And that the slaves were never freed

by baldilocks

There were all kind of attempts to lure the GOP state electors into voting for someone other than Donald Trump. A few took the bait, but so did some Democrat state electors; Hillary Clinton lost even more electors that Trump did. But, now that the Electoral Vote is done—yesterday—and now that Trump is again the victor, but Clinton won the popular vote, there’s a new meme emerging: that the Electoral College is racist. Yes, you read that correctly.

The New York Times leads the outcry with a description of the three-fifths clause in the Constitution and a distortion of its relationship to the Electoral College.[i]

The Electoral College, which is written into the Constitution, is more than just a vestige of the founding era; it is a living symbol of America’s original sin. When slavery was the law of the land, a direct popular vote would have disadvantaged the Southern states, with their large disenfranchised populations [Ed.: slaves and Indians—and women]. Counting those men and women as three-fifths of a white person, as the Constitution originally did, gave the slave states more electoral votes.

A more detailed description:

For the most part, those who opposed slavery only wanted to consider the free people [sic] of a population, while those in favor wanted to include slaves in the population count. This would provide for slave holders to have many more seats in the House of Representatives and more representation in the Electoral College. (…)

The implementation of the Three-Fifths Compromise would greatly increase the representation and political power of slave-owning states. The Southern states, if represented equally, would have accounted for 33 of the seats in the House of Representatives. However, because of the Three-Fifths Compromise, the Southern states accounted for 47 seats in the House of Representatives of the first United States Congress of 1790. This would allow for the South to garner enough power at the political level, giving them control in Presidential elections.

However, as time moved forward, the Three-Fifths Compromise would not provide the advantage for which the Southern states and slave-owners had hoped. The Northern states grew more rapidly in terms of population than the South. Even though Southern states had essentially dominated all political platforms prior to the Civil War, afterward that control would be relinquished slowly but surely. It would not be until the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was be enacted in 1865 that the Three-Fifths Compromise would be rendered obsolete.

Bloody Kansas Era Editorial Cartoon

The Compromise was a trade-off because no perfect solution to the slavery conundrum was available at the time. It was an advantage to the South at first, but over time, the advantages amounted to nil. (This also explains Bloody Kansas.) Strategy.

Thus was the infant USA not born the perfect USA; it was born with a birth defect—an “original sin” just like every other nation on earth. ( The Organized Left always wants to talk about “original sin” even when they don’t believe in real sins—at least not those committed by their ideological allies.)

If the North had not compromised, one wonders what would have happened. Two nations would have likely been born and lasted about as long as 1812—the year of the next war with the British. And that time estimation is a generous one.[ii] And even if those fantasy nations had lasted, one wonders when the Southern Nation would have ever abolished slavery.  Sounds like a Democrat’s…er…Confederate’s dream, no?

So it is that the EC and the Compromise ensured that a USA was born, grew and matured and that her citizenry and liberty expanded.

But, it seems to me that the NYT editorial staff dreams of a never-born United States of America and believes it’s never too late to have an abortion. What a surprise.

[i] By the way, let’s not forget that Alexander Hamilton was a leading advocate and architect of the Electoral College.

[ii] There were three wars between the end of the Revolution (1783) and the War of 1812: The First Barbary War, The 1811 German Coast Uprising, and Tecumseh’s War.

RELATED: Electoral College Mission Accomplished All Around Left, Media and Right

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter.

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baldilocks

by baldilocks

Yesterday on Facebook, I asked my friends for writing topics and received some excellent suggestions. Here is one of the fruits of that request. When motivated, I can, sometimes, go on.

Another great request: commentary on our spiritual condition as Americans.  Volumes are possible, but only one example is necessary…for those with “an ear to hear,” as it were.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

–Psalm 111:10, KJV

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

–Hosea 4:6, KJV; emphasis mine

Stefan Molyneux interviews a university professor— Dr. Duke Pesta–who says that most of his students believe that the United States was the first nation/kingdom/entity to introduce slavery into the world.

