DNA is destroying the artificial construct of race. The oldest known skeleton found in England is of a dark skinned man with blue eyes. Which means lighter skin developed much much more recently than previously believed…By about 30,000 years.
‘It really shows up that these imaginary racial categories we have… are not applicable to the past at all,’ said one project worker.
The first person known to have lived in Britain had dark skin, according to cutting-edge scientific analysis from London’s Natural History Museum.
In research that may raise eyebrows among modern-day white nationalists, scientists used DNA analysis from Britain’s oldest nearly complete skeleton to reveal he had dark skin and blue eyes.
The skeleton was discovered in 1903 and is known as Cheddar Man, after the area where he was found, which is also where the cheese originated. He’s believed to have lived more than 10,000 years ago and is the oldest Briton to have ever had their DNA tested—with some surprising results.
The research suggests that light skin developed in ancient Britons much later than previously thought, with experts commenting that it flies in the face of modern perceptions of Britain, Europe, and race.
Tom Booth, a Natural History Museum archaeologist who worked on the project, told The Guardian: “It really shows up that these imaginary racial categories that we have are really very modern constructions, or very recent constructions, that really are not applicable to the past at all.”
Yoan Diekmann, a biologist at University College London and another project worker, added that the connection drawn by some between Britishness and whiteness was “not an immutable truth. It has always changed and will change.”
The discovery is embarrassing for white nationalists such as Richard Spencer, who has previously linked whiteness to Europe, saying previously that he wanted the U.S. to become “a homeland for all white people, all European people.”
According to the scientists who ran the project, it was previously assumed that Europeans developed paler skin thousands of years before Cheddar Man and he was previously believed to have had pale skin and fair hair.
However, they believe the research shows that the lighter pigmentation in Europeans is a “far more recent” phenomenon and that one in 10 modern-day Brits share ancestry with the dark-skinned Cheddar Man.
Scientists obtained the DNA sample by drilling a 2mm hole in the ancient skull, which allowed them to extract some bone powder. Using the “unusually well-preserved” DNA, they then constructed a likeness of his head using a 3D printer and a high-tech scanner.
Prof. Chris Stringer, a research leader at the Natural History Museum, said: “I first studied Cheddar Man more than 40 years ago, but could never have believed that we would one day have his whole genome—the oldest British one to date!”
“To go beyond what the bones tell us and get a scientifically based picture of what he actually looked like is a remarkable (and from the results quite surprising!) achievement.”
Seems one escaped slave ..really escaped to a new world!
Hans Jonatan, who escaped slavery in 1802, now has hundreds of relatives in the country.
Hans Jonatan was born into slavery on a Caribbean sugar plantation, and he died in a small Icelandic fishing village. In those intervening 43 years, he fought for the Danish Navy in the Napoleonic Wars, lost a landmark case for his freedom in The General’s Widow v. the Mulatto, then somehow escaped to become a peasant farmer on the Nordic island.
No one knows how he got there. No one knows where in Iceland he is buried today. But the story of the first black man in Iceland, as far as it is known, has endured in local lore, passed down from his Icelandic wife and two children to hundreds of descendants since his death in 1827.
“The old East Fjords people would often say, ‘Oh, yes, you’re descended from the black man,’” one living descendant told Gísli Pálsson in his biography of Jonatan, The Man Who Stole Himself.
Today, Jonatan’s descendants mostly lack the dark skin and curly hair that so obviously marked him as the son of a black mother, an enslaved woman named Emilia Regina, and a white father, identity unknown. But bits of his DNA live on inside his great-great-great-great grandsons and granddaughters, and it is possible, scientists have now shown, to reconstruct parts of his genome from his living descendants. And with that, it is also possible to trace his mother’s ancestry in Africa.
It could only have happened in Iceland. The country’s small and genetically homogeneous population is largely descendants of settlers who arrived from Scandinavia and the British Isles a millennium ago. This, along with, detailed genealogy records tracking centuries of family relationships, have made Iceland a genetics laboratory. The biopharmaceutical company DeCODE Genetics, whose scientists helped carry out the study of Jonatan’s genome, has also analyzed DNA from more than half of Iceland’s adult population—including 182 of Jonatan’s living descendants.
