Why We Need a White History Month


Every February when Black History Month comes around, like clockwork a small percentage of people take umbrage that black people get a month to celebrate their history and there is no White History Month to counterbalance it. I used to argue that white history is taught year-round and there’s no need to set aside a month to focus on it. I’ve come to realize that we do need a White History Month if not two or three. Truth is, a whole lot of white history has been left out of the books and Americans of every color need to be aware.

The white history we’ve been taught is mostly a fallacy. We were taught that George Washington had wooden teeth, not the reality that his false teeth included teeth taken from slaves, likely his own. George Washington treated his slaves like every other slaveowner of the time. He tore apart families long before Donald Trump, he authorized beatings to maintain order.


Washington’s will stipulated if he died before his wife Martha, the slaves he owned (as opposed to those she owned) be freed after her death. Martha ended up freeing his slaves once she realized they had a great incentive to speed up her death and thus gain their freedom. She freed them not from the goodness of her heart but in fear for her life.

We know Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, most famously Sally Hemings with whom he had a decades-long relationship as she bore him six children. Let’s be clear that there’s no such thing as a consensual relationship between slave and master. She was repeatedly raped by Thomas Jefferson although historians would never describe it that way. Many historians and Jeffersons family members denied the lineage of Hemings children, even after DNA established it as fact. Only recently have they grudgingly acknowledged a couple of the children might have been Thomas Jefferson’s, if not his brother’s.

Abraham Lincoln is credited with freeing the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation. He actually only freed the slaves in the Southern states that seceded from the Union. He did that for two reasons; to inflict economic pain on the South and to keep France and Britain from siding with the South against the North because of their recent aversion to slavery. Lincoln himself in the famous Lincoln/Douglas debates, did all he could to avoid being called an abolitionist and repeatedly claimed that black people were not the social equal as white people nor as intelligent. Given his druthers, he’d have sent all the slaves to Liberia or Central America and been rid of them.

View at Medium.com

There is so much white history purposefully unknown to most Americans that we truly need to dedicate a month or more to its study. We could understand why the Electoral College that gives additional power today to rural states with low population, was originally intended to protect slave states and ensure more populated ones couldn’t outlaw slavery by the weight of their numbers. We’d know the rationale for the 3/5th’s clause and about the provision of the Constitution that allowed for the ending of the International Slave Trade no sooner than 1808. That prohibition was had nothing to do with ending slavery but was about protectionism of the Domestic slave trade which led to one of the most heinous act ever perpetrated in the world, slave breeding farms.

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America has spent as more time denying the existence of breeding farms than educating people about them. Led by large slave breeding farms in Richmond, VA, and the Maryland Eastern-Shore. Farms whose populations were almost exclusively black women were forced to have child after child that were ultimately shipped to Southern plantations to meet their needs. Some “benevolent” slaveowners offered the women their freedom after they bore at least 15 children. The fathers were often sent from nearby plantations although the owners felt free to sample the wares whenever they chose. The previously mentioned Thomas Jefferson knew the value of a female slave though they may have never tilled the field or harvested a crop.

“I consider a woman who brings a child every two years as more profitable than the best man of the farm, what she produces is an addition to the capital, while his labors disappear in mere consumption.” Thomas Jefferson

Many of the laws that exist today stem from slavery or its aftermath. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 which prevents actions of Federal Troops on US soil was to ensure that Federal Troops never again protected the black ex-slaves in the South. Their stationing allowed for the Reconstruction Era while their removal brought Reconstruction to a swift end.

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Even people that have heard of “Juneteenth” may not be aware of the entire history behind it. Yes, it reflects the date that blacks in Texas learned they were free, months after the Civil War actually ended. You won’t learn that the Federal government was complicit in the delay so that one more cotton crop could be harvested. Texas history books would seem the reasonable place to look for an accurate telling of their history but they would rather you be told a tale of “American Exceptionalism,” that suggest slavery was a labor arrangement.

The Ocoee Massacre murdered or burned out the entire black population of Ocoee, FL after two men tried to vote in the 1920 Presidential Election. There was a movie about a similar mass lynching in Rosewood, FL but you still hear almost nothing about it. During the Black Wall Street massacre, the Oklahoma National Guard bombed by air the Greenwood District of Tulsa. Aiding the hundreds of white attackers defending a white elevator operator who claimed (and later denied) she’d been raped. The Groveland Four, Emmett Till, the list goes on and on. Let’s have a White History Month because every effort is being made to sweep it under the rug.

