The American Emancipated, Freed Chattel Slaves
"...as enjoyed by White citizens"
(by Ted Hayes, Jr.)
American Black US citizens are the descendants of un-willing immigrants, in fact, the children of Emancipated, freed, Chattel Slaves whose ancestry hails primarily from West & Central Africa, which is considered by anthropologist as being the region of Earth with the most complex of multi-languages.
Unlike other American Ethno-racial groups in the United States whose descent and legacy is that of willing immigrants from the world over, whereas, those of us who descend from West African Blacks, are the very opposite. Our ancestors were sent-exiledof Africa and brought to America against their wills. While this is a historical fact, the consequences of it can yet be changed.
While ancestors of immigrants yearned to "breathe free", West Africans neither knew of, nor had any desire to go to do so in America. As our ancestors were transported across the Mid-Atlantic in the hull of wooden, sail, slave ships, the immigrants American Dream was a nightmare that rudely awakened them out of any dreams of West & Central Africa... their "home-sweet-home".
This is not a criticism of the immigrant populations who like all of us, desire to inherit the American Dream of the Founding Fathers (*whatever that is), but rather an effort to clarify the ambiguities around racial fears in the America that we as equitable citizens may be able to forge a pathway to Healing.
The key phase in this discussion is located in Section 1 of the 1866 Civil Rights Acts spawning the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution, which is something precious and sacred that every immigrant from Plymouth Rock and Jamestown through to the present first generations yearn for, and that is full citizenship "...as enjoyed by Whites citizens". See Meaning of "White citizens" and Emancipated Slaves (+)
All immigrants suffered great hardships of naturalizing or "rights of passage" into the United States citizenship, but due to the unique and horrid way in which West Africans were brought to America under British, then later US Jurisdiction, a whole set of Constitutional laws and mandates were enacted to eventually bring the emancipated slaves into the same citizenship "...as enjoyed by White citizens" that immigrants now possess.
This is the simple meaning of what the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. prophesied concerning Americas' health, when he coined the phrase "Promissory Note" in his famous 1963 Civil Rights March On Washington, DC, "I Have A Dream" speech, which was legislated to ensure to emancipated Black slaves eventual full US citizenship "...as enjoyed by White citizens".
As the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments verify, emancipation does not equate citizenship. Citizenship, technically "on paper" or theory does not necessarily mean the kind that is "...as is enjoyed by White citizens" which is the ultimate goal of what it means to live in the United States with "equal justice under the law" or jurisdiction.
It is evident that these great Constitutional Amendments were meant specifically for the West African Americanized emancipated slaves to find the citizenship "...as enjoyed by Whites" and not the immigrants, because the experience of the former is not the same as the latter.
Yet, and ironically, it was/is the experience of the emancipated slaves that continues to make the American Dream "...as enjoyed by White citizens " possible for all immigrants
Though emancipated and technically "on paper" as US citizens, the sons and daughters of the slaves as a whole people are yet to experience along with the immigrants, that citizenship "...as enjoyed by White citizens"
An objective view of the historical experience reveals an un-comparable and disproportionate difference between the Emancipated unwilling Immigrant Slaves and the willing immigrants (from the times of the American colonies under British jurisdiction to the present massive illegal and even legal immigration movement into the United States and its authority).
West African Blacks did not choose to immigrate to the America as did our counter ethno-racial brethren, but we were rather exiled out of our Africa when we were sold by own kin into the horrid Transatlantic Slave Trade under the Jurisdiction of the United States which inherited the peculiar institution from the British Empire in 1776.
Though we are all Americans firsts, for the sake of understanding our national dilemma that we may resolve to Heal our wounds of slavery, it is imperative that we embrace the facts surrounding the fundamental differences in our voyages to and through the history of the United States.
It is understandable that all other Ethno-racial groups who willingly immigrated to the United States, either first generational or those dating as far back to the pilgrims of Plymouth, Massachusetts and settlers of James Town Virginia, to the Chinese into the South West, though often suffered and struggled, have generally benefited from being in America, even surpassing the status of the children of the West African enslaved Blacks.
Without making any excuses, the facts is, every since the end of the Civil War, Blacks have disproportionately and numerically led all the other ethno-racial nationality immigrants America in nearly every negative social statistic, except teenage suicide.
Clearly, the primary reason that the immigrants have and do continue to prosper over the efforts of Emancipated Slaves is the that former arrived on these American shores willingly and freely, while the later was brought unwillingly shackled in chains.
