Is it necessary to offer reparations for decades of suffering and pain, even after slavery ended and was supposedly “illegal”? Yes. Reparations are necessary. White slave owners that separated families, destroyed lives, and created an unequal balance between whites and blacks that survives even until today. The U.S. Government is responsible for slavery and they are responsible for repaying those affected. While the Government did not go out of their way to support slave trade, they did nothing to stop it. It was most literally a dog fight in order to pass the 13th Amendment and the Government did nothing to support said Amendment after it was passed. Slavery lived on even after slavery was abolished. Even after slavery was completely gone, blacks had to fight tooth and nail, most of the time against the government in order to achieve Civil Rights. (carnegiecouncil.org) Now the Government should not be the ones who repay the effected. It should be the families who owned the slaves that should repay. If the Government was the one to repay, then they would just raise taxes, so in essence, they would not pay anything. It should be the actual offenders, not just the bystanders. The ones who caused the pain should be the ones who should be caused pain now.   

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Reparations, though necessary and the right thing to do by the government, it is not the easiest mountain to climb. The new men and women of npr tell us that “Critics say it will be difficult to determine plaintiffs and defendants, arguing that non-black Americans living today are not responsible for slavery and that their tax dollars should not be used for compensation” (www.npr.org). The people of America do not want the government taking their hard earned money and giving it to the people who deserve/need it. In reality, the government already does this. The people pay their income tax, the government takes it, and puts it into the many social programs that our leaders have created over the years. Welfare, Medicare, and Public Housing are called entitlement programs. These programs give “reparations” to the desperate, poor, and needy. Maybe some of these descendants of slaves are needy, or poor, or desperate. These reparations would change their lives for the good. It would not repair all the damage slavery has done, but it would let the descendants today know that we have not forgotten about their ancestors. 

 

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Even though reparations are opposed by many, the good people who support this deed should get their reparations. As the people of this great nation wonder what the future holds, they will have to give back to those who deserve it, the descendants of slaves. Money can never fully buy back centuries of discrimination, hatred, and hypocracy. For some of these people the older African-Americans still tormented by the past segregation and being seen as second class citizens, this would be a way to show them that we have not forgotten about their troubles and their hardships.       

Ipads, Ipods, Mac Computers. There are thousands, even millions of people that own one or more Apple products in their household. They are sometimes describes as a “gift from God”, but are they? The ugly truth is that the rapid production rate that these products are produced at is thanks to modern day slavery. Poor working conditions that are described as even dangerous and work sessions that can exceed 24 hours are just some of the problems for the slaves that work in the Ipad factories is China. Image

Steve Jobs invented the Ipad and turned it into a world wide phenomenon and that is always what he will be remembered for. The Ipad is a wonderful tool that seems to make life so much easier. That is the bright side of the business of Ipads. (Pictures from annarbor.com)

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The truth behind the Ipads is that they are made in factories like these that have long assembly lines with little to no room to move. (pictures from iphoneheadlines.com)

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In these factories with little to no room, the workers work exceedingly long work days that sometimes go up to 24 hours. They stand in these lines until they cannot stand any more. (picture from thecellularguru.com)

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The working conditions in the factories are not only poor, but are also dangerous. Victims from explosions often die or are so deformed that they cannot be recognized any more. These explosions occur from time to time and some of them probably do not get reported. (picture from English.peopledaily.com)

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At these factories, workers live at the factory site. Inside the rooms, the people are cramped in tight dirty spaces. They can barely socialize with their roommates because of the tiresome condition they are in. (courtesy of http://www.businessinsider.com/)

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The conditions are so bad; that the corporation Foxconn’s Tai Yuan factory has installed nets around their buildings to catch suicide jumpers. These companies also have their workers sign pleges that they will not attempt suicide.  (picture courtesy of workersparty.org.)

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Workers or family members of explosion and suicide victims often protest, but hardly nothing is done for them. Creating a union is looked down upon by the Factory staff. (picture from nimg.sulekha.com)

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Luckily, for the workers, people are finally starting to realize the horrid conditions they are put through. Many people around the world have organized protests against the worker conditions of the people that create your apple products. (photo form http://www.smh.com.au/)

 

 

A Must See!!