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By 1921, the Greenwood District was the wealthiest black community at the time in America. Attached is the full documentary by The History Channel in 2016. It’s 42 minutes long which may deter some from watching. Should you watch you’ll gain an understanding the history books have yet to share.

Who Owned The Most Slaves? The Answer Will Surprise You.

Pixabay — Image of Thomas Jefferson

I’ve been through Aiken, SC and never given it a thought. Aiken is in western South Carolina where you’ll find the University of South Carolins-Aiken, and the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame and Museum. Founded in 1835, Aiken was named after William Aiken; President of the South Carolina Railroad. Across the state, Aiken also owned the Jehossee Plantation along with the whole island it was located on. At one time Aiken owned over 700 slaves which would have made him the 5th largest slaveholder. Slightly ahead of Louisiana Governor John L. Manning (Great-grandfather of Peyton and Eli Manning) with 670 slaves and a ways ahead of President Thomas Jefferson with 600.

Fourth place belonged to Meridith Calhoun in Louisiana. Third to sugar producer John Burneside, also of Louisiana. In second place was cotton producer Dr. Stephen Duncan who owned over 15 plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana. First place ostensibly belonged to the “King of the rice planters,” Col. Joshua John Ward who controlled six large rice plantations in South Carolina. Ward had over 1,100 slaves but they were all outdone by an entity one never thinks of as slaveholders… the railroads.

The railroads owned and/or rented more slaves than any of the largest plantations. You’d never know it to read their histories. It’s fairly well known about the use of up to 20,000 Chinese workers who made up 90% of the workforce that built the Western railroads. At one time they were paid $26 a month working six days a week. That compared favorably to the black slaves that built the Southern railroads, many of the trains used to transport slaves to southern plantations that were bred on the breeding farms in Richmond, VA, Maryland Eastern-Shore, and elsewhere.

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Rarely mentioned in history books or taught in schools is the fact that slaveowners were the majority shareholders in most of the Southern railroads. William Aiken’s South Carolina Railroad never bragged about it. If you look deeply into their records of financial losses after the Civil War. You’ll find defaulted Confederate Bonds, uncollected transport charges, and 111 emancipated slaves for which they weren’t reimbursed.

“Southerners built some of the earliest and longest railroads in the nation.” – William G. Thomas III

Professor William G. Thomas III documented the role slaves played in building the Southern railroads. He cited historian Theodore Kornweibel indicated over 10,000 slaves worked on the railroads between 1857–1865. Dr. Mae Gilland Wright estimated the railroads used 15,000 slaves in 1860 alone. Many of them were rented from local plantations, some doing double duty harvesting cotton, tobacco, and rice on their day jobs. The work was often dangerous, sometimes involving dynamite to dig tunnels. Slaveowners who leased their slaves often took out insurance as they realized they might not get their slave back healthy or alive.

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The legend of John Henry told of an ex-slave who was pitted in a steel-driving race against a steam-powered machine. John Henry won the race but died afterward after his heart gave out from stress. There are varying accounts as to whether this was a true story and one possible location of the contest was Talcott, West Virginia. In that version, which took place after slavery. Henry was a convict who was leased out to the railroads to do their bidding. Only the name changed once slavery ended. The new owners who rented out slaves were the state and federal prisons. The more modern chain gangs and current road crews or in some cases prisoners serving as firefighters are little more than slaves. It might well be that some states today might be renting out more slaves than were owned by Thomas Jefferson, William Aiken, or Col. Joshua John Ward. Think about it!

Will There Be Reparations For Ocoee, Florida?

Image: Pixabay

In 1920, Ocoee, FL was a sleepy town, more like a village with a population of just over a thousand people, half of whom were black. Ocoee is just outside of Orlando, FL; placed in the same county. This was long before Disney World when orange groves were the central feature of the area.

