Tag Archives: Dred Scott

The Dred Scott Decision

028_1601In order to understand the condition or conditioning of colored people, as they are often called, is to go back to 1857 and talk about Dred Scott. It is a sad fact that slavery was the law of the land, and the Supreme Court made its continuance concrete. Dred Scott was a slave whose owner took him outside the south and through states that did not allow slavery to allow his freedom.

These states had rules that any enslaved person brought into the state became free. It is also worth understanding that anywhere south of Canada is in the south, which means slavery and racism was the American way of life. In fact, it was the law!

Dred Scott sued to try to win his freedom, and this case reached the Supreme Court had a very broad and damaging outcome. The Supreme Court ruled that Dred Scott, a Negro, had no rights whatsoever. He was property, not a person or a citizen. He had no right to sue in federal court. Further, the court ruled that the federal government had no legal right to interfere with the institution of slavery. Slavery advocates were encouraged and began to make plans to expand slavery into all of the western territories and states. This created much of the tension and frankly considered the first volley of the Civil War.

Born in Virginia c. 1800, Dred Scott came to St. Louis in 1830. In the next year John Emerson, an army physician who had settled in St. Louis, acquired him. Emerson took Scott to various places, including Illinois and the Wisconsin territory, where the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and the Missouri Compromise of 1820, respectively, had prohibited slavery. In 1836, Dred Scott married another slave, Harriet. Shortly after that the Scotts joined Emerson and his wife in Louisiana. Despite going along free territory along both sides of the river, the Scott’s did not escape. In 1843, after the death of her husband, Mrs. Emerson became the owner of the Scott family. She hired them out, seemed pleased with the income, and ignored Dred Scott’s proposals to purchase his family’s freedom.

By 1850, the technical issues in the case were overshadowed by a larger national controversy over citizenship in the United States and slavery in the territories. Senator John C. Calhoun led vigorous southern efforts pushing for slaveholders to be able to take their property with them into the territories. Proslavery Missourians drafted the “Jackson Resolutions” and intended to use the Dred Scott case to bring the principles of the Southern Address to bear on Missouri law.

In a previous case, Rachel v. Walker (1836) had established a precedent, the Missouri Supreme Court ruling that a slave owned by an army officer had been made free while residing in the Wisconsin Territory. Moreover, in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Strader v. Graham (1851), Chief Justice Roger B. Taney ruled that the law of the state in which the suit was tried would determine the case’s outcome. But another dimension of both the Strader and Scott v. Emerson (1852) cases was what course to take when one state law conflicted with that of another. Hence, the Supreme Court had to decide.

Both sides argued before the U.S. Supreme Court; the pro-slavery argued that African-Americans could not be citizens and that the federal government had no right to interfere with the property rights of slaveholders. They also argued that since the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) had repealed the Missouri Compromise, the prohibition of slavery north of 36 degrees 30 minutes north, latitude could not be employed to secure the Scott’s freedom. The Court scheduled the case to be reargued one month after the federal election of 1856.

Efforts to maintain judicial restraint quickly failed, as Taney insisted on deciding that African Americans, both free and slave, could not be citizens of the United States and that the government could not bar slave property from the territories. Each justice wrote his own opinion in the case, although Taney’s “Opinion of the Court” was seen as the Dred Scott decision. In it, he insisted that citizenship existed at two levels, state and federal. State citizenship did not permit an individual to bring suit in federal court, as Taney found an insurmountable barrier in the U.S. Constitution that defined blacks as a “subordinate and inferior class of being.”

Scholarly analysis of the Taney decision has been almost entirely negative. Many scholars insist that the decision did not carry the weight of law as a majority of the justices did not explicitly agree on any other issues. On the issue of citizenship, Taney is judged to be the weakest. His effort to locate a racial barrier in the Constitution rested on little more than his racist convictions.

Scott attempted to purchase his family’s freedom for $300, but Irene Emerson refused the offer, so Scott sued for their freedom in court, a strategy that had worked for certain other former slaves. The first case against Irene Emerson (Scott v. Emerson, (1847) was dismissed for lack of evidence; by the time the second case was tried (Scott v. Sanford, (1857), Emerson’s brother, John Sanford had assumed responsibility for his sister’s legal affairs (which is why his name is on the case instead of hers).

