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October 24th 1864: Johnson’s ‘Moses of the Colored Man’ Speech

On this day in 1864, vice presidential candidate and military governor of Tennessee Andrew Johnson made his famous ‘Moses of the Coloured Man’ speech in Nashville. In 1860, Republican Abraham Lincoln was elected President and Northern Radical Hannibal Hamlin his Vice-President. The election of a decidedly anti-slavery ticket prompted the Southern states to secede from the Union, ushering in a bloody Civil War. When it came to the 1864 election, Lincoln chose Andrew Johnson as Vice-President instead of Hamlin in order to broaden his support in the Middle South. On October 24th, during a black rally for the Union ticket in Nashville, Johnson gave a speech from the state capitol building. In the speech he acknowledged that the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 had not freed the slaves in Tennessee, and thus proclaimed "freedom, full, broad and unconditional, to every man in Tennesse!". The speech saw Johnson shoring up his anti-slavery credentials, attacking hypocritical slaveholders, and suggesting that he would be a ‘Moses’ figure to lead African-Americans towards freedom. However, after Lincoln’s assassination and Johnson’s elevation to the Presidency it became clear he would be anything but a ‘Moses’ figure. He failed to defend the rights of the freedmen and favoured restoring power to former Confederates. This disparity between his lofty claims in Nashville and reality was not missed by contemporary observers. African-Americans lamented how he had failed to protect their rights, and Northern satirists ironically referred to the President as ‘Moses Johnson’. Many white southerners also seized on the imagery of Johnson’s Moses speech, claiming that he had become the ‘Moses of the white man’ instead. Andrew Johnson battled with the Radical Republicans in Congress throughout his presidency, who had their own vision for the Reconstruction of the postwar South which emphasised rights for the freed slaves. This conflict culminated in 1868 with Johnson becoming the first President to be impeached, narrowly escaping removal from office by one vote. Johnson lost the 1868 Republican nomination to Ulysses S. Grant, who went on to win the Presidency and take over the oversight of Reconstruction.

"I will indeed be your Moses, and lead you through the Red Sea of war and bondage, to a fairer future of liberty and peace"

Today in history: November 18, 1803 - The Battle of Vertières the last major battle of the Haitian Revolution is fought leading to the establishment of the Republic of Haiti the first Black republic in the Western Hemisphere The battle delivered the final blow to the French attempt to re-institute slavery as they had done in the other parts of the Caribbean This decisive blow was a major loss for France and it’s colonial empire The Haitian Revolution helped inspire slave rebellions in the United States and British colonies and struck deep fear in the minds of the slaveholders and colonizers

Hattie McDaniel

Halle Berry made headlines in 2002 when she became the first African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Actress, for her role in Monster’s Ball. Yet this didn’t seem that unusual at a time only a few years removed from the election of the first black U.S. president. It was much more of a shock in 1940 when Hattie McDaniel became the first black person to win an Oscar. Ironically, McDaniel’s Oscar-winning performance as the character Mammy in Gone With the Wind was not universally viewed as a great achievement by blacks at the time; many criticized her appearance in a film sympathetic to the view of slaveholders. It wasn’t the only irony surrounding McDaniel’s award — in keeping with segregation protocols at the time, McDaniel sat at a blacks-only table during the Oscar ceremony. Although McDaniel is best remembered for her GWTW performance, she appeared in more than 80 other films during the 1930s and 1940s. She is also regarded as the first black woman to sing on radio in the United States. Fittingly, she has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, honoring both her singing and film careers.

Image: Hattie McDaniel in 1941.

As early as 1818 the Presbyterian Church took a firm stand opposing slavery. The circumstances that called for the church’s attention was the sale of a slave by a slaveholder, both of whom were Presbyterians in good standing, but disagreed on the desirability of the sale- the slave opposing, the master supporting.