1920 was a Presidential election year. Warren G. Harding the Republican was running against Democrat James M. Cox. It was the first election since the end of World War One and the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment; giving women the right to vote.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Black Americans had the right to vote since the passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments in 1868 and 1870. During Reconstruction that led to the election of black representatives to Congress and state legislatures throughout the South and even statewide office in Mississippi. In 1877, the Party of Lincoln (Republicans) turned their back on the South in trade for winning a contested 1876 Presidential Election. Republicans got a President, Democrats got removal of Federal troops from the South, effectively ending Reconstruction. As icing on the cake, President Rutherford B. Hayes implemented Posse Comitatus, ensuring Federal Troops would never return to the South to protect one set of Americans from another.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Although blacks had been entitled to vote for half a century according to the Constitution. Jim Crow and the KKK had other ideas. Attempts to vote often led to lynchings and threats of harm. The people who should have offered protection, local law enforcement, were often part of the problem. Using their guns and badges to block the polling places. In 1920 there was an organized effort statewide in Florida to prevent blacks from voting. There were incidents in Jacksonville and Miami. None worse than what occurred in Ocoee, FL. Site of the “single bloodiest day in modern U.S. political history.”

There was a semi-organized effort to get blacks to vote in Florida. Two Ocoee men, July Perry, and Mose Norman, with guidance from a white Orlando judge; attempted to vote that day. It was alleged one of the men had a shotgun. When white vigilantes, led by a former Orlando police chief came to the home of July Perry. Two white men were killed by those inside trying to protect themselves. The call went out to the surrounding communities of Orlando, Apopka, and Winter Garden. They took July Perry to an Orlando jail, then the next day a mob took him from the jail and lynched him. The white mob shot and killed black people indiscriminately. They burned two black churches, a lodge meeting hall and 25 homes of black people. The Orlando newspaper reported on the “Ocoee Race Riot, Two Whites Killed.” The number of black people killed is unknown, estimates range from 35–100. All the black residents that weren’t initially killed were driven away. Ocoee remained an all-white town for 41 years.

“At the time that I visited Ocoee, the last colored family of Ocoee was leaving with their goods piled high on a motor truck with six colored children on top. White children stood around and jeered the Negroes who were leaving, threatening them with burning if they did not hurry up and get away. These children thought it a huge joke that some Negroes had been burned alive.”

Walter White — NAACP

In 1994, consideration was given to reparations for Ocoee victims. Citizens of Rosewood had been given a $2 million settlement after their town was burned out by whites in 1923, after Ocoee. In fighting the efforts to compensate Ocoee victims, lawyers claimed the state had no responsibility for Ocoee. They had “no way of knowing in advance” and were not liable. Because some of the landowners had received compensation, (some less than $1 per acre). They had already been reimbursed. The effort to compensate victims then failed miserably.

State Senator Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee) is planning to introduce legislation for reparations to descendants of the Ocoee Massacre. He is proposing a $10 million settlement to direct descendants that step forward. He thinks the State which recently apologized for the Groveland Four who were innocently jailed or murdered (in one case both) in another Central Florida town for allegedly raping a white woman in 1949. This later proved to be false. Bracy believes that the state which voted for Trump in 2016 might have a change of heart. What do you think?

Joe Biden: He’s Fallen And He Can’t Get Up!


Let’s be clear, Joe Biden is still leading the polls among all the Democrat candidates for the 2020 Presidential election, but he’s fading. When he announced he was running for President back in late April. He had a thirty point lead over the next leading candidate, Bernie Sanders. Observers correctly noted that moment would be as good as it got for Biden and it was downhill from there. Instead of hitting the trail and hustling for votes. Biden campaigned by doing his version of the rope-a-dope. Ignoring his Democrat challengers and focusing on Donald Trump as if he were already in the general election.

Biden’s handlers were in effect hiding their candidate from the public, given Joe’s tendency to make gaffes. When they let him out of his pen, he promoted his ability to work well with others, using the example that he worked well with segregationalists in the Democrat Party to get things done. He also affirmed his support for the Hyde amendment banning the use of public funds for abortion, a position he had to back away from after he was attacked by the other candidates. He’s also had to apologize for his support of the 1994 Crime Bill which many point to as a leading cause of mass incarceration of black Americans.

