Tag Archives: apartheid

Black Codes

6White Supremacist established code to keep that system alive. I say that because after all the oppression and abuse inflicted upon people of African descent and Africans, maybe it is time black people have codes or a code of conduct to combat their aggression! This is how they did it and although the system does it milder in today’s world, but they still do it nonetheless!

There have always been ways to suppress people over time; unfortunately, black people have endured the brunt of these sanctions rules, and laws. Of course, as you know, the history of America reports that it was not only our race subjected or affected by these laws. What I can report is that it was always a minority and usually, African Americans specifically, that were the most affected by these laws to ensure that black people would remain a permanent underclass whereas others moved out of their station – all but the Indians. The roots of this ideology began as indentured servants, then slavery, segregation, and now could it be conservatism.

Black Codes were laws passed designed specifically to take away civil rights and civil liberties of African American on the state and local levels. This is the reason Conservatives desire a return to “States Rights” and speak of taking back their country because at the state level they can be unimpeded in turning back the hands of time.

Although, most of the discriminatory legislation, regarding Black Codes, were used more often by Southern states to control the labor, movements and activities of newly freed slaves at the end of the Civil War. But as Malcolm X once said, “Anywhere south of Canada was south” meaning wherever you were in America you were subjected to discrimination in terms of the “separate but equal” laws of the land.

The Black Codes of the 1860’s are not the same as the Jim Crow laws. The Black Codes were in reaction to the abolition of slavery and the South’s defeat in the Civil War. Southern legislatures enacted them during Reconstruction. The Jim Crow era began later, nearer to the end of the 19th century after Reconstruction, with its unwritten laws. Then there were sundown laws, which meant Blacks, could not live or be caught in certain towns after dark.

In some cases, signs were placed at the town’s borders with statements similar to the one posted in Hawthorne California that read “Nigger, Don’t Let The Sun Set On YOU In Hawthorne” in the 1930’s. In some cases, exclusions were official town policy, restrictive covenants, or the policy was enforced through intimidation.

After the abolition of slavery by the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that African Americans were considered 3/5’s human. Therefore, all former slave states adopted Black Codes. During 1865 every Southern state passed Black Codes that restricted the Freemen, who were emancipated but not yet full citizens. While they pursued re-admission to the Union, the Southern states provided freedmen with limited second-class civil rights and no voting rights. Southern plantation owners feared that they would lose their land. Having convinced themselves that slavery was justified, planters feared African Americans wouldn’t work without coercion. The Black Codes were an attempt to control them and to ensure they did not claim social equality.

The Black Codes outraged public opinion in the North because it seemed the South was creating a form of quasi-slavery to evade the results of the war. After winning large majorities in the 1866 elections, the Republicans put the South under military rule. They held new elections in which the Freedmen could vote. Suffrage was also expanded to poor whites. The new governments repealed all the Black Codes; they were never reenacted – OFFICIALLY.

Many of these things are unknown to the generations of today because these injustices have been erased from our history, and very little of it is taught in today’s classroom. For example, a sundown town was a town that was all white on purpose. The term was widely used in the United States and Canada in areas from Ohio to Oregon and well into the South. Even in Canada many towns in Southern Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec were sundown towns prior to 1982 when it was outlawed. The term came from signs that were allegedly posted stating that people of color had to leave the town by sundown. They were also sometimes known as “sunset towns” or “gray towns”. Let me ask if you have ever been to a million dollar community – sound familiar.

The black codes that were enacted immediately after the Civil War, though varying from state to state, were all intended to secure a steady supply of cheap labor and all continued to assume the inferiority of the freed slaves. The black codes had their roots in the slave codes that had formerly been in effect. The premise behind chattel slavery in America was that slaves were property, and, as such, they had few or no legal rights. The slave codes, in their many loosely defined forms, were seen as effective tools against slave unrest, particularly as a hedge against uprisings and runaways. Enforcement of slave codes also varied, but corporal punishment was widely and harshly employed.

Let me highlight this example: In Texas, the Eleventh Legislature produced these codes in 1866. The intent of the legislation was to reaffirm the inferior position that slaves and free blacks had held in antebellum Texas and to regulate black labor. The codes reflected the unwillingness of white Texans to accept blacks as equals. You do remember “Juneteenth”? Also, the Texans also feared that freedmen would not work unless coerced. Thus, the codes continued legal discrimination between whites and blacks. The legislature, when it amended the 1856 penal code, emphasized the continuing line between whites and blacks by defining all individuals with one-eighth or more African blood as persons of color, subject to special provisions in the law.

Minorities were systematically excluded from living in or sometimes even passing through these communities after the sun went down. This allowed maids and workmen to provide unskilled labor during the day. Sociologists have described this as the nadir of American race relations. Sundown towns existed throughout the nation, but most often were located in the northern states that were not pre-Civil War slave states. There have not been any de jure sundown towns in the country since legislation in the 1960’s was inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, although de facto sundown towns and counties, where no black family lives – still exist.

Therefore, we see hints of it in the racism that has raised its ugly head and risen to the surface of society’s consciousness, particularly in this political climate.

Since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and especially since the Civil Rights Act of 1968 prohibited racial discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing, the number of sundown towns has decreased.

