supremacy is what the history of the United States is all about, and anyone championing the U.S. Constitution, or hanging on to the traditional values of liberty or limited government, are simply perpetuating the White Supremacy that haunts the annals of American History.
Are there periods or events in our history that does not fit the perfection meter that purveyors of Critical Race Theory, or the 1619 Project demand must be met for us to be a fair and just society? Of course.
The presence of flaws in America’s History does not mean, however, that her institutions of freedom or a free market economy are also flawed. Far from perfect, I admit, but all things man-made tend to fall short.
In the overall sense, America’s abundance is abundance for all. Or as Ayn Rand put it, “America’s abundance was created not by public sacrifices to the common good, but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America’s industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages, and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance—and thus the whole country was moving
forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way.”28
As a young man I enjoyed learning about American History and the U.S. Constitution in particular had caught my attention sometime during my years in elementary school. However, due to my young age, I never really truly appreciated the significance of the American Flag being flown at my childhood homes, or the importance of the republic for which it stands, until I was older.
Growing up we always recited the Pledge of Allegiance in school, and I always found it fascinating that the flag salute uses the word “republic” when referring to our country, but everyone always says it’s a democracy.
Race has nothing to do with a systems success if that success is based on its political system. Democracies rise and fall not due to race, but due to the very nature of what a democracy is. There are no white democracies or black democracies that succeed or fail because of the color of the people administering them. Democracies fail because that is what democracies do.
“Remember Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes exhausts and murders itself. There never was a Democracy Yet, that did not commit suicide.” – John Adams (1814)29
“Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.” – James Madison, (1787)30
While the Founding Fathers sometimes used terms like “democracy”, “democratic republic” and “representative democracy,” the aim was to create a constitutional republic, rather than any form of democracy. The key was not only a proper distribution of power, but enabling the legislative duties to be belong to a duplicity of constituencies.
In a letter to Roger Sherman, John Adams explained, “In republics, as the sovereignty, that is, the legislative, is always vested in more than one, it may be vested in as many more as you please. In the United States it might be vested in two persons, or in three millions, or in any other intermediate number, and in every supposable case the government would be a republic.
The White Lion
The 1619 Project states that “In August 1619, just twelve years after the English settled Jamestown, Virginia, one year before the Puritans [Pilgrims] landed at Plymouth, and some 157 years before English colonists here decided they wanted to form their own country, the Jamestown colonists bought twenty to thirty enslaved Africans from English pirates.”31
I first heard about The White Lion from The 1619 Project. As much of a historian I believe myself to be, that was one story I was not aware of. Did a slave ship actually drop slaves off on the Atlantic Coast in 1619? I could have sworn it was about twenty-five years later that slaves began to arrive in the English Colonies.
Curious, I decided to first ask a friend of mine about the alleged slave ship of 1619.
“George?” I asked. “I have been hearing about a slave ship called The White Lion that dropped off slaves near Jamestown in 1619. It’s a part of a narrative that is trying to convince everyone that instead of a Christian Founding, the foundation of American Heritage was built on the backs of slavery, and the 1619 landing of The White Lion is allegedly the proof.”
George Rombach has been a dear friend for many years. He’s much older than I am, and his house has more historical artifacts on display than most museums I have visited. George is also pretty knowledgeable about a number of subjects, history being among his favorites to talk about.
“The White Lion was a real ship,” he began. “It did actually land on the Virginia Coast, too. Only, it didn’t deliver slaves. It delivered indentured servants.”
As I explain in the glossary of my book, A Promise of American Liberty:
Indentured Servants were colonists serving under indenture contracts which paid for their passage to America and lasted for a term of years (usually seven years) generally ending with a lump sum payment in money or goods, a plot of land, and freedom. The work and expectations by the person to which the indentured servant worked for mimicked slavery, but the temporary bondage was voluntary.
Once farming took off in the English Colonies, and the farmers needed more hands to help out working the land, they began to make offers to those back in the Mother Country. The New World offered opportunities that were not available in the Old World, such as land ownership, so there were many people willing to work as a slave would for seven years (or more) for passage to the strange new continent. Otherwise, these folks would probably never be able to save enough money to make the trip. What was a mere block of years of labor when it came to the opportunity of a lifetime to start over, and to do so with a plot of your own land?
Slavery did not materialize in the New World with the delivery of slaves on the Virginia shores, I had been taught. The first slaves in the Western Hemisphere appeared in Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese colonies, so first of all the English Colonies joined the institution of slavery late in the game. Second, as the story goes, the first slave on record in the English Colonies on the Atlantic Coast did not arrive as an African to be bought by white supremacist racists. He was an indentured servant who was working for a person who had gotten his start as an indentured servant himself, who, while working his own land, decided that when his indentured servants were ready to end their term of service he would deny their freedom and keep them on as slaves. A lawsuit ensued, and Antonio Johnson won the case, making him the first slave owner in the English Colonies on official record.
As the story goes, he was a black man, and the slaves he wound up owning were both black and white, creating a narrative that threw the slavery argument back in the faces of the race-baiters who were accusing America’s white population for the continuation of the sin of slavery in America for as long as it lasted.
The story about Antonio, who later came to be known as Anthony Johnson, has been a talking point in memes and among conservative writers for some time, and while I had read a number of accounts about Johnson by writers I would consider allies, I decided to check if the “first slaver was black” story held water with other writers.
On a website called “Black Perspectives” I found exactly what I was looking for. In 2019, a mere month before the emergence of The 1619 Project in the New York Times Magazine, writer Tyler Parry discussed Anthony Johnson with a mixture of “right-wing” criticisms while he was at it. In the end, all I cared about was if this writer, whose article revealed he was diligent in his sourcing, agreed with my allies about the story regarding Johnson.
In the article32 Parry states that Johnson was indeed “a pioneer of American slavery,” but not necessarily the first slave owner in North America. Parry contends the story is more complicated than the misinformation-filled memes portray.
Johnson is “one of the few documented Black landowners in 17th-century Virginia” whose story, while known to academics who have studied slavery over the decades, did not gain traction until the internet blew up with his tale.
Parry explains that “In 1621, Johnson was delivered to Virginia’s shores as an African captive, simply called ‘Antonio.’ By the mid-17th century, he became a landowner newly named ‘Anthony Johnson.’ His ability to gain freedom resembles the functions of indentured servitude, in which an unfree laborer is bound to work for a landowner for a specific length of time. Once they satisfied the terms of their indenture, they could freely acquire land and capital. Since Anthony Johnson was an unfree laborer of African descent, his freedom and property acquisitions remain a source of confusion.”33
According to Parry, Johnson gained his freedom by 1651, acquired land and servants, and he eventually attained legal ownership “for life” over a Black man named John Casor, transferring Casor from a condition of indentured servitude (labor for time) to slavery (labor for life).
In his article Parry also explains to the reader that “John Punch was the first man known to be perpetually enslaved on July 9, 1640, a punishment he received for attempting to flee his indenture.”
Hugh Gwyn, a white man who owned John Punch, would be the first recognized slaveholder, eliminating the spurious claim that a Black man (Anthony Johnson) innovated the North American system.34
As I stated in the Preface of this book according to the online source at slavevoyages.org35 the first slaves to arrive in the English Colonies via the Atlantic Slave Trade did not arrive until 1645. Parry’s indication that the first recognized slaveholder, who became such due to his indentured servant being legally transferred in the terms of status to that of life servant (slave) in 1640 supports that timeline.
What about The White Lion? Did Tyler Parry not know about the slaves being allegedly dropped off in Virginia in 1619? Or did he not go into that story because he knew, as George Rombach indicated, that the passengers on The White Lion were not slaves, they were indentured servants?
Timothy Barton, son of renowned constitutionalist David Barton, clarifies the story a little for us in an article titled, “The True Story of 1619 and America’s Origins”, of which I read in The Epoch Times newspaper.36
Barton explains that while slaves were introduced by the Spanish on what would become the California Coast in 1526, the introduction of slaves to the Atlantic Coast in the English Colonies did not occur in 1619. “Evidence suggests that the Africans brought to Jamestown in 1619 were incorporated into the colony not as slaves, but rather as indentured servants.”37
It turns out my friend George was right on the money.
Barton continues, “Jamestown colony began a system where ‘an enterprising captain or ship owner would himself enlist recruits at London’ and ‘on arrival at Jamestown, the recruits would be auctioned off to the highest bidder for a specified term,’ as William J. Wood wrote in an article for the American Bar Association journal. These white English servants would be ‘sold’ on an auction block to owners, whom they would serve without pay for whatever was the term of their indenture. This quickly became the standard for Jamestown immigration.”38
In 1619, when The White Lion brought about 20 slaves to the Virginia Coast, no matter the original intent regarding their servitude, they weren’t technically sold into slavery. They were indentured. After they served the agreed term of years on their contract, like their white counterparts, they were freed and given land to farm so that they too could become productive members of the society.39
“One of the original 1619 Africans,” wrote Barton, “Anthony Johnson, actually became a substantial landowner and ‘found the environment of seventeenth-century Virginia conducive to the amassing of property in land or chattel.’”40
If the 1619 arrival of The White Lion was not about slavery as much as it was about the common practice of the time regarding indentured servitude, then why would The New York Times Magazine, allegedly a respected publication with an aim to report the truth, print a special issue dated August 18, 2019 (only about a month after the publication of Tyler Parry’s article) “bearing a black-and-white photograph of empty ocean, the cover boldly declared:
In August of 1619, a ship appeared on this horizon, near Point Comfort, a coastal port of the British Colony of Virginia. It carried more than 20 enslaved Africans, who were sold to the colonists. America was not yet America, but this was the moment it began. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the 250 years of slavery that followed. On the 400th anniversary of this fateful moment, it is finally time to tell our story truthfully.”41
“Inside the magazine, further text explained that the arrival of these slaves ‘inaugurated a barbaric system of chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the country’s very origin.”42
The original reason for the settlement of the English Colonies by the people who came across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe was not so that they could own slaves.
Walter “Relegh preached, ‘That hee that commaunds the sea, commaunds the trade, and hee that is Lord of the Trade of the world is lord of the wealth of the worlde.’ The elder [Richard] Hakluyt succinctly summarized their goals: ‘1. To plant Christian religion. 2. To trafficke. 3. To conquer.’”43
Frankly put, following the explorations of Portugal, Spain and France, “the mid-Atlantic seaboard remained open to English colonization during the 1580s…between 1580 and 1620 the English…pursued get-rich-quick schemes: a search for gold mines on land and for Spanish treasure ships by sea. When those schemes proved expensive and deadly failures, the colonizers gradually turned to the slower and more laborious development of plantations. In 1616, the colonists belatedly discovered their prime commodity in tobacco, which permitted an explosive growth in population, territory, and wealth…Possessed of a relatively small and poor realm, the English queen lacked the means to finance and govern an overseas colony…the English crown lacked the men and ships for risky ventures far from home…the crown subcontracted colonization by issuing licenses and monopolies to private adventurers, who assumed the risks in speculative pursuit of profits.”44
“Whereas gold provided the motivation for the colonization of Virginia, the settlers who traveled to Plymouth came for much different reasons. The Puritans had witnessed a division in their ranks based on their approach to the Anglican Church. One group believed that not only should they remain in England, but that they also had a moral duty to purify the church from the inside. Others, however, had given up on Anglicanism. Labeled Separatists, they favored removing themselves from England entirely, and they defied the orders of the king by leaving for European Protestant nations. Their disobedience to royal decrees and British law often earned the Separatists persecution and even death.”45
For the pilgrims pursuit of land and wealth was not high on their list. They landed and established a colony in the New World for religious freedom.
In 1607 the colonists who established Jamestown, though not advertised as being a pursuit of religious liberty, placed God at the forefront of everything they did, just as the Pilgrims in Plymouth so many years later would do.
“When the first colonists landed in Jamestown in 1607, they conducted services in ‘a rotten old tent.’ Then they stretched an awning between the trunks of trees, nailing a bar between two of these to serve as a reading desk. The ‘religious and courageous divine,’ Mr. Hunt, read the service morning and evening, preached twice every Sunday, and celebrated the Holy Communion at intervals of three months. Later, they constructed a church building made of logs, and ‘covered with rafts, sedge, and dirt.’ By 1610 they had a building sixty feet long and twenty-four feet broad, the first religious edifice erected by Englishmen in America.”46
The foundation of America was not formed on the backs of slaves delivered on the shore of Virginia by a ship named The White Lion, but on the knees of kneeling Christian settlers gathered together in a make-shift church thanking God for delivering them safely to the New World.
Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote in the book, The 1619 Project, that she “was maybe fifteen or sixteen” when she “first came across the date 1619.”47 Yet, historian Tyler Parry failed to even mention the year 1619 in his article published merely a month before The 1619 Project graced the pages of The New York Times Magazine. In all of my readings regarding Frederick Douglass The White Lion is not mentioned once.
Slave Trade Historian John R. Spears in his book, “The American Slave Trade”, published in 1960, discusses a Dutch slave vessel making port on the Coast of Virginia in 1619, but the name of the ship in his book is the Treasurer. Spears wrote that the vessel “came to Virginia, armed as a privateer, and bearing a commission from the Duke of Savoy permitting her to cruise against the Spaniards…she fell in with a Dutch letter of marquee and told him that slaves were wanted in Virginia.”47
Nikole Hannah-Jones in The 1619 Project, however, claims the sailors who sailed to Virginia’s shoreline were “English pirates. The pirates had stolen them [the slaves onboard] from a Portuguese slave ship whose crew had forcibly taken them from what is now the country of Angola.”48
Why the disagreement between the two writers? Were the sailors Dutch on a mission to deliver the slaves? Or were they English who chanced upon the Virginia Coast sure that the Jamestown Colonists (who were already struggling under the poor decision to create a communal society with a central store) would purchase the stolen slaves on board their vessel?
When I learned about the Christian Foundation of America I was younger than Nikole Hannah-Jones was when she was informed about alleged arrival of The White Lion in 1619. Unlike her, however, I did not assume that the political system was good or bad based on the fact that Christians were the ones who launched the settlements in the English Colonies, fought the American Revolution, and participated in the writing of our Founding Documents. Skin color, religion, or the institution of slavery emerging early on in our history does not determine if the principles of liberty laid out in our Constitution and the foundation of this country’s governmental makeup are good or bad, beneficial or evil, sacred or trash. Only an analysis of our system, and an honest view of its accomplishments, and its missteps, throughout history can truly reveal if the American Constitution ranks among the greatest documents in the history of mankind, or if it is merely an instrument of racist evil written by selfish, wealthy, power-hungry white men who cared about nothing more than lining their pockets, and keeping the chains of slavery clanking.
A History of Slavery
According to the book, Red, White, and Black: Rescuing American History from Revisionists and Race Hustlers, The history of slavery in America “does not empirically seem to be the cause of most modern problems in the black community.”49
Lord Acton wrote, “The law of nature, they said, is superior to the written law, and slavery contradicts the law of nature. Men have no right to do what they please with their own, or to make profit out of another’s loss.”50
Slavery was recognized as a sin against the laws of nature. Unfortunately, slavery’s history reaches as far back into history as the historian’s eye can recognize. In fact, the practice of the enslavement of fellow human beings is a practice that goes back all the way to the very beginning of world history.
The first city-state, Mesopotamia, used enemies captured in war to work as slaves in their civilization. The Ancient Egyptians have revealed in temple art that they also used persons captured in battle as slaves, depicting in their art expeditions up the Nile River put together specifically for the purpose of capturing slaves. Athens used as many as 30,000 slaves in its silver mines, and after Christ the Roman government used military campaigns to capture slaves by the thousands. Around 500 A.D. the Anglo-Saxons enslaved native Britons after they invaded England, and about 500 years later slavery had become a normal practice in England’s rural, agricultural economy, as destitute workers placed themselves and their families in a form of debt bondage to wealthy landowners. During the Middle Ages the Black Plague wiped out the local labor market in Europe, so slaves poured in from all over the continent, and from the Middle East and North Africa. In 1444, Portuguese slave traders began to ship African slaves into Europe by sea, establishing what would eventually be known as the Atlantic Slave Trade. In the early 1500s the Spanish brought the first African slaves to settlements in what would become the United States. In 1641 Massachusetts became the first British Colony to legalize slavery.51
Slavery has also existed throughout history among the New World’s native tribes, among the tribes in Africa, throughout Europe and Asia, and slavery is an accepted institution that to this day is still in use in the Islamic World.
Estimated at about 2500 B.C., “Early kings and queens of the city of Ur were buried in large pits filled with…treasures…[and] the bodies of dozens of guards and servants, who had taken poison and died to be with their rulers.”52
Slavery existed in the Babylonian Era, among the Hittites, and in Egypt. The story of Moses includes an episode in history where the Israelites served as slaves in the Egyptian Empire, and Moses had been prepared by God to lead His people out of Egypt so that they may journey to the Promised Land.
Exodus, Chapter 9, Verse 1: “Then the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.”
“Moses led 600,000 people out of Egypt in the middle of the night. God did not lead Moses and the Israelites through enemy land. Rather He led them through the desert toward the Red Sea as they journeyed to the Promised Land. God led His people with a pillar of clouds during the day, and a pillar of fire at night. Following these incredible sights would remind them that God was always with them, guiding them each step of the way on their journey to the Promised Land.”53
In Ancient Greece, while the men were out to fight wars, or absent from the home to carry out the business of the community, “women stayed at home. They ran the household, looked after the children, and supervised the slaves.”54
The infancy of the abolition period began in the late 1700s. The movement grew gradually, encompassing the world. European country after European country abolished slavery during the 1800s, and eventually the movement led to the abolition of slavery in the United States with the Thirteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (ratified December 6, 1865).55
The presence of the institution of slavery, unfortunately, is a constant throughout history, touching all parts of the globe at one time or another. Every peoples’ ancestors have likely been at one point slave owners and members of the enslaved during their existence while residents of the pages of the long history of the world. Somewhere in the ancestry of each and every one of us resides the bloodlust of conquerors and the tragedies of the conquered. A clash of civilizations is a common occurrence in history. It is in our nature, it seems, to war with each other when our societies clash on the world stage. Typically, during those clashes, the emergence of slavery rears up over and over again. Periods of slavery in all civilizations are standard realities of history. I am not condoning such actions, I am simply saying that we as humans naturally, due to our flawed sinful nature, participate, and even encourage, such atrocities to transpire. History is dotted repeatedly with wars, bondage, and enslavement. Unfortunately, humanity seems to be real talented in the art of misery. Thankfully, Christ was born and sacrificed on a cross on Calvary so that we may have Salvation. His is the promise of Eternal Life. Liberty from sin. A part of our lives that promises forgiveness, and a promise of the kind of hope that no man or government could ever provide.
Like any market filled with highly demanded products, with slavery there needs to be buyers, and suppliers. In the United States, while it is true a demand for slaves existed and those expectations for slaves were being fulfilled by the slave trade, one wonders why the folks out there who try to demonize the American System because of the country’s brush with slavery during a particular period of its history ignore the fact that, as my dad used to say, “it takes two to tango.”
During the Atlantic Slave Trade the Europeans weren’t the only ones operating slaver operations. Muslim countries had slaves, and in fact the Barbary Wars fought between the United States and the Barbary States (Jefferson was President during the First Barbary War, James Madison resided in the White House during the second war with the “musselmen” or “Mahometans” of that era) were largely over the tributes the Islamic countries demanded. The Muslim expectation of tolls to be paid in order to operate in sections of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea that their sea-going vessels patrolled were essentially what gangs in today’s inner-cities would call “protection money.” Pay the tribute, and the percentage chance of preventing being attacked by Muslim vessels, and preventing your sailors from being apprehended and used as slaves by the followers of Muhammad on foreign shores or on Muslim vessels increased; slightly.
Thomas Jefferson actually owned a Koran (the Muslim religion’s holy book/may also be spelled Qur’an) of which he purchased originally at the age of twenty-two, eleven years before he penned the Declaration of Independence.55b Later, as a statesman, Jefferson became critical of Islam, recognizing Islam could not be trusted as a political entity, and that the governments claiming to be a part of the Muslim caliphate were particularly talented in providing untruths on the world stage. Nonetheless, as a proponent of liberty, despite his disdain for the Islamic faith, he recognized that Muslims may be future citizens of the United States even though the American System was established on a foundation of Christianity.55c
At the time of the birth of the United States as a country all of the Muslims in the country were slaves, comprising of somewhere between 15% and 30% of the overall number of slaves in America. Immigration from Islamic-majority countries did not begin until the late nineteenth century.55d
The tribes of Africa, like much of the non-African world, were also practicing slavery among themselves. It was those Africans who sold their fellow Africans into slavery when the European slave ships arrived on the African Coast.
There can be no market if there are no sellers of the product in demand. If there is no supply, no market can exist.
The history of slavery, no doubt a concern to the Framers of the American System of Government through the United States Constitution, especially since a part of that history was playing out in the United States as they worked to establish a foundation of freedom and equality, did not stop them from carrying out their endeavor. Slavery was a reality that they, at the time, could do little to stop. Some of the Founding Fathers, despite their abhorrence of the institution of slavery, owned slaves themselves.
Though Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, he largely inherited them, and though he was “land-rich,” the laws of Virginia made it impossible for Jefferson to free any of his slaves. He simply did not have the money to do so.
George Mason, though he attended the Constitutional Convention until the final day, refused to sign the document along with three others, Elbridge Gerry and Mason’s fellow Virginian, Edmund Randolph. All three distrusted the creation of a large central government, especially without a bill of rights. Mason, rather than verbalize his reasons for not signing the document, wrote his reasons down. Failure to abolish slavery was among those reasons.
“We ought to attend to the rights of every class of the people…provide no less carefully for the…happiness of the lowest than of the highest orders of citizens,” he said at one point during the convention.56
Mason was not the only American willing to stand firm against slavery. “The first slaves that arrived in the Massachusetts Colony set up by the Christian Pilgrims and Puritans” is a story not often told. “When that slave ship arrived in Massachusetts, the ship’s officers were arrested and imprisoned and the kidnapped slaves were returned to Africa at the Colony’s expense.”57
As a colony, Georgia originally rejected slavery. The arguments were largely based on economic and military reasoning. To the south the Spanish were willing to give freedom and an enlistment in their military to any slave that escaped from the British Colonies and made it to Florida. “Between 1735 and 1750 Georgia was the only British American colony to attempt to prohibit Black slavery as a matter of public policy. The decision to ban slavery was made by the founders of Georgia, the Trustees…They banned slavery in Georgia because it was inconsistent with their social and economic intentions…Some settlers began to grumble that they would never make money unless they were allowed to employ enslaved Africans. Many South Carolinians, who wanted to expand their planting interests into Georgia, encouraged this line of thinking…In 1735, two years after the first settlers arrived, the House of Commons passed legislation prohibiting slavery in Georgia…Georgians’ campaign to overturn the parliamentary ban on slavery was soon under way and grew in intensity during the late 1730s…supporters bombarded the Trustees with letters and petitions demanding that slavery be permitted in Georgia. They also wrote pamphlets in which they set out their case in more detail…As the growing wealth of South Carolina’s rice economy demonstrated, enslaved workers were far more profitable than any other form of labor available to the colonists…The situation changed dramatically in 1742 when Oglethorpe defeated the Spanish at the Battle of Bloody Marsh and returned to England. The military arguments in favor of prohibiting slavery were no longer tenable…a growing number of settlers became more willing to ignore the ban on slavery.