The first Democrat debate, broken up into two days to accommodate twenty participants, exposed Joe Biden when he had to respond to direct confrontation in the form of California Senator Kamala Harris. She pointed out his opposition to school busing and his reply was the equivalent of a “States Rights” policy last used to support slavery. A worrisome sight for Biden supporters was the throng of black women that sought Harris out on stage after the debate.


Possibly the most significant portion of Biden’s base is the black vote he inherited from having served as Barack Obama’s Vice-President. Obama having been the nation’s first black President. Obama is still beloved by the majority of black voters and Biden brings up that connection every chance he gets including in his announcement video. In addition to being loyal, black voters are pragmatic, taking into consideration who has the best chance to win. Even with two black Senators in the race for President; Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. Black voters have generally been hesitant to support either despite a common race because of uncertainty they could win. The same sentiment pattern was true when Barack Obama ran against Hillary Clinton in 2007. Clinton had the majority of the black support until suddenly she didn’t. Barack Obama convinced black voters he could win. It remains to be seen if Harris or Booker can capture that lightning, but it’s happened before.

Since Biden’s dreadful debate appearance, he is suddenly seen as vulnerable and what was once thirty point lead had dropped to just a few points in recent polls. He should be worried about trends showing Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris gaining ground while Biden is moving the opposite direction. Recent dropouts from the campaign include Congressman Eric Swalwell and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. As hopes and money dry up in the next few months, several others can be expected to drop out, the greatest likelihood is those votes won’t accrue to Biden but to one of the other remaining candidates. Until such time as he wins the nomination, those likely to vote for Biden were already supporting him.

In one respect, Democrat voters know quite a bit about Joe Biden. He’s generally well-liked and it’s hard to overestimate the value of his association with Obama. Whoever can carry a large bloc of black voters within the Democrat Party has the easiest path to the nomination. Elizabeth Warren is struggling to catch fire with black voters and Mayor Pete Buttigieg has captured just 3% of black voters polled and is possibly heading backward due to local issues including the firing of a popular black police chief and a separate killing by police of a black man. The officer’s body camera was not turned on.

In another respect, the things Democrat voters learn about Biden they don’t already know, are more likely to hurt Biden than help him. Negative ads will include his support of the crime bill, his handling of the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings specifically his treatment of Anita Hill. They’ll highlight his negative comments about Barack Obama when running against him in an earlier bid for the Presidency. We’re not going to learn anything new and exciting about Joe Biden to make us want to vote for him.

Joe Biden ran for President in 1988, that bid was derailed by plagiarism charges and 2008 when he wasn’t a factor. He doesn’t have a history of being a great campaigner. This time he was spotted a thirty point lead. Two things are happening simultaneously; some of his competitors are gaining on him and he’s falling back towards them. Biden may still hang on to win, but he’s definitely falling, and he can’t get up.

The Value of an HBCU Education

Photo by George Cooper

“Education will set this tangle straight!” — W.E.B. DuBois

When I set foot on the campus of Fisk University, I knew almost nothing about HBCU’s in general or Fisk in particular. When in high school, I performed extremely well on the PSAT Test and was named a National Merit Semi-Finalist. I started receiving mail and offers from hundreds of colleges and universities across the nation. The ones I knew were mainly because of their football or basketball programs. Fortunately, someone in my family was familiar with Fisk and steered me in that direction.

I was well aware of what a Predominantly White Institution (PWI) looked like. In 7th Grade, I attended University High, a private high school associated with and on the campus of the University of Minnesota. It later merged with the public school, Marshall High to become Marshall-University High. I spent six years on the fringe of the University of Minnesota campus, then the largest in the nation. I went to Gopher sports events, our football team played home games in their stadium. But for Stan Humphries, I’d have drowned in the Olympic sized swimming pool in Williams Arena. Not sure I ever said thank you, Stan… thanks!

My friends and I went to “keggers” on the banks of the Mississippi River with U of M students. We joined in anti-war protests and carried signs. When in college and doing a summer internship in Cincinnati, I took a summer school class in Economics at Xavier. I’m not unfamiliar with PWI’s, but I’m so glad I went instead to Fisk.

I’m sure I can make the case that the education I got at Fisk was as good or better than any I could have gotten anywhere. While that’s true at Fisk, Morehouse, Howard, Spelman, Hampton, and others. It might not be universally true, it’s a claim I can’t document. What is universally true of every HBCU is that it gives one space to figure out what kind of black person you’re going to be. You get a four-year respite from being told how to be black, often by those who know nothing of it.