Of course, there are too many factual refutations to this ridiculous notion and the fact that the US is the only nation to go to war over slavery is most significant for comparison purposes. (Please spare me the arguments about whether the Civil War really was about slavery—unless you’re trying to help me sleep.)

That the most obvious refutations lie in the Bible is even more significant. Even those who don’t read the Bible but are of a certain age have seen the still-watchable Ten Commandments. But with hundreds or thousands of entertainment media vying for our attention in this era, it’s a safe bet that the numbers who’ve seen that classic have dropped off and vary directly with the age of those looking to be entertained.

Back to the origin of the movie. Egypt is not the only kingdom that enslaved the ancient Hebrews. They were also why-study-the-bibleenslaved by Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonia, Assyria and Persia. And, of course, ancient Israel had its own version of slavery. But, those who don’t want to know, don’t know.

Two factors which are most startling to me about the professor’s assertion.

  • That so few young Americans have actually read the Bible, even if it is just to be able to cogently argue against what’s in it, and
  • That young Americans know so little about not only American history, but about on-going present-day crimes with respect to slavery, which do not involve the United States government whatsoever.

Those facts are not evidence of university- or even K-12-level indoctrination or failure, but of parental desire. Parents who want their children to know what is in the Bible will make sure that they know, even in the face of the myriad distractions of 2016. And, of course the opposite is true.

And this Christian says that this factoid is emblematic of our collective—if you’ll pardon the connotations of that word– and spiritual condition as Americans. If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the lack of knowledge destroys a people, then an individual–and a people—can be fooled and destroyed by any falsehood.

And, included among those falsehoods, apparently, is that America is the guiltiest of all nations where slavery is concerned and that, as a result, she deserves to be punished over and above all others.

(Thanks to Instapundit)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game (click on left sidebar image), was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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by baldilocks

I watched the 1977 version of Roots during its originally showing, having read Alex Haley’s “autobiography” beforehand. I was 16 years old when the original came out.

Viewing the series was a family gathering in my home, as was so for many black families, I’m told. It was a celebration of sorts. I don’t remember much about the viewing except for one thing: during the scene in which Kunta Kinte is captured, everyone in my house became dead quiet.

Burtonkinte
LeVar Burton as Kunta Kinte

LeVar Burton, most widely known for his portrayal of Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge in Star Trek: The Next Generation, had his first professional acting job in the original Roots as the young Kunta Kinte. For the 2016 version of Roots, Burton is the executive producer.

I mention this because I’ve always liked Burton and if I were going to watch the more recent version of Roots, his role in it would be the only reason to do so. As it turns out, it isn’t reason enough.

Call it fatigue at the continual opening of an old wound. Western slavery ended in a very bloody fashion in the 1860s. I’m over it. What I’m not over is the centuries-long enslavement of black Africans and the trashing of their continent by Islamic entities ranging from the Ottoman Empire to 2016’s Boko Haram. When will that movie get made? My guess is that, if it isn’t a self-/fan-funded venture, never.

There is also the fact that many black Africans played an exclusive role in selling members of other tribes to Europeans and to Americans. Those black African salesmen were usually Islamic.

And, oh yes: I see no point in celebrating Haley’s real legacy.

I’ve said before that God sometimes takes the folly of man and uses it to bless others. I think that this is the case with American slavery. For those who wished that their ancestors had remained in Islam-ravished western Africa, I suggest you repent, turn to God and open your eyes to the blessings He has put in front of all of us…and stop crying about the long-dead treachery from those who look like you, and those who don’t.

And if slavery really bothers you that much, there are plenty of organizations who combat 2016 slavery. You should help them or, at “least,” pray for them.

