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Let's do some detective work

Walter E. Williams


December 10, 2003


I'd like to enlist the services of my fellow Americans with a bit of detective work. Let's start off with hard evidence.

The Federalist Papers were a set of documents written by John Jay, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison to persuade the 13 states to ratify the Constitution. In one of those papers, Federalist Paper 45, James Madison wrote: "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will for the most part be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties and properties of the people; and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State."

If we turned James Madison's statement on its head, namely that the powers of the federal government are numerous and indefinite and those of the states are few and defined, we'd describe today's America. Was Madison just plain ignorant about the powers delegated to Congress? Before making our judgment, let's examine statements of other possibly misinformed Americans.

In 1796, on the floor of the House of Representatives, William Giles of Virginia condemned a relief measure for fire victims saying it was neither the purpose nor the right of Congress to "attend to what generosity and humanity require, but to what the Constitution and their duty require." In 1854, President Franklin Pierce vetoed a bill intended to help the mentally ill, saying, "I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity," adding that to approve such spending "would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded." President Grover Cleveland was the king of the veto. He vetoed literally hundreds of congressional spending bills during his two terms as president in the late 1800s. His often given reason was, "I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution."

Today's White House proposes and Congress taxes and spends for anything they can muster a majority vote on. My investigative query is: Were the Founders and previous congressmen and presidents, who could not find constitutional authority for today's bread and circuses, just plain stupid and ignorant? I don't believe in long-run ignorance or stupidity, so I reread the Constitution, looking to see whether an amendment had been passed authorizing Congress to spend money on bailouts for airlines, prescription drugs, education, Social Security and thousands of similar items in today's federal budget. I found no such amendment.

Being thorough, I reread the Constitution and found what Congress might interpret as a blank check authorization -- the "general welfare clause." Then I investigated further to see what the Framers meant by the "general welfare clause." In 1798, Thomas Jefferson said, "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated." The Constitution's father, James Madison said: "With respect to the two words ˜general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators."

My detective work concludes with several competing explanations. The first is that the great men who laid the framework for our nation were not only constitutionally ignorant but callous and uncaring, as well. The second is it's today's politicians who are constitutionally ignorant. Lastly, it's today's Americans who have contempt for the Constitution, and any congressman or president upholding the Constitution's letter and spirit would be tarred and feathered.



©2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela

© MBM

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What's the matter, MBM?

Couldn't get any of the self-proclaimed B-Con's to present a substantive arguments so you have to go to "established" ones.

I find a Black man's uncritical adherence to the Constitution to be a bit funny! Much to the chagrin of Williams... I'm sure he could find specific language in the Constitution as written by the "founders" that should have been amended.

It's pretty idiotic to act like the Constitution was suppose to lay out the entire extent of what the government should and shouldn't do. I can respect the idea of adhering to a resonable framework but to be so anal about a document and to esteem the "founders" as if envisioned everything or had a firm grasp on everything this nation was to become.

It seems like they are stuck on a theory that they give very little practical thought as to what it means in practice. Granted that there should be limits to everything but that's something we all must agree on. The "founders" left no specific instructions on what do as far as race was concern besides promoting elitist, white supremacy...

So he can save most of what he has to say! Eventhough I'm a purist in some respects like he is...
I think Walter Williams has found "a place to stand" in his profession. Found a/his niche, if you will. To achieve and sustain status, one must find a position to advance, and defend. It must also be somewhat unique. Walter Williams' niche is that of Constitutional Pragmatist. That's bad. Nor is it intended to be derogatory. It's just opinion. Every commentator has his/her bag.

I think he is thorough.

I often disagree.

I particularly don't like his presentation of his identity to America. But, that too certainly is his prerogative.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
I think Walter Williams has found "a place to stand" in his profession. Found a/his niche, if you will. To achieve and sustain status, one must find a position to advance, and defend. It must also be somewhat unique. Walter Williams' niche is that of Constitutional Pragmatist. That's bad. Nor is it intended to be derogatory. It's just opinion. Every commentator has his/her bag.

I think he is thorough.

I often disagree.

I particularly don't like his presentation of his identity to America. But, that too certainly is his prerogative.
JWC...

I just heard a presentation (speech)... (can't think of her name right now... she was a Black Panther)... (Elaine Brown!)

Anyway, she articulated in perhaps the most striking terms exactly why I have an issue exhalting the Constitution the Williams does... She asked the rhetorical question:

Are there any Jews who have esteemed the "founders" of Nazi Germany and what would you think about them if they did?

