Monday Open Thread | Blacks Have Consistently Lived Under Systemic Oppression

hakeem-jeffries-33During Thursday’s Congressional Black Caucus panel discussion addressing reshaping the criminal justice system and the role activists play in the movement to address issues affecting African-Americans, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) spoke about the oppression Blacks have faced throughout the history of this nation.

Since the first Africans set foot on American soil in 1619, Blacks have faced an insurmountable level of oppression despite the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, reconstruction after the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. African-Americans have “not been able to breathe.”

Jeffries drew a direct parallel between the plight of Africans in America with the final words spoken by Eric Garner, who died after being placed in an illegal chokehold by NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo.

Congressman Jeffries said, “I’ve often reflected on the fact that those words, I can’t breathe, if you would just change the first one – we can’t breathe – in many ways represents the struggle of African-Americans in this country.”

“From the very beginning at the founding of the republic, we had to deal with chattel slavery,” said Jeffries.

The Congressman from New York called the enslavement of Africans “one of the worst crimes perpetrated against humanity.”

Jeffries said, “Chattel slavery lasted until the Civil War and then there was a brief moment of enlightenment around the 13th Amendment, which ended slavery, and the 14th Amendment, the equal protection clause, and of course, the 15th Amendment, which dealt with the right to vote.”

He said the period of reconstruction was “quickly abandoned” and replaced with Jim Crow and the Black codes. These oppressive institutions allowed for the “systematic lynching of African-Americans all designed to suppress our capacity.”

After the Civil Rights Movement and assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Nixon was elected. Three years into Nixon’s term, he launched the war on drugs. Rep. Jeffries said, “At that time, 350,000 people were incarcerated in America; today there are 2.2 million.”

“We’ve gone from chattel slavery into the Jim Crow era and in a few years after that was ended legislatively, the period of mass incarceration began,” said Jeffries.

“And so Eric Garner says I can’t breathe, but the African-American experience has been we’ve been largely unable to breathe free of systematic, organized, consistent oppression.”

While concluding his remarks, Congressman Jeffries said, “That’s why the struggle has been so necessary and why at the end of the day we’ve got to do all that we can, working in part with the activists on the outside and the legislators on the inside to give the African-American community and all others across this country the room to really experience the American Dream and be given some room to breathe.”

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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63 Responses to Monday Open Thread | Blacks Have Consistently Lived Under Systemic Oppression

  1. rikyrah says:

    This is too adorable. That baby can’t be anymore than 18 months old. Hair must just grow in the family.

  2. An innocent man with car trouble gunned down in the middle of the road because of white people’s fear. Got dammit!

  3. rikyrah says:

    Two terrific comments from POU:

    Comment 1

    sagittarius • 8 hours ago
    Morning Fam!

    I hope all is well. A sista has some thoughts about the topics of the day:

    1. The media may try to use the current situation with the NJ bomber’s religion. I do not believe that this will sway sane Americans to vote for Trump. Additionally, as soon as that debate hits, it will be all over except the shouting. Dude will be shown to be the nonsensical moron that he is. And it will be ever clearer that a vote for him is about white supremacy. Just need to make sure our voters turnout.

    2. I am saddened by what I read about Cam Newton today. I think this loss of black support may affect him more than we believe. He was absolutely buoyed by the support he received last year. He may have thought that the convoluted answer he gave regarding the protest would be OK. This situation also tells me that he is less sure of himself than Kaep. Hope he can find the strength to live life and make decisions on his own terms, whatever they may be.

    3. Every group that miscalculated about the kneel protests – Seahawks team, Cam Newton and others – will be on the wrong side of history. More importantly, they will be on the wrong side of Black/POC fans, who are coalescing around police brutality, No DAPL, Palestinian rights and other global issues. What I see is social media bringing together coalitions in a way that was not possible before. And if Twitter, FB and other social media attempt to get in the way, there will be Black/POC developed platforms to take their place and go around them (see Airbnb). These new coalitions are exciting to watch develop and have been a long time coming. I know a change is gonna come.

    Make today visionary, Fam!

    • rikyrah says:

      This comment is PURE GOLD:

      TresL Miranda • 8 hours ago
      It finally dawned on me yesterday why the kkkops hate these protests, other than the obvious reasons. They can’t do anything about them. When protesters march or rally outside of a courthouse, a residence or a park, the kkkops are quickly dispatched, sometimes in full riot gear, and in Ferguson they brought tanks. They can use pepper spray, tear gas, dogs and batons to intimidate and disperse the crowd. They can lie on and blame the protesters for the damage incurred when the paid provocateurs or anarchists show up throwing bottles, setting fires and destroying property. All bets are off if they can claim a kkkop was injured by a protester. They can arrest people and hold them indefinitely. None of this is possible with these on the field protests. #VeteransforKaepernick was a game-changer and probably stunned them. They’re helpless as more and more athletes (amateur and professional) and students silently kneel for the brief length of time it takes to perform the NA; yet, the point is made and I would say probably more effectively than the marches because of the aforementioned.

