The role of the electoral college in the election of Donald Trump has come under a lot of scrutiny and debate over the past few days. Killary won the popular vote by about 1/2 million or so more votes than the orange-tanned Nazi. But Trump was ahead in the electoral college, and so won the election. Many Americans now are discussing abolishing the electoral college as an anti-democratic institution.
They’re right. It is anti-democratic. It was meant to be from the very beginning. In this piece from Outdate Democracy, the American constitutional lawyer, Paul Finkelman, explains how the electoral college was deliberately invented by James Madison, in order to preserve the power of the slave states. The Founding Fathers discussed various methods by which the present could be elected, including restricting his election to the governors. This was rejected. Madison believed that the ‘fittest thing’ would be for American citizens…
One of the things I’ve come to realize is the central importance of African slavery not only in the history of the United States, but of the whole New World and the British, French, Spanish and Portuguese empires.
My understanding has been greatly helped by the historian David Brion Davis. He wrote about slavery as a moral issue—how it was justified in the first place, and how the Western world came to turn against it.
I’ve read his principal books—The Problem of Slavery in Western Culture (1966), The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution (1975), Slavery and Human Progress (1984), Inhuman Bondage: the Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World (2006) and his latest book, which I finished reading last week, The Problem of Slavery in The Age of Emancipation (2014).
Slavery is a problem because in Western culture because of the heritage of the…
The founders of Historians Against Slavery see themselves as being supported by ample scholarly precedents as well as by these counterpart organizations. Back in the 1960s outstanding scholars of American slavery and antislavery who [were] deeply influenced by the Civil Rights Movement such as Kenneth Stampp, John Hope Franklin, Winthrop Jordan, Benjamin Quarles, and Gerda Lerner initiated a major re-writing of U.S. history that placed the problem of chattel slavery and its legacies where we find them today—as central components of the American experience.
I’ve put up several videos recently criticising Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, and examining the growing disconnection – ‘distancing’, in the jargon of the sociologists who’ve studied it – of young American Jews with Israel. The speakers in these videos have included the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, and the American historians and activists Norman Finkelstein and Elizabeth Baltzer, both of whom are descended from Holocaust survivors. As I’ve made clear in previous posts, I’ve been prompted to do this because of the smears against leading members of the Labour party – Ken Livingstone, Naz Shah and Jackie Walker, amongst others, of anti-Semitism. Those accused are not to my knowledge anti-Semites. The above three certainly aren’t. Leninspart in his 1987 book, Livingstone’s Labour, states quite clearly that all forms of racism, whether against Blacks, Jews or the Irish, is the worst form of reaction, and needs to be opposed. Naz…
What changed Jewish attitudes to Israel was the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. The Americans saw Israel very much as a kind of outpost of American interests in the Middle East, and identified its people with great American heroes like Davey Crockett, and the struggle of the Texans for independence from Mexico. There was an equivalence between Israel’s soldiers and the heroes of the Alamo. The Israelis were invested with all the heroic values Americans believed characterised themselves, and from it being unpatriotic to support the Israelis, it became the reverse. It was super-patriotic to support them.
Crucial to this was the Israeli claim to have practised ‘purity of arms’. Unlike Vietnam, where the Americans were losing and committing terrible atrocities, the Israelis were winning without committing massacres and other breaches of human rights. This record has gradually darkened as the wars between Israel and its Arab neighbours continued. The classic case…
Slavery is still alive in many countries in selective industries, but is more prevalent in some. Where ever it is the workers should be supported to exercise their human rights and the employers charged accordingly.
Children are being used in criminal operations on Britain’s streets in what the anti-slavery commissioner has called “Oliver Twist scenarios”.
Youngsters who should be at school are tasked with pickpocketing, shoplifting and begging, Kevin Hyland has warned.
The former Metropolitan Police detective was appointed in November to spearhead the Government’s fight against modern slavery.
In an interview with the Press Association he revealed that he had found “inconsistency” in how authorities approach the issue around the country and described the number of convictions for slavery offences as “nowhere near good enough”.
Slavery can involve sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude or forced criminality, he said.
He said: “We hear about young children being sent out to do shoplifting, pickpocketing and begging. These are young children who should be at school.
“We are in the 21st century and yet we have Oliver Twist scenarios happening in our streets and cities. I think we all thought that was gone and in the past but actually it’s alive and kicking in London.
