Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Slavery, Racism and Collectivism... and New Jersey's Folly

The New Jersey legislature yesterday officially apologized, on behalf of the state, for slavery practiced within its borders in the 19th century and earlier. The New Jersey Star Ledger's January 3, 2008 editorial calls it merely an “official wrong [that] merits an official apology.” It states:

“Assemblymen William Payne and Craig Stanley are sponsoring a simple, worthwhile resolution that says the state Legislature apologizes, regrets this state's involvement in slavery and encourages citizens to remember and teach their children the truth.
“[O]fficial state policy, unfortunately, made New Jersey one of the few Northern states to sanction the federal Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and its provisions for hunting down runaways and returning them to their owners.”


But this is not the whole story. It is being billed as a step toward rectifying the lingering injustice of racism. As quoted by Associated Press Writer Tom Hester Jr., the resolution also states the following:

"The proposed resolution expresses ‘profound regret for the state's role in slavery and apologizes for the wrongs inflicted by slavery and its aftereffects in the United States of America.’“It states that in New Jersey, ‘the vestiges of slavery are ever before African-American citizens, from the overt racism of hate groups to the subtle racism encountered when requesting health care, transacting business, buying a home, seeking quality public education and college admission, and enduring pretextual traffic stops and other indignities.’ " (emphasis added)

Racism, it is said, is a remnant of the enslavement of blacks in the early years of America. It is said that by apologizing for whatever part early New Jersey residents played in regards to slavery, a step will have been taken toward ending this vestige of slavery. But this apology bill will do no such thing. In fact, it will only reinforce whatever racism exists in the minds of people.

This is because racism is not rooted in slavery. Slavery and racism, in fact, are two separate and distinct evils, although they share the same philosophical base… collectivism. While American slavery may have had racist overtones, it must be remembered that America, at its founding, inherited slavery, which had been practiced for thousands of years. One of the greatest contemporary historians, Thomas Sowell, said of slavery:

“[F]or most of the thousands of years of its existence, slavery had nothing to do with race...Slavery existed all over this planet, among people of every color, religion and nationality….[A]nyone familiar with the history of slavery around the world knows that its origins go back thousands of years and that slaves and slaveowners were very often of the same race…Whites enslaved other whites in Europe for centuries before the first black slave was brought to the Western Hemisphere; moreover, Asians enslaved other Asians, Africans enslaved other Africans, and the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere enslaved other native peoples of the Western Hemisphere…[and] Thousands of free blacks owned slaves in the antebellum South.” (These quotes were taken from two articles written by Mr. Sowell and published in the New York Post some years ago, although regrettably I don’t have the dates.)

Racism, on the other hand, is a mindset separate and distinct from the institution of slavery. Some members of all ethnic groups are guilty of its practice. The racist views other people not as individuals but as subordinate members of a group, racial or otherwise. Twentieth century philosopher Ayn Rand, the greatest defender of individualism, defines racism as follows:

“Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism. It is the notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man's genetic lineage—the notion that a man's intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. Which means, in practice, that a man is to be judged, not by his own character and actions, but by the characters and actions of a collective of ancestors…. [R]acism invalidates the specific attribute which distinguishes man from all other living species: his rational faculty.” (From her essay “Racism” in the book Return of the Primitive)

What racism and slavery have in common is that they are both rooted in collectivism. Collectivism is the philosophical doctrine, which holds that the individual has no value and that the standard of value in human affairs is the group to which he “belongs”. The common traits that tie him to the collective (the tribe) may be nationality, religious belief, race, skin color, social or economic status, etc. When members of one group or collective take slaves from another, it is collectivism at work. The tribal warfare that goes on generation after generation in various parts of the world is collectivism in action…with the warring groups holding each other responsible for wrongs perpetrated centuries ago regardless of the fact that the individuals comprising these groups had nothing to do with the ancient events. The individual is held responsible simply by sharing certain characteristics of the group.

While it is being billed as an official act of the state, the implication of this resolution is that the current residents are held to be guilty of the wrongs of their predecessors some 200 years ago, simply because of the color of their skin and their current residency. This implication is unavoidable since the NJ State officials who sanctioned the slave institution were elected by and acted in the name of the people of New Jersey. Those who practice racism today are guilty of irrationality, not past slavery.