I happened to be on the Fisk basketball team which meant I got to visit dozens of HBCU campuses; Alabama State, LeMoyne-Owen, Stillman, Miles, Alabama A & M, Talladega, Savannah State, Fort Valley, Laine, Paine, and Morehouse among others. We visited PWI’s as well, that doesn’t make me an expert but does qualify me to have an opinion.

At an HBCU, in addition to caring professors, learning our history in addition to theirs. You come away with a sense of self not attainable at a Primary White Institution. Not that black schools turn out a bunch of clones that are black in the same manner. The graduates of HBCUs are as diverse a group as can be imagined, while the majority happen to be black, an increasing percentage of non-black students also attend HBCUs. During that partial time out from the rest of the world. You learn what the black experience has been for others; adopting some views and rejecting others while you determine how you yourself are going to be black. All the while not having to figure out as a teenager, how to fit into a situation where you’re not always embraced and often rejected.

HBCUs aren’t perfect. Almost universally there are complaints about long registration lines and poor cafeteria food. What they do offer is the chance to embrace everything about being black; the music, dancing, history, bid whist, along with encouragement to excel and lead. HBCUs reinforce the responsibility to give back to your community. HBCUs promote a love affair with blackness that doesn’t end upon graduation but lasts a lifetime. When you meet a fellow HBCU graduate at any point in your life thereafter, there is a bond. One that can be tested or broken based on the individual merits but you start out with something in common.

There’s a gospel song performed by John P. Key among others, the lyrics include:

You don’t know my story

You don’t know the things that I’ve been thru

You cannot imagine…

If you went to an HBCU, there’s a part of every graduate’s story you do know. There are commonalities including a willingness to help not only each other but an understanding we have to give back to our community and our institutions. There are those that question the ongoing need for HBCUs for whatever reason. I submit there is no other institution that serves in the same manner. As Prince might say, “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

The Truth About American Slave Breeding Farms


Excerpted from Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South by Marie Jenkins Schwartz. Published by Harvard University Press.

“By the 1820s planters and would-be planters were moving in large numbers to places previously unavailable for settlement and growing the fiber for sale in Europe and New England, where a textile industry was beginning to thrive. The extension of the so-called Cotton Kingdom required new laborers. As of 1808, when Congress ended the nation’s participation in the international slave trade, planters could no longer import additional slaves from Africa or the West Indies; the only practical way of increasing the number of slave laborers was through new births. With so much at stake, black women’s reproductive role became politically, as well as economically, decisive. If enslaved mothers did not bear sufficient numbers of children to take the place of aged and dying workers, the South could not continue as a slave society.”

In this book and many other sources, it’s made to appear that America had little choice but to increase slave production to offset the altruistic end of the International Slave Trade which Congress Banned in 1808. Thomas Jefferson was President at the time, he had no problem with slavery. He literally loved his slaves, failing to free even Sally Hemmings children, all six of them believed to be his according to DNA evidence, until after his death. Jefferson was a Virginia farmer, knowing full well the value of slavery to the Southern economy. Congress at that time was controlled by the Party he created; the Democratic-Republican Party (not to be confused with either the Democrats or Republicans of today). They didn’t end the International Slave Trade to harm slavery, but to preserve it, domestic slavery, in particular. Congress wanted to decrease the external supply to keep prices up for the homebred slaves.

It’s worth noting that the Constitution of the United States, in addition to establishing the Electoral College to protect slave states, and valuing slaves at three-fifths of a person (while giving them no rights). Specifically, forbid banning the importation of slavery prior to 1808.

“ The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.”

Article 1: Section 9 Constitution of the United States

Americans did not take up breeding slaves in response to Congressional action, that action was taken at the behest of slave breeders as a protectionist means to keep the price of their product up. Jefferson’s home state Virginia was the leading producer of slaves. Slavery eventually exceeded tobacco as their leading export. Maryland was second in slave production, followed by several other states.

