Category Archives: United States

The Science of Human Memory: Why Christine Blasey Ford’s 40-Year-Old Accusations Are No Longer Credible

When it comes to human memory, scientists speak not of its “reliability” but of its “fallibility”.  Under capitalism, which embraces superstitious belief and “common sense” while denigrating scientific knowledge, the generally scientifically illiterate working class is left to fend for itself when it comes to seemingly “deeply controversial” issues – like whether or not the 40-year-old memories of a person can be relied upon as an accurate record of their early-life traumas. In fact, as we clearly establish in this article, there is no scientific “controversy” in regard to the fallibility of human memory over time: human memory is nothing like a documentary record by which events in a person’s life can be recalled precisely as they happened – even by the very person who lived the experience.  Even worse, the passage of time and the acquisition of new life experiences cause human memories to be continuously revised and reconstructed. 
We oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court due to his well-documented extreme conservatism and hostility to women’s rights; but neither he nor anyone else should be compelled to submit to a public interrogation regarding unsubstantiated sexual assault allegations from almost 40 years ago that were never brought to trial in a court of law.  We have nothing against Christine Blasey Ford, but unfortunately for her the time for her to bring her assault allegations forward was 36 years ago; the passage of nearly four decades has rendered her accusations, in our opinion, inadmissible in a court of law due to the scientifically proven fact that human memories – even of traumatic events like sexual assault – degenerate over time.  This underscores the vital importance of sexual assault victims coming forward to report the crimes committed against them at the earliest possible opportunity. – IWPCHI

The nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court of Brett Kavanaugh was brought to a screaming halt this past month by the sudden emergence of one Christine Blasey Ford, who came forward with an accusation that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her some 36 years ago.  This explosive accusation – coming as it has against a prospective Supreme Court Justice in the wake of the #MeToo hysteria – has brought his confirmation hearings to a halt. Kavanaugh’s political and judicial record is that of a consistently right-wing, anti-worker and anti-woman conservative bent.  The battle lines for and against his confirmation for the Supreme Court have been drawn on strict partisan lines, with the Republicans and Democrats engaging in a shit-slinging contest like two troops of caged monkeys, with both sides cynically using the issue of women’s rights like a crude weapon in their political knife fight. The process of nominating a Supreme Court Justice has become not a careful assessment of the nominee’s qualifications as a jurist but a brutal running of a political gauntlet where as much salacious dirt as possible is either dug up from the youthful indiscretions the nominee may have engaged in – or the Congressional Inquisition just makes up as much damaging slander as they can and then hurls it in the face of the nominee, hoping that he or she will withdraw their candidacy for the Court rather than continue to be publicly humiliated by the Congressional cretins of both parties.  The nomination process has become so vicious that it is hard to imagine why any decent, qualified candidate for a Supreme Court nomination would put themselves and their families through the character assassination and humiliation of the process. Into the hellish partisan maelstrom of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings sailed one Christine Blasey Ford this past month, with top Democratic Party sponsorship and an explosive story to tell.  Revealed to the nation at the 11-th hour of the confirmation hearings by the Democrats, Blasey Ford launched her broadside of 40-year-old sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh using the too-credulous bourgeois press to leak out at least two different versions of her tale of “abuse” allegedly at the hands of a drunken 17-year-old Kavanaugh and (depending on the version leaked out) either one or four co-conspirators.  Her accusations – which were not reported to the police at the time of the alleged assault, and were reportedly not told to anyone at all until she revealed them to a marriage-counselling therapist in 2012, immediately were taken up by the bourgeois feminist #MeToo lynch mob which shrieked in unison that they believed every word Blasey Ford said – even before she actually published a coherent full version of her story.  The Congressional Democrats, who have been steadily destroying womens’ rights by degree for decades now, and terrified by the threat posed by the loose cannons of the #MeToo movement, who have been destroying the careers of the guilty and the innocent with glee, cynically supported Blasey Ford in a bid to pose as “the defenders of womens’ rights” as opposed to the Kavanaugh-backing Republicans who seem to be just as cynically utilizing the #MeToo phenomenon to pose as the defenders of the rights of the accused to a presumption of innocence – a fundamental principle of U.S. law won at the time of the American Revolution which they have been busy heaping contempt upon for decades.  It is a sorry spectacle symptomatic of the long degeneration of the political consciousness of the US capitalist class reflected in their bought-and-paid-for political parties, which have all grown steadily more and more depraved since the last dying gasp of the revolutionary bourgeoisie was breathed during the brief Reconstruction period immediately after the U.S. Civil War. With the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings brought to a screaming halt by the accusations leveled by Blasey Ford, and a large percentage of the populace finding her last-minute allegations more than a little bit suspicious politically, the Democrats and Republicans hunkered down and started digging up “evidence” to refute the “evidence” being put forward by Blasey Ford. The Republicans behind Kavanaugh produced a signed petition of hundreds of women friends of Kavanaugh who vouched for his deep love of children, women, apple pie and all things good; the Democrats came forward with a signed petition from the Friends of Blasey Ford vouching for her teenaged chastity and her all-around honesty, love of truth and all things good.  Kavanaugh denied Blasey Ford’s accusations; a few of Blasey Ford’s friends came forward to claim that they now remembered her telling them of the alleged sexual assault way back 40 years ago while howling partisan mobs vented their respective spleens across social media.  The Democrats called for an FBI investigation of the allegations and/or for the allegations to be probed publicly by the Congressional committee overseeing the Supreme Court nomination process. Calls for a full-on public spectacle in which Kavanaugh and Blasey Ford would testify before Congress on national television as to their respective 40-year-old memories of the incident (or non-incident) in lieu of an actual trial before a jury of Kavanaugh’s peers came shrieking down from the Democratic Party side, with the rabid “Start By Believing” forces of the crazed #MeToo legions in battle formation.  Anyone daring to publicly doubt the actual probative value that could be expected from such a pointless “he said/she said” trial by public opinion was declared to be “obviously” a woman-hating apologist for the rapists.  Such is the level of political discourse in the “Land of the Free(TM)” these days. Yet we did dare to ask: what is the value of 40-year old accusations in a court of law?  Is it possible for someone’s 40-year-old memories to be credible enough to destroy a person’s career or even to be used to convict that person and send them to prison for decades?  Most importantly: what does science teach us about the reliability of human memory over time? We had read over the past several decades many scientific articles on the fallibility of human memory in relation to “eyewitness testimony” – which was once believed to be the most reliable evidence that could be admitted in a legal proceeding, but which now has been scientifically proven to be highly malleable and utterly unreliable.  Irked by a Tweet posted by a Democratic Senator throwing shade on anyone who would express skepticism about the timing and inherent value of 40-year-old anecdotes of sexual impropriety seemingly very conveniently recalled just in time to derail a highly contested nomination to the Supreme Court, we responded by performing a simple Internet Search for the terms “reliability of human memory” – and we immediately found, on an Internet portal linked to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a half-dozen scientific studies and reviews of recent scientific research on human memory.  The results are not good for Blasey Ford and her shrill #MeToo friends. Human memory is not just fallible, it is highly unreliable even in the short-term, and becomes more and more unreliable over time.  The human memory is not, as many people believe, like a digital security camera video recording that can be rewound and replayed over and over again without any loss of detail at all; it is more like a very sketchy and incomplete series of snapshots that are modified by human life experiences that preceded and which occurred after any event we can “remember”.  In marked contrast to what “common sense” beliefs exist in the minds of most people, science has learned over the past 40 years that human memory is nothing like computer memory AT ALL.  There is simply no justification for the #MeToo crowd’s mantra that, especially in sexual assault cases, we should always “Start By Believing” – especially when the accusations were not reported until years or decades afterwards.  Even a delay of as little as a few hours can lead to profound modifications of human “memories”. We were initially driven to look for the science behind human memory thanks to this annoying Tweet by U.S. Senator Mark Warner:

The problem is, of course – as former Virginia Governor and now-Senator Warner, a Harvard-educated lawyer should know – that if Christine Blasey Ford were to take her 40-year-old allegations to any prosecutor in the country it is highly unlikely that they would spend five minutes investigating the case, precisely because the allegations are 40 years old!  There is no physical evidence that is known to exist in the case; it highly unlikely that any new and credible evidence could be collected after the passage of nearly 40 years; the witnesses (if any are still alive and still sentient) would be difficult and perhaps very expensive to find; and if they were found, their 40-year-old memories of the event would be completely useless in a court of law anyway due to current scientific knowledge about the profound fallibility of human memory over time.  Sen. Warner and his many lawyer-colleagues in the Senate and in Congress should know this; and many undoubtedly do know it.  But instead of acting like leaders who will take this as a “teachable moment” and use it to educate the public as to why 40-year-old memories of an alleged sexual assault victim shouldn’t be used in a court of law except as a weak buttress for physical evidence that a crime was committed; instead of educating the public that this case reaffirms the absolute necessity for victims of sexual assaults to report the crime as soon as possible after it occurs while their memory of the details are as valid as they’ll ever be, the Democrats and Republicans are consciously refusing to do any such thing.  They clearly prefer to make their cheap political attacks against their opponents in an effort to jockey for some imaginary “moral high ground” they can stand on when they run for re-election. In Warner’s case it is certain that he knows all about how profoundly the growing body of scientific evidence on the fallibility of human memory has forced major changes in the admissibility of eyewitness and other forms of human memory evidence in the law courts of the nation.  While Governor of Virginia he commuted the death sentence of Robin Lovitt in a highly controversial case in which the credibility of eyewitness testimony was a central issue (Warner – according to his Wikipedia entry – also “denied clemency in 11 other death penalty cases that came before him as governor”).  Yet instead of utilizing his own personal knowledge of the science of the fallibility of human memories or of the many U.S. Government-funded scientific studies available to educate people about the importance of timely reporting of sexual assaults and other crimes due to the increasing fallibility of human memory over time, Warner chose to remain silent and let the lynch mobs gather up their stocks of torches and pitchforks.  What could be more contemptible than to withhold such information from an increasingly frenzied populace? Then again, Virginia Democrats know a thing or two about how to direct a lynch mob from behind the scenes so that they cannot be held personally responsible for the work of the madmen – and women – they set in motion.  Virginia is, after all, the historical home of “Lynch’s Law”, named after slave owner Charles Lynch, a former member of Virginia’s House of Burgesses, Revolutionary War officer and later a State Senator. We sent Sen. Warner a dozen Tweets featuring lengthy excerpts from two or three of these scientific studies we found on a US-Government-run science website; of course neither he nor anyone on his staff bothered to respond to any of our messages.  Why haven’t any Senators or Congressmen been spreading this important, often taxpayer-funded research on the fallibility of human memory in order to educate the public as to why it’s not a good idea to allow 40-year-old undocumented accusations based upon the 40-year-old memories of a single human being to derail the nomination of someone with a well-documented legal history and no criminal record to the Supreme Court?  It’s undoubtedly because they feel that they can make more money and further their careers more effectively by lies and disinformation to be spread far and wide. Here is the first scientific study we sent to Sen. Warner. As with all of the studies we cite below, the most surprising thing that comes across is how diametrically opposed the scientific understanding of the nature of human memory is to the widely held (including by us, originally) “common sense” notion of the fundamental long-term reliability of memory, especially of traumatic experiences:

The link to the study we cited is here:  “The Neuroscience of Memory: Implications for the Courtroom” Here are a couple of excerpts from this study:

Introduction: “The Neuroscience of Memory – Implications for the Courtroom” by Joyce W. Lacey and Craig E. L. Stark, Nat Rev Neurosci
. 2013 September ; 14(9): 649–658. doi:10.1038/nrn3563

There really is no dispute among scientists when it comes to the reliability of human memory; in fact, there is so much consensus that scientists tend to speak not in terms of the “reliability” of human memory but in terms of its “fallibility”.