“By the mid-1740s the Trustees realized that excluding slavery was rapidly becoming a lost cause... there was little to prevent the Georgia settlers, with the connivance of South Carolina sympathizers, from illicitly importing enslaved Africans primarily through the Augusta area. The Trustees, bowing to the inevitable, agreed that the ban on slavery be overturned but only after they had consulted their officials in Georgia about the conditions under which slavery would be permitted. In opposition to South Carolina’s slave code, the Trustees wished to ensure a smaller ratio of Blacks to whites in Georgia. These consultations were completed by 1750. The Trustees asked the House of Commons to replace the Act of 1735 with one that would permit slavery in Georgia as of January 1, 1751. The legislation they recommended was adopted…
“Between 1750 and 1775 Georgia’s enslaved population grew in size from less than 500 to approximately 18,000 people. Beginning in the mid-1760s, Georgia began to import captive workers directly from Africa…”58
While the history of slavery definitely drove through the heart of America’s History, the narrative that the United States was some kind of major player in the overall scheme of slavery is not true.
America's participation in slavery was actually a small part of the bigger picture. Slavery, however, was a worldwide phenomenon.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at PBS,59 after utilizing a Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade database at slavevoyages.org60 of which he calls the “gold standard” when it comes to the field of the study of the slave trade, recognized that America played a minor role in the slave trade. While the numbers at slavevoyages.org are considered “estimates”, Gates states the database is the best out there in terms of closeness to accuracy. So, writes Gates, according to his own manipulation of the website, “Between 1525 and 1866, in the entire history of the slave trade to the New World, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America. And how many of these 10.7 million Africans were shipped directly to North America? Only about 388,000. That’s right: a tiny percentage.”
In other words, as we’ve been told, and as Mr. Gates was willing to admit, less than 4% of the total. Small number to say the least. Interestingly, and in defiance of the narrative being pushed by people like those behind The 1619 Project, that number is still twice the size it truly should be. The number of slaves who were legally imported into the United States while the United States was officially a country is a much different number.
Before I found Mr. Gates at PBS I had also stumbled upon a website called "statista".61
Two charts on that website caught my eye.
The first one62 shows a chart of The Countries Most Active in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. While the United States is near the bottom, I believe the 377,613 number provided is false. America, as I referred to earlier, was not a country until 1776, so if you wish to be purely honest about the U.S.'s participation in the slave trade, her colonial years should be considered as part of the United Kingdom's participation in the slave trade. After all, English settlers were the ones who began the slave trade here, with support from the British Government, and as the American concept of liberty began to percolate the Founding Fathers blamed Britain for the presence of slaves in America, and blamed the British Empire for the continuation of slavery as the years passed. In short, the mindset of the English who came here was much different from the mindset of the early Americans when it came to slavery. Thomas Jefferson referred to slavery in the original draft of the Declaration of Independence63 by not only stating that the liberty-minded colonists of his time considered those enslaved to be MEN as they themselves were, but that the Commonwealth of Virginia at one point had requested to abolish slavery inside its colonial borders, and the British Parliament had rejected the request.
The second chart at statista64 shows how many slaves were sent to each region in the New World and Europe during the time period of 1514-1866, this time showing a number 307,000 going to the U.S. (which contradicts the 377,613 number from the previous chart). Something I took notice of on this particular page is that the article opens with the 1619 Project claim that in August of 1619 the first ship with enslaved Africans arrived in what was then the colony of Virginia. However, the database Gates at PBS mentioned, which turns out to also be the source for Katharina Buchholz and her charts at statista, to see if I could find out how many slaves was estimated to have arrived in the New World in 1619 as we are being told.
Using the slave trade database65 I left only the U.S. box check-marked, then set the years from 1501 to 1625. According to the database there were zero slave arrivals in the U.S. portion of North America during that time period.
The “gold standard” says zero slaves arrived in 1619. Could the researchers attached to that database know what we’ve already learned in our own research; that no persons were bought as slaves after departing from the decks of The White Lion and onto the sands of that Virginia shore. Each and every one of those Africans on board the arriving ship near Jamestown in 1619 became indentured servants.
Then I checked the following spans of years and got the following numbers:
As a note, the number is zero 1822-1823, 1825-1826, 1828, 1830-1857, 1859.
The first period (1501-1775) was during the time that the English Colonies were under British Rule. The slave trade at that point was administered by Great Britain, therefore it would not be reasonable to count those numbers toward U.S. involvement in slavery.
The second period was from the Declaration of Independence in 1776 to 1807 which is the last year the importation of slaves into the U.S. was legal. An act by Congress to outlaw the Atlantic Slave Trade into the States as authorized by Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution was passed and signed by President Jefferson in March of 1807, with an effective date of January 1, 1808.66 After 1776, and prior to the Act that went into effect in 1808 the importation of slaves into the United States was legal and allowed by the U.S. Government, so the number that corresponds with that time period should count as a part of the overall number regarding U.S. involvement in the slave trade from Africa.
The third period (1808-1866) spanned a time in which the importation of slaves was at its lowest ever, with a number of years at zero. It was also during a time in which it was illegal to import slaves into the United States, so any slaves brought into the United States during that time-span should not be viewed as evidence the United States participated in the slave trade. The participation in the importation of slaves into the United States was not sanctioned by the U.S. Government during that time period; therefore, the activity was being committed by outlaws.
When it came to people who were acting outside the law this would include the Jekyll Island landing of a slave ship in 1858.67 That Georgia disembarkment of slaves is also used by deconstructionists to bolster their anti-American argument, but the reality is that the last slave ship to arrive in America was an illegal port call. The arrival of The Wanderer also followed a long spell of years in which no slaves had been brought into the United States, even in the case of smuggling. In their article about the arrival of The Wanderer in Georgia, states that 409 slaves were dumped off on Jekyll Island.68 The database at slavevoyages.com states only 350 slaves entered the United States in 1858.69 Interesting how the mainstream media journalist at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper jacked the number up a bit. Is there a narrative they are trying to support with exaggerated numbers?
Based on the numbers provided, the actual number of slaves imported into the United States legally based on U.S. law allowing it while the U.S. was a country, then, is 166,162; roughly 2% of the entire number of slaves that came to the New World from Africa.
So how is it that the United States is now being considered as such a major player in the overall scheme of the Atlantic Slave Trade?
The game with numbers gets even more interesting when we look at how widespread slavery failed to be in the United States, despite the fact that Cultural Marxists like Nikole Hannah-Jones want you to believe it was a raging epidemic. According to the numbers available, less than 5% of southern white free persons owned slaves, and overall in the United States less than 1.5% across the entire United States owned slaves.70
“Well over 90 percent of enslaved Africans were imported into the Caribbean and South America…Yet by 1825, the US population included about one quarter of the people of African descent in the New World. American plantations were dwarfed by those in the West Indies. In the Caribbean, many plantations held 150 slaves or more. In the American South, only one slaveholder held as many as a thousand slaves, and just 125 had over 250 slaves.
“In the Caribbean, Dutch Guiana, and Brazil, the slave death rate was so high and the birth rate so low that they could not sustain their population without importations from Africa. Rates of natural decrease ran as high as 5 percent a year. While the death rate of US slaves was about the same as that of Jamaican slaves, the fertility rate was more than 80 percent higher in the United States.”71
The survivability of slaves in the United States was much higher than those who were enslaved in other parts of the world. As a result, “US slaves were more generations removed from Africa than those in the Caribbean. In the nineteenth century, the majority of slaves in the British Caribbean and Brazil were born in Africa. In contrast, by 1850, most US slaves were third-, fourth-, or fifth-generation Americans.”72
“Slavery in the US was distinctive in the near balance of the sexes and the ability of the slave population to increase its numbers by natural reproduction. Unlike any other slave society, the US had a high and sustained natural increase in the slave population for a more than a century and a half.”73
Why was the birthrate in the United States for slaves so much higher than other parts of the New World?
As one reads “A Diary from Dixie” by Mary Boykin Chesnut74, one recognizes that, if her account is accurate and if other plantations were similar to her family’s plantation, the living conditions and services provided for the slaves in the United States were better than in any other country. In other countries the majority of slaves were beaten to death, or were in such poor health from the poor living conditions provided that they were unable to reproduce. Contrary to the narrative being presented, slaves in America lived better than most free people in other parts of the world; and according to Mrs. Chesnut, they were armed, free to hunt if they so desired, and they were trusted enough to be left with the women of the plantation.
Of course, this would not be the case everywhere. There is no doubt that evil men with evil minds acted exactly as the deconstruction narrative suggests. In some places, as portrayed by the race-baiters, slaves were whipped. But, that was not the case everywhere. On plantations like that of the Chesnut’s the most commonly dealt punishment for bad behavior was being not allowed to participate in the Saturday Night Dance.
The message we are being told, this idea that the United States was somehow an evil leader in the sin of slavery is a smoke and mirrors show. An exaggeration. A case of sleight of hand to get you to not see the truth. Cultural Marxism, I'm afraid, at its worst.
As explained, the United States was a minor player in the overall game of slavery. And, inside the United States, slavery was not as widespread as advertised by people like Nikole Hannah-Jones.
After the end of one of my Constitution Classes I asked one of the students, of whom I was conversing with in the parking lot, “What percentage of free whites in the southern states owned slaves right before the beginning of the War Between the States?”
“Oh,” said Mary, “it’s got to be a high number. Seventy-five percent?”
I think that most Americans share Mary’s thinking. We’ve been convinced that the United States was a leader in slavery, despite the fact that we were minor players in the overall scheme of things. And, within our country the disease of slavery was not as widespread as most Americans have been led to believe.
“According to the 1860 census a miniscule number of whites owned slaves. Eight million whites lived in the South, but of these, fewer than 325,000 owned slaves. What this means is that only 1.4 percent of the total white population consisted of slave owners, and only 4.8 percent of the white Southern population did so.”75
While I am not questioning that racism ran rampant in the United States, based on the numbers I am not convinced that slavery had much longer to survive in the United States upon the approach of the War Between the States. The Founding Fathers believed that slavery would be abolished state by state within their lifetimes. That didn’t happen. But, I believe slavery was going to be abolished in the United States within 15 years of the 1860 census, not because of the abolition movement, or because a bunch of people suddenly had a change of heart. The invention of the cotton gin76 in the 1790s, and its widespread use during the early part of the nineteenth century, began a cycle of innovation that would eventually enable machines, and employees running those machines, to replace the need for slaves in the fields, and eventually in the factories and the warehouses. In short, slavery was in the process of becoming obsolete through the sheer forces of economics and innovation.
The numbers regarding how many white slavers there was in 1860 partly reveals that reality.
What is even more amazing is the fact that another set of numbers had skyrocketed of the charts.
In 1860 “there were 4.5 million blacks living in America, and 500,000 blacks in the South. Over half of these—261,988—were freed men. In the city of New Orleans alone, more than 3,000 blacks owned slaves. That is, 28 percent of the free black population consisted of slave holders.”77
One wonders what the motivation for slaveholding by free blacks was.
“In 1830, the Census Bureau notes that free blacks owned more than 10,000 slaves in the states of Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina…Large numbers of free Blacks owned black slaves in numbers disproportionate to their representation in society.”78
“In some cities during some decades in the 19th century, more than 75 percent of the free black population was comprised of slave holders, and some of these black masters owned property in slaves that rivaled that of some of their wealthiest white counterparts while far exceeding that of most slave owners. The widow C. Richards and her son, to cite the most notable example, owned 152 slaves.”79
The amazing facts get more amazing, yet…
“For four decades (1630-1670), those Africans who became freedmen owned white indentured servants. The majority of urban black slave owners were women. Virtually all of the black slave masters were mulattoes who not only enslaved their darker brethren, but refused to marry or even attend church with freed men of darker hue.”80
The numbers The 1619 Project throws around about misogyny and racism seems to apply more to free blacks who owned slaves, rather than their white redneck counterparts.
Worldwide and through the history of slavery we must also recognize another queer realization.
“Europeans didn’t get involved with African slavery until the 15th century—very late in the game, historically speaking. For at least the preceding 800-900 years, Arab Muslims had been trafficking in African slaves all…with the cooperation of African leaders who had been enslaving their fellow Africans for even longer than this.”81
Some African slave holders, as the black American thinker Thomas Sowell has noted as well, used their slaves as human sacrifices in religious rituals.82
“In his Black Rednecks, White Liberals, in a chapter titled, ‘The Real History of Slavery,’ Sowell’s commentary on the brutality of Arabic Muslims’ treatment of African slaves is particularly difficult to digest. Muslims, he says, ‘marched vast numbers of human beings from their homes [in Africa] where they had been captured to the places where they would be sold, hundreds of miles away, often spending months crossing the burning sands of the Sahara…The death toll on these marches exceeded even the horrific toll on packed slave ships crossing the Atlantic.”83
When it came to Muslim slavery, however, Africans weren’t the only targets. As I explained earlier, American sailors were being captured and enslaved by Islamic countries, as well as “millions of white Europeans.”84
Slavery of white people was how the whole thing started, to be honest. “After all…the…word ‘slave’ derives from the experience of mass enslavement suffered by the Slavs, i.e. white people.”85
Slavers and Colonists
In The 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote, “The United States is a nation founded on both an ideal and a lie. Our Declaration of Independence, approved on July 4, 1776, proclaims that ‘all men are created equal’ and ‘endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.’ But the white men who drafted those words did not believe them to be true for the hundreds of thousands of black people in their midst. A right to ‘Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness’ did not include fully one-fifth of the new country.”86
On “The View,” a gentleman named Elie Mystal…declared that the Constitution is “kind of trash.”87
Mystal appeared on the television program on March 4, 2022 to discuss his new book.88 An attorney, in addition to being an author, Mystal is also a frequent guest on MSNBC and Sirius/XM Radio. He has been labeled by his supporters in the media as “The Nation’s justice correspondent.”89
“It was written by slavers and colonists, and white people who were willing to make deals with slavers and colonists,” Mystal said. “They didn’t ask anybody who looked like me what they thought about the Constitution.”90
The Constitution is trash because it “was written without the consent of black and brown people in this country,” he said.91
In “Allow Me to Retort: A Black Guy’s Guide to the Constitution,” he wrote that the supreme law of the land is really just “a document designed to create a society of white male dominance.”92
The Declaration of Independence famously contains the iconic words, “all men are created equal.” The “ideal” is not a lie. The Founding Fathers truly believed it to be true.
The key word in Jefferson’s sentence about equality is “created”.
When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration’s phrase about equality he was not referring to current conditions, or the access one might have to their rights and privileges as a result of governmental interference. He was talking about creation. Who we are in God’s eyes.
In the Old World a ruling elite controlled the masses. If you weren’t a member of the privileged noble class, or otherwise associated with the royal hierarchy, then you were nothing more than a subject. A serf. A peasant. A member of society who resided on the bottom shelf of a class system that was based on economic status and one’s family lineage.
The American Experiment aimed to do away with class distinction. There were to be no titles of nobility, or special privileges of honor. Or, at least that was the plan.
The presence of slavery definitely placed questions on the table regarding equality in a free society that, to be honest, left a group of people out of that opportunity due to the presence of slavery.
That all said, Jefferson recognized the humanity of those persons who were enslaved. The Constitution’s first seven articles and subsequent Bill of Rights purposely avoided using the words “slave” or “slavery” in the hopes of not diminishing the humanity of those who were in bondage at the time.
One might note that the Constitution itself, in no place of its text, separates people into groups based on color, race, or sex. There is no language in the Constitution that says anything remotely close to segregating people into groups so that the privileges may be handed out based on which group a person finds themselves in. The Constitution does not bar women or blacks from voting. The Constitution does not disallow women or blacks from owning property. A majority of the State Constitutions, when referring to voting, after establishing parameters that included property ownership in the hopes of ensuring only those people who had skin in the game could vote, used the words “all inhabitants.”93
Alexander H. Stephens, a thorough racist and Vice President of the Confederate States of America, in his Corner Stone Speech, delivered March 21, 1861 in Savannah, Georgia, admitted that the point of the Constitution was not to protect slavery, and that Thomas Jefferson and most of his fellow Founding Fathers recognized the humanity and natural rights of those who were enslaved at the time. According to Stephens, when Jefferson wrote, “all men are created equal,” he meant it.94
Stephens said while referring to the new constitution of the Confederate States of America, “The new constitution has put at rest, forever, all the agitating questions relating to our peculiar institution – African slavery as it exists amongst us – the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization. This was the immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution. Jefferson in his forecast, had anticipated this, as the ‘rock upon which the old Union would split.’ He was right. What was conjecture with him, is now a realized fact. But whether he fully comprehended the great truth upon which that rock stood and stands, may be doubted. The prevailing ideas entertained by him and most of the lading statesmen at the time of the formation of the old constitution, were that the enslavement of the African was in violation of the laws of nature; that it was wrong in principle, socially, morally, and politically. It was an evil they knew not well how to deal with, but the general opinion of the men of that day was that somehow or other in the order of Providence, the institution would be evanescent and pass away. This idea, though not incorporated in the constitution, was the prevailing idea at the time. The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those idas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races.”95
In the original draft of the Declaration of Independence included in it 168 words of scathing anti-slavery language.96
* Note: I used to say “138 words of anti-slavery language” because that is what had been told to me. When I finally sat down and counted, it turned out to be 168 words of scathing anti-slavery language.
Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence as part of a five person committee assigned to the task. In addition to Jefferson, present were Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman (the only person to sign all four founding documents; Articles of Association, Articles of Confederacy, Declaration of Independence, and the United States Constitution), and Robert Livingston. Interestingly, Livingston never signed the document because he believed the timing of calling for independence was premature. The edits to the document by members of the Declaration committee and the Continental Congress numbered to 86 changes to Jefferson’s original draft, reducing the final length by more than a quarter of the original draft. Jefferson was unhappy about some of the changes, which included removing language condemning the British promotion of the slave trade. While Jefferson himself was a slave owner, he was an ardent abolitionist who called for the abolition of slavery throughout the remaining years of his life. The language condemning slavery in his original draft was not acceptable to the two most southern states of the new country, South Carolina and Georgia, where the slave culture was most deeply embedded. The removal of the anti-slavery language, in the view of the signers, was necessary in order to keep the adoption of the document unanimous among the thirteen original states. Jefferson's objections were heard and considered, but holding together the complete union of states in a unanimous manner was more important to the delegates. Later, in 1787, in the U.S. Constitution, slavery was considered to be a State issue, once again in order to provide a compromise acceptable to the southern-most states of the young union in the hopes the compromise would keep the thirteen original states together, while also hoping that such a compromise would be temporary. Most of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention believed that slavery would slowly be abolished by each State independently within their lifetimes. George Mason, one of the framers of the Constitution who had been present during the entire convention, refused to sign the document because it did not abolish slavery, and because it contained no bill of rights, which he believed should be fashioned in a manner that resembled the English Declaration of Rights of 1689. He believed both the abolition of slavery, and a bill of rights, were required components of the American experiment if it was going to succeed, and stand the test of time.97
he has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it's most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, & murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.98
The key takeaway, aside from the fact that the anti-slavery language existed in the first place, is that only two States, South Carolina and Georgia, found the language to be problematic.99 That means that of the Thirteen Original States, eleven were fine with that anti-slavery language.
Not exactly the kinds of numbers one would dare mention if they were trying to convince everyone that the Founding Fathers and the American residents of that era were mostly racist slavers.
One might also note that South Carolina and Georgia, the two States that disagreed with Jefferson’s anti-slavery language, were not exactly juggernauts in terms of population. Based on the apportionment of electors in Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, and a review of the estimated populations of the States at the time, South Carolina and Georgia ranked eighth and eleventh, respectively.100
In the anti-slavery section that was removed on July 1, 1776 for the purpose of ensuring all of the States signed the Declaration of Independence, it is important for the reader to take note that the word “Christian” was capitalized and underlined, and “MEN” was written in ALL CAPS.101
* Note: It is important to realize that in most discussions in print and online that it is indicated that both words were written in ALL CAPS, but upon examination of the actual document the word Christian was capitalized and underlined, and “MEN” was written in ALL CAPS. 102 The effect, while still placing an emphasis on both words, separates them in the sense of the “type” of emphasis. The emphasis on Christian was meant to be sarcastic; as if mocking the Christianity of the king, essentially saying, “if you were truly a Christian, your highness, you would not have been a party to slavery in the first place.” The ALL CAPS of the word MEN placed an emphasis of importance, saying “I proclaim that the word MEN applies to this group of persons as well.”
Jefferson capitalizing these two words for the purpose of placing emphasis on them was a practice the Founding Fathers utilized often in their writings, and one they followed by capitalizing the first letter of words in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution (as well as other documents of the time). In the Sherman Copy of the Declaration of Independence erasures of lower-case letters and replacing them with capital letters is apparent in the copy, revealing the purposeful capitalization of the words in question.103
While the original anti-slavery language was removed on July 1, 1776, the reality is that eleven of the thirteen States agreed with the language, meaning that they also were fine with MEN being in ALL CAPS when referring to those person who were enslaved. The words “all men are created equal” were on both the original copy, and the final copy, of the Declaration of Independence. In short, Thomas Jefferson, and the leaders of nearly all of the States of the Union at the time believed what Jefferson had written. All were created equal. All persons, including those enslaved, were recipients of the full slate of God-given Natural Rights. The condition of the right to liberty for those enslaved had not yet been realized, but Jefferson and a majority of the people of that time believed that liberty for all was coming.
Even those who did own slaves, such as Thomas Jefferson, knew that slavery was wrong, and they were taking steps to eliminate the problem. The original copy of the Declaration of Independence reveals that very fact. Despite Elie Mystal complaining that the Constitution, written only eleven years later, was written by “slavers and colonists”, the truth is while he may seem like he was on to something on the surface because of all of the propaganda that has been thrown around, as with anything understanding the full context is everything.