Now, excuse me while I go watch some sci-fi. There’s a reason I like it so much. With this post in mind, see if you can guess what it is.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>baldilocks

Louis Winthorp: He was wearing my Harvard tie. Can you believe it? My Harvard tie. Like, oh sure, he went to Harvard. If he’s being driven around in my car, he could actually be living in my house. Maybe he’s even taken my job. For all I know, right at this moment he could be fondling my fiancée.And Coleman – after years of service, this betrayal. I don’t understand it. There’s going to be retribution. Oh, he’s going to pay. The things that I…

Ophelia: Shut up, Louis. Taxis cost money, food costs money and rent costs money! Now, you want me to help you out, I expect a lot in return.

Trading Places 1983

As you are likely aware I’m a friend of Robert Stacy McCain and have actively promoted the Free Stacy movement lamenting the attempts of people like @fremfreq and their feminist Star Chamber at Twitter Safety to silence said Stacy McCain for fearlessly presenting both the facts of feminism and expressing opinions that would likely send students in the University of Pittsburgh into a catatonic state and I intend to continue to do so as much as possible.

 

Meanwhile Stacy McCain, far from being silenced continues to not only pound away at the people who have unfairly targeted him but continues to cover stories like the special snowflakes in Pittsburgh, the sentence first verdict afterwards mob at Yale, Notice a series of crimes, many against young women that our feminist friends have not found newsworthy,  While at the same time covering and BEING COVERED at CPAC.

This is because Unlike the Pittsburgh students that fell apart at the very presence of Milo Yiannopoulos, thus providing a handy list to employers everywhere of who not to hire upon graduation, Stacy McCain for all his recent trouble, understands that he’s a very lucky man.  He lives in the greatest country in the history of the world, he has a fine wife, six fine (and honorable) children and a pair of healthy grandchildren with likely more to come.

And that doesn’t even count his friends and his fans.

While annoyed by Twitter’s actions and taking steps to hold them accountable Stacy understands that this is a “first world” problem that people safe enough and rich enough not to have to worry about daily safety or their next meal can worry about, as opposed to the feminists who believe Stacy’s words are the most oppressive  and evil things a woman can find themselves confronted with.

However I strongly suspect these women might disagree:

According to Reuters, “scores” of young Bangladeshi women have been trafficked to Syria and forced into both domestic and sex work.

The news agency’s report cited a senior Bangladeshi official from the Rapid Action Battalion, an elite police agency, who claimed that his unit came across about 45 cases last year involving women who had been taken to the war-ravaged Middle Eastern country, tricked, exploited and, in some cases, raped and abused.

The difference between Stacy and his opponents is Stacy that while he will of course continue fighting his battle:

The #FreeStacy hashtag campaign continues. I had people ask me, basically, “What’s next?” To which I answered, basically, “We’ll see.” There are people more influential than me who are working behind the scenes to try to correct the situation. Some of these people are lawyers.

You can figure out what that means.

he will regularly report on these kind of outrages and be outraged, not only because it’s wrong, but because he appreciates how easily life’s fortune could have turned.

His Feminist friends will, as they have for all the various outrages committed by our islamic friends in both the Muslim world be silent, because when it comes right down to it.  It’s always been about them, and always will be.

Rather pathetic isn’t it?

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Handbills are now appearing in reaction to the Killings at Harpers FerryVirginia  some examples

we’ve seen this

After Harpers Ferry shooting, Plantation owners blame GOP rhetoric for

“toxic environment”

Richmond Herald Politics Oct 29, 1859

and this

I’m not kidding:  who in the Beltway press corps has the eggs to ask Harriet Stowe if the release of Uncle Tom’s Cabin got people killed in Harper’s Ferry?

Laura Chapin Oct 29, 1859

  and this

Tonight & always I stand with Virginia Landowners & I stand against terrorist and the lying political opportunists who tacitly encourage it

Andy Richter October 28 1859

October 1859:
Democrat Members of Congress were united in condemning the rhetoric of abolitionists following the John Brown Raid in Harper’s Ferry in which 7 people were killed including 1 Marine and 10 wounded (not counting casualties among the raiders)

It is offensive and outrageous that some politicians are now claiming this tragedy has nothing to do with the toxic environment they helped create,” Democrat chair David Allen Smalley said in a statement released today.