      That’s why they’re so mad. Every time someone kneels and is either lauded or criticized for their stance, it is a public reminder of the brutal and sadistic nature of kkkops in this country toward POC because they want to continue to murder us quietly, without scrutiny believing their version of events. However, subsequent shootings will prove to justify the protests even more. This will over time strip them of their untouchable hero status in the minds of some white Americans and maybe the shootings will decrease and/or we’ll see some of these fuckers finally go to prison.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Dante Boykin @DanteB4u
    Heading home from a college class, car broke down, needing assistance, cop killed him for breathing while black w/hands up. #TerenceCrutcher

    • rikyrah says:

      Nick Jack Pappas @Pappiness
      The world we live in: People upset when a black man takes a knee, but unaffected when a black man takes a bullet. #TerenceCrutcher

  5. rikyrah says:

    Wesley Lowery ✔ @WesleyLowery
    beyond details of encounter, #terencecrutcher latest example of officers watching as someone they’ve shot bleeds out

  6. rikyrah says:

    September 19, 2016, 05:15 pm
    Trump to do town hall at black church with Hannity

    Donald Trump is scheduled to hold a town hall event with Sean Hannity of Fox News at a black church in Cleveland, Ohio.

    The Republican presidential nominee will be hosted by Reverend Darrell Scott, an outspoken Trump supporter, at the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights.

    The network indicates the event will specifically “discuss the core issues and concerns surrounding African-Americans this 2016 election cycle.”
    “I heard the campaign was doing something with Pastor Scott, who is a friend, and I said let’s put it on TV,” Hannity tells The Hill. “They agreed.
    Donald Trump has had a series of speeches in predominantly black churches and he is clearly continuing that outreach.”

  7. ARREST #BettyShelby NOW for the murder of #TerenceCrutcher. His hands were in the air, dammit. No gun found on him or in his vehicle.

  8. Hillary is calling for trust between law enforcement & the Muslim community. How can that be when law enforcement profile & harass Muslims? How can trust be built between law enforcement & the black community when cops keep killing unarmed black people? We need police reform. Laws changed.

  9. Ametia says:

    SMH All that BLEACH, it’s done a number on her brain.

  10. Ametia says:

    So now ‘terror’ is the carrot the media is dangling before Americans in this election cycle.

  11. Gordon Parks took this photograph of the Fontenelle Children outside their Harlem in 1967….The pictures tell a heart-breaking story of destitution as the family of ten struggles to survive in their tiny $70 a month home with no income and the constant threat of violence.

  12. Liza says:

    After the Civil War, the south should have been occupied for multiple generations, perhaps a hundred years as it turns out. Those white folks wanted revenge, pure and simple. That and free / cheap labor.

  13. In America, racial oppression is not ancient history

    When talking about his childhood in Earle, Ark., during the 1920s and ’30s, my father always mentions a sheriff who rented out prisoners to wealthy landowners. Black men arrested on charges such as vagrancy and drunkenness, or just for being “uppity,” were forced to pay off their fines by working in coal mines, cotton fields, turpentine camps and timber mills.

    “People would come to town from all over the county on weekends, riding wagons and mules,” my dad recalls. “Naturally, guys who had worked hard all week on the farm would want to have a little fun. They might buy a half a pint, get drunk. Then the sheriff would show up, and the next thing they knew they’d be working on a plantation and you might never hear from them again.”

    The practice, known as “convict leasing,” is explored in a PBS documentary, “Slavery by Another Name,” that airs Monday. For more than 80 years, from the end of the Civil War to the beginning of World War II, roughly 800,000 people throughout the South were forced to work under circumstances that were as bad, if not worse, than slavery. The death rate at some work camps and mines was as high as 40 percent.

    For me, the film doesn’t carry the same power as listening to a parent talk about growing up in those days, but it concludes by making the same important point that Dad often does.

    “This is not ancient history,” he tells me. “This actually happened in my lifetime.”

    And the effects of centuries of racial oppression don’t just disappear in one or two generations — nor do the attitudes that gave rise to it.

    Douglas A. Blackmon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the book on which the documentary is based, also titled “Slavery by Another Name,” and a contributing editor to The Washington Post, sums up how America’s economic system was rigged to benefit one group at the expense of another.

  14. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning 😊, Everyone 😆

  15. Good morning, everyone!


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