Of course, her question was more about the "founders" than the Constitution itself but it follows that if you esteem the "founders" then exhalting the Constitution follows. She was speaking specifically about Jefferson (I believe).

Below is my argument in-principle to Williams' Constitutionalism:
quote:
    "White Americans must recognize that justice for black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I contend that MLK's statement still holds true today. From a
revolutionary sense, those radical changes have never occurred. Revolutionary meaning fundamental... fundamental change. And, no, simply including African Americans into *the system* does not constitute radical or fundamental change... Revolutionary meaning something of the same essential essence of what
was the idealistic impetus of the American republic in the first place - In Order To Form A More Perfect Union.

Why Fundamental & Radical Change?

Simply put... The Fruit Of The Poisonous Tree!
Adapted from the Legal Principle, The Fruit Of The Poisonous Tree then is the doctrine that something obtained and/or arrived at by an
illegal, unethical, or immoral means developes into something of little legitimate use or worth.

The theory is that the TREE - originally planted and nutured in the soiled history of illegitimacy - is poisoned and thus taints what grows from it. Hence, the necessity for radical change to uproot and cast aside the spoiled fruits and roots of the whole rotten tree!
One might quibble over perhaps some exaggerated wording of mind but the principle of the Poisonous Tree is sound legal doctrine which is the hallmark of ethics...
quote:
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
I think Walter Williams has found "a place to stand" in his profession. Found a/his niche, if you will. To achieve and sustain status, one must find a position to advance, and defend. It must also be somewhat unique. Walter Williams' niche is that of Constitutional Pragmatist. That's bad. Nor is it intended to be derogatory. It's just opinion. Every commentator has his/her bag.

I think he is thorough.

I often disagree.

I particularly don't like his presentation of his identity to America. But, that too certainly is his prerogative.
JWC...

I just heard a presentation (speech)... (can't think of her name right now... she was a Black Panther)... (Elaine Brown!)

Anyway, she articulated in perhaps the most striking terms exactly why I have an issue exhalting the Constitution the Williams does... She asked the rhetorical question:

Are there any Jews who have esteemed the "founders" of Nazi Germany and what would you think about them if they did?

Of course, her question was more about the "founders" than the Constitution itself but it follows that if you esteem the "founders" then exhalting the Constitution follows. She was speaking specifically about Jefferson (I believe).

Below is my argument in-principle to Williams' Constitutionalism:
quote:
    "White Americans must recognize that justice for black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I contend that MLK's statement still holds true today. From a
revolutionary sense, those radical changes have never occurred. Revolutionary meaning fundamental... fundamental change. And, no, simply including African Americans into *the system* does not constitute radical or fundamental change... Revolutionary meaning something of the same essential essence of what
was the idealistic impetus of the American republic in the first place - In Order To Form A More Perfect Union.

Why Fundamental & Radical Change?

Simply put... The Fruit Of The Poisonous Tree!
Adapted from the Legal Principle, The Fruit Of The Poisonous Tree then is the doctrine that something obtained and/or arrived at by an
illegal, unethical, or immoral means developes into something of little legitimate use or worth.

The theory is that the TREE - originally planted and nutured in the soiled history of illegitimacy - is poisoned and thus taints what grows from it. Hence, the necessity for radical change to uproot and cast aside the spoiled fruits and roots of the whole rotten tree!
One might quibble over perhaps some exaggerated wording of mind but the principle of the Poisonous Tree is sound legal doctrine which is the hallmark of ethics...
I agree with the "fruit of the poisonous tree" philosophy.

I think the most enduring fruit of the poisonous tree of chattel slavery is the embedding the loss of ancestral nationality as irretreivable in the psyche of Americans of unknown African ancestry. I further think this mental condition is the final bondage of chattel slavery, the poisonous tree.

As for revolution, I think the overthrow of our view of our personal authority is the ultimate revolution. Please remember, the institution of slavery did not create sovereign State, but rather a mental state of contrition/acceptance. Overthrowing that state (of mind) is the revolution that frees us.

Manumission.

Ancestral nationality is what was taken.

Ancestral natiionalty is what has been denied.

Ancestral nationality is what fills the void.

Ancestral nationality is what restores identity.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
My point was that the Constitution was/is Fruit Of The Poisonous Tree.

Of course, I know my view is "radical"... hence the quote of mine (taken from a post on another site) that I have dubbed, "The Doctrine Of RADICAL Change".