Smalley singles out Abe Lincoln and Salmon Chase by name, accusing them of “using this tragedy to repeat false claims about Slavery,” and says it’s not enough to denounce the tragedy without also stopping their rhetoric against slaveholders nationwide.

Other State Pols have chimed in Governor of Virginia Henry A Wise had this to say in an interview with Harper’s Weekly

Harper’s Weekly: I do want to ask you a final question here. we now know that John Brown referenced Slavery and Whippings when he was arrested. Prominent Plantation owners are calling this domestic terrorism. Do you agree with that assessment?

Henry A Wise: Well, certainly it’s — it is a form of terrorism, and maybe in some way, it’s a function of the inflammatory rhetoric that we see on all — I mean, so many issues now, there are abolitionists, and, you know, public forums where they really focus on trying to get people to that point of boiling over and just intense anger.

And I think maybe it’s time to look at, how do we tone down some of that rhetoric? Obviously, no one is going to try and reduce free speech in this country, but that rhetoric clearly is — if people are in some way emotionally unstable or psychologically unbalanced, that intensity of rhetoric sometimes seems to pull a trigger in their brain that they lose contact with what reality is.

Harper’s Weekly: So, are you calling — just to sort of see what you’re saying here a little more clearly, are you calling for changes in newspapers and broadsheets?

Henry A Wise: No, no, I’m not — I’m in no way trying to limit free speech.

I think that the — our community, right, the United States of America, ought to begin a discussion looking at, how do you begin to tone back the inflammatory rhetoric that, in some ways, it might be good for, I don’t know, selling newspapers and advertisements or whatever, but, in some way, it is inflaming people to the point where they can’t stand it, and they go out and they lose connection with reality in some way and commit these acts of unthinkable violence.

I’m not saying that we restrict people’s freedom of speech, nowhere, nowhere near that. But I think we should have a discussion of, you know, at least urging caution when we discuss some of these issues, so that we don’t get people to a point of going out and committing senseless violence.

Harpers also talked to rumoured GOP Presidential Candidate Abraham Lincoln for comment

Harpers:I do want to begin with this shoot-out that took place on at the Armory in Harpers Ferry.

You heard that law enforcement is now telling Harpers the shooter has anti-slavery, anti-government views. And he referenced whippings following the attack. The Association of Plantation Owners of the Virginia put out this following statement.

It said: “We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country.”

What do you make of this argument, Congressman?

Abe Lincoln:Regardless of why Brown did it, what he did is domestic terrorism, and what he is did is absolutely abominable, especially to those of us in the abolitionist movement, because there’s nothing about any of us that would condone or in any way look the other way at something like this.

And there’s no excuse for killing other people, whether it’s happening on the Plantation, inside their slave quarters, where many millions of blacks die, or whether it’s people attacking Plantations.

We ought to value life. Every life truly does have worth and value. And this is an incredible tragedy. And I don’t know of anybody who will say anything other than just outright condemnation for this horrible, horrible, despicable act of murder.

Harpers Weekly: Plantation Owners seems to be — well, it is blaming the rhetoric that popped up following the Publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and various speeches by Sojourner Truth & Fredrick Douglas. And they say the rhetoric really has created this environment where this happened.

Do you agree with that?

Lincoln:I don’t know of any Abolitionist leader, any — if you can tell me one, please correct me, but I don’t know of anybody who has suggested violence toward Slaveholders or some act of violence toward their plantations. I have not heard that, not from one single anti-slavery person.

I have heard universal condemnation, whether it’s from the National Era publishers of Uncle Tom’s Cabin , whether it’s from pro-emancipation advocates. And I consider myself one of them. I know of nobody who has ever suggested that Plantations be the target of some type of violent attack.

So, I think that’s a little bit disingenuous on the part of Plantation Owners to blame people who have a strong philosophical disagreement with the enslavement of human beings and with the selling of black Americans to say that we would like to retaliate by sending some madman into a Slave Territory to kill people.