In response to this case, the General Assembly declared that the ‘voluntary enslaving of one part of the human race by another’ was a ‘gross violation of the most precious and sacred rights of human nature,’ ‘utterly inconsistent with the law of God, which requires us to love our neighbor as ourselves,’ and ‘totally irreconcilable with the spirit and principles of the gospel of Christ.’ The declaration went on to assert that slavery created ‘a paradox in the moral system,’ since it exhibited ‘rational, accountable, and immortal beings in such circumstances as scarcely to leave them the power of moral action,’ and as ‘dependent on the wills of others whether they shall receive religious instruction; whether they shall know and worship the true God; whether they shall enjoy the ordinances of the gospel; whether they shall perform the duties and cherish endearments of husbands and wives, parents and children, neighbors and friends…’

The Assembly’s statement conceded that the ‘evils’ of slavery were not always evident. Still, the slave was ‘deprived of his natural right,’ and ‘degraded as a human being…’ For these reasons, the Assembly advised American Presbyterians ‘to correct the error of former times, and as speedily as possible to efface this blot on our holy religion, and to obtain the complete abolition of slavery throughout Christendom, and, if possible, throughout the whole world.’

— 

D.G. Hart & John R. Meuther in Seeking a Better Country: 300 years of American Presbyterianism.

Really interesting insights here. If only this Assembly’s declaration would have been binding for the whole of the church…