“The Neuroscience of Memory – Implications for the Courtroom_Common misunderstandings about memory” Introduction: “The Neuroscience of Memory – Implications for the Courtroom” by Joyce W. Lacey and Craig E. L. Stark, Nat Rev Neurosci
. 2013 September ; 14(9): 649–658. doi:10.1038/nrn3563

Here is the second scientific paper we sent to Sen. Warner:

Memory development: implications for adults recalling childhood experiences in the courtroom (Abstract) by M.L. Howe, Nat Rev Neurosci. 2013 Dec;14(12):869-76. doi: 10.1038/nrn3627. Epub 2013 Oct 30.
Unfortunatley, like most scientific papers, this one is behind a paywall (reminding us of Aaron Swartz’ fight to make all scientific publications available for free to the public, for  which he was threatened with prosecution and driven to suicide). Presumably, Sen. Warner has access to all of these databases and could, if he cared to, provide this information to the public.

We kept searching until we could find a scientific paper that wasn’t being embargoed from public view by the capitalists’ greed.  Right away we found this:

The paper is available in full here: “The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: lessons from the past and their modern consequences.” Here are some excerpts, which we also Tweeted to Sen. Warner:

“The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: lessons from the past and their modern consequences” (Abstract) by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott                                      Memory. 2015;23(5):633-56. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709. Epub 2015 Feb 23

“The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences” (Excerpt 1) by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott – Memory. 2015 Jul 4; 23(5): 633–656.
Published online 2015 Feb 23. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

This paper, by the way, is not an assertion of the two authors’ own personal prejudices regarding human memory; it’s a review of many decades of published scientific research on the subject:

The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences – Excerpt 2 by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott, Memory, 2015 Vol. 23, No. 5, 633 – 656, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

“The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences” Excerpt 3 – “Children as Eyewitnesses” by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott, – Memory. 2015 Jul 4; 23(5): 633–656.
Published online 2015 Feb 23. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

This section on the false testimony of very young children is somewhat off-topic but has broad implications as to the gullibility of adults, including cops, judges and the press when it comes to the irrational “Start By Believing” paradigm being pushed by the bourgeois feminists of the #MeToo movement; it also goes a long way towards combatting the widespread and faulty “common sense” notion that “children would never lie about something as serious as sexual assault”:

The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences – Excerpt 4 – Children as Eyewitnesses (cont’d) by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott,  Memory, 2015 Vol. 23, No. 5, 633–656, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

Here the authors make mention of one of the most notorious miscarriages of justice ever to occur in the US since the Salem Witch Trials (which also featured outrageous accusations that had no evidence to back them up except for the “eyewitness testimony” of children): the McMartin Preschool Case:

The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences – Excerpt 5 – Children as Eyewitnesses – by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott, – Memory. 2015 Jul 4; 23(5): 633–656.
Published online 2015 Feb 23. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

This section of the study gets into the subject matter of the Blasey Ford vs. Kavanaugh controversy:

The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences – Excerpt 6 – Historic Sexual Abuse – by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott, – Memory. 2015 Jul 4; 23(5): 633–656.
Published online 2015 Feb 23. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences – Excerpt 7 – Historic Sexual Abuse (cont’d) – by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott, – Memory. 2015 Jul 4; 23(5): 633–656.
Published online 2015 Feb 23. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences – Excerpt 8 – Historic Sexual Abuse (cont’d) – by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott, – Memory. 2015 Jul 4; 23(5): 633–656.
Published online 2015 Feb 23. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

But what about the widely-touted concept of “repressed memories” that can be “recovered” through therapy?  Does that concept have any scientific validity?  It does not:

The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences – Excerpt 9 – Is there a special case for repressed memories? – by Mark L. Howe and Lauren M. Knott, – Memory. 2015 Jul 4; 23(5): 633–656.
Published online 2015 Feb 23. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2015.1010709

Yet another scientific article we found sheds more light on how easily adult memories can be modified and false ideas easily implanted – especially by those whom we tend to trust implicitly, like doctors, therapists and scientists:

“The Neuroscience of Memory: Implications for the Courtroom – Introduction” by Joyce W. Lacey and Craig E. L. Stark, Nat Rev Neurosci. 2013 September ; 14(9): 649–658. doi:10.1038/nrn3563

“The Neuroscience of Memory: Implications for the Courtroom – How Memory Distortions Occur” by Joyce W. Lacey and Craig E. L. Stark, Nat Rev Neurosci. 2013 September ; 14(9): 649–658. doi:10.1038/nrn3563

Clearly, there exists a massive amount of scientific research indicating that the longer a person waits to report a crime, the more unreliable their testimony will be, regardless of the intensity of the lived experience of the traumatic event.  To suggest that the public should simply “Start By Believing” a 40-year-old recollection of an event as if it was akin to a dashboard camera recording of an event – as the #MeToo crowd wishes us to do – is to commit a major error of judgement that flies in the face of the current state of our scientific knowledge of the fallibility of human memory.  It is in our opinion a highly suspicious aspect of the way the Democrats wish to conduct the Kavanaugh hearings that they will seek to do away with Kavanaugh’s right to a fair trial in a court of law with a highly prejudicial kangaroo court proceeding in which the public’s willingness to believe the charges brought against him will hinge solely on the quality of the live performance of Blasey Ford as she details her ancient, sensationalized charges of serious sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh; charges that in a court of law he would not even be required to personally refute but which in this rigged forum he will be forced to attempt to convincingly sway “public opinion”.  By ignoring the science, the Democrats are consciously stacking the deck against Kavanaugh in a vicious manner reminiscent of the proceedings of the Holy Inquisition. As much as we oppose the nomination of Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, we must vehemently protest against the use of such medieval methods of character assassination as are about to be used in these hearings.  Blasey Ford, by waiting 40 years to bring her charges against Kavanaugh, and by choosing not to pursue them in a court of law where there are rules of evidence to follow has chosen to pursue an avenue of attack for which there is no possible defense that can be effectively utilized by Kavanaugh.  We say she should not be allowed to testify at all, as her method of attack was outlawed long ago when we jettisoned medieval methods of legal procedure in favor of the far more rational evidence-based system of justice, in which innocence is presumed until an accused person is proven guilty in a trial before a jury of one’s peers, which was one of the great gains of the American Revolution.  These rights of the accused must not be allowed to be abandoned for the purpose of winning a political battle – even one as important as the appointment of a Supreme Court justice.

To us as revolutionary Trotskyists the entire sordid episode illustrates our long-held saying that the choice that confronts the workers of the world is: socialism or barbarism.  The US capitalist class, hanging onto power by a toenail, with the youth of the USA clamoring for “socialism”, and unable to rig national elections anymore (as the victory of Trump over their bought-and-paid-for preferred candidate Clinton shows)  is becoming more and more deranged and unhappy with their pretended fealty to democratic process and the rule of law; and now their wholly-owned political pawns are throwing out such “outdated junk” of the American Revolution as the presumption of innocence of the accused and the entire idea of majority rule.  But then that is nothing new; from the time of the American Revolution, it was never the intention of the US ruling class to allow (in slave-rapist Jefferson’s memorable phrase) the “swinish multitude” to rule.  Only a workers socialist revolution can bring about a more democratic society than the burgeoning police state we have now; and to achieve a more democratic, egalitarian society will require a workers socialist revolution led by a Leninist vanguard party of professional socialist revolutionaries.  Those of you who want to create a positive future for the workers of the USA and the world should get in touch with us so we can begin building such a party, without which the working class can’t move one inch forward.

— IWPCHI

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Frederick Douglass: “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” (5 July 1852)

Abolitionist publisher, editor and orator Frederick Douglass, 1848 (daguerreotypist unknown)

Abolitionist publisher, editor and orator Frederick Douglass, 1848 (daguerreotypist unknown)

Once again we are happy to present, in honor of the victory of the American Revolution that proved once and for all time that the world could do quite well without Kings and Queens to rule over us, one of the greatest speeches ever given by a US citizen on the Fourth of July: Frederick Douglass’ outstanding 5 July 1852 denunciation of the massive hypocrisy of the United States – which nominally stands for “freedom and democracy” but which in fact – to this day – actually stands for neither of these things.

Today, African-American workers are still fighting, literally, for their lives against an American capitalist system which brutalizes them from the womb to the grave.  While the racist US capitalist class in the person of their perfect representative – Donald Trump – pretend that the USA is a “post-racial society”, infant mortality for black children and black mothers is a national disgrace and a national tragedy; while the US capitalist class sells military equipment to local police forces all over the USA, the killer cops gun down unarmed workers regardless of age, sex or race (but primarily black workers) and, usually, are never even charged with a crime.  The gross hypocrisy of the racist US capitalist class is alive and nauseatingly “well” 166 years after Douglass gave this speech and 153 years after the US Civil War (temporarily) smashed the slaveocracy.  Racism has always been “American as apple pie” from the genocide against the Native Americans to the slave trade and today, when a racist billionaire can be elected President even after he slanders the nation of Mexico as “rapists” and pursues a brutal racist crackdown on brown-skinned and Muslim worker-immigrants and refugees seeking sanctuary in the USA.

This speech – 166 years after it was given – still provides the working class with a valuable understanding of the true nature of the US capitalist state and the ruling-class origins of today’s renascent American fascism. In 2018, as in 1852, it is up to the working class to dedicate our lives to the fight to smash racism and the capitalist system that perpetuates it.  So long as the tiny minority of racist capitalists rule, they will find it necessary to buttress their usurpation of power and wealth by fomenting racism among the workers.  In order to maintain their class domination they will continue to try to spread racist ideology thereby making it as difficult as possible for workers to join hands across all racial, ethnic and religious lines as sisters and brothers in struggle to overthrow them.  Only by becoming intelligent anti-racist activists can the working class organize effective political parties of the working class capable of putting an end to a capitalist system that offers the working class a future of nothing but more racism, more poverty, and more war.   The working class must dump the political parties owned and operated by the capitalist classes and create class-independent political parties 100% financed by and run solely in the class interests of the racially integrated US working class.