The debate regarding if most of the Founding Fathers, or not, were abolitionists still rages, but the truth is that slavery was a major issue, and debated heavily not only in the public square, but during the Constitutional Convention among the delegates because there were those who were intent of beginning the process of getting rid of slavery in America once and for all.
The purveyors of Critical Race Theory and The 1619 Project have done all they can to convince you that the very presence of slavery proves that the Framers of our System of Liberty were actually all just a bunch of racist tyrants who did everything they could to protect slavery. The evidence that reveals that that is not the case at all is not the point to these people. They have a narrative to follow, a revolution to ignite, so they either believe their own lies, or they are willingly being deceptive in order to fool today’s general population. Of course, this attack against America’s Founding Era is nothing new.
E.U. Essien-Udom in his book Black Nationalism wrote, “Social conditions in the United States have never permitted Negroes to enjoy the freedom they are said to have gained. Their treatment by whites shows that they are not yet free.”104
Cornel West wrote in his book Race Matters, “white poverty could be ignored and whites’ paranoia of each other cold be overlooked primarily owing to the distinctive American feature: the basic racial divide of black and white peoples. From 1776 to 1964—188 years of our 218-year history—this racial divide would serve as a basic presupposition for the expansive functioning of American democracy, even as the concentration of wealth and power remained in the hands of a few well-to-do white men.”105
In the book’s Introduction, Barbara Abrash’s Black African Literature begins with the statement, “The colonial powers may have much to answer for in Africa.”106
Anti-Colonialism was made most famous, in recent memory, by President Barack Obama, not only with rhetoric he delivered as President of the United States, but in his book, Dreams From My Father. He wrote, “The worst thing that colonialism did was to cloud our view of our past…The boarded-up homes, the decaying storefronts, the aging church rolls, kids from unknown families who swaggered down the streets - loud congregations of teenage boys, teenage girls feeding potato chips to crying toddlers, the discarded wrappers tumbling down the block - all of it whispered painful truths…I had begun to see a new map of the world, one that was frightening in its simplicity, suffocating in its implications. We were always playing on the white man's court…by the white man's rules…To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night, in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy…”107
Most Americans were unfamiliar with the particulars regarding anti-colonialism as presented by Barack Obama. “Colonialism is defined as ‘control by one power over a dependent area or people.’ It occurs when one nation subjugates another, conquering its population and exploiting it, often while forcing its own language and cultural values upon its people. By 1914, a large majority of the world's nations had been colonized by Europeans at some point. The concept of colonialism is closely linked to that of imperialism, which is the policy or ethos of using power and influence to control another nation or people that underlies colonialism.”108
Which brings us back to Mystal’s use of the word “colonists” in his rant about the Constitution being “kind of trash”. He was attempting to lump America into the basket of deplorable colonialists. The Founding Fathers, from Mystal’s point of view, and any point of view of those who seek to deconstruct America’s Heritage for the purpose of furthering Cultural Marxism through the lens of Critical Race Theory and inherent racism among the privileged white hierarchy, were nothing more than North America’s version of the European colonialists who were “using power and influence to control”. The white Founding Fathers were using colonialism, according to the divisive narrative, to “subjugate” others; especially blacks who were found themselves in chains of slavery.
While colonialism may have been a factor in the original settlement of the English Colonies, the downline of those original settlers were not colonial settlers. The vast majority of those who were involved in creating the American System had been born in the New World. So, they were for all intensive purposes, native to the land they lived in. They may have been “colonists,” but they were not purveyors of the colonialism folks like Barack Obama were so eager to lash out against. In fact, the Americans did the most anti-colonialism thing that could have been done. They rebelled against the colonialists, waged war against the colonialists, and declared independence from the colonialists. Then, as a country, while America did expand westward across what would become the mainland forty-eight States, and while America did acquire some lands as territories as spoils of war, nearly all of those territories outside the lower 48 were let go, and in the United States never practiced colonialism in the same sense that the European Powers did during the Age of Exploration.
In fact, the very idea that the United States Founding Fathers were colonialists, and that the Revolutionary War was fought to maintain the status-quo, which includes preserving slavery, is absolute rubbish. As we discussed earlier, the original copy of the Declaration of Independence reveals that maintaining slavery was not only not among the reasons for the American Revolution, the war was partly fought for the purpose of moving America towards getting rid of slavery.
The United States Constitution then continues that effort by limiting the authority in the House of Representatives of the pro-slave States by reducing their population formula with the 3/5s Clause, and by setting in motion via Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution the criminalization of the Atlantic Slave Trade.
George Mason, among others, may have been bothered by the fact that the Constitution did not outright outlaw slavery in 1787, but not only was a compromise necessary in order to ensure that all States were willing to remain in the union, but outlawing slavery with the Constitution would have betrayed the whole point of what the Constitution was about in the first place.
The States had Original Authority over all powers. They relinquished some of their authorities to the new federal government through the pages of the Constitution so that the new system may enable the union to function better as a country, yet the power was distributed in such a way that it was designed to make sure the federal government’s powers were limited, and local control over local issues was maintained. The federal government was granted expressly enumerated powers for the purpose of handling external issues, and those issues that would protect, preserve and promote the union; such as mediating disputes between the States, and establishing lines of communication among the States through what was emerging as a postal system.
In short, the States retained the authority to take care of their own internal order, which included slavery. The issue of slavery as it applied within the States’ borders belonged to the States. Only external functions of the issue of slavery would fall upon the authorities of the federal government; among which was included the Atlantic Slave Trade. So, keeping with that plan, Article I, Section 9 gave Congress the authority as of 1808 to prohibit the importation of persons via the Atlantic Slave Trade. Congress, in 1807, proposed the law, President Thomas Jefferson signed it, and it was made effected January 1, 1808.109
When the Convention debated restrictions on slavery on August 22, 1787, Abraham Baldwin of Georgia protested he had conceived that “only national objects were before the Convention” and that slavery was of a local nature.110
That is hardly the kind of thing you would see performed by a government that is bent on preserving slavery through colonialist desires of power and subjugation.
Learning From Communal Failures
America, in 1787, became The Great Experiment. Sure, the Revolutionary War and the Declaration of Independence set the experiment in motion, but it was laid out in detail during the Summer of 1787 on the pages of the United States Constitution.
The Constitution, however, was not written on a whim, and it was not some off-the-cuff system they thought they’d try out to see if it would work. The System of Liberty created on the pages of our Constitution emerged as a result of extensive research, and a whole lot of trial and error by the Americans over the years since the first colony got established in Jamestown in 1607.
The first English Settlers came to the New World in the hopes of making better lives for themselves. They were God-fearing folks, Christians who believed in The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God. In other words, Natural Law.
“Self preservation is the first law of nature, and self advancement is the second. We cannot quarrel with this natural order even if we would.”111
“King James I inherited the throne of England in 1603. He vowed to imprison or kill every citizen in England who disagreed with his tyrannical ‘religion’.112
The Pilgrims landing in Plymouth in 1620 led to a settlement that, after fooling around with a utopian scheme of communalism that nearly destroyed the colony, “strove to be self-supporting and, through Governor Bradford’s wisdom in establishing private enterprise, they succeeded…At Jamestown [the colony that first settled in 1607], the situation was different…many of the first settlers were hardened soldiers of fortune or men on the run from English law, coming to America in search of gold or other treasure…While the tough, intrepid Captain John Smith was with them, he was often obliged to force them to work at the point of the sword. The colonists’ unruly behavior demanded strong external government…along with these unruly settlers, there was a strong, if small, nucleus of God-fearing, hard-working farmers and artisans—Virginia’s future hope…five hundred settlers were reduced to sixty gaunt survivors in a mere six months…the Virginia Colony’s progress was…painfully slow. New settlers arrived with the same desire for quick gain, and the problems of productivity recurred…there were still those who preferred to get their supplies through plunder rather than productivity, a later governor, Sir Thomas Dale, finally invoked martial law in order to force production of the food they so desperately needed…the early settlers of Virginia were…fed ‘from the common kettle.’ [Socialism]…this acted as a discouragement to those who were trying to work conscientiously, for the most idle and irresponsible were rewarded equally with the hard working and conscientious…it was computed that the united industry of the colony did not accomplish as much work in a week as might have been performed in a day, if each individual had labored on his own account. The harsh, arbitrary rule that Dale meted out could not go on forever; it was self-defeating, because the moment it was relaxed, the problems recurred. Finally, he divided part of the land into small plots and gave one to each individual as his property. From the moment that industry had the certain prospect of a recompense [reward], it advanced with rapid progress…[then new settlers arrived] intent on quick gain…the began again ‘to renew their demands upon the Indians, who seeing no end to those exactions, their antipathy…began to form schemes of vengeance.’ These schemes later took effect in the massacre of 1622, which almost wiped out the colony…In 1619…a representative body…was established.”113
While the first settlers of Jamestown beginning in 1607 may have been Christians, many of their ambitions were anything but godly. They ignored natural law, which recognizes individualism and rewards individual achievement. Each individual is different, and each individual, if he is to succeed in a society, must find what he can succeed at and work at that endeavor no matter what it may be. Sometimes, we don’t find what we are good at, but we put our noses to the grindstone, anyway, and build a comfortable life, anyways. Sometimes, talents and skill sets allow some people to rise up and do much better than others. That is a part of what freedom is all about. While we are created equal, due to our choices, skills, and paths we lead very different lives. Freedom allows that to happen.
Free people are seldom equal, and equal people are seldom free.
If a culture puts the community before the individual, or creates a communal system that quells individual initiative, then the traits of the people who reside on the lowest rung of the ladder will be the ones that become the norm. Set the bar high and people will endeavor to achieve. Set the bar low and people will die as they lay on the ground just above their grave refusing to go any higher.
A communal system was established at first in Jamestown, and it proved to be so costly that it nearly ended the colony.
Plymouth experienced a similar evolution of events. Possibly cognizant of the lessons of Jamestown, and definitely due to the leadership of Governor Bradford, Plymouth’s experiment with socialism was much shorter lived, and in the end, as did Jamestown, Plymouth was broken up into parcels, and each settler was given the opportunity to work their own land as individuals, to feed themselves based on their own labors, and then send any excess to market. The scheme of a free market worked so well, once it was finally put in place in the two colonies, the English settlements began to flourish, attracting more colonists from Europe.
America’s Foundation was Christian, but the method of growth was based largely on trial and error. “The mistakes at Roanoke” may have led to “a landing…at Jamestown in 1607”, but the plan was still “an impossible type of government…The new colony did not prosper…the powerful impetus of private gain was absent.” As a result of the experiment with a communal style system, “disease, idleness, and incompetence very nearly extinguished in its first years this fourth attempt by Englishmen to settle America.” Once a free market system anchored by individualism was in place “the colony grew rapidly and by 1650 held more than 15,000 inhabitants.” Once the colony was successful, England sought to take control of it, and Jamestown surrendered “peaceably in March, 1652, to a fleet sent over by Parliament.”114
In Plymouth, to the north in what would become Massachusetts, after the Mayflower sailed away, “fourteen of the eighteen wives who had sailed in the ship died. When a good crop was eventually harvested a Thanksgiving Day was set aside to commemorate it. Governor Bradford’s good sense in dealing with the Indians and in abolishing communal labor had much to do with saving the colony.”115
While The 1619 Project works to blame present-day problems on our past using evidence that is incomplete or deceptively presented, the truth is the present day prosperity and freedom to all citizens of the United States which reaches far beyond that of any person in any other part of the world, is indeed linked to our past. The struggles are what made America strong. Or, as I mention earlier in this book, wisdom is not attained because of the correct decisions we make. America began with a struggle, enduring a difficult season of lessons that were navigated through trial and error.
The American System developed as one based on liberty and a free market (that today we call capitalism) because the hard lessons of our past taught us that the communal systems of collectivism fail.
Secularism also failed. It was when Christians, in prayer, came together to figure out the difficult challenges they faced that the English Colonies began to prosper. The same can be said for our later journey as a country. It took a Great Awakening to kindle the fire of independence, and it took prayer before each session of the Constitutional Convention to lead the delegation to the point of writing the second greatest document in world history (second only to the Holy Bible, of course).
After learning from our communal failures, why would Americans today even consider such a route? Not only did socialism fail in Jamestown and Plymouth way back in the early 1600s, but collectivism led to a series of failures in France after the French Revolution removed individualism and God from their revolutionary endeavors, and in the modern era socialism has failed in every country it tried to emerge in, or in the case of China it is in the process of heading towards failure. And, in every case, socialism has led to starvation, death, and a tyrannical system of government forcing the population into a kind of political bondage never seen here in America. Yet, today’s leaders, especially those espousing the arguments put forward in The 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory, are pushing for that very same kind of political madness.
Collectivism always fails. Socialism always leads to massive numbers of deaths. Tyranny and starvation are always byproducts of communal systems of governance. Jamestown knew it, Plymouth knew it, and we should know it today.
What America is confronting today is an attempt to move us towards those failed systems, but through “race grievance and identity politics”, which has, “since its inception, an even more sinister purpose: to maintain the political power of the landlord merchant class.” History is full of “untold stories of people who have succeeded in the face of daunting obstacles, including slaves who became millionaires through entrepreneurial determination; former slaves who bought the plantations on which they once worked; present-day, inner-city grassroots leaders who are transforming drug-infested communities into peaceful, safe places to raise families.”116 All because of the promise of opportunity and achievement offered by a free market system and a Constitution that limits the government so that we have the ability to strive with as little government interference as possible.
So why would anyone wish to increase the size of government and chase after a socialistic system that has proven to fail over and over again in history?
Power and wealth for the leaders. As for those following the madness? Deception. They are being misled, and do not know it.
The movement towards communalism is well funded, too. It should be. After all, it is driven by the powerful and the wealthy.
“The intricate and shadowy network of revolutionary outfits and individuals…along with the ideologically driven mayhem they cause, draws its financial oxygen from the unsuspecting and the suspect alike. These organizations are funded by individual Americans who seek freedom and equality; corporations that depend on capitalism to survive; and deep-pocketed philanthropic foundations that receive their funding from such corporations, from individual capitalists, or from inherited endowments left by capitalists long dead. The irony of people and entities handing gobs of money to organizations that seek to dismantle their way of life, including their freedom to make such money, has been noted often.”117
“But some of these foundations and big-pocketed donors behind BLM would not mind that; some of the foundations are led by deeply committed Marxists with past or present associations with regimes in Beijing, Caracas, Havana, and Managua.”118
A Racial Divide
It is interesting how the goals of the Civil Rights Movement has now been flipped. The claim was that the problem with America was segregation, so every effort was being made to make sure integration was achieved. Now, groups like Black Lives Matter, those who support Critical Race Theory, and the voices behind The 1619 Project, arc calling for segregation. They praise the separation of racial groups and other “protected classes” from the rest of society, encourage the segregation of schools by championing black-only or “Latino” schools at all levels, participate in the promotion of black-only television programming and movies. The purveyors of the new attitude of racial division claim that the whole reason for the new schemes of segregation has to do with the fact that “white supremacy” is still in place, and whites have been acting in a manner to protect their political and cultural superiority.
So much for recognizing people by the content of their character.
What we are experiencing is something called “identity politics”. The definition of identity politics according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary online is: Politics in which groups of people having a particular racial, religious, ethnic, social, or cultural identity tend to promote their own specific interests or concerns without regard to the interests or concerns of any larger political group.
*“Identity politics.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/identity%20politics. Accessed 19 Apr. 2022.
In our society, as we watch people of groups play the game exactly as the definition states, promoting their own specific interests or concerns without regard to the interests or concerns of any other group, they do it in such a way that promotes the idea that they are somehow extra moral and “correct” because of their actions.
Hence, the emergence of another term in our culture: Virtue Signaling.
I went to the Oxford Dictionary for that one.
vir·tue sig·nal·ing; noun: virtue signalling; noun: virtue signaling; the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to demonstrate one's good character or the moral correctness of one's position on a particular issue.
"it's noticeable how often virtue signaling consists of saying you hate things"
Our culture, not only in the United States, but around the world, seems to have fallen victim to these two relatively new (though not) things. So, as I see it, based on those basic dictionary definitions, the world of the progressive left and their political thrust against American Society have decided to change behaviors and usher members of particular groups or identities in a manner that programs them to believe that they must stand behind the ruling elite who have trained them without any consideration regarding the interests or concerns of anyone who does not exist within their bubble of belief or identity. However, since saying you are right and everyone else is wrong has been historically frowned upon as being narcissistic or arrogant, they justify their actions or words by expressing it in such a way that signals they have good character or are morally correct and their position or belief simply is an outgrowth of that good character or moral correctness. In the process, however, due to the extreme identifiers attached to everything they do or say, and so as to ensure a solid rejection of anything that opposes their position or belief, they reject any opposition and even go so far as to verbalize that their opponents must be the opposite extreme and are even "haters", or they must be hated, shunned, and even silenced in order for progress to be achieved based on the foundation of the belief system they believe to be so correct that the interests or concerns of any opposition must be rejected and censored into non-existence.
In short, though we thought racism was in the rearview mirror of history we have been convinced that somehow the progress of the last couple centuries was all for naught and if anything the relations between the races have somehow worsened even though the evidence reveals otherwise. Our culture, we are told, has become so racist that white people can’t help themselves because they are inherently racist just because of the color of their skin, and that’s why a black president, Barack Obama, achieved the “highest office of the land” so easily when the black population hovers somewhere around just below 14% of the overall population in America.
The truth is, we’ve been trained to believe we are a racist society through creeping incrementalism. Over time things have been done to establish conditions for a class struggle between the races in the United States. In fact, even the idea of racism is something they placed in front of us simply by using a little word magic.
Let’s use a few printed dictionaries I own to prove the point.
The word racism is something we are pretty sure we understand, right?
Let's take a look at the 2022 definition of racism just to make sure we know what we think. Our source for this first one is the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
1: a belief that race is a fundamental determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.
2a: the systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another.
b: a political or social system founded on racism and designed to execute its principles.
*“Racism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racism. Accessed 19 Apr. 2022.
Though I decided not to print them here in this book, when I was reading the definition online I noticed that all of the examples of the word “racism” had something to do with the modern belief that we are being plagued by a new kind of "white supremacy".
Let's take a look at some older definitions, shall we?
The World Book Dictionary, 1987 Edition, #24 L-Z, page 1718, provides:
racism. n. 1. the belief that a particular race, especially one's own, is superior to other races. 2. discrimination or prejudice against a race or races based on this belief. 3. a political or social policy or system against a race or races based on this belief.
Similar, but different. The World Book definition leans a little less heavy on accusations that white people are the problem when it comes to the different shades of skin battling it out, but the inference mildly remains.
Let's take a look at Webster's Dictionary, 1978, page 302.
race n. the descendants of a common ancestor; distinct variety of human species; a peculiar breed as of horses, etc.; lineage; descent.
Then, after the noun, it provides the adverb:
racialism, racism n. animosity shown to peoples of different race.
Very curious. The dictionary from the seventies, even though it was published shortly after the end of a tumultuous civil rights period in the history of the United States, remained objective in its definition. Racism is simply animosity shown to peoples of a different race. Notice, also, that "racism" didn't reside in its own category, it was lumped with "race".
I don't have with me my dictionaries from the 1950s and 1930s at the moment, so let's go all the way back to the first one. Webster's dictionary, 1828, no page number provided. Notice, there is no word for racism in that dictionary, but we do have one for the word "race".
After referring to "race" as being to run, the following is offered:
RACE: n. 1. The lineage of a family, or continued series of descendants from a parent who is called the stock. A race is the series of descendants indefinitely. Thus all mankind are called the race of Adam; the Israelites are of the race of Abraham and Jacob. Thus we speak of a race of kings, the race of Clovis or Charlemagne; a race of nobles, &c. [that last paring of an ampersand and the letter "c" meaning et cetera].
2. A generation; a family of descendants.
3. A particular breed; as a race of mules; a race of horses; a race of sheep.
Race originally meant lineage in humans, not necessarily different color skin or ethnicity. However, such a division was placed on the animal kingdom, listing that race meant different breeds in animals.
I wonder at what point the definition that applied to animals as a form of separation was applied to humans? Larger, yet; why would a definition that applied to animals be applied to humans in the first place? If we are all the race of Adam then that means we come from the same stock, we are all created equal. To change race, with science, to Caucasian, Mongoloid, and Negroid would be to say we are not one human race and descendants from Adam. In other words, we are three different groups, distinct, different, perhaps battling for position.
Perhaps that was science's way of trying to downplay God and Creation while dividing us into groups so that we may be set against each other.
By separating everyone from the original race of Adam into three races, and now into hundreds since ethnicity, nationality, and even minority religions are lumped into the term "racism", it kind of reminds me of the old military tactic, "Divide and Conquer".
In short, what's going on now is the culmination of centuries of planning, positioning, and scheming to divide us and set us against each other. Those who have fallen for it, to be frank, are tools that can't think beyond the tip of their nose. They've fallen for the ruse, and their gullible minds are angry and lashing out without realizing that is exactly what they've been programmed to do...like a bunch of animals.
We are reminded constantly by the race-baiters, however, that the enslavement of the “black race” occurred in America, whether we play with definitions, or not. That, we are told, is the ultimate racism, and in the case of America, says Nikole Hannah-Jones of The 1619 Project, the white racist founding fathers did all they could to preserve racism, and promote racism.
Let’s take a look, just to make sure.
“In October 1774, in a stunning and radical move, delegates of the First Continental Congress signed a pledge for the thirteen mainland colonies not to participate in the African slave trade. Perhaps equally astounding, Americans largely complied, turning the pledge into an outright ban.
“Congress’s ban and widespread compliance with it during the Revolutionary War years has been underappreciated even by historians of the American antislavery movement. It should not be. It is true that the primary motivation for banning slave imports was not moral outrage at the slave trade itself, but instead was a means to punish Great Britain in hopes of changing its colonial tax and trade policies. Even so, given the building opposition to the slave trade in the 1770s on moral grounds, moral outrage likely played a substantial role in the adoption of the ban. Revealingly, Congress went farther than simply prohibiting the slave trade with Britain.
“Congress first banned all imports of enslaved persons. Thus, neither American slave ships, British slave ships, nor those from any other country could carry captive Africans into any of the thirteen colonies. Importantly, Congress further prohibited Americans from participating in the slave trade altogether—not just with Great Britain and its Caribbean colonies, but with any country. This slave trade ban was the first nationally organized antislavery effort in American history, and one of the first in world history.”119
I suppose one could say that October 1774 was the launching point of two critical movements in American History. Abolishing slavery, and the Civil Rights Movement.