Humans share some 99.5 percent of their DNA with each other, so it is in that other 0.5 percent where geneticists go looking for variations distinguishing one group from one another. In the relatively homogeneous Icelandic background, it was easy to find the African sequences. “If you’re sequencing an Icelander, you will find about one variant per million bases that is not found in any other Icelander. But you go and sequence into the African part [of the genome], you will find at least 100 variants,” says Kári Stefánsson, the CEO of DeCODE.
No single descendant carries all of Jonatan’s original genome. But each carry a small part of it. So the team stitched together sequences found in 182 different descendants to recreate 38 percent of the African half of his genome—presumably the half that came from his mother. The sequences most closely matched present-day populations in Benin, Nigeria, and Cameroon. There are few records about Jonatan’s mother, who was also born into slavery in the Caribbean, so this may be the only hint to her and her ancestors’ origins.
“It’s the writing of history with DNA, basically,” says Hannes Schroeder, an archaeologist at the University of Copenhagen who has used DNA to trace the origins of enslaved Africans. Schroeder was also a coordinator of EUROTAST, an interdisciplinary project studying the slave trade that helped fund the reconstruction of Hans Jonatan’s genome.
Jonatan’s life story was unique, and the methods used to study his DNA may prove unique, too. It would be difficult to reconstruct the genome of any single enslaved African in regions where many of them lived and their DNA mixed together in their descendants. “It’s definitely a special case because of Iceland,” says Schroeder. “The same project wouldn’t have been possible in, say, France.”
or similar reasons, it’s almost impossible to reconstruct the European half of Jonatan’s genome—the half that came from his unknown white father. Kirsten Pflomm, a descendent of Jonatan, says this is the question she hopes DNA can answer. You actually would not need to reconstruct a genome to prove Jonatan’s paternity; you would just need to obtain a DNA sample from potential fathers or their descendants for comparison. Pálsson’s biography suggests suggests Jonatan’s father could have been a secretary named Hans Gram—or Jonatan’s master, Ludvig Schimmelmann, or a certain Count Moltke.
Pflomm, who is American, lives in Copenhagen. When she moved to the city for a job, she was astonished to find that her apartment is across the street from Amaliegade 23, where Jonatan was living when he escaped to Iceland. Pflomm eventually hopes to make it to the small Icelandic fishing village where Jonatan lived out his days—by every account an upstanding citizen. “He seems like a guy I really wish I could have met,” she says.
You got to see this to believe it!
Kansas state Republican lawmaker resurrected a Jim Crow myth that African Americans are genetically predisposed to handle marijuana more poorly than other races during a speech over the weekend.
As the Garden City Telegram reported, State Rep. Steve Alford (R) told an all-white crowd that marijuana was criminalized during the prohibition era in the 1930’s primarily because of black marijuana use when asked a question by a member of the local Democratic party about potential economic boons from cannabis legalization.
“What you really need to do is go back in the ’30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs in Kansas (and) across the United States,” Alford said. “What was the reason why they did that? One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, was that the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that.”
As the Telegram noted in their report, Alford’s comments referenced a belief promoted by marijuana prohibitionist Harry Anslinger, the founding commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics.
“Under Anslinger’s leadership, the FBN came to be considered responsible for the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937,” the report noted, “regulating cannabis and further taxing it to the ultimate detriment of the hemp industry that was booming at the time.”
“Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men,” Anslinger said once when explaining why marijuana supposedly caused crime and violence. The commissioner also fought for the prohibition of cannabis due to “its effect on the degenerate races,” the Telegram noted.
If you have never seen the film – here is a colorized version of the 1936 propaganda film “Reefer Madness”. BYO Popcorn!
Every few years the invisible black confederate story recirculates among the neo-confederate types.
Every time they wind up empty.