—- IWPCHI

The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro

Rochester, New York, July 5, 1852

Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens:

He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my ability, than I do this day. A feeling has crept over me quite unfavorable to the exercise of my limited powers of speech. The task before me is one which requires much previous thought and study for its proper performance. I know that apologies of this sort are generally considered flat and unmeaning. I trust, however, that mine will not be so considered. Should I seem at ease, my appearance would much misrepresent me. The little experience I have had in addressing public meetings, in country school houses, avails me nothing on the present occasion.

The papers and placards say that I am to deliver a Fourth of July Oration. This certainly sounds large, and out of the common way, for me. It is true that I have often had the privilege to speak in this beautiful Hall, and to address many who now honor me with their presence. But neither their familiar faces, nor the perfect gage I think I have of Corinthian Hall seems to free me from embarrassment.

The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, the distance between this platform and the slave plantation, from which I escaped, is considerable-and the difficulties to he overcome in getting from the latter to the former are by no means slight. That I am here to-day is, to me, a matter of astonishment as well as of gratitude. You will not, therefore, be surprised, if in what I have to say I evince no elaborate preparation, nor grace my speech with any high sounding exordium. With little experience and with less learning, I have been able to throw my thoughts hastily and imperfectly together; and trusting to your patient and generous indulgence I will proceed to lay them before you.

This, for the purpose of this celebration, is the Fourth of July. It is the birth day of your National Independence, and of your political freedom. This, to you, as what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God. It carries your minds back to the day, and to the act of your great deliverance; and to the signs, and to the wonders, associated with that act, and that day. This celebration also marks the beginning of another year of your national life; and reminds you that the Republic of America is now 76 years old. l am glad, fellow-citizens, that your nation is so young. Seventy-six years, though a good old age for a man, is but a mere speck in the life of a nation. Three score years and ten is the allotted time for individual men; but nations number their years by thousands. According to this fact, you are, even now, only in the beginning of your national career, still lingering in the period of childhood. I repeat, I am glad this is so. There is hope in the thought, and hope is much needed, under the dark clouds which lower above the horizon. The eye of the reformer is met with angry flashes, portending disastrous times; but his heart may well beat lighter at the thought that America is young, and that she is still in the impressible stage of her existence. May he not hope that high lessons of wisdom, of justice and of truth, will yet give direction to her destiny? Were the nation older, the patriot’s heart might be sadder, and the reformer’s brow heavier. Its future might be shrouded in gloom, and the hope of its prophets go out in sorrow. There is consolation in the thought that America is young.-Great streams are not easily turned from channels, worn deep in the course of ages. They may sometimes rise in quiet and stately majesty, and inundate the land, refreshing and fertilizing the earth with their mysterious properties. They may also rise in wrath and fury, and bear away, on their angry waves, the accumulated wealth of years of toil and hardship. They, however, gradually flow back to the same old channel, and flow on as serenely as ever. But, while the river may not be turned aside, it may dry up, and leave nothing behind but the withered branch, and the unsightly rock, to howl in the abyss-sweeping wind, the sad tale of departed glory. As with rivers so with nations.

Fellow-citizens, I shall not presume to dwell at length on the associations that cluster about this day. The simple story of it is, that, 76 years ago, the people of this country were British subjects. The style and title of your “sovereign people” (in which you now glory) was not then born. You were under the British Crown. Your fathers esteemed the English Government as the home government; and England as the fatherland. This home government, you know, although a considerable distance from your home, did, in the exercise of its parental prerogatives, impose upon its colonial children, such restraints, burdens and limitations, as, in its mature judgment, it deemed wise, right and proper.

But your fathers, who had not adopted the fashionable idea of this day, of the infallibility of government, and the absolute character of its acts, presumed to differ from the home government in respect to the wisdom and the justice of some of those burdens and restraints. They went so far in their excitement as to pronounce the measures of government unjust, unreasonable, and oppressive, and altogether such as ought not to be quietly submitted to. I scarcely need say, fellow-citizens, that my opinion of those measures fully accords with that of your fathers. Such a declaration of agreement on my part would not be worth much to anybody. It would certainly prove nothing as to what part I might have taken had I lived during the great controversy of 1776. To say now that America was right, and England wrong, is exceedingly easy. Everybody can say it; the dastard, not less than the noble brave, can flippantly discant on the tyranny of England towards the American Colonies. It is fashionable to do so; but there was a time when, to pronounce against England, and in favor of the cause of the colonies, tried men’s souls. They who did so were accounted in their day plotters of mischief, agitators and rebels, dangerous men. To side with the right against the wrong, with the weak against the strong, and with the oppressed against the oppressor! here lies the merit, and the one which, of all others, seems unfashionable in our day. The cause of liberty may be stabbed by the men who glory in the deeds of your fathers. But, to proceed.

Feeling themselves harshly and unjustly treated, by the home government, your fathers, like men of honesty, and men of spirit, earnestly sought redress. They petitioned and remonstrated; they did so in a decorous, respectful, and loyal manner. Their conduct was wholly unexceptionable. This, however, did not answer the purpose. They saw themselves treated with sovereign indifference, coldness and scorn. Yet they persevered. They were not the men to look back.

As the sheet anchor takes a firmer hold, when the ship is tossed by the storm, so did the cause of your fathers grow stronger as it breasted the chilling blasts of kingly displeasure. The greatest and best of British statesmen admitted its justice, and the loftiest eloquence of the British Senate came to its support. But, with that blindness which seems to be the unvarying characteristic of tyrants, since Pharaoh and his hosts were drowned in the Red Sea, the British Government persisted in the exactions complained of.

The madness of this course, we believe, is admitted now, even by England; but we fear the lesson is wholly lost on our present rulers.

Oppression makes a wise man mad. Your fathers were wise men, and if they did not go mad, they became restive under this treatment. They felt themselves the victims of grievous wrongs, wholly incurable in their colonial capacity. With brave men there is always a remedy for oppression. Just here, the idea of a total separation of the colonies from the crown was born! It was a startling idea, much more so than we, at this distance of time, regard it. The timid and the prudent (as has been intimated) of that day were, of course, shocked and alarmed by it.

Such people lived then, had lived before, and will, probably, ever have a place on this planet; and their course, in respect to any great change (no matter how great the good to be attained, or the wrong to be redressed by it), may be calculated with as much precision as can be the course of the stars. They hate all changes, but silver, gold and copper change! Of this sort of change they are always strongly in favor.

These people were called Tories in the days of your fathers; and the appellation, probably, conveyed the same idea that is meant by a more modern, though a somewhat less euphonious term, which we often find in our papers, applied to some of our old politicians.

Their opposition to the then dangerous thought was earnest and powerful; but, amid all their terror and affrighted vociferations against it, the alarming and revolutionary idea moved on, and the country with it.

On the 2nd of July, 1776, the old Continental Congress, to the dismay of the lovers of ease, and the worshipers of property, clothed that dreadful idea with all the authority of national sanction. They did so in the form of a resolution; and as we seldom hit upon resolutions, drawn up in our day, whose transparency is at all equal to this, it may refresh your minds and help my story if I read it.

“Resolved, That these united colonies are, and of right, ought to be free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown; and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, dissolved.”

Citizens, your fathers made good that resolution. They succeeded; and to-day you reap the fruits of their success. The freedom gained is yours; and you, there fore, may properly celebrate this anniversary. The 4th of July is the first great fact in your nation’s history-the very ring-bolt in the chain of your yet undeveloped destiny.

Pride and patriotism, not less than gratitude, prompt you to celebrate and to hold it in perpetual remembrance. I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ring-bolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.

From the round top of your ship of state, dark and threatening clouds may be seen. Heavy billows, like mountains in the distance, disclose to the leeward huge forms of flinty rocks! That bolt drawn, that chain broken, and all is lost. Cling to this day-cling to it, and to its principles, with the grasp of a storm-tossed mariner to a spar at midnight.

The coming into being of a nation, in any circumstances, is an interesting event. But, besides general considerations, there were peculiar circumstances which make the advent of this republic an event of special attractiveness. The whole scene, as I look back to it, was simple, dignified and sublime. The population of the country, at the time, stood at the insignificant number of three millions. The country was poor in the munitions of war. The population was weak and scattered, and the country a wilderness unsubdued. There were then no means of concert and combination, such as exist now. Neither steam nor lightning had then been reduced to order and discipline. From the Potomac to the Delaware was a journey of many days. Under these, and innumerable other disadvantages, your fathers declared for liberty and independence and triumphed.

Fellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men, too-great enough to give frame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. The point from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favorable; and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration. They were statesmen, patriots and heroes, and for the good they did, and the principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honor their memory.

They loved their country better than their own private interests; and, though this is not the highest form of human excellence, all will concede that it is a rare virtue, and that when it is exhibited it ought to command respect. He who will, intelligently, lay down his life for his country is a man whom it is not in human nature to despise. Your fathers staked their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, on the cause of their country. In their admiration of liberty, they lost sight of all other interests.

They were peace men; but they preferred revolution to peaceful submission to bondage. They were quiet men; but they did not shrink from agitating against oppression. They showed forbearance; but that they knew its limits. They believed in order; but not in the order of tyranny. With them, nothing was “settled” that was not right. With them, justice, liberty and humanity were “final”; not slavery and oppression. You may well cherish the memory of such men. They were great in their day and generation. Their solid manhood stands out the more as we contrast it with these degenerate times.

How circumspect, exact and proportionate were all their movements! How unlike the politicians of an hour! Their statesmanship looked beyond the passing moment, and stretched away in strength into the distant future. They seized upon eternal principles, and set a glorious example in their defence. Mark them! Fully appreciating the hardships to be encountered, firmly believing in the right of their cause, honorably inviting the scrutiny of an on-looking world, reverently appealing to heaven to attest their sincerity, soundly comprehending the solemn responsibility they were about to assume, wisely measuring the terrible odds against them, your fathers, the fathers of this republic, did, most deliberately, under the inspiration of a glorious patriotism, and with a sublime faith in the great principles of justice and freedom, lay deep, the corner-stone of the national super-structure, which has risen and still rises in grandeur around you.

