Black Researcher Craig Steven Wilder Finds Slavery Saved Georgetown University and Enabled the Catholic Church to Expand

From [HERE] In 1838, Georgetown sold 272 enslaved African Americans belonging to prominent Jesuit priests to help secure the future of the Catholic institution. The school has recently established a working group to determine what, if anything, is owed to the descendants of these slaves. We speak to Craig Steven Wilder, author of the book "Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities."

The conversation is very brief. Goodman has to cut dude off to address the broken stain glass window race controversy at Yale. Instead of focusing on the white psy-ops of the window they get stuck on this brother. 

AMY GOODMAN: Before we end, the controversy at Yale comes as Georgetown University struggles to come to terms with its past involvement with the slave trade. In 1838, Georgetown sold 272 enslaved Africans belonging to prominent Jesuit priests to help secure the future of the Catholic institutions. The school recently established a working group to determine what, if anything, is owed to descendants of these slaves. Craig Wilder, what is your response?

CRAIG STEVEN WILDER: You know, I think that Georgetown has been quite an interesting case. Georgetown is actually one of the few—to give it some credit, one of the few historically white universities that’s dealt with this issue as something more than a public relations problem. They’ve actually taken it as a challenge to their Catholic identity and to the Jesuit identity of the institution.

AMY GOODMAN: Slavery saved the institution?

CRAIG STEVEN WILDER: Slavery saved the institution. Slavery—

AMY GOODMAN: When they were going bankrupt.

CRAIG STEVEN WILDER: Well, you know, they were in financial trouble. A lot of Catholic institutions were. But the Catholic Church was also in a period of dramatic expansion during that period. And so, I don’t want to leave the story at "slavery saved Georgetown." It did. The sale rescued Georgetown. But it also allowed the Catholic Church to expand out of Maryland into the Northeast. The first Catholic college in New England, Holy Cross, is established by one of the Jesuits who sold the 272 people in 1838. The university I went to here in New York, Fordham, is actually established by a bishop who paid for his college tuition in Maryland by becoming the overseer of the slaves in the college garden. And it expands westward to St. Louis and the first—the first American university on the west of the Mississippi River, St. Louis University, is established by slaveholding Jesuits from Maryland.

Slave Policies

IN 1856, just five years before the outbreak of the Civil War, the Charter Oak Life Insurance Company printed a pamphlet offering slave owners in six Southern states the option of insuring the lives of their slaves.

For just $2, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee residents, for example, could purchase a 12-month policy from the Hartford-based insurer on a 10-year-old domestic servant that would yield $100 if the slave died. Policies for older slaves, like a 45-year-old, were more expensive, costing the slave owner $5.50 a year.

Though the company no longer exists, these policies are drawing increasing attention nearly 150 years later because of a lawsuit that was filed in United States District Court in Brooklyn, in late March against Aetna Inc. and two other companies, claiming that they profited from the slave trade.

In Connecticut, where insurance has long been a principal industry, the documents exhibit a painful reminder of the past, especially in a Northern state that is proud of its abolitionist ancestors like John Brown.

''It's not pleasant to talk about it today, to put it mildly, but slaves were insured just like any other thing that the farmers owned, that the slave owners owned,'' said Tom Baker, director of the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut School of Law. ''If you were selling insurance in slave states to people who had plantations, that was one of the things that you sold.

''It was very common,'' he added. ''Basically, insurance and slavery go all the way back as far as American history.''

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Aetna Acknowledges Issuing Slave Policies During 1850s, Offers Apology, Denies Reparations

From March 4, 2000 [HERE] In 2000 Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, head of the nonprofit Restitution Study Group of Hoboken, New Jersey, disclosed that from approximately 1853 to approximately 1860 Aetna had issued life insurance policies to slaveowners covering the lives of their slaves.

 Aetna, Inc., the nation’s largest health insurer, apologized Thursday for selling policies in the 1850s that reimbursed slave owners for financial losses when their slaves died. [includes rush transcript]

"Aetna has long acknowledged that for several years shortly after its founding in 1853 that the company may have insured the lives of slaves," said Aetna spokesman Fred Laberge. "We express our deep regret over any participation at all in this deplorable practice."