It is important to note that the 1774 ban of the African slave trade occurred before the Americans had even written a declaration calling out for their independence. Two years after the ban 168 words of anti-slavery language nearly graced the pages of the 1776 Declaration of Independence, and eleven years after that the Framers of the United States Constitution set in motion the eventual outlawing of the Atlantic Slave Trade, which ultimately became effective January 1, 1808. Less than sixty years after that, December 6, 1865, Amendment XIII was ratified, outlawing slavery in the United States officially. It was a process. It took a while. But in less than one hundred years, from the ban in 1774 to the amendment in 1865, America had achieved what had been a goal from the beginning. The abolition of slavery.
“George Washington…urged Patriots not to import any slaves and declared ‘our most earnest wishes to see an entire stop forever to such a wicked, cruel and unnatural trade.’
“Virginia’s delegates too brought with them a then unpublished work penned by a young Thomas Jefferson, who drew up charges against King George III. Jefferson had been too ill to attend Congress, and his friends later published his work as a pamphlet without his permission. In his A Summary View of the Rights of British America, Jefferson included the following indictment:
The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in these colonies where it was unhappily introduced in their infant state. But previous to the enfranchisement of the slaves we had, it is necessary to exclude all further importations from Africa. Yet our repeated request to effect this by prohibitions and by imposing duties which might amount to a prohibition have been hithero defeated by his Majesty’s negative, thus preferring the immediate advantage of a few British corsairs to the lasting interest of the American states, and to the rights of human nature, deeply wounded by this infamous practice.120
“After The 1619 Project emerged, in September of 2020, when President Donald Trump appointed a ‘1776 Commission’ to create a patriotic and more accurate curriculum to serve as a corrective to the America-bashing 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones accused the commission of ‘conservative cynicism,’ called the retired Vanderbilt professor named as its vice chair ‘crazy,’ and retweeted an article by Ashron Pittman characterizing the initiative as ‘an effort to revive the widespread whitewashing of American history’…in the playbook of totalitarian leaders, who want a resurrection of white supremacy.”121
The 1776 Project, a 41-Page magazine style booklet, dated January 2021 by The President’s Advisory 1776 Commission at about the same time the Biden Administration scrubbed the information from the White House website, made its way into my hands late 2021. A student in one of my Constitution Classes gave it to me. Upon reading it I found it to not be the work of sinister white supremacists, or a tool of racial division. The document actually contains information that I believe few Americans are aware of, nor understand. We’ve been told a great number of things that aren’t necessarily true about our history, and our Constitution. Even folks I would consider political allies have fallen for much of the ridiculousness out there. The truth about America’s History and Heritage is not something that should be dividing us, it is something that should be uniting us. It is only seen as divisive because those promoting the narrative of things like The 1619 Project are doing so because they want division. They want class struggle, and if they cannot achieve it between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, then they plan to make it happen among other groups, such as along racial lines.
On the very first page of text the Forward of the 1776 Project, written by Gary DeMar, provides, “The day Joe Biden was sworn in as President of the United States, The 1776 Report by former Pres. Donald Trump’s Advisory 1776 Commission disappeared from the White House website. The 1776 Report was a needed response to the New York Times Magazine 1619 Project that claimed that slavery was the operational foundation upon which the United States was founded. The United States was unofficially founded in 1776 with the drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence and formally established in 1791 when the states voted to adopt the United States Constitution and its attendant Bill of Rights as their national governing document. There was no United States in 1619.”122
The Constitution (Articles 1-7) was ratified in 1788, then the operational government went into effect in 1789, proposing the Bill of Rights that same year, after which 10 of the 12 offered to the States were ratified in 1791. While I am not excited about the fact that the 1776 Project uses the word “national,” since we are supposed to be a constitutional republic with a federal government, not a democracy with a national government, overall The 1776 Project is a valuable resource for Americans.
The main points the document definitely has right?
The United States was not a country in 1619, The United States was not founded for the purpose of establishing and perpetuating slavery, and prior to the official establishment of the United States as a country and the unfortunate rise of slavery on its shores a Christian Foundation had already taken hold as a primary factor of the region’s foundational principles. There’s that, and the fact that 1619 was not the year the first slaves were shipped in, as we’ve discussed. The 1619 arrivals were indentured servants, and the first slaves to be shipped in via the Atlantic Slave Trade arrived in 1645, a good twenty-five years after the Pilgrims got settled in, and nearly forty years after Jamestown got its feet first planted on the ground in Virginia.
As one continues to read through The 1776 Project one realizes there is no racial divide on the other pages, either. Both black and white scholars worked on the project, and both black and white Americans are quoted in the document.
The 1776 Project answers various accusations that it is a document that foments division very accurately, revealing that in actuality the U.S. Constitution is a document that was “ahead of its time” and that it actually is a uniting document that applies to all of its citizens no matter who they are.
Contrary to the opposition’s opinion, there are no words in the Constitution that ever denied women or blacks from voting. The document has been accused of being “misogynistic” by a number of collectivistic-minded attackers because the word “woman” or “women” is not mentioned in the document, but as The 1776 Project explains, “neither are the words ‘man’ or ‘men’.”
“In addition, the Constitution does not use the words “race,” “slavery” “slave,” “white,” or “black.”
The observation was referring to the original seven articles and the Bill of Rights, but explains further into the reading that “‘slavery’ did not enter the constitution until after the Civil War in the Thirteenth Amendment.”
Note: I call it the War Between the States. Technically, the American Civil War was not a civil war because the Southern States had seceded, and were no longer a part of the union.
The 3/5s Clause is also addressed by The 1776 Project, and it is masterfully accomplished.
“The Northern states did not want to count slaves for determining the number of representatives a state would have. The Southern states hoped to include slaves in the enumeration to acquire additional representation and voting strength in Congress. The compromise was to count slaves (although the word is never used) as “three-fifths” of a person for representation purposes. The fewer slaves counted, the fewer number of representatives and the less legislative power the slave states would have.”123
“James Madison said, in the convention, that slavery was the central problem. Southern delegates emphasized that there was no chance of union including the South without accepting the long-established existence of slavery in the slave-holding states. But slavery was a flat contradiction of the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the principles that are the bedrock foundation of the Constitution—the primacy of the rights of individuals, their equality with respect to their rights, and the consequence that the consent of the governed is the only legitimate source of political power. Almost all the delegates were fully aware that slavery profoundly contradicted these principles and therefore had no proper place in the Constitution…The struggle that took place in the convention was between Southern delegates trying to strengthen the constitutional supports for slavery and Northern delegates trying to weaken them…Slave-state delegates were in favor of including every slave, just as they would any other inhabitant. Madison’s notes indicate that the delegates from South Carolina ‘insisted that blacks be included in the rule of representation, equally with the Whites.’ On the other side, delegates from the non-slave states were opposed to counting the slaves, because it would give the South more votes and because it made a mockery of the principle of representation to count persons who had no influence whatsoever on the lawmaking process and who therefore were not ‘represented’ in the legislature in any meaningful sense of the word. Counting the slaves for purposes of representation would also give the slave states an incentive to increase their slave population instead of decreasing it. In short, considering the chief purpose of this clause in the Constitution, it is obvious that an anti-slavery delegate would not want to count the slaves at all.”124
Slavery was the main reason for a lack of domestic tranquility, and it was the expectation of the Founding Fathers that slavery would be gone from America during their lifetimes. However, some were concerned for the racial divide that may accompany such emancipation.
Jefferson warned that a full and immediate emancipation of all of the slaves would lead to animosity among the races. Most of the Founding Fathers recognized the dangers of racial division in the societal structure, so early anti-slavery laws called for eventual abolition. Some early American leaders even suggested establishing a colony in Africa or South America for the purpose of relocating and resettling the emancipated slaves in those regions so as to not fan the flames that a racial divide in America may fuel.
The 1619 Project states that the purpose of the American Revolution was to “preserve slavery in North America.”124 The plight of the colonists under the iron fist of the mighty British Empire became compared to slavery, and it was slavery, or at least the fact that they felt like they were being enslaved by the British, that encouraged the “wealthy, educated men” to lead a “revolt against Britain”. To do so they “needed to unify the disparate colonists across social class and region. For those leaders, the comparison to slavery constituted a powerful rhetorical tool.”125
Nikole Hannah-Jones explains, “It was precisely because white colonists so well understood the degradations of actual slavery that the metaphor of slavery held so much power to consolidate their disparate interests: no matter a colonist’s politics, background, or class, by being white, he could never fall as low as the Black people who were held in bondage. As the scholar Patricia Bradley puts it in Slavery, Propaganda, and the American Revolution, ‘Once transposed into metaphor slavery could serve to unite white colonists of whatever region under a banner of white exclusivity.’ The decision to deploy slavery as a metaphor for white grievances had devastating consequences for those who were actually enslaved: it helped ensure that abolition would not become a revolutionary cause, Bradley argues. Instead, the true institution of slavery would endure for nearly a century after the Revolution.”126
Tyranny being compared to slavery is an age old concept. The colonists needed not to look at their own sins to realize that what the British Empire was doing to the English Colonists hovered in the realm of slavery. In fact, a majority of the leading voices blamed the British Empire for the slavery that existed in The Colonies, and they denounced it with righteous fervor as a sin against humanity. As we touched on earlier, Thomas Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence accused the British “Christian King” of waging “cruel war against human nature itself, violating it's most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, & murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.127
Eleven of the Thirteen Original States agreed with the anti-slavery rhetoric. Slavery, even at that time, was diminishing in the northern states. While all of the States were still technically slave-states at the time of the writing of the Declaration of Independence, and the United States Constitution eleven years later, the number of slaves north of Virginia never reached a very large number.
Nikole Hannah-Jones in The 1619 Project views the anti-slavery language in the original draft of the Declaration of Independence as an example of “white hypocrisy,” but the historians I have read state that the passage reveals how much slavery was not something favored by the Founding Fathers, and that it was important to the future abolition of the slave trade that Jefferson addressed “the immoral conduct of the king in aiding the perpetuation of the slave trade.”128
“Colonial slavery had a slow start, particularly in the North. The proportion there never got much above 5 percent of the total population. Scholars have speculated as to why, without coming to a definite conclusion. Some surmise that indentured servants were fundamentally better suited to the Northern climate, crops, and tasks at hand; some claim that anti-slavery sentiment provided the explanation. At the time of the American Revolution, fewer than 10 percent of the half million slaves in the thirteen colonies resided in the North, working primarily in agriculture.”129
While, as Nikole Hannah-Jones points out, slavery was not eliminated by the American Revolution, and it hung around for the better part of the next hundred years, an abolition process was in its infancy, but was indeed in place. “Most of the original Northern colonies implemented a process of gradual emancipation in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, requiring the children of slave mothers to remain in servitude for a set period, typically 28 years. Other regions above the Mason-Dixon line ended slavery upon statehood early in the nineteenth century – Ohio in 1803 and Indiana in 1816, for instance.”130
When it came to Thomas Jefferson, “His personal activities against the institution of slavery were greatest in the period of the American Revolution, when he vainly proposed a plan of gradual emancipation for his own commonwealth. He reflected that the public mind was not ready for this, and he had wondered how his fellows would take the strictures on slavery in his Notes on Virginia. While in France, however, he expressed the hope that his state would ‘begin the redress of this enormity,’ his reliance being on the young men, who had ‘sucked in the principles of liberty as it were with their mother’s milk.’ … [Jefferson] summed up the working philosophy by which he had long sought to guide his feet: ‘My opinion has ever been that, until more can be done for them [the slaves], we should endeavor, with those whom fortune has thrown into our hands, to feed and clothe them well, protect them from ill usage, require such reasonable labor only as is performed voluntarily by freemen, and be led by no repugnancies to abdicate them, and our duties to them.’ It was a realistic and humane philosophy.”131
Jefferson believed that unless those persons who were enslaved were given their freedom by gradualism, there would be animosity between the races. Observations of events in the West Indies assisted him in coming to that conclusion.
He also struggled with his desire for the abolition of slavery when it came to his own workforce. Jefferson tried to ensure that transactions related to the slave trade were as “humane as possible,” as shown by his “stipulations for the sale of eleven” in 1792. “A family of four was to be kept intact, and an old couple were to go with their two sons if they wished… In other cases he bought or sold individuals in order to reunite families; and in general, under circumstances of necessity, he made the best he could of an institution which he deplored far more than the slovenly culture of tobacco.”132
“To have emancipated the whole body of his slaves, depriving himself thereby of his entire labor force and a large part of his properly while turning them loose in an inhospitable world, would have been neither practicable nor kind. When he freed a particular slave, that individual was prepared for freedom in his opinion, and had a good place to go to. In this period he emancipated two members of the Hemings family of mulattoes which was so prominent prominent at Monticello.”133
Isaac Jefferson gave posterity his recollection of Thomas Jefferson: “Mr. Jefferson always singing when ridin or walkin: hardly see him anywhar out doors but what he was a-singin; had a fine clear voice, sung minnits [minuets] and sich: fiddled in the parlor. Old Master very kind to servants.”134
Thomas Jefferson, and his fellow Founding Fathers, largely abhorred slavery, and were determined to take steps toward abolishing the institution. Remember, the Colonies sought to ban the slave trade in 1774, and moral outrage against slavery was indeed present at that time as we realize from reading the language of Jefferson’s 1774 A Summary View of the Rights of British America, which he prepared for the First Continental Congress:
“The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in those colonies, where it was unhappily introduced in their infant state. But previous to the enfranchisement of the slave we have, it is necessary to exclude all further importations from Africa; yet our repeated attempts to effect this by prohibitions, and by imposing duties which might amount to prohibition, have been hitherto defeated by his majesty’s negative.”135
The colonies, prior to the American Revolution, on many occasions had “passed laws against the slave trade, only to have them nullified by the British government.”136
The 1619 Project, targeting Virginia as a southern slave-state takes aim at the fact that many of the Founding Fathers were Virginians, as if that is proof that the founders wished to preserve slavery.
“Having justified a bloody revolution on the grounds of a national belief in human freedom, Americans call their history a freedom story…for a nation steeped in this self-image, it is embarrassing, guilt-producing, and disillusioning to consider the role that race and slavery played in shaping the national narrative. To address these discomfiting facts, we have created a founding mythology that teaches us to think of the free and abolitionist North as the heart of the American Revolution. Schoolchildren learn that the Boston Tea Party sparked the Revolution and that Philadelphia was home to the Continental Congress, the place where intrepid men penned the Declaration and Constitution. But while our nation’s founding documents were written in Philadelphia, they were mainly written by Virginians. White sons of Virginia initiated the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. The primary authors were all enslavers. For the first fifty years of our nation, Southerners served as president for all but twelve years, and most of them were Virginians. No place shaped the Revolution and the country it birthed than Virginia. And no place in the thirteen colonies was as strongly shaped by slavery. At the time of the Revolution, Virginia stood as the oldest, largest, wealthiest, and most influential of the colonies. It was Virginia that introduced African slavery into British North America, just twelve years after the first English settlers arrived. It was Virginia that first enshrined racialized chattel slavery into law, excluding Black people from all civic life and setting a precedent followed throughout the colonies. And it was Virginia tobacco, cultivated and harvested by enslaved workers, that was exported to help finance the Revolution.”137
As we have already stated, first of all the first slaves from Africa were not purchased in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. In fact, Virginia had a long history of battling against slavery.
While, as the first colony, Virginia was indeed the first colony to receive slaves from various sources (other than Africa), Virginia “did not institute a fully elaborated slave code until… 1705.”138
“Before 1772 Virginia passed no less than thirty-three acts looking toward the prohibition of the importation of slaves,” only to see each one “annulled by England.”139
Virginia not only was not trying to preserve slavery, when the debate came up regarding the clause in Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution that would enable Congress to prohibit the Atlantic Slave Trade the year 1808 was chosen. During those debates Virginia was one of four states to call for the year being 1800, instead.139b One must ask, if Virginia, as Nikole Hannah-Jones suggests, was so intent on preserving slavery, why would the State’s delegates argue to outlaw the Atlantic Slave Trade eight years sooner than their contemporaries from a majority of the other states?
Not cited in The 1619 Project is also “Dunmore’s Proclamation, issued on November 15, 1775. Dunmore was the royal governor of Virginia. After armed hostilities broke out in the Battles of Lexington and Concord, on April 19, 1775, British authorities began to look for ways to undermine support for the revolutionaries. Dunmore attempted to do this by declaring martial law and offering freedom to indentured servants and slaves who would desert their masters, enlist in the British cause, and bear arms against the revolutionaries. Over the course of the war, an estimated one hundred thousand slaves attempted to escape, but those who enlisted with Dunmore were few. Estimates range from eight hundred to two thousand, and these did not fare well. When Dunmore left Virginia, only three hundred left with him.”140
Getting back to the statement by The 1619 Project that the American Revolution was fought to preserve slavery, Gordon Wood, a History Professor at Brown University, a man who is considered to be “among the most eminent of American historians”, and the author of the 1992 book, The Radicalism of the American Revolution, which won the Pulitzer Prize, of the 1969 book, The Creation of the American Republic, which won the Bancroft Prize, and finally a 2009 volume in the Oxford History of the United States, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1813, which was a finalist for another Pulitzer Prize, explains:
“Nearly everybody knew” that slavery was “a barbaric thing” and wrongly assumed it was “on the road to extinction.” It is the American Revolution that makes slavery “a problem for the world.” Without the Revolution, slavery would have continued in the British Empire indefinitely. The British didn’t “get around to freeing the slaves in the West Indies until 1833,” and would not have done it then either except that West Indian planter could no longer call on Southern support… “I just don’t think there is much evidence for it, and in fact the contrary is more true to what happened. The Revolution unleashed antislavery sentiments that led to the first abolition movements in the history of the world.”… I don’t know of any colonist who said that they wanted independence in order to preserve their slaves. No colonist expressed alarm that the mother country was out to abolish slavery in 1776. If southerners were concerned about losing their slaves, why didn’t they make efforts to ally with the slaveholding planters in the British West Indies?... Far from preserving slavery the North saw the Revolution as an opportunity to abolish the institution. The first anti-slave movements in the history of the world, supported by whites as well as blacks, took place in the northern states in the years immediately following 1776.”141
Royal governors were warned that the “‘colonists could not possibly subsist’ without an adequate supply of slaves…the colonists would not be permitted to ‘discourage a traffic so beneficial to the nation.’”142
The American Revolution was fought partly to break that pro-slavery stranglehold on the colonies by the British Empire who demanded they keep up slavery so as to continue to be profitable for the empire.
As for the claim that “Virginia tobacco, cultivated and harvested by enslaved workers, that was exported to help finance the Revolution,”143 for the most part the war was paid for by the colonists themselves, loans, Haym Salomon, and assistance from France.
“How do you pay for a war that no one expected to last eight years?...History books and many teachers imply that the French money and supplies before and after the Battles of Saratoga made all the difference in America winning the war. While the French assistance certainly helped, it actually did a disservice to the Americans who basically paid for their own rebellion…100 percent of which was paid for by Americans themselves through taxes, bonds, IOUs, and by paying off all foreign loans…from 1777-1780 Congress first took the lead in financing the war. By 1780, the states had their financial plans working well enough that they took the lead from 1780 -1783 while Congress completely reorganized its financial house…By 1781 and in desperation, Congress put strong-willed financier and Congressman Robert Morris into the new office of Superintendent of Finance. Some of the first emergency actions Morris took were to devalue the dollar, and then he squeezed about $2 million in specie from the states…he suspended pay to the Continental Army…paid in debt certificates or land grants until the peace treaty was signed.144
Morris also “enlisted the aid of a young refugee broker in Philadelphia named Haym Salomon to buy and sell bills of exchange for the government at a favorable rate. Salomon’s skill in financial matters and reputation for honest dealing proved to be a combination destined to affect the future of the Colonies.”145
As the legend goes, after acting as a spy for General George Washington in New York, encouraging Hessians to abandon their posts with the British Army, and even escaping a hanging, eventually Haym Salomon used his own monies to help fund The Revolution, and even borrowing money on his own credit. He died penniless, but if it had not been for Robert Morris and Haym Salomon, the end of the war would have never been financed.
The Criticism of the United States Constitution in Nikole Hannah-Jones’ book, The 1619 Project, begins on page 19 of her controversial publication.
“…when it came time to draft the Constitution, the framers carefully constructed the document that preserved and protected slavery without ever using the word. In the key texts for framing our republic, the founders did not want to explicitly acknowledge their hypocrisy. They sought instead to shroud it…The Constitution protected the ‘property’ of those who enslaved Black people, prohibited the federal government from intervening to end the importation of enslaved people from Africa for a term of twenty years, allowed Congress to mobilize the militia to put down insurrections by the enslaved, and forced states that had outlawed slavery to turn over enslaved people who had escaped and sought refuge there.”146
The premise upon which Hannah-Jones writes about the Constitution is based on her narrow view of the document and a misrepresentation of the context in which it was written and the realities of the era. She fails to take into account how the necessary steps taken at the time in order to establish the government was met with a plethora of challenges that ultimately did lead to the abolition of slavery while also establishing a system of liberty that still stands after over two hundred years later. The demand by the author of The 1619 Project for instant abolition by the Founding Fathers, when the entire picture is taken into view, is a demand that she fails to admit was not possible, and would have altered the course of history in such a way that the federal government would have launched with increased centralization against the States; a move that would have created a much speedier pathway to the very tyranny we are combating in our modern times.
She, like most Americans, have been convinced that our federal government is supposed to be a national government; a ruling system at the top of the food chain of American Governance superseding any and all local systems including any laws passed by any of the State governments.
Prior to the writing of the Constitution the States were sovereign entities operating independently from each other as if they were their own individual countries. As the Framers of the Constitution wrote the document during the Summer of 1787 it was their intent to ensure that, as James Madison wrote in Federalist Paper #45, the “powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”147
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined…exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce.”148
Familiar with the rise and fall of tyrannies throughout history, a majority of the Founding Fathers understood that a powerful central government would be destined to become a tyranny. Frightened of the emergence of a strong central government, in the infancy of the United States of America special care was taken to ensure that the new government created by the Constitution was not a national government with unlimited powers, but a federal one with a limited number of authorities expressly enumerated.
The Enumeration Doctrine, which is the concept that the federal government may only exercise the powers authorized to it, is anchored by the Tenth Amendment. Internal issues were left to the States, and more importantly, to the people who being closer to their State governments had more control of the direction that their local government may proceed.