Of this fundamental work, this day is the anniversary. Our eyes are met with demonstrations of joyous enthusiasm. Banners and pennants wave exultingly on the breeze. The din of business, too, is hushed. Even mammon seems to have quitted his grasp on this day. The ear-piercing fife and the stirring drum unite their accents with the ascending peal of a thousand church bells. Prayers are made, hymns are sung, and sermons are preached in honor of this day; while the quick martial tramp of a great and multitudinous nation, echoed back by all the hills, valleys and mountains of a vast continent, bespeak the occasion one of thrilling and universal interest – the nation’s jubilee.

Friends and citizens, I need not enter further into the causes which led to this anniversary. Many of you understand them better than I do. You could instruct me in regard to them. That is a branch of knowledge in which you feel, perhaps, a much deeper interest than your speaker. The causes which led to the separation of the colonies from the British crown have never lacked for a tongue. They have all been taught in your common schools, narrated at your firesides, un folded from your pulpits, and thundered from your legislative halls, and are as familiar to you as household words. They form the staple of your national poetry and eloquence.

I remember, also, that, as a people, Americans are remarkably familiar with all facts which make in their own favor. This is esteemed by some as a national trait-perhaps a national weakness. It is a fact, that whatever makes for the wealth or for the reputation of Americans and can be had cheap! will be found by Americans. I shall not be charged with slandering Americans if I say I think the American side of any question may be safely left in American hands.

I leave, therefore, the great deeds of your fathers to other gentlemen whose claim to have been regularly descended will be less likely to be disputed than mine!

My business, if I have any here to-day, is with the present. The accepted time with God and His cause is the ever-living now.

Trust no future, however pleasant,
Let the dead past bury its dead;
Act, act in the living present,
Heart within, and God overhead.

We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and to the future. To all inspiring motives, to noble deeds which can be gained from the past, we are welcome. But now is the time, the important time. Your fathers have lived, died, and have done their work, and have done much of it well. You live and must die, and you must do your work. You have no right to enjoy a child’s share in the labor of your fathers, unless your children are to be blest by your labors. You have no right to wear out and waste the hard-earned fame of your fathers to cover your indolence. Sydney Smith tells us that men seldom eulogize the wisdom and virtues of their fathers, but to excuse some folly or wickedness of their own. This truth is not a doubtful one. There are illustrations of it near and remote, ancient and modern. It was fashionable, hundreds of years ago, for the children of Jacob to boast, we have “Abraham to our father,” when they had long lost Abraham’s faith and spirit. That people contented themselves under the shadow of Abraham’s great name, while they repudiated the deeds which made his name great. Need I remind you that a similar thing is being done all over this country to-day? Need I tell you that the Jews are not the only people who built the tombs of the prophets, and garnished the sepulchers of the righteous? Washington could not die till he had broken the chains of his slaves. Yet his monument is built up by the price of human blood, and the traders in the bodies and souls of men shout-“We have Washington to our father.”-Alas! that it should be so; yet it is.

The evil, that men do, lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones.

Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions! Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold, that a nation’s sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish, that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation’s jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the “lame man leap as an hart.”

But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common.-The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrevocable ruin! I can to-day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people!

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea! we wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.”

Fellow-citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, “may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!” To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then, fellow-citizens, is American slavery. I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave’s point of view. Standing there identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July! Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery-the great sin and shame of America! “I will not equivocate; I will not excuse”; I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and just.

But I fancy I hear some one of my audience say, “It is just in this circumstance that you and your brother abolitionists fail to make a favorable impression on the public mind. Would you argue more, and denounce less; would you persuade more, and rebuke less; your cause would be much more likely to succeed.” But, I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light? Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slaveholders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They ac knowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia which, if committed by a black man (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of the same crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment. What is this but the acknowledgment that the slave is a moral, intellectual, and responsible being? The manhood of the slave is conceded. It is admitted in the fact that Southern statute books are covered with enactments forbidding, under severe fines and penalties, the teaching of the slave to read or to write. When you can point to any such laws in reference to the beasts of the field, then I may con sent to argue the manhood of the slave. When the dogs in your streets, when the fowls of the air, when the cattle on your hills, when the fish of the sea, and the reptiles that crawl, shall be unable to distinguish the slave from a brute, then will I argue with you that the slave is a man!

For the present, it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Is it not astonishing that, while we are ploughing, planting, and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses, constructing bridges, building ships, working in metals of brass, iron, copper, silver and gold; that, while we are reading, writing and ciphering, acting as clerks, merchants and secretaries, having among us lawyers, doctors, ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators and teachers; that, while we are engaged in all manner of enterprises common to other men, digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific, feeding sheep and cattle on the hill-side, living, moving, acting, thinking, planning, living in families as husbands, wives and children, and, above all, confessing and worshipping the Christian’s God, and looking hopefully for life and immortality beyond the grave, we are called upon to prove that we are men!

Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Americans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom? speaking of it relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively. To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding.-There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.

What, am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their masters? Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood, and stained with pollution, is wrong? No! I will not. I have better employment for my time and strength than such arguments would imply.

What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman, cannot be divine! Who can reason on such a proposition? They that can, may; I cannot. The time for such argument is passed.

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.

Take the American slave-trade, which we are told by the papers, is especially prosperous just now. Ex-Senator Benton tells us that the price of men was never higher than now. He mentions the fact to show that slavery is in no danger. This trade is one of the peculiarities of American institutions. It is carried on in all the large towns and cities in one-half of this confederacy; and millions are pocketed every year by dealers in this horrid traffic. In several states this trade is a chief source of wealth. It is called (in contradistinction to the foreign slave-trade) “the internal slave-trade.” It is, probably, called so, too, in order to divert from it the horror with which the foreign slave-trade is contemplated. That trade has long since been denounced by this government as piracy. It has been denounced with burning words from the high places of the nation as an execrable traffic. To arrest it, to put an end to it, this nation keeps a squadron, at immense cost, on the coast of Africa. Everywhere, in this country, it is safe to speak of this foreign slave-trade as a most inhuman traffic, opposed alike to the Jaws of God and of man. The duty to extirpate and destroy it, is admitted even by our doctors of divinity. In order to put an end to it, some of these last have consented that their colored brethren (nominally free) should leave this country, and establish them selves on the western coast of Africa! It is, however, a notable fact that, while so much execration is poured out by Americans upon all those engaged in the foreign slave-trade, the men engaged in the slave-trade between the states pass with out condemnation, and their business is deemed honorable.

Behold the practical operation of this internal slave-trade, the American slave-trade, sustained by American politics and American religion. Here you will see men and women reared like swine for the market. You know what is a swine-drover? I will show you a man-drover. They inhabit all our Southern States. They perambulate the country, and crowd the highways of the nation, with droves of human stock. You will see one of these human flesh jobbers, armed with pistol, whip, and bowie-knife, driving a company of a hundred men, women, and children, from the Potomac to the slave market at New Orleans. These wretched people are to be sold singly, or in lots, to suit purchasers. They are food for the cotton-field and the deadly sugar-mill. Mark the sad procession, as it moves wearily along, and the inhuman wretch who drives them. Hear his savage yells and his blood-curdling oaths, as he hurries on his affrighted captives! There, see the old man with locks thinned and gray. Cast one glance, if you please, upon that young mother, whose shoulders are bare to the scorching sun, her briny tears falling on the brow of the babe in her arms. See, too, that girl of thirteen, weeping, yes! weeping, as she thinks of the mother from whom she has been torn! The drove moves tardily. Heat and sorrow have nearly consumed their strength; suddenly you hear a quick snap, like the discharge of a rifle; the fetters clank, and the chain rattles simultaneously; your ears are saluted with a scream, that seems to have torn its way to the centre of your soul The crack you heard was the sound of the slave-whip; the scream you heard was from the woman you saw with the babe. Her speed had faltered under the weight of her child and her chains! that gash on her shoulder tells her to move on. Follow this drove to New Orleans. Attend the auction; see men examined like horses; see the forms of women rudely and brutally exposed to the shock ing gaze of American slave-buyers. See this drove sold and separated forever; and never forget the deep, sad sobs that arose from that scattered multitude. Tell me, citizens, where, under the sun, you can witness a spectacle more fiendish and shocking. Yet this is but a glance at the American slave-trade, as it exists, at this moment, in the ruling part of the United States.

I was born amid such sights and scenes. To me the American slave-trade is a terrible reality. When a child, my soul was often pierced with a sense of its horrors. I lived on Philpot Street, Fell’s Point, Baltimore, and have watched from the wharves the slave ships in the Basin, anchored from the shore, with their cargoes of human flesh, waiting for favorable winds to waft them down the Chesapeake. There was, at that time, a grand slave mart kept at the head of Pratt Street, by Austin Woldfolk. His agents were sent into every town and county in Maryland, announcing their arrival, through the papers, and on flaming “hand-bills,” headed cash for Negroes. These men were generally well dressed men, and very captivating in their manners; ever ready to drink, to treat, and to gamble. The fate of many a slave has depended upon the turn of a single card; and many a child has been snatched from the arms of its mother by bargains arranged in a state of brutal drunkenness.

The flesh-mongers gather up their victims by dozens, and drive them, chained, to the general depot at Baltimore. When a sufficient number has been collected here, a ship is chartered for the purpose of conveying the forlorn crew to Mobile, or to New Orleans. From the slave prison to the ship, they are usually driven in the darkness of night; for since the antislavery agitation, a certain caution is observed.

In the deep, still darkness of midnight, I have been often aroused by the dead, heavy footsteps, and the piteous cries of the chained gangs that passed our door. The anguish of my boyish heart was intense; and I was often consoled, when speaking to my mistress in the morning, to hear her say that the custom was very wicked; that she hated to hear the rattle of the chains and the heart-rending cries. I was glad to find one who sympathized with me in my horror.

Fellow-citizens, this murderous traffic is, to-day, in active operation in this boasted republic. In the solitude of my spirit I see clouds of dust raised on the highways of the South; I see the bleeding footsteps; I hear the doleful wail of fettered humanity on the way to the slave-markets, where the victims are to be sold like horses, sheep, and swine, knocked off to the highest bidder. There I see the tenderest ties ruthlessly broken, to gratify the lust, caprice and rapacity of the buyers and sellers of men. My soul sickens at the sight.

Is this the land your Fathers loved,
The freedom which they toiled to win?
Is this the earth whereon they moved?
Are these the graves they slumber in?