Aetna’s public apology was prompted by an inquiry from activist Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, who earlier this year contacted the Hartford-based company to seek an apology and reparations.

Aetna, which noted that the slave policies were legal before slavery was abolished, said it plans to make no reparations. "We have concluded that no further actions are required at this time," Laberge said. Aetna said its records show the company wrote no more than a dozen such policies to slave owners. The company said it previously acknowledged having written slave policies in a report prepared in 1956.

N.C. Republicans Refuse to Compensate Victims of Forced Sterilization; Cite Fear of State Liability for Slavery Reparations

Conservative Senate argued that compensating eugenics victims could open the door for post-slavery reparations in the United States.

From [HERE] and [HERE] The first serious proposal to compensate victims of forced sterilization failed Wednesday when North Carolina legislators said they were not approving any money for them. 

The effort to give each victim $50,000 passed the House, but the Senate never gave the measure consideration. Republican lawmakers in that chamber said the state didn't have the money in such a tight budget year to make up for misguided, decades-old procedures. Legislators also feared paying the victims would lead other groups, such as descendants of slaves, to seek reparations.

"If you could lay the issue to rest, it might be one thing. But I'm not so sure it would lay the issue at rest because if you start compensating people who have been 'victimized' by past history, I don't know where that would end," Republican Sen. Austin Allran said.

Most states had eugenics programs but abandoned those efforts after World War II when such practices became closely associated with Nazi Germany's attempts to achieve racial purity. Scientists also debunked the assumption that "defective" humans could be weeded out of the population. North Carolina stood out because it actually ramped up its program after the war. Between 1929 and 1974, North Carolina forcibly sterilized about 7,600 people whom the state deemed "feeble-minded" or otherwise undesirable. Many were poor black women. [MORE

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From Slavery to Contemporary Genocide: A Literary and Linguistic Analysis of Why American Blacks Deserve Reparations

There are millions of reasons why African-Americans deserve reparations. In this article, I intend to present a literary and linguistic investigation to buttress my belief that reparations are long overdue. In tracing the autobiographies and fictional reenactments of Black thought, behavior, and action, one finds a surplus of information that demonstrates the psychological dysfunctions, confusions, sub-humanity, brutality, and terror that occurred when remaking humans into beasts. This debasing process is the systemic procedure enslavers engaged in to turn Africans: Mandingo, Ibo, Fulani and others into negroes, complete with the lowercased "n." Before approaching the literature, however, I want to point out the horrible and genocidal contemporary results of monolithic, collective racism that began in the defilement of Africans, enslaved in America. 

We begin with the police. The contemporary police own a long history that originates in enslavement of the African. The first policemen were not referred to by that name. The mostly young White males who nightly guarded the roads on the look out for escaping Blacks were called patrollers, which the enslaved coined into patterollers (Hadden, 2001; Williams, 1987). Normally racists, the patterollers believed in and upheld the institution of slavery. Like most Americans during this epoch, they figured that Divine Providence had made Africans a lesser group. In fact, the Blacks were akin to animals, literally in this psychology of White supremacy. Over time, when the legal humiliation and physical abuse of the African overturned because of abolitionism, escapes, a quiet and loud war (untold rebellions and civil war, respectively), slavery was abolished. Yet, the mindset that allowed and encouraged this peculiar enterprise to roll on for centuries never dissipated or disappeared. Hence, segregation, media mockery, lynching, (now police killings) restricted employment, unfair wages, and other outrages proliferated throughout Black America.

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The Psycho-cultural Case for Reparations for Descendents of Enslaved Africans in the United States

Psychological warfare can be defined as "operations carried out during war that aim to achieve victory through mental changes in the enemy" (Martin-Baro, 1994:138). In what is tantamount to an extended or never ending psychological warfare, American psychiatry and psychology have significantly contributed to maintaining and establishing White supremacy domination over the nonwhite American populations (Azibo, 1993; Citizens Commission on Human Rights, 1995; Guthrie, 1999; Thomas and Sillen, 1972). To whatever extent these professions have contributed to this race-based domination, it would seem straightforward that mental health workers overall are indictable as unethical to the same degree.