God knows that’s not what anybody would want. And this person, apparently, from everything we know, very unstable person, and just a terrible tragedy, especially for that Marine and his family.

Harpers:This shooting has certainly revived the debate over slavery. You support banning slavery by declaring that a black slave is a person that has rights under the Constitution.

Can you explain under your plan what the criminal penalty would be for a Slaveholder if they attempted to hold a slave?

Lincoln:I have often said, Brianna, that there are two victims with Slavery. One is the Black Slave who loses his freedom, and the other is often the landowner who feels he has no other option.

Finally the leading pro-slavery Paper in the Capital had this to say

To many Pro Slavery advocates, it seemed only a matter of time before something like this happened.

Ever since the publication of the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin ,  by an antislavery author  accused Plantation Owners of mistreating slaves , threats against slaveholders had escalated to unprecedented levels, slave traders say. They stepped up collaboration with the Federal authorities and local police and stiffened security at Plantations. But on Sunday, their worst fears came true: A group of men walked into the Armory in Harpers Ferry Springs and opened fire.

Maybe it’s just me but it seems I’ve heard all of this before somewhere.

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

Neo Neocon nails it:

in all the years since then, when I’ve about the evils of the institution of slavery I never heard a word about the role of Christian missionaries in ending slavery within Africa itself.

In fact, ending slavery seems to have been one of the main reasons that missionaries were there, and a rather significant force in the European colonization of Africa in general,

Take a look a the years listed here:

It was the central theme of the Brussels Anti-Slavery Conference 1889-90. In the late 19th century, the Scramble for Africa saw the continent rapidly divided between Imperialistic European powers, and an early but secondary focus of all colonial regimes was the suppression of slavery and the slave trade. In response to this pressure, Ethiopia officially abolished slavery in 1932, Sokoto Caliphate abolished slavery in 1900, and the rest of the Sahel in 1911. By the end of the colonial period they were mostly successful in this aim, though slavery is still very active in Africa even though it has gradually moved to a wage economy. Slavery has never been eradicated in Africa, and it commonly appears in African states, such as Chad, Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, and Sudan, in places where law and order have collapsed.

Alas these historical facts are not convenient.

by baldilocks

This post originally appeared at my old blog in 2010–a response to a person who called me “dumb” and implied that IBaldilocks mini was a “traitor to my race” for opposing the building of the Ground Zero Mosque. That may seem ridiculous on its face, but it points to a deeper deception: that Islam is a “black religion” because of its widespread presence on the African continent.

We have seen the actions of groups like Boko Haram and ISIS as they conquer non-Muslims: they murder/castrate the men and boys and sell the women and girls into sex slavery. What fewer people know is that this is a 1400-year pattern for Islamic conquerors. They are merely following their leader.

And what a minority of black Americans know is that, for nearly that entire time period–well before the European slavers and colonialists noticed the continent–black Africa was continually subject to this Islamic onslaught, with the usual choice offered.  

One might call Islam “Africa’s death,” regardless of the choice each individual black African has made.

In 2008, I posted the following video via YouTube. It had been part of a series which exposed the truth about the Islamic Civilization with special emphasis on the horrors of the Trans-Saharan Slave Trade.  My intent was to counter the exhortations of Barack Obama’s former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, and the like-minded who continue to excoriate America and the rest of Western Civilization for past sins against black African Slaves and Americans of African descent.

Continue reading “The Other Black Genocide”

by baldilocks

With scandal, after scandal, after scandal, after scandal being perpetrated by the Obama Administration—wording intentional–I thought that I would finally take the time to address an issue regarding the reaction to Obama’s acknowledged Kenyan Luo heritage—a heritage which I share.

For the last six years, it seems that everything that Barack Obama has touched or touted fails and that has included the institutions of this country. One might conclude that President Obama’s touch on the very country itself is causing it to fail.

But, the widespread demonization of the Luo tribe of Kenya—that it is an Arab Muslim tribe of slavers– cannot be blamed on the president. (The tribe exists in significant numbers in Uganda and Tanzania as well.)