But a still more inhuman, disgraceful, and scandalous state of things remains to be presented. By an act of the American Congress, not yet two years old, slavery has been nationalized in its most horrible and revolting form. By that act, Mason and Dixon’s line has been obliterated; New York has become as Virginia; and the power to hold, hunt, and sell men, women and children, as slaves, remains no longer a mere state institution, but is now an institution of the whole United States. The power is co-extensive with the star-spangled banner, and American Christianity. Where these go, may also go the merciless slave-hunter. Where these are, man is not sacred. He is a bird for the sportsman’s gun. By that most foul and fiendish of all human decrees, the liberty and person of every man are put in peril. Your broad republican domain is hunting ground for men. Not for thieves and robbers, enemies of society, merely, but for men guilty of no crime. Your law-makers have commanded all good citizens to engage in this hellish sport. Your President, your Secretary of State, your lords, nobles, and ecclesiastics enforce, as a duty you owe to your free and glorious country, and to your God, that you do this accursed thing. Not fewer than forty Americans have, within the past two years, been hunted down and, without a moment’s warning, hurried away in chains, and consigned to slavery and excruciating torture. Some of these have had wives and children, dependent on them for bread; but of this, no account was made. The right of the hunter to his prey stands superior to the right of marriage, and to all rights in this republic, the rights of God included! For black men there is neither law nor justice, humanity nor religion. The Fugitive Slave Law makes mercy to them a crime; and bribes the judge who tries them. An American judge gets ten dollars for every victim he consigns to slavery, and five, when he fails to do so. The oath of any two villains is sufficient, under this hell-black enactment, to send the most pious and exemplary black man into the remorseless jaws of slavery! His own testimony is nothing. He can bring no witnesses for himself. The minister of American justice is bound by the law to hear but one side; and that side is the side of the oppressor. Let this damning fact be perpetually told. Let it be thundered around the world that in tyrant-killing, king-hating, people-loving, democratic, Christian America the seats of justice are filled with judges who hold their offices under an open and palpable bribe, and are bound, in deciding the case of a man’s liberty, to hear only his accusers!

In glaring violation of justice, in shameless disregard of the forms of administering law, in cunning arrangement to entrap the defenceless, and in diabolical intent this Fugitive Slave Law stands alone in the annals of tyrannical legislation. I doubt if there be another nation on the globe having the brass and the baseness to put such a law on the statute-book. If any man in this assembly thinks differently from me in this matter, and feels able to disprove my statements, I will gladly confront him at any suitable time and place he may select.

I take this law to be one of the grossest infringements of Christian Liberty, and, if the churches and ministers of our country were nor stupidly blind, or most wickedly indifferent, they, too, would so regard it.

At the very moment that they are thanking God for the enjoyment of civil and religious liberty, and for the right to worship God according to the dictates of their own consciences, they are utterly silent in respect to a law which robs religion of its chief significance and makes it utterly worthless to a world lying in wickedness. Did this law concern the “mint, anise, and cummin”-abridge the right to sing psalms, to partake of the sacrament, or to engage in any of the ceremonies of religion, it would be smitten by the thunder of a thousand pulpits. A general shout would go up from the church demanding repeal, repeal, instant repeal!-And it would go hard with that politician who presumed to so licit the votes of the people without inscribing this motto on his banner. Further, if this demand were not complied with, another Scotland would be added to the history of religious liberty, and the stern old covenanters would be thrown into the shade. A John Knox would be seen at every church door and heard from every pulpit, and Fillmore would have no more quarter than was shown by Knox to the beautiful, but treacherous, Queen Mary of Scotland. The fact that the church of our country (with fractional exceptions) does not esteem “the Fugitive Slave Law” as a declaration of war against religious liberty, implies that that church regards religion simply as a form of worship, an empty ceremony, and not a vital principle, requiring active benevolence, justice, love, and good will towards man. It esteems sacrifice above mercy; psalm-singing above right doing; solemn meetings above practical righteousness. A worship that can be conducted by persons who refuse to give shelter to the houseless, to give bread to the hungry, clothing to the naked, and who enjoin obedience to a law forbidding these acts of mercy is a curse, not a blessing to mankind. The Bible addresses all such persons as “scribes, pharisees, hypocrites, who pay tithe of mint, anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith.”

But the church of this country is not only indifferent to the wrongs of the slave, it actually takes sides with the oppressors. It has made itself the bulwark of American slavery, and the shield of American slave-hunters. Many of its most eloquent Divines, who stand as the very lights of the church, have shamelessly given the sanction of religion and the Bible to the whole slave system. They have taught that man may, properly, be a slave; that the relation of master and slave is ordained of God; that to send back an escaped bondman to his master is clearly the duty of all the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ; and this horrible blasphemy is palmed off upon the world for Christianity.

For my part, I would say, welcome infidelity! welcome atheism! welcome anything! in preference to the gospel, as preached by those Divines! They convert the very name of religion into an engine of tyranny and barbarous cruelty, and serve to confirm more infidels, in this age, than all the infidel writings of Thomas Paine, Voltaire, and Bolingbroke put together have done! These ministers make religion a cold and flinty-hearted thing, having neither principles of right action nor bowels of compassion. They strip the love of God of its beauty and leave the throne of religion a huge, horrible, repulsive form. It is a religion for oppressors, tyrants, man-stealers, and thugs. It is not that “pure and undefiled religion” which is from above, and which is “first pure, then peaceable, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” But a religion which favors the rich against the poor; which exalts the proud above the humble; which divides mankind into two classes, tyrants and slaves; which says to the man in chains, stay there; and to the oppressor, oppress on; it is a religion which may be professed and enjoyed by all the robbers and enslavers of mankind; it makes God a respecter of persons, denies his fatherhood of the race, and tramples in the dust the great truth of the brotherhood of man. All this we affirm to be true of the popular church, and the popular worship of our land and nation-a religion, a church, and a worship which, on the authority of inspired wisdom, we pronounce to be an abomination in the sight of God. In the language of Isaiah, the American church might be well addressed, “Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me: the new moons and Sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons, and your appointed feasts my soul hateth. They are a trouble to me; I am weary to bear them; and when ye spread forth your hands I will hide mine eyes from you. Yea’ when ye make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood; cease to do evil, learn to do well; seek judgment; relieve the oppressed; judge for the fatherless; plead for the widow.”

The American church is guilty, when viewed in connection with what it is doing to uphold slavery; but it is superlatively guilty when viewed in its connection with its ability to abolish slavery.

The sin of which it is guilty is one of omission as well as of commission. Albert Barnes but uttered what the common sense of every man at all observant of the actual state of the case will receive as truth, when he declared that “There is no power out of the church that could sustain slavery an hour, if it were not sustained in it.”

Let the religious press, the pulpit, the Sunday School, the conference meeting, the great ecclesiastical, missionary, Bible and tract associations of the land array their immense powers against slavery, and slave-holding; and the whole system of crime and blood would be scattered to the winds, and that they do not do this involves them in the most awful responsibility of which the mind can conceive.

In prosecuting the anti-slavery enterprise, we have been asked to spare the church, to spare the ministry; but how, we ask, could such a thing be done? We are met on the threshold of our efforts for the redemption of the slave, by the church and ministry of the country, in battle arrayed against us; and we are compelled to fight or flee. From what quarter, I beg to know, has proceeded a fire so deadly upon our ranks, during the last two years, as from the Northern pulpit? As the champions of oppressors, the chosen men of American theology have appeared-men honored for their so-called piety, and their real learning. The Lords of Buffalo, the Springs of New York, the Lathrops of Auburn, the Coxes and Spencers of Brooklyn, the Gannets and Sharps of Boston, the Deweys of Washington, and other great religious lights of the land have, in utter denial of the authority of Him by whom they professed to be called to the ministry, deliberately taught us, against the example of the Hebrews, and against the remonstrance of the Apostles, that we ought to obey man’s law before the law of God.2

My spirit wearies of such blasphemy; and how such men can be supported, as the “standing types and representatives of Jesus Christ,” is a mystery which I leave others to penetrate. In speaking of the American church, however, let it be distinctly understood that I mean the great mass of the religious organizations of our land. There are exceptions, and I thank God that there are. Noble men may be found, scattered all over these Northern States, of whom Henry Ward Beecher, of Brooklyn; Samuel J. May, of Syracuse; and my esteemed friend (Rev. R. R. Raymond) on the platform, are shining examples; and let me say further, that, upon these men lies the duty to inspire our ranks with high religious faith and zeal, and to cheer us on in the great mission of the slave’s redemption from his chains.

One is struck with the difference between the attitude of the American church towards the anti-slavery movement, and that occupied by the churches in Eng land towards a similar movement in that country. There, the church, true to its mission of ameliorating, elevating and improving the condition of mankind, came forward promptly, bound up the wounds of the West Indian slave, and re stored him to his liberty. There, the question of emancipation was a high religious question. It was demanded in the name of humanity, and according to the law of the living God. The Sharps, the Clarksons, the Wilberforces, the Buxtons, the Burchells, and the Knibbs were alike famous for their piety and for their philanthropy. The anti-slavery movement there was not an anti-church movement, for the reason that the church took its full share in prosecuting that movement: and the anti-slavery movement in this country will cease to be an anti-church movement, when the church of this country shall assume a favorable instead of a hostile position towards that movement.

Americans! your republican politics, not less than your republican religion, are flagrantly inconsistent. You boast of your love of liberty, your superior civilization, and your pure Christianity, while the whole political power of the nation (as embodied in the two great political parties) is solemnly pledged to support and perpetuate the enslavement of three millions of your countrymen. You hurl your anathemas at the crowned headed tyrants of Russia and Austria and pride yourselves on your Democratic institutions, while you yourselves consent to be the mere tools and body-guards of the tyrants of Virginia and Carolina. You invite to your shores fugitives of oppression from abroad, honor them with banquets, greet them with ovations, cheer them, toast them, salute them, protect them, and pour out your money to them like water; but the fugitives from oppression in your own land you advertise, hunt, arrest, shoot, and kill. You glory in your refinement and your universal education; yet you maintain a system as barbarous and dreadful as ever stained the character of a nation-a system begun in avarice, supported in pride, and perpetuated in cruelty. You shed tears over fallen Hungary, and make the sad story of her wrongs the theme of your poets, statesmen, and orators, till your gallant sons are ready to fly to arms to vindicate her cause against the oppressor; but, in regard to the ten thousand wrongs of the American slave, you would enforce the strictest silence, and would hail him as an enemy of the nation who dares to make those wrongs the subject of public discourse! You are all on fire at the mention of liberty for France or for Ireland; but are as cold as an iceberg at the thought of liberty for the enslaved of America. You discourse eloquently on the dignity of labor; yet, you sustain a system which, in its very essence, casts a stigma upon labor. You can bare your bosom to the storm of British artillery to throw off a three-penny tax on tea; and yet wring the last hard-earned farthing from the grasp of the black laborers of your country. You profess to believe “that, of one blood, God made all nations of men to dwell on the face of all the earth,” and hath commanded all men, everywhere, to love one another; yet you notoriously hate (and glory in your hatred) all men whose skins are not colored like your own. You declare before the world, and are understood by the world to declare that you “hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; and that among these are, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and yet, you hold securely, in a bondage which, according to your own Thomas Jefferson, “is worse than ages of that which your fathers rose in rebellion to oppose,” a seventh part of the inhabitants of your country.