What we must never forget the Supreme Court denoted that “there are no rights that a black man has that a white man is bound to respect.” Never forget these words for the highest court in the land which is policy and a fact of white supremacy! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

The case citation is Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 US 393 (1857)


A Racist Place Called Missouri

th (9)Missouri has a slogan, and they call themselves – “the show me state.” Frankly, I never got it because what have they shown anyone. Except being first in bigotry! I have been to Missouri, and I never want to go back there again, from what I have seen. People talk about Baltimore and Compton as if they are the most dangerous places on the planet. I disagree because St. Louis and E. St. Louis makes either of those place look like a daycare camp! I am not just talking about the current state of affair as it relates to race relations, but historically. Missouri was and probably is second only to Mississippi as far as race relations go.

The state was an ardent states right advocate and slaveholding state. Let me remind you that it is the place where the infamous Dred Scott Case originated. If you don’t know about it, it was a case of a slave fighting for his freedom that was taken all the way to the Supreme Court, which said in its ruling; “there are no rights that a black man has that a white man is bound to respect.” By the way, did you know that Dred Scott is buried about a mile from the spot where Michael was murdered? Let that sink in for a minute.

Fast forward to the current state of racial affairs; the nation and the world witnessed the militarized show of force that occurred in Ferguson after the death of Michael Brown and all the fallout discovered after that happened. That place was so corrupt that nearly half the town leaders were fired, including the police chief and court officials. I would suggest Ferguson is only the tip of the iceberg, news reports have come to light since including from the Justice Department that the way that town operates is business as usual throughout the area, and dare I say the state, which is a reflection of the nation as a whole. Maybe that is what they mean by the slogan – “show me state”!

The reason I wrote this article is because of the latest unrest on the Missouri campus brought on by dissatisfaction with the way the president of the university system handled complaints about racism that has been brewing for months. The President and Chancellor of the school were forced to resign yesterday. This only speaks to the system that is institutional racism deeply embedded!

Ironically, white folk, as they do, thought it was a shame these folk had to lose their jobs, which is the normal reaction. This is as predictable as the sun rising each day. We saw it last week with the cop who threw the little girl around the classroom was fired. They said, it was too extreme not what the cop did to which he was rightfully fired for, which was nothing more than child abuse. Closer to home, we saw how the racist there raised millions for Darren Wilson.

It took only two days after the football team joined the strike and threatened to stay off the field in protest of the young man who went on a hungry until his hunger strike ended. This is an important lesson, although not one that blacks have not known or been taught. There are only two things white folk understand, and that is CASH AND CASH ONLY! The bus boycott in Birmingham lead by Dr. King was the most effective civil rights action in the history in America. In this case, the football players realized by not playing football would cost the school millions! We must understand that racial and economic justice goes hand in hand.

Therefore, Black America must learn to speak the language of the racist. Black people must realize that you can’t stop racism with “love,” they have been doing that for four hundred years, and that has not worked. Black people spend more than a trillion dollar a year, with most given to others, so it is as simple as not spending that money, yes boycott, then change will occur and not until. So I say, let’s cancel Christmas and keep out money!!! And that is my thought provoking perspective…


Gotcha: The Story About The Nobel Prize Was A Hoax

11401131_429377003917209_8758011264985820194_nIn the interest of integrity I was compelled to speak to this issue that was misleading and untrue. A few days ago, I posted an article originally reported by the National Report titled Obama to get a second Nobel Peace Prize.

What I did was take a page out of the Muhammad Ali story where he said, “love him or hate him” all eyes are on him. I assume it would spark controversy. However, to my surprise it provoked outrage and racial animist of biblical proportions. Now, let me say for the record, I did go to the Nobel Prize website and knew it was NOT TRUE, but it did produce the kind of outrage from white folk that I did not expect. One woman compared me to Reverend Wright.

