Doral, Florida - - Today we celebrate the day in 1865 when the Union Army landed in Galveston, Texas, after the surrender of the Confederacy, and declared the end of the enforcement of slavery in America. The legislative end of slavery occurred on December 6 of that year, with the adoption of the XIIIth Amendment to the Constitution.
The Grand Army of the Republic
The Union army was overwhelmingly made up of non-fragile, masculine, white men, of European settler stock, flying divisive American flags and singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic. It was led by mostly Republican officers, including the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, who served as commander-in-chief and paid for it with his life. The Confederate Army that fought so fiercely to preserve slavery was led by Southern Democrats, and not a single slave-owner was a Republican.
On Juneteenth the Union Army completed the fighting to free the Sub-Saharan African slaves in America from their Democrat owners and fathers. America is the only nation that has ever fought a civil war waged by the majority against a large minority in order to free a smaller enslaved minority. In Haiti the slaves had already freed themselves. In Latin America slavery ended after the American civil war gradually throughout the rest of the XIXth century, including in Brazil, where half of the trans-Atlantic slaves had been transported. There is no record of a civil war to abolish slavery in Sub-Saharan Africa or anywhere else.
One factor that sealed Lincoln’s opposition to slavery was when he realized that the slave owners were enslaving their own children. Our Creator calls on fathers to love and provide for their children, not to enslave them. If anything, the father is called to be the slave of his children: he works so that they may eat. Lincoln observed that slavery works in the same way. He was not an abolitionist when he debated Douglas in 1858, but he became one over the course of fighting the civil war. He made the Emancipation Proclamation effective in January 1863, freeing the slaves in rebel territories, and he championed the XIIIth Amendment abolishing slavery, until his assassination by a Southern Democrat in April 1865.‘
Lincoln’s initial position was to contain slavery where it already existed, not to abolish slavery. This position allowed him to defeat Senator William Seward of New York, an outright abolitionist, for the Republican nomination in 1860. Lincoln’s position was that if he could preserve the Union without freeing a single slave, then he would do it, but he couldn’t. Southern Democrats insisted on secession and rebelled against the Union, which Lincoln was pledged to preserve.
The war came, and Lincoln saw that he could not preserve the Union without abolishing slavery. After the Emancipation Proclamation took effect, the military turning point of the war took place in July 1863 at the victory by the Union Army of the Battle of Gettysburg. There, at the dedication of the cemetery for the dead from that battle in November 1863, Lincoln proclaimed that America would have a new birth of freedom.
If we are to have reparations, then: (1) They should be paid by Democrats, who owned the slaves and rebelled against the Union in order to preserve slavery. (2) To descendants of actual slaves. (3) And also to Republicans, who fought to free the slaves, and paid the cost of doing so. See Drew Gilpin Faust, This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War, 2009. Juneteenth should be celebrated by both white and colored troops together, integrated, parading throughout the land, all wearing blue Union uniforms and flying American flags.
Indulgences for the Forgiveness of Sin
In 1517 Friar Johann Tetzel, a member of the Dominican order, traveled to the Saxony region of Germany pursuing his business of selling indulgences for the forgiveness of sin, so that purchasers would gain salvation through their purchase. The use of proceeds, after administrative expenses, of course, was admirable: the construction of the Renaissance art and architecture that we admire today in the Vatican. The medieval church had been engaged in this practice for over a century. In 1415 Jan Hus, university rector in Prague, had objected, but the Hapsburg authorities burned him at the stake for his objections.
On this business trip, Friar Tetzel visited a small town with a new university, Wittenburg, where an Augustinian friar, Martin Luther, had recently joined the faculty. Luther was outraged! He posted his objections on the door of the local cathedral church, and thereby started the Protestant Reformation.
Today Barack Hussein Obama has sold indulgences to Americans for the forgiveness of our alleged original sin of racism, in return for our votes, donations and other support. This con game continues with the woke scam of critical race theory and anti-racism. Obama is the American Johann Tetzel. Tetzel was a fake Christian, and Obama is a fake American.
Following up with Obama’s hustle, many white progressives and black grievance-mongers and victimology shakedown racketeers claim that America is systemically, institutionally and structurally racist against black folks. They should be investigated under the U.S. Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. If this claim is true, then why are so many black and other colored folks clamoring to immigrate to America? Do they suffer from false consciousness? Why don’t the progressives and grievance-mongers warn them against coming? And why are no black and other colored folks emigrating out of America? There is no Berlin Wall around America, keeping in the oppressed and the marginalized. They can leave. After all, people vote with their feet.
Since immigration laws were liberalized around 1965, many black people from Sub-Saharan Africa, especially Nigeria, have volunteered to come to America lawfully with their families. These immigrants have to a large extent succeeded in winning for themselves a portion of the American Dream, though their commitment to the bourgeois virtues of faith, family and work. It can be done, regardless of your ethnicity and skin color, so long as you have the courage, work ethic and self-discipline to do it. Those immigrants would not have come unless they knew that the opportunity is here.
This weekend your columnist listened to a classical music program that features young performers, and they were celebrating Juneteenth. Accordingly, two of their featured musicians were a black 30-year old professional cello player, with children of his own, and a black 15-year old composer. Both were born in America to Nigerian families who had immigrated seeking the American Dream, and both confirmed that their families had achieved it. It is hard to do that in any other country in the world, and migrants know that.
A few years ago your columnist attended an international conference of conservatives in a resort hotel located in Dania Beach, Florida. There spoke a Nigerian Senator, who talked about fighting corruption in his home country, and he was very proud that Nigerian immigrants to America earn higher average incomes than Chinese immigrants. Immediately your columnist stood up and challenged his assertion: Senator, you must be wrong, because everyone knows that in America black folks are hunted down and killed by police officers and vigilantes, victims of police brutality. He looked at me in amazement, walked over to me, and gave me a big hug. Then we shook hands, because we both know that my statement is a lie, used against Americans in order to put us on the defensive and bully us.
