How slavery continues

Worley, Willie, Jr. (Intelligence Journalist)

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Transcript

How Slavery Continues One of the greatest methods and techniques used to control the masses is shame. Having the ability to create shame holds back potential in an individual. We must learn that instead of installing shame into a individuals character, installing hope is better. Hope enables the need for change in ones attitude, appearance, thought process, and character. Even the infamous Jefferson Davis the son of a mid-level slave and farm owner. Brother to Joseph Davis owner of more than 300 slaves had hope. Jefferson Davis had an obsession with owning and controlling human beings. His obsession was so noticeable and blunt that in Jan 1861 he was chosen to be president of the south during the Civil War. Southerners attempt at independence to own slaves was defeated by the Union Army that in incorporated over 250,000 slaves and freed African Americans. Jefferson Davis was captured and imprisoned from 1865 until 1867. He didn’t change his hope of creating a slave society of African Americans. Jefferson Davis never surrendered to shame. In 1889 he was noted for a speech to white southerners telling them to be proud of their past. Be proud of slave institutions and the right to own slaves. Did southerners listen? Were their hopes of enslaving African Americans crushed? You decide. African Americans make up 12% of the U.S. population and 53% of it’s prison population. There are more African Americans enslaved under correctional control today than there were in 1850. Prisons are the vehicle for Jefferson Davis southerner loyalist to continue slavery. More then a million African American men are in U.S. prisons and jails. Restricting them from performing one of their most basic rights. The right to vote. Michelle Alexander describes the fundamental simplicities of political disenfranchisement in her New York Bestseller “The New Jim Crow” by saying I quote: Political disenfranchisement. During the Jim Crow Era African Americans were denied the right to vote through poll taxes, literacy test, grandfather clauses, and felony disenfranchisement laws even though the fifteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution specifically provides that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied… on account of race, color, or previous conditions of servitude.” Formally race neutral devices were adopted to achieve the goal of an all-white electorate without violating the terms of the fifteenth amendment. These devices worked worked quite well. Because African Americans were poor, they frequently could not pay poll taxes. And because they had been denied access to education, the could not pass literacy test. Grandfather clause allowed whites to vote even if they couldn’t meet the requirements as long as their ancestors had been able to vote. Finally, because blacks were disproportionately charge with felonies- in fact, some crimes were specifically defined as felonies with the goal of eliminating blacks from the electorate- felony disenfranchisement laws effectively suppressed the black vote as well: unquote This piece of information is well written and truly disturbing. The sentencing project put out a primer entitled “Felony Disenfranchisement a Primer” gave some very troubling statistics, I quote: A striking 5.85 million Americans are prohibited from voting due to laws that disenfranchise citizens convicted of felony offenses. Felony disenfranchisement rates vary by state, as states institute a wide range of disenfranchisement policies: unquote. Abolishing felony disenfranchisement will truly single reform in the United States of America. There is no question that African Americans are disproportionately charged with felonies. They are caste into a system that teaches them shame. African American men voted at higher rates during the Reconstruction Era. This cause states to expand their list of crimes that were used to target African Americans into felony disenfranchisement. This technique worked reducing African American votes. As a nation we must break this embarrassing cycle. March 8, 2015 mark the 50th year of Bloody Sunday. Let that day be a day to reflect on our struggles of the past, and our visions for the future. We must strive to abolish felony disenfranchisement. After hearing the sentencing projects estimates that “one” in “five” African American adults are disenfranchised, the honorable ex-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder compared the situation to post Civil War South. He states I quote: “When blacks swept up in this system too often had their rights rescinded, their dignity diminished and the full measures of their citizenship revoked for the rest of their lives”: unquote No matter what citizenry we belong to. Free citizens or private citizens that are confined to a felony institution. Every American in the United States should be afforded the right to vote for Constitutional leaders in office as constituents. Let the creation of a voting population be the American dream.

Author: Worley, Willie, Jr. (Intelligence Journalist)

Author Location: North Carolina

Date: May 1, 2015

Genre: Essay

Extent: 7 pages

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