The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Monday, January 5, 2015

So You Think Social Protests Against Police Injustice Have Grown Old? Take A Look At Oppression

In 1862 an executive order (proclamation) set the nation on a path to the most significant change in US History after the defeat of the British in the Revolutionary War. Abe Lincoln officially enacted law to abolish slavery, and the powerful of the US Confederacy immediately set about promulgation laws to establish and enact umbrella laws to maintain forms of unofficial subservience regarding free slaves. The laws also read as edicts as the earliest forms of Jim Crow in the US South. I must add, let there be no mistake, the spirit of Jim Crow spread across large swaths of the US even in the absence of formal and enforceable laws.

The American Civil War, Emancipation Proclamation

Edited by: Robert Guisepi
On Sept. 22, 1862, United States President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation (....that)  promised freedom for slaves held in any of the Confederate states that did not return to the Union by the end of the year.
The Proclamation

Whereas on the 22nd day of September, A.D. 1862, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit: 

"That on the 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom. 

"That the executive will on the 1st day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State or the people thereof shall on that day be in good faith represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such States shall have participated shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the people thereof are not then in rebellion against the United States." 

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-In-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for supressing said rebellion, do, on this 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, and in accordance with my purpose so to do, publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days from the first day above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof, respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States the following, to wit: 

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard, Palquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terrebone, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the city of New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Morthhampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Anne, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts are for the present left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued. 

And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States and parts of States are, and henceforward shall be, free; and that the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons. 

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all case when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages. 

And I further declare and make known that such persons of suitable condition will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service. 

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God. 

- Abraham Lincoln, 1862
A proclamation that launched a nation into the most vile set of social oppression that would surpassed only by South African Apartheid centuries later. Let's do a quick read on the establishment of second class citizenry for the majority of black people in America.

Black Codes and Pig Laws

Immediately after the Civil War ended, Southern states enacted "black codes" that allowed African Americans certain rights, such as legalized marriage, ownership of property, and limited access to the courts, but denied them the rights to testify against whites, to serve on juries or in state militias, vote, or start a job without the approval of the previous employer. These codes were all repealed in 1866 when Reconstruction began.

But after the failure of Reconstruction in 1877, and the removal of black men from political offices, Southern states again enacted a series of laws intended to circumscribe the lives of African Americans. Harsh contract laws penalized anyone attempting to leave a job before an advance had been worked off. “Pig Laws” unfairly penalized poor African Americans for crimes such as stealing a farm animal. And vagrancy statutes made it a crime to be unemployed. Many misdemeanors or trivial offenses were treated as felonies, with harsh sentences and fines.

The Pig Laws stayed on the books for decades, and were expanded with even more discriminatory laws once the Jim Crow era began.

View three minute video on PBS.Org.....Slavery By Another Name.

In 2012, noted historian and African-American culture and author of The Condemnation of BlacknessKhalil Gibran Muhammad joined Bill Moyers to discuss the importance of confronting the contradictions of America’s racist past as prologue to today's growing racism and bigotry.

Central to the discussion was NYC's Stop and Frisk policy and other forms of control of minorities, specifically black people. The video is twenty two minutes long. If you have tie give it a review. You will come away with a perspective that might help with your understanding of oppression in its rawest form. Oppression that can easily turn away from the black community and to other communities; maybe even your family or your neighbor. You are already seeing vestiges of economic caste system-like divisions in the nation. How hard would it be for oligarchs to enact similar life restrictions people in middle to lower income brackets? 

And to think, almost daily I read or ear someone say: "this demonstration stuff is getting old."  Yes, of course........

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