Fellow-citizens, I will not enlarge further on your national inconsistencies. The existence of slavery in this country brands your republicanism as a sham, your humanity as a base pretense, and your Christianity as a lie. It destroys your moral power abroad: it corrupts your politicians at home. It saps the foundation of religion; it makes your name a hissing and a bye-word to a mocking earth. It is the antagonistic force in your government, the only thing that seriously disturbs and endangers your Union. it fetters your progress; it is the enemy of improvement; the deadly foe of education; it fosters pride; it breeds insolence; it promotes vice; it shelters crime; it is a curse to the earth that supports it; and yet you cling to it as if it were the sheet anchor of all your hopes. Oh! be warned! be warned! a horrible reptile is coiled up in your nation’s bosom; the venomous creature is nursing at the tender breast of your youthful republic; for the love of God, tear away, and fling from you the hideous monster, and let the weight of twenty millions crush and destroy it forever!

But it is answered in reply to all this, that precisely what I have now denounced is, in fact, guaranteed and sanctioned by the Constitution of the United States; that, the right to hold, and to hunt slaves is a part of that Constitution framed by the illustrious Fathers of this Republic.

Then, I dare to affirm, notwithstanding all I have said before, your fathers stooped, basely stooped

To palter with us in a double sense:
And keep the word of promise to the ear,
But break it to the heart.

And instead of being the honest men I have before declared them to be, they were the veriest impostors that ever practised on mankind. This is the inevitable conclusion, and from it there is no escape; but I differ from those who charge this baseness on the framers of the Constitution of the United States. It is a slander upon their memory, at least, so I believe. There is not time now to argue the constitutional question at length; nor have I the ability to discuss it as it ought to be discussed. The subject has been handled with masterly power by Lysander Spooner, Esq. by William Goodell, by Samuel E. Sewall, Esq., and last, though not least, by Gerrit Smith, Esq. These gentlemen have, as I think, fully and clearly vindicated the Constitution from any design to support slavery for an hour.

Fellow-citizens! there is no matter in respect to which the people of the North have allowed themselves to be so ruinously imposed upon as that of the pro-slavery character of the Constitution. In that instrument I hold there is neither warrant, license, nor sanction of the hateful thing; but interpreted, as it ought to be interpreted, the Constitution is a glorious liberty document. Read its preamble, consider its purposes. Is slavery among them? Is it at the gate way? or is it in the temple? it is neither. While I do not intend to argue this question on the present occasion, let me ask, if it be not somewhat singular that, if the Constitution were intended to be, by its framers and adopters, a slaveholding instrument, why neither slavery, slaveholding, nor slave can any where be found in it. What would be thought of an instrument, drawn up, legally drawn up, for the purpose of entitling the city of Rochester to a tract of land, in which no mention of land was made? Now, there are certain rules of interpretation for the proper understanding of all legal instruments. These rules are well established. They are plain, commonsense rules, such as you and I, and all of us, can understand and apply, without having passed years in the study of law. I scout the idea that the question of the constitutionality, or unconstitutionality of slavery, is not a question for the people. I hold that every American citizen has a right to form an opinion of the constitution, and to propagate that opinion, and to use all honorable means to make his opinion the prevailing one. Without this right, the liberty of an American citizen would be as insecure as that of a Frenchman. Ex-Vice-President Dallas tells us that the constitution is an object to which no American mind can be too attentive, and no American heart too devoted. He further says, the Constitution, in its words, is plain and intelligible, and is meant for the home-bred, unsophisticated understandings of our fellow-citizens. Senator Berrien tells us that the Constitution is the fundamental law, that which controls all others. The charter of our liberties, which every citizen has a personal interest in understanding thoroughly. The testimony of Senator Breese, Lewis Cass, and many others that might be named, who are everywhere esteemed as sound lawyers, so regard the constitution. I take it, therefore, that it is not presumption in a private citizen to form an opinion of that instrument.

Now, take the Constitution according to its plain reading, and I defy the presentation of a single pro-slavery clause in it. On the other hand, it will be found to contain principles and purposes, entirely hostile to the existence of slavery.

I have detained my audience entirely too long already. At some future period I will gladly avail myself of an opportunity to give this subject a full and fair discussion.

Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. There are forces in operation which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery.

“The arm of the Lord is not shortened,” and the doom of slavery is certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from “the Declaration of Independence,” the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age. Nations do not now stand in the same relation to each other that they did ages ago. No nation can now shut itself up from the surrounding world and trot round in the same old path of its fathers without interference. The time was when such could be done. Long established customs of hurtful character could formerly fence themselves in, and do their evil work with social impunity. Knowledge was then confined and enjoyed by the privileged few, and the multitude walked on in mental darkness. But a change has now come over the affairs of mankind. Walled cities and empires have become unfashionable. The arm of commerce has borne away the gates of the strong city. Intelligence is penetrating the darkest corners of the globe. It makes its pathway over and under the sea, as well as on the earth. Wind, steam, and lightning are its chartered agents. Oceans no longer divide, but link nations together. From Boston to London is now a holiday excursion. Space is comparatively annihilated.-Thoughts expressed on one side of the Atlantic are distinctly heard on the other.

The far off and almost fabulous Pacific rolls in grandeur at our feet. The Celestial Empire, the mystery of ages, is being solved. The fiat of the Almighty, “Let there be Light,” has not yet spent its force. No abuse, no outrage whether in taste, sport or avarice, can now hide itself from the all-pervading light. The iron shoe, and crippled foot of China must be seen in contrast with nature. Africa must rise and put on her yet unwoven garment. “Ethiopia shall stretch out her hand unto God.” In the fervent aspirations of William Lloyd Garrison, I say, and let every heart join in saying it:

God speed the year of jubilee
The wide world o’er!
When from their galling chains set free,
Th’ oppress’d shall vilely bend the knee,

And wear the yoke of tyranny
Like brutes no more.
That year will come, and freedom’s reign.
To man his plundered rights again
Restore.

God speed the day when human blood
Shall cease to flow!
In every clime be understood,
The claims of human brotherhood,
And each return for evil, good,
Not blow for blow;

That day will come all feuds to end,
And change into a faithful friend
Each foe.

Source:  http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/douglassjuly4.html

The USA Now Has A President That Perfectly Reflects the “Soul” of It’s Demoralized, De-Unionized Heartland

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.” – Sir Winston Churchill

“Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite.”  (Every nation gets the government it deserves.)  – Joseph de Maistre

“This whole election is being rigged. The whole thing is one big fix. One big ugly lie. It’s one big fix.” – Donald Trump

“Even a broken clock tells the correct time twice a day.” – Anonymous

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States came as a shock to many observers around the world.  Professional political pollsters, particularly, were exposed as the charlatans they are by their wildly inaccurate predictions made through the last weeks of the campaign.  The New York Times, America’s “Newspaper of Record” dropped all pretense of “journalistic objectivity” to campaign furiously for the hideous Democratic Party candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, turning their newspaper into a de facto arm of the Clinton campaign.

The NY Times and almost all other major bourgeois press outlets railed 24/7 against the equally repulsive Republican candidate, slumlord and swindler of small businessmen and working class college hopefuls Donald Trump, piling up devastating evidence of his contempt for women, handicapped people and immigrants in particular.  In spite of the damning audio recordings and accusations of several women of his misogynist tendencies broadcast on all news media for the final weeks of the campaign, Hillary Clinton was unable to put Trump in her rear-view mirror.  Trump, just a day before the election, still trailed Clinton by just 4 percentage points in the WSJ’s polls.

The pinnacle of pro-Clinton propaganda was reached on November 3 when the magazine “The Atlantic” published an incredible puff piece on Clinton that will stand for all time as one of the most  hilariously fatuous and wildly inaccurate pieces of political journalism ever penned.  Written by Chimamanda Adichie (seemingly while curled up comfortably  in Hillary’s lap), it was entitled “What Hillary Clinton’s Fans Love About Her”:

“We do not see, often enough, the people who love Hillary Clinton, who support her because of her qualifications rather than because of her unqualified opponent, who empathize with her. Yet millions of Americans, women and men, love her intelligence, her industriousness, her grit; they feel loyal to her, they will vote with enthusiasm for her.

“Human beings change as they grow, but a person’s history speaks to who she is. There are millions who admire the tapestry of Hillary Clinton’s past: the first-ever student commencement speaker at Wellesley speaking boldly about making the impossible possible, the Yale law student interested in the rights of migrant farmworkers, the lawyer working with the Children’s Defense Fund, the first lady trying to make health care accessible for all Americans […]

“There are people who love how cleanly she slices through policy layers, how thoroughly she digests the small print […]

“They have confidence in her. There are people who rage at the media on her behalf, who see the coverage she too often receives as unfair. There are people who in a quiet, human way wish her well. There are people who, when Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman to be president of the United States, will weep from joy.

“Hillary Clinton was guilty immediately when she stepped into the view of the American public as the first lady of Arkansas. She was a lawyer full of dreams. She had made sacrifices for the man she loved, waived her plans, and moved to his state. But she also dared to think herself her husband’s equal, to assume herself competent enough to take on expanding access to healthcare and reforming the Arkansas public education system […]”.

“Because she is already considered guilty in a vague and hazy way, there is a longing for her to be demonstrably guilty of something. Other words have been repeated over and over, with no context, until they have begun to breathe and thrum with life. Especially “emails.” The press coverage of “emails” has become an unclear morass where “emails” must mean something terrible, if only because of how often it is invoked.

“The people who love Hillary Clinton know that the IT system at the State Department is old and stodgy, nothing like a Blackberry’s smooth whirl. Hillary Clinton was used to her Blackberry, and wanted to keep using it when she became secretary of state…”

It has to be read to be believed.  How much does it cost to hire someone to write sickening, fawning garbage like that?  How can an editor with any sense at all dare to present such a thing to the public?

The constant stream of evidence of Hillary Clinton’s willing servility towards the US capitalist class brought forth by the WikiLeaks organization was like a firehose of condemnation turned against Clinton for the final month of the campaign.  Hacked emails spirited from her top campaign manager John Podesta’s computers revealed how the Clinton camp’s near-total control of the primary election machinery of the Democratic Party had sabotaged the chimerical Bernie Sanders campaign from day one.  The WikiLeaks document trove also detailed how the Clintonites had conspired to use their agents in the US bourgeois press to build up the weakest of the Republican candidates so as to provide Hillary with the weakest possible opponent from the Republicans’ Augean stable of rotten, greed-driven swine.  Many commentators have awarded the laurel wreath to WikiLeaks for torpedoing the Hillary Clinton campaign with their steady drip of exposures of the criminality of Hillary Clinton and her family’s deeply corrupt Clinton Foundation, awash in barely concealed campaign donations from some of the most reactionary regimes on the planet.  But WikiLeaks’ efforts, though significant, were not responsible for the humiliation Clinton suffered at the sweaty, grasping hands of Donald Trump.

