They Stole Our Boots
From the Inkwell of: Bartholomew J. Worthington III
It is perhaps one of the most condescending things that can be said to members of the Black community in America. Every time someone says that the Black community needs to improve its condition by "Pulling itself up by its bootstraps," it shows that they have no awareness of the extreme steps America has taken to steal our boots.
It would be easy to simply reference the legacy of slavery that this nation was built on and end my argument there. The truth is, there is a long list of policies and laws all enacted with the singular purpose of subjugating the Black community as a whole.
These are just 3 of the ways that America has stolen our boots and made it extremely challenging for us to achieve any sort of progress.
There is a significant difference between America the image and actual America. There are the ultra-patriots who will claim that this nation is a shining beacon of hope guided by the infallible light of the Constitution, the document this country is founded on and governed by. To hear the romantics tell it, the Founding Fathers of this great nation were men of outstanding and unassailable moral character.
Except they weren't. Fourteen of the 21 most prominent founding fathers of this nation were slave owners. Many hailed from southern states that depended on slave labor to sustain their largely agriculturally based economies.
From the very formation of the union, the document that spelled out almost every aspect of the organization and administration of the nation reserved the full privileges of citizenship only for its white population. In fact, the sub-human nature of the Black individual was codified into the Three Fifths Compromise.
An agreement reached that based the allocation of seats in the House of Representatives, the Three Fifths Compromise would count slaves as 3/5ths of a free person for representative and taxation purposes. By including slaves in the census counting a manner that still excluded them from being entitled to the full rights of American citizenship, the Southern states ensured that they would have greater representation and political power on par with that of the more free white populated northern states.
It turned out that the "Self evident truth that all men are created equal" only applied to wealthy white landowners.
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