Hope the bill passes to memorialize Robert Smalls! Small would later serve in the US Congress until 1886.
The justification for building a monument to black Confederate soldiers is crumbling as historians point out there’s no evidence such combatants ever existed.
State Rep. Bill Chumley (R-Woodruff) and state Rep. Mike Burns (R-Taylors) pre-filed a bill last month that would establish a commission to design an African-American Confederate veterans monument, reported The State.
The bill would also require public schools to teach the contributions of black people toward the Confederate cause, and Chumley said his proposal had already accomplished his goal even as historians undermine its intent.
“We are all learning a lot,” Chumley said. “The purpose of the bill is education.”
The State reviewed pension records from 1923 that show three blacks claimed armed service in South Carolina units under the Confederacy, with two of them confirmed as cooks or servants and none for armed service.
“In all my years of research, I can say I have seen no documentation of black South Carolina soldiers fighting for the Confederacy,” said historian Walter Edgar, the longtime director of the University of South Carolina’s Institute for Southern Studies. “In fact, when secession came, the state turned down free (blacks) who wanted to volunteer because they didn’t want armed persons of color.
Edgar, who wrote a history of the state, said any black person who served in a Confederate unit in South Carolina was either a slave or an unpaid laborer working against his will.
South Carolina forbid blacks from carrying weapons during most of the Civil War out of fear of a slave revolt, but the Confederacy did allow black soldiers in the final months of the doomed rebellion.
State Sen. Darrell Jackson (D-Columbia), a black Democrat, and state Sen. Greg Gregory (R-Columbia), a white Republican, filed a separate proposal to memorialize Robert Smalls, who hijacked a Confederate supply ship in 1862 and turned it over to the Union.
He went on to become a state legislator and five-term congressman.
If the monument is built, it would be the first on Statehouse grounds to honor an individual African-American.
Nice move, Memphis!
In a rapidly emerging war between municipalities, the Trump administration and white-wing, neo fascist Republican dominated legislators opposed to local rule…
Another mile marker.
The city of Memphis engaged in a “massive operation” on Wednesday to take down two controversial Confederate statues before the morning light, the Commercial Appealreports.
The Memphis City Council first unanimously voted to sell two public parks to a private entity. Within minutes, Memphis Police Department officers had deployed to the sites of statues honoring Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Within one hour of the vote, Mayor Jim Strickland had signed the ordinance.
The sale of the parks was a legal mechanism to circumvent a decision by the Tennessee Historical Commission intended to prevent local governments from taking down the statues.
“Health Sciences Park and Memphis Park have been sold. Operations on those sites tonight are being conducted by a private entity and are compliant with state law,” Mayor Strickland explained. “We will have further updates later tonight.”
Seems the Royal History is a bit “darker” than we thought…
I have a niece who is a dead ringer for Charlotte.
When Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle announced their engagement Monday, Twitter erupted with the news that the newest princess in the royal family would be bi-racial.
“We got us a Black princess ya’ll,” GirlTyler exulted. “Shout out to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Their wedding will be my Super Bowl.”
But Markle, whose mother is black and whose father is white, may not be the first mixed-race royal.
Some historians suspect that Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III who bore the king 15 children, was of African descent.
Historian Mario De Valdes y Cocom argues that Queen Charlotte was directly descended from a black branch of the Portuguese royal family: Alfonso III and his concubine, Ouruana, a black Moor.
In the 13th century, “Alfonso III of Portugal conquered a little town named Faro from the Moors,” said Valdes, a researcher for Frontline PBS. “He demanded [the governor’s] daughter as a paramour. He had three children with her.”
According to Valdes, one of their sons, Martin Alfonso, married into the noble de Sousa family, who also had black ancestry. Queen Charlotte had African blood from both families.
Valdes, who grew up in Belize, began researching Queen Charlotte’s African ancestry in 1967, after he moved to Boston.
“I had heard these stories from my Jamaican nanny, Etheralda “TeeTee” Cole,” Valdes recalled.