There were remarks like “Damn shame”, “coon did not deserve the first one”, “I have no respect for the peace prize organization anymore” but my favorite was “he is the worst president ever”!  It was at this point that I had a flashback, going back to about ten years ago, when George Bush was president and wondered WTF! How soon they forget, this man is listed in the bottom five of all presidents, and there are some countries that have arrests warrants out for him for war crimes. What I discovered from posting this piece, even though, I correctly sited the source and knew the site is known for being a satirical site, white America is as racist as the day they stole the country.

Maybe I was caught up in wishful thinking because if anybody deserves the prize is Obama. I got over a hundred thousand (100,000) hits on that piece and if nothing else got a lot of traffic to my site. Let me say, the bigoted and hateful comments did not bother me at all; I’ll just say thank you for visiting! But I would be remised if I did not thank you because this piece put Thought Provoking Perspectives over the one million views for the year!

Now to the bigot who said President Obama is the worst president ever I’ll simply ask her to think about this? I will tell you about history that I know to be true and not that history you folks have agreed to tell.

Let me start with Johnson, he was about to be charged criminally prior to assuming the office and he took America into the second worst war (Vietnam) in the history of the country. Then came Nixon the crook, he resigned over corruption charges, and so did his vice president. Ford was only a place hold and did absolutely nothing during his term. Carter tried, but the racists and the big money people did not let him. What can I say about Reagan, 138 members of his administration were indicted, investigated, charged criminally or served prison time. Also, his administration was caught bring cocaine into America – Iran/Contra – remember that? Papa Bush had not appreciable accomplishments except, he took America to war for the benefit of Saudi Arabia.

Democrat Clinton, who some called the first black president, laughable, was responsible for the largest mass incarceration of black men in the country’s history. Finally, there was the one before Obama, George W, the one they forget. He took the country to the brink of financial ruin, started the worst two wars in our history, tortured people, and violated all most every international law on the books. Oh, can’t forget Katrina! One could pick any of these guys as the worst. Obama has not had anyone indicted or suspected of a crime to date – a real crime but they tried!

Now, for all the vial treatment this president gets he should get a Nobel Prize. The problem is this: since the Dred Scott Decision was codified into law by the Supreme Court back in the 1850’s that said, “No black man shall have no rights that a white man is bound to respect”. Today, some one-hundred fifty plus years late, president or not, the same rings true. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

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Important Reminder

In 1857, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the Dred Scott Case that ” a black man has no rights the a white man is bound to respect” and that Scott, a black man, was never intended to be an American.

Watch this video and you will understand why they kill unarmed black me


Ferguson Ground Zero: Eruption In The Heartland

007_1000As we move closer to the announcement from the Grand Jury charged with making the decision whether or not to charge police officer, Daren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson last August. Most black people and dare I say almost people realize the fix is in; meaning no charges will be filed. Hence, the nation is on the edge, and frankly at a crossroad leading the system to prepare for war. We know what the Gestapo like police tactics are and capable of because we saw the heavy-handed approach taken immediately after the killing.

A few days ago, the Governor of Missouri held a news conference beginning with “To all Missourians, to people around the country and around the world, we are going to keep this region safe.” He was flanked by officials of several local police departments that will be on guard against any potential violence he said. The way I see it, they have had time to replenish their armaments, prepare a battle plan, and mobilize resources. To that end, it appeared as if he drew a line in the sand or as he put it “rules of engagement”.

He warned: “Those who cross the line into violence will face consequences … The National Guard will be available if needed and a unified command of state, St. Louis city and St. Louis County police will provide security for protests… That ugliness (seen in August) was not representative of Missouri, and it cannot be repeated”.

It is important to remember that it was in Missouri that the Dred Scott decision became law of the land as a result of the Supreme Court ruling called the Dred Scott Decision, which said, “There are no rights a Negro has that a white man is bound to respect”. This coupled with what was written in the Constitution that a Negro is 3/5ths human. This Civil War mentality that many seem to continue to fight and the concept of White Supremacy with regard to America’s race problem. Notwithstanding, the Apartheid and Jim Crow era polices that continue – the atmosphere is ripe for an explosion.

