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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Show Me Your Scars

While each plantation had its own set of social, religious, and labor codes, all had the basic format for an instilled hierarchy in which the slavemaster reigned as gad. He maintained the element of slave misery, by controlling the degree of pain.

*Treatments were given such as mutilation, branding, chaining, and murder which were supposedly regulated or prohibited by law.

*Whipings (sic), beatings, drownings, and hangings were as unpredictable as they were gruesome.

*It was clear to plantation owners that slavery cold not survive without the whip (even though owners were forbidden to deliberately kill or maliciously mutilate a slave). Males and females were whipped indiscriminately. The severity of whipping depended on the number of strokes to the type of whip. Fifteen to twenty lashes were generally sufficient, but they could range much higher.

* Other items used for punishments included stocks, chains, collars, and irons.

*Slaves could also be hanged or burned at the stake.

*Women could be raped by the owner of the plantation, his sons or, any white male. (from the text Slavery In British America and the United States)

Those Americans who endured the beatings, the rapes, the chains, and the starvation must look down on the sight of scum like "Minister" Louis Farrakhan, the "Reverend" Jesse Jackson, and the "Reverend" Al Sharpton with rage. And sorrow.

The three apostles of slavedom met yesterday, along with a host of other race-baiters to announce the formation of another march - this time on Washington - to call attention to the plight of America's poor black citizenry. If that were all it was, I'd join the march myself.

Farrakhan Plans Millions-Strong Fete to March
BY JOSH GERSTEIN - Staff Reporter of the New York Sun

Flanked by respected leaders in the African-American community, the leader of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan, yesterday announced plans to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March by bringing millions of black men and women to the nation's capital in October. (
My problem with charlatans like Farrakhan is that they use the slaves of the 18th and 19th century (totally defenseless in life and now unable to fend off the likes of Farrakhan in death), for political - and monetary - gain. And in the course of their efforts, they spread hate - and enrich themselves.

"'How could you be in a room with racists?' We've been in a room with you for 400 years," Minister Farrakhan continued. "'How could you be in a room with those who are divisive?' When you brought us here, we weren't integrated. We were in the holds of ships. ... [my emphasis]. Don't accuse us of being divisive."
The spitual leader of the Nation of Islam spoke of the shackles and the pain and suffering his people have endured for over 400 years. Of the systematic degredation and imprisonment of a race of people who have been enslaved by the system only because of the color of their skin.

As I read this, I could see the scars created by the lash across his back; the dripping blood from the yoke that had been affixed around his neck, the bones protruding beneath taut flesh, the result of years of neglect and malnutrition. I could envision his wife and children being torn away from him and sold to a plantation master from down Mississippi way, the children, one clutching her mother's breast, screaming, pleading not to be taken away from their father.

And then I remembered that this was Louis Farrakhan's gig. This is how he makes his millions. There are no scars. He's never been shackled. His family, whenever I see them with him, are all decked out in much finer clothing than I've ever been able to afford. And for a man who talks of the suffering and privation his people are having to endure, the rotund voice of the enslaved certainly looks like he hasn't missed a meal of late.

His act works. For some inexplicable reason, there is a segment of the populace that eats his bullshit up. Including "soul and hip-hop artists" like Erykah Badu.

"This is the beginning of the new world," she said as she pledged her backing for the anniversary march. "This is the beginning of the freedom of the slaves and the slave masters."
How pitiful is that? Another rich black chick pretending to be suffering under the master's whip.

Show me your scars, babe. Tell me about the suffering you've endured. Tell me about the sting of the lash. I want to hear the stories about your immediate family members who were hanged or butchered. I want you to tell me of the time - any time - you've talked to anyone who has ever been enslaved.

If you can't - and you can't - then stop it. All of you. You degrade yourselves and shame your ancestors. You have no more right to talk about your "enslavement" than I can make up stories about my own sufferings because I may have had a distant ancestor who came to America as an indentured servant 400 hundred years ago.

Shame on all of you.

When a new hand, one unaccustomed to the business, is sent for the first time into the field, he is whipped up smartly, and made for that day to pick as fast as he can possibly. At night it is weighed, so that his capability in cotton picking is known. He must bring in the same weight each night following. If it falls short, it is considered evidence that he has been laggard, and a greater or less number of lashes is the penalty...

The hands are required to be in the cotton field as soon as it is light in the morning, and, with the exception of ten or fifteen minutes, which is given them at noon to swallow their allowance of cold bacon, they are not permitted to be a moment idle until it is too dark to see, and when the moon is full, they often times labor till the middle of the night. They do not dare to stop even at dinner time, nor return to the quarters, however late it be, until the order to halt is given by the driver...

No matter how fatigued and weary he may be - no matter how much he longs for sleep and rest - a slave never approaches the gin-house with his basket of cotton but with fear. If it falls short in weight- if he has not performed the full task appointed him, he knows that he must suffer...

This done, the labor of the day is not yet ended, by any means. Each one must then attend to his respective chores. One feeds the mules, another the swine - another cuts the wood, and so forth; besides, the packing is all done by candle light. Finally, at a late hour, they reach the quarters, sleepy and overcome with the long day's toil. Then a fire must be kindled in the cabin, the corn ground in the small hand-mill, and
supper, and dinner for the next day in the field, prepared. All that is allowed them is corn and bacon, which is given out at the corncrib and smoke-house every Sunday morning....

When it is "done brown:' the ashes are scraped off, and being placed upon a chip, which answers for a table, the tenant of the slave hut is ready to sit down upon the ground to supper. By this time it is usually midnight. The same fear of punishment with which they approach the gin-house, possesses them again on lying down to get a snatch of rest. It is the fear of oversleeping in the morning. Such an offense would certainly be attended with not less than twenty lashes .. .

An hour before day light the horn is blown.... Then the fears and labors of another day begin; and until its close there is no such thing as rest. He fears he will be caught lagging through the day; he fears to approach the gin-house with his basket-load of cotton at night; he fears, when he lies down, that he will-oversleep himself in the morning. (

Solomon Northup, a slave

Your booty might be bigga
But I still can pull your nigga
But I don't want him
Ya got sugar on your pita
But ya nigga thinks I'm sweeter
But I don't want him
Ya know the whole encyclopedia
But ya nigga thinks I'm deeper
But I don't want him
Got a whole lot a junk off in ya trunk
But ya nigga think I'm live and I keep him crunk
I don't want him

Erykah Badu, "Booty"