He discovered that a royal physician, Baron Christian Friedrich Stockmar, described Queen Charlotte as “small and crooked, with a true mulatto face.”
Sir Walter Scott wrote that she was “ill-colored” and called her family “a bunch of ill-colored orangutans.”
One prime minister once wrote of Queen Charlotte: “Her nose is too wide and her lips too thick.”
In several British colonies, Queen Charlotte was often honored by blacks who were convinced from her portraits and likeness on coins that she had African ancestry.
Valdes became fascinated by official portraits of Queen Charlotte in which her features, he said, were visibly “negroid.”
“I started a systematic geneological search,” said Valdes, which is how he traced her ancestry back to the mixed-race branch of the Portuguese royal family.
Charlotte, who was born May 19, 1744, was the youngest daughter of Duke Carl Ludwig Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Princess Elisabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen. She was a 17-year-old German princess when she traveled to England to wed King George III, who later went to war with his American colonies and lost rather badly. His mother most likely chose Charlotte to be his bride.
“Back in London, the king’s enthusiasm mounted daily,” wrote Janice Hadlow in the book, “A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III.” “He had acquired a portrait of Charlotte and was said to be mighty fond of it, but won’t let any mortal look at it.”
King George III ordered that gowns be made and waiting for his new bride when she arrived in London.
He met Charlotte for the first time on their wedding day, Sept. 8, 1761.
“Introduced to the king, Charlotte ‘threw herself at his feet, he raised her up, embraced her and led her through the garden up the steps into the palace,’ ” Hadlow wrote. “Some later reminiscences asserted that at the moment of their meeting, the king had been shocked by Charlotte’s appearance.”
In a portrait painted by Sir Allan Ramsay, Queen Charlotte’s hair is piled high in curly ringlets. Her neck is long and her skin appears to be café-au-lait.
Ramsay, Valdes said, was an abolitionist married to the niece of Lord Mansfield, the judge who ruled in 1772 that slavery should be abolished in the British Empire. And Ramsay was uncle by marriage to Dido Elizabeth Lindsay, the black grand-niece of Lord Mans field. Dido’s life story was recently recounted in the movie, “Belle.”
In 1999, the London Sunday Times published an article with the headline: “REVEALED: THE QUEEN’S BLACK ANCESTORS.”
“The connection had been rumored but never proved,” the Times wrote. “The royal family has hidden credentials that make its members appropriate leaders of Britain’s multicultural society. It has black and mixed-raced royal ancestors who have never been publicly acknowledged. An American genealogist has established that Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III, was directly descended from the illegitimate son of an African mistress in the Portuguese royal house.”
After the Times story, The Boston Globe hailed Valdes’ research as ground breaking. Charlotte, who died in 1818, passed on her mixed-race heritage to her granddaughter, Queen Victoria, and to Britain’s present day monarch, Queen Elizabeth.
Some scholars in England dismissed the evidence as weak — and beside the point.
Remember singing this in the segregated elementary school I attended in Virginia. Remember proudly singing it at my brother’s and cousin’s graduation from Howard. Remember singing it instead of the Star Spangled Banner at events and protest marches in the 60’s and 70’s.
The Anthem was written by James Weldon Johnson
If you haven’t heard it or experienced it –
It has been around for 117 years, after all.
On a cloudy day in May 2015, several hundred Howard University seniors, myself included, filed into the school’s main quadrangle for commencement, a ceremony that kicked off with “The Star Spangled Banner.” I can’t honestly recall whether my fellow black students sang the words that day, but many typically did not. The America whose praises we were called upon to sing rarely returned the sentiment, and more often treated us like outcasts. We’d been reminded of this just weeks earlier, when Walter Scott of North Charleston, South Carolina, was shot in the backfive times while fleeing from a cop, the latest in a seemingly endless list of of black men to have their lives cut short by police officers.
But the crowd was galvanized as we moved to the next song on the program. It was one we usually sang as a matter of routine, but on that day we heard it as a rallying cry, and sang it proudly and passionately—fists raised skyward in defiant assertion of a blackness that we loved even if the rest of the nation did not. The song was “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” For us, it had another name: the black national anthem.
