|07-30-2003, 01:29 PM||#1|
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G.W. Bush speech - slavery
President Bush gave his Apology-lite, emphasis on lite, speech at Goree Island, yesterday. It is reprinted in its entirety and attached below. Eventhough, it does not contain a full apology, it is still a remarkable document.
An American President, for the first time, admitted that our African Slave Forefathers were stolen and sold: "At this place, liberty and life were stolen and sold."
The above is an implicit and direct contradiction of the first Horowitz claim that Africans and Arabs were responsible for enslaving the ancestors of African-Americans.
An American President, for the first time, admitted that slavery was one of the greatest crimes in history: "One of the largest migrations of history was also one of the greatest crimes of history."
The above is an amazing admission. It matches the Durban Racism Conference's statement that the transatlantic Slave trade was a "Crime against Humanity," and Jefferson's statement that "Slavery was a cruel war against human nature,"
where Jefferson blamed the King for introducing it into the colonies.
Ladies and Gentleman here and around the world, I announce to you this day, that the President has provided the "missing link."
Recall the main argument of Larry Elder, Walter Williams, Thomas Sowells, Juan Williams, David Horowitz, and all of the rest of the right wing, is/was that "no matter how horrendous slavery was, it was legal and not a crime."
Well, Ladies and Gentleman, your American President, Mr. George W. Bush, just dropped a neutron bomb right through that argument. Ripped it to sheds. Pulverized it. Turned it into micro-dust with a radioactive glow.
An American President, for the first time, admitted that unpaid slavery created wealth for the rest of the colonies and the legal heir to the colonies, America: "They entered societies indifferent to their anguish and made prosperous by their unpaid labor."
Implicit and explicit in the above statement is that white society is/was the only beneficiary of the wealth created by slave labor. This is a direct rebuttal, a stinging rebuke, a square-jawed slap in the face to the ridiculous Horowitz claim that whites were not the only beneficiaries of the wealth created by slave labor.
An American President, for the first time, admitted that African slave women were raped and admitted that white christians added hypocrisy to injustice by not speaking out against slavery: "Small men took on the powers and airs of tyrants and masters. Years of unpunished brutality and bullying and rape
produced a dullness and hardness of conscience. Christian men and women became blind to the clearest commands of their faith and added hypocrisy to injustice."
Because the ministers of the gospel in particular and christian men and women in general did not "keep pace with opportunities to put a stop to slavery," they became "blind to the clearest commands of their faith and added hypocrisy to injustice."
Again the Speechwriter semi-quotes Novack and John Dickson. Dickson said this: "Our Liberties...do not depend on parchment or seals; but come from the King of Kings and the Lord of the earth." The Speechwriter said this: "The rights of African Americans were not the gift of those in authority. Those rights
were granted by the Author of Life, and regained by the persistence and courage of African Americans, themselves."
The below blows another Horowitz lie right out of the water: Horowitz number 9 says this: "If not for the anti-slavery attitudes and military power of the White Englishmen and Americans, the slave trade would not have been bvrought to an end." Bush said this: "By a plan known only to Providence, the stolen sons and daughters of Africa helped to awaken the conscience of America. The very people traded into slavery helped to set America free. "
Whereas Horowitz gives no credit to blacks for our own Emancipation, Bush correctly states that the credit is a shared one, among both blacks and whites. Bush has a moderate view, but Horowitz has an extreme view. If you were dying
of thirst and you needed an immediate quick drink of H2O to survive, Bush would give you a glass of water, but Horowitz would give you a glass of ice-cubes, or more extreme, a glass of dry-ice. Horowitz is an extremist and everyone can see it, side by side with Bush's moderate tone.
This next one, below, refutes Thernstrom and her thesis that racism is dead, not a barrier to black progress, and that discrimination is "ancient history:" "My nation's journey toward justice has not been easy and it is not over. The racial bigotry fed by slavery did not end with slavery or with segregation."
Bush agrees with us, that racism is not dead, and that it is still a barrier to black progress. Not as an excuse, as the right wing likes to say, but just as a statement of fact.
The President closes with this: There is a voice of conscience and hope in every man and woman that will not be silenced -- what Martin Luther King called a certain kind of fire that no water could put out. That flame could not be extinguished at the Birmingham jail. It could not be stamped out at Robben Island Prison. It was seen in the darkness here at Goree Island, where no chain
could bind the soul. This untamed fire of justice continues to burn in the affairs of man, and it lights the way before us.
on CNN 12/07
JACK CAFFERTY: I'm Jack Cafferty. Welcome to IN THE MONEY.
Coming up on today's program, permanent vacation. Long-term
unemployment no day at the beach, and it is affecting hundreds of thousands of U. S. workers. We'll look at the hidden crises behind the jobless numbers.
