In 1857, Chief Justice Roger Taney of the U.S. Supreme Court wrote the decision in Dred Scott stating that "no Negro has any rights that whites are bound to respect." Our revered ancestors demanded that Congress frame the Fourteenth Amendment to overturn Dred Scott. Blacks also gave their lives on the battlefield to overturn this decision.
In 1873, the U.S. Supreme Court wrote in Slaughterhouse Cases that Dred Scott is still in effect because Blacks have dual citizenship with no rights under national citizenship and arbitrary rights under state citizenship. This means that the federal government, today, can look the other way while police shootings of unarmed Blacks are trending upward.
Blacks, to their detriment, questioned neither Slaughterhouse Cases nor United States v. Cruickshank. These cases and Plessy v. Ferguson all arose in Louisiana. They all amounted to contrived litigation. Blacks still depend heavily on whites for legal representation.
By refusing to interpret the Fourteenth Amendment, in clear language, the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated Dred Scott under Marbury v. Madison. Even though Black troops in 1812 saved New Orleans, under Andrew Jackson, Louisiana officially ushered in Jim Crow in this country in 1896.
Today, most Blacks have never heard of Colfax, LA. In 1873, where Confederate soldiers slaughtered 280 Blacks for peacefully assembling on the grounds of the parish courthouse. White racists, ironically, made the courthouse grounds, a slaughterhouse, a day before the decision in Slaughterhouse Cases. The Supreme Court employed Dred Scott to decide that nobody's civil rights in Colfax, LA had been violated, in this pogrom.
The Supreme Court ignored a constitutional mandate and put its own spin on the Reconstruction amendments. The rights that Blacks won on the battlefield were stolen in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court also stole presidential elections from voters in 1876 and in 2000. Florida was the culprit in both presidential elections.
Blacks are still catching "hell” in law and politics because whites not only believe that whites are "superior" but also that Blacks are "inferior". This calls for the Second Amendment. An armed group, which believes that it is "superior", will never treat an unarmed group that it believes is "inferior", equally.
By definition, Black selected officials have never conducted a campaign with a political message because Black selected officials are prohibited from exercising First Amendment rights. Congresspersons Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Gus Savage and Cynthia McKinney all sought to exercise First Amendment rights and they were all booted, summarily, from politics.
Freedom’s Journal, in March 1827, demanded that Blacks be entitled to a militant mouthpiece. David Walker took up the plea of Freedom’s Journal. He was assassinated in 1830. Since his assassination, there have been a string of Blacks who took up the mantle. Most of them were assassinated. A few were severely disciplined. Any Black person who is “living large” is not fighting for Black people.
In the Democratic Party, Black “selected” officials and leading Blacks play no role in fashioning public policy. It is also unlawful for these “silver rites” leaders to oppose racially-motivated, oppressive legislation. The Democratic Party and the Republican Party are wings of the “American Eagle” Party. White supremacy is the guiding philosophy
Prior to 1960, Blacks were enrolled in the Party of Lincoln. Blacks did not see Abraham Lincoln as the lesser of two evils. Instead, he was viewed as the “Great Emancipator”. Blacks hoped to find “milk and honey” in the Republican Party. The states of the Confederacy formed the foundation of the Democratic Party.
Instead of Blacks doing for self, and supporting their own political party (UAM, with too little support, formed the Freedom Party in 1994), Blacks choose to continue playing musical chairs in the Democratic Party. When, in the 1880's, the Democratic Party, openly promoted slave rights, Blacks, in New York would be among the first to jump the Republican ship.
By the time of the New Deal, most Blacks, in the North were in the Democratic Party and most Blacks in the South were in the Republican Party. After 1968, virtually all Blacks were together in the Democratic Party. Limited voting rights legislation had started under the Eisenhower Administration. It was in 1968, however, under the Johnson Administration that sweeping legislation was passed. Johnson became the "new savior." Most Blacks got wings by 1968.
I must set the record straight, however. All of the rights that Blacks achieved had already happened by 1875. Blacks should have gotten into a fighting mode when the U.S. Supreme Court attempted to enforce the Compromise of 1877. Blacks failed to fight because their leaders had grown comfortable with titles.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 came on the scene to unlock voting booths for Blacks to use politically. The following year, the United States Court of Appeals, for the District of Columbia, decided United Church of Christ v. Federal Communications Commission giving the public a say in the licensing of radio and television stations.
Public affairs programming became an adjunct to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Afterwards, Blacks enjoyed public service programs to assess community needs. However, the public would have to speak through qualified organizations. Voter education should have been a condition precedent to voting rights.
While Blacks enjoy voting rights, we have never enjoyed the right to voter education. This is like using an operating room before attending medical school. In more than one way, Blacks are the victims of legal malpractice. One serious result is the prison-industrial complex.
Whites receive voting education through myriad organizations and special interest groups. Whites have the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) which writes laws on voter-ID and self-defense legislation, among other things. This is a political necessity.
Blacks, on the other hand, have churches. There is a separation between church and state. Churches are forbidden to participate in political activities under the Internal Revenue Code. Otherwise, they will risk their tax-exempt status. In addition, churches also enjoy benefits under Faith-based Initiative (FBI).
If we continue to refuse to draft a Black agenda, we should, en masse, turn in our voter registration cards. Without political education in general, and public affairs programs in particular, Blacks will continue to finance their own oppression their detriment.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was designed for Blacks to be political pawns. Voting is viewed as a duty but there are no concomitant benefits. This was also our experience on the plantation. Whites, on the other hand, seek political rights for power and influence. The Democratic Party fashions our political menu. We simply follow the script and choose candidates favorable to whites.
Politics is warfare without “violence.” Cowards are not asked to participate in politics. Similarly, law is trial by combat. To succeed in law and politics, there must be an appreciation for military science. Turning your cheek is not the answer in law and politics. Loving your master plays no role in law and politics.
For every right, there is a duty. This means that before entering a polling booth, there must be a Black political Agenda, and voter education. The liberation of Blacks must be taken seriously. This requires critical thinking skills. Of course, whites are elated if Blacks fail to satisfy these conditions. Slave codes require that Blacks stay ignorant of politics. See Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s, “The Miseducation of the Negro."
If you value freedom and find this article informative, please assist in helping to support overhead costs, opportunity costs for staff to research and prepare my writings to get to you for our liberation, by mailing a check or money order to:
Alton H. Maddox, Jr.