Abolition Amendment to Scrap US Constitution’s ‘Slavery Clause’

Backed by a coalition of dozens of human rights organizations, Democratic lawmakers on Friday reintroduced legislation to do away with the constitutional loophole which has allowed forced labor to persist in the United States for more than 150 years—the 13th Amendment.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Rep. Nikema Williams (D-Ga.) led two dozen of their colleagues in introducing the Abolition Amendment, which would strike the “slavery clause” from the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Adopted in January 1865, the amendment bans enslavement in the U.S., except as a form of punishment for criminal activity.

— source commondreams.org | Julia Conley | Jun 18, 2021

Nullius in verba


Juneteenth and the Second American Revolution

Last Thursday, US President Joe Biden signed legislation establishing June 19, “Juneteenth,” as a federal holiday to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. The law, passed with overwhelming support from both capitalist parties, went into effect immediately. The holiday was first officially marked on Friday, since June 19 itself came on a weekend.

The final emancipation of slaves, the culmination of the Civil War—what historians have aptly called the Second American Revolution—cost the lives of more than 350,000 Union soldiers. The destruction of the slave oligarchy in the US South was an event of immensely progressive significance, not just for American, but for world history.

https://www.wsws.org/asset/b858f551-47a9-4ff3-8c08-1c9d8f390fb9?rendition=image1280
Emancipation Day celebration in Richmond, Virginia, ca. 1905.(Image Credit: Wikipedia/Public Domain)

Amidst the endless media commentary on the official marking of the holiday, however, there is no serious historical examination, either of the emancipation of the slaves in 1865 or its revolutionary implications for the present.

— source wsws.org | Trévon Austin, Tom Mackaman | 20 Jun 2021

Nullius in verba


American companies are still profiting from slavery

Juneteenth marks the date in 1865 where an estimated 250,000 enslaved people in Texas were freed, marking the official end of slavery in the Confederacy – two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, and six months before the 13th Amendment to the Constitution finally banned slavery nationwide.

As much as Juneteenth is worthy of celebration, liberation is not complete. In our work, the most egregious and direct manifestation of that delayed justice is that American companies and institutions are continuing to drive slavery today at scale. The Emancipation Proclamation may have made it to Texas in 1865, but some companies are acting today as if it still doesn’t apply in their corporate suites. And on Wednesday, those companies got a free pass from the Supreme Court to continue the profit from slavery.

There is probably no company that better symbolizes continued complicity with slavery than Cargill, America’s largest privately-held company and the world’s largest agribusiness. Cargill isn’t a household name, but it’s bigger than even Koch industries, and sits astride much of America and the world’s food system.

— source news.mongabay.com | Samuel Mawutor | 18 Jun 2021

Nullius in verba


What Is Juneteenth, How Is It Celebrated, and Why Does It Matter?

Juneteenth is a special celebration on June 19th that commemorates the end of the United States’ historic practice of slavery. In this sense, Juneteenth is a day for honoring the “freedom” of all people living in the United States.

Whether you grew up celebrating Juneteenth or have never heard of it, here’s what you need to know about Juneteenth’s meaning, how the holiday came to be and why it matters to so many people.
Juneteenth history

Many people think of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation (issued on January 1, 1863) as the official end of slavery. And while that’s not entirely untrue, many African descendants remained enslaved for several years after the proclamation was made. That’s because Lincoln’s decree was primarily intended to preserve the Union rather than to abolish slavery.

In an open letter to Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York Tribune, Lincoln stated, “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy Slavery.”

“If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by

— source teenvogue.com | Jameelah Nasheed | Jun 10, 2021

Nullius in verba


US High Court Sides With Corporate Giants in Child Slavery Case

Human rights advocates Thursday denounced a Supreme Court decision in favor of the U.S. corporate giants Nestlé USA and Cargill, which were sued more than a decade ago by six men who say the two companies were complicit in child trafficking and profited when the men were enslaved on cocoa farms as children. The Supreme Court ruled 8-1 against the plaintiffs, saying they had not proven the companies’ activities in the U.S. were sufficiently tied to the alleged child trafficking. The companies had argued that they could not be sued in the U.S. for activities that took place in West Africa. The U.S. Department of Labor recently reported that the use of child labor on family farms in cocoa-growing areas of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana increased from 31 percent to 45 percent between 2008 and 2019.

— source commondreams.org | Jun 17, 2021

Nullius in verba


Consumerism, Another Inheritance From the Slavery System

Strategy and dogma

To declare the abolition of traditional slavery for their possessions in the Caribbean, the British envisioned a new type of enslavement that the new slaves would themselves desire. On 10th June 1833, Rigby Watson, a member of parliament, clearly summarized this idea: “To make them labor, and give them a taste for luxuries and comforts, they must be gradually taught to desire those objects which could be attained by human labor. There was a regular progress from the possession of necessaries to the desire of luxuries; and what once were luxuries, gradually came, among all classes and conditions of men, to be necessaries. This was the sort of progress the Negroes had to go through, and this was the sort of education to which they ought to be subject in their period of probation.”