I contend that in order to properly respect BLACK humanity then a Constitutional Convention should be convene wherein ALL "Americans" - and not just White males - can have their input into the "Law Of The Land". That doesn't mean that you "Throw The Baby Out With The Bath Water"... It means you "change" the water!

So, the core principles of the current Constitution can remain perhaps with slight revisons (if any at all) and the great issues that Williams address can be ironed out as well. What sense does it make to continue to revisit the same issues over and over because of the vagueness of the Constitution? There are some things that should not be left up to interpretation, lest we resign ourselves to a perpetual political tug-of-war that results in different polar swings every decade of so based on the varying interpretations.

Again, I consult MLK:
quote:
"For years I labored with the idea of reforming the existing institutions of the society, a little change here, a little change there. Now I feel quite differently. I think you've got to have a reconstruction of the entire society, a revolution of values."
I feel it is beneath the dignity and a disgrace to the legacy of our ancestors to accept the Constitution as-is even with it's amendments. To me, it represents the epitome of White Supremacy.

It says that only Whites can dictate by virtue of forming the Constitution itself and devising the language - and therefore the meaning, extent and degree of both the interpretations and amendments - principles that govern our nation. I categorically reject that Slave-master relationship.

If we feel like this is our country and (as you have said JWC) that we should "fight for it" then I see no greater or more noble fight than this one. We, too, should have our hands in shaping what this democracy is... And, that's what my position is all about.

At present, by virtue of the Constitution, all we have is the White conception of Democracy that was born in an age of unmitigated White Supremacy. Like some argue that the Confederate Flag represents America's racist past... well the Constitution for all its "good" points does as well.

Again, we should have our hands in shape what this democracy is at the most fundamental level... and that starts with the Constitution, IMO.

Also, implicit in my position is the very idea we don't have to be so beholden to the "founders" because the very nature of human progress says that we should advance (or should at least seek to) beyond our predecessors. I have faith that we have people who are just as smart if not smarter than the "founders" (for a number of obvious reasons). So, acting like we can't function without or outside of what they prescribed is self-degrading to an extent.

But I could ramble on forever on that...
I get you point. Of course, the stance and opportunity must be afforded every other non-European. I think the "give and take" of the Constitution is a major part of its strength. Remember palm trees grow the way they do, because that's what it takes to survive.

For all of Walter Williams' constitutional posturing, he says nothing about the protection of the Constitution not being afford people who look like him.

When you look closely, most the changes we would like to have are not specifically expressed in the text of the Constitution. Most of our problems, African Aamerican problems, are of policy and practice.

Many of our problems are limitations we put on ourselves.

As much as we hate to hear it, we are indeed our own worst enemy. If we aren't, the person who is looks an awfully lot like us.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
I do not consider myself a neo-con, or a Federalist, but I do see a pragmatic use for Williams' Federalist position.

I have long believed that the Federal government's powers have been and should be limited to providing for the people [of the nation] what the people [the States] are unable or unwilling to provide for themselves. The Federalist Papers advocate for a strict limiting of the Federal government to only those matters enumerated in the Constitution. Namely, providing for the common defense, facilitating inter-state and foreign commerce, international relations, and of course taxation (but only to the extent to fund these activities). The above powers are specifically spoken to in the Constitution. These Papers also advocate that the remaining powers escheat to the States.

However, the Federal government's powers are expanded through the "general welfare clause" to include those areas where the States have shown that they are unable or unwilling to act in the best interest of the citizenry. Examples of these include the areas of civil rights and environmental protections.

IMO, Black folk can/should embrace the Federalist position as a pragmatic means for gaining real political influence.

The fact is in our present governmental structure, "the people" (the common man/woman) have very little influence on the national agenda. The national agenda is set by the radical special interest groups of both the left and the right. These groups write the legislation and then buy our federal representatives' votes. The majority of congress couldn't care less about the common person's political agenda because the common person can't/won't finance the congress person's upcoming campaign, nor will the common person provide the lucrative consulting contracts, where the congress person will land where they leave office.

And, even if this were not the case, and our congress persons' agenda were based on the electorate's agenda, the reality is Black folks don't have the demograghic clout to influence the political agenda on the national level. The way the congressional districts are drawn, our votes are concentrated into narrow districts. So while we may capture a few seats, we will never have enough to really influence the national agenda.

However, the same demograghics that limit our national influence increase our l;ocal influence. While we don't have the numbers to elect, outright, a president or even a senator, we do have the numbers to elect council persons; in many places, we do have the numbers to elect mayors; we do have the numbers to strongly influence the state level elections, we even have the numbers to influence state-wide elections.

