One of the most popular misconceptions about black history is that over time, America has gradually become less racist and more tolerant.

That is not true.

Since y'all want a BHM thread, here's a thread about the evolution of racism in America.
First, let's dispel a few wrong beliefs. The first enslaved Africans did not arrive in 1619. They were the just the first to arrive in the English colonies.

Nearly a century earlier, in 1526, 600 Europeans founded the colony of San Miguel de Gualdape in what's now Georgetown, SC
They brought enslaved Africans along with them too. But those slaves revolted damn near as soon as they arrived.

As a native of SC whose family still lives near G-town, I can attest to the fact that Georgetown Nakers are known for the shortage of fucks they're willing to give
That's right the first slave rebellion predates the Mayflower.

Still, we must dispel another notion that American slavery was like British Slavery. Not quite. America's race-based slavery was different.
First of all, Great Britain never codified slavery into its laws. While it was never illegal, it was never ensconced onto the Constitution like the "land of the free and the home of the brave."

Secondly, the British slave trade wasn't exclusively race-based like America's
The British had enslaved people of every color, including buying slaves from the Barbary pirates, who enslaved people from Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa and even Asia.

When the 20 & Odd Negroes arrived in America, there WERE some indentured servants already here.
But the TWICE-stolen Africans, who came here couldn't read, write or speak the language. So, instead of treating them like indentured servants who were providing free labor, these white Virginians changed the game. The African's didn't get contractual periods of servitude.
These new brand of white people were like: "Freedom? Oh, we don't do that over here."

Then in 1640, an enslaved African ran away, along with 2 European indentured servants. A Virginia court sentenced them to 30 lashes and extended the white dudes' period of servitude by 1 year
But the black guy got a different sentence:

"...and that the third being a negro named John Punch shall serve his said master or his assigns for the time of his natural Life here or elsewhere."

Remember, there were STILL more indentured white servants than enslaved blacks
In 1642 it got WORSE, not better, when the Virginia legislature declared that the children of enslaved black women would ALSO be enslaved.

Then, those SC negroes made it even worse

In 1739, a group of enslaved Kongol soldiers formed their own army and started marching.
As they marched, other enslaved Africans joined in. Led by a literate black man named Jemmy, they burned six plantations and killed two dozen white people.

The Stono Rebellion scared so many white South Carolinians, they passed the Negro Act of 1740
It forbade slaves from gathering in one place, growing food and learning how to read. States across the South began passing similar laws. While outlawing reading and writing was significant, these laws had another provision.
They required communities to patrol for runaway slaves. SC had already created one of the nation's first in the first slave patrols in 1704. But this time, they made it mandatory. In 1757, Georgia followed suit.

In 1792, Ga even prohibited slaves from even worshiping GOD.
Thes slave patrol rolls were the base of the state militias that fought in the Revolution.

After America won the Revolutionary war, I'm sure slavery got better, right?

As one well-known state senator from the great state of Maryland once said:

First, the states enshrined slavery into the Constitution. Many people point to the 3/5ths clause and forget about the FIRST restriction that the constitution placed on Congress in Article 1 Section 9 was: "We're gonna keep this slave trade thing going for at least 20 more years"
This might not seem like a long time to you. But when the Constitutiuon was ratified, the average life expectancy in the US was 38 years old.

And, if you notice, the Constitution doesn't specifically mention the words "slavery" or "slave"
That's because the founders KNEW it was an evil institution. They KNEW it would eventually end. They just wanted to preserve it FOR THEM.

Let's pause for a minute.

Whenever we talk about black history and early America, we mention slavery.
Some people will argue that America wasn't a white supremacist country. They'll even argue that slavery was a necessary evil.

That should mean free black citizens had all the same rights as regular citizens, right?

Hold up. Let me stop laughing.
This is the EXACT history that I'm talking about

The first free black people in the US had all the rights and privileges that were afforded everywhere else. There were places allowed black landowners to vote.

By the Declaration of Independence, only white landowners could vote
Then the Constitution allowed states to choose, and most states allowed white landowners who owned a certain amount of property, but some, including NY, Penn and NJ allowed free black property owners to vote.

Then those states took THAT RIGHT away!
The 1790 Naturalization Act limited citizenship to any "free white person ... of good character"

By the time the Civil War rolled around, any white man could vote.