Economist Richard Sutch did a study which found that in 1860, on farms that had at least one female slave the ratio of women to men was 2:1. In Virginia, female slaves exceeded males by over 300,000. They were used to breed. Robert Lumpkin ran what is mostly referred to as a “slave jail” with little recognition that he ran the nations largest breeding farm. He personally had five children with a slave Mary who he ultimately remembered in his will. While owners of the breeding farms and plantations in general fornicated at will with their property, they also utilized selective breeding. Maintaining their own large “bucks” and importing large male slaves for the purpose of breeding good workers for the fields.

Black female slaves were some of the first people in the country to receive free health care. Breeders took a great interest in fertility and expected multiple births from the women or their value would be diminished. Home medical journals were produced to help with difficult births that had previously been left to the slaves to deal with. The quote from the film Gone With The Wind, “I don’t know nothin’ about birthing babies,” was meant to be a thing of the past.

Many films have depicted boats arriving in New Orleans which became the largest slave market in the Antebellum South. Rarely is it shown those ships originated in Richmond and Baltimore. Slaves were also shipped by railroad packed in boxcars or sent by stagecoach. The slave breeding farms are mostly left out of the history books except those that deny their existence.

Many of the white slave owners felt they were doing their female slaves a favor when they mated with them. Granting them a respite from the brutish black slaves they would otherwise be subjected to. Generally speaking, it was the house slaves that got raped the most. Some mothers had to protect their offspring from the master’s wife if she had reason to believe her spouse was the father. We’re generally aware of that situation which we’ve been led to believe was the worst case scenario. Nobody talks about the 13-year-old girl on a breeding farm, forced to bear as many children as possible, only to have them ripped away and send down South to endure a lifetime of hardship, without a mother. On one breeding farm, the mother would be freed after birthing fifteen children. What would she have to look forward to?

America barely acknowledges that breeding farms existed, let alone document their role in creating the robust economy of the early South. There are the self-evident truths mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, and those truths so heinous they must perpetually be covered up and denied. Breeding farms fall into the second category. History books when they even mention it, suggest slave breeding didn’t begin until after the banning of the Atlantic slave trade. In truth, it began decades earlier on plantations and farms and only because America was prepared to produce the slaves it needed did it allow the end of the importation of slaves from Africa.

Lies About Slavery And The American Breeding Farms


Excerpted from Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South by Marie Jenkins Schwartz. Published by Harvard University Press.

“By the 1820s planters and would-be planters were moving in large numbers to places previously unavailable for settlement and growing the fiber for sale in Europe and New England, where a textile industry was beginning to thrive. The extension of the so-called Cotton Kingdom required new laborers. As of 1808, when Congress ended the nation’s participation in the international slave trade, planters could no longer import additional slaves from Africa or the West Indies; the only practical way of increasing the number of slave laborers was through new births. With so much at stake, black women’s reproductive role became politically, as well as economically, decisive. If enslaved mothers did not bear sufficient numbers of children to take the place of aged and dying workers, the South could not continue as a slave society.”

In this book and many other sources, it’s made to appear that America had little choice but to increase slave production to offset the altruistic end of the International Slave Trade which Congress Banned in 1808. Thomas Jefferson was President at the time, he had no problem with slavery. He literally loved his slaves, failing to free even Sally Hemmings children, all six of them believed to be his according to DNA evidence, until after his death. Jefferson was a Virginia farmer, knowing full well the value of slavery to the Southern economy. Congress at that time was controlled by the Party he created; the Democratic-Republican Party (not to be confused with either the Democrats or Republicans of today). They didn’t end the International Slave Trade to harm slavery, but to preserve it, domestic slavery, in particular. Congress wanted to decrease the external supply to keep prices up for the homebred slaves.

It’s worth noting that the Constitution of the United States, in addition to establishing the Electoral College to protect slave states, and valuing slaves at three-fifths of a person (while giving them no rights). Specifically, forbid banning the importation of slavery prior to 1808.

“ The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.”

Article 1: Section 9 Constitution of the United States

Americans did not take up breeding slaves in response to Congressional action, that action was taken at the behest of slave breeders as a protectionist means to keep the price of their product up. Jefferson’s home state Virginia was the leading producer of slaves. Slavery eventually exceeded tobacco as their leading export. Maryland was second in slave production, followed by several other states.

