Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Slavery, Segregation, Solutions, and No Gratitude Part 2 of 5

Slavery, Segregation, Solutions, and No Gratitude
Part 2
by Rev. Dr Paul Samson


Slavery is an evil as old as humanity, and has been practiced by all races. So why do modern day blacks blame the entire white race for slavery, when all races have participated in slavery, and in fact it was white Americans who stopped slavery?

The first motive for the Civil War was to preserve the Union but that soon proved to be an inadequate motivator.  Freeing the slaves was a more emotionally satisfying reason for war. A strong Christian influence was working toward ending slavery and the abolitionist movement was gaining political power. 

The first national Anti-Slavery Convention was held in New York City in 1837, and the following year the second Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women met in Philadelphia; the latter resulted in pro-slavery riots. The Liberty Party, a political action group, held its first national convention, at Albany, N.Y., in 1839. That same year, Africans mutinied aboard the Spanish slave ship Amistad and asked New York courts to grant them freedom. Their plea was answered affirmatively by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1841.

After the first year of the Civil War there was a consensus that the goal of the war was to free the slaves.

In 1860, at the height of slave ownership, the total number of slaves was 3,950,528. In the American Civil War that ended slavery 2,138,948 men served in the Union Army. 596,670 Union soldiers were killed wounded or captured. Do black Americans have a special day set aside to show their gratitude for the sacrifice made on their behalf by these men? Why not?

The "Righteous Among the Nations" ("Righteous Gentiles") helped to save Jews from the horrors of the Holocaust, often at great risk to their personal safety and that of their families. The Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum currently recognizes with gratitude the 24,811 gentile saviors -- who rescued them from oppression. Black recognition for white people ending slavery? A big fat ZERO!
So, black chieftains sold black slaves to Arabs. Arabs sold those slaves to slave traders. Slavery was a fact of life. Even free black Americans owned black slaves. Black Africans          and Arabs made slavery possible. White Americans stopped slavery. Where is the gratitude on the part of blacks toward white abolitionists?
So, in summary, white people had a small part in supporting slavery in America. White people had a very large part in ending slavery. Blacks have not expressed their gratitude to white people!
So, Republicans and Union Soldiers fought for the freedom of black people. The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified on July 9, 1868, during the Recon-struction era. It, along with the 13th and 15th Amendments, are collectively known as the Reconstruction amendments. Its broad goal was to ensure that the Civil Rights Act     passed in 1866, would remain valid, ensuring that "all persons born in the United States... were citizens, and were to be given full and equal benefit of all laws."
After the Civil War it became possible for blacks to vote in the south. This was made possible by the passage of the Reconstruction Acts by Congress. Five states had a majority black population: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Prior to the Reconstruction Acts, which were given more support by the 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, there were 627,000 white voters in the south, and no black voters. After blacks gained the right to vote, and there were 703,000 who did so, it became possible for blacks to hold office on a local and statewide basis.
All the early black Congressmen (and Senators) were members of the Republican Party. This is because the Republicans, exemplified by President Abraham Lincoln, were the Party in office during the Civil War, and most abolitionists belonged to the Republican Party. The Democrats were opposed to all attempts to banish slavery.
Thirteen of the twenty-two blacks elected to Congress during Reconstruction were ex-slaves. All were self-taught or family trained. There were seven lawyers, three ministers, one banker, one publisher, two school teachers, and three college presidents. Eight had experience in state assemblies and senates. There were problems, however, as five of the first twenty blacks elected to the House were denied their seats, and ten others had their terms interrupted or delayed. Claims of vote fraud were the most common ploy used by Democrats to deny an elected black person his seat.
In 1869 James Lewis, John Willis Menard, and Pinckney B.S. Pinchback — all of Louisiana — were elected and never seated. In 1870 Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina was the first black to be seated in the House. He ran for reelection in 1872, won, and in 1874 his reelection was challenged. He was seated after the House, several months later, voted to seat him. He won again in 1876, and was again challenged. He was seated, and after eighteen months the investigating committee recommended his seat be declared vacant. The full House of Representatives however, did not vote on the matter, and referred it back to committee.
Other blacks who were elected to the House and seated, often had very rocky tenures. Only a few did not have to face hostile, organized opposition within Congress.
During Reconstruction, southern Democrats suddenly found themselves looking at former slaves not only eyeball to eyeball, but as equals before the law, and in the ability of the freed slaves to obtain elected office. Many Southern Democrats never ceased trying to "turn back the clock" so to speak.
Through the imposition of "Black Codes," laws designed to limit black participation in all areas of life, the establishment of sanctioned violence and "control" on the local level by the Ku Klux Klan, and the active and passive aid — via passing legislation and refusing to act when called upon in certain circumstances — the Democrats were eventually successful in bringing about the end of Reconstruction. In Reconstruction's place Segregation was instituted in the South and voting rights for blacks ceased. Thus, toward the end of the 19th Century, it became virtually impossible for blacks in the south to be elected to any office. This reality did not alter until the mid-1960s.
Blacks mostly voted Republican from after the Civil War through the early part of the 20th century. That’s not surprising, when one considers that Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president, and the white, Segregationist politicians who governed Southern states in those days were Democrats. The Democratic Party didn’t welcome blacks then, and it wasn’t until 1924 that blacks were even permitted to attend Democratic conventions in any official capacity. Most blacks lived in the South, where they were mostly prevented from voting at all.
Republicans joined forces with northern Democrats, and Civil Rights volunteers. Several important factors contributed to the paradigm shift toward eliminating discrimination and establishing Civil Rights for blacks in America.
·       Work is a virtue with significant value beyond a pay check. The Work Projects Administration; WPA was the largest and most ambitious American New Deal Agency, employing millions of unemployed people (mostly unskilled men) to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. Black workers were well represented in the WPA crews. About 10% of WPA workers were black, which was about the same percentage as the blacks in the general population

·       The election of Roosevelt in 1932 marked the beginning of a change. He got 71 percent of the black vote for president in 1936, and did nearly that well in the next two elections. But even then, the number of blacks identifying themselves as Republicans was about the same as the number who thought of themselves as Democrats.
·       The Tuskegee Airmen is the popular name of a group of African-American military fighter and bomber pilots who fought in World War II. In July of 1944 the Tuskegee Pilots received the North American P-51 Mustang, the most agile Warbird of World War II. They really distinguished themselves, and became American heroes. It became very difficult to think of a college educated black man who was an officer in the U. S. Military, and the hero pilot of a “Mustang” protecting our bomber crew, as just some Nigger.
·       In early 1948, Harry Truman issued an order Desegregating the armed services, and an executive order setting up regulations against racial bias in federal employment. Truman garnered 77 percent of the black vote in 1948, and for the first time the majority of blacks reported that they thought of themselves as Democrats.

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