Unless you attended one of the historically black colleges that pair “Lift” with the official national anthem at ceremonies and sporting events, or you spent a lot of time in black churches, in black civil rights spaces, or in majority-black grade schools, you might never have heard the song. But for much of the last century it was a staple of black life in America.
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” was first unveiled at a school showcase in 1900 marking what would have been Abraham Lincoln’s 91st birthday. It was penned by James Weldon Johnson, a graduate of the historically black Atlanta University (now Clark-Atlanta).
At the time, Johnson was a writer and the principal of a colored school in Jacksonville, Florida. (He later became a civil rights activist and US ambassador.) Members of the community had asked him to write a speech for the Lincoln affair. Instead, he wrote a hymn (his brother composed the music) and taught it to his 500 students.
Their performance was a hit. The song caught on in black Jacksonville and began spreading throughout the South. Churchgoers would even paste the lyrics on the backs of hymnals, says Imani Perry, a professor of African American studies at Princeton University whose book about the song, May We Forever Stand, is due out in February. Black newspapers and journals published the lyrics to “Lift,” and by 1906 they were calling it “an anthem for the Negro people.” (Sheet music for the song was imprinted with the subtitle “Negro National Anthem” beginning in the 1960s.)
Dr Carter and the WSSU CHoir at Ellington
During the 1910s, many black schools and colleges—Howard included—adopted “Lift” for their graduation ceremonies, and the K-12 schools incorporated it into “daily or weekly rituals” according to Perry: “So kids are singing it at segregated schools at assemblies—sometimes every morning.” The NAACP adopted “Lift” as its official song in 1921. (Johnson had become an executive in the organization.) And when Negro History Week (now Black History Month) was established five years later, Perry says, teachers started using the song to teach vocabulary and history.
Shana Redmond, a professor of musicology at the University of California-Los Angeles, says many of those teachers relied on “Lift” to “instill in their students those things that would best arm them” for a hostile world. “One of those things was about pride in self, about knowing your own heroes, your own ancestors.”
At the time Johnson wrote his hymn, lynchings had recently hit their peak in the South, the fall of Reconstruction remained an open wound, and offensive caricatures of blackness were pervasive. Patriotic odes like “The Star Spangled Banner” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” were popular, too, but black southerners were hungry for a cultural product that spoke to them.
“Lift” was that product. “It was the first widely circulated song that tells the story of black Americans, right at the time when black people are building institutional and civic life, as black people are imagining themselves,” Perry says. Johnson depicted blackness as “proud and prideful, as progressing forward, and as enduring, as empowered,” Redmond told me. “It was not solely an ode to this so-called Black Emancipator.”
With words –
The 1814 poem that became “The Star Spangled Banner” was something radically different, coming from a slave owner who was open in his disdain for the black race. “There was a scorn for blackness,” Redmond says. Many historians read part of Francis Scott Key’s third stanza as a celebration of the deaths of slaves who escaped to fight against their captors, siding with the British during the War of 1812. “But it’s also, to a certain extent, that blackness was not considered, in the least, part of the republic.”
And whereas “Lift” speaks to a future black folks can aspire to, Redmond adds, the anthem “is really not about a future—other than a future already proscribed by what is assumed as a constant greatness.”
So by 1931, when “The Star Spangled Banner” was officially codified as America’s anthem, black people already had a song they were treating as their own—which spread further as African Americans migrated north and west during World War I, seeking new opportunities and fleeing the violence of Jim Crow. Black intellectuals debated over whether black Americans fighting for inclusion and enlisting in the military to defend their nation’s overseas interests should insist on a separate anthem—Johnson, himself, preferred to call his song the national negro hymn. But there’s “no evidence,” Perry says, that black communities at large were “ambivalent” about the song.