The claim that America is a racist nation, and therefore that Americans must purchase indulgences for the forgiveness of our original sin of racism, is a cynical lie and a hoax, intended to manipulate and gain power over us. As President Lincoln would have observed, America is where freedom comes to live, if we can keep it, and if you can handle it. Freedom is a burden; it makes us responsible for the outcome of our own lives. Taking on this challenge requires courage, a work ethic and self-discipline.
Real Racism in America
The real racists in America, systemically, institutionally and structurally, are found mostly in two groups. First: black fathers, who abandon their children at the rate of up to 80% nationally; black mothers, who abort up to 40% of their unborn children; and black young men, who commit a majority of homicides and other violent crimes against black folks. This weekend Juneteenth celebrations have been marked by shootings between rival gangs of black youths. In some cities in some years (New York, 2016), more unborn black children are killed in the womb by their mothers than are born alive. Black lives matter, but not to many of their fathers, their mothers and their brothers. The Bible tells us not to criticize the speck of wood in our neighbor’s eye, when we have a log in our own eye. In any event, BLM stands for Burn, Loot and Murder, and also for Buy Large Mansions. Black Lives Matter is a terrorist Marxist hoax.
Around 1965 almost 80% of black children lived together with their fathers, but today almost 80% do not. See Daniel Patrick Moynihan, The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, 1965. Since 1980 a majority of black children have been born to unwed mothers. The breakdown of the black family since then is the overwhelming cause for black under-achievement today. It is ironic that Juneteenth falls around the same time that we celebrate Fathers’ Day, because black fathers matter.
The second group of systemically, institutionally and structurally racist people in America is white progressives, as illustrated by their three top political leaders of the XXth century set forth below. Apparently, Malcolm X agreed with this assessment.
President Woodrow Wilson was a progressive Democrat, and a Southerner who grew up in the Confederacy. He became President of Princeton University and Governor of New Jersey, and was first elected in 1912. His administration segregated the federal civil service, which had grown after the civil war mostly under Republican administrations. He also supported the Ku Klux Klan, a para-military terrorist militia for the Democrat party, similar to Antifa and Black Lives Matter today. As part of this support, he showed an openly-racist movie in the White House, Birth of a Nation, originally called The Clansman, in 1915. Even Princeton University has recently acknowledged his racist policies.
President Franklin Roosevelt was a Democrat elected in 1932, after having served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in the Wilson administration, 1913-21. There is no record of him objecting to the introduction of segregation into the federal civil service. He was from New York, but won the Democrat nomination by agreeing to work with and include in his administration the racist Southern Democrats. His New Deal program, which started the welfare state in America, included a new Federal Housing Administration, which introduced red-lining into urban neighborhoods. His first appointment to the Supreme Court was Senator Hugo Black, a known Klan lawyer and a Southern Democrat. Roosevelt’s racism extended beyond black folks to Japanese-Americans, who he had interned during World War Two. See Amity Schlaes, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, 2007.
Finally, President Lyndon Johnson was the Southern Democrat Vice President who took office in November 1963, after Kennedy’s assassination, and was elected in 1964. In that year he launched a War on Poverty for a Great Society, a radical expansion of the welfare state started by the New Deal. This expansion included for government to provide: (1) An income in substitution for work, in the form of welfare payments, especially Aid to Families with Dependent Children, and today Universal Basic Income. (2) Food Stamps, so that instead of praying to our Father in Heaven for our daily bread, we are invited to worship Caesar. (3) Public housing projects, which have harbored so much street violence that they have had to be torn down. Initially, these projects required intact families for residence, but the rules were changed not only to allow, but also to require, broken families. (4) Medicaid, which doesn’t fully reimburse providers, and delivers barely-adequate medical care. (5) Public schools operated by teachers’ unions with little interest in education. (6) Affirmative action preferences in admissions, hiring and promotions for education and employment. (7) Today reparations are offered to make up for the failure and harm that progressive policies have caused in the black community.
This expanded welfare state of the Great Society creates a temptation for people to give up on providing for themselves and their families, and instead become dependent on government, thereby also most likely to vote for the party of government. President Johnson bragged to a couple of other Southern Democrats that his Great Society program would have black folks voting Democrat for another 200 years. As Joe Biden said, you ain’t black if you don’t vote Democrat. See Amity Schlaes, Great Society: A New History, 2019. Pastor Corey Brooks in the South Side of Chicago has launched Project Hood to train people in vocational trades, so that they can support themselves and their families, without falling into dependence on the welfare state or crime. See https://www.projecthood.org/.
The Way Forward
And so today pastors like Corey Brooks struggle to bring black folks back to the Biblical principles that undergird the American Dream. See https://miamiindependent.com/jonathan-turley-and-larry-krasner-debate-at-college-reunion-in-uchicago/. The Reverend Martin Luther King called on us to live up to the promise of America that all men are created equal. The Founding Fathers had issued a promissory note, he said, but had not been able to cash it. In 1963 came the time to cash it.
These principles provided the foundation for the victories of the civil rights movement represented by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, prohibiting segregation and voter suppression, respectively, mostly in the Democrat South. The Reverend King asked that his children be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Now it is up to all of us who identify as Americans, opposed to fundamentally transforming America, to carry forward this American principle of color-blindness, so that Juneteenth belongs to all who were freed, and also to all who paid the cost to freehttps://www.projecthood.org/ them.
Don’t Tread On Me!