The Black Codes: Then and Now
By Dr. Ridgely Abdul Mu’min
Please excuse the length of this article, but we have got to make our point. In our previous article entitled “Striving Under A State of Extreme Insecurity” we listed nine Black Codes which were presented in “The Secret Relationship Between Black and Jews, Volume II”:
- Blacks could not be employed in any jobs other than plantation labor without a specific license granted by a judge, and the employer had to be white.
- All Blacks had to make binding one-year contracts with planters within the first ten days of January, after which written permission was required if Blacks wanted to leave the property. If a Black worker had a dispute and left his job, he could be arrested and put on a public works project until he agreed to go back to his original employer.
- Blacks were prohibited from buying or renting farmland except in designated all-Black (but white controlled) areas. Blacks could be barred from entering whole towns, or allowed entry only at designated times with a pass stipulating specific activities.
- So-called vagrancy and “idle” laws were established specifically to ensnare any Black man who was not on a plantation or headed to one. Blacks in the process of seeking work could be assailed, incarcerated, whipped, and then auctioned off into peonage to any white man who paid their fines.
- Every contract required at least one party be a white man for it to be valid. One state decreed that having “one-eighth or more of negro blood” was adequate cause to void contracts.
- Black testimony was prohibited in court, so a contract made by a Black person could not be enforced if a white man chose to dishonor it…:
“All negroes, mulattoes, Indians, and persons of mixed blood, descended from negro, or negro and Indian ancestors, to the third generation inclusive, though one ancestor in each generation may have been a white person, shall be incapable of being witnesses in any case whatever, except for or against each other”
- Blacks were not allowed to bear arms for their own use, so hunting (with guns) was off-limits, as was basic self-defense.
- South Carolina required that any Black man entering the state had to, within twenty days, have two white men post a bond guaranteeing his good behavior.
- Blacks were forbidden to sell farm products like flour, cotton, hay, rice, peas, wheat, etc., without the written permission from a white man, thus disallowing Black agri-business and eliminating Black competition.
These Black Codes were enacted after the 1877 Compromise which removed Union troops from the South and allowed white people to do what they willed against Black people. Now supposedly over time and particularly since the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960’s, these Black Codes were put on the shelves to gather dust. However, we argue that the overt Black Codes have been transformed into more subtle and devious what we will call the “New Black Codes of High Tech Lynching.” Under this new strategy national laws and initiatives along with local zoning laws and ordinances are put in place that on the surface do not seem to be targeted at Black people, but the targeting takes place in the implementation and enforcement of these “laws”.
However, even after pointing out these new methods of “High Tech Lynching”, some of the original Black Codes can still be detected with a modern twist. Recent events in the sport’s world presents a very poignant example of the continuation of the original Black Codes. Take for instance the fact that professional basketball players have to make binding contracts with their employers over a certain length of time reminds us of Black Code number “2” where the Black workers had to make contracts with the plantation owners and not leave the property without written permission. So is it with the National Basketball Association where a ball player must sign a contract which binds him to a particular team over a specific period, but they can be traded to another plantation, I mean team, in the middle of such contract but they themselves cannot leave. At the end of such a contract the ball player will be a “free agent” and put himself on the auction block to the highest bidder.
Recently the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers called Lebron James a selfish traitor for exercising his legal right to accept the offer to move to the Miami team as a “free agent”. What the Jewish owner of the Cavaliers and other owners were really incensed about was that three major players played the system by forcing prospective buyers to buy all three of them and not just one. In this way Dwayne Wade, Chirs Bosch and Lebron James put together their own team which may effectively change the balance of power in the National Basketball Association. The response of the team owners will certainly be to change the rules so that future superstars never get a chance to collude together against their plantation bosses.
An article in the July 27, 2010 Final Call Newspaper entitled “Slavery Today: Blacks in “New” South Victimized on Rural Plantations” points out isolated instances in Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida where Blacks and Hispanics are held in virtual slaver on modern plantations. This form of slavery is called “peonage slavery” where the workers are held against their will to pay off debts they supposedly incurred while working on the plantation. As real and brutal as these cases are, they pale in comparison to the overall devastating effects of the new “High Tech Lynching” that effective impair the development of the entire Black population in the U.S.
The cases with basketball players and some modern farm plantations indicate that the Black Codes are still in effect, however “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Volume II” presented to us a new method of control where the former slave masters got the general body of whites to double as “Jim Crow deputies” and act under a set of “…customs to undermine Black development…” (p.238) So today white law makers, law enforcement agencies, lawyers and judges continue their undercover roles as “Jim Crow deputies”. When they see Black folk trying to use some means of escaping their economic status or caste, the law makers get together and outlaw certain activities that the Blacks may be using to break out and put in place a plan for their new “High Tech Lynching” to put them back in line and be a warning to the rest. Of course as written these laws and ordinances seem to apply to all citizens, but in reality they are only or mostly applied to Blacks. The white law enforcement agents simply do not see any white offenders, but are on the hunt for any Blacks that seem to violate the statute. Then this captive is passed on to the judicial system where he winds up in a lopsided “poker game” with his defense lawyer, the prosecuting lawyer and the judge are all in cahoots against the Black captive. The final blow comes with the sentencing where Blacks are given more jail time than whites.
Now let us focus on a few of these tricks and how they have played out in the Black community. The strategies discussed will be: 1. “Dumb Poker”, 2. Unequal protection under the law, 3. Fake “Wars” to eliminate your Constitutional Rights, 4. Unequal sentencing, 5. Discriminatory application of the law, 6. Hidden clauses, 7. Racial targeting and profiling, 8. Give the enforcement of the law to anti-Blacks, 9. Punishing anyone who tries to help Blacks, 10. No Blacks may make money unless working for white folk and 11. Shock and Awe. Of course with these as a start the reader can look at his own experience and condition to point out more of these methods and in the real world of America many of these methods or tricks can come to play in any particular case. I will list a few of incidents which I am familiar with to make my case.
