Juneteenth 1865

Thirteenth Amendment Exception Clause.

Ava DuVernay’s thought-provoking documentary film “13th” explores the history of racial inequality in the United States focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons disproportionately house a high percentage of African Americans.

Letter from the Ronald Saunders, President of the Dr. Edna B. McKenzie Branch of ASALH

On June 14, I was a panelist along with Martha Conley, Esq., and University of Pittsburgh Law Professor, Jerry Dickinson, to give commentary and a critique of the film. The panel was moderated by Sam Black, Director of African American Programs at the Senator John Heinz History Center.

The film pointed out that 30% of the adult Black males in the State of Alabama are ineligible to vote because of felonies. The Exception Clause was put into the Thirteenth Amendment to appease the planter class, thus giving the United States the distinction of being the only country in the world to have slavery written into its Constitution.

Any serious Juneteenth commemorations must be coupled with an in-depth discussion of the following topics:

  1. The Exception Clause to the Thirteenth Amendment and continued inequality:
    a) Womb to School Prison Pipeline
    b) Mass Incarceration
    c) Health Disparities
    d) Achievement Gap
    e) Gentrification
    f) Escalating Wealth Gap
  2. Comprehensive Reparations
  3. Voter Suppression Laws
  4. Police Accountability and Police Reform
  5. Internal Black Violence
    a) Self Defense Training and building self defense alliances
    b) Safety contingency plans for Black churches and institutions
  6. Advocacy for public school students to complete Black History as a requirement for graduation from High School. Black history is often downplayed or distorted when rolled into controlled versions of multicultural studies.
  7. Conversations centered around a National Black Educational Fund and National Black Business Development Fund.
  8. Thorough examination of the Kerner Commission Report which analyzed the root causes of the Black Revolts in 1967 and 1968 respectively. The Kerner Commission Report concluded correctly that the main cause of the urban unrest was ongoing and pernicious white racism. However, many of the recommendations from the report were never implemented, particularly in critical areas of employment, education, the welfare system, housing, and police/community. Let us revisit and analyze the Kerner Commission Report and the recommendations from that report.
  9. Lack of affordable housing coupled with gentrification in cities where the Democrats are the power brokers must be exposed and addressed.

Have an enlightening day.
Ronald Saunders

The abrasive relationship between the police and the minority communities has been a major-and explosive-source of grievance, tension and disorder. The blame must be shared by the total society.

Kerner Commission Report – http://www.eisenhowerfoundation.org/docs/kerner.pdf
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