Of course, we know for sure that America has been in this posture since the day Africans were dragged onto the shores of America. But let’s go back just a few generations the Black Panther Party was born out of this type of strife and brutality from the police against black people. With each generation since Nat Turner the pain from the abuse has built up, simmering, but this time it may have come to a boil to the point where it may erupt more vociferously than at any other time in history. The feeling is – enough is enough!

43As heartbreaking and dangerous as this is for people of color, black men in particular, at that the hands of the police/system operating under cover of law the outcome is obvious. Cops are always justified in a killing no matter how outrageous. It’s called the “I feared for my life” defense. This defense is universally invoked and accepted by prosecutors to reject any call for a prosecution.

Missouri law has gone even further and virtually codified that defense for a dubious shooting of a suspect into law. The statute states that an officer can use deadly force in cases when “he or she reasonably believes that such deadly force is necessary to protect himself,” “when he reasonably believes that such use of deadly force is immediately necessary to effect the arrest” and when the subject “may otherwise endanger life or inflict serious physical injury unless arrested without delay.”

I am in no way a prophet but the fuse has been burning for a longtime, and this time might just be the straw that broke the camel’s back. I can see that, like all other cases of police brutality, the fix is in and when no charges are brought against the killer – it is going to be an eruption unlike any rebellion in history. All over the world; from Egypt to China to South America rebellions are occurring because of wicked, unjust, and corrupt government’s mistreatment of its citizens.

In the past, they have called upon the clergy or a group of handpicked, chicken picking black people paid by them to come in to quell any unrest singing “We Shall Overcome” but this strategy may not work this time. Most people of color living today and can see that Dr. King’s dream that is so heavily promoted in these situations is not a dream, rather a nightmare. Maybe the radicals of the 1960s did not go far enough. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Ferguson, Missouri: A Perfect Example Of What Happens When Blacks Don’t Vote

Guest Blogger: George Cook of the AfricanAmericanmReports.com

10514657_10202131902970802_7641807366571926388_nWhen I first started blogging I had a blog titled Let’s Talk Honestly, and I think it’s time to talk honestly about the town of Ferguson Missouri. First I want to give my condolences to the young man’s family and to voice my support for those who are PEACEFULLY protesting.

But now back to talking honestly. How is it possible that a town that is predominantly black only have one black elected black official? There is an answer, and it’s one some may not like but I think it’s a sad truth.

In light of the Michael Brown shooting, we are hearing a lot about the town of Ferguson Missouri. It is a town of about 20,000 people that is 70% black. It is also a town with only ONE elected black official.

During an interview on NPR the town’s democratic chair Patricia Bynes made the following statement when asked why there was only one black elected official.

…Well, anything other than a presidential election there is low voter turnout. And the African-American community has been disenfranchised for a very long time. When you have people who are worrying about can I get a job – can I get to work – can I put food on the table – when election day on Tuesday comes around, that is the furthest thing from their minds. And the whites that live in the community – they participate. And so they vote for who they want for council and mayor, and they don’t always put practices in place that are best for the majority population there.

While Bynes made what some may consider some valid excuses they are just that, excuses. Our ancestors faced death, and some did die get us the right to vote and if nothing else we should repay that sacrifice by voting. How can you have tremendous power and cede it to someone else?

The only way a town that is 70% black can only have one black elected official is a complete lack of political involvement and engagement in the black community.

We know that black voters are there because in the chairs statement she says that they come out for presidential elections. But they obviously don’t understand that local elections are the ones that impact your daily life.

Some will say that because of racism or the gold boys network it’s hard for people to get involved politically. I’m not going to deny that, but the low voter turnout in Ferguson shows that racist don’t have to hold blacks back because they are not trying to move forward.

Because of that low voter turnout they have a police force that doesn’t reflect the diversity of the community it serves and a local government that seemingly is not worried about the black communities concerns.

The people in Ferguson have to do better; if they want better and stop with the damn excuses on election day. I sincerely hope that the tragic death of Michael Brown spurs more political involvement in Ferguson and other communities. I also it becomes an example of what happens when African Americans don’t participate politically.

See more at: http://www.africanamericanreports.com/2014/08/ferguson-missouri-perfect-example-of.html#sthash.S8bIZeVT.dpuf


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