It seems like a long time ago but I most certainly remember the origin of the notion that Barack Hussein Obama is 50% white, 6.25% black African and 43.75% Arab. It came from a man named Kenneth E. Lamb. Lamb laid out a meandering blog post, sans references, on how he allegedly found this information. I recall sending him an email and commenting on his post. Both my responses refuted his findings and I found it interesting that he had no linked sources to back up his claims. So when I was contemplating this post, I went looking for Mr. Lamb’s post and, lo and behold, the post has been deleted. Perhaps Mr. Lamb had an attack of conscience—though deletion smacks more of cover-up.  But, the damage—the Blood Libeling of the Luo Tribe—had been set in motion. There is always the Web Archive, however, and thank God for it.

From February 2008: Continue reading “The Blood Libeling of the Luo Tribe of Kenya”

by baldilocks

As the opposite is so for many of us in America, citizens reared in other countries have little understanding of politics, history, and culture(s) in the USA.  I am in a special place in that my biological father is Kenyan and my siblings from the Old Country have trouble understanding the political opposition to Barack Obama—especially mine. To them, he is of our tribe and our brother who should have our support no matter what.  

Therefore, I am in the process of composing a series of posts meant to help the Kenyan part of my family understand that opposition. I may post them here, but for this particular post, I want to expand on an idea/observation which stems from an encounter I had this morning and, later, try to relate it to the upcoming posts. Call it a preamble.

After waking this morning, I got up, washed my face, brushed my teeth, threw on some clothes, and, without breakfast or coffee, went to get my hair cut (shaved). Black barbershops have a justifiable reputation for being places where real talk occurs and, sometimes, where shouting and anger occur.  Being un-caffeinated, I was in no mood to get into any conversation; much less, a political one with a bunch of liberals, but my barber alerted the room that I was a Republican. So the game was afoot.

Many wonder why black conservatives refuse to talk to black liberals about conservatism. It’s simply this: they won’t STFU long enough to let you complete an idea.  In addition, having to, once again, listen to able-bodied, able-minded, working, responsible, black adults go on about what the “white man” owes “us,” made me want to scream, though I restrained myself.

Being out-numbered 3-1, being talked over multiple times, being insulted more than once, not being allowed to answer proffered questions, and having my actual answers ignored, at some point–out of frustration–I let the “conversation” go. However, I was able to put forth a couple of ideas which I had not completely articulated in the past. One follows in a longer form than I was able to get out earlier today.

Black people—not just those who are American—view white people in the same manner that anti-theists view God. Anti-theists are different from atheists. Even though the former deny God’s existence with their mouths and keyboards, they believe in Him…and they hate Him. Many black people have a similar view of white people: they view all of you as their hated masters–yes, still, in 2014—but their masters, nonetheless. Moreover, as our masters, it is your duty to feed, clothe, and house us; and to give us anything else we ask of you.

As history shows, before the Civil Rights Era, most black Americans were Republicans; now, because of well-crafted strategy implemented by LBJ, et al., most are Democrats. That strategy is based on the real slavery mindset: that whoever provides the most things—whoever is the most generous patron to black people–is a friend to black people.  LBJ knew this; therefore, he strove to transform his party’s image into that of the good and generous patron.

Patron:  5 :  a master in ancient times who freed his slave but retained some rights over him

Even though the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 respectively disallowed patronage and de facto serfdom, the mindset remains embedded in the progeny of the “former” slaves/serfs . Thus, since the CRA, most black Americans have given their allegiance to the Democrat Party and, because of the mindset, they have certain expectations of white Americans—those expected of a patron.

From that notion comes this one: many black liberals believe that black conservatives give their allegiance to the Republican Party for the exact same reason, and that they are, therefore, sell-outs. (Note that, to black liberals, even politics always involves some imagined sale of black persons.) They are unable to view white persons outside of the master/patron/domination paradigm and cannot envision any relationship between black persons and white persons outside of that perspective. Somebody has to be on top. And, in light of our past[i] and our indoctrinated and unacknowledged feelings of inferiority, most black liberals believe it will be you, my white friends.