To illustrate this concept, pick an issue, then try to speak with your representatives. Start with your council person, then your mayor, then your state reps, then you congressional reps, then call the president. I believe you'll find an inverse relationship between level of the rep and your ability to talk with them. This is a direct representation of the importance of your vote (i.e., political opinion) to the elected official.

By embracing the Federalist position, we will see a rise in the power of the states to provide services to the people. We will see a rise in programs and policies that directly impact our lives. We will see a decline in the proportion of our tax dollars going to Washington, only to be sent back to the states. We will see a decline in local governments promoting unneeded local programs just because the fed is paying for it. Rather, local governments will have the money to institute local programs that will have positivem effects on the local population.

We also will see a boost to local economies, because our talented citizenry will be encouraged to "stay home" rather then go to Washington.
And, even if this were not the case, and our congress persons' agenda were based on the electorate's agenda, the reality is Black folks don't have the demograghic clout to influence the political agenda on the national level.--- Kweli4Real

This is true ONLY as long as we continue to "fit" into current political structure. That structure is indeed designed to minimize our power. When African America gets a "line on the ballot", that will change immediately. Political parties are given a "line on the ballot."

No other construction can succeed.

As you have said, the federal government should step in when, and where the States fail.

When do you see the States failing. All of the difficulties of African America have been founded in the States failing/prevailing.

That doesn't sound like a formula for success for African America.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
quote:
Many of our problems are limitations we put on ourselves.

As much as we hate to hear it, we are indeed our own worst enemy. If we aren't, the person who is looks an awfully lot like us.
I'm tired of this idiotic refrain.

White people in this country, politically, have always been split near 50/50 for the longest but no one suggest because of their partisan bickering that "They Are Their Own Worst Enemy"... That alone shows that they have had perpetual "divisions" but again those divisions aren't seen as them self-inflicting their own demise.

As much as you hate to hear it. What you say is relative BS! It is based on some false pretense for what you believe Black people should be about and some serious ignoring of the actual conditions that influence the matter.

Again, check the voting trends... We are, at least in presdential election years (I believe), mere percentage points behind Whites in voter turn-out and the trend shows our numbers rising while everybody else's are falling! And the Hispanic vote is anemic compared to ours!

Apparently you believe in some type of osmosis or think that Black people should be monolithic or something in order for us not to "be our own worst enemies"!

That's like most of your statements! Shallow, Superficial, and without substance that demonstrate your contention and devoid of the qualifying reality!

Again, I guess we are suppose to be monolithic. I guess that the crisis that engulfs a lot of our communities are suppose to stop for that one magical moment for us to act in monolithic unisome.

My point is you need to analyze your expectation, acknowledge what it actually is and if it's realistic in the way that you conceive it. But I have come to know that you will not think beyond the shallow and answer/address the harder, deeper questions of WHY?

Why are we our own worst enemies?

Again, it seems as if you think we are suppose to be monolithic. It seems as if we all are somehow organically suppose to be educated enough to understand things as you presume.

The issues you presented before DO NOT RISE to the level of us being "our own worst enemies". They reflect issues you have. Issues you have with grasping reality... So, I guess you could imagine, in your imaginary world, that we are every bit of "our own worst enemies"... But that again is devoid of reality. So what does that say about your contention?
I see both the strong points and shortcomings of both Kweli's and JWC's position on "States' rights"...

However, I think neither address my 'Doctrine Of Radical Change'. I'm not willing to concede federal or state power. It's beneath human dignity in a multi-ethnic society/democracy as I see it.

But I definitely respect Kweli's well presented opinion. I see the States' right thing, eventhough it can potentially yeild more power (locally) it could empower White communities all the more given they will have more... which still yeilds them controlling power on the state-wide level.

But, admittedly my opinion is limited to things in more philosophical terms...
I'm not willing to concede federal or state power.--- Nmaginate

You don't have a choice. With power, you either take it or succumb to it.

Walter Williams is an academician. He argues academically. He knows there's no intended action. He isn't even recommending an action. Of course, he does say one way is better than another. So?

He isn't talking directly about something to improve the circumstance of African America. That's where my primary interest lies. That says little on the merit of his concern. U related his points to the impact, and practice on African America.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
quote:
I'm not willing to concede federal or state power.--- Nmaginate

You don't have a choice. With power, you either take it or succumb to it.
JWC,

Seriously... what's the purpose of your statement. If I say I won't concede power then that means I will not succumb to it. So, in effect, the "choice" I make is clear. In others words, [my statement means] I refuse to succumb to someone else's power...

