Chattel Slavery in the USA: Baltimore 2015
I've heard some people say that chattel slavery ended in the USA. Chattel slavery is defined as when a slave is considered property of an individual. The owner of a slave can do with that property as they wish. Work it to death, kill it, or give it a privileged role in the big house if the slave is submissive, obedient, and loyal enough. But the owner of a chattel slave cannot be held legally accountable for murder, even if the owner kills a chattel slave for no reason whatsoever but being drunk and in the mood to murder, because property is not a person and only persons can be murdered. The owner of a chattel slave can do with that slave anything the owner wishes.
What tricks people into thinking that chattel slavery ended in the US is that it was nationalized. Slaves are no longer the property of individual slaveowners, but the property of the state. It is the state that can now kill slaves with impunity, as they are not free persons but merely property.
We see this all across the United States, and currently in Baltimore. But it is not called by its name. It is called police brutality, police killings, racist policing, a double standard, and similar euphemisms, but what is described is the owner of chattel slaves, the state, acting through its overseers, the cops, killing its chattels with impunity.
If you can be killed by someone, at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all, you are not free, you are a slave. A chattel slave. It doesn't matter if you are owned by an individual or by a group of individuals (the state), you are not free. You do not have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, a right to due process, or any other human rights. You are not a person, you are property.
It is time to call chattel slavery by its name. It has not ended. It is, in fact, what makes the USA exceptional. If you take exception to chattel slavery, you are considered to be against property, not against slavery. Those who condemn people who destroy property are validating the righteousness of property ownership, including the ownership of chattel slaves. Owners can do as they wish with their property, but slaves, being property themselves, are not allowed to own property, unless their owners grant them that right, and are certainly not allowed to damage property.
When the USA pretended to abolish chattel slavery, which in many cases it now calls prison labor, it somehow forgot to free the slaves. They were never given back wages or compensated for the brutality they had endured. They were not granted a share of the fortunes made from their exploitation. A small settlement consisting of 40 acres and a mule was proposed to give the appearance of legality, but not even this was received by the "freed" slaves. They were left to shift for themselves in a racist system that did not accord them equal rights. And their former owners became, rather than individual slaveowners, a state that practiced chattel slavery. The fugitive slave catchers became local law enforcement officers, and often their positions, like their attitudes, were and are inherited. Chattel slavery continued as before, with the only change being that it was nationalized and the state, the government, rather than individuals, became the new slaveowners.
If you own chattel slaves, you have the right to abuse some and to favor and privilege others. But you still retain the right to do with your property as you wish.
The law in the United States has little if any relationship to justice. It can be interpreted at the whim of a judge, and the judge can be swayed by falsified evidence and perjured testimony. We even had a case, that of Troy Davis, where the Supreme Court ruled that factual innocence is irrelevant and immaterial if a person was properly condemned to death by a court of law. In other words, if you were convicted of a crime and sentenced to death by a court, your slavery, the absolute right of your owner, the state, to put you to death is in no way legally impeded by the fact that you were subsequently proven to have been factually innocent of the crime for which you were convicted. The conviction rendered your status as a chattel slave legal under the 13th Amendment, since conviction of a crime is an exemption to the abolition of slavery, so you can be killed by the state whether or not you committed that crime. For there to be justice, proof of innocence would have to render any such court conviction null and void, but there is no justice in the USA.
Blacks are not being killed by cops. Blacks are being killed by the state, as the cops are merely agents of the state. And the cops are almost never prosecuted for killing Blacks because even if they haven't committed or been convicted of any crime, Blacks are seen by the state as property, as its chattel slaves, which the state can kill with the same legitimacy that factory farms kill chickens.
Chattel slaves do not have recourse to the law, as they do not have the same legal rights as free people. Fighting for privilege within a government or state that is still practicing legal chattel slavery, legitimizes that slavery. Voting or running for office in a system that practices chattel slavery is not a precious right or progress, it merely indicates that some slaves want to be slave owners themselves, rather than abolishing slavery, as it is the only system they know.
Chattel slavery was never abolished in the USA. The chattel slave owned by three partners in a plantation was no less a slave than the slave owned by a single plantation owner. The government of the USA is nothing but an ownership group, a consortium of slaveowners originally formed to protect and perpetuate the institution of chattel slavery. Daily, that capitalist ownership group, the state, kills its Black chattel slaves with the impunity of someone trashing their unwanted property. Whether it is an individual, their agents or overseers, or a government and its agents and overseers that owns you, if they have the power of life and death over you, you are a chattel slave. It is time to call chattel slavery by its rightful name. And it is high time it was truly ended and abolished, as Malcolm X said, "by any means necessary."
Power to the people!
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