However, as sociologist suggest it is impossible to count precisely the number of sundown towns at any given time because most towns have not kept records of the ordinances or signs that marked the town’s sundown status. It is important to note that sundown status meant more than just African Americans not being able to live in these towns. Essentially any African Americans or other groups who came into sundown towns after sundown were subject to harassment, threats, and violent acts; up to and including lynching.

As one historian has noted, “Racial segregation was hardly a new phenomenon because slavery had fixed the status of most blacks, no need was felt for statutory measures segregating the races. These restrictive Black Codes have morphed in one form or another to achieve its desired effect to maintain a superior status by those powers – whites. I am only suggesting that we know and understand history for it will open the mind to what the future may present. Frankly, if you don’t know where you came from you will never get to where you are going. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

 


Justice Denied: Not Deferred

2Since the beginning of recorded history, there has never been justice for the least of thee! This was never more evident than the treatment of black people. These people were enslaved and castigated from that horrible day the first twenty were dragged onto the shores of this place they call “merica”! They, white folk, claim to be so righteous and godly but their history shows anything of the sort. It’s been about four- hundred years now and nothing has changed; yet they want to transplant this form of injustice around the world as they did with apartheid!

They have lied in tell the histories story via what I call his-story which is a pack of omissions and lies fed to the unsuspecting and unknowledgeable people as truth. The problem is today technology is such most of the evil they have perpetrated cannot be so easily hidden, but somehow they still convince people that they should not believe what this see or their lying eyes!

Over the last few years, almost weekly we have police killing with no results from the system concerning justice. This includes unarmed men, women, and children mostly all black under color of law. Now the killing of a twelve-year-old is despicable, and frankly, a dog murdered in such away would get more justice and bring about a conviction. But the outcome in the affected communities lasts a few days, a few social media posts, and in effect nothing!

This brings me to the most recent atrocity – a North Carolina Jury Deadlocked in the case of Michael Slager. They claim justice is all about honesty and transparency when the fact is justice is blind and in this case blind as a bat! I’m all out of optimism and hope because the evidence shows this former office kill this man running away in the back, lied about what he did, and tried to plant evidence on the murdered man’s body. Millions of people saw this, and this jury could not find him guilty, and there are people who continually tell us that all is fair in the name of justice and the “police are the heroes.

No injustice, no single case of police brutality, was clearer and better documented than Officer Michael Slager repeatedly shooting Walter Scott, an unarmed black man in North Charleston, S.C., in the back as he ran far away. This case was filmed in real time by a bystander’s cell phone, an actual live witness, who was on his way to work and tens of millions of us saw the injustice with our own eyes. It was an execution.

After Slager had shot the fleeing man in broad daylight, he appeared to plant a Taser next to him. His story would later be that he shot Scott, a beloved veteran, and father because Scott stole the Taser, which was all a lie. Scott was running for his life. Knowing what we know now, he may have very well sensed that he was in immediate danger of being killed by Slager. Whatever the case, even though Scott was more than a dozen feet away, Slager aimed and repeatedly shot the man in his back and killed him.

After Slager fired the shots, he made no effort to show even a morsel of care, concern or urgency about the victim. The North Charleston Police Department did the right thing and fired him that same week. The video was indisputable proof for their white police chief to make such a decision. Prosecutors there did not drag their feet either. They charged Slager with murder, but also gave the eventual jury the option to convict on a lesser charge.

Now the result of Slager trial is that the jury is deadlocked or simply put could come to a decision on a conviction of guilt. If this is final, a mistrial will be declared. This was a heinous murder of Walter Scott that we all saw, which has shaken my resolve or any respect for our justice system. He shot a fleeing man in the back in cold blood. It was filmed. Not only did activists believe it to be an injustice, but local police and prosecutors also agreed.

Nonetheless, here we are. In what should have been an open and shut case that produced a certain conviction, we are learning that for somebody, the idea of convicting a white cop of killing a fleeing black man is simply an impossibility that we have now learn was a white juror. What has changed in this place the slaves called “merica”? and that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Ferguson: A Report from Occupied Territory

7Let us not forget that over the last year more people of color [black people] have been killed by the police indiscriminately than at anytime in recent memory. Some compare it to “lawful lynchings” only through the use of a gun. More than six months after Michael Brown was killed by Officer Darren Wilson, the youth-led protests in Ferguson continue to fuel a national movement against police brutality. #blacklivesmatter

“Part of the struggle for us in Ferguson is to break a four-hundred-year belief that black people are not human,” says St. Louis native and activist Rev. Osagyefo Sekou.

After the Department of Justice released a blistering report finding systematic racism and prejudice against blacks in the Ferguson Police Department, protests continued, the police chief and several Ferguson officials resigned, and two police officers were injured in a shooting.

This problem, however, is not unique to Ferguson. St. Louis County is made of around 90 municipalities, each with their own police departments and courts. Residents report similar discriminatory treatment at the hands of law enforcement. And with so many different jurisdictions, a small infraction like an expired license plate can turn into dozens of fines and eventually warrants. Those in St. Louis who live below the poverty line are faced with the reality of buying food or paying fines.

In the Fusion documentary Ferguson: A Report from Occupied Territory, we turn to the residents of St. Louis County to tell us what it’s like to be racially profiled and under siege.

Reporter/Narrator: Tim Pool
Director/Producer: Orlando de Guzman
Co-producer: Katina Parker
Camera: Orlando de Guzman, Katina Parker, Adam Booher, Sean Funcik and Darnell Singleton
Researcher/Field Producer: Lorien Olive


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