Axioms and cliches' are nice. But you should at least know how to apply them and when and where they apply.

What you had to say, as illustrated, was inapplicable to what I said or rather it was merely stating the obvious or more precisely stating what is already understood if not implicit in my very statement. You may have been better off addressing that to Kweli... It's clear that if anyone is making a "choice" of one or the other it's Kweli, not me. So, again, what's your point in addressing me?

Given that your point is valid, I accept as a point well taken but I will still ask you to understand what you are responding first to make sure your statement is as applicable as you seem to suggest.

What's odd is that if anything my point is more in agreement with yours as it relates to States rights... so I'm still trying to figure out your point. Perhaps if you would have said "WE" don't have a "choice" your point would resonate and be applicable...
We clearly do have a choice: the choice to remain marginalized by the Reps and taken for granted by the Dems; or, taking on the Federalist as strange bedfellows. IMO, both parties have taken positions regarding the powers of the federal government that violate the intent of the Constitutation's Framers.

Our not choosing, is in fact choosing the status quo.
kweli4Real:

My point exactly.

The making no choice is essentially saying, "Give me more of the same."

It will be hard, but the only real difference African Americans can make is to either opt out of party affiliation and register Independent, OR in each State, form a party dedicated to the needs of African America.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
quote:
Originally posted by Nmaginate:
It's pretty idiotic to act like the Constitution was suppose to lay out the entire extent of what the government should and shouldn't do.


Given that the Constitution is the law, then what you're basically saying is that "it's pretty idiotic to act like the law was supposed to lay out the entire extent of what government should and shouldn't do."

This allows the coercive powers of government to be unrestrained, opening the door for tyranny. It basically says that the people need to be restrained by law and told what they should or shouldn't do, but the government is somehow above the law.

We restrain governments for a reason. Had governments been restrained in the early colonies, many of the racial tension in this country could've been avoided, as well as other problems.
toussaint posted,

We restrain governments for a reason. Had governments been restrained in the early colonies, many of the racial tension in this country could've been avoided, as well as other problems.


Toussaint,


It seems as if the real reason conservatives tout less government is to stop the government from performing its regulatory functions. Then you can pollute, give tax dollars to cronies and discriminate in every aspect of society via GOV'T. They also know, UNLIKE THE BLACKS WHO HAVE SEEMED TO FORGOTTEN, every social gain black people have ever attained, from being able to ride on the front of the bus, vote, get an education and aspire for a profession that was not for the "coloreds"....was legislated through the government which made the government serve as a mechanism for social change........so for all of the right-wing espousing black people; REMEMBER, LESS GOVERNMENT LED TO THAT "STATES RIGHTS" BS......

And if government would have not stepped in socially...and economically....there would have been much more racial tension here.....read the history of the slave revolts and how they started to pick up momentum in the south.......and you can best believe 130 yrs later...it would have been really bad.....unless you think black folks were going to keep taking azz whippings and singing them sad azz songs as Chuck D would put it...........Some of us was not with it then...and damn sure wouldn't have been that much later....couple that with the rampant poverty and you have a powder keg.....

**And Negroes who espouse that Constitution bullshit as if their black azzes would have had a say-so at the table back in the day need to fade that BS(Walt and all of em). It makes them delusional-sounding and also greater assimilated as they move beyond white mannerisms to white thought since they cannot lighten that tan......thought that never includes the best interest of black people and takes a counter-adverse position on EVERY issue. They(walt and Co.), like any other blacks, need to examine the black reality in this country and how in some respects it is unique to black people. Then they need to train their colonized azz minds to think in terms of the reality of things and the best outcome(s) for black people no matter what the situation is. They would get much more respect(from whites since that is what they seem to seek) and not be disrepected for assuming the tom/lackey role in the first place....and yes...whenever one's black azzz work to the detrement of those with his/her same complexion.....that is what they are......a psychologically afflicted buffoon who is very self-subjugating........black people embracing any of that BS during double-digit unemployment and swollen prison population (conservative judges perhaps?) and a variety of social issues are crazy....they will actually allow whites to convince them that there are no differences between a black and white existence in this country......and that is simply amazing......like unbelievable
Well, I have a copy of THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION in front of me and am trying to discern exactly what scary-looking, dark, President Lincoln meant with all of this so-called FREEDOM.