Economist Richard Sutch did a study which found that in 1860, on farms that had at least one female slave the ratio of women to men was 2:1. In Virginia, female slaves exceeded males by over 300,000. They were used to breed. Robert Lumpkin ran what is mostly referred to as a “slave jail” with little recognition that he ran the nations largest breeding farm. He personally had five children with a slave Mary who he ultimately remembered in his will. While owners of the breeding farms and plantations in general fornicated at will with their property, they also utilized selective breeding. Maintaining their own large “bucks” and importing large male slaves for the purpose of breeding good workers for the fields.

Black female slaves were some of the first people in the country to receive free health care. Breeders took a great interest in fertility and expected multiple births from the women or their value would be diminished. Home medical journals were produced to help with difficult births that had previously been left to the slaves to deal with. The quote from the film Gone With The Wind, “I don’t know nothin’ about birthing babies,” was meant to be a thing of the past.

Many films have depicted boats arriving in New Orleans which became the largest slave market in the Antebellum South. Rarely is it shown those ships originated in Richmond and Baltimore. Slaves were also shipped by railroad packed in boxcars or sent by stagecoach. The slave breeding farms are mostly left out of the history books except those that deny their existence.

Many of the white slave owners felt they were doing their female slaves a favor when they mated with them. Granting them a respite from the brutish black slaves they would otherwise be subjected to. Generally speaking, it was the house slaves that got raped the most. Some mothers had to protect their offspring from the master’s wife if she had reason to believe her spouse was the father. We’re generally aware of that situation which we’ve been led to believe was the worst case scenario. Nobody talks about the 13-year-old girl on a breeding farm, forced to bear as many children as possible, only to have them ripped away and send down South to endure a lifetime of hardship, without a mother. On one breeding farm, the mother would be freed after birthing fifteen children. What would she have to look forward to?

America barely acknowledges that breeding farms existed, let alone document their role in creating the robust economy of the early South. There are the self-evident truths mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, and those truths so heinous they must perpetually be covered up and denied. Breeding farms fall into the second category. History books when they even mention it, suggest slave breeding didn’t begin until after the banning of the Atlantic slave trade. In truth, it began decades earlier on plantations and farms and only because America was prepared to produce the slaves it needed did it allow the end of the importation of slaves from Africa.

Mark Stevens Vs Kyle Lowry, WTF?


Mark Stevens, the minority investor in the Golden State Warriors who assaulted Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of the NBA Finals isn’t a small man. At about 6’1″ and 175 lbs. He’s relatively fit for a man in his late fifties. He probably works out, maybe does a little Pilates, surely gets in some golf from time to time. He is a rich man, a billionaire who along with his wife donated $50 Million to his alma mater USC. In college, he was known to get a little rowdy with his frat brothers at the Trojan football games but never had a reputation for violence.

Kyle Lowry is not a big man for a professional basketball player, also 6’1″. He’s a bit heavier than Stevens at 196 lbs but appears slimmer because his weight is mostly muscle and he gets a whole lot more exercise. Not a billionaire like Stevens, he is in the middle of a 3-year, $90 Million contract so he isn’t doing badly.

When Lowry went crashing into the stands chasing a loose ball during Game 3, one wonders what possessed Mark Stevens to push Kyle Lowry, a younger, stronger man who odds are could whip Stevens ass? When you sit if the expensive front row seats as Stevens did, you assume some risk because players end up in the stands relatively often. You want to be close to the action, there’s a chance the action will come to you. The tickets fan purchase have a disclaimer waiving liability. As part owner of the team, Stevens of all people should know that. So what made Stevens think he was within his right to push Lowry, who landed a couple of people away, Stevens had to cross over people to get to Lowry. In what world does an older, less fit man, physically go after a professional athlete in his prime?

Let’s consider what would happen if Kyle Lowry were the one who assaulted a fan, who just happened to be part owner of the opposing team. When Stephen Jackson of the Indiana Pacers went into the stands after a fan who threw and hit one of his teammates with a beer. He was suspended for thirty games and fined $3 Million. Kyle Lowry at a minimum would have been ejected from the remainder of The Finals, been fined millions of dollars and been suspended (without pay) well into the next season. He might well have faced criminal assault charges to boot, not to mention fierce tweeting from the Commander-In-Chief who wouldn’t miss the opportunity. Stevens was banned from attending Warriors games for a year (he’ll have to watch them at home on the big screen, the horror) and fined $500K. That was 1/100th of the amount he gave away to USC.