When issues of United States national interest are center stage mental health professionals show a penchant for winnowing what is ethical as for example abetting interrogations at Guantanamo Bay (e.g., Democracy Now, 2006) and attacking African-U.S. activists with psychological tactics (Obadele, 2003; Rhodes, 2008; United States Senate, 1976). Sometimes there is no debate at all. With the exception of Azibo (1989:191-194) there was scarcely any hue and cry from the mental health professions about the brainwashing and psychological warfare perpetrated on the citizens of Grenada.

It still may elude mental health workers exactly why their professional activities as impacting people of African descent can be branded unethical because the ethical codes "make no mention of longer-term or more subtle negative implications of psychologists' actions and decisions" (Brown, 1997, 52). By elucidating 40 perpetrations of a psycho-cultural nature visited on U.S.- African descent people, I aim to make the unethicalness of it all self-evident and thereby establish the warrantableness of reparations for psycho-cultural damages. The idea that the mental health profession prides itself on a fundamental compassion in the face of all human suffering rings hollow when viewed with complete cognizance of psychology's and psychiatry's peccadilloes and perpetrations visited on U.S.-African descent people.

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The Political Economy of Reparations: An Anti-Ethical Consideration of Atonement and Racial Reconciliation under Colonial Moralism

Over the last several decades, reparations theorists have continued to justify reparations as an amelioratory policy that fulfills America's democratic potential. Most recently, Roy L. Brooks has developed this optimism in America's democratic reformism into a theory of atonement. Unlike previous models, Brooks holds that reparations is justified solely by its ability to make America a racially reconciled society. This article argues that such hopes in America are illusory. Following the structural-colonial analyses of racism laid out by W.E.B. DuBois, Martin Luther King Jr., and contemporary social scientists, I argue that America is not capable of moral transformation concerning racism, because racism is a permanent and necessary feature of our American society. While it is the position of the author that reparations is justified politically, it cannot be justified as a moral charge to an immoral white supremacist society. As such, I call for an anti-ethical deliberation on the issue of reparations-a consideration I hope will continue future debates on the subject.
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The Impact of the Reparations Discourse on the Achievement Gap

For many, the achievement gap is considered the social justice issue of the 21st century. What the average Black student knows upon graduation, the average White student mastered in the 8th grade. Ironically, resolving this issue might begin by addressing one of the more controversial unresolved issues in American history-reparations. Within the Black community alone, there is noticeable variation in how to address the issue of reparations that tend to evoke feelings of anger and morose regardless of the individual position. Outside of the Black community, feelings of guilt sometime accompany the aforementioned feelings. By using the concept of forgiveness and the theory of stereotype threat, it will be argued that the resulting climate created by the current discourse on reparations has a negative impact on the achievement gap. Recommendations for how to address reparations to reduce the achievement gap will be provided.
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Reparation for the Descendants of Enslaved Africans: What's Psychology got to Do With It?

The social movement for reparation for the enslavement of Africans in America is examined, as well as conceptions regarding lingering effects of enslavement. The concept of co-dependency and its relation to racism and racists is explored, in the context of criticism of reparative efforts by the descendants of enslaved Africans, and the absence of comparable criticism and negativity regarding reparative pursuits by other groups. Particular attention is given to criticism of reparative actions by descendants of enslaved Africans.
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US 'should restore land to Indian tribes'

A United Nations investigator probing discrimination against Native Americans has called on the US government to return some of the land stolen from Indian tribes as a step towards combating continuing and systemic racial discrimination.

James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, said no member of the US Congress would meet him as he investigated the part played by the government in the considerable difficulties faced by the tribes.

Anaya said that in nearly two weeks of visiting Indian reservations, indigenous communities in Alaska and Hawaii, and Native Americans now living in cities, he encountered people who suffered a history of dispossession of their lands and resources, the breakdown of their societies and "numerous instances of outright brutality, all grounded on racial discrimination". 

Racism extended from the broad relationship between federal or state governments and tribes down to local issues such as education, Anaya said. "For example, with the treatment of children in schools both by their peers and by teachers as well as the educational system itself; the way Native Americans and indigenous peoples are reflected in the school curriculum and teaching," he said.

