Michael Coard (Courtesy Photo)

Michael Coard (Courtesy Photo)

And what if only White adults were permitted to vote on this question? What do you think their vote would be? Well, I might find out because I’m now posing that slavery or freedom question to White voters. And I’m asking them to cast their ballots anytime from Saturday, Nov. 19 at 9 a.m. through Friday, Nov. 25 at 5 p.m. by emailing me at MichaelCoard@msn.com or by answering a simple “Yes” or “No” on my Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter page.

Although the results cannot be validated because there’s no way of knowing if the voter is White or adult or is voting more than once under different names, whatever results I get (and those results will be made public) will kinda/sorta give me a feel regarding how racist America is or is not.

You might think such a question is silly. But it’s not. In fact, Time Magazine in February cited a YouGov/Economist exit poll in which the supporters of then candidate/now President-Elect Donald Trump were asked if they approved or disapproved of emancipation for Blacks. Nearly half — a whopping 47 percent — disapproved, had some reservations, or weren’t sure! What? In 2016? In this country’s so-called “post-racial” society? Wow! And nearly 40 percent of his supporters in specific southern states said they “wish the South had won the Civil War.”

And, as noted by Public Policy Polling, in regard to his South Carolina supporters, “70 percent wished the Confederate battle flag still flew over the… (state) capitol….” In 2011, during the 150th anniversary of the 1861 start of the Civil War, a CNN poll indicated that 40 percent of Southerners and 25 percent of Americans overall were “more sympathetic with the rebellious Confederacy than with the Union.” It gets worse: “80 percent of Republicans surveyed… expressed admiration for the leaders of the… (Confederacy).” This obviously includes leaders such as Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephans of Georgia who stated in his famous March 21, 1861 Cornerstone Speech, “African slavery as it exists amongst us… (is) the proper status of the negro in our form of civilization….. (The) negro is not equal to the white man… (and) slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition.”

Following the 1865 end of the Civil War, seven states, namely Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee, incorporated motifs from the Confederate flag into their own flags. And they’re still waving them as of this very day. Texas has it on its state seal. Louisiana and South Carolina (as well as five of the aforementioned seven states) have it on their license plates.

It’s not just the flag symbol of dead slavery that’s frightening. It’s the apparently desirable return of actual revived slavery that’s even more frightening. A mere three years ago, Jim Wheeler, a Nevada Republican state representative stated he would “bring back slavery” if that’s what his constituents wanted. Just two years ago, Jim Brown, an Arizona Republican congressional candidate said, “Basically, slave owners took pretty good care of their slaves… and this kept business rolling along.”

You might say things are getting better, though. You might say we’re in or at least moving toward a “post-racial” society. You might say today’s white children are not like their racist parents and grandparents. Well, if you say any of that, you’re wrong. Here’s an example. In June, students at the predominantly white South High School in Grosse Pointe, Michigan posted a video calling for “slavery to be reinstated” and for the “branding and killing of Black people.” Yep. Those kids said that. And videotaped it. And posted it for public viewing. I wonder why they thought that was OK with their parents, with their grandparents, with Michigan, and with America. Hmm….

Oh, and by the way, don’t forget the Dred Scott decision of 1857, which proclaimed that Blacks have no rights — including freedom — that whites are bound to respect because Blacks “were not, are not, and can never be” American citizens. And most certainly, don’t forget that it has never been officially overturned by the Supreme Court. In fact, it is still valid law as determined by the judicial branch which never overruled it, despite such decision later contradicting the citizenship mandate in the 14th Amendment of 1868 as adopted by the legislative branch. That is exactly why Kansas Solicitor General Stephen McCallister filed a legal brief in that state’s Supreme Court just last month citing the Dred Scott decision to support his reactionary and frightening legal argument in a case entitled Herbert Hodes, M.D. & Traci Lynn Nauser, M.D. v. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

Those of you, i.e., White folks, who decide to vote to reinstate slavery, don’t feel guilty or bad about it. And that’s because you’re in “good” company since nearly all, actually 13, of the first 18 United States presidents enslaved Black men, women, boys, and girls. And here’s the breakdown: Of the first five presidents, four enslaved Black human beings and those four did so as president. Of the next five, four were slavers, including two as president. Of the next five, two were slavers, both as president. Of the next three, two were slavers but not as president. Accordingly, 13 of America’s presidents were slavers and eight of them as president. Here’s the list of the guilty parties: George Washington (316), Thomas Jefferson (267), James Madison (more than 100), James Monroe (75), Andrew Jackson (200), Martin Van Buren (1), William Henry Harrison (11), John Tyler (70), James K. Polk (25), Zachary Taylor (150), James Buchanan (2), Andrew Johnson (8), and Ulysses S. Grant (5).

So now, let the 2016 voting begin. Simply answer “Yes” or “No.” And, once again, the question is “Should the Thirteenth Amendment be repealed and slavery thereby reinstated?” You got the entire week to decide. P.S. Whites only. Not “The” Blacks (as the new president calls us).

The spirit often moves me to end my weekly columns, whenever appropriate, with a particular inspirational quote from both David Walker’s Appeal, published in 1829, and Christopher James Perry Sr., founder of the Tribune in 1884. But the spirit has recently moved me to add a more updated particular inspirational quote that also will be included whenever appropriate. And it’s from one of the greatest rappers in Hip Hop history. In his song entitled “One-Nine-Nine-Nine,” Common said and I’m now saying, “Check it. It’s like I’m fightin’ for freedom, writin’ for freedom…. My ancestors, when I’m writin’ I see ‘em and talk with ‘em. Hoping in the promised land I can walk with ‘em.”

 Michael Coard, Esquire can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. His “Radio Courtroom” show can be heard on WURD900AM. }And his “TV Courtroom” show can be seen on PhillyCam/Verizon/Comcast.

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