Lincoln. The name brings to mind the qualities the America was founded on. Bravery, moral uprightness, a critical mind, the ability to think outside the box, and a certain amount of stubbornness. Daniel Day Lewis embodies these qualities fabulously in the blockbuster film, Lincoln. The movie is about the end of Lincoln’s second term and when he was trying to pass the 13th amendment, or the amendment to abolish slavery. The film, because it deals with such a serious topic, has a perfect amount of comic relief, provided by radical republican Thaddeus Stevens, played by Tommy Lee Jones. Daniel Day Lewis portrays Lincoln as many probably have, as an intellectual wise, and cunning figure, very soft-spoken, but who carried around a great burden on his shoulders and a great pain in his heart. The movie does a good job with historical accuracy while still showing the history in a story.

The PG-13 Movie “Lincoln” was made in the year 2012. “Lincoln” was directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by DreamWorks and 20th Century FOX. “Lincoln” stars Daniel Day-Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln, Sally Field as First-Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, and Tommy Lee Jones as Congressmen Thaddeus Stevens. It also stars David Strathairn as William Seward, Joseph Gordon-Leavitt as Robert Lincoln, and James Spencer as W.N. Bilbo. This movie follows the 16th President’s through his journey to pursue his ambitious goal of abolishing slavery by creating and passing the 13th amendment, while the war with the South raged on.

The story revolves around Abraham Lincoln and the making of the 13th amendment. Abraham Lincoln is the main character; he is pushed to his mental limits throughout the movie.  The movie also show a playful side to Abe who could  tell a good story every once in awhile. Mary Todd Lincoln is the eccentric wife of President Lincoln, who acts as Abe’s moral compass. Thaddeus Stevens is the most radically right congressmen at the time. William Seward is seen as one of Lincoln’s closet friends and main advisor during this time. Robert Lincoln is the Lincolns’ oldest son.  A typical boy caught up in the patriotic fever, eager to fight in the war. Then there was W.N. Bilbo, who was an operative who had been hired by Mr. Seward to persuade Democrats into voting to pass the 13th amendment. These characters help create a cinematic masterpiece that rival some of the greatest films of all time!
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The most important scene of the movie, though not quite the climax, occurs later on in the movie. The vote for passing the amendment that requires a simple majority in the House in order to be passed, hangs on the decision of the conservative republicans and several of democrats. In order for these republicans to vote for the amendment, Thaddeus Stevens, played by Tommy Lee Jones, who is a radical who wishes for full equality between blacks and whites, must say under questioning that he does not believe in full equality between all people, just equality before the law. It seems that Thaddeus, portrayed as a man who is unable to keep his mouth shut will not be able to say this. Under questioning from democrats who do not want the bill passed, he delivers a deep and moving, yet entertaining speech saying that he wishes only for equality under the law. He says that if a piece of dirty despicable scum like the democrat can be held equal under the law, then blacks should be too. This convinces the rest of the republicans to vote for the amendment and seems a miracle that Thaddeus Stevens was able to keep his mouth shut.

Lincoln was a moving, informative, enjoyable, and heart capturing film. Adults will love it for the historical accuracy of the film and superb acting by the entire cast and children, maybe not young children, will love it for the comical jokes and the story-telling manner in which the film is shown. The film displays the end of Lincoln’s first term, at the end of the Civil War, and the passing of the 13th amendment. The in-depth look at the process of the voting in the House of Representatives is very accurate. The film did not focus on the fighting of the Civil War itself, though it showed the negotiations that occurred to end of the war and eventually the meeting at the Appomattox Court House. Ulysses S Grant was portrayed most accurately, having a cigar in his mouth in every scene (he was notorious for smoking cigars as he died of throat cancer). The movie Lincoln is a moving, historically accurate, special film that should be recommended to adults of all ages and children up to age 10. It portrays one of the most important events in American history and it does a superb job.