While immigrants had a wonderful dream of America for themselves and their children generations after them, West African slaves were constantly confronted with the terrorizing nightmare of their enslavement, fading dreams of a past world, and the suppressing terror of anti-Black racial legislation and political manipulation by certain Immigrants until this very day.
Ironically, immigrants who fled the tyranny of Europe nations and other lands found themselves prospering in an empire and eventually a nation involved directly in the business or indirectly reaping from it, the worst kind of slave institution in the history of humanity.
Ironically, the entity that is the primary cause of the ongoing tragedy that the West African slave descendants suffer, is the political party that we Emancipated Slaves have en masse strangely embraced and adhered to since the Presidential election cycle of 1964.
While immigrants have and do take full advantage of the bounties of America with full citizenship “…as is enjoyed by White citizens” according to the edicts of the Fourteenth *14th) Amendment of the US Constitution, the Emancipated Slaves, though US citizens, are still struggling to actualize the “…dream deeply rooted in the American Dream” of the Founding Fathers.
We, Emancipated Slaves are still struggling for what the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. identified as the Promissory Note, essentially Reparations - neo-Re-construction transacted by the US Federal Government - “We the People” of the United States in the land of immigrants built on the bloody backs of West African Black un-willing immigrants.
In his “I Have A Dream” speech of August 28,1963 Dr. King proclaims…
“In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check.
When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.
This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.
Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.
We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.
So we have come to cash this check -- a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.” Please see full context of “I Have A Dream” Speech (+)
As in 1963, when after one hundred years of the signing of Lincolns’ Emancipation Proclamation that “the Negro” was still not free…ironically forty-five years after his speech and even the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, “the Negro” is yet not only “not free”, but is faced with extinction i.e. our being Ethno-racial cleansing out of “America” and her "great vaults of opportunity" by massive illegal immigration.
The Emancipation of the West African Black Slaves
The Emancipation of the slaves began in earnest with the formulation of the Republican Party in 1854 as a direct result of ever increasing demands from certain immigrants for the liberation of Blacks from Americas’ peculiar institution, as set forth in its' fundamental foundations of the 1856, 1860, and 1866 political Presidential platforms.
However, the first volley fired to change America's hypocritical industry of human trading to actually end the enslavement of the Black West African slaves, was made by the late 16th President, Abraham Lincoln in 1862 in a document known as the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. (Please see Preliminary Emancipation)
This Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was essentially a peace offering from Lincoln and the Republicans (who led the Federal Government via the 39th Congress) to the slave holding southern Confederate States who had seceded from the Union.
". . . on the first day of January . . . 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." President Abraham Lincoln, preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, September 22, 1862
President Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in the midst of the Civil War, announcing on September 22, 1862, that if the rebels did not end the fighting and rejoin the Union by January 1, 1863, all slaves in the rebellious states would be free. A 3 month period!
Of course, none of the Southern States chose to accept Mr. Lincolns’ peace offering and the war dragged on until 1865 when the Confederacy finally surrendered in defeat after the US Civil War began on April 12,1861.
One of the outcomes of Emancipation Day was the allowance by the US Federal government for free Blacks and former slaves to join the Union Army and fight against the Confederate States for the freedom of their kin.
The US Presidential - Congressional Promissory Note
The Radical Republicans acted in accordance to the Founding Fathers’ Dream of Free America which promised the Black slaves emancipation and full, equal citizenship “as enjoyed by White citizens”.
Again Dr. King, “I Have A Dream”…
“When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”
This Promissory Note is a combination of the Emancipation Proclamations documents, Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and the Civil Rights Acts of 1866.
The Thirteenth Amendment
Though the US Civil War was concluded by the defeat of the Confederate Rebel States on April 6,1865, there yet remained the work of constitutionally forever abolishing slavery against Blacks or anyone else under the Jurisdiction of the country, except for punishment of crime.
The 13th Amendment was adopted on December 6, 1865, and was then declared in a proclamation of Secretary of State William H. Seward on December 18th.
Unfortunately, Emancipation did not include citizenship for the freed slaves and other American free non-slave Blacks throughout the United States and its’ territories.
Recognizing the need for greater protection and inclusion of the emancipated slaves within the jurisdictions of the United States of America, Congress through the leadership of the radical Republican Party enacted the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery.
