All Americans Need To Read The New Harvard Report On Our Slavery History. Remember Many Conservatives Aren’t For Your Personal Freedoms!

By Donald A. Collins | 30 April 2022
Church and State

Circa 1835: Slaves aboard a slave ship being shackled before being put in the hold. (Credit: Swain / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

The trend of black Americans who voted overwhelmingly for Democratic candidates for years has recently shown a 20 percent decline with black voters going for conservative issues and candidates.

The utter immorality of GOP leadership under racist Donald Trump which I have exposed in many of my prior columns urgently counsels against that party which sought since Trump’s election and afterwards to undermine trust in our most important public and private institutions.

Most criminal behavior by the GOP were widespread efforts by the GOP leaders to wantonly steal Biden’s succession to the Presidency by claiming and are still claiming his election was fraudulent despite repeated proven evidence to the contrary.

One recent report issued by Harvard, as described in an important opinion piece in Friday, April 29’s Washington Post by Eugene Robinson bears serious reflection by all Americans.

Let me quote its essence below, but I suggest your careful reading of Robinson’s column here.

Entitled “Harvard’s history with slavery reveals an ugly truth about America”, he writes

In the United States, Southern plantation slavery has dominated historical memory.

But Harvard University’s 134-page report on how slavery benefited the nation’s oldest, richest and most prestigious institution of higher learning bluntly illustrates a crime many Americans prefer to ignore: The whole nation, not just the South, grew rich and powerful from the unpaid labor of enslaved African Americans.

Between Harvard’s founding in 1636 and the outlawing of slavery in Massachusetts in 1783, “Harvard faculty, staff, and leaders enslaved more than 70 individuals,” the report says. But that is only the beginning.

More important is the fact that many major donors — whose gifts “helped the University build a national reputation, hire faculty, support students, grow its collections, expand its physical footprint, and develop its infrastructure” — made their money from the profits of slavery.

Let me quote one key passage from the report, released this week, at length:

“These financial ties include donors who accumulated their wealth through slave trading; from the labor of enslaved people on plantations in the Caribbean islands and the American South; from the sale of supplies to such plantations and trade in goods they produced; and from the textile manufacturing industry in the North, supplied with cotton grown by enslaved people held in bondage in the American South. During the first half of the 19th century, more than a third of the money donated or promised to Harvard by private individuals came from just five men who made their fortunes from slavery and slave-produced commodities.”

The crucial acknowledgment that Harvard makes is that this slavery-derived wealth compounded over the decades and centuries, much as money in an interest-bearing bank account grows in a steepening curve over time. The same thing happened on a far grander scale to the wealth that the nation realized from the coerced, uncompensated labor of enslaved Black men, women, and children.

Slavery treatment could also be argued, not only of blacks but of many immigrants which proved a major source of wealth creation for white Americans, but nothing like what blacks have endured even today. A key reason to be sure to vote in the midterms this Fall.

I would also add women to the oppressed list, even today attributable to the Trump packed US Supreme Court, which is expected to kill Roe in June, a decision which says it’s okay to protect fetal tissue while killing humans with too many guns, an issue which goes unabated and unaddressed by both parties.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?: Leaders Commit to Reduce Human Population” and “Vote”.

Slavery in the U.S., by the numbers

Life Aboard a Slave Ship | History

Harvard University details its ties to slavery and promises a reckoning

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