Post-election, the Clintonites desperately sought to lay the blame for their candidate’s stunning defeat at the feet of Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party and of Gary Johnson of the Libertarians – both of whom did, indeed, to their credit, succeed in taking a great many votes away from the Democrats and the Republicans.  The Democratic apologists’ shrill condemnations of the third parties for having the nerve to actually run candidates for real against their pre-selected winner of the Presidential race demonstrates better than any communist polemic the utter fraud that is the US political system.  Third party candidates, it seems, can exist, but not if they will actually participate in the final vote.  They are supposed to run during the primaries only, in order to give the completely phony US democracy a thin veneer of legitimacy, and then fold up their tents like dutiful and loyal servants of the two “major” “official” political parties of the US.

Donald Trump won a great deal of support from the mostly white, male working class that elected him by blathering about how the US election process is “rigged”.  Here Trump simply pointed out the obvious, while omitting the most important aspect of the rigged nature of the US political system: it is indeed rigged – to benefit people like him.  Wealthy white males have always been at the pinnacle of US politics since the wealthiest man in the young USA – George Washington – ran for president.  Donald Trump stands elected as US President not in spite of the fact that the US elections are rigged but because they are rigged to benefit white men of his social class: the capitalist class.

Hillary Clinton was defeated because she was a monstrous candidate obviously completely in the pockets of the Wall St. bankers and brokers who had paid her millions of dollars for speeches in which she told them exactly what they wanted to hear from a politician running for president.   Clinton lost because she’s a vicious, heartless, murderous, grasping beast who clearly would do anything – a-ny-thing – to become President of the United States.  To raise money for her election as the champion of women all over the world she openly sold herself not just to the US capitalist class but to some of the most disgusting women-hating regimes on the face of the Earth – like Saudi Arabia – for cold, hard cash.  She and her cohorts – whom she praised in her concession speech as representing “the best” the US has to offer – conspired to deny millions of Democratic Party voters the right to fully participate in the Democratic primary when her campaign deliberately and calculatedly plotted to destroy the candidacy of fellow Democrat Bernie Sanders.  The contempt of her co-conspirators for fair play in a political contest between loyal Democratic Party flacks was so boundless that she left nothing to chance in elbowing her way to the Democratic nomination, even to the extent of having her agents in the news media obtain debate questions in advance of the phony “debates” between herself and Sanders.

Hillary Rodham Clinton lost because she was a far less convincing liar than the real estate huckster Donald Trump.  The only people she told the truth to were the 1-percenters who run the USA and whose money and support she needed to obtain in order to become their anointed presidential candidate in 2016.  For a couple hundred thousand dollars a pop, she made speech after speech to the kings of Wall St., promising them in no uncertain terms that if they backed her they’d be running the tables in Washington for yet another four years.

WikiLeaks provided us with all of the damning evidence of the contents of Hillary Clinton’s highly-paid speaking tours of the halls of actual political power in the US’ phony democracy – which Clinton herself wisely refused to release to the public.  In a speech given to the Goldman Sachs AIMS Alternative Investments Symposium on 24 October 2013 Hillary told her sponsors: “It’s still happening, as you know. People are looking back and trying to, you know, get compensation for bad mortgages and all the rest of it in some of the agreements that are being reached. There’s nothing magic about regulations, too much is bad, too little is bad. How do you get to the golden key, how do we figure out what works? And the people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry.” In other words, if anything is wrong with Wall St., it should be the Wall St. insiders who decide how to fix it, she sang to her paying audience of top capitalists.  To Clinton, the millions who make up the US working class are nothing but an ignorant herd of meddling outsiders.

The more Hillary Clinton appeared in public, the more convinced prospective voters became convinced of her vast insincerity in espousing her fake concern for the plight of working-class families in the US struggling to keep a roof over their families’ heads.  No one believed a thing she said; no one was convinced that she had any other motive for becoming President other than pure egotistical self-aggrandizement and of course to stuff her and her family’s pockets with money by doing favors for everyone who had bankrolled her campaign, from Goldman Sachs to the government of Saudi Arabia.  Hillary Clinton seemed to represent everyone EXCEPT the vast working class majority that makes up the citizenry of every capitalist nation-state including the “classless” “egalitarian” USA.

Hillary Clinton’s pretense of being the #1 champion of women’s rights simply by becoming the first female president of the United States was exposed for the fraud it was by the WikiLeaks revelations that the Clinton Foundation had received millions of dollars from reactionary woman-hating regimes throughout the Muslim world, like Saudi Arabia, whose government she made sure was showered with military supplies used to support the even more reactionary and anti-woman cretins of ISIL/ISIS when she was Secretary of State.  Hillary was never a champion of anyone other than Hillary.  Electing Hillary Rodham Clinton President would have done no more to advance the cause of women than did the election of the Afghan-mullah-loving Margaret Thatcher.  No intelligent person in the world doubts that a woman can run a major modern nation-state.  The United States lost its chance to be the first to have a female head of state decades ago.  Hillary Clinton would have been as big a disaster for the advancement of women’s rights as President as she was as Secretary of State.

Paradoxically, it seems to many, the workers of the US – primarily white males but also a surprising number of white women and a large percentage of US Hispanics and even black workers – were convinced that the bombastic, racist, neofascist huckster real estate swindler Donald Trump was the candidate that truly represented their best interests.  This may seem paradoxical but in reality there is no paradox.  In Donald Trump a large percentage of the US working class finds a mirror image of their racist, greedy, narcissistic selves.  After decades of attacks on the workers’ movement that has driven millions of workers out of the trade unions, the entire concept of the superiority of collective struggle of the working class has been subsumed under a tidal wave of capitalist propaganda and a brutal driving down of wages and benefits for the working class of the USA.  This conscious destruction of the workers’ movement by the US capitalist class and their criminal co-conspirators in the AFL-CIO hierarchy has led to a complete collapse of working class solidarity and its replacement by a “look out for #1” mentality that apes the self-aggrandizing, selfish Ayn Rand-inspired Libertarian ideology of increasing numbers of the capitalist class themselves.  The corruption of the bourgeoisie and their systematic corruption of the bribed trade union bureaucracy that has hamstrung every attempt by the working class at successful collective struggle to defend workers interests over the past 40 years has led inexorably to the corruption of the morals of the working class itself.  “Fuck the next guy – I’m going to get mine first” has become the “philosophy” of a large percentage of the US working class; and so they have ditched the idea of collective struggle through trade union organization and have raised up on their shoulders the hideous caricature of  the “self-made man”: Donald Trump, a billionaire born with a golden spoon in his mouth who never gave a shit about the working class in his entire disgusting money-grubbing life.

Donald Trump perfectly reflects the moral bankruptcy of the US ruling capitalist class in general as well as a similar degeneracy that has mushroomed among a large and growing section of the increasingly desperate and demoralized US working class that has seen its standard of living steadily hammered down year after brutal year since the late 1960s.  With trade union membership in steady decline, the working class has become imbued with the corrupt Libertarian philosophy of the capitalist class that sees poor people as “freeloaders” and unionized workers as “overpaid” and pampered privileged parasites on the national economy.  “Selfishness is the highest virtue” taught the cheap Hollywood screenwriter Ayn Rand; this vicious “philosophy” is at the root of supposedly “egalitarian” Libertarian politics, and has been embraced and proselytized by millions of desperate workers.  Unionized  nurses, teachers and city workers and poor people of every race – but particularly blacks and immigrants –  have become the enemy of the massively non- and even anti-union US working class, egged on by bought-and-paid-for pro-capitalist demagogues from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton to Donald Trump.  The US capitalist class and their news media outlets have convinced a large majority of the demoralized US working class that it is not the billionaire capitalist who is the source of the workers’ misery, but the immigrant worker crossing the Mexican border to try to make a decent living for his or her family.  It is not the swindling bankers who have robbed the workers of their income but the black workers on welfare who are doing it.  Never mind that all economic data proves that none of these racist lies are true.  This racist propaganda, spewed by Republican and Democratic politicians and by the US news media for decades has done its nefarious work.  Now we have begun to see the emergence of the fascist scum from the margins of US society starting to become emboldened by hearing their racist ideology parroted by “mainstream” politicians like Trump and seeing their racist “solutions” to the “immigrant problem” put into practice by the Democratic Obama Administration.

This 2016 US Presidential election shows to us that the US working class, in its present disorganized and demoralized state, with no revolutionary socialist leadership to speak of, with the trade union movement in free-fall and supporting the same anti-immigrant proposals as the racists, stands ready to fall victim to fascism in all its savagery.  Prepared by two decades of nearly non-stop war against Middle Eastern and Asian countries with large Muslim populations, the US working class has in large numbers become utterly intolerant of Muslims – who make up nearly a third of the world’s population.  Driven to a mad fury by the neofascist slogans “Make America Great Again” and a fulsome hatred of immigrants not seen in the USA since the days of the “Know-Nothings” the USA looks to us in 2016 like Germany circa 1938.  Millions of US workers have degenerated morally into vicious, greedy, racist and desperate thugs who don’t give a shit HOW MANY people the US military slaughters so long as the price of gasoline stays below $5 a gallon.  Trump’s election isn’t an aberration: it’s the culmination of decades of attacks on the working class and minorities by the Republicans; and even more so by the “friends of labor” Democrats like Bill and Hillary Clinton, whose racist program to “end welfare as we know it” and whose “truth in sentencing” laws fostered decades of brutalization and victimization of black and Hispanic workers.  Seeing no way out of the “hope”-less and “change”-less blind alley into which the Democrats under Barack Obama have led them, and seeing the promising futures and those of their children and grandchildren melt away as their wages and benefits decline, the white working class is embracing neofascist ideology and striking out on the road towards an American Fascism that could well lead inexorably – and rapidly – towards World War Three.  The only way to prevent this descent of the US into the very same abyss that destroyed Germany in just 12 years of unparalleled savagery is for the working class to be won over to the program of revolutionary Trotskyism which alone can overthrow the racist, exploitative capitalist system and to replace it with an egalitarian working class socialist republic.  Only a party such as this can organize the working class to effectively smash the growing fascist menace being unleashed by the US capitalist class, hell-bent on global domination.  This is the kind of political party we hope to build in the coming years right here in the belly of the U.S. imperialist beast.