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John Brown. When the name is mentioned different opinions often come to mind. Traitor, murder, rebel, devout in his beliefs, maybe even crazy. John was a white man, born into a family that detested slavery. John, as expected, hated it just as much. John Brown was always known, as a man of action and it is not surprising that he did not want to sit around and allow congress to sort out the issue. On October 16, 1859, he led 21 men into Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. Their mission was to raid the arsenal house, take control of the weapons, and lead the slaves of the town to rebellion. Brown planned to create a rebellion army to free all of the slaves. John Brown got to the arsenal house, but nothing else went right. Most of his followers were killed and he was captured, and after trial, was killed. (www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4) On account of this event, John Brown was accused of treason, inciting slaves to rebellion, and murder. Now whether he is guilty of all these crimes is a manner of opinion.

In the case of the crime of treason, I do not believe that John Brown is guilty. First thing, it was not treason to the United States of America, it was treason to the state of Virginia. In terms of technicality he betrayed the views and beliefs of the state of Virginia and the city of Charleston. (www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4) In the manner of morality, he did not commit treason. I do not believe that he should be punished for treason. He was simply fighting for what he believed in and that is one of the things that this country was built on. If every man who believes in something is shot down, then how can we be American?

In the case of inciting slaves to rebellion, I do not see how that is even a crime. Assisting those to what should be an unalienable right of theirs should not be punishable in any matter. John Brown’s plan was to capture the weapon storage in Harper’s Ferry and he assumed that the slaves would rise up to help him and take up arms against the slave owners and then go on to free more slaves. (www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4) John Brown did not specifically incite slaves to rebel, he assumed that they would join him. He did not ask or force slaves to rebel, he assumed they would.

In the case of murder, John Brown is guilty. No matter how heinous the crime of slavery is, killing innocent people if they get in the way, or simply killing in general is no way to solve a problem. John Brown killed a black man who was either just in the wrong place at the wrong time or he was the gate guard for the storehouse. Which either it was, he was murdered with out a second thought. (Ken Burns Documentary.) There is no excuse for killing. The punishment for this crime is death. An eye for an eye so to speak.

In the end, should John Brown have been killed? Yes he should have. He committed murder and no time of servitude can make up for that. He is not, however, guilty of treason or inciting slaves to rebellion. Those charges were brought about by a biased, slave-ownership supporting state that saw any rebellion against their “tradition” as an act punishable by death. John Brown may have been crazy, but his ultimate goals were certainly moral and should be considered as such.

 

 

Drayton Hall is was a rice plantation that is located in Charleston, South Carolina. It has been in existence for over 270 years since John Drayton first built it in 1738. The estate had been in the Drayton family name until 1974 when Charles and Frank Drayton gave the estate to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Whenever this majestic, historic building is portrayed in a happy, almost joyful manner. Pictures are of the beautiful landscape surrounding the estate, or tour guides giving interested tourists looks around the estate and pictures of the tourists enjoying themselves tremendously. Their “motto” so to speak is “This is more than a house”. The statement could not be more accurate. While the owners of such an estate would like to portray the manor in a positive light, the real meaning is much darker and puts a stain on the “good name” of the house. Those that work at the house describe the house as being a survivor. Being over 270 years old that is a true statement, but the old inhabitants of the house, the ones that survived, could be classified much better as survivors than the house actually was and is. When the history of the house is spoken of, slavery is barely even mentioned. When the Civil War was talked about, it was spoken of as an inconvenience. The cause for the end of plantation life is not looked down upon per says, but it is not spoken of in a positive light. There seems to be no feelings at where the issue of slavery is concerned. The people who research this information simply do not want to acknowledge slavery. Other than promoting the preservation of the site, the manor also promotes many educational opportunities for children of all ages. It is not, however, education about slavery. The educational opportunities are all about the history of the plantation itself. There is nothing wrong with trying to promote the learning of the history of the site, but the fact that there is no mention of slavery is wrong. The sole reason that the site has any importance what so ever seems to have little or no importance. The people who run the manor do a fine job of preserving some of the history. They preserve only the part that sheds positive light on the manor. One would not like to brag about committing heinous deeds, but it must at least be acknowledged in some way, shape, or form and this plantation simply does not do that.