Most black conservatives have freed themselves from this mindset, but, like all long-term indoctrination, it remains insidious.

Therefore, I conclude this: until the majority of black people get white people out of their heads and begin view you as equals, the shouts of racism will continue, as will the shout-down of the truly emancipated. Freedom begins inside.


[i] The history of enslavement of black Africans begins well before the European and American involvement therein.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in early 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

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by baldilocks

In the first part, I expressed my ambivalence toward Black History Month; here, I mean to make the case for its necessity.

The Second Mind

A few months back, a person at another blog asked this question:  how has America’s slave history affected present-day black Americans? The answer sits right in front of our eyes, and is so common that it almost never goes noticed: nearly all black Americans who are not recent African immigrants or the progeny of recent African immigrants have European surnames. [i] This phenomenon is a direct result of American slavery.

Upon Emancipation, some former slaves took the last names of their most recent former master; others retained the names of earlier masters; still others appropriated their own surnames, often that of American presidents up to 1865. (This is the reason there are so many black Americans with last names of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Johnson.)

But the point is that, black Americans were, under pain of punishment, severed from their pre-American histories and our names reflect this severance, the special circumstances of the author notwithstanding.

To quote myself:

Black Americans—specifically, the descendants of American slavery–are the most American of Americans. […] Unlike all other immigrants to America, our ancestors were forcibly cut off from all of the totems of their various West African tribes: names, languages, family structures, belief systems.  These things have buoyed all other ethnic groups—including recent African immigrants—in their sojourn to this country and all of them had the choice to hold onto the elements of their cultures that fit into the American ideal and discard those which were incompatible.  American slaves were granted no such luxury.  Our ancestors were emptied of their identities and re-created in the image of what America had for them.

The Ottoman Empire provided a precedent for this practice and the stripping of the old identity coupled with the prohibition of other forms of indigenous African communication had a similar purpose: to cut off “un-coded” communication between slaves, and, thereby, prevent conspiracies. Moreover, as the Ottoman Empire aspired to create soldiers in its own image, America aspired to create a slave-class in its own image. And the long-term effect of this practice remains embedded in our very identities.

So what is the big deal about not knowing the history of one’s people? I am often shocked to hear  Americans who celebrate the vision and foresight of the American Founders ask that question. We—all Americans—rightly hearken to the ideals on which this country is based in order to get some perspective on the present and as guidance on how to proceed in the future. And we examine this country’s success and failures for the same reasons. And further, many Americans celebrate being descended from Mayflower passengers or from specific American Indian tribes; or from Japan, or Ireland, or…

Black Americans, however, cannot point to an actual ethnic heritage which contributed to the mix that is America, for the reasons specified. And the ad hoc heritage which we are continuously building and fashioning is rooted in slavery–foundationally shaky and something about which many of us are unjustifiably ashamed. And, as a result of that misplaced shame, all too many of us take that shame, turn it outward, and use it as a cudgel in an attempt to shame white Americans. The result: white guilt.

It’s time for that mindset to end and there are two methods of ending it.

First, we need to stop viewing the slavery of our ancestors as a subject of shame. It is what it is and it is more than what it is…it removed us from the influences of idolatry and Islam. That’s how God works and he did something similar with the ancient Israelites.

Secondly, black history needs to shake off the “rah-rah, Team Black” aspect and focus on the truth–good and bad–as much as possible. Something which will be an aid: technological advances in DNA testing. This has served to lift the fog which used to surround American slave ancestry and I predict that those who avail themselves of it will become less focused on the victimology inherent in celebrating the depredations of slavery and more focused on the the good and bad of our American heritage and of our singular African tribal heritage–if desired.

Next part: what’s in it for white people?

To Be Continued…


[i] Between the end of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in the 1850s and the Mboya Airlift of 1959, black African immigration to the USA was kept at almost zero.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in early 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

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