Whereas on the 22nd day of September, A.D. 1862, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

"That on the 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

"That the executive will on the 1st day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State or the people thereof shall on that day be in good faith represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such States shall have participated shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State and the people thereof are not then in rebellion against the United States."

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the Unites States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-In-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for supressing said rebellion, do, on this 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, and in accordance with my purpose so to do, publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days from the first day above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof, respectivvely, are this day in rebellion against the United States the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana (except the parishes of St. Bernard, Palquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James, Ascension, Assumption, Terrebone, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including city of New Orleans), Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkeley, Accomac, Northhampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Anne, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts are for the present left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States and parts of States are, and henceforward shall be, free; and that the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known that such persons of suitable condition will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God."


-----------------------------------------------
My understanding of this is, some Africans have been freed to die in the military, work hard and faithfully and be paid a little bit. Nowhere does this state that the African is "American"; nor that we're all free, compliments of this "white" man in power in 1863.

http://www.nps.gov/ncro/anti/emancipation.html

[This message was edited by Norland on March 09, 2004 at 02:47 AM.]
On Jan. 1, 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delcared free all slaves residing in territory in rebellion against the federal government. This Emancipation Proclamation actually freed few people. It did not apply to slaves in border states fighting on the Union side; nor did it affect slaves in southern areas already under Union control. Naturally, the states in rebellion did not act on Lincoln's order. But the proclamation did show Americans--and the world--that civil war was now being fought to end slavery.

Lincoln had been reluctant to come to this position. A believer in white supremacy, he initially viewed the war only in terms of preserving the Union. As pressure for abolition mounted in Congress and the country, however, Lincoln became more sympathetic to the idea. On Sept. 23, 1862, he issued a preliminary proclamation announcing that emancipation would become effective on Jan. 1, 1863, in those states still in rebellion. Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in America--this was achieved by the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution on Dec. 18, 1865--it did make that accomplishment a basic war goal and a virtual certainty.

DOUGLAS T. MILLER

Bibliography: Commager, Henry Steele, The Great Proclamation (1960); Donovan, Frank, Mr. Lincoln's Proclamation (1964); Franklin, John Hope, ed., The Emancipation Proclamation (1964).
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Prepared by Gerald Murphy (The Cleveland Free-Net - aa300)
Distributed by the Cybercasting Services Division of the National Public Telecomputing Network (NPTN).

Permission is hereby granted to download, reprint, and/or otherwise redistribute this file, provided appropriate point of origin credit is given to the preparer(s) and the National Public Telecomputing Network.
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
toussaint posted,

We restrain governments for a reason. Had governments been restrained in the early colonies, many of the racial tension in this country could've been avoided, as well as other problems.

They also know, UNLIKE THE BLACKS WHO HAVE SEEMED TO FORGOTTEN, every social gain black people have ever attained, from being able to ride on the front of the bus, vote, get an education and aspire for a profession that was not for the "coloreds"....was legislated through the government which made the government serve as a mechanism for social change


This is simply incorrect. If Federal legislation was what really brought down Jim Crow, what was the point in all the boycotts and sit-ins? This is what brought the state legislatures to their knees. They knew they were being harmed by the unrest. Also, incidents like the Montgomery Bus Boycott, had the bus companies begging the states to change the laws.

quote:
........so for all of the right-wing espousing black people; REMEMBER, LESS GOVERNMENT LED TO THAT "STATES RIGHTS" BS......


Actually, more government was the problem to begin with. Jim Crow was law legislated by the government which violated people's natural liberties, such as freedom of association, right to bear arms, equal protection, and so on.

quote:
And if government would have not stepped in socially...and economically....there would have been much more racial tension here.....read the history of the slave revolts and how they started to pick up momentum in the south.......


What institution was instrumental in putting down the major US slave revolts? That's right the federal government. I take it you weren't aware of the fact that one of the main reasons the slave states wanted a Federal government in the beginning was to ensure that the other states would be there to protect them in the case of a slave revolt.

The Anti-Federalists, favoring a weaker central government, did not want any part of defending the southern states in the case of a slave insurrection.

But the Anti-federalists lost and government held the institution in place. Also, government started the racial aspect of the institution- something I need not get into right now.

quote:
**And Negroes who espouse that Constitution bullshit as if their black azzes would have had a say-so at the table back in the day need to fade that BS(Walt and all of em).


Only a few whites had a say-so at the table as it was. It's not the say-so at the table that ultimately matters... unless the government is to have no limits placed on its powers.

quote:
thought that never includes the best interest of black people and takes a counter-adverse position on EVERY issue.