 

 

The Monmouth Plantation in Mississippi is now called the Monmouth Historic Inn. The Monmouth is one of the most luxurious Hotels in the South, but it holds a deep and historic past as a plantation and a fortress for Slavery’s elite. The first picture on the website shows the beautifully restored main house and the headline reads most romantic hotel in the south. Again a bit ironic considering its past-

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Another thing I found ironic was the pictures that fade in and out all the staff are African-American and all the guests are White. The first impression of the website is one of the old South. The owners are not afraid to embrace the charm of the property but are trying to reinvent the legacy.

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The Monmouth historic site takes a very neutral stance on slavery, and it does not talk much about the slave’s conditions, and, when it did, it showed good treatment of the slaves. They said that they gave the slaves extra housing so that the slaves could be comfortable after their work tending the garden. I believe that they are trying to suppress their Slavery heritage. It supports many of the historic figures that played key roles in the secession of the South. John A. Quitman; the mansion’s most important occupant; was known by many as Mississippi’s “Father of Secession”.

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The Monmouth historic inn has beautiful accommodations The grounds are the backdrop for many different events: weddings, Anniversary Celebrations, Birthdays, Family Reunions Class Reunions, Mardi Gras, Krewe Parties, and Social Club Functions. Although the grounds and buildings are beautiful, when you really understand history of what went on here, I can’t see some of these events being appropriate for a historic site like this. You do not see many parties on Alcatraz.

I believe that the plantation is beautiful and remote getaway and the physical property has been beautifully restored. Although I don’t think that the website totally explains the legacy and history. There is something kind of bittersweet about the property. Creating new and happy memories. I think the owners are doing a good job at reinventing the legacy of this Plantation!

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Slaves solved the labor issues but with it came the problem of controlling these large newly created populations. The slave codes were instituted to control the large community of blacks and set the standard of how blacks and whites would interact.  The State of Alabama instituted slave codes to support and regulate the institution of slavery

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These slave codes of Alabama represented the fear and caution of our society towards the slave community during that period.The fear of rebellion by the slaves was an ever-present threat to the slave owners and the community at large.  Law 37 of the Alabama Slave Code stated thatIt shall be unlawful for more than five male slaves, either with or without passes, to assemble together at any place off the proper plantation, to which they belong; and if any slaves do so assemble together, the same shall be deemed an unlawful assembly (Aikin, 398).This law was meant to prevent blacks from building any kind of community, keeping them isolated. This meant that the black community would not be able to group together and protest or even rebel against their white oppressors. The fear of a slave uprising is very prevalent in this part of the Alabama slave laws.

The fear of Rebellion led to the institution of the 7th law of Alabama Slave Code it took away the African-American’s 2ndamendment right, the right to bear arms. The Code stated: “No slave shall keep or carry any gun, powder, shot, club or other weapon.”(Aikin, 391). This gave the slaves no way to defend themselves by any means necessary. The slave community of Alabama could not then by the order of the state find a way to rebel against their oppression. The fear of rebellion brought the state of Alabama to create these horrible laws prohibiting the rights to the already oppressed slaves.

The Alabama Slave Code also made it unlawful for slaves to testify in court against a white man, this meant that the slave would not be able to show their voice in a government office or court. The government would now not be able to answer the plea of the African Americans that were tormented by the white men of the south. Tearing away the slave’s 5th and 6th amendment rights gave the white man full legal control over his fellow American of color. This gave the slaves no opportunity to pursue a legal emancipation and eventually stay enslaved and obedient.

The Alabama Slave Code reflects the climate of fear  felt by all of the Southern States in the early 1830’s. These laws restricted slaves basic human freedoms: to assemble, to bear witness to a crime, bear arms, and travel freely. “Instead of moving toward emancipation these Slave Codes fastened evermore tightly to the chains of Bondage.” (Foner, 15)

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