Many Thanksgiving dinners in America featured someone shouting something like, “you know, the Irish, Italian, German, and other immigrants who came to America all integrated. I don’t understand why African-Americans haven’t.”
Such a statement comes with a variety of agendas. First, the speaker could be a racist just trying to get a rise out of other people, or someone puzzled by racial problems who doesn’t understand because of ignorance and racism, but always someone who doesn’t realize that slavery didn’t end in 1865.
Slavery in America continued in a variety of forms from the end of the Civil War up to World War II and beyond. One of the most common forms was to arrest African-American males for (Trumped up) minor violations, jail them for a year, during which their services were rented out (sold) to railroad robber barons or other such slime-ball companies who made these men work in chain gangs without payment and under conditions often resulting in their deaths. Over several generations, tens of thousands of African-American males were ripped from their families, destroying nuclear families by kidnapping the fathers and brothers and sons of those families. Not until the need for workers in the North during World War II was this cycle partially interrupted.
Putting African-American males back in jail for minor offenses (often because of racial profiling) has continued to the present day, further shattering the families. Still, many blame African-Americans for crimes committed against them, and for which they are actually due billions in reparations.
Michael T. Coolen
Corvallis (Nov. 29)