In 1885, Henry Dawes, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts recognized as an expert in indigenous matters, gave a report on his most recent visit to the Cherokee territories that still remained. According to this report, “there was not a family in that whole nation that had not a home of its own. There was not a pauper in that nation, and the nation did not own a dollar. It built its own capitol, and it built its schools and its hospitals. Yet the defect of the system was apparent. They have got as far as they can go because they own their land in common … There is no selfishness, which is at the bottom of civilization. Til this people will consent to give up their lands, and divide them among their citizens so that each can own the land he cultivates, they will not make much more

— source commondreams.org | Jorge Majfud | Jun 10, 2021

Nullius in verba


One of 272 Enslaved People Sold on June 19, 1838, by Georgetown U

We look at another significant June 19 in the history of slavery in the United States: June 19, 1838, when Jesuit priests who ran what is now Georgetown University sold 272 enslaved people to pay off the school’s debts. In 2016, Georgetown University announced it would give preferential admissions treatment to descendants of the Africans it enslaved and sold. “Ours, as Americans, is an uninterrupted line of inheritance that many of us refuse to believe that we are descendants of,” says Mélisande Short-Colomb, who is one of the first two Georgetown University students to benefit from legacy admission for direct descendants and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Georgetown Memory Project.

Juneteenth 2021, here we are, acknowledging injustices of the past in the present, for the future. Yes, it did take enslaved people two-and-a-half years in Texas to learn that they had been freed. But it’s taken us 156 years as Americans to acknowledge that event. So, we are the turners of the wheels of progress and change.

June 19th, 1838, 183 years ago, my family, two sides of my family — my young great-great-great-grandparents met on a boat on their way to Louisiana and started a family that results in me and many of my cousins in Louisiana. We were part of the human trafficking trade in the United States of America — not the theoretical Middle Passage, which was very true and brought people — more people to the Caribbean and South America than to the United States of America. Yes

— source democracynow.org | Jun 18, 2021

Nullius in verba


Johns Hopkins, Namesake of Baltimore Hospital and University, Enslaved Black People

Johns Hopkins, the 19th century businessman and namesake of the prestigious hospital and university in Baltimore, Maryland, enslaved at least four Black people before the Civil War. The revelation, made by school officials this week, was based on newly unearthed census documents and counters the popular narrative that Hopkins was an abolitionist.

— source washingtonpost.com | Dec 10, 2020

[just said so. everybody is living in the limit of own knowledge of that time]

Nullius in verba


Family fortunes built on brutality

This is an important book and not just because it is a chilling account of slavery and commerce in the West Indies in the 18th and 19th centuries. It’s important because it establishes a vital link between then and now, cause and effect, history and its long and damaging legacy.

If Alex Renton’s last book, Stiff Upper Lip, exposed the wealthy’s perverse complacency about abuse in Britain’s boarding schools, Blood Legacy lays bare the ruling class’s most heinous historical crime: the brutal project to reduce human beings to the condition of working farm animals for financial profit.

Just as Renton used his own dubious privilege of a boarding-school education to bring a personal perspective to his previous work, so he draws on his family’s involvement in slavery as a moral touchstone here. One set of his ancestors were from Ayrshire, an area of Scotland whose large landowners disproportionately invested in plantations in the Caribbean (Scots owned more slaves per capita than any other nation in the UK).

The Fergussons of Kilkerran, of whom Renton is a direct descendant, were powerful members of the landed gentry. Sir Adam Fergusson was an 18th-century lawyer, MP and someone who knew many of the key figures in the Scottish enlightenment. He was thought of as a well-educated and highly cultured man. And he ran the

— source theguardian.com | Andrew Anthony | 23 May 2021

Nullius in verba


Private donors: the pied pipers of ‘modern slavery’?

As the director of an anti-slavery charity in London at the turn of the century, I would have welcomed a substantial injection of cash to supplement the income we received from our members, from a few private foundations and from several European governments. However, in the year that the UN Trafficking Protocol was adopted (2000), I felt we did not have enough technical expertise (despite being 160 years old) on how to tackle all the patterns of extreme exploitation that we knew to be occurring around the world. Nor did anyone else.

During the first decade of the 21st century, I saw the international community groping along a learning curve. Governments allocated more substantial amounts of money than before to their police in order to enable them to catch traffickers and bring them to trial. Industrialised countries, notably the USA and the European Union bloc, provided substantial amounts to international organisations for what were nominally anti-trafficking activities. They and smaller donors,

— source opendemocracy.net | Mike Dottridge | 29 Mar 2021

Nullius in verba