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  • Writer's picturePoetic PIXELS

Should Slavery be separated from the rest of American Capitalism?

There is only one reason that the US Government does not want to officially acknowledge slavery, its relation to historical atrocities and its contribution to economic growth and prosperity of American Capitalism. ~Responsibility~ So should Slavery be separated from the rest of American Capitalism? This popularly taught myth says that as an economic system — a way of producing and trading commodities — American slavery was fundamentally different from the rest of the modern economy and separate from it. The widely disseminated stories about industrialization emphasize white immigrants and clever inventors, but they completely and conveniently leave out cotton fields, tobacco, sugar plantations and slave labor, implying that slavery and enslaved Blacks had little long-term influence on the rise of the United States during the 19th century, a period in which the nation went from being a minor European trading partner to becoming the world’s largest economy — one of the central stories of American history. Consider why this thinking became popular: If slavery was outside of US history, for instance — if indeed it was a hindrance and not a rocket booster to American economic growth — then slavery was not implicated in US growth, success, power, and wealth. Therefore none of the massive quantities of wealth and capital piled by that economic growth is owed to African Americans.

While pondering this, I began to think about the word responsibility. Broken down, we have two words. Respond (response) Ability. Meaning your ability to respond. So in context, if Slavery was sanctioned by the US Government, then we call into question its ability to respond to its generational implications, aftermath and ill effects.

We would rather write it out of our history books and place it out of our minds. We like to numb ourselves to its implications and tell the lie that America's racial past is long behind her.

The facts remain; slavery, in its worst form was vital to the economics of the early development of the United States. PEOPLE were kidnapped, sold, tortured, raped and murdered - for profit! Where slavery ended, Jim Crow would take its place, subjecting Blacks to legal forms of hatred. From Segregation to Separate but Equal (upheld by the US Supreme Court - 1896) The existence of ghettos in the United States is directly linked to racism and other unfair housing practices. Police violence against Blacks is steeped in social acceptance, sanctioned by a legal system with deep roots in substantial structural disenfranchisement.

I think it is a fair assessment that these conditions create stresses, criminality and other manifestations of psychological trauma so prevalent in our communities. Yet this remains a conversation that our Government is purposefully avoiding. We maintain a deluded sense of freedom while remaining products of its perversion. This is to say that this machine does not benefit from true Human liberation - only the spurious idea that we are free. This allows its debilitating mechanics to preserve an intractable illusion. They call it reparations and shame us for even thinking we ought to be owed anything resulting from past abuses. While yes, reparations in monetary form would see significant increases in the quality of life, money is not necessarily the answer to all societal ills.

Schooling and Educational development, Dietary and Nutrition initiatives, Community Empowerment platforms, Financial Literacy programs, Heritage and Ancestral re-connection agendas, Self Love and awareness, Parenting programs, ect, are just a few ways we could truly emancipate ourselves from this machine we have come to desperately depend on. Another one of my ideas (while lending itself to the fallout of slavery) is that Descendants of slavery should be able to reap a substantial percentage of all profits reaped from the industries that exploited them. Namely, Tobacco, Cotton and Sugar industries. These industries sustain generational wealth while ignoring the folks involved in the inception of their wealth.

I think the conversation about reparations is an uncomfortable one because America is barely getting used to treating its non-white citizen as equals. Please try to be sensitive to the fact that we are only 5 generations removed from slavery. For some perspective, that means my Mothers Grandmother Grandmothers Mother was a slave. That is not very long ago!

-I digress- Money is what moves her along and any talk/ideas about relinquishing it level the playing field and is seen as a threat to her sustained euro- centric posterity.

It's time we began to reflect on and converse about Americas past and what is rightfully owed her descendants in reality! We have been marching and singing for far too long. ~Solidarity

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