Compromises were also established. While a majority of the delegates in Philadelphia during the four months the Constitution was debated believed slavery was a sin, and that the abolition of slavery should be a primary object of the desires of those holding office at the time, they also recognized that if all of the States were going to be a part of the fledgling union, compromises would need to be made to ensure unanimous participation in the new union. It was believed that slavery was something that would be voted out of existence by each of the States over time, and likely within the lifetimes of the Founding Fathers, but only if the Union formed with all of the members intact.
From the point of view of the Founders, as explained by Jefferson in his original draft of the Declaration of Independence, slavery was an imposition placed upon the colonists by Great Britain. On August 22, 1787, George Mason echoes that assertion describing Britain as the source of America’s slavery problem.
“This infernal traffic originated in the avarice of British Merchants. The British Govt. constantly checked the attempts of Virginia to put a stop to it.”149
Once in place a dependence upon slavery formed. The Colonies became a reliable revenue source for Great Britain, so the dependency was encouraged in order to keep the movement of product flowing.
In the ratification debate over the Constitution in South Carolina, 1788, “Judge Pendleton observed, that only three States, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, allowed the importation of negroes. Virginia had a clause in her Constitution for this purpose, and Maryland, he believed, even before the war, prohibited them.”150
The Framers of the Constitution were not interested in protecting or preserving slavery as Hannah-Jones suggests. The reality was that some of the States recognized the economic necessity for the slave labor force at the time, and that economic factor was larger what drove them to be hesitant in abolishing the institution.
James Madison pointed out during the Debate in the Virginia Ratifying Convention on June 15, 1788 that there were even “a few slaves in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut: these states would, probably, oppose any attempts to annihilate” slavery.151
In short, if a compromise was not reached about slavery the Union of States was in jeopardy. Without the Constitution the external issues and the issues directly related to protecting and preserving the union were in the hands of quarreling states. With the Constitution a central government would be in place to handle the issues a country’s government would typically have to handle regarding foreign affairs or internal order between the States, but slavery could not be outlawed with the Constitution because not all of the States would be willing to remain in the union since they had become so dependent upon the institution. From a federalism viewpoint, the internal order of the States themselves was to be left up to the State governments, and if the Constitution abolished slavery countrywide it would be violating the very principles of federalism, state sovereignty, and localism it was being championed as being an upholder of.
Nonetheless, the Framers of the U.S. Constitution, as students of history, had some ideas on how to navigate the troubled waters they faced while still setting in motion the principles of liberty, not only for themselves, but for Posterity which, in their plans, included eventually emancipated slaves.
The republic, they were aware, would grow, and in its growth with a system of liberty intact the country would experience innovation and compromises that would eventually lead to the abolition of slavery. The plan, unfortunately, was not an overnight plan. Time would have to be wielded as a healer of the issue.
If the country was ruled by a ruling elite or monarchy the leaders may never allow the abolition of slavery. If the country was a democracy the mob-rule factor would likely also make it difficult to rid the country of the sinful practice of slavery. With a republic in place liberty would have a chance to prosper and grow, enabling the “minority” to have a louder voice than it may have in a democracy, where the majority always finds a way to oppress the minority. In a republic the voices screaming for change would be able to influence the system in a society-changing way. Liberty’s expansion in a republic is inevitable as long as the people remain virtuous, and they do not let democracy grab the reins.
The Constitutional Republic designed by the language of the United States Constitution enjoys a distribution of power that allows no single voice or entity to dominate the government. Multiple sets of eyes were engaged in the legislative process. No faction could overpower the other. The House of Representatives enabled power for the population centers, and the way the U.S. Senate was designed allowed for a strong voice to be present for the rural areas.
A majority of the voices among the slave owners in the country called for their “property” to also be counted fully for the purpose of populating the United States House of Representatives. The States in the north where an abolition movement seemed to be stirring, and where the States had a smaller number of slaves within their borders, called for only “freemen” to be counted when it came for the apportionment of the Lower House of Congress.
The delegates at the Philadelphia Convention constructing the Constitution in 1787 realized that if the States in the South got their way the representation in the House of Representatives would be tilted in the pro-slavery camp’s favor and that would delay what was believed to be an inevitable end to slavery. So, to make sure the slavery-supporting States would have less power in the legislative process and ensure that an end to slavery was on the horizon, the 3/5ths Compromise was established. That, along with Article 1, Section 9’s call for an abolition of America’s participation in the Atlantic Slave Trade in 1808, was seen as a way to further encourage the end of slavery.
Today’s education curriculum, typically in public schools (and quite a few of the private schools) claims that the 3/5ths Compromise counted each black person as 3/5ths of a person. Not only is that simply not true, the desired effect was depriving the Slave States of 2/5ths of the representation they were pushing for in Congress. In other words, it encouraged the Slave States to move towards the abolition of slavery. By ending slavery the emancipated population would be fully in play for the count of members of the House of Representatives; a powerful incentive for the States in the South to end slavery. Until they were willing to free those who were enslaved the Slave States would have a reduced representative power in Congress and the Free States would have an increased representative power.
Former slave, and famous orator, and abolitionist Frederick Douglass recognized that very point regarding the Constitution, and during a speech in Glasgow, Scotland in 1860 he said, “I answer — It is a downright disability laid upon the slaveholding States; one which deprives those States of two-fifths of their natural basis of representation. A black man in a free State is worth just two-fifths more than a black man in a slave State, as a basis of political power under the Constitution. Therefore, instead of encouraging slavery, the Constitution encourages freedom by giving an increase of ‘two-fifths’ of political power to free over slave States. So much for the three-fifths clause; taking it at its worst, it still leans to freedom, not slavery; for, be it remembered that the Constitution nowhere forbids a coloured man to vote.”152
George Mason called slavery “diabolical” and did not sign the Constitution because it didn’t outlaw slavery upon its ratification. Patrick Henry, the man who cried “Give me Liberty or give me Death” at Virginia’s Convention in 1775 called slavery “a lamentable evil”. Like the other Founders, they saw slavery as a great evil, and one thing they all did agree on was that once the abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade went into effect in 1808, the abolition of slavery as a whole would soon follow.
“Men, at that time, both in England and in America, looked upon the slave trade as the life of slavery. The abolition of the slave trade was supposed to be the certain death of slavery. Cut off the stream, and the pond will dry up, was the common notion at the time.” – Frederick Douglass153
While Nikole Hannah-Jones blames the Constitution for preserving slavery, the reality is that the compromises in the Constitution were the nails in the coffin needed to begin the process of eliminating slavery. If Slave States refused to remain in the Union because no compromises were made then slavery in those States had the potential to go on indefinitely. But, since the Slave States wanted to be a part of the Union, they had to accept the compromises offered which were designed to lead the country towards a full abolition of slavery in the future.
“It was the wish of a great majority of the Convention to put an end [to slavery] immediately; but the states of South Carolina and Georgia would not agree to it. Consider, then, what would be the difference between our present situation in this respect, if we do not agree to the Constitution, and what it will be if we do agree to it. If we do not agree to it, do we remedy the evil? No, sir, we do not. For if the Constitution be not adopted, it will be in the power of every state to continue it forever. They may or may not abolish it, at their discretion. But if we adopt the Constitution, the trade must cease after twenty years, if Congress declare so, whether particular states please so or not; surely, then, we can gain by it. This was the utmost that could be obtained. I heartily wish more could have been done. But as it is, this government is nobly distinguished above others by that very provision. Where is there another country in which such a restriction prevails? We, therefore, sir, set an example of humanity, by providing for the abolition of this inhuman traffic, though at a distant period.” – Justice James Iredell statement during the Debate in the North Carolina Ratifying Convention, July 26, 1788.154
In the long run it was understood with the mechanisms from the Constitution put in place Liberty would ultimately prevail over slavery. Without the Union formed in the name of Liberty, the end of slavery may not have been as attainable as it they would have hoped.
“Great as the evil is, a dismemberment of the Union would be worse. If those States should disunite from the other States for not indulging them in the temporary continuance of this traffic, they might solicit and obtain aid from foreign powers.” – James Madison.155
“the abolition of slavery seemed to be going on in the U.S. & that the good sense of the several States would probably by degrees compleat [sic] it.” – Roger Sherman, Connecticut, during the Federal Convention, August, 22, 1787.156
Also a Connecticut delegate, and a member of the convention who had served as a judge who would later become the United States’ third Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Oliver Elsworth, said, “Slavery in time will not be a speck in our Country. Provision is already made in Connecticut for abolishing it. And the abolition has already taken place in Massachusetts.”157
Ellsworth and Roger Sherman were involved in the Great (or Connecticut) Compromise that led to a House of Representatives with proportional representation and a Senate with fixed representation based on two Senators per state; he also supported the three-fifths compromise about slavery. Ellsworth then served on the five-person committee that wrote the Constitution’s first draft, but he [was] forced to leave Philadelphia for business reasons before signing the final document in September 1787. During the ratification battle over the Constitution, Ellsworth wrote Letters of a Landholder, a series of articles like the Federalist Papers that supported the proposed Constitution. Seven were written about Connecticut’s ratification debate, and six were targeted at a national audience.158
Without the Constitution slavery may have continued in some of the individual States without consequence. As a participant in the Union the preservation of liberty and the end of slavery in the future was a condition a State recognized in order to preserve membership. By uniting the States as a republic under the provisions of the Constitution slavery was not being preserved, the Constitution’s words became a sword designed to slay slavery, and usher its ultimate demise.
”It is to be hoped, that by expressing a national disapprobation of this trade, we may destroy it, and save ourselves from reproaches, and our posterity the imbecility ever attendant on a country filled with slaves. – James Madison, Speech regarding the Import Duty on Slaves, House of Representatives May 13, 1789.159
The word “slave”, nor the word “slavery”, does not exist in the Constitution in the original seven articles or the first twelve amendments. The words do not appear until the Reconstruction Amendments, thirteen through fifteen, of which slavery was abolished through. This was not a failure to “explicitly acknowledge their hypocrisy”, or “shroud” their participation in slavery, as Nikole Hannah-Jones suggests, but rather an attempt to humanize those enslaved. Rather than “slaves,” those who were enslaved at the time were referred to in the Constitution as “persons,” ensuring that the “personhood” of those enslaved was preserved, and understood, by all who read the document.
The 1619 Project’s claim that Congress having the authority to “mobilize the militia to put down insurrections by the enslaved” is also a false statement. While it could be reasoned that if, as George Mason stated, “Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except [for] a few public officers”160 everyone was a member of the militia, therefore, when freemen acted to put down any “insurrection” by the enslaved, it was the militia doing so, the reality is that is not why we have a militia. That is like saying, “police brutality exists, therefore the police were established for the purpose of police brutality.”
Patrick Henry declared at the Virginia ratifying convention: "The great object is, that every man be armed,"161 not because the colonists were preparing to put down a slave revolt. The formation of the militia was for the purpose of defending the colonies, and later the States, from tyrannical forces.
“The Americans did not need to re-invent the wheel. After all, the idea of locally-controlled military forces answerable to civil officials was put into place in seventeenth-century England. The English militias had been created out of fear of a large standing army directly answerable to the king.
“Although the system had fallen into disuse in England by the time the Americans were debating the matter in the eighteenth century, the Americans were well aware of this history…the people organized in the state militias were regarded as a counterforce against the threat that the regular army could be used as an instrument of oppression and service in the militia was a right of the citizen that could not be transgressed by the federal government…Even after the adoption of the new constitution, opposition to a powerful federal military continued. Congress opposed not only attempts to increase the size of the professional US army much beyond 1,000 men, but also opposed attempts to mandate any specific training in a ‘federally organized militia system.’ In the end, opposition to federal control of military affairs meant training of militias was ‘left entirely to the states.’…Most state governments, however, elected to include provisions in their own constitutions protecting private gun ownership as an element of the state's overall militia strategy. This is understandable given the long tradition of the ‘unorganized militia’ in American history.”162
As for the statement by Nikole Hannah-Jones in The 1619 Project that the Constitution “forced states that had outlawed slavery to turn over enslaved people who had escaped and sought refuge there”, the clause in Article IV. that became the constitutional source for the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was entered into the Constitution as a compromise. The Extradition of Slaves clause was entered in order to entice the three southernmost States to ratify the Constitution. Without them as members of the Union the goal of unanimous ratification would be endangered, the loss of those States would erase a military buffer the States to the north desired considering that the Spanish Empire was dangerously close in Florida, and since the goal was to ultimately abolish slavery by not being members of the Union the southernmost States may keep the sin of slavery in full force for a much longer period than what was expected by the mechanisms inserted into the Constitution; a condition that the other States preferred would not be a reality in the future.
Unfortunately, people like Nikole Hannah-Jones are nothing more than tools assisting the advancement of an anti-liberty tyranny that has existed since man’s fall, conceived by Darkness itself, “skillfully woven as to entrap the most innocent men…seemingly innocuous…[leading us to] lose our sense of values and fall a prey to his enticements.”163
Of course, Nikole Hannah-Jones is not alone. Groups like Black Lives Matter, Antifa, members of Congress (and other political critters), and a vast majority of Judges and Justices have fallen for the great lie and have become cogs in the engine that drives a political machine that aims to oppose the standards of God, Natural Law, and those principles drafted by the designers of the Constitution. The failings are a part of human nature. Our flesh is rebellious.
“Shall we condemn the righteous law because wicked men twist it to the support of wickedness?” – Frederick Douglass164
When the political class and the judicial branch declared themselves the interpreters of the United States Constitution they seized all of power. They have established themselves as the gatekeepers to what is, or is not, constitutional. From their interpretive schemes they have essentially created two constitutions; the original, and an annotated one defined by case law, precedent, and judicial opinion. With their wicked constitutional clone the barriers created by the Founding Fathers against tyranny have been dismantled. The States have been neutralized as a mechanism of oversight, and for the most part anything goes. Under their power of interpretation the Hamiltonian concepts of implied powers and judicial review reign supreme. Powers that are not in the Constitution have somehow emerged from between the lines of the text, and judicial review has now enabled the judiciary to legislate from the bench and mold government into any mutation the tyrants see fit.
The plain and common-sense style of originalism has been deemed archaic, and the Founding Fathers have been christened as being evil and racist, even though the lies being purported by the enemies of the Constitution bear no resemblance to the truth. Word magic and a manipulated lexicon has provided additional space in the burial site for original intent. Truth has been discredited, and deception, no matter how inconsistent, has become the rule of the day. Natural Law has been discarded so that man’s ever-changing interpretations may be regarded as the supreme law of the land. It no longer matters what the Constitution actually says. The text is not studied in law school, nor is the original text truly read by, nor understood by, the people who take an oath to protect and defend it. The original language of the Constitution through their own narrative-based interpretation does not mean what it says, nor in their minds does it say what it means. From the point of view of deconstructionists like Nikole Hannah-Jones the Founding Fathers, are mean, contemptible racists who designed America for the sole purpose of defending and perpetuating the institution of slavery. They have twisted everything they can to make sure you are convinced that their version is true. They lie, claim our rights are government-given and regulated, and spit on true liberty. President Barack Obama summed up the deconstructionist’s attitude towards the original language of the Constitution, calling the document “a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can't do to you. Says what the federal government can't do to you but doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.”165
The design of the language was meant to not preserve slavery, but to put an end to slavery in America.
For clarification let’s go through some of the sections of the original text of the Constitution that is directly and indirectly related to the issue of slavery.
The first words of the Preamble of the Constitution, and more importantly, the first three words of that entire founding document, are “We the People”. It’s not “We the politicians”, or “We the judges”, or even “We the Citizens”.
The distinction is noteworthy partly because while the emerging American System was influenced by British Law and the liberty that was in place largely due to the Saxon influence on the Motherland’s history, the Magna Carta was of particular importance to the writing of the U.S. Constitution.
June 15, 1215 the Magna Carta was signed between the barons of Medieval England and King John. The Great Charter of the Liberties of England was the first document that limited the power of government by subjecting it to the rule of law. Originally the document was from the barons to the monarchy, but after careful consideration they changed it from being from the barons to being from the free men (freemen) of England.
Based on the standard established by the barons in 1215 the Founding Fathers could have easily written in the opening stanza of the U.S. Constitution “We the free citizens of the United States.” If they truly believed that those who were enslaved were not persons, or that slaves inhabited a different level of humanity and were not owed justice, tranquility, a condition of general welfare, nor were deserving of the Blessings of Liberty, the opening words would not have been, “We the People.”
Understanding the difference between the words “people” and “citizens” is a key component in recognizing what the Founding Fathers meant by the words, “We the People”.
All citizens are people, but not all people are citizens.
People is plural for person. People is a group of persons. Humans. Flesh and blood bodies of meat and skin that have a magnificent brain capable of reasoning in a manner that no other animal on the planet can achieve.
A Citizen is a member of a group, a country, or another political or official body that comprises of persons who enjoy the title of “citizen”. It is a designation that provides immunities and privileges offered by the country to the specific group of members who enjoy the title of being citizens.
A Slave is a term given to a person who is outside the privileges and immunities offered to citizens. The person who is enslaved has no access to their rights, even though they may technically possess God-given rights since “all men are created equal”. A slave is not a citizen, but a slave is a person.
In 1787 when the U.S. Constitution was written, by writing “We the People” as the first words of the introductory paragraph of the Constitution, and by not writing “We the Citizens,” the Founding Fathers were including all inhabitants in the United States as being a part of the We the People group that was provided at the beginning of the Preamble.
One might mumble that members of the indigenous population were not included, and one would be correct, but not because of “racism”, but because they had not decided to join the ranks of citizens of the United States. By remaining a members of their tribes, “Indians” were not seen as persons who ought to be rewarded with the privileges of citizenship. That said, “We the People” did include those who did choose to join the United States through citizenship, and those who would choose to in the future, regardless of their past allegiances, as long as their new allegiance was to the United States and its Constitution.
The Preamble reads, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
The people, all of the people, not just citizens, needed a more perfect union. It was imperfect, meaning that it was incomplete. And it would not be complete until all of the people of the United States had access to each of the things listed in the Preamble, and the rights enumerated in the Constitution as a whole. The authors of the Constitution recognized that while the cultural condition at the time included slavery, in the grand scheme of things, and in the eyes of God, each and every person of the United States were “people”, therefore deserving of justice, domestic tranquility, to be defended against foreign enemies, to enjoy a general condition of welfare, and must be recognized as recipients of the Blessings of Liberty which are Natural Rights that God has given to all persons in equal portions, regardless of their status in a man-made political system.
As explained earlier in this chapter, the 3/5s Clause was a compromise that limited the representation of the pro-slavery states in the House of Representatives. The clause ensured that the representation was about even between the states in the north, and those in the southern portion of the original thirteen states where the slave population was greater.
The clause not only did not establish that those enslaved were only 3/5s of a person, but the clause also served as an encouragement to those states with large slave populations to abolish slavery, for if they did their strength in the House of Representatives would grow dramatically, given them great power over other issues. In short, abolishing slavery would increase the representation of the slave states by 2/5s in relation to the persons emancipated, allowing them greater influence in Congress; an encouragement to abolish slavery.
In Article I, Section 4 the Constitution establishes that “The Times, Places and Manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.” It is commonly believed that the clause was established to ensure that blacks and women could not vote. I remember once watching a video of CNN host Don Lemon proclaiming that “women and blacks could not vote, it’s in the Constitution.” There is absolutely no language in the Constitution prohibiting, or once prohibiting, women or blacks from voting. The choice was left up to the States.
As for the States, ten out of the original thirteen in their state constitutions used language that read “all inhabitants,” or something similar, when referring to voting. Only Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia explicitly restricted suffrage to whites.166
When it came to the provisions in the various states only allowing property owners to vote, the original reason for the requirement was not to limit who could vote, but to preserve the right to own property.167
Once the republic was established through the Constitution the requirement altered in most of the States, allowing for the ownership of cattle, or personal property to be included in the equation.168 This allowed for an wider range of voters, which increased the number of black and women voters who may not have owned real estate at the time, but owned enough personal property to meet the minimum requirement. Typically, it was single women who owned personal property, and sometimes land, but more often than not the ownership of land was by men, or married couples of whom the man in the relationship was designated as the representation of the couple for both real estate ownership documents, and the privilege to vote.
Atlantic Slave Trade
Article I, Section 9 begins with a clause designed to end the slave trade in about twenty years after the writing of the Constitution. As explained in foregoing sections of this book the delay was made as a part of a compromise. The Framers of the Constitution believed that an end to the Atlantic Slave Trade would inevitably lead to the abolition of slavery, and the southern states recognized the theory as sound, but they were not willing to ratify the Constitution if they weren’t at least given some time to prepare for the change in policy. So, it was agreed to delay the opportunity for Congress to legislatively prohibit the slave trade until 1808.
In March of 1807 the bill was passed by Congress, and signed by President Jefferson. January 1, 1808, it went into effect.169
Taxing the Importation of Slaves
The most common interpretation of the “tax or duty” clause regarding the “importation of such persons” in Article I, Section 9 is that the Framers were either trying to allow the federal government to make money from slavery, or that it was proof that they considered slaves as being nothing more than property (rather than persons) because only property was taxed. Immigrants were not taxed. Both assertions are not accurate.
The idea that it was proof that the imported slaves were seen as nothing more than property, and that is why a tax was being levied was discounted by Frederick Douglass who concluded that slaves being called property does not exist in the Constitution.170
Researcher David Azerrad explains that with the taxation on the importation of slaves “Congress could discourage the importation of slaves from abroad by imposing a duty ‘not exceeding 10 dollars on each person’.”171
As the old saying goes, “If you wish to discourage an activity, tax it.”
James Madison recognized that the tax would discourage the importation of slaves, arguing that some called it “oppressive,” in his speech to the House of Representatives on the matter May 13, 1789.172 Indeed, that was the point; to discourage the slave trade during the time period leading to the Atlantic Slave Trade’s demise in 1808.
As stated earlier in this chapter:
The 1619 Project’s claim that Congress having the authority to “mobilize the militia to put down insurrections by the enslaved” is also a false statement. While it could be reasoned that if, as George Mason stated, “Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except [for] a few public officers” everyone was a member of the militia, therefore, when freemen acted to put down any “insurrection” by the enslaved, it was the militia doing so, the reality is that is not why we have a militia. That is like saying, “police brutality exists, therefore the police were established for the purpose of police brutality.”
Patrick Henry declared at the Virginia ratifying convention: "The great object is, that every man be armed," not because the colonists were preparing to put down a slave revolt. The formation of the militia was for the purpose of defending the colonies, and later the States, from tyrannical forces.