If that section of the US working class that continues to fight for the rights of immigrants and minorities does not immediately stop tilting at the windmills of impotent “speaking truth to power” and begin to organize a fight to take power directly into the hands of the working class itself, fascism will soon triumph in the USA.  Only a powerful working class force like the communist movement proved capable of effectively fighting fascism in the 1920s and 1930s.  It was the communist-led Resistance movements of Europe that led the opposition to fascism during Hitler’s bloody reign of terror; it was the USSR that finally crushed the “Thousand-Year Reich” and that drove Hitler and his inner circle to suicide in their hole in the ground in Berlin.  It was the heroic communists of Asia – particularly China and Korea – who led the victory over Japanese fascism and, immediately afterward, to new victories over world capitalism and US imperialism.  Those heroic communist movements were successful in spite of the crippling effects of their Stalinist and Maoist bureaucratic leaderships which usurped political power from the working class and led their revolutions into nationalist dead ends from which they still haven’t escaped.  A new Trotskyist movement in the USA is the only hope the working class has of creating a militant and positively creative force that can unite workers of all races, creeds and ethnic backgrounds into a revolutionary force that can crush any and all fascist opposition and lead a truly egalitarian revolutionary workers movement like the one led by Lenin and his Bolsheviks after WWI.  “The capitalist system must die so that the working class may live” is our slogan.  “The capitalist system must die so that fascism can never rise again” must be the principle upon which the now decrepit US workers movement rallies itself around in a massive fight to restore the power of the communist-led US workers movement of the 1930s.  Failure to achieve these goals will lead to the triumph of fascism in the USA and ultimately to the total destruction of the US by the combined forces of the entire world, which will unite to smash US fascism just as they smashed the fascism of the German, Italian and Japanese Nazis in the ’40s.

Time is running out for the US working class to organize itself and turn the direction of the US around into the direction of workers socialist revolution.  Join with us to build a socialist future for the workers of the world through the overthrow of a capitalist system that threatens to plunge the planet into a war that will kill tens or even hundreds of millions of workers and that could damage the planet beyond repair.  The victory of Donald Trump is a clarion call to all workers in the USA to begin immediately to take up the tremendous tasks that face the US working class to build the revolutionary workers party that will lead the American Socialist Revolution in the USA , throughout the Americas and around the world.

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

The US Has a Vicious, Murderous Government Because Most US Citizens are Vicious, Murderous People Who Don’t Care About the Rest of the World

You like to “think outside the box” do you?   So do we: in fact, we have lived “outside the box” for so long we have forgotten what it’s like to think “inside the box”.  So here’s some “outside the box” thinking for you.  You’re welcome in advance!

As a public service to our working-class sisters and brothers around the world, we would like to take a moment to explain what, to the 95.5% of the world’s population living outside the United States apparently appears to be an unsolvable riddle: “Why is it that the seemingly nice, friendly people of the United States have such a vicious, murderous, warmongering government?”

The answer, brothers and sisters, is simple: the vast majority of the citizens of the United States are vicious, selfish, ignorant cretins who don’t give a shit how many of you are murdered by the US military so long as the standard of living in the US enables them to barely survive.  We like to tell people that so long as the price of gasoline remains below $5.00/gallon, the vast majority of the citizens of the United States will continue to not give a shit how many innocent women and children are butchered annually by a raping, murdering, torturing US military that the majority of US citizens consider to be “heroes” to the last man.   So long as the price of gasoline keeps falling, you can expect these scum to continue to give the US military a blank check to go ahead and kill as many people as the US capitalist class feels is necessary to maintain the economic status quo here in the United States.  And the rest of you – the 95.5% of the world’s non-US citizens – can all go fuck yourselves.

No one else is going to be honest enough to tell you that that is really what the vast majority of the shitty “American people” of 2014 think.  They’re so stupid that not 1 in a thousand of them even KNOW that the US only makes up 4.4% (and falling) of the world’s population.Fuck the rest of the world!is a common statement we hear from US workers all the time.  Living here in the United States is like living in an insane asylum full of chronological adults barely functioning at a grade-school level.

No one here in the United States – or in the rest of the world except ourselves – wants to address the fact that the overwhelming majority of the people of the United States have become so corrupted morally by the utter degeneracy of the US capitalist class that they simply do not give a rat’s ass how many men, women and children are murdered every year by “their” government in its endless and phony war on “terrorists” – terrorists who have largely been recruited, organized, trained and armed by “their” US Government.  So long as the stupid and selfish citizenry of the USA can barely afford to feed, clothe, shelter and amuse themselves they will continue to not give a shit about anything being done to their fellow human beings all over the world. by the execrable US capitalist class and its bought-and-paid-for government and its military war machine.

The US working class has been so completely brainwashed into believing the disgusting US corporate philosophy that “greed is good” and that every human being is responsible for their own welfare and owes absolutely nothing to any of their fellow human beings.   This philosophy is extremely popular in the US among its workers – a philosophy, by the way fully embraced by what large numbers of the stupid US working class sees as an “alternative” to the Republican and Democratic parties – the inane and inhumane “free-markets-for-free people” “philosophy” of  Libertarianism.   It is for this reason that we warn our working class sisters and brothers around the world that US workers in 2014 have come to resemble their closest historical precursors – the “good German citizens of Hitler’s Germany.

In fact, the citizens of the United States are almost exactly like the citizens of Nazi Germany in their self-imposed faux-ignorance of the realities of what their government is doing to the rest of the world – with one major exception, which only serves to make the viciousness of today’s US citizen all the more repulsive: in Nazi Germany, there was pervasive censorship of the news media far more comprehensive than what we see in the US today.  Though the German people in Hitler’s era were able to listen to shortwave radio broadcasts from around the world, they were subject to severe penalties for doing so.  In the United States today, though there is vast but usually subtle self-censorship of the news media and television, there is the Internet – and no criminal penalties for utilizing it to inform oneself about how the rest of the world perceives the USA.  But Americans are so apathetic and, frankly, stupid that they don’t want to be bothered using the Internet to read the vast amount of first-hand reports of US military atrocities being daily committed all over the world.  Instead, US citizens use their computers to entertain themselves and to keep themselves distracted from what is going on in the world… because when it comes right down to it, they simply don’t give a shit.

Like the vast majority of German workers under the Hitler regime, the vast majority of the US workers under the bloodthirsty Obama regime delude themselves into believing that things aren’t really all that bad; or if they are, that “there is nothing that we (meaning the US working class of 175,000,000 or so people) can do about it”.   That facile excuse for not giving a shit is utilized by almost every “nice” US citizen you ask about it.  Think we’re lying?  Give it a try!  If you know a native-born American citizen – black, white, Hispanic, Asian – it don’t matter – ask them about any important issue regarding the US government’s vicious policies being carried out in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria or Israel.  We’ll wager that you will quickly elicit either a blank stare accompanied by the sound of crickets chirping… and then a savage reaction when you challenge them on their offhand attitude to the monstrous brutalities being carried out all over the world in the THEIR NAME, utilizing weapons systems paid for with THEIR TAX DOLLARS to murder innocent women, men and children all over the Middle East, western Asia.

A typical reaction from a US citizen might be: “the US military is being used to fight terrorism – and that’s a good thing”.  They will get very defensive and start to get agitated – so press them a bit harder and you will finally get: “I don’t care about what’s going on in the rest of the world!  I care about what’s going on here!”

The one thing that American citizens hate more than anything is people who remind them and inform them of the crimes being committed by “their” government all over the world.  They resent being told by us about these things and they hate us for bringing this information to their attention because it strips away their ability to continue to pretend that they don’t know what’s going on.  They don’t want to read about US military atrocities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq or anywhere else because once they do then they are forced to openly admit that they aren’t going to do anything about it – because they just don’t care.  And they hate that!  US citizens want to be seen as being nice people who love everyone and who want to like others and be liked in return.  So they try to hide their inner viciousness with a veneer of benign ignorance.  They are so selfish that they wouldn’t try to change things even if they believed that they could, because that might make their lives a bit less comfortable than they are – and dull, conformist middle-class comfortability is, after all, the birthright of every US citizen, right?  (Well, every “white” US citizen anyway…).

You still believe that we exaggerate?  Try this: ask your American friends about “Fallujah”.  See if they even know what that word means.

Ask them if they heard about the four boys who were blown to pieces by an Israeli naval vessel in Gaza this year.  Ask them if they know how many women and children were murdered by their “hero” sons and daughters in the US military this year.   Ask them what they know about “Abu Ghraib” and see if they even have a vague recollection of what that name means.  And then challenge them on their callous indifference to the suffering of their fellow human beings at the hands of their own sons and daughters in the US military and see what kind of reaction you get!  Americans hate to be forced to reveal their inner hideousness!

Their historical memories of world-infamous atrocities committed by the US government are no better.  Ask ANY American how many people were killed in the Vietnam War:  their answer (if they can answer the question at all) will most likely be: “53,000”.  Of course, that’s only the number of Americans who were killed in the war.  They don’t know, because they prefer not to know and/or don’t care, how many Vietnamese were butchered by the US during the Vietnam War.  They have been brainwashed into believing that US veterans of the Vietnam War were “heroes” rather than “war criminals”.  “Don’t forget” they will remind you: “the people the US killed in Vietnam were all communists, so killing them was a good thing”!

Ask any US citizen about the US-imposed war against Korea in the 1950s and you will get a blank stare.  That war is unknown to most Americans because they don’t give a shit – except when they fatuously heap praises on veterans of that utterly senseless and savage war because, in their tiny minds, ALL veterans of US wars are “heroes”.  They have no idea that in the Korean War an estimated 3,000,000 Koreans were savagely butchered by the US military.  They don’t know or care that these “heroes” were ordered to, and did shoot down thousands of unarmed Korean civilians in war crime after war crime.   They don’t care enough to look into it – but they “know for sure” that the North Koreans are crazy, that their communist government is a threat to something that they call “world peace” which is under constant attack from crazy people all over the world and which is why they support the mission of the US military – which they idiotically believe to be “the defense of world peace”.

“But we Americans always give generously to charity; and the United States gives more money in foreign aid to poor countries than any other country in the world!” they will exclaim.  They believe these lies but they’ve never bothered to check the facts because they really don’t care.  They are satisfied with the APPEARANCE of their generosity, not with the reality or unreality of it.  They don’t give money to charity because they are good decent human beings: they give it because they are rotten, corrupt and vicious human beings – but they don’t want anyone to KNOW that!  So they pinch a few pennies and attempt to purchase absolution for their callous indifference to human suffering by making a token donation of a ten-thousandth of their income to charity every year – then they order their town or city council to drive the homeless out of their midst and demand that organizations like “Food Not Bombs” be prevented from feeding starving street people.  They don’t care that two of their favorite and largest so-called “charitable organizations” – the United Way and the American Red Cