After President Abraham Lincoln, was assassinated on April 15, 1865, Andrew Johnson became the 17th President of the United States (1865-1869). Immediately thereafter, Johnson attempted to reverse everything Lincoln had put his life on the line for. After the Civil war and the slaves were freed, the Freedman’s Bureau, which was formally known as the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands and was established by Congress to help millions of former black slaves and poor whites in the South faced tremendous opposition.
While Lincoln did issue his famous proclamation of emancipation which, in effect, did free the slaves, however, we must remember that Lincoln did not hold the South accountable. In fact, (2) “During his presidency, Lincoln issued 64 pardons for war-related offenses: 22 for conspiracy, 17 for treason, 12 for rebellion, nine for holding an office under the Confederacy, and four for serving with the rebels.”
Lincoln had intended to issue further pardons but Congress “objected to [his] plans as too lenient.” Nevertheless, on May 29, 1865, his successor, President Andrew Johnson, issued a proclamation granting amnesty to most Confederates. The proclamation did, however, outline over a dozen exclusions, including one for senior Confederate officers like Robert E. Lee.
When Congress introduced a bill in February 1866 to extend the bureau’s tenure and give it new legal powers (to help the newly freed slaves transition to free men, ie, forty acres and a mule), Johnson vetoed the proposed legislation on the grounds that it interfered with states’ rights, gave preference to one group of citizens over another and would impose a huge financial burden on the federal government, among other issues.
It was because of the lackadaisical attitude of many government officials, and the election into Congress of many former Confederates that the so-called (3)”Jim Crow” laws came into being.
So from 1866 to 1965, while black people were legally free men, in actuality they were still treated as less than second-class citizens. The year of my birth, which was just 66 years ago was the year that schools were legally desegregated, of course, due to cultural lags it wasn’t until a decade or more later that the law was actually implemented. That of course was after Protest, military action, and the intervention of the Kennedy Administration that the law was actually implemented. And, I was 10 years old when the voting rights act was passed. This act prohibits racial discrimination in voting.
I am writing this to illustrate that the ideology of White Power was not wiped out because of a civil war, or laws. This ideology is a sickness that is passed on from one generation to the next. When a group of human beings can justify the enslavement of another group of human beings based on skin color is truly a sickness. When I hear white people utter “get over it, slavery happened hundreds of years ago” or “why should I be held accountable for the things my great grandparents did” I begin to understand why they do not get the concept of Black Lives Matter. In their small minds, they think the concept means that their lives do not matter that only black lives matter. That is the most ludicrous sentiment ever. That, in and of itself, demonstrates how deeply rooted racism is in the minds of many whites. If any white people are reading this, what black live matters mean is that black lives matter too. Why is there a need for this chant? It is because white police offices (and many times white mobs) wantonly kill black people for no reason other than their own fears. A young black boy killed because he reached for a candy bar. A black man killed for supposedly passing a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill. A black woman killed in her home because her boyfriend is in her home. The rationale always being “I felt my life was in danger.”
During the summer, 2020, a vast military and police presence was called to quell and brutally perpetrate violence against a group of peaceful mostly black demonstrators. This military and police force used tear gas, batons, fists, and kicks to break up the peaceful protest. Yet as we have witnessed, the mostly white insurgents were not beaten, were mostly escorted out of the capitol, and some police were even observed to be taking selfies with the terrorist. Today is Sunday, January 10, 2021 – it’s been four days since this horrific incident, and only now are steps being taken to round up the perpetrators. No real action has yet to be taken. These were not peaceful protesters. These were white Supremacist that were incited by elected officials, namely Donald J. Trump the president of the United States, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Missouri Senator Joshua David Hawley, West Virginia House of Delegates member Derrick Evans, former Alabama Congressman Morris Jackson “Mo” Brooks Jr., as well as Donald Trump Jr. and Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph William Louis Giuliani.
The legitimate news media has been covering this major historical event ever since the insurgence began, many for years, showing footage and picture after picture of this ghastly mob storming the Capitol, breaking windows, crashing the Senate, breaking into Speaker Pelosi’s office, crushing to death a Capitol policeman, beating other police, and even erecting a hangman’s noose while chanting death to Pence. The entire world is watching this breaking news attentively. So why then, is Fox News and its pundits allowed to continue to spread such incendiary rhetoric under the cloak of the first amendment “freedom of speech”. These terrorists are even still trying to mobilize so that they can do more harm to our democracy at President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
What is the law enforcement apparatus of this nation going to do? Why can’t the same energy and strength that was mobilized to stop the Black Live Matter protest be used to quash the criminal traitors?
Let’s not forget the Puerto Rican Nationalists. These were patriots fighting for their freedom and right to self-determination. Not to different from the American Patriots fighting for self-determination from the King of England.
(1) Freedmen’s Bureau (UPDATED: OCT 3, 2018 ORIGINAL: JUN 1, 2010)
(2) Were Confederate soldiers tried for treason?
BY CHARLIE DUNLAP, J.D. · 11 JULY 2020
(3) Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States. These laws were enacted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by white Southern Democrat-dominated state legislatures to disenfranchise and remove political and economic gains made by black people during the Reconstruction period. The Republican Party’s lily-white movement supported the exclusion of African Americans. The Jim Crow laws were enforced until 1965.