The logic behind the official apology being contemplated by the NJ legislature is derived from the same collectivist doctrine as racism and the institution of slavery. By adopting this bill, which is likely a precursor (despite official denials) to the adoption of the even more evil “slave reparations”, New Jersey has officially endorsed the same essential philosophical premises of slavery and racism. (Slave reparations would compel innocent people to make financial “restitution” to modern day profiteers on the injustice of past slavery, which would itself be a new type of slavery.)

One cannot fight evil without attacking it at its root. The best thing any New Jersey resident, or any American, can do in protest against the evil of slavery is to do as I have done. Make the essential fundamental choice. Reject collectivism and adopt its only antithesis, individualism, as a moral and philosophical absolute. This means to pledge to treat every person you encounter as a sovereign individual and to judge him solely according to his own ideas, actions, and overall character, while never ascribing to anyone any sort of group or tribal identity. It further means to pledge to never accept any unearned guilt because of the actions of others.

As to New Jersey's “official" apology for slavery; I hereby disavow any connection to this resolution. I will not accept any guilt or responsibility for the evil deeds perpetrated by those who came before me.

Post Reference 20

4 comments:

Pkai said...

Apology is Not Enough!

Richard Merkt Morris is a pompous self righteous jackass SOB as only a Godless idiot white supremacist would make such asinine remark. Remarks like his are just another reason why the majority of Blacks do not vote for Republicans. This jerk just doesn't get it!!! Its not merely about whether or not the people who instituted, participated or were direct recipients of the slavery market are alive today, its the ramifications slavery left on the lives of Black people and their psychic. Slavery wasn't just an abominable atrocity, it was the state of mind which allowed one race of people to feel they were superior and the supreme God of another people. It was that ill conceived state of mind which galvanized white folk to feel they had the inherent right to institutionalize another race of people and inflict innumerable savage atrocities and the mental and physical harm which ensued for years to come. It was that very same racist superior state of mind inherent in your generations thereby inincorporated within every institution in the U.S. which abominably affected blacks for generations!

The fact that white people like Assemblyman Richard Merkt want to claim they were not directly responsible for such Barbaric, Atrocious, Savage, inhumane acts against an innocent people which indisputably has no validity in the Bible nor in reality of Black Folks lives. For those very same Bibles that most of these hypocrite politicians pro port to sit in church every Sunday and read, proclaiming their religious beliefs to the world, professing to believe in "God"...those very same Bibles which a 12 year old child could comprehend, tell us that.....We are responsible for the Sins of our Forefathers. That very same Bible also tells us that the Esau/Edomites/Whites live in their own "Vainness" which even those of the lowest common sense can comprehend. For it is written that 'You should pray for the sins of your forefathers as you Will Not be Held Blameless!!!

It is also written throughout those very same Bibles, these politicians profess to believe in "The sins of the father shall be visited upon the son" "For the Seed of Generations to come" "Even up to the 4th and 5th Generation" Whether or not these Godless politicians believe in the very same Bible they've touted and professed to the world to believe in for generations, only they themselves and the Father above truly knows. The fact remains that the blood of your forefathers runs through your lineage, therefore White people of this generation are just as responsible for what their forefathers did as if they committed these Savage, Inhumane, Barbaric acts directly themselves. The fact remains that the majority of Blacks undoubtedly hold whites responsible for their suffering and having to bear the brunt of your racist, superior attitude and actions, whether committed directly or indirectly you should not be in doubt as Blacks have yet to be compensated for the genocide on their lives and the lives of their loved ones, whether it be their parents, grandparents or great grandparents, the fact remains that Racism exists in White America and has abominably affected the lives of Blacks, the lives of their children past, and children to come which has been a harsh dose of reality for far too many generations!!

Pkai said...