Feel the barrel
On December 10, 2003 a Black man in Georgia was shot twice in the head and killed by a member of the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Department on Interstate Highway 185 in Columbus, Ga. On December 31, 2003 attorneys for TV station WRBL and the Ledger Enquirer newspaper filed a suit against the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Department in order to get the videotape of the incident. It was almost a year before the video tape was released on December 1, 2004.
I reviewed this tape which was available over the Internet. What I saw can only be described as a pack of armed and trained “dogs”, at least 6 to 8, dragging a Black man out of his car with his hands held up in the air, throwing him to the ground and shooting him in the head. This video was held back as evidence from the Muscogee County Grand Jury which decided on November 23, 2004 not to bring charges against the shooter, former deputy David Glisson. According to Sheriff Johnson, deputy Glisson’s ‘feel the barrel’ technique was one reason for his termination, but not the murdering of a defenseless Black man.
What is this ‘feel the barrel’ technique other than another form of scientific intimidation or “Terrorism”? How many times had this technique been used to terrorize young Black men into a state of “11 Shock and Awe” for the white power structure?
This incident points out at least two of our new “High Tech Lynching” Black control devices. First, supposedly the deputies pulled the black driver over on suspected drug possession in America’s continued “War On Drugs”. This “War on Drugs” has been pointed out by many Black leaders as a “war on Black men”. And a new book is out which goes into detail to show that the enforcement of illegal drug trafficking has resulted in a disproportionate number of Black men being put in prison for long sentences. Crack cocaine possession carries five times the sentencing of cocaine. Crack cocaine is cheaper than regular cocaine, and according to some experts, is more addictive to Black men than to white men.
So breaking down this event we can see the use of: 5. Fake “Wars” to eliminate your Constitutional Rights, 7. Racial targeting and profiling, 8. Give the enforcement of the law to anti-Blacks and probably 4. Unequal sentencing, if the Black man had lived.
The basic structure of this game called “Dumb Poker” is that white folk cheat and collude behind the scenes to “conquer” their unsuspecting victim held within the judicial system. Let set up this game with four players: “A” is the Black litigant, “B” is the judge, “C” is the Black litigant’s lawyer and “D” is the white litigant’s lawyer. What “A”, the Black litigant may never find out until too late is that his lawyer (C), his opponent’s lawyer (D) and the judge (B) have already cut a deal and decided the Black litigant’s guilt or innocents and how much time the Black litigant must spend in jail or how much money the Black litigant must lose.
Let us see how this game plays out with the black farmers lawsuit against the USDA filed in 1999. First of all the courts refused to hear a number of previous attempts at bringing the USDA to task. This is the “E. Discriminatory application of the law” where the court cannot even recognize that white folk broke any laws in cheating Black farmers out of their land. The system limit who and how many can even get into the “game” and they don’t allow the rest to see what is going on in the “playing field” (court).
Next the farmers, “A”, did not find out until too late that player “D” (the lawyers for the USDA), player “B” (the judge) and “C” (their own lawyers) worked closely behind the scenes to produce an out of court settlement which insured that 40% of the farmers would lose. Settling out of court also prevented the black farmers from telling their stories to a jury of their peers which was another form of discrimination, “B. Unequal protection under the law.”
As I stated earlier, the Black farmers had tried to go to court to set up a class action lawsuit against the USDA. However, when these lawsuits were presented to the court by Black lawyers, they were thrown out of court. But when a white Jewish lawyer by the name of Alexander Pire presented his case to Federal Court, all of a sudden it was accepted by the court but immediately settled out of court even against the wishes of the litigants, the Black farmers. As a result almost 40 percent of the litigants were denied compensation and many still lost their land through foreclosure by the USDA.
The farmers also did not know that there was a law produced in 1996, a year after the Million Man March, that changed how rewards from Civil Rights law suits would be handled by the IRS. As of 1996 the lawyer’s fees in non-personal injury civil rights cases would not be tax deductible. This means that the plaintiff would have to pay taxes on the money that he had to pay the lawyers instead of those expenses being deducted before figuring tax liabilities as is done in every other case. So it is possible, and it has happened, that some “winners” in civil rights lawsuits have had an IRS tax liability greater than the residuals that they received from “winning” the lawsuit. This is an example of “6. Hidden clauses.”
This same scenario with the black farmers is played out every day in courts across America where black defendants, “A” are prosecuted by white prosecutors, player “D”, sold out by their own lawyers (player “C”) and the judge (player “B”) sits up there in his black robe condoning the miscarriage of justice. Michelle Alexander points out in her book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindess”, an even more sinister affect of such discriminatory application of the law and “plea bargaining” of the defendant’s lawyer. In many cases the defendant’s lawyer would scare his own client into accepting a guilty plea to receive a reduced sentence, only to find out later that by pleading guilty they have been convicted of a felony which eliminates much of their Constitutional Rights. Now they have become the new slave population of America and the “lawful captive” of the Prison Industrial Complex. Employers can now legally discriminate against them in hiring and the convicted felon cannot vote or qualify for public housing. In some states even 100 percent of their wages can be garnished to pay back the cost of their imprisonment, pay back court costs, the cost of their assigned public defender, and back child support payments including those accumulated while imprisoned.
So the “War On Drugs” has indeed turned out to be the “War On Black Males”. Now let us watch and see what the new “War On Terror” turns out to be.