The nature and status of an enslaved black human being, was clearly and perversely, illustrated by the 1875 decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, [Judge Taney] to the effect that a black slave was a “chattel” (agricultural property) and therefore, could legally be forced to be returned to his “owner.” Slavery (permitted by the “Good Book,”) continued from the founding of our Nation, in 1776 to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1865. The great State of Texas, fraudulently, withheld news of such Proclamation until the date of June 19 of that year; hence, the thankful observance of the present federal holiday, “Juneteenth.” Our readings inform us that, even through the subsequent period, known as the “Reconstruction,” the economic and social dynamics of black slavery continued, through the practice of sharecropping and segregation.
We can conceive of no heinous crime, more unspeakably evil and abhorrent, than the piracy of a man’s entire franchise of life, by another, for the purpose of lifetime chattel slavery, encompassing in addition, the cruel and heartrending separation of families, for the facilitation of commercial sale.
It may be the view of some Americans that, in view of their personal non-participation in such inhuman cruelty, (viz., we, ourselves are first generation Americans of religiously, prosecuted European Immigrants), that we have little moral obligation or rational responsibility, for America’s dark period of approximately, three hundred years of historical slavery. However, such exculpatory views are, at best, naïve and self-servingly and neurotically, defensive, and at worst, racially motivated.
Our Nation committed the historical offense, and we have knowledge, even today, of the immoral continuance of Jim Crow policies. White Americans, fortunately, are exempt from the racially biased, exclusionary policies, imposed upon black Americans, police abuse, limits on choice of residence, and society; imposed by bigoted citizens. We are not subject to unjust, racial (negative) stereotyping, socially and professionally. The foregoing exemptions have been designated, “white privilege,” for which all right-thinking white citizens, albeit personally, blameless, should entertain, and civically accept a measure of moral responsibility. Specifically, it is our view that white citizens should undertake a more active role in the mutual achievement of the American promise of universal equality.
Lastly, and perhaps of paramount importance, is the reduction (ideally, the elimination) of bigotry, itself. It has been our painful and frustrated observation, that, although Statutory and Judicial proscriptions against bigotry, are existentially necessary in the articulation of societally, recognized and authoritative positions, they have been somewhat less than desirably, effective. A reading of many of our earlier essays will reveal our view that the ultimate solution resides, effectively, within the family. Early childhood teachings and intra- family communication, must eliminate characterizations of “we” and “they,” and emphasize the “us” in appropriate, recognition and acceptance of the normality of natural differences in man’s appearance and culture.
As American citizens, we congratulate our fellow citizens of color, on this significant holiday, and sincerely pledge our full support to the mutual goal of universal equality, and sincere friendship.