Or maybe this Jackass Republican Merkt feels "Oh Well, So What if your great grandparents died or suffered from the ramifications of slavery or the generations afterward suffered in poverty bearing the brunt of your racist economic and social systems long after slavery was abolished....As long as the majority of Black Folk today are alive and living ' the lap of luxury' in a non-racist, libertarian, Equal Justice for All in American Society! Thus should be happy and tell all Whites "Thank Ya Massa!!!!! for bringing us out of slavery to become slaves within your racist institutions equating prejudice, bigotry and racism with your national emblem failing to understand that Freedom, Liberty and Justice belong to All !!!

Many blacks will never know their ancestry, their financial inheritance, nor the love and wisdom passed down from their great grandparents and black ancestors. Many blacks will never be able to trace their genuine roots, many blacks will never have the luxury of living that "Rich Off Black Slavery" financial security passed down from generations within the realm of their families. Its 2008, yet still no reparations fruition for Blacks. What Blacks today have undoubtedly inherited is the emotional and psychological baggage of a legacy passed down from generations knowing their great grandparents, Black forefathers and ancestors died from unspeakable, savage, barbaric, inhumane acts committed by whites...merely because of the 'Color of their Skin'

Yet Mr. Merkt in his jackassdom sits in his senate office today, having the audacity to tell All Blacks that
' Since He did not personally commit any of these Barbaric Savage Acts upon Blacks, He does not bare any Responsibility' Well correct some of us if we are wrong, but the name "Merkt" sounds "Jewish" maybe its time some of you Black folk start digging a little deeper into what role these "Jews" played during the time when Blacks were enslaved and just how many decades they have held those responsible for the atrocities committed against them as "Guilty"

Mike Zemack said...

pkai

" Slavery wasn't just an abominable atrocity, it was the state of mind which allowed one race of people to feel they were superior and the supreme God of another people."

This is called collectivism. Full justice for all will come when every last vestige of this evil, primitive doctrine is vanquished from man's mind.

those very same Bibles which a 12 year old child could comprehend, tell us that.....We are responsible for the Sins of our Forefathers. That very same Bible also tells us that the Esau/Edomites/Whites live in their own "Vainness" which even those of the lowest common sense can comprehend. For it is written that 'You should pray for the sins of your forefathers as you Will Not be Held Blameless!!!

This is called collectivism. Full justice for all will come when every last vestige of this evil, primitive doctrine is vanquished from man's mind.

"The sins of the father shall be visited upon the son" "For the Seed of Generations to come" "Even up to the 4th and 5th Generation"

This is called collectivism. Full justice for all will come when every last vestige of this evil, primitive doctrine is vanquished from man's mind.

The fact remains that the blood of your forefathers runs through your lineage, therefore White people of this generation are just as responsible for what their forefathers did as if they committed these Savage, Inhumane, Barbaric acts directly themselves.

This is called racism which is derived from collectivism. Full justice for all will come when every last vestige of this evil, primitive doctrine is vanquished from man's mind.

many blacks will never have the luxury of living that "Rich Off Black Slavery" financial security passed down from generations within the realm of their families.

1. Wealth is not a static quantity like a pot of gold, that is passed down from generation to generation. This idea is a relic of the barbaric pre-Enlightenment era. Wealth is created by the independant minds and productive work of free individuals. Today's wealth is a result of today's production.

2. Slavery doesn't create wealth, it destroys it. The feudal, slave South was poor and backward, while the non-slave capitalistic North is where most of the 19th century wealth was created. We are all poorer for slavery. I quote from The Capitalist Manifesto by Andrew Bernstein:

"By far the most significant harm slavery does to an economy is in terms of foregone benefits... the Southern States legally prohibited education to slaves... With the brainpower of millions left unutilized, their lives were immeasurably impoverished; and similarly, the economic system was deprived of the inventors, entrepreneurs, physicians, educators, scientists, lawyers, etc., who under freedom would have emerged, and whose productive activities would have helped raise general living standards. It is impossible to calculate how many potential George Washington Carvers were denied the opportunity to cultivate their genius by the slave system." (emphasis added)

Freedom, Liberty and Justice belong to All !!!

I most profoundly agree, but do you understand it? If that great phrase means anything to you, pkai, then put your (understandable) anger aside and join the fight for it!!!

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