Saturday, May 26, 2012
I will be on Living Dialogues with Duncan Campbell, Sunday, 12:30 pm on KGNU, AM 1390, FM 88.5
I will be on Living Dialogues with Duncan Campbell, Sunday, 12:30 pm on KGNU AM 1390, FM 88.5. This is the second part of a conversation about the success of the revolution for emancipation, described in Black Patriots and Loyalists, in the North - analogous to the independence movement which achieved gradual emancipation under Bolivar in Venezuela - but its failure, determined largely for political reasons, in the South. The conversation begins from the surprising centrality of black soldiers on both sides in the decisive battle at Yorktown as reported by Georg Daniel Flohr, a German private fighting for the Royal Deux-ponts on the Patriot side, who walked around the field and surveyed the corposes: a majority, he wrote, were "Mohren" (Moors, blacks).
Duncan raises an important consequence of the defeat of emancipation in the South: the Constitution enshrined slaveowners (Presidents for 52 of the first 72 years of the Republic, and the only ones elected to two terms). See here for part 1 of the conversation, here and here. The 3/5th rule (article 1, section 2 paragraph 3) - counting fractions of slaves to create pseudo-votes on behalf of their masters - caused the election of Jefferson and increased the representation of slave-owners in Congress by roughly a third with many evil consequences, including the genocide toward the Cherokee in Georgia.
Article 1 section 9 forbidding citizens to aid escaped slaves was a) a reaction to mass escape to and fighting with the Crown against the colonists during the Revolution (the infamy of the colonists' cause: "how come we hear the greatest yelps for liberty from the drivers of slaves?" asked Samuel Johnson, of Tom Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, bitingly), Along with a force of 50,000 troops, the section underpinned the seizure and deportation of Anthony Burns against a great crowd of abolitionists in Boston in 1854 - there is a powerful sermon of James Freeman Clark denouncing this - and the infamous Dred Scott decision (Justice Roberts has not quite achieved the distinction of Roger Taney but on Guantanamo and other matters, he is working hard at it).
The discussion in this second part will explore the consequences of the anti-democratic character of the Constitution for current developments, including the new debt-slavery of students. For those not in the Colorado area, the audio will also be available on KGNU's website - KGNU.org - shortly after the show.
This Thursday, May 31, I will be talking about/signing Black Patriots and Loyalists at Boulder Book Store at 7:30.