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Ben Chavis: The Time is Right for Reparations

The United Nations is slowly working on establishing a permanent memorial to the victims of the infamous trans-Atlantic slave trade. In Washington, D.C., the construction of the African American Museum has begun. The United States Senate has issued an "apology" for slavery. And in my home state of North Carolina, Gov. Bev Perdue has just called for the state to spend $10.3 million in "reparations" to the victims of a vicious eugenics state program that sterilized thousands of people against their will. Most of those who were unjustly and savagely sterilized were black. Again, no amount of money could ever justify or rectify that awful and callous past. Still, Gov. Perdue's actions are the right steps at the right time. Healing is a longterm process. It takes time. The perpetrators of racism need a "repairing" of their minds and hearts.

It is interesting to note that even amidst a recovering of the American economy from the threshold of severe economic ruin, billions of dollars are being spent by candidates and campaigns for political office throughout the U.S. like they have unlimited money-trees to spend without reservation or limitation. The point here is so much of the "old money" and ingrained wealth of the nation came directly from the systematic economic exploitation of African people during 500 years of slavery and post-slavery institution- building. That is why it will take a tremendous calculation to determine a full accounting of the financial and human toll of the slave trade and its aftermath. Harper's magazine did a study that concluded that the U.S. owes black Americans more than $100 trillion in reparations. It is probably more than that.

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Emory University Supported Slavery

Slavery was, as Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens noted in 1861, the “cornerstone” of the social order in the South. Emory did not simply seek to indoctrinate its students with a world view compatible with pro-slavery ideology, but sought to influence all of southern society. Emory impressed upon its students a pro-slavery ideology which evolved with and paralleled pro-slavery thought across the South.
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California Apologizes to Chinese Americans for Racist Laws

On July 17, the California legislature quietly approved a landmark bill to apologize to the state's Chinese-American community for racist laws enacted as far back as the mid–19th century Gold Rush, which attracted about 25,000 Chinese from 1849 to 1852. The laws, some of which were not repealed until the 1940s, barred Chinese from owning land or property, marrying whites, working in the public sector and testifying against whites in court. The new bill also recognizes the contributions Chinese immigrants have made to the state, particularly their work on the Transcontinental Railroad.

The apology is the latest in a wave of official acts of remorse around the globe. In 2006, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a similar apology, expressing regret to Chinese Canadians for unequal taxes imposed on them in the late 19th century. Last February, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologized to his country's Aborigines for racist laws of the past, including the forced separation of children from their parents. Five months later, the U.S. Congress formally apologized to black Americans for slavery and the later Jim Crow laws, which were not repealed until the 1960s. And most notably, in 1988 the U.S. government decided to pay $20,000 to each of the surviving 120,000 Japanese Americans imprisoned in camps during World War II.

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Obama Toured African Fortress Used by Slave Traders

Obama, America's first black president, took his family for a poignant tour of Cape Coast Castle, a seaside fortress used by slave traders starting in the 17th century and which is now a monument to millions of Africans cast into slavery.

"As painful as it is, I think that it helps to teach all of us that we have to do what we can to fight against the kinds of evils that sadly still exist in our world, not just on this continent but in every corner of the globe," Obama said somberly at end of his visit to the compound.

He likened his tour of the slave castle to his visit last month to the site of the former Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald in Germany, saying "it reminds us of the capacity of human beings to commit great evil."

But Obama also suggested that from an African American perspective, seeing Cape Coast was bittersweet.
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Congress to repay wrongfully accused Black Soldiers

Twenty-three African American World War II soldiers who were wrongfully convicted of murder are a step closer to financial restitution for their dishonorable discharges and jail time. Following the Senate’s lead, the House Armed Services Committee also asked that cost-of-living and interest adjustments be added to the soldiers’ back pay in the committee’s version of the 2009 defense authorization bill. In 1944, 43 black soldiers were tried in the hanging death of an Italian prisoner of war, Pvt. Guglielmo Olivotto, at Fort Lawton, Wash. Of those, 23 were found guilty of either the murder itself, or of participating in a riot after the murder. All 23 were dishonorably discharged, and several served time at the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. But according to the research of journalist Jack Hamann, who wrote a book about the case called “On American Soil,” court documents point to a white man, Clyde Lomack, as the real murderer. According to Hamann’s research, Lomack also started the riot to cover up the murder.
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Lloyd's of London is Sued for Insuring Slave Ships - DNA Used to find plaintiffs