Free markets have been beneficial to the economic standing every population that has allowed them with stable property rights and rule of law. I'd consider this an interest. Other folks may disagree, but that's on them. One of the reasons for hte Civil Rights movement was that so many were being denied participation in the free market by the government (or governments).

quote:
black people embracing any of that BS during double-digit unemployment and swollen prison population (conservative judges perhaps?)


I support an end to the war on drugs which imprisons many blacks for non-violent offenses. And I also support the cutting of excessuve regulation which, under the guise of "protecting the people" seerves the interests of established companies. In this way, it deprives many blacks (especially in inner-cities) ways to earn an honest living.

I know you'll disagree with my solutions since they're not part of the main Democrat/Green party platform. Even mentioning them is probably useless. Or, then again, maybe someone will actually read what I'm saying without a knee-jerk reaction.
What gave your right to vote, your right to go to college anywhere you like, eat where you like, work other than a menial job? That was damn sure all legislated in some form or fashion...in case you did not notice....whites never gave up shit they were doing voluntarily....look how whites file lawsuits when they cannot even get in college, always mention "dem blacks" as the reason.....while leaving the lower scoring white kids the f-k alone......smell the coffee......and as so far as what I support.....any best-case scenario for blacks for ANY issue.....and I know what aided my own damn social escalation in this racist azz country.....but all one has to do as a black person is to become a high acheiver and not act like Wayne Brady......and see how you are treated......so let me guess...do you think blacks would have had the high level of acheivement in higher-education without AA? I doubt it...hell look at Texas A&M.....even with the Supreme Court ruling...they still said they would not use race at all....their incoming freshman class was 82% white.....at a STATE school.....between shit like that and the 2000 election and OJ being found guilty after being found innocent and the Iraq war with no WMD......tells me that white people do whatever in the f-k they want here and abroad....and can get negroes under disparate treatment to still defend them......and that type of hypocrisy on their part....is why people want to blow america to hell and back.......
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
What gave your right to vote, your right to go to college anywhere you like, eat where you like, work other than a menial job?


Rights are inherent. They aren't given by the government.

Blacks' rights were infringed upon in all the above said categories. The various governments wrote legislation denying blacks the right to go to a public school to which they were admitted. The various governments also wrote legislation banning blacks from eating in certain restaurants/sections of restaurants. Further, the governments wrote legislation cowtowing to racist unions and racist special interests in order to keep blacks in menial jobs through liscencing for "public safety" (yeah right) and other nonsense reasons.

quote:
whites never gave up shit they were doing voluntarily....look how whites file lawsuits when they cannot even get in college, always mention "dem blacks" as the reason.....while leaving the lower scoring white kids the f-k alone


So, if they started targeting both white and black low-achieving admitees, you wouldn't have a problem?

quote:
so let me guess...do you think blacks would have had the high level of acheivement in higher-education without AA?


Unless there are people sorting out the black applications to reject them, it'd probably be about the same. The problems are in the earlier schooling at this point.

quote:
I doubt it...hell look at Texas A&M.....even with the Supreme Court ruling...they still said they would not use race at all....their incoming freshman class was 82% white.....at a STATE school.....


Any break down of the applicants and corresponding test scores/GPAs? Wouldn't you need this for an accurate assesment of whether people were being targeted by race?

Anyway, this is all off topic. My point was that the government needs to be limited. Once it goes beyond its enumerated powers, it poses a danger to all of us.
quote:
Originally posted by toussaint:

Anyway, this is all off topic. My point was that the government needs to be limited. Once it goes beyond its enumerated powers, it poses a danger to all of us.


Is "government" the problem or is it the application or exercise of government that is the problem? Government is just people; the people in power - typically enacting laws and policies that sustain their position of power and privilege in society. So in reality, is your problem with the institution of government, or with those who have been in power and control of the government in this country since day one.
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by toussaint:

Anyway, this is all off topic. My point was that the government needs to be limited. Once it goes beyond its enumerated powers, it poses a danger to all of us.


Is "government" the problem or is it the application or exercise of government that is the problem? Government is just people; the people in power - typically enacting laws and policies that sustain their position of power and privilege in society. So in reality, is your problem with the institution of government, or with those who have been in power and control of the government in this country since day one.


Of course government itself isn't the problem. I'm only saying, as stated above, that it needs to be limited to its legitimate duties- the most important of which is to protect the lives and rights of its citizens.