“The Americans did not need to re-invent the wheel. After all, the idea of locally-controlled military forces answerable to civil officials was put into place in seventeenth-century England. The English militias had been created out of fear of a large standing army directly answerable to the king.
“Although the system had fallen into disuse in England by the time the Americans were debating the matter in the eighteenth century, the Americans were well aware of this history…the people organized in the state militias were regarded as a counterforce against the threat that the regular army could be used as an instrument of oppression and service in the militia was a right of the citizen that could not be transgressed by the federal government…Even after the adoption of the new constitution, opposition to a powerful federal military continued. Congress opposed not only attempts to increase the size of the professional US army much beyond 1,000 men, but also opposed attempts to mandate any specific training in a ‘federally organized militia system.’ In the end, opposition to federal control of military affairs meant training of militias was ‘left entirely to the states.’…Most state governments, however, elected to include provisions in their own constitutions protecting private gun ownership as an element of the state's overall militia strategy. This is understandable given the long tradition of the ‘unorganized militia’ in American history.”
Article IV., Section 2, Paragraph 3 reads, “No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim to the Party to whom such Service of Labour may be due.”
In short, the clause was a compromise. A temporary law, it was believed, as well. The clause enabling the extradition of escaped slaves back to the persons they labored for was aimed at pacifying those who may claim the compromises were too one-sided in favor of ultimately abolishing slavery. So, recognizing the entire collection of States needed to ratify the Constitution if a unanimous agreement was to be reached, the compromise was offered. It was an offer those who desired the abolition of slavery were willing to make because they understood that once the Constitution was in force the drive for liberty and the other provisions in the Constitution would ultimately lead to the emancipation of the slaves in America, so a temporary extradition agreement was tolerable for the time being.
A Life of Slavery
History reveals what one cannot accurately describe what life was like under any situation under the various periods of history. To the modern man bathed in liberty the idea of living under the rule of a king may seem tyrannical. In most cases it was. But, there were times under certain kings when liberty prevailed because of the values of a particular ruler. Socialism, for a season, can also seem to be a benevolent system. But, like with monarchy, over time the succession of persons in charge, or the changing attitudes of the ruling class, or the downward spiral of the human condition in such an environment, leads to tyranny. Eventually, in such systems, the good times pass, and a longer era of tyranny reigns. It’s the swing of the political pendulum, we are told. When times are good the culture becomes apathetic and complacent while they are fed, fat, and happy. Through that process they become more dependent upon the governing system. The ruling class, either through a change of attitude, or a changing of the guard, takes on a caretaker attitude. They increase their power to ensure, with the best of intentions, of course, the safety and welfare of their citizens. The citizens eventually become subjects, the government centralizes as the power structure transform from what’s best for the people to what’s best for the nation to what’s best for the ruling elite. Then, under the iron fist of a totalitarian ruler the people become enslaved without actually having an individual owner.
From the point of view of tyranny, slavery not only still exists in the modern world, but slavery could be viewed as being the dominant condition in today’s modern civilization.
As for slavery where a person is owned and expected to provide labor without monetary compensation, that kind of slavery exists today in the world, as well. In parts of the Islamic World, and regions in Africa, the enslavement of individuals by individual owners is not only present, but for those at the top of the political heap, it’s the preferred way of doing business.
Servitude in a manner that one might consider it slavery has existed since the beginning of the rise of civilizations. More often than not the enslaved were warriors of enemy tribes or other kingdoms or countries. The level of servitude varied, as did the living conditions. Some slaves were given many responsibilities and became power individuals inside the powers structure they resided in.
Slavery for Joseph in the Bible was different than the slavery the Israelites had endured in Egypt before Moses set them free. Slavery under the rule of the Roman Empire was different than slavery in the Greek States or slavery in the Far East. Slavery in Africa between the various tribes or in the Middle East under a Muslim regime was very different from what the life of a slave might have been in the northern European barbarian tribes. And, during the African Slave Trade that spanned from the 1500s to the 1800s the life of a slave in the Caribbean, or South America was vastly different than the life of slaves in the English Colonies or in America once the United States achieved its birth as a country.
The 1619 Project submits that “No one voluntarily submits to slavery,”173 Looking back at history, that statement is not necessarily true when it came to the indentured servants, and in some cases when it came to straight out slavery.
Jones also attempts to convince the reader of her book, “Enslaved people had always resisted. They broke tools, slowed down their work, and self-emancipated by stealing themselves away.”174
Through the goggles she views history, she could not fathom that things could possibly be any other way for any of the people enslaved in the Original Thirteen Colonies, or the States in early America.
While Nikole Hannah-Jones is correct in that some persons who were enslaved resisted, all of them did not always resist. While it is true that those enslaved were not placed into their position as a slave voluntarily, life as a slave in America was more often very different than the way it is being portrayed by race-baiters and Critical Race Theory advocates like the persons involved in The 1619 Project. In fact, in many cases, life as a slave in the American South, in almost every case, was preferable to life as a slave anywhere else in the world. Some slaves at the time might even have argued they preferred their conditions to that of freedom because if their “masters” were benevolent, life was easier and better under the caring umbrella of the plantation than it would be as a free person fighting for survival in a dog-eat-dog world where jobs were scarce, and the type of work was more difficult the darker the color of your skin may be.
As always, I am not condoning slavery, nor am I suggesting that in the grand scheme of things a condition of slavery would be preferable to that of a life of liberty where one takes care of oneself with one’s own decisions and labors.
One may even be able to argue that slavery still exists in America, today.
For those on government assistance, the slaveholder, in this case a government system rather than a plantation owner, provides the same thing the slaver did. But, the person remains in the system of enslavement by government dole much for the same reasons the slaves in the American South failed to resist all of the time as Hannah-Jones suggests. The world on the outside was seen as frightening. It’s seems much safer to remain enslaved, be it on a plantation, or by a government welfare system, because at least one is assured that their home, food, clothing, medical care, and other staples of life are taken care of. The welfare recipient in today’s America would rather give up a little freedom, and follow the rules of the government they are required to adhere to, so that they may continue to receive the assistance they get from their government slave master.
Liberty can be a scary thing for some people. It takes a lot of work and demands a lot of time to maintain. It’s easier to, rather than labor and hope you do well, remain at a lower standard of living but with the guarantee that the government funds come in each month.
I was first truly exposed to the idea that the embodiment of the slaver has shifted from the plantation owner to the government bureaucrats and politicians when I met Pastor Donovan Larkins.
As I explain in my book, A Promise of American Liberty, Pastor Larkins was visiting Southern California from Cleveland, Ohio. He said to me, “In the inner-cities, where we have food deserts (zones where mainstream grocery outlets have removed their stores), the people who reside in those enclaves of the United States of America believe they have never truly experienced liberty. They don’t know what liberty is, and from what they’ve been told, they don’t want it.”175
I met Pastor Larkins at an event associated with the Salt and Light Council, a California organization that reaches out to churches in order to convince pastors that Christianity is the key to restoring our liberty to its original grandeur, and The Church is spiritually obligated to participate. The organization had begun a program reaching out to the black community and was producing a series of films, Content of Character Series.176
My own efforts at the time were centered around attempting to begin a program that would teach constitutional originalism through classes that examined the Constitution line by line, anchored by the context of the period as provided for by original writings and the historical observations of the age. I discussed my intent to bring constitutional literacy to the inner-cities, and that is when he hit me with the statement about liberty.
He explained to me that poverty has fed the black community’s addiction to government assistance. Those living in the inner-cities cannot fathom that there is a way out, and to try to get out of those neighborhoods would be seen negatively by their peers. If you try to get out of poverty through hard work and an education you are a “sell-out”, a traitor to the brotherhood of your community, and a fool because from their point of view the kind of work that goes along with liberty is not worth it.
Larkins’ explanation reminded me of a conversation I had with a former neighbor of mine who was a crab fisherman. He told me that the crabs, once caught and deposited into a cage or container, would pull back into their prison any crabs trying to crawl out. If certain members of the collection of crabs insisted it could mean death for that crab for the other members of the temporary community would tear it to pieces before allowing it to exit the container.
My conversation with Pastor Larkins lingers in my mind to this day. Those in poverty have been so brainwashed into believing that escape to liberty is such a prison in and of itself to the point that like the crabs they will do what they can to keep their own enslaved under the government welfare system.
Back in the nineties I had similar conversations with a black friend of mine, who at the time was a banking executive. We shared a college class together and would spend hours in the parking lot talking before we went home. He once said to me that it was “safer to be enslaved by the government than to brave the wilds of freedom.” In his case his family had cut off communication with him because he had become a successful banking executive who would not use his wealth to take care of them. “My own friends and family have deserted me because they consider me a sell-out.”
In a conversation with another friend who had found his way off of the government plantation I was told that he had trouble sleeping when his family first moved to the suburbs. The lack of the sound of gunfire at night made him feel out of sorts. It took years for him to realize that his new environment was a good thing.
“They don’t know what they don’t know,” he told me. “Liberty is for white people. Once a person has liberty that means they receive no benefits, and if they don’t succeed then they will wind up more poor than they were under the security of government programs.”
The plan to bring constitution classes to the inner-cities, working through the churches, eventually dwindled away. The leadership of the organization we were trying to establish failed to work out, and the interest of those in the black community never seemed to take hold. In short, racial and ethnic minority groups, for the most part, generally were not very enthusiastic about the possibility of having such programs. The interest simply was not there.
I wonder, now in these years far beyond that effort, how feasible the idea truly was. Trying to convince the black community that the Constitution was something they needed to learn, and that their liberty was an important thing for them to care about, seemed like it would be akin to trying to teach a person blind from birth the magnificence of the colors of a rainbow.
For many folks enslavement by government programs is as hard for them to recognize as it would be for a fish to recognize it is in water. That is all some people know, and fathoming life outside of the fish bowl is simply too frightening to even consider.
The black community does recognize that as rough as life in the inner-city might be, once life was much more difficult for a black person in America. No argument can be pulled from me against the idea that slavery in America was a bad thing.
As a constitutionalist I am all about liberty. I abhor any kind of enslavement.
That said, I am not on the opposite side of the spectrum, calling for anarchy, either. Government is a necessary evil, so said a number of the Founding Fathers. We need the consent of the government when it comes to establishing a governmental system because, as James Madison put it in Federalist Paper #51, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.”177
The life of slavery can be, then, relative. I suppose the severity of the condition can be a matter of perspective. While nobody may argue that slavery is a good thing, one may be able to recognize that some slave atmospheres in history were more horrid than others. In fact, as we eventually saw with Joseph in the Bible, some examples of slavery may seem downright management, and for some, even preferable.
The treatment of slaves varied from time period to time period and from slaver to slaver. In some scenarios the beatings of slaves were so bad that a constant import of new slaves was necessary to replace the constantly dying slave population under the severe whip of cruel slave masters. In other scenarios the opposite was true. The living conditions were good, the food was plentiful, and the slaves enjoyed a number of freedoms that slaves in other parts of the world never had the pleasure of encountering. Of course, those two opposing extremes were not the only situations that arose. In the world of slavery each situation occupied a different scenario of varying degrees between cruelty and acceptable conditions.
Mary Boykin Chesnut, the wife of a slave owner by the name of James Chesnut, Jr., who was a United States Senator before the War Between the States, and Aide to President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis and a Brigadier-General in the Confederate Army during the war, wrote a diary dated from Abraham Lincoln’s election in November of 1860 to the end of the war in 1865 of which the pages have been preserved and published.178
The diary by Mary Chesnut is a view into the world of slavery we seldom receive in such detail. She had no reason to lie in her diary for she knew not that slavery would be abolished, or that The South would ultimately lose the war and then be punished for he alleged transgressions. So, Mary Chesnut’s diary serves as an honest view into life on a plantation with a large number of slaves by someone who was intimately involved.
From the pages of Mary Chesnut’s diary, and discussions I’ve had with historians and history professors over the years I have found that the conditions of the life of slavery in America varied depending upon the plantation. Most southerners didn’t own slaves, but the people who did sometimes owned thousands. The Chesnut family owned over 3,000.
We do know that the Chesnut slaves were not resisting at all times or planning their escapes because they had every opportunity to do so, and did not. The diary explains that whenever the husband and the couple’s sons were away on various trips, Mary and her daughters were left alone on the plantation with thousands of slaves who could have at any time overwhelmed the women, if they desired to. The Chesnut slaves were also equipped with guns, for the family wanted them to be able to hunt deer to supplement their food supply. So, if, as Nikole Hannah-Jones suggests, “Enslaved people had always resisted. They broke tools, slowed down their work, and self-emancipated by stealing themselves away;” how is it that the Chesnut slaves, with such great numbers, and fully armed, while the men were away, did not resist, break tools, slow their work, or steal themselves away?
The Chesnuts, before the war interrupted them, also participated in, and sometimes held, weekly dances. The slaves participated in their own Saturday Night Dance, as well. A professor of history told me that typically in The Antebellum South the most common punishment for misbehavior by a slave was disallowance to participate in the Saturday Night Dance.
There is no denying that brutality often accompanied enslavement, and some slavers during early to mid-nineteenth century America were brutal. Again, I don’t wish to make light of the condition of enslavement, but to use propaganda like Critical Race Theory uses, or like Nikole Hannah-Jones used in The 1619 Project to make sweeping generalizations that paints slavery in America to be as barbaric as the treatment of slaves in places like the Caribbean or Brazil is not only disingenuous, but such claims are thrown out there in the hopes of using such a portrayal as a historical weapon against America’s history, to deconstruct our liberty into simply a cause for slavery and racism; all of which is simply not true in most cases.
On page 74 of Mary Chesnut’s diary she exclaims that “Slavery has to go, of course.” But the argument by the confederacy was not regarding whether or not slavery must eventually be abolished. They knew its days were numbered. An abolition movement had gained a lot of momentum in The South by the dawn of the War Between the States. Their complaint was not abolition, their willingness to secede was based on the idea that if slavery was to be abolished someday in those States it had to be on their terms, not based on the dictatorial demands of an overbearing unconstitutional federal government who was willing to use military action against the Southern States for daring to disagree.
As for a life of slavery in the United States, as stated earlier in this book less than five percent of southerners actually owned slaves, and less than two percent of the total of slaves shipped into the Western Hemisphere had made it to America’s Atlantic shore since the first arrival in 1645. The reason for such a small percentage of slaves being brought to America via the Atlantic Slave Trade was because they lived better, enjoyed better living conditions, were fed better, and were treated better than in any of the other countries or territories practicing slavery in the Americas or the islands in the New World.
Brazil and the Caribbean ranks at the top of the list of regions that imported the most slaves because they literally worked their slaves to death, or punished them to death. The living conditions were filthy, and cramped; the food was meager and often rotten leftovers. They had to keep replacing their slaves because they were killing them; and in such conditions a person is likely not going to reproduce, either.
Meanwhile, conditions for slaves in America were better than the rest of the world. As a result, despite the prohibition of the slave trade as of 1808, the numbers of slaves increased in America because the families were reproducing. Children were being born.
Once again, I feel the need to qualify my statements, here. I am not suggesting that being born into slavery is a good thing, I am simply saying that in America the pregnancies of slaves were a sign of the benevolent treatment widely present in The States; a treatment that was much better than what was going on in other parts of the world when it came to living a life of slavery.
Corruption of Blood/Reparations
It is interesting how the goals of the Civil Rights Movement has now been flipped. The claim once was that the problem with America was segregation, so every effort was made to integrate society. The National Guard was called to a high school in Little Rock, Arkansas to make sure black students could attend white-majority schools. Busing went into full force. Political schemes aimed at integrating neighborhoods were put into play. And, as time passed, whether or not the Civil Rights pieces of legislation were good, bad, or somewhere in between, we grew as a culture and my generation was pretty convinced in the seventies, eighties and nineties that racism was something that was in the rearview mirror of history.
As the new millennium peaked its sunny disposition over the horizon of a new age, however, racism became a political weapon, again. Accusations of police brutality began to surface. Protestors rioted, neighborhoods were torched, and statues began to be torn down. America somehow made a big fat U-Turn so that it could revisit a crossroads that claims black people in the United States, regardless of lineage, all suffer from systemic racism at every level of society. Therefore, since all white people must be racist because of the color of their skin (not the content of their character) we must push for compensation as atonement for a slave system that nobody in today’s society ever participated in.
The compensation, whether it is financial, or by other means, to descendants of enslaved people, or to all black people in the United States, is something we must participate in, we are told, if we are to move ahead from the harms to our society caused by the institution of slavery, of which was abolished over a hundred and fifty years ago.
Of course, the reparations are not just for slavery, we are told. There were Jim Crow Laws, mass incarceration, and redevelopment that resulted in displacement of black communities.
So, we need to pay up. Give them money, free college, more assistance beyond what welfare programs have to offer, give grants to black institutions, organizations, and churches, and anything else the folks who are considered to be members of the oppressed segment of society, desires.
First of all the idea of reparations is completely unconstitutional. Not only does the authority not exist for the federal government on the pages of the U.S. Constitution, but in Article III the Constitution actually speaks out against such policies.
The clause is actually a part of the Constitution that deals with treason, but the language is clear.
In Article III, Section 3 it reads, “The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood.”
The definition of “Corruption of Blood” is, punishment inherited or passed down, inheritable qualities destroyed.179
Even in the case of treason the properties of the person’s family could not be forfeited to the government. The property of the person guilty of treason would remain as property of the family. Even with the despicable act of treason the Founding Fathers believed an individual should be able to retain certain rights, and his descendants would not bear his guilt, nor have to pay for his crimes in any way, shape or form.
You are your own person. The consequences of your decisions are yours, and yours alone. The consequences of your parents actions belong to them. While your life may have been influenced by their decisions when it comes to your start in life, or your inheritance, the Constitution is clear that there will be no corruption of blood. Punishment is not to be inherited for any reason.
Claims of systemic racism have resurfaced, thanks to the political expediency a cry of racism offers. The political leftwing of American Politics has decided that the best way to solve racism is with racism. All white people must be shunned, and the “minorities” must gather in their own groups in a united show of segregation. And, white people, you are guilty of the decisions that your ancestors may, or may not have, made, and so you must pay up. You have inherited your punishment, and reparations are the only fair and just way for you to pay your pittance; regardless of what the Constitution says.
The truth of the matter is, the history of slavery in America “does not empirically seem to be the cause of most modern problems in the black community.”180
Reparations are expected to be paid by people who never owned slaves to people who never were slaves to assist the latter when it comes to survival in a world that is harsh to them for reasons that likely has nothing to do with the fact that their ancestors may, or may not, have been slaves.
A society calling for reparations is nothing new. During the War Between the States General William Tecumseh Sherman issued an order in South Carolina, calling for reparations in the form of 40 acres and the loan of an Army mule set aside for each former slave family. The plan was never carried out. Nonetheless, the Radical Republicans in Congress passed laws requiring confiscation of former-Confederate property to provide the ex-slaves with "40 acres and a mule." In 1866, however, President Andrew Johnson vetoed the legislation.181
In the 1890s reparations reared its potential head again in the United States. Several black organizations lobbied Congress to provide pensions for former slaves and their children. One bill introduced into the U.S. Senate in 1894 would have granted direct payments of up to $500 to all ex-slaves plus monthly pensions ranging from $4 to $15. This, and several similar bills, died in congressional committees. The pension movement itself faded away with the onset of World War I.182
The idea for reparations rose again during the 1960s, and in 1969, James Forman (then head of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) proclaimed a "Black Manifesto." It demanded $500 million from American churches and synagogues for their role in perpetuating slavery before the Civil War. Black nationalist organizations, such as the Black Panther Party and Black Muslims, also demanded reparations.183
In the 1980s, a new call arose for black reparations. It was stimulated by two other movements that successfully secured payments from the U.S. government. The Supreme Court in 1980 ordered the federal government to pay eight Sioux Indian tribes $122 million to compensate for the illegal seizure of tribal lands in 1877. Then in 1988, Congress approved the payment of $1.25 billion to 60,000 Japanese-American citizens who had been interned in prison camps during World War II.184
In April 1989, Council Member Ray Jenkins guided through the Detroit City Council a resolution. It called for a $40 billion federal education fund for black college and trade school students. About the same time, a conference of black state legislators meeting in New Orleans backed the idea of a federally financed education fund for descendants of slaves. Shortly afterward, Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) drafted a bill calling for the establishment of a congressional commission to study the impact of slavery on African-Americans.185
The bill failed to make it to a House vote, but Conyers did not give up. In every session of Congress afterward, he introduced new legislation to establish a commission to study the issue and make recommendations to Congress. None of his attempts ever succeeded.186
The problems faced by African Americans today are not the "legacy of slavery" or even racism. Many blacks have succeeded very well in American society. The problems of poor African Americans are caused by social ills within the inner city, such as the breakdown of families, high crime rates, and dependence on welfare.187
The problems facing the black community has stemmed from the claim that government is there to help. Welfare programs have replaced dad as the provider of the household, and as a result dad is no longer in the household.
In 1960 only 22% of families in the black community were single-parent households. Now, that number is about 72%.188
► According to the 1938 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, in 1938 about 11% of black children were born to unwed mothers. Today about 75% of black children are born to unwed mothers.189
► In the decades following emancipation, poverty was widespread throughout the black community regardless of the status of the family. Today, about 22% of blacks in total live in poverty.190 Yet, we are told by the purveyors of race-card politics that blacks have never been poorer than they are today.
► Two-parent black families are rarely poor. Only 8% of black married-couple families live in poverty. Among black families in which both the husband and wife work full time, the poverty rate is under 5%. Poverty in black families headed by single women is 37%. As early as 1900, when racism was rampant, the duration of black unemployment was 15 percent shorter than that of whites. Today, in a time where we just finished two terms of the first black President, and experienced the candidacy of a black neurosurgeon named Ben Carson in the last election for the White House, it’s about 30 percent longer.191
► In 2016, only 16 unarmed black men all year were killed by police.192 The year prior, in 2015, the number was 36.193 When those numbers were looked at the number was not going up, it was going down. As of April of 2021, since 2015, law enforcement officers have shot and killed 168 unarmed white people, 135 unarmed black people, and…just 74 unarmed Hispanic people.194 The killing of unarmed black people by police during that period averages out to under 30 per year. While any death is a bad thing, the numbers are not as explosive as we may have been led to believe.
► The black population in the United States is roughly 47 million (43 million "black only"), or about 14.5% of the total American population.195 Lightning strikes about 300 Americans annually.196 14.5% of 300 is 43.5, which means if one was to stick strictly to the percentages, about 43 to 44 blacks are possibly struck by lightning each year. Taking into consideration that only 16 unarmed black men all year were killed by police in 2016, 36 in 2015, and an average of under 30 each year since then, based on the numbers a black is more likely to be struck by lightning than to be killed by a police officer.