Back to what Stevens was thinking, surely he was certain there would be no retaliation. Was it because he was rich? Because the security forces in the Oracle Arena worked for him? Because he had gotten used to power having been rich since he was in his thirties? Or just maybe because of the race of the people involved, even being rich in his own right didn’t keep Kyle Lowry from being assaulted in public view on national television.

I don’t claim to know what was in Mark Stevens mind. I do know that the penalty wasn’t severe for him. As time goes by he may even brag about the incident at cocktail parties, how he went after a professional athlete who didn’t dare do anything in return. Stevens did eventually issue a written apology. Among other things he said, “I hope that Mr. Lowry and others impacted by this lapse in judgment understand that the behavior I demonstrated last night does not reflect the person I am or have been throughout my life.” Without knowing for certain his motivation, his behavior reflects exactly who he is.

Say It Loud, I’m “Nationalist” And I’m Proud


Yes, his racist ass said it, and a bunch of people cheered when he did. I don’t know which is worse, that the President thought it would generate more votes from his base by calling himself a nationalist or the possibility that he’s right? Either way, it’s a sad state of affairs.

I don’t want to focus on Donald Trump though. My questions are about the crowds of people that cheer when he makes racist or misogynist, or homophobic, or xenophobic statements. We knew who Trump was, all you’re doing is letting us know who you are when you cheer.

I’d like to believe the Trump base is a relatively small percentage of the population, but when supplemented by the percentage of people that knew who he was and didn’t care, it was enough to elect him anyway. We saw in 2016 that the combination of people who found a reason to vote for Trump was sufficient and none of them can claim to have had no idea of who and what he is. He’s not making America great again, but is bringing back relics of a past we hoped was behind us.

There is still reason to be concerned as we approach the mid-term elections. Voting is our last, best hope to hold this ______ist President (fill in the blank with any of the appropriate terms) in check until he’s either impeached, resigns, or is voted out of office in 2020. In the next few days we’ll watch as no one in the Administration resigns in disgust, Fox News defends his use of the term, and Congressional Republicans try to normalize nationalism. Trump has stopped pretending when he called himself a nationalist. We’ll see if the nation can go on pretending not to notice?

What Happened To Kanye? He Doesn’t Care About Black People


In 2005, in the days after Hurricane Katrina, Kanye West famously said, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” on national television during a live fundraiser. He was speaking about the inadequate response to the devastation affecting the Gulf Coast of the United States, primarily affecting black people. The 2005 Kanye, saw black people suffering and spoke out, unconcerned for how it might affect his career. That Kanye has been replaced by a self-promoting clown who has discarded the concern for black people he once possessed.


In 2018, while Hurricane Michael is still leaving a wake of devastation in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Kanye went to the White House and met with Donald Trump. He was purportedly there to discuss the City of Chicago and gun violence. Instead, he joked with reporters during an impromptu press conference. Not outlining his plans for improving things in Chicago (not that he has any expertise to call upon), he didn’t focus on the destruction caused by Hurricane Michael and call for people to support the victims and help with reconstruction. He bragged about his “love” for the man who defended Klan members and Skinheads as “very fine people,” after the deadly incident in Charlottesville, VA. We all know who Trump is; from his advocating for the death penalty for the Central Park 5 to his open appeal to white nationalists who have found a home in his base.


Kanye recently said the 400 years of slavery for black people in America was “a choice.” He also advocated abolishing the 13th Amendment which outlawed slavery which he related somehow to full employment. In response to a huge backlash, Kanye deleted his Twitter account which he does from time to time when the public doesn’t agree with him.

Kanye West is a brilliant musician… a genius in that aspect of his life. That doesn’t give him any expertise in stopping gun violence in Chicago or evaluating this administration’s public policy. Give him props for speaking up against Stop & Frisk, but that comment was lost in his Oval Office diatribe in which he promoted himself and Trump, forgetting all about the black people he once championed. People have speculated that Kanye has been suffering from a form of PTSD since the death of his mother. Others blame the Kardashian curse. It’s clear he now finds himself in the sunken place, and instead of seeking the way out, he’s digging deeper.