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The Former Slave Masters Seek To Hold Blacks Subordinate
It was extremely perturbing to the peoples of the former Southern Rebel States to bear the reality of West African now Americanized Blacks whom they had demonized as sub-human and held as working property, to now be free anywhere in America, especially in the South.
So therefore, the Democratic Party who served in the interest of the former masters of the Blacks in America sought to yet hold the Freedmen in a continued level of economic social vulnerability and subjugation with the hopes of someday returning them to slavery.
The Fourteenth Amendment
Recognizing the danger that the United States was still in as it relates to the full emancipation of the Blacks in America, the Radical Republicans moved upon the Congress to now enact another Constitutional Amendment that would prevent such a backward step by providing citizenship to the emancipated slaves, which was/is the Fourteenth.
Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The Fifteenth Amendment
Once again, the frightened, angered and frustrated Democrats recognized that they could still weld control over their former human property as long as the latter could not participate in the electoral political process for power to fully enjoy the right of US citizenship and have access to the "great vaults of opportunity".
In turn, the Radical Republicans recognized the ploy of withholding political power that would ensure that emancipated slaves with the ability to protects their citizenship from the backward slide beyond the protective edict of the Thirteenth Amendment into the abyss of perpetual enslavement.
Consequently, the Radical Republicans once again came to the rescue of Americas’ very heart and soul of the Founding Fathers’ Dream, the National Treasure, which is the emancipation of the West African Americanized slaves, including citizenship and political power to defend themselves "...as enjoyed by White citizens" - all other Americans, born or naturalize have .
Therefore, Congress under leadership of the Radical Republicans, enacted the Fifteenth Amendment which provides the right to vote to the emancipated slaves.
Section. 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Section. 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
The Great Triple Amendments
These three historical moves of Emancipation, Citizenship, and Voting powers on the part of the Republican led Congress was the first time that it had enacted any Amendments since the Twelfth over 60 years prior.
The year of 1865-1866 was the most significance change and quantum leap for progress towards the American Dream in the United States with passage of three consecutive, relating or interlocking Amendments, which unprecedented even until today.
The Heart and Soul of the American Dream: The 14th Amendment
The keystone to understanding the power of the Great Triple Amendments created solely around the emancipation of the West African Americanized slaves is the Fourteenth Amendment which citizenized Blacks in the United States.
The Fourteenth was born out of the Civil Rights Act which was the result of an incredible movement for Blacks within Congress of 1865-66.
Of course, that original Civil Rights movement was initiated and led by the Radical Republicans.
Citizenship for the emancipated slaves was not merely one that other Americans, born or naturalized as immigrants would or could enjoy or participate in due to the nature of what the framers of the 1866 legislation are attempting to achieve, which is the fulfillment of the Founding Fathers Dream.
Indeed, the citizenship of the emancipated slaves and that of Freedmen was/is special for America's health and remains so to this very day, because such fulfillment of the Dream would be what the Founders eventually wanted of the slaves after emancipation is full US citizenship “…as is enjoyed by White citizens”
The Civil Rights Act of 1866 Section 1 reads…
“…and such citizens, of every race and color, without regard to any previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude… shall have the same right… to full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings… as is enjoyed by white citizens”
If Necessary: Promissory Note Is Enforced By US Military
In fact, so strong was the desire to fulfill the Founding Fathers Dream of a Republic America, the Radical Republicans strengthened Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment by with backup from the US military et al..
Civil Rights Act of 1866 Section 5 reads…
“…and the persons so appointed to execute any warrant or process as aforesaid shall have authority to summon and call to their aid the bystanders or posse comitatus of the proper county, or such portion of the land or naval forces of the United States, or of the militia, as may be necessary to the performance of the duty with which they are charged, and to insure a faithful observance of the clause of the Constitution which prohibits slavery, in conformity with the provisions of this act…”
The Talented Tenth
While a few through history (“Talented Tenth” as characterized by socialist W.E.B. Debois) until now, have benefited from the Great Triple Amendments of the US Constitution, unfortunately, the citizenship for emancipated Black slaves and Freedmen “…as is enjoyed by White citizens” has never materialized as a whole in this country.
An overview evidence of this observance is that while Whites – naturalized immigrants into the United States have prospered due the benefits forged on the slave existence of the West African Blacks in America, the emancipated slaves and their children have always generally led the nation in nearly every negative social statistics.
Such an existence of the emancipated slave in America can clearly be traced back to the un-fulfillment of the Promissory Note, i.e. the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Acts of 1866…Hence, Reparations to the Emancipated Slaves and their children is due.