At the end of the Civil War, the 13th Amendment Abolished slavery, the 14th granted black people citizenship and the 15th guaranteed them the right to vote.

A LOT of people believe this is when Jim Crow began.

Those people are wrong.
After the Civil War, black people freely registered to vote en masse. Voter registration was more than 90 percent in some states, especially in Southern states like Mississippi, where blacks outnumbered whites.

Now that slavery wasn't a thing, how could racists control blacks?
Well, they formed terrorist cells and started killing black people.

If you're ever read my description of Reconstruction, you know I don't portray the massive black lynchings as separate events. It was an organized race war
Which brings me to one my favorite but lesser-known episodes in Black History,
You must remember that the racist traitors who declared they'd rather own slaves than be American were not yet Americans.
One of the provisions of Georgia being readmitted to the union was that former Confederates couldn't vote or hold office. Well, who else was left in Ga?
In 1868, 30 black men were elected to to the Georgia House and another 3 were elected to the state Senate. Rufus Bullock, a white man, was elected Governor

You know white people were mad. In fact, they got so mad that a burgeoning terrorist group came down to help:

(This may or may not be the genesis of the song "Devil Went Down to Georgia.")

In 1868, the KKK and white supremacists in Ga removed the Original 33 from office. They literally overthrew the government. And for good measure, they started killing them.
One quarter of the Original 33 were killed, And when black people prostested, the KKK killed them, too. When blacks converged in Camilla, Ga to protest, whites in Mitchell County stationed in hiding places opened fire, killing dozens.

That was just a small taste.
In 1868, white terrorists in Georgia murdered so many black people that the entire state was KICKED BACK OUT OF THE UNION.

The Ga Supreme Court ruled, in 1869:
"...There is no existing law of this State which confers the right upon the colored citizens thereof to hold office"
One of my favorite quotes about this reign of terror is that the Gov. Bullock "was obliged by the Ku Klux Klan to resign his governorship and, in his discerning contemplation felt it wise to leave the state."

That's gangsta terrorist shit, right there.
But This didn't just happen in Ga. This terrorist violent overthrow of the government happened throughout the South. It was the evolution of white supremacy. Death and terror might be the only thing worse than slavery.

Ga. was finally readmitted back into the Union in 1870.
In 1871, Congress passed the 3rd Enforcement Act, aka the KKK Act, which allowed the president to suspend habeas corpus to fight the Klan

(Habeas corpus is the right to not be detained without being charged. Nowadays, they only do it to black people)
Again, this is not to recount the horrors, this is to show you that white supremacy has never decreased. It only morphs.

The Enforcement Act didn't really work though. But in the 1876 presidential election, white southerners killed so many people and suppressed so many votes...
Congress was like:

Look, we'll remove troops from the South. Invest in railroads and let y'all do whatever you want to do to black people if yall let this presidential vote stand.

It was called the Compromise of 1877 but most people know it as...

The birth of Jim Crow
THIS is when the South began passing segregation laws. This is when separate but equal became accepted.

White supremacy did not decrease. It evolved.

After black soldiers came back from WWI, the fear of black equality returned.
To be fair, blacks WERE doing disrespectful shit like looking white people in the eyes (Seriously, there are court records acquitting whites after they gave that explanation.) The Red Summer of 1919 was a new wave of terrorist lynchings that might be worse
Then after Congress addressed lynching, there was a second round of voter disenfranchisement using poll taxes, literacy tests and night "raids'

White supremacy did not DECREASE, it just changed with the times.
Then came redlining, which barred banks from giving government-backed loans to black borrowers. This would lay the foundation for educational disparities for another 75 years/
Now that its (kinda) illegal to lynch, deny education and steal our vote, how did white supremacy morph?
It became Voter suppression. In Georgia's 2018 midterms, 127,000 votes disappeared into thin air. But curiously, no one can explain why it happened ONLY in majority-black precincts. It never made the news.…
Black voters are disproportionately purged from voter rolls, affected by voter ID laws and denied the right to vote for felony convictions.

Why are black schools underfunded?

The red areas in those redlining maps from the 40s are still pretty black…
If you compare them to where police patrol, where schools are underfunded, or even where the worse drugs are sold, you'll find that little has changed

But we still fund schools by neighborhood wealth.