Plus inhuman wrongs and human rights. President Bush's trip to Africa this week. Raising the pressure for slavery reparation payments. We'll look at the debate and whether or not the demands are likely to be met.
During a stop in Senegal earlier this week, President Bush denounced slavery as, in his words, "one of the greatest crimes in history." Our next guest welcomes those words and hopes Washington will go on to formally apologize for slavery in America's past. Deadria Farmer Paellmann is the lead plaintiff in a suit calling for major U.S. firms to disclose past profits from slavery and pay compensation, and she joins us now. Welcome. It's nice to meet you.
DEADRIA PAELLMANN, LEAD PLAINTIFF: Thank you.
LISOVICZ: When we look at this class action lawsuit and the companies involved, some well-known companies, like Aetna. Aetna in insurance, Lehman Brothers in financial, JP Morgan Chase, Fleet Boston -- these crimes go back in some cases 200 years. What possible point do you see in dredging up some of the darkest chapters in America's history.
PAELLMANN: Well, first of all, let me say that the information about the roles that these companies played in slavery is only new. Much of the information is hidden in corporate archives. The reason for bringing the action now is because we are in a climate
internationally where nations are apologizing for the crimes, the
harm that they caused other people, and the United States needs to face up to the crime that it committed. These corporations need to face up to the crimes that they committed against African-Americans.
And I applaud the president for acknowledging that slavery was a crime. I think he -- it's unprecedented that a president of this
country would acknowledge that slavery was a crime, and of course, we know in international law, crimes against humanity had no statute of limitations. It doesn't matter when we raise the issue, we are protected by international law.
TULLY: But slavery is universally denounced by mainstream in this
country. It is denounced by these companies who have very, very
enlightened hiring policies. They are responsible corporate citizens. These lawsuits are not going to create one new job. What's the justification of going back 150 years and suing these companies? We have a litigation crazy society as it is now, and the people that are going to have to pay are going to have to be the people consuming their products anyway. I mean, what's the real point here?
PAELLMANN: Well, the point is that these corporations sold people, the stole labor, they are responsible for raping women to force them to breed more enslaved Africans. They committed torture against Africans to keep them enslaved, and they still have that wealth, and the reason for bringing the action now is because African- Americans cannot afford to allow multibillion dollar corporations to keep money we should have inherited.
It's -- the United States Constitution protects us. It requires that
we be able to inherit the fruit of our ancestors' labors. We have a
statute, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, that says that African-Americans should inherit the wealth of their ancestors, and that's
why we are pursuing there case.
CAFFERTY: How significant is it that the president stopped short of making a formal apology? What would that have meant in the scheme of this?
PAELLMANN: Well, certainly an apology is significant. It makes a
difference in terms of this nation acknowledging that it committed a wrong. And in addition to that, I have to say that the president
could make that apology, and we are hopeful that before he leaves Africa he will do that.
But there are other things that the president can do. There was a
world conference against racism that took place in 2001. A
declaration was issued by the Human Rights Commission saying that slavery and the transatlantic slave trade were crimes against humanity. The President can move Congress and the Senate to endorse that declaration. He can also appoint a mediator to bring the corporations and the plaintiffs in the lawsuit to reconciliation.
That was done in the holocaust cases, and there is no reason why this nation can't do it in our case.
LISOVICZ: I'm just curious. As a lawyer, how difficult is it to prove
your case? Documents have been lost. I mean, we are talking literally about going back 200 years. Obviously, there are many deceased people. It's difficult to track down descendants. What do you need to prove?
PAELLMANN: Right, well it's not so difficult to track down
descendants. We know that 35 million Africa-Americans live in this
nation. Some people who are alive today were enslaved themselves. In fact, we have about eight people in our litigation that were enslaved.
As far as the corporations are concerned, documents do exist. They have archives, the records date back far, we know this, the
information is available on databases about the records that they
keep. One of the things we are trying to do with this lawsuit is get access to those records.
And actually, there have been lawsuits -- litigation -- I'm sorry,
back up -- there has been legislation passed around the country
requiring that these corporations disclose this information. And
already about eight corporations, insurance companies, have disclosed their connections to slavery and have made those documents available.
CAFFERTY: I've got 20 seconds left. What happens to the money if you are successful?
PAELLMANN: We are requesting that a humanitarian trust fund be
created. We want to use the assets to address the vestiges of
slavery. We want affordable housing, increased health care,
educational opportunities, economic development. These are the things that we aim to do.
CAFFERTY: Deadria, it's nice to have you with us. Thank you very
much. Deadria Farmer Paellmann, who is the lead plaintiff in the
slave reparation case.
|07-30-2003, 05:14 PM||#2|
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