Now is the time, for this Reparations-Promissory is transacted in full.
The Obama American Promise
During his campaigning, candidate, now President Barack Hussein Obama has essentially said “in code” that Reparations to the sons and daughters of the Emancipated Slaves and their children is indeed due.
Wrapping himself in the mantel of the Dr. King speech whom he has compared himself to, often demonstrated and justified the significant importance of Americans selecting him as the First African American “Black” therefore, “son of the slaves” President of the United States, proclaimed in Dr. Kings words “Now is the time” and “the fierce urgency of now” and “the urgency of the moment”, thereby rejecting “the tranquilizing drug of gradualism”.
Clearly, what Obama was saying is not the context of what Dr. King proclaims.
While Obama makes his lone and solitary election to US Presidency the full essence of “…the dream deeply rooted in the American Dream” he rejects all other Blacks from the Promissory Note.
Dr. King calls for the “urgency of now” for the Promissory Note. i.e. Reparations, while Obama uses his words to ascend to the Presidency of the United States.
Dr. Kings says concerning the Promissory Note…
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now.
This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.
Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.
Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children.
Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro.
It is only right and just for the King in the Palace of Justice and the African American, Black "son" of the slaves President of the Bank of Justice fulfill his Constitutional duty…NOW to transact the Promissory Note, i.e, Reparations - "the check"
Finally, Dr. King says, “…to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice.”
“…we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.”
Obama, this First “son” of the “Negro” slaves President often and rightly demanded that America’s Promise be kept to all Americans.
Let him NOW keep the first Constitutional Promise to the peoples who exemplify the ultimate definition of a full American citizenship according to the edicts of the historic, great Three Amendments.
The Burden of the Founding Fathers
Completely immersed in the peculiar institution of chattel slavery inherited from the British Empire in 1776, the Founding Fathers dreamed that one day the slaves would be emancipated and free to access citizenship “...as enjoyed by White citizens”.
This glorious dream of the slave owning revolutionaries was their ultimate burden, because everything that they stood against, such as what was considered their enslavement to England and in turn fought for, that is Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness for all, would be of the highest order of hypocrisy forever throughout all ages.
Failure to emancipate and empower the Black slaves with citizenship and voting, such lofty proclamations about the Freedoms of the United States, could result in not only America's early demise, but would also make this short lived country a proverbial laughing stock having the names of the braggadocios and arrogant founding fathers of the foolish young, upstart rebellious state on it.
The Founding Fathers understood that it was imperative that they lay a Constitutional foundation and leave a will - to future generations of Americans to also understand the great Dream to continue their unfinished “burden” to emancipate and grant full citizenship “…as enjoyed by White citizens” to the descendants of the West African slaves.
The day that the emancipated slaves, as a general body attain the citizenship “…as enjoyed by White citizens”, the American Dream is not here, but yet to come.
Should, Americans fail in that greatest of our national quests, that which was to be an enchanted sleep of peace, will become “…rude awakening” or nightmare for the world.
The experience of West African slaves in America is one that essentially elevated society of the Anglo European citizenry to perhaps one of the highest levels of civility in all of history.
Ironically, somehow the sufferings of Blacks caused the lofty words of freedom and liberty, justice et al to become reality in the United States, thereby making it a safe and civil land in which immigrants of all nationalities, races, colors, ethnicities and religions can come to and prosper.
Barack Hussein Obama Shoulders The White Man’s Burden:
Many in America believe that the election of Barack Hussein Obama is the fulfillment of the Promissory Note to Blacks, while others think he could be the best entity to relieve the Founding Fathers of their heavy burden inherited from Britain.
How ironic for the Founding Fathers, that within their White House is a person who in two individuals, could consummate the long awaited Promise of America, should he decide to pick up the “White Mans’ burden” and take it to the Promised Land.
The Black "son" of the slaves Barack Hussein Obama, could NOW as world citizen, President of the United States, is the most powerful, influential, community organizing advocate on earth, can NOW on our behalf approach the White Barack Hussein Obama US President concerning long overdue Promise.
Surely, the White Obama in the President will have a sympatric, even an emphatic ear to the Black Obama in the President, and therefore, will indeed re-shoulder the “White Mans’ Burden” as once did his White Republican counter-part Abraham Lincoln, to ensure that the children of the emancipated West African slaves achieve citizenship in the United States “…as enjoyed by White citizens” - immigrants and including the 44th President of the United States of America.