Those slave patrols eventually evolved into municipal police forces.
It is the evolution of white supremacy. It has the same destination. I don't worry about slave patrols, but my heart still speeds up when I see the police.

And if you think I'm overexagerrating.

Think about this:
According to the Haynes report on lynching, between 1889 and 1919, a little fewer than 80 black people were lynched, on average every year.

in 1868, the Freedmen's bureau counted 147 cases of murder by the KKK by that out of control Georgia lynch mob
In 2019, police killed 259 black people

Now, I'm not saying it's worse for black people now than it was during slavery or Jim Crow. I'm not saying they're using the same tactics.

All I'm saying is this:

Don't think they stopped trying.

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More from @michaelharriot

Feb 17
I think I can answer this:

First of all, I don’t think people understand that there is a difference between “slave movies” and movies about people who were slaves.

What’s the difference?

A thread.
Amistad, 12 Years a Slave, Django, were “slave movies.”

Notice anything about them?

They were all made by white people.

And in these movies, slavery actually DEFINED the black characters. For instance, Django is essentially a superhero movie. But What was his superpower?
He was smart, fearless and a deadly shooter DESPITE being a slave. What’s even more interesting is that he got his superpower from a white man.

Even in 12 Years a Slave, & Amistad it was white people who gave them their freedom as if it was a gift bestowed upon them.
Read 21 tweets
Feb 17
If you think Moses Dickson’s story is crazy, there is a lot I couldn’t include because it was tew much.

A thread:
For instance, around 1856, there seems to have been an increase in the number of uprisings by enslaved people. There are historians who wonder if this increase was just people reporting more uprising of if Dickson’s secret national network had a part in this.
Dickson was basically a traveling barber on a steamship which allowed him to see almost every part of the south & meet a bunch of board certified RNs (please don’t be in the comments explaining what that means). A Barbershop is basically every hood’s central intelligence agency
Read 13 tweets
Feb 11
For the past few weeks, America has been debating whether or not the NFL is racist because they don't hire Black head coaches. So I wondered: Could an actual economist help @theGrio answer this question?
Luckily, I know a guy.

A thread:
Of couse, the most obvious question is: How does one define racism? Is it when someone hates someone of another race? Must the definition include intent or is it the RESULT of an action or a system?

Fortunately, I found the answers in a very obscure book called a "dictionary"
Cool, so all we have to do is show that the NFL used race as a fundamental determinant in how they chose coaches, or:

That the NFL systemically oppresses one racial group to the social, economic or political advantage of another

Or that the NFL is a system founded on Racism...
Read 21 tweets
Jan 27
There’s actually a good reason why @washingtonpost didn’t call on other presidents to nominate an “impartial” Supreme Court Justice until today

The problem is, understanding this op-Ed requires something that we shouldn’t discuss right now:

Critical Race Theory

A thread:
First, I invite you to read the entire piece. If you don’t have a subscription, we’ll look at the relevant parts.

After you read it, you should know one other thing……
Let’s be clear, I’m not calling ANY of these people racists. Neither would CRT. In fact, the entire discipline of CRT doesn’t even concern itself with racist individuals.

But there has also been 120 SCOTUS justices in the history of the country…
Read 26 tweets
Jan 24
Maybe you don’t know.

Why is “Jim Crow 2.0” an apt description for the new voting laws?

A thread
First you gotta understand how Jim Crow even started. In the election of 1876, Southern whites claimed the election was stolen. Southern states (& racist Oregon) filed lawsuits, claiming the areas where black voters cast ballots were fraudulent.

Sound familiar?
To settle the dispute, a bunch of white men got together and certified the election for Rutherford B. Hayes in exchange for allowing the South to treat black people however they wanted, with no interference…

Otherwise known as Jim Crow
Read 16 tweets
Jan 18
Well, for one, a bank account, getting a check or any other thing that requires an ID isn't guaranteed by the constitution.

But here's the real reason - A thread:
First of all, many of the people who make this argument usually live in cities where you can easily obtain an ID.

In some cities, especially rural places, there is literally no place to get an ID in the town. I grew up in a town with one taxi company & no public transportation
The DMV was in the county seat, which was actually SMALLER than my town. It was open from 8-5 & ALWAYS crowded. People would literally line up at 5 AM to take the DL test

Someone who can't afford a car has to lose a day's work and PAY SOMEONE to get ID

WHo does this affect?
Read 20 tweets

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