During World War II, in fact, black servicemen, still in segregated units, sang “Lift” alongside the national anthem at sporting events and other formal assemblies on their bases, says Robert Jefferson, an expert on black military history at the University of New Mexico. “During the first half of the 20th century, that song is revered by the black American military.”
The popularity of “Lift” waxed and waned over the years—it was usurped during the civil rights era by songs such as “We Shall Overcome” and “We Shall Not Be Moved.” But in the 1970s, amid the Black Power movement, it was sometimes sung with an air of resistance. “People are singing the song with raised fists, dashikis, afros,” says Perry, and black students at newly integrated schools fought to keep it in public school programs alongside the national anthem.
Indeed, the opening up of white spaces to African Americans has contributed to the song’s decline. Following the gains of the Civil Rights movement, black people participated less in civic groups that sang the song in their rituals, Perry says. In 1985—roughly 20 years after Congress passed a law mandating the integration of public schools—an Ohio State University sociologist found that about one-third of black college students could no longer identify “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” By that time, enrollment at black colleges and universities had dropped profoundly from their historic highs under Jim Crow. “It is inconceivable,” the researcher wrote, “that African-American college students of even a decade ago would have responded in this fashion.”
The spaces where black people hear “Lift” today are few and far between. We sometimes sing it in church, as I did growing up on the Southside of Chicago. It still can be heard at Black History Month programs and at formal gatherings of civil rights organizations like the NAACP and the National Urban League, and, of course, at HBCUs like my alma mater. But even HBCU students, decades removed from the song’s heyday, don’t necessarily feel connected to “Lift” in the way our grandparents or even our parents were, if my fellow Howard students and I were any indication. Few of us could sing past the first verse. My performance of it was usually pretty perfunctory. It wasn’t until recently that I really thought about the words and discovered how much they resonated with me.
Buried in the history of black people’s storied affair with “Lift Every Voice and Sing” is a lesson on why we feel differently from white Americans about the NFL players who kneel during the national anthem: Because our relationship with the nation has been so fraught, black people have long felt ambivalent about the symbols and rituals of white America—which is why “Lift,” written for us, by us, exists in the first place. Black folks are compelled to tell our stories on our own terms, and for us the story has been one of unceasing struggle and protest. How fitting, then, that we would use America’s symbols to ink ourselves into its narrative.
Like a lot of things in Haiti’s rich culture, much is shrouded in secrecy. Sadly, the consequence of that is that many things have become lost.
Visit the country for any length of time, and you find out there is this whole other world beneath the surface.
While working there, a Haitian friend accused a politician of “getting out his vote” with “Machete Boys”. On the surface, an outsider would miss both the historical and cultural context of this. During the Haitian Revolution, the former slaves did not have many guns, or even access to gunpowder with which to make bullets. They fought the gun armed French Soldiers with one of the few tools they had, machetes. And won.
Now whether the art came with the former slaves from Africa (stick fighting), or was developed in Haiti is shrouded in history. What we do know, is machete fighting is a Martial Arts style, perhaps not entirely unique to the Island Nation (there are also unique forms of this in Brazil using the Bolo, Colombia, Cuba, as well as in SE Asia). So when a Haitian uses the term “Machete Boys”, the meaning is rich with historical and cultural allusion.
One of the Masters of this form is beginning to talk about it. Papa Machete.
This guy is a Chumphshit…He has just burned down any reespect or reputation he may have had.
Commentator Roland Martin delivered a scathing rebuttal to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s comments that the root cause of the Civil War was the “inability to compromise.”
Appearing on MSNBC’s Velshi & Ruhle, the popular political observer lashed out at Kelly, saying he needs to read a history book — later adding that Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who didn’t push back at Kelly’s comments during the interview, should brush up on her history too.
Responding to Kelly’s Civil War comment, that “men and women of good faith on both sides helped them make their stand,” Martin was off and running.
“History is history, but for fact’s sake, let’s tell the truth,” Martin began. “First of all, historic fact number one. The Civil War was fought over slavery. 11 southern states left the United States in 1860 and 1861 in order to protect the institution of slavery following the election of President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was an avowed opponent of the expansion of slavery that said he would not interfere with it where it already existed.”