“It’s pure criminality and abuse of children. But it’s all very complicated because of the way the children are groomed.”
Modern slavery is a “very lucrative” business, he said.
“People are making a lot of money. In sexual exploitation, someone can make a million pound a year out of 10 women. We see cases of forced labour where people are making hundreds of thousands a month,” Mr Hyland said.
Last year an inquiry found 1,400 children were abused by gangs of men, mainly of Pakistani origin, in South Yorkshire between 1997 and 2013.
Reports now suggest that authorities in Rotherham were warned about child sexual exploitation in 2003 but failed to act.
In December the Home Office published figures estimating there are between 10,000 and 13,000 potential victims of slavery in the UK.
They include women forced into prostitution, domestic staff and workers in fields, factories and on fishing boats.
Mr Hyland said official intelligence numbers were much lower than the Government estimate.
He said: “It’s a mixture of things, it’s not being reported, it’s being missed, even when it’s being reported is it being wrongly reported?
“I see cases where I’m meeting victims and hear their cases have not been investigated properly. These are things that really need to change.”
He said he accepted the Home Office figure as an “accurate evaluation on the facts as they are”, describing it as “a horrendous number”.
“You have to remember these people are a victim of these crimes every day. It’s not like a one-off incident, it’s day in day out.”
Kevin Hyland, anti-slavery commissioner, said Modern slavery is a ‘very lucrative’ business
There were 151 convictions for slavery related offences last year, Mr Hyland said: “It’s nowhere near good enough.
What’s really worrying is the numbers of investigations aren’t sufficiently high.
“The reason why people are choosing this form of criminality is because there aren’t the resources tackling it.
“To a degree they are operating in a low-risk area with high profit. A lot of my role has to be to change that, to make it high-risk and no profit.”
Mr Hyland said the quality of official approaches to slavery varies around the country.
“There is inconsistency across the UK in a number of areas. That’s training, police response, partnerships and to some degree the victim care,” he said.
“In some parts of the country you see really first-class models and then in the same regions you see where there are systems and processes which need extensive improvement.”
He called on police forces to make sure tackling slavery is positioned as “one of the highest priorities”.
Children who should be at school are tasked with pickpocketing, shoplifting and begging streets“I’ve been around the country now and met lots of police chiefs, most of whom are very committed. Yes, they have to consider their budgets and resources but I want to make sure the first thing they are talking about is the victims and catching the criminals.”
Earlier this year the Modern Slavery Act was passed into law. It increased the maximum sentence for the worst offenders to life in prison and introduced a tough asset confiscation regime.
Mr Hyland described the legislation as a “watershed”.
“It gives law enforcement more flexibility, more powers, it gives the victims far more protection through the criminal justice system,” he said.
He stressed the UK must work to eradicate slavery at home and abroad.
“Over the next decade I think we can really bring the figures of modern slavery down to where it is almost eradicated from our shores,” he said.
“We have a responsibility to help the international community to do the same. Clearly, that has enormous challenges.
“We need to really change the whole culture towards this activity in the UK and start on the process to eradicate it. It’s an enormous task because it’s got so many different faces.”
Karen Bradley, Home Office minister for preventing abuse and exploitation, said: “Kevin Hyland, the country’s first Anti-Slavery Commissioner, is already playing a crucial role in raising awareness of modern slavery and driving our response to this appalling crime.
“The Modern Slavery Act – the first of its kind in Europe – gives the police the tools they need to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice and enhances protection for victims who must be recognised for their bravery in coming forward, given the harrowing experiences they have endured.
“For too long, this was a hidden crime.
“Now, we have succeeded in bringing modern slavery out into the open, we are determined to eradicate it. There is no place for modern slavery in today’s society.”
American history books will have you believe the American Civil was fought to free African slaves. That is to say the American Slave Industry, Abraham Lincoln, a self admitted racist and the U.S. Supreme Court which ruled Dred Scott as “property” with no human rights to sue for his freedom collectively became enlightened to the evils of slavery considering slaves were 70% of the American GDP. What sense does it make to murder millions of native people for their land and free the slave labor acquired to work it.
American history books tells you Christopher Columbus discovered America when in fact the whole world knows it is a lie. Pictures of Slave owning Presidents adorn all denominations of American currency simultaneously equating God to Money.
The truth is the civil war was a power show between the North and South for control of the American Slave Industry…