When the government is limited, it matters less who's in power. Why? Because they have less power, of course. They won't be able to make you subsidize all sorts of frivilous programs nor their own campaigns (do you realize that they make you pay for their campaigns whether you support them or not?)
quote:
Originally posted by toussaint:

Of course government itself isn't the problem. I'm only saying, as stated above, that it needs to be limited to its legitimate duties- the most important of which is to protect the lives and rights of its citizens.



Well, it's an important distinction. Conservatives want limited government so they can be left alone to "do their thing" without the encumbrance of government oversight, taxation, and intervention. Others are actually more purely anti-government for philosophical reasons. If you are really against being subjugated by the elite class through the vehicle of government - then that's an entirely different matter.
Toussaint,


You talk about all what gov't did to blacks....hell I know that...this sorry azz country supported slavery.......and since you seem to not understand......what in the f-k do you consider the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act legislation? Do you feel that this legislation had no bearing on establishing equal rights for blacks in many areas? What about AA and similar legislation that allowed blacks entry into the working world and colleges across the board?....if this was not established through legislation, how in the hell was it established? And as so far as lower scoring white admittees....sure.....stop grade inflation and disparate schools from 1st grade on up....and quit using grade inflation to artificially prop up dumb azz whites as great students....and grade them on the same racist premise blacks are graded on (I went to integrated schools....and you ought to see the difference between white "A" work and black "A" work......at all levels....and Delta, if you call AA charity instead of a corrective measure, what in the hell do you call stealing the land from a people, committing genocide on them....and enslaving another group to provide labor to build a country?.....and since that was a greater atrocity than AA could ever be...please let me "hear" you speak out against the evil azz way this country was procured by others.......you people are something else with that great azz defense of the evil azz white people who founded this place and continue to maintain historical educational and economical disparities.......who in the hell put you people on the conservative right-wing racist agenda's payroll? Because you surely do not believe that bullshit you come in here feeding people......
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:
quote:
Originally posted by toussaint:

Of course government itself isn't the problem. I'm only saying, as stated above, that it needs to be limited to its legitimate duties- the most important of which is to protect the lives and rights of its citizens.



Well, it's an important distinction. Conservatives want limited government so they can be left alone to "do their thing" without the encumbrance of government oversight, taxation, and intervention.


Conservatives aren't the only people who want the government to leave them alone. Libertarians and liberals also want the government to leave them alone in certain areas (for libertarians, most areas). It's just a matter of which areas for most people.

quote:
Others are actually more purely anti-government for philosophical reasons. If you are really against being subjugated by the elite class through the vehicle of government - then that's an entirely different matter.


I'm not sure I quite catch on to what you're saying here.
Conservatives want limited government so they can be left alone to "do their thing" without the encumbrance of government oversight, taxation, and intervention

But thats a very simplistic and incomplete view mbm. That hardly covers the ground at all. First off, the constitution itself clearly defined the limitations on government, and conservatives respect the constitution. Secondly, its FREEDOM, not government, that the society should be pursuing. Each law, each legistlation, each bureacratic action is a 'limitation' of the freedoms of citizens by their very nature. THAT is closer to why conservatives simply want the constitution to be the law of the land. Too much government is both a strain on civic freedoms and a drain on economic prosperity.

Conservatives respect and trust in people. Liberals respect government and feel that people can't be trusted in handling their own lives without elitist government intervention. Distrust of the common people is a trait of elitist liberalism. And the average worker must now work 5 months just to pay his 'government' tax bills. Thats out of control.

You've got TWO major 'government' controlled entities to base your conclusions on here. First is the 'government' controlled public school system, not exactly a gem of achievement or efficiency these days. Then there's the scheme called social security which is doomed to go broke, or break up into little pintences of compensation, hardly commersurate with the massive amounts of money one is forced to pay into it all their lives. Two utter demonstrations of 'government' gone haywire and being in areas it should not be. And there's plenty more examples.

When the government grows soley due to a quest for power and control by certain individuals, its time to clean house. This is a major complaint of conservatives regarding democrats.

[This message was edited by DeltaJ on March 15, 2004 at 07:43 AM.]
quote:
Originally posted by Kweli4Real:
Itn't it a little schizoid for cons to say we want freedom from government interference, and then turn around and advocate for or against government's involvement in issues like gay marriage or abortion rights, to name a few.

It seems that Cons want the government involved in some areas, not delineated in the Constitution, be not in others.


This is true to a degree. I for one, however, would like to have the government out of these affairs as well, except for abortion which is depriving a human of its right to life.

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