“The debate over the future of slavery led to secession, and secession brought about a war,” he continued. “The first state to secede, South Carolina, on December 20th, 1860, approved of an ordinance of secession and offered an invitation to form a confederacy of slave holding states,” he added.
Turning specifically back to General Kelly, Martin insisted that his comments shouldn’t be allowed to go unchallenged.
“I’m not going to allow four stars stuck on stupid to simply go on,” he lectured. “Here’s a man who’s utterly clueless. For him to say, ‘well, we could have compromised,’ really? We did compromise. It was a thing called United States Constitution and you know what that said? If you’re a black, you’re 3/5ths of a human.”
“How about the Hayes/Tilden compromise that ended the 12 years of Reconstruction and ushered in Jim Crow, removed the federal troops from the last three remaining southern capitals?” he added. ” So I need John Kelly to actually go back and read a history book that my 12-year-old nieces are reading right now because clearly he fell asleep in history.”
“We have too many people in this country who are white who do not know history and who want to somehow glorify these Confederate leaders,” Martin continued. “I’m telling you right now, they ain’t my founding fathers and they’re not my leaders. We need to have real history. And I will say to John Kelly: shame on you.”
“Shocking that someone charged with defending their country, in some profound way, does not comprehend the country they claim to defend.”
White House chief of staff John Kelly claimed Monday that a “lack of ability to compromise led to the Civil War.” But the reality is that the path to civil war was marked by numerous compromises on slavery, as the author Ta-Nehisi Coates pointed out on Twitter Tuesday morning. In fact, the war started because of the people who wanted to maintain and expand the right to own other people as property.
“I mean, like, it’s called The three fifths compromise for a reason,” Coates tweeted early Tuesday, referring to the constitutional provision that increased representation for slave states in the House of Representatives in 1787.
“But it doesn’t stand alone,” Coates said. “Missouri Compromise. Kansas-Nebraska Act.”
After the Civil War, he later tweeted, there was also the Compromise of 1877, which further disenfranchised black people once federal troops withdrew from Southern states.
President Abraham Lincoln, Coates noted, also compromised on several occasions. Not only did he not actually want to abolish slavery, but he “repeatedly sought to compromise by paying reparations ― to slaveholders ― and shipping blacks out the country.”
He didn’t even mention the Compromise of 1850, which among other things allowed the South to implement slavery in new U.S. territories gained during the Mexican-American War.
The enslaved black populations of the South, Coates said, “did not need modern white wokeness to tell them slavery was wrong.”
Kelly defended Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monday, calling him an “honorable man” ― a declaration that Coates compared to “some kid insisting his deadbeat dad is actually a secret agent away on a mission.” Lee, he said, was a “dude who thought torture was cool.”
“Even if one conceded Lee’s military prowess, he would still be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans in defense of the South’s authority to own millions of human beings as property because they are black,” Adam Serwer, a senior editor at The Atlantic, wrote in June.
If Kelly can laud someone who sold human beings, Coates concluded, “you really do see the effect of white supremacy.” Last month, Coates said that President Donald Trump “might be a white supremacist.”
My local NFL Team, the Washington Redskins was the last NFL Team to integrate, as as such were perennial losers. They even passed on drafting Jim Brown, who was one of the greatest running backs in league history. As such a lot of black folks in the Washington, DC area rooted for the Baltimore Colts of Johnny Unitas and John Mackey. The Colts had integrated their team in 1953, with George Taliaferro, Claude “Buddy” Young and Mel Embree.
70% of the players in the NFL today are black. Which provides an interestin context to the Chumph’s racist attacks on the players.
When and how did the NFL integrate? Well, it started in 1946 with Kenny Washington and Woody Strode (of movie fame).
Interesting is the history of “The Forgotten Four”, who integrated the NFL before Jackie Robinson integrated MLB.
The following provides a link to the full Documentary, which is free to watch.