  • TO THE NON-SLAVEHOLDERS OF THE SOUTH.
    PAS.1We present to you herewith “A Plan for the Abolition of Slavery,” and solicit your aid to carry it into execution.PAS.2Your numbers, combined with those of the Slaves, will give you all power. You have but to use it, and the work is done.PAS.3The following self-evident principles of justice and humanity will serve as guides to the measures proper to be adopted. These principles are –PAS.41. That the Slaves have a natural right to their liberty.PAS.52. That they have a natural right to compensation (so far as the property of the Slaveholders and their abettors can compensate them) for the wrongs they have suffered.PAS.63. That so long as the governments, under which they live, refuse to give them liberty or compensation, they have the right to take it by stratagem or force.PAS.74. That it is the duty of all, who can, to assist them in such an enterprise.PAS.8In rendering this assistance, you will naturally adopt these measures.PAS.91. To ignore and spurn the authority of all the corrupt and tyrannical political institutions, which the Slaveholders have established for the security of their crimes.PAS.102. Soon as may be, to take the political Power of your States into your own hands, and establish governments that shall punish slaveholding as a crime, and also give to the Slaves civil actions for damages for the wrongs that have already been committed against them.PAS.113. Until such new governments shall be instituted, to recognize the Slaves as free men, and as being the rightful owners of the property, which is now held by their masters, but which would pass to them, if justice were done; to justify and assist them in every effort to acquire their liberty, and obtain possession, of such property, by stratagem or force; to hire them as laborers, pay them their wages, and defend them meanwhile against their tyrants; to sell them fire-arms and teach them the use of them; to trade with them, buying the property they may have taken from their oppressors, and paying them for it; to encourage and assist them to take possession of the lands they cultivate, and the crops they produce, and appropriate them to their own use; and in every way possible to recognize them as being now the rightful owners of the property, which justice, if administered, would give them, in compensation for the injuries they have received.PAS.124. To form Vigilance Committees, or Leagues of Freedom, in every neighborhood or township, whose duty it shall be to stand in the stead of the government, and do that justice for the slaves, which government refuses to do; and especially to arrest, try, and chastise (with their own whips) all Slaveholders who shall beat their slaves, or restrain them of their liberty; and compel them to give deeds of emancipation, and conveyances of their property, to their slavesPAS.135. To treat, and teach the negroes to treat, all active abettors of the Slaveholders, as you and they treat the Slaveholders themselves, both in person and property.PAS.14Perhaps some may say that this taking of property, by the Slaves, would be stealing, and should not be encouraged. The answer is, that it would not be stealing; it would be simply taking justice into their own hands, and redressing their own wrongs. The state of Slavery is a state of war. In this case it is a just war, on the part of the negroes – a war for liberty, and the recompense of injuries; and necessity justifies them in carrying it on by the only means their oppressors have left to them. In war, the plunder of enemies is as legitimate as the killing of them; and stratagem is as legitimate as open force. The right of the Slaves, therefore, in this war, to take property, is as clear as their right to take life; and their right to do it secretly, is as clear as their right to do it openly. And as this will probably be their most effective mode of operation for the present, they ought to be taught, encouraged, and assisted to do it to the utmost, so long as they are unable to meet their enemies in the open field. And to call this taking of property stealing, is as false and unjust as it would be to call the taking of life, in just war, murder.PAS.15It is only those who have a false and superstitious reverence for the authority of governments, and have contracted the habit of thinking that the most tyrannical and iniquitous laws have the power to make that right which is naturally wrong, or that wrong which is naturally right, who will have any doubt as to the right of the Slaves (and those who would assist them) to make war, to all possible extent, upon the property of the Slaveholders and their abettors.PAS.16We are unwilling to take the responsibility of advising any general insurrection, or any taking of life, until we of the North go down to take part in it, in such numbers as to insure a certain and easy victory. We therefore advise that, for the present, operations be confined to the seizure of property, and the chastisement of Individual Slaveholders, and their accomplices; and that these things be done only so far as they can be done, without too great danger to the actors.PAS.17We specially advise the flogging of individual Slave-holders. This is a case where the medical principle, that like cures like, will certainly succeed. Give the Slave-holders, then, a taste of their own whips. Spare their lives, but not their backs. The arrogance they have acquired by the use of the lash upon others, will be soon taken out of them, when the same scourge shall be applied to themselves. A band of ten or twenty determined negroes, well armed, having their rendezvous in the forests, coming out upon the plantations by day or night, seizing individual Slaveholders, stripping them and flogging them soundly, in the presence of their own Slaves, would soon abolish Slavery over a large district.PAS.18These bands could also do a good work by kidnapping individual Slaveholders, taking them into the forest, and holding them as hostages for the good behavior of the whites remaining on the plantations; compelling them also to execute deeds of emancipation, and conveyances of their property, to their slaves. These contracts could probably never afterward be successfully disavowed on the ground of duress (especially after new governments, favorable to liberty, should be established) inasmuch as such contracts would be nothing more than justice; and men may rightfully be coerced to do justice. Such contracts would be intrinsically as valid as the treaties by which conquered nations make satisfaction for the injustice which caused the war.PAS.19The more bold and resolute Slaves should be encouraged to form themselves into bands, build forts in the forests, and by such means as may be in there collect arms, stores, horses, every thing that will enable them to sustain themselves, and carry on their warfare upon the slave-holders.PAS.20Another important measure on the part of the Slaves will be to disarm their masters, so far as that is practicable, by seizing and concealing their weapons whenever opportunity offers. They should also kill all slave-hunting dogs, and the owners too, if that should prove necessary.PAS.21Whenever the Slaves on a plantation are not powerful or courageous enough to resist, they should be encouraged to desert, in a body, temporarily, especially at harvest time, so as to cause the crops to perish for want of hands to gather them.PAS.22Many other ways will suggest themselves to you, and to the Slaves, by which the Slaveholders can be annoyed and injured, without causing any general outbreak, or shedding of blood.PAS.23OUR PLAN THEN IS –PAS.241. To make war (openly or secretly as circumstances may dictate) upon the property of the Slaveholders and their abettors – not for its destruction, if that can easily be avoided, but to convert it to the use of the Slaves. If it cannot be thus converted, then we advise its destruction. Teach the Slaves to burn their masters’ buildings, to kill their cattle and horses, to conceal or destroy farming utensils, to abandon labor in seed time and harvest, and let crops perish. Make Slavery unprofitable, in this way, if it can be done in no other.PAS.252. To make Slaveholders objects of derision and contempt, by flogging them, whenever they shall be guilty of flogging their slaves.PAS.263. To risk no general insurrection, until we of the North go to your assistance, or you are sure of success without our aid.PAS.274. To cultivate the friendship and confidence of the Slaves; to consult with them as to their rights and interests, and the means of promoting them; to show your interest in their welfare, and your readiness to assist them. Let them know that they have your sympathy, and it will give them courage, self-respect, and ambition, and make men of them; infinitely better men to live by, as neighbors and friends, than the indolent, arrogant, selfish, heartless, domineering robbers and tyrants, who now keep both yourselves and the Slaves in subjection, and look with contempt upon all who live by honest labor.PAS.285. To change your political Institutions soon as possible. And in the meantime give never a vote to a Slaveholder; pay no taxes to their government, if you can either resist or evade them; as witnesses and jurors, give no testimony, and no verdicts, in support of any Slaveholding claims; perform no military, patrol, or police service; mob Slaveholding courts, goals and sheriffs; do nothing, in short, for sustaining Slavery, but every thing you safely and rightfully can, publicly and privately, for its overthrow.PAS.29White rascals of the South! Willing tools of the Slaveholders! You, who drive Slaves to their labor, hunt them with dogs, and flog them for pay, without asking any questions! We have a word specially for you. You are one of the main pillars of the Slave system. You stand ready to do all that vile and inhuman work, which must be done by somebody, but which the more decent Slaveholders themselves will not do. Yet we have heard one good report even of you. It is, that you have no such prejudices against color, nor against liberty, as that you would not as willingly earn money by helping a Slave to Canada, as by catching a fugitive and returning him to his master. If you are thus indifferent as to whom you serve, we advise you henceforth to serve the Slaves, instead of their masters. Turn about, and help the robbed to rob their robbers. The former can afford to pay you better than the latter. Help them to get possession of the property which is rightfully their due, and they can afford to give you liberal commissions. Help them flog individual Slaveholders, and they can afford to pay you ten times as much as you ever received for flogging Slaves. Help them to kidnap the Slaveholders, and they can afford to pay you more than you now get for catching fugitive Slaves. Be true to the Slaves, and we hope they will pay you well for your services. Be false to them, and we hope they will kill you.PAS.30Lawyers of the South! You can, if you will, exert a potent influence for good, in this matter. If, in the true spirit of law as a science, you shall see a man in the most crushed of human beings; and, recognizing his right to obtain justice by such means as may be in his power, you shall take the side of the oppressed, in this controversy, and teach them trample on their tyrants, and vindicate their manhood – if you do this, and then aid in establishing new institutions, based upon liberty, equality, and right, you will have the satisfaction of doing your part towards binging into life a great, free, and happy people, where now all is crime, tyranny, degradation, and death. If, on the contrary, you shall take the aide of the Slaveholders, and continue to be – as, professionally, under Slave Institutions, you must forever be – the degraded, pettifogging pimps, hirelings, and tools of a few soulless robbers of their species – denying continually the authority of justice, and the rights of humanity – if you shall do this, we need not attempt to tell you what your true rank will be in the scale of lawyers, statesmen, patriots, or men.PAS.31Merchants of the South! We hope you will deliberately consider this matter, and make up your minds whether the Slaves have the right to take the property of their masters, in compensation for the injuries they have suffered. If you decide that they have that right, we hope you will act accordingly, and will not hesitate to buy of them cotton, or any other property which they may have taken from their monsters; and give them, in exchange, weapons, or any other articles they may need. If you will but do this, you will soon put an end to Slavery.PAS.32Non-Slaveholders generally of the South! If it is right for the Slaves to take the property of their masters, to compensate their wrongs, it is right for you to help them. Your numbers, compared with those of the Slaveholders, are as five or six to one. It will be perfectly easy for you, by combining with the Slaves, to put them in possession of the plantations on which they labor, and of all the property upon them. They could afford to pay you well for doing them such a service. They could afford to let you share with them in the division of the property taken. We hope you will abut this measure. It will not only be right in itself; it will be the noblest act of your lives, provided you do not take too large a share to yourselves; and provided also, that you afterwards faithfully protect the Slaves in their liberty, and the property assigned to them.PAS.33Finally, we say to all, correspond with, us of the North. Let each person who receives or sees one of these sheets, send his letters to the one who sent it – with liberty to publish them in the northern papers. This correspondence, we are confident, will be a more interesting literature than the South has ever furnished; and will enlist the feelings of northern people to such a degree, that we shall be induced to go, in large numbers, to your assistance, whenever you shall need us.

    PAS.34[The following note is to be addressed to some person at the South, and signed by the person sending it, giving his own residence.] 

    SIR:PAS.35Please accept, and exhibit to your neighbors, this copy of a document, which we are intending to distribute very extensively through the South, and which, we trust, will give birth to a movement, that shall result not only in the freedom of the blacks, but also in the political, pecuniary, educational, moral, and social advantage of the present non-slaveholding whites. Please let me hear, from you often, informing me of the progress of the work. Direct to me at _____________ 


    A PLAN FOR THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY.
    PAS.36When a human being is set upon by a robber, ravisher, murderer, or tyrant of any kind, it is the duty of the bystanders to go to his or her rescue, by force, if need be.PAS.37In general, nothing will excuse men in the non-performance of this duty, except the pressure of higher duties, (if such there be,) inability to afford relief, or too great danger to themselves or others.PAS.38This duty being naturally inherent in human relations and necessities, governments and laws are of no authority in opposition to it. If they interpose themselves, they must be trampled under foot without ceremony, as we would trample under foot laws that should forbid us to rescue men from wild beasts, or from burning buildings.PAS.39On this principle, it is the duty of the non-slaveholders of this country, in their private capacity as individuals – without asking the permission, or waiting the movements, of the government – to go to the rescue of the Slaves from the hands of their oppressors.PAS.40This duty is so self-evident and natural a one, that he who pretends to doubt it, should be regarded either as seeking to evade it, or as himself a servile and ignorant slave of corrupt institutions or customs.PAS.41Holding these opinions, we propose to act upon them. And we invite all other citizens of the United States to join us in the enterprise. To enable them to judge of its feasibility before them the following programme of measures, which, we think, ought to be adopted, and would be successful.PAS.421. The formation of associations, throughout the country, of all persons who are willing to pledge themselves publicly to favor the enterprise, and render assistance and support, of any kind, to it.PAS.432. Establishing or sustaining papers to advocate the enterprise.PAS.443. Refusing to vote for any person for any civil or military office whatever, who is not publicly committed to the enterprise.PAS.454. Raising money and military equipments.PAS.465. Forming and disciplining such military companies as may volunteer for actual service.PAS.476. Detaching the non-slaveholders of the South from all alliance with the Slaveholders, and inducing them to co-operate with us, by appeals to their safety, interest, honor, justice, and humanity.PAS.487. Informing the Slaves (by emissaries to be sent among them, or through the non-slaveholders of the South) of the plan of emancipation, that they may be prepared to cooperate at the proper time.PAS.498. To encourage emigration to the South, of persons favoring the movement.PAS.509. When the preceding preliminaries shall have sufficiently prepared the way, then to land military forces (at numerous points at the same time) in the South, who shall raise the standard of freedom, and call to it the slaves, and such free persons as may be willing to join it.PAS.5110. If emancipation shall be accomplished only by actual hostilities, then, as all the laws of war, of nature, and of justice, will require that the emancipated Slaves shall be compensated for their previous wrongs, we avow it our purpose to make such compensation, so far as the property of the Slaveholders and their abettors can compensate them. And we avow our intention to make known this determination to the Slaves beforehand, with a view to give them courage and self-respect, to nerve them to look boldly into the eyes of their tyrants, and to give them true ideas of the relations of justice existing between themselves and their oppressors.PAS.5211. To remain in the South, after emancipation, until we shall have established, or have seen established, such governments as will secure the future freedom of the persons emancipated.PAS.53And we anticipate that the public avowal of these measures, and our open and zealous preparation for them, will have the effect, within some reasonable time – we trust within a few years at farthest – to detach the government and the country at large from the interests of the Slaveholders; to destroy the security and value of Slave property; to annihilate the commercial credit of the Slave-holders; and finally to accomplish the extinction of Slavery. We hope it may be without blood.PAS.54If it be objected that this scheme proposes war, we confess the fact. It does propose war – private war indeed – but, nevertheless, war, if that should prove necessary. And our answer to the objection is, that in revolutions of this nature, it is necessary that private individuals should take the first steps. The tea must be thrown overboard, the Bastile must be torn down, the first gun must be fired, by private persons, before a new government can be organized, or the old one be forced (for nothing but danger to itself will force it) to adopt the measures which the insurgents have in view.PAS.55If the American governments, State or national, would abolish Slavery, we would leave the work in their hands. But as they do not, and apparently will not, we propose to force them to do it, or to do it ourselves in defiance of them.PAS.56If any considerable number of the American people will join us, the work will be an easy and bloodless one; for Slavery can live only in quiet, and in the sympathy or subjection of all around it. 

    PAS.57WE, the subscribers, residents of the Town of _____________ in the County of ___________ in the state of _____________ believing in the principles, and approving generally of the measures, set forth in the foregoing “Plan for the Abolition of Slavery,” and in the accompanying address “To the Non-Slaveholders of the South,” hereby unite ourselves in an Association to be called the LEAGUE OF FREEDOM in the Town of ____________ for the purpose of aiding to carry said plan into effect. And we hereby severally declare it to be our sincere intention to co-operate faithfully with each other, and with all other associations within the United States, having the same purpose in view, and adopting the same platform of principles and measures.

Let’s revise this for the non-anarchist of the United States/World.  

with the adoption of indigenous people’s day here lately i’ve been thinking a lot about all the junk in this country named after terrible or otherwise questionable people

like as much as i love my state i hate that it’s named after a slaveholder

remember back in the eighties when we rededicated king county so it would officially be named after martin luther king jr instead of a nineteenth century slaveholder? let’s do that now with the whole state and let’s rededicate it to be named after kerry washington

asking white people to think like white slaveholders and legislators in early 19th century britain is a slippery slope, my friend

2

Liberia was established by citizens of the United States as a colony for former African American slaves and their free black descendants.

From around 1800, in the United States, people opposed to slavery were planning ways to alleviate the problem. Some abolitionists and slaveholders discussed the idea of setting up a colony in Africa for freed African-American slaves. The first ship, Mayflower of Liberia (formerly Elizabeth), departed New York on February 6, 1820, for West Africa, with 86 settlers. Between 1821 and 1838, the American Colonization Society developed the first settlement, which would be known as Liberia. On July 26, 1847, it declared its independence.

It’s still there. It’s still waiting for the return of their brothers and sisters. It’s still the solution.

The struggle for the acceptance of gay marriage in some states baffles me.

I wonder if opposers understand that 100 years from now our grandchildren will be reading in history books about the gay community’s liberation from discrimination and that the movement will be compared to systemic racism and slavery in America. These same opposers will be compared to slaveholders because of their refusal to accept that all people are entitled to the same basic human rights.

That’s right. Marriage is a RIGHT. NOT a PRIVILEGE.

The Emancipation Proclamation is to slaves as legalizing gay marriage is to gays.

And if you need another reason to support gay marriage, there’s that whole Separation of Church and State thing… but whatevs.

Slaveholders have no rights more than any other thief or pirate. They have forfeited even the right to live, and if the slave should put every one of them to the sword tomorrow, who dare pronounce the penalty disproportionate to the crime?
—   - Frederick Douglass, February 9, 1849

Love and respect Woman. Seek in her not merely a comfort, but a force, an inspiration, the redoubling of your intellectual and moral faculties. Cancel from your minds every idea of superiority over Woman. You have none whatsoever. Long prejudice, an inferior education, and a perennial legal inequality and injustice, have I created that apparent intellectual inferiority I which has been converted into an argument of continued oppression.

But does not the history of every oppression teach us how the oppressor ever seeks his justification and support by appealing to a fact of his own creation? The feudal castes that withheld education from you, the sons of the people, excluded you on the grounds of that very want of education from the rights of the citizen, from the sanctuary wherein Laws are framed, and from that right of vote which is the initiation of your social mission.

The Slaveholders of America declare the black race radically inferior and incapable of education, and yet persecute those who seek to instruct them.

For half a century the supporters of the reigning families in Italy have declared the Italians unfit for freedom, and meanwhile, by their laws, and by the brute force of hireling armies, they close every path through which we might overcome the obstacles to our improvement, did they really exist, as if tyranny could ever be a means of educating men for liberty.

Now, we men have ever been and still are guilty of a similar crime towards Woman. Avoid even the shadow or semblance of this crime : there is none heavier in the sight of God, for it divides the human family into two classes, and imposes or accepts the subjugation of one class to the other.

In the sight of God the Father there is neither Man nor Woman. There is only the Human Being, that Being in whom — whether the form be of male or female — those characteristics which distinguish Humanity from the brute creation ) are united, namely, the social tendency and the capacity of education and progress.

Wheresoever these characteristics exist, the Human nature is revealed, and thence perfect : equality both of rights and of duties. Like two distinct branches springing from the same trunk, man and woman are varieties springing from the common basis — Humanity. There is no inequality between them, but — even as is often the case among men — diversity of tendency and of special vocation […]

Man and Woman — even as these two peoples —fulfil different functions in Humanity, but these functions are equally sacred, equally manifestations of that Thought of God which He has made the soul of the universe.

Consider Woman therefore as the partner and companion, not merely of your joys and sorrows, but of your thoughts, your aspirations, your studies, and your endeavours after social amelioration. Consider her your Equal in your civil and political life. Be ye the two human wings that lift the soul towards the Ideal we are destined to attain.

The Mosaic Bible has declared: God created Man, and Woman from Man, but your Bible, the Bible of the Future, will proclaim, that God created Humanity, made manifest in the Woman and the Man.

— 

Giuseppe Mazzini establishing the inherent equality of the sexes in On the Duties of Man (x).

———————————

I don’t know whether to be amused or appalled that Mazzini managed to imbue the Christian God with so many republican virtues that are clearly absent from descriptions of Him in the Scriptures — not that he appears to have cared about the literal meaning of the Scriptures or assigned much value to them, since he proposes a “Bible of the Future” which could just as well be a secular republican constitution. Indeed, Mazzini’s God (he dedicated the whole of Chapter 2 to expounding his vision of the divine) doesn’t resemble the god of any known religion, and instead aligns more consistently with our modern secular ideals of liberty, equality, justice, and inalienable rights. But while secular republicanism considers these ideals as instrumentally good — that is good for achieving and protecting the republican conception of liberty, defined primarily as freedom from domination (Viroli, 2002) — Mazzini’s religious republicanism treats these ideals as inherently good; fundamental truths given by God through revelation. 

A negative response to the Fugitive Slave Act passed in 1850, this cartoon “appeals to Northern indignation over the law, showing an arrogant slaveholder riding the bitted Daniel Webster, a rope and fetter in his hand, while Garrison defends a cowering black woman.” 

The law allowed slave owners to seize their “property” without process of law; it imposed harsh penalties on anyone who helped a fugitive escape; it would not allow the fugitive to defend him or herself at trial.

Catalog Record

anonymous said:

So what would you do, after you've finished with your new plaything? Toss them into the slavehold? Send them to work with the rest of the crew? Or keep them tied up in your cabin?

Pro8a8ly set them free, give them a chance to 8uild their crew 8ack up and capture them again at a l8r d8.

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The irony of religion is that because of its power to divert man to destructive courses, the world could actually come to an end. The plain fact is, religion must die for mankind to live. The hour is getting very late to be able to indulge having in key decisions made by religious people, by irrationalists, by those who would steer the ship of state not by a compass, but by the equivalent of reading the entrails of a chicken. George Bush prayed a lot about Iraq, but he didn’t learn a lot about it. Faith means making a virtue out of not thinking. It’s nothing to brag about. And those who preach faith, and enable and elevate it are intellectual slaveholders, keeping mankind in a bondage to fantasy and nonsense that has spawned and justified so much lunacy and destruction. Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings who don’t have all the answers to think that they do. Most people would think it’s wonderful when someone says, “I’m willing, Lord! I’ll do whatever you want me to do!” Except that since there are no gods actually talking to us, that void is filled in by people with their own corruptions and limitations and agendas. And anyone who tells you they know, they just know what happens when you die, I promise you, you don’t. How can I be so sure? Because I don’t know, and you do not possess mental powers that I do not. The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is not the arrogant certitude that is the hallmark of religion, but doubt. Doubt is humble, and that’s what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a litany of getting shit dead wrong. This is why rational people, anti-religionists, must end their timidity and come out of the closet and assert themselves. And those who consider themselves only moderately religious really need to look in the mirror and realize that the solace and comfort that religion brings you comes at a terrible price. If you belonged to a political party or a social club that was tied to as much bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, violence, and sheer ignorance as religion is, you’d resign in protest. To do otherwise is to be an enabler, a mafia wife, for the true devils of extremism that draw their legitimacy from the billions of their fellow travelers. If the world does come to an end here, or wherever, or if it limps into the future, decimated by the effects of religion-inspired nuclear terrorism, let’s remember what the real problem was. We learned how to precipitate mass death before we got past the neurological disorder of wishing for it. That’s it. Grow up or die
—  Religulous - Bill Maher
Your Historic Fave is Problematic: George Washington
  • Slaveholder. (x)
  • signed the Fugitive Slave Act (x)
  • ””
  • Reluctant to use black soldiers in revolutionary army.
  • Led the Revolutionary War which hurt Native Americans and slaves as well as keeping the inequality of wealth intact.

“Mauritanian slaves are not restrained by chains: slavery is in large measure an economic and a psychological institution.” Alexis Okeowo reports.

The West has created this nice little narrative for itself that Europe saw the error of its ways and went through an abolitionist movement in the 1800’s and America followed closely behind. While every once in a while one sees a report on human trafficking, we for the most part like to believe that slavery is an institution of the past and is no longer in need of our consideration. I confess, I had no idea that Mauritania abolished slavery in 1981, but slaveholders were prosecuted until 2007, nor that it has become so embedded in the social and economic structure that doing away with it is approximate to turning over the entire system. After all, that’s not the way we think about slavery in this country, with the slightly deterministic attitude that the Industrial Revolution made the whole institution virtually obsolete and the South just needed time to catch up. Rarely, if ever, do we think of slavery as a foundation for a whole social structure, especially in the 20th-21st century. If nothing else, it’s a nice reminder that the world possesses multiple narratives, even if the storm of history would like us to think it was monolithic.—Kristin


You sold your soul to the evil and the lust
And the passion and the money and you
Innocent ones die, people hunger for decades
Suffer under civilized armed robbers, slaveholders -Nheka
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