► The National Review reports it's not true that black men are constantly stopped by the police for no reason. Indeed, black men are less likely than white men to have contact with the police in any given year, though this includes situations where the respondent called the cops himself: 17.5 percent versus 20.7 percent. Similarly, a black man has on average only 0.32 contacts with the police in any given year, compared with 0.35 contacts for a white man. It’s true that black men are overrepresented among people who have many contacts with the police, but not by much. Only 1.5 percent of black men have more than three contacts with the police in any given year, whereas 1.2 percent of white men do. Only 0.6 percent of black men experience physical force by the police in any given year, while approximately 0.2 percent of white men do. To be fair, these are probably slight undercounts, because the survey does not allow us to identify people who did not experience physical force during their most recent contact but did experience such force during a previous contact in the same year. Only 0.08 percent of black men are injured by the police each year, approximately the same rate as for white men. A black man is about 44 times as likely to suffer a traffic-related injury, according to the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Moreover, keep in mind that these tallies of police violence include violence that is legally justified. Data from 2015 suggests that black men are three times as likely to commit violent crimes as white men. To the extent that cops are more likely to use force against people who commit violent crimes, which they surely are, this could easily explain any disparities, even though the differences are very slight.197
The facts show us that racism and police brutality is not running rampant throughout the United States as we are being falsely advised by the media and leftist politicians. In fact, based on the poverty numbers as compared to the numbers regarding the family unit, it is apparent that the problem does not lie in the Democrat Party's false accusation of racism, but in the reality that the family unit has been devastated by some kind of interference that is plaguing the black community more so than other communities.
According to the Heritage Foundation, "The effect of married fathers on child outcomes can be quite pronounced. For example, examination of families with the same race and same parental education shows that, compared with intact married families, children from single-parent homes are:
· More than twice as likely to be arrested for a juvenile crime,
· Twice as likely to be treated for emotional and behavioral problems,
· Roughly twice as likely to be suspended or expelled from school,
· And A third more likely to drop out before completing high school.
The effects of being raised in a single-parent home continue into adulthood. Comparing families of the same race and similar incomes, children from broken and single-parent homes are three times more likely to end up in jail by the time they reach age 30 than are children raised in intact married families. Compared with girls raised in similar married families, girls from single-parent homes are more than twice as likely to have a child without being married, thereby repeating the negative cycle for another generation. Finally, the decline of marriage contributes to declining self-sufficiency and increased official poverty in future generations. Children living in single-parent homes are 50 percent more likely to experience official poverty as adults when compared with children from intact married homes. This intergenerational poverty effect persists even after adjusting for the original differences in family income and poverty during childhood.198
Throughout U.S. history, marriage was the norm. Prior to the mid-1960s, nearly all children were born to married couples. When the War on Poverty began in 1964, only 7 percent of children were born to unmarried women. However, over the next four-and-a-half decades the share of non-marital births exploded. In 2013, 41 percent of all children born in the U.S. were born outside marriage.199
The reality is two-fold. One, the problems that exist in the black community are not the result of racism or police brutality, but instead is directly related to the breakdown of the family unit. Two, the breakdown of the family unit began to occur at about the same time as President Johnson kicked the welfare system into high gear. The Democrat Party remains to be the party of government dependency. Under the presidency of Barack Obama, by 2012 (only halfway through his presidency, mind you) federal spending on welfare programs increased by 32%.200 The number of able-bodied adults on food stamps doubled from 1.9 million in 2008 to 3.9 million in 2010.201
The reason black lives did not improve during the Obama presidency is because President Obama was doubling down on the policies that have been destroying the black community, and keeping some blacks from realizing the American Dream. The same is true during the Joe Biden Presidency. In fact, the best four year term of a President for blacks, and other minorities, was during the presidency of Donald J. Trump. Economic growth was on the rise, and unemployment rates for each minority group was at a historic low.
It takes strong family units, and a family operating without government interference and bad leftist policies, to activate one's pursuit of happiness.
Democrats, with leftist progressive policies in place, have been running the big cities for generations, and nothing has improved. If anything, it gets worse each time a new government program is born or a more progressive politician takes a seat of power. Crime is escalating. Black on black violence is escalating. Education in the black community is in a state of dismal failure. Perhaps it is time for the black community that votes Democrat to realize that the liberal left does not have the answers to their difficulties, and if anything, it’s the policies of the progressive democrats that are contributing to the woes of the black community, not a distant history of slavery.
The black community needs to shake off the lies and deception being committed against them and embrace self-reliance, personal responsibility, and individual incentive through a free market system that operates best when it is left alone by the government.
After billions of dollars spent on social justice and social programs such as welfare, subsidized housing, health care, employment development, affirmative action, and education, how is it that the black community is better off?
Reparations are unconstitutional, and would be too expensive, depriving the country of the opportunity to work on other issues that truly need attention. Any reparation plan would lead to unfairness and huge administrative costs. Who would receive reparations? Descendants of slaves? All blacks? Would well-off African Americans receive payments? If a fund were set up, who would administer it? Would those unhappy with the plan call for even more reparations or file lawsuits?
The way to resolve our issues is not to address the claim of racism against blacks with racism against whites, or to have people how were never slavers pay people who were never slaves reparations. It is our duty as Americans to learn from our history and move forward to a brighter future, not wallow in mud with victimhood and self-pity. We are better than that.
Nikole Hannah-Jones of The 1619 Project, the proponents of Critical Race Theory, the media, academia, and pretty much every political figure and opinion pundit claims we need to “save our democracy.” Few seem to recognize that this country was designed to be a republic. The word democracy never appears anywhere in our founding documents. In Article IV., Section 4 of the Constitution the federal government is even tasked with ensuring that each State maintains a republican form of government.
Anytime a figure appears on the scene that is viewed as being a threat to their power the troops hop in line so that they can sing in unison, “save our democracy!”
Democracy is our problem. It has been the problem from the beginning. As a transitional system democracy is exactly what the tyrants need to instill the components of an oligarchy.
They knew it when the Electoral College was monkeyed with, they knew it when they instituted a direct income tax, and they knew it when they changed the way the U.S. Senate was populated.
Democracy is their goal because they know that with democracy the end of the republic is certain.
The father of democracy in America was Andrew Jackson. He is known as the father of the Democratic Party, as well. It was during his rise in politics as a presidential contender, and as President of the United States, that the country began to abandon its foundation as a constitutional republic and chase after democracy. While the new democracy that surfaced during Andrew Jackson’s presidency primarily involved the executive branch, other attacks on the mechanisms of republicanism would appear over the next eighty years. By the end of the Progressive Era just before the 1920s only a couple remnants of America’s launch as a republic remained intact. Then, once democracy was largely achieved, Jackson’s Democratic Party would shift gears once again, pushing for socialism as the next great change.
A vicious slave owner, and a war hero, Jackson called upon democracy to make sure he was able to ascend to the throne of the presidency; an office he, at first, claimed he wanted nothing to do with.
Andrew Jackson never revealed any dreams about achieving the presidency during the approach of the 1820s. Yet, due to popular support, by 1821 his potential candidacy was bouncing around freely in a good number of conversations among the those who resided and worked in the general population. Jackson’s disdain for politics likely convinced a fair number of those in the higher levels of government that the rough and tough military man becoming President of the United States was not going to become a reality. Some people whose views resided outside those unconvincing establishment conversations took a Jackson candidacy for president seriously. Jackson’s supporters compared him to George Washington; the warrior who must become President of the United States. He was a populist, a man who had been constantly at the forefront of politics as a warrior since the Revolutionary War, and a popular figure among the common people.
“He had little reason to think he was especially qualified for the presidency. His brief career in elective politics—as representative and senator from Tennessee—had convinced him that most of what Congress did was a waste of time. He might have fancied himself a capable commander-in-chief, but there was no war and none threatened, effectively eliminating most of that part of the president’s job. For the rest of what presidents did—the distribution of patronage, dealing with Congress, administering the government—he had neither patience nor expertise.”202
George Washington oversaw the creation of the federal government, argued his supporters. Now, Andrew Jackson was primed and ready to participate in changing the republic into a democracy; a form of government the Founding Fathers had warned against, and had purposely designed the American System to avoid.
There was no evidence Jackson wanted the presidency. “He was a soldier, a general who was used to giving orders and having them obeyed—or seeing the disobedient imprisoned or shot—the presidency wasn’t such an obvious prize.”203
Once he did indeed become President of the United States, his attitude about expecting to be obeyed became more and more present with each passing year. Some might even argue that he was the first benevolent dictator to claim the presidency; a title claimed later by those critical of the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln.
Unlike Lincoln, health issues kept Jackson from seriously considering the presidency. Besides, for a military man of action and duty, the presidency was seen more as being a service to country, a figurehead position rather than that of one of a professional politician. In short, as it was in its present condition, the Office of President was too weak of a position in the sense of the power it held for a man like Jackson to truly make a difference as he envisioned.
“If the presidency could be cast as a duty, rather than chiefly an honor, then it became…more attractive to him. The old soldier in Jackson couldn’t help answering the call to duty. He had risked his life and broken his health defending America and the ideas of liberty and self-government on which it rested. If he could be persuaded that American liberty and self-government was under threat from ignoble and scheming politicians—as they had been under threat from the British and Spanish and Indians—then he would have no choice to be make himself available.”204
From 1821 to 1824 Jackson’s supporters worked to convince the rugged soldier that the fate of the country hung on him pulling the country from the grip of the republican establishment. They were becoming less like Thomas Jefferson, it was being argued. The founder of the party way back when Washington was President was an older man by the time Jackson’s candidacy was first being murmured. Jefferson was revered, but his party no longer listened to him. Jefferson had created the faction so that Hamilton’s Federalist Party could not unitarily take over the fledgling government and turn it into a centralized national system. The republic, however, was failing according to Jackson. A new American democracy needed to be forged if the country was to enjoy progress through the heart of the nineteenth century.
As the country expanded westward the iron grip of the eastern States on the federal government was weakening. Fewer restrictions limited the people’s vote out west. Nonetheless, candidates were typically only on the ballot if the leading Republicans of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate allowed it. The only way an outsider of the internal club of politicians could achieve success would be if he was voted in democratically.
As Jackson’s popularity began to rise in conversations about the presidency, the States out west began to endorse the novel idea that voters, rather than the State legislatures, should choose the electors and direct them regarding their choice for President. Such a system would allow a westerner, a person beloved by the people, to become President of the United States, rather than someone who is popular with the party insiders.
Corruption, it was believed, had seeped into Washington politics. The country’s Treasury Secretary, it was argued, was funneling funds to favored members of Congress to keep the people in office who stood against the growing power of the executive branch and the courts. It was rumored that William Crawford “understood how to reward friends and punish enemies. If the presidential nomination came from the Republican caucus in Congress, Crawford was almost guaranteed to win.”205
The path to the presidency was being altered by those seeking to preserve their power, or their paths to power. “Restive Republicans in the states, seeking a larger role for themselves, suggested that if state legislators could choose presidential electors, they ought to be able to propose candidates. And if politicians in the states could propose candidates, there was no reason to restrict themselves to Washington insiders.”206
In 1822 Tennessee lawmakers informed Jackson of their plans to nominate him for the presidency. After Jackson indicated his decision depended on if the people wanted him in office, rather than the voice of the legislatures, pro-Jackson forces went into action. Tennessee unanimously endorsed Jackson for president, including fellow soldier Sam Houston, who made himself Jackson’s champion. Sam Houston wrote to Jackson, “You are now before the eyes of the nation….You have been your country’s Great Sentinel, at a time when her watchmen had been caught slumbering on post, her capital had been reduced to ashes. You have been her faithful guardian, her well tried servant!...Will not the nation look to you again? Will it not regard your interests, when they are connected with your country’s welfare? There will be no caucus at the next Congress. The next President will be the ‘People’s choice.’…You have friends throughout America; each has his sphere, and each will feel and act.” 207
Professional politicians who controlled the national Republican Party were not the Jeffersonians of old, and a popular insurgency was on the rise. While Andrew Jackson did not encourage it, he had no problem riding its wave into the White House. He wrote in a letter to Andrew Donelson in August of 1822, “I shall leave the people to adopt such course as they may think proper, and elect whom they choose to fill the Presidential chair…If left free to decide for themselves, uninfluenced by congressional caucuses, I have no doubt but they will make a happy choice…If they should permit themselves to be dictated to by a congressional caucus, then as great a scoundrel as William H. Crawford might be elevated to the executive chair.”208
While he still called the American System a republican form of government, his conversations began to sound like he was in favor of democracy.
In the Autumn of 1823, rather than win the presidency, Jackson was elected to the U.S. Senate, a seat he had also held previously, though for a little less than a year, September 1797 to April 1798. He was not fond of being a politician, and his supporters realized that such a position may make him vulnerable as a candidate for president in the future since, in an election, his votes as senator could be used against him.
“Thus you see me a Senator, contrary to my wishes, my feelings, and my interests,” he wrote John Calhoun.209
He called the upcoming presidential election a “contest between a few demagogues and the people.”210
Jackson watched his campaign from Nashville, as it entered its final, frantic stage. His campaign cast him as an outsider, “above the petty intrigues adopted by those who feared the people’s judgment.”211
The Congressional Caucus died in 1824, and while Jackson refused to campaign, supporters of the politicians attacked him. He refused to respond, again deferring that the choice would be that of the people.
Most states still chose electors by legislative decision, but the states that tallied votes of the people revealed that Jackson’s support was indeed with the people. The electors from the states that followed the wishes of the voters were bound to vote for Jackson. Though the electoral college did not tally the electoral votes in a winner take all fashion the electors from states that did not follow the popular vote felt the pressure. The credentials of some of the electors became disputed and questions regarding the honesty of the election arose. The president of the Senate, Vice President Daniel Tompkins, refused to count the votes of those electors who were disputed,212 despite the lack of any constitutional authority allowing him to reject them. Weeks passed without a winner being determined.
“By the middle of December the shape of the electoral vote was coming clear, Jackson led, with [John Quincy] Adams second. Uncertainty still surrounded the third place finisher. This was no small matter, in that the Constitution decreed that in the event of failure of any candidate to receive a majority of the electoral votes, the House of Representatives would choose the president from the top three finishers. Everyone assumed that if Clay made it to the House, his long tenure and close alliances there could boost him past Adams and Jackson. But if Crawford nosed out Clay, Jackson would have the edge.”213
Crawford beat Clay for the third place spot.
The House of Representatives, however, voting by state legislations selected Adams to be president.
The Nashville Gazette declared Jackson a candidate for president in 1828 before Adams was even inaugurated. They stated that Jackson was “called by the people to democratic office.”214
Andrew Jackson resigned his seat in the U.S. Senate and returned to his farm.
During the four years between elections the Jeffersonian devotion to republicanism faded a little more in his Republican Party. During the Summer of 1826, as the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence approached, its author, Thomas Jefferson, clung to life. John Adams was failing similarly. Jackson hoped for the benediction of Jefferson, but he didn’t exactly get it.
After Jefferson’s death the enemies of Andrew Jackson mobilized, “circulating stories that Jefferson had registered concern at Jackson’s strong showing in the 1824 election. By one version Jefferson said that Jackson’s popularity was ‘an evidence that the Republic would not last long.’”215
The theme of the Jackson Campaign, as accusations of corruption in government began to be murmured, became one of “democracy against corruption”; a theme that would be used less than a century later when the supporters of the Seventeenth Amendment began their campaign to chip away even more at another mechanism that made America a republic. “In nearly every city, town, and county seat in America, Jackson committees held rallies for their hero, hosting speakers who waxed long and florid for the people’s right to choose one of their own for president.”216
For the 1828 Presidential Election a continuing shift towards popular voting for electors in the states yielded the western and southern states to Jackson. Jackson won 178 to 83 in the electoral college, earning from the popular vote “647,000…against 508,000 for Adams.”217
The Jacksonians were beginning to call themselves Democrats, a nod to the move the country was making towards democracy when it came to its presidential elections. The movement behind the new president became one of a new democracy in America. Even the skeptics of the day realized something remarkable had happened. “It was the People’s day,” observed Margaret Smith. “It was the People’s day, and the People’s President, and the People would rule.”218
Jackson, as president, sought to create norms that should exist in a democracy, including a rotation of members of his administration, rather than permanent tenure. “The best estimate is that between one-tenth and one-fifth of federal office holders were replaced during Jackson’s tenure.”219
The political party was fractured. No longer was it being called the Republican Party. For a while it was the Democratic-Republicans, but by the time Jackson’s presidency had run its course, the birth of the Democratic Party from the ashes of what had been the Jeffersonian Republicans was complete. The march towards democracy had finally begun. Alexander Hamilton’s allies half a century earlier tried to convince the American People there was no difference between a democracy or a republic, prompting James Madison to explain the difference five times in his Federalist essays. Now, shortly after the death of Thomas Jefferson, the republic’s coffin was being nailed shut by democratic nails, a move that would eventually lead to America’s brush with self-destruction. Most of the republican mechanisms were still in place during Jackson’s reign, so the States maintained oversight as best they could, but when it came to the Office of the President of the United States the Electoral College had been changed forever.
In Andrew Jackson’s State of the Union, a “message delivered to Congress on December 8, 1829…[the] landmark document [was a] manifesto of democracy as defined by the man who embodied popular government in America.”220
In his address “the first item was a constitutional amendment to abolish the electoral college.” He proposed, “Our system of government was by its framers deemed an experiment, and they therefore consistently provided a mode of remedying its defects…To the people belongs the right of electing their Chief Magistrate, it was never designed that their choice should in any case be defeated.”221
In the new age of democracy his political argument was irrefutable. How could anyone argue against “the will of the people”?
“Experience proves that in proportion as agents to execute the will of the people are multiplied, there is danger of their wishes being frustrated.”222
He suggested that the electors be eliminated.
While Andrew Jackson championed unfettered democracy, the framers of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution spoke out against democracy. The Founding Fathers sought balance, a distribution of power that restricted any part of the system from having too much power, including the people. On the surface the claim of “the will of the people” sounds preferable, and for some it may even echo in tune with the first words of the Preamble of the Constitution; “We the People of the United States.” Historically, however, democracy has proven to be disastrous over and over again.
The Greek States experienced rapid rises and falls of their governments during its time using democracy. The Roman Republic, once its republican principles were pushed aside in the name of democracy, became a tyrannical empire ruled by a succession of Caesars. The Founding Fathers established a mixed constitution that took the various forms of government and mixed their various traits in such a way that no office, including that of citizen, held too much power. Without those checks and balances, it was understood, America would likely descend into a period of mob rule that would ultimately lead to the rise of a tyrannical system claiming they could get a handle on the ensuing disorder that typically accompanied democracies.
Europe understood enough history to know they wanted nothing to do with democracy. A republic as had been created in the United States was too close to the dangers of democracy to chance, so the powers of Europe held on to the idea of a ruling elite. Centralized power and a ruling class operating with the concept of a general will, for the good of the community, was preferable than the potential chaos of self-rule and the schemes of the consent of the governed. Democracies were seen as an intermediate government that was no longer a republic as designed, and was destined to lead to despotism or civil war. In France, the degenerative process of democracy led to excessive self-interest, apathy, demagoguery, complacency, ignorance, and eventually dependence upon a dictator. With benevolent rulers, and even power hungry autocrats, at least the chaos of democracy’s mob rule would remain in check.
Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville fully expected a dying society when he arrived in America during Andrew Jackson’s presidency. As a student of politics he wanted to study America’s penal system. The American Experiment, he had been told, was in a state of failure, chasing after popular government rather than staying on course with its original constitutional republic. Chasing after the whims of a voting majority would eventually become a majority of tyranny. Except, in America, that is not what Alexis found.223
America had recently abandoned property qualifications for voting, allowing uninformed paupers and those who would chase after politicians promising gifts from the treasury to also vote in the elections. Historically, such practices manifested in a voting majority that had little interest in stability, or voting with the future of the country in mind. Instant gratification was the aim of those voters. Since they possessed nothing, all they knew is that they wanted something.
In only fifty years something had gone wrong in America. The upper class of informed Americans had lost a handle on their republic. Now, the political parties worked to flatter the lower classes in order to gain power by granting new privileges. Rather than battling over monarchy versus republicanism, the factions in America considered the sovereignty of the people their greatest interest. Democracy had washed away any concerns that might exist in realms that did not directly affect the people.
Democracy in America, Tocqueville wrote, is maintained by small parties, “and public opinion is broken up ad infinitum about questions of detail.”224
A struggle between the few and the many had emerged. The population centers sought a further centralization of government, while the rural regions sought to simply be left alone by government. Those who would prefer aristocracy defended Nicholas Biddle’s central bank that connected America’s monetary system to Europe, and the sovereignty-minded purveyors of democracy supported the president’s determination to end it.
The balance of a republican form of government, which provided a proper distribution of power without any factions taking too much control, was being lost in the transition to democracy. A tyranny of the majority would be sure to follow once the moral foundation of the system had been lost to the rampant wants and desires of the darkest corners of the soul.
Tocqueville’s conclusions were that democracy worked in America because of the strength of the churches and the morality of the people. As long as the American People remained good, and remained a citizenry that placed God first in their lives, the dangers of democracy would be held at bay.225 The checks and balances of the constitutional republic had been crafted to guard against an ungodly takeover from within. As with monarchy, the real dangers of democracy lurked in societies that had abandoned their traditional and moral foundations and were ruled over by leaders who had rejected the principles of biblical wisdom. America, even with democracy creeping into the crevices of its system, would remain great as long as the people remained morally good. If ever a time would come where power and wealth became the primary goals of the leaders, and the general public turned its back on godliness and instead began to demand selfish privileges and compensations, the democratic nature of the new system that was emerging despite constitutional authorities to the contrary would destroy America and bind down her liberty, giving way to tyranny, oppression, excessive taxation, and a collectivistic system directed by command control politics, manipulated economics, and a ruling class claiming it has only the best of intentions for the common good and general welfare as they seek to increase their power, and further centralize government.
July 1832 Jackson’s veto of renewing the charter for the Second Bank of the United States brought a storm of protest. Vetoes by Jackson exceeded the ten total of his six presidential predecessors at that point. Along with becoming a champion for democracy he was viewed as one who was also trying to increase the power of the executive branch. In the 1832 presidential election the rival National Republican Party’s nomination, Henry Clay, was unable to unseat Jackson. Less than a year later Old Hickory announced that the government was no longer going to use the Second Bank of the United States and in September of 1833 he began exercising executive powers to remove all federal funds from the bank.226
Challenging Jackson’s federal tariffs, South Carolina threatened nullification, and possibly secession, during the beginning of his second term as president. South Carolina also rejected Jackson’s call for democracy, not changing their electors from voting as the legislature preferred to how the people voted until 1860; 227 a short time before the slave state decided to secede for other reasons.
Jackson’s administration spoke out against nullification, and argued that the union was a firm one ruled over by the firm hand of a supreme federal government. In short, they believed South Carolina’s positions regarding nullification, and the State’s threat to secede, were illegal.
“The rising emotions in South Carolina only solidified Jackson’s determination to meet defiance with force. He ordered five thousand stand of muskets to Castle Pinckney and dispatched two warships to patrol the coast. He told Poinsett [a member of his team he had sent to South Carolina] to let South Carolina Unionists know that he would never allow secession.”228
“The Union will be preserved…The Union must be preserved….I will die with the Union,” Jackson said.228
“The president ordered [his Secretary of War] Lewis Cass to gird for war against the secession movement.”229
Jackson’s friend and fellow soldier, Lewis Cass, tended to agree with westerners who were inclined to favor states’ rights over federal authority. It was Cass that Jackson often had to explain his actions to, as if believing if he could get Cass to agree, that meant his move was good for the democracy.
Regarding South Carolina, and the “violent nullifiers”, Jackson once wrote to Cass, “‘Can any one of common sense believe the absurdity that a faction of any state, or a state, has a right to secede and destroy the Union, and the liberty of our country with it?’… For Jackson, the linking of liberty and Union was crucial. Calhoun and the nullifiers contended that liberty allowed secession; Jackson believed that liberty forbade secession. Liberty didn’t preserve itself; it had to be defended against a world bent on its destruction. And liberty’s only sure protection was the Union… To damage the Union was to endanger liberty.”230
While viewing history from the Twenty-First Century, one could concede a connection between Jackson’s argument about imprisoning States of the Union with military force, Abraham Lincoln’s argument that the union must be preserved at any cost, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s argument about a ruling elite applying the General Will to a populace whether they agreed with it or not. As Rousseau once said regarding his position, “Sometimes man must be forced to be free.”231
“Jackson took his case for the Union to the American people. He issued a proclamation blistering the nullifiers and warning South Carolina to rescind its illegal ordinance. The nullifiers had driven South Carolina—‘my native State,’ he noted—to the ‘brink of insurrection and treason.’ For what? For a tariff they didn’t like, and which they had magnified into a cause for sundering the union.”232
“Jackson conceded that under the Articles of Confederation, the states had been sovereign and independent. But that first republican form had failed, and had been deliberately replaced. ‘A constitution was proposed to the people,’ he told Coffee, ‘and in the language of the instrument, ‘We the people, to make a more perfect union, do ordain and establish the following etc. etc.’ This more perfect union made by the whole of the people of the United States granted the general government certain powers and retained others. But nowhere can it be found where the right to nullify a law, or to secede from the Union, has been retained by the states.” [He believed] States had a right to peaceful protest against what they judged to be usurpation. But they had no right to destroy the Union. “Therefore when a faction in a state attempts to nullify a constitutional law of Congress, or to destroy the Union, the balance of the people composing this Union have a perfect right to coerce them to obedience. This is my creed.”233
Jackson’s flawed view regarding the definition of a republic was widely accepted during his tenure as president. While he suggested the Articles of Confederation failed because the system was some kind of republican form of government, rather than a confederacy, his writings suggest he was mincing words on purpose to serve his narrative. He knew that the confederacy was not a republic, and he knew that “We the People” did not mean democracy, but a little word magic worked wonders when trying to placate to a population hungry for a power they may not fully understand through democracy.
As for Jackson’s argument that the authority to nullify or secede did not exist in the U.S. Constitution, it is the same argument Democrats since Jackson have used. “Where in the Constitution does it say I can’t do that,” and “where in the Constitution does it say that the States can stand against me?”
In the name of democracy the role of the States as the parties of the contract called the U.S. Constitution had to be diminished. Democracy, and the growing power of the federal government, would not be possible with the state legislatures looking over Jackson’s shoulder and acting in a disobedient manner every time he turned around. The interests of the Union, and holding together the Union, took priority, according to Jackson; despite the Constitution’s argument otherwise as revealed by Federalist Paper #45 by James Madison, the notes regarding the debates during the 1787 Constitutional Convention, or the Tenth Amendment which expressly indicated that only enumerated powers were legally the playground of the federal government. Unless prohibited somewhere in the Constitution, all other powers belonged to the States. Nullification and secession resided among those authorities. Their absence in the Constitution was a sure sign that those powers were reserved to the States.
To President Jackson, such a consideration would be like allowing a lower ranking soldier to question the orders of a high ranking officer. Such insubordination must not be allowed.
Jackson called the people of South Carolina a “free people who were not oppressed, free members of the Union,” of whom force must be applied against if they disobeyed or questioned the federal government in a manner that was deemed as a threat to the Union, such as a consideration of nullification, or a consideration of secession. State Sovereignty and liberty existed for the citizens and government of South Carolina as long as they did what they were told in compliance with the orders put forth by the federal government, and more specifically, by the ruling authority of the White House.
Jackson was “ready to arrest governors and hang nullifiers…He didn’t want civil war. He wanted the nullifiers to back down and for any potential emulators to take the lesson to heart.”234
In New England the descendants of those who supported nullification, secession, and the republic as it had existed before the emergence of Jackson’s new democracy began to form their own political party, and call themselves Whigs after their British counterpart who stood on the foundation that the legislature must be stronger than any solitary leader. The new fledgling political party distrusted democracy as the Framers of the Constitution had. Many of them had once been a part of Jackson’s party, but when it was still the Jeffersonian Republicans, not the democratic version it had become during Jackson’s presidency. The Whigs contended that the republic must be preserved, and that the legislature was supposed to be the strongest of the three branches of government, not the presidency. Jackson took a tour to New England to meet with the Whigs in various cities. He responded to their opposition to his policies after they treated him to lengthy speeches in academic Latin with, “E pluribus unum, my friends. Sine qua non.”235
Jackson’s delivery was collectivistic in nature. While the “out of many, one” motto of the United States was important as applied to a voluntary union, Jackson meant it as a motto for a firm union. It was, after all, if the democracy was to survive, sine qua non; essential and absolutely necessary.
As Jackson tugged America towards democracy, Chief Justice John Marshall grabbed the rope so as to muscle the country towards nationalism. In both cases, federal supremacy, regardless of authorities granted by the Constitution, was the goal and tool to be used.
Regarding the Cherokees in Georgia, however, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall and the Warrior that would be President, Andrew Jackson, met with great disagreement. The United States Supreme Court ruled in the Cherokee Indians case, Worcester v. Georgia (1832) against the Jackson administration regarding plans to move the Cherokees westward, declaring, “The acts of Georgia are repugnant to the constitution, laws and treaties of the United States,” meaning that they were invalid. The Cherokees could stay put, unmolested.236
Jackson disagreed. “The Indians must make their peace with the states, or relocate.”237
Defiant against the federal court system, rightly so in the sense that the courts have no enforcement arm, but exercising executive supremacy as a political statement; sending the message that the other parts of government had no say over what the President of the United States must do or not do, Jackson famously barked, “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.” Georgia and Jackson simply ignored the decision.238
The Trail of Tears followed, a legacy that has not been forgotten by anyone who argues examples of America’s mistreatment of the native population in North America. The fact that the atrocity was committed by the Father of the Democratic Party, or the man who injected democracy into our republic in such a manner that it would lead to near collapse of the country a century and a half later seems to never escape the lips of those thusly informed.
After his presidency ended Jackson stood against the abolition of slavery. “As a slaveholder, he had a personal stake in the slave system…[and] he doubted the ability of white Americans to accept the presence of large numbers of black Americans on any basis approaching equality…as a Unionist, he recognized that holding the country together would be nearly impossible should the abolitionists seize control of a major political party.”239
As for democracy, the Whigs had learned from the Jacksonians, and used populism to defeat Van Buren after Jackson’s successor served only one term as president.
“Corruption, bribery and fraud has been extended over the whole Union,” wrote Jackson. “The democracy of the United States has been shamefully beaten, but, I trust, not conquered. I still hope there is sufficient virtue in the unbought people of this union to stay the perjury, bribery, fraud, and imposition upon the people by the vilest system of slander that ever before existed…. I do not despair of the Republic….I trust still in the virtue of the great working class.”240
While the crimes of corruption in politics did indeed exist, it reared its ugly head across the board. Jackson, however, had learned the power of accusation and projection. In a democracy the less informed voters were willing to believe just about anything. Accusations of corruption and unfair political practices with no substantiated evidence to confirm one’s position carried as much weight as a conviction based on firm evidence.
Eventually, the unconstitutional mingling of nationalism and democracy manifested into political normalcy as the issue of slavery moved the United States towards a war between the states. The Democratic Party, in support of slavery, dispensed of Jackson’s disagreement with nullification and secession. The Democrats became the party that embraced the concept of state sovereignty and individual liberties as the Whigs faded from view and a new party, one founded upon the spirit of the abolition of slavery, the new Republican Party, embraced nationalism, a firm union, and federal supremacy. Like Jackson, the politicians who populated the young Grand Ol’ Party discouraged any idea that the states had any Tenth Amendment rights. The clash would be catastrophic for the United States Constitution. During, and after the war, the federal government doubled down on its claim of supremacy, changing the union forever from “The United States are” to “The United States is.”
With the advent of the Progressive Era most of the remaining characteristics of the once constitutional republic vanished with the passing of the Sixteenth Amendment, Seventeenth Amendment, and the Federal Reserve.
Jackson’s legacy lives on in today’s Democratic Party. Like the father of the Democratic Party, today’s democrats believe that the job of anyone outside the federal government is to obey orders and shut up. True Jacksonians to the last.
Critical Race Theory
Critical Theory is a philosophical member of the Hegelian family of concepts that postulates philosophy and science must merge to create a power structure that can liberate humanity from its frail and flawed condition. The theory reduces humanity to nothing more than another mindless species of animal with a unique ability to reason, but not necessarily in a good way. Since we can’t be trusted to our own flawed reasoning abilities a ruling elite must reason for us.
For the common good, is the argument, a collective society must emerge.
It always seems that the worst ideas always germinate from seeds of truth. Yes, our human nature is flawed. We battle with our flesh daily. In the Book of Romans we are reminded that we all fall short of the glory of God.
Collectivism claims, however, that the only way to disarm such flaws is to strip us of our individual identities and throw us into a collective stew of equity and communal living.
The hard left proposes that since humanity cannot trust the consent of the governed we must hand over all of our decision making responsibilities to an oligarchy guided by a bunch of philosophical rulers who have the common good at the forefront of their intentions (wink, wink, nod, nod). Don’t worry. Once we all learn to live together nicely in a communal utopia, the oligarchs will get the hint and fade away, leaving behind a loving community of workers who work together for the good of the community without any need of incentive, laws, or governmental institutions.
Until then, explains the Critical Theorists, our human ability to reason as an individual causes us to react to our environment in negative ways. Environmental influences then steer us around, gathering us into groups with only two extremes available for us to land upon. As they say, “there are only two sides of every coin,” which means as a people in our natural tendency to engage in conflict places us at opposite sides of each other. In the case of Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a member of a society one can only be an oppressor or a member of a group that is oppressed. The opposing natures then creates conflict, and since humanity resides in a constant state of conflict, class struggles arise. The only way to battle such chaos is to move humanity into a direction of equity. If we are all exactly the same there will be no class struggle, and if there is no class struggle, the collective can live together in an environment of mutual cooperation rather than competition. Competition breeds inequality, we are being told, fueled by greed that manifests through individualism.
Marxists (socialists, communists, progressives, collectivists) believe that the only way humanity can live in harmony is in a communal system where the people operate society equally through mutual understanding and interest. To reach such a collectivistic utopia, however, because our individual flaws stand in the way, a system must be put into place to guide the culture to the eventuality of common equity. Such a system must encourage compliance through a centralized socialistic model until a proper communist system develops, at which time the government in place will fade away.
The leaders of the centralized system theoretically must be ruled by benevolent elites who understand how to save us from ourselves. The philosophical elites, after all, have only your best interest in mind in the day to day decision making of governmental rule.
But, as a young communist recently explained to me, there’s nothing authoritarian about convincing people to comply with such a system. It’s just a matter of nudging everyone to the proper conclusion. “That’s why,” he explained to me, “it never worked before. The authoritarians of the Soviet Union, and other communist regimes, weren’t applying communism correctly.”
Marxism and CRT work hand in hand. CRT takes Hegel’s critical theory to a new level, though, by adding the element of race. We must understand, also, despite the argument by CRT supporters to the contrary, CRT has no connection to the traditional civil rights movement. The Civil Rights Movement sought to create equality in opportunity by removing obstacles tied to race. The theory might be described as saying, “we are one race, the race of Adam, so the component that we must truly focus on is not our physical differences, but the content of our character.”
CRT, however, uses race as a primary component in its philosophical reasoning when it comes to understanding and manipulating society. Your identity is not that of an individual, but the member of a race, therefore you must be objectified based on your race.
CRT argues that since everything humanity touches is based on race, the social life, political structures, and economic systems of a civilization were established upon race. Such a “social construct” would then be designed to give advantages to those who constructed it, providing “privilege” and opportunity to only those who “look like” the architects behind the erection of the target society.
Whoever is the dominant race in a system, because everything they do is based on race, are guilty of systemic racism. It’s inherent. They can’t help themselves. Dominance then naturally breeds preferential treatment in legal and economic outcomes. Therefore, all of the woes of those who are members of the minority races in a system are being held down by a system rigged to benefit only those who are members of the dominant race.
The only ways to stop the racism, the theory contents, is to either become the dominant race so as to grab the reins of control, or for society to become communist where the system of governance ensures that equity is met, and practices. Those who do not comply will be educated regarding compliance, or be removed from the system.
For the political activists of the CRT movement simply not being racist is not sufficient. As Boston University professor Ibram X. Kendi writes in his book How to Be an Antiracist, “[Racism] is descriptive, and the only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it—and then dismantle it,” (p. 9).
The way to dismantle racism is to dismantle the political system that fosters it. The American System is, according to Critical Race Theorists, completely infested with racism, so racism exists at all levels and in all things in one’s daily life. Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, writes, “The question is not ‘did racism take place?’ but rather, ‘how did racism manifest in this situation?”’ Anti-racists must find these “implicit biases” in all aspects of life, ranging from discussions in the classroom to interactions between colleagues. All of these are fair game.
Today’s environment in America has exploded with calls for anti-racist actions to be taken at all levels of society.
Equality in the eyes of the proponents of CRT is not equality in opportunity, or individual initiative, but is based on equality of outcome. Therefore any testing or expectations of meeting certain criteria is being scrapped. The tests or criteria in place, it has been explained, is tilted to benefit white people, anyway.
Anti-Racism training and education is being implemented, as well. White people must be taught, explains those seeking to save us from our racist nature, that we have “implicit biases” and we must be taught to recognize we are naturally biased, and we need to be flooded with anti-racism ideological training in the hopes that by knowing we are naturally racist we can better manage those unhealthy natural tendencies.
In order to help curb white people’s natural tendencies towards racism codes of conduct must be implemented into all facets of society. Language must be regulated so as to quell hate speech, or other racist language, and in the long run event the assembly of too many white people in one place must be discouraged.
Even our policing must be “re-imagined.” Law enforcement needs to be disarmed or defunded, and replaced by mental health workers who understand the damage that has been caused to society by America’s racist foundation.
The Founding Fathers called it Utopianism. Samuel Jackson, before the Declaration of Independence had even been written, warned against the redistribution of wealth.
Possessions of Physical Components
“You will be happy, but own nothing.”
So was the statement by Klaus Schwab.
Critical Race Theory is the progeny of an age old evil. The idea of ruling families all connected on a global scale reaches back in history beyond the Roman Empire.
The Black Monolith
I was introduced to The Black Monolith by Cicely Davis. “All things must be black,” she said of the racist concept. The problem is that if everything must be black, then the logical conclusion is that nothing else can be allowed to exist.
Progress is Restoration
Exceptionalism is not arrogance or believing that one is above another. American Exceptionalism is about the uniqueness of our system. The refusal to fall into the same traps history has warned us about. The problem is, every time we think we are experiencing progress, regression is what is really happening. Progress can only be found in restoration.
Justice and Natural Law
Justice from the point of view of the Rule of Man, or from the view of the Rule of Law? Which is truly justice?
Justice can be interpreted to mean whatever someone wants, if it supports their narrative. So, What is justice to an individual? Whatever is best for him, it would seem.
Justice is important. It is important to man, his societies, his legal systems, and to those who have been charged or who have been victims of wrong-doing. Therefore, we strive for a just society. We desire that, through justice, things are made right, set straight, and that those involved receive what they are due should it be punishment, or retribution.
In a society based on Natural Law, however, should we not also consider what is justice in the eyes of God, or in the schemes of Natural law?
Natural Law exists because The Creator created it. Natural Law is the Natural Order of Things. The Founding Fathers didn’t invent the idea, nor did John Locke, who wrote about it quite a bit before the American Revolution even emerged on the pages of history. As Christians the Framers of the American System were aware of Natural Law because Natural Law is the ultimate truth. We all know what it is if we are only willing to look into our hearts.
Romans 2:15 says, “Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts.”
Natural Law is written in our hearts. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, it is “self-evident.”
We understand the true meaning of justice because the natural order of things, the difference between right and wrong, is written in our hearts. We know, if only we are willing to look away from our narratives, pride and desires and recognize what is naturally in the realm of right and wrong – the Natural Order of Things.
Creation provided for the universe a wonderful set of rules and order of things. Planetary bodies naturally orbit. Plants naturally germinate, grow, conduct photosynthesis, and then decay so that their energy may return to a larger body of energy that exists in the universe until that energy is redirected towards something else with specific form and function. Babies are born, seasons pass, and the waters always seek lower elevation unless pooled into an unmoving body like a lake or an ocean. And, even in those cases, the water in those bodies do not remain stagnant. Eventually, that water that makes up the whole becomes makes its way into the sky when it is evaporated, and then rains down somewhere else. That is all a part of the Natural Order of Things. Natural Law.
When the natural order is disrupted, then there are consequences. If an orbiting body is struck by another traveling body and it is dislodged from its natural orbit it may come crashing down upon the larger body it was orbiting, or it may find a new orbit, or it may lose touch altogether and go careening into space only to burn up as it approaches a sun or ice up as it finds itself in the middle of nothingness.
We know what Natural Law is, because through our own observations of the universe around us we recognize there is a natural order to things.
The Creator did something wonderful when it came to human beings. When mankind was created, in the ultimate show of love, God gave us the ability to choose. Free Will.
While there is a natural order to things, as a being capable for reasoning and choosing, we can choose to follow the natural order, or rebel against it. It is said our human nature is rebellious, which is why we seem to be constantly experiencing less than desirable consequences for our actions.
When we make choices that do not follow the natural order of things the consequences are often not good, and tend to intrude upon the natural rights of others. One’s rights extend to the realm of another’s natural rights. I may have a right to swing my arms, but I do not have a right to swing my arms in such a way that my fists strike another person. One could say that my right to swing my arms stops at the tip of another’s nose. So, I must be responsible with my freedoms. If I am not, and a wrong is committed, then justice must prevail.
There are laws that enslave men, and laws who set them free. Natural Law is godly law, the natural order of things, and it is the natural order from us to be free, to make our own choices, to achieve or fail, to rise or fall, to grow wealthy or to continue to seek that road after missing the opportunity that we may or may not have known of. The Rule of Law is Liberty. The Rule of Man is slavery.
The laws that do not follow the natural order of things, that defy natural law and rebel against God offer only slavery and misfortune. The ideas of collectivism, secularism, and government-guided-welfare only becomes a system of rulers and bondage. They do not believe in Liberty. Theirs is a world of chaos and ungodliness ruled over by them and their minion.
“It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions….There are men, in all ages…who mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters….They think there need be but little restraint upon themselves….The love of power may sink too deep in their own hearts….” – Daniel Webster
Natural Rights. Everyone ever to live on the face of the Earth has inherited all of the Natural Rights God has to give.
Romans, Chapter 1, Verse 20 reads, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”
We know our inheritance. It is self-evident. We need only look to creation to know the truth.
The inheritance, however, goes beyond Natural Law. The United States established a system
The Way Forward
To know where we need to go we need to look at where we have been. The reality is, like a naval warship, a U-Turn cannot be instantaneous. It takes time.
We have been told that the Founding Fathers failed because they did not outlaw slavery when they had the chance. We have also been told that since it was white men who owned slaves that makes the entire “white patriarchy” guilty and the only way to fix the problem and move forward as a society is to neuter that white patriarchy, separating white men from any hope of ever holding any position of authority in the future.
The argument, of course, provides a sweeping generalization that is, dare I say, racist in its own right. Besides, as we’ve discussed, to understand why the Founding Fathers didn’t outlaw slavery out the gate requires a deeper look into the world they inhabited without simply assuming that if they didn’t abolish slavery at the beginning, that must’ve meant that they wanted to do anything they could to preserve it.
First Amendment model
In 2012, when the lawsuits sprang up regarding the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) the lawsuits, after combining together into one, pitted 28 States against the federal government and its unconstitutional takeover of private medicine and health insurance. President Obama’s health care overhaul law, which required Americans to obtain insurance or pay a penalty, worked its way up to the United States Supreme Court June 28, 2012, and then lost when Justice John Roberts decided the monetary penalty for non-compliance was a tax, and since Congress has the authority to tax it made the act constitutional. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four more liberal members. The decision was a victory for Mr. Obama and Congressional Democrats, affirming the central legislative achievement of Mr. Obama’s presidency. *Liptak, Adam “Supreme Court Upholds Health Care law, 5-4, in Victory for Obama” June 28, 2012 New York Times accessed April 28, 2022 https://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/us/supreme-court-lets-health-law-largely-stand.html
“The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.” Ibid
In short, the States fought a federal law against the federal government using federal courts with federal judges paid by federal money. What did they think was going to happen?
Federalist 46, refuse to comply and nullify
The buildings, roads and government is not America. Burn it all down. America’s Liberty will not burn with it. Liberty is in our hearts. It is who we are. And even bondage cannot last long when liberty burns so bright within us.
© Copyright Douglas V. Gibbs