DESCENDANTS of black American slaves have accused the Lloyd’s of London insurance market and two United States companies of profiting from the slave trade in a lawsuit seeking billions of pounds in damages. The suit, filed in Manhattan’s federal court, seeks just over £1 billion in punitive damages from Lloyd’s, tobacco firm RJ Reynolds and banking group FleetBoston. The suit also seeks unspecified actual damages.  Filed on behalf of six adults and two children, the suit alleges the companies intentionally sought to destroy the plaintiffs’ "people, culture, religion and heritage". Lawyers for the eight plaintiffs said the complaint - unlike past lawsuits seeking reparations for slavery - was the first to use DNA to link the plaintiffs to Africans who suffered atrocities during the slave trade. The plaintiffs said their ancestors were transported from Africa as part of the slave trade from 1619 to 1865. They allege that Lloyd’s insured slave ships, while FleetBoston, then called Rhode Island’s Providence Bank, financed the ships in the slave trade. RJ Reynolds, the suit claims, profited from plantations.
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Harvard Slavery Ties Left Unexplored

With initiatives like a new financial aid program, Harvard often start trends that ripple through higher education. But when it comes to investigating its institutional history, the University might do well to take a cue from its peers.

Like many venerable American universities, Harvard’s past is tied to slavery: for decades, if not centuries, the University inculcated pro-slavery sentiment and benefitted from funds that were the fruits of the slave trade or slave labor. But unlike many of its peers—such as Brown and Yale—Harvard has never conducted a formal examination of its past.

And though the University has no plans to launch such an investigation, many feel the time is right for Harvard to do so, given that University President Drew G. Faust—a leading Civil War historian and a self-professed “civil-rights advocate and activist”—is at the helm.
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Florida Apologizes for Role in Slavery

Florida joins five other states — Alabama, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and New Jersey — that have apologized for slavery.
TALLAHASSEE — In a watershed moment in Florida's race relations, a solemn state Legislature on Wednesday apologized for the Florida's long history of slavery, expressing "profound regret for the shameful chapter in this state's history."

Described as a bid for "reconciliation and healing," the House this afternoon passed a resolution apologizing for state slavery laws dating back to 1822 – decades became Florida even became a state – that "perpetuated African slavery in one of its most brutal and dehumanizing forms."

Earlier, the Senate passed the same resolution with Gov. Charlie Crist looking on.

Legislators in both chambers sat in silence as historian John Phelps, a former House clerk, read a summary of state laws from the 19th Century that denied even basic freedoms to slaves.

Slaves could be subject to 39 lashes of a whip, administered to a bare back, for raising a hand or addressing a white person with language deemed to be abusive or offensive. For crimes as common as robbery, slaves could have their ears nailed to wooden posts for an hour or even be sentenced to death.

By 1860, at the onset of the Civil War and more than 50 years after slavery was outlawed in federal law, some 44 percent of Florida's 140,000 residents were slaves.
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The Bush Family's Slaveholding Past - Was Their Dynasty Built on Slavery?

The skeletal facts surfaced in April 2007, when an amateur historian named Robert Hughes published his research in the IllinoisTimes, a small paper out of Springfield. Hughes found census records showing that during the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, in Cecil County, Maryland, five households of the Walker family, the president's ancestors via his father's mother, Dorothy Walker Bush, had been slaveholding farmers. The evidence is simple but persuasive: genealogies of the Bush family match up with census data that counted farmers who used enslaved workers. With this, the president joins perhaps fifteen million living white Americans who trace their roots to the long-gone master class.

It's not as though the president is the only politician whose family owned slaves. Of the first eighteen presidents, from George Washington to Ulysses Grant, twelve owned people, eight of them while in office. At one time, Andrew Jackson was even a slave trader. Since Emancipation in 1865, a number of presidents have come from families that once contained slave masters.
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