A PRIMER TO BLACK HISTORY MONTH In celebration of Black History month we take a second look at the many achievements of individuals and institutions directly or indirectly having an impact on African-Americans. I’m interested in reviewing the substance of Republican party and some enacted laws. The Republican party was renamed away from the Whig party in Jackson, MI in 1854. One of the parties core beliefs was its outrage to the extension of slavery from the 1850 Missouri Compromise. Another Supreme court decision affecting Dred Scott in 1857 made it clear that the first three words of our constitution “We the people” was White Supremacy and didn’t extend to African-Americans. Supreme Court justice, Roger Taney said that the words people and citizens went hand and hand and Dred Scott couldn’t sue for his freedom because blacks free or slave were non citizens. Lincoln considered Taney’s legal decision was unsound and immoral. However, Lincoln did agree with Taney that blacks and whites weren’t and shouldn’t be political and social equals. Lincoln and his Republican party original didn’t advocate the abolition of slavery but its extension. They wanted slavery to gradual die out over time by 1900 with slave masters being compensated for their loss of property. When Lincoln signed his Emancipation Proclamation it didn’t free all black peoples and it was a self serving war measure to get Black laborers and Soldiers in the Union Army. Lincoln in his famous debates with Stephen Douglass wasn’t sure if Blacks were equal morally and intellectually with whites We have the 13th amendment outlawing slavery to be replaced with peonage, prison chain gangs and Black codes. Lincoln wanted compulsory apprentices/ indentured servants of blacks to whites. We have the 14th amendment giving equal protection of laws and citizenship to all born in the U.S to be replaced with “Separate but equal” laws not to be overturned until 1954 & 1964 with all deliberate speed. We have the 15th amendment giving us the right to vote being replaced with poll taxes, grandfather clause and literacy test which was not removed until the 1965 voting rights act. Key black votes are now being taken away in target area like Ohio and Florida to reverse the black vote. We have to be vigilant of new Black codes in other names that undermine our citizenship and pursuit of happiness. Credit reports effects the same way Black codes did dictating type of employment you can and can’t do and housing where you live. And they told us there was no more “Sun down” laws. In the constitution it used to say: “No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, But shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due”. (This clause is superseded by Amendment XIII.) This former law is transferred in another name to fines and fees of one state having the same effect in another state. For example take your drivers license is suspended in one state it will cross over to another state until you pay the courts service fee. Having a drivers license is paramount to being free of being dependent because most jobs require it. Child support is slavery, drug addition is slavery too. The celebration of Black History is the accomplishments and remaining struggles to exit from 2nd class citizenship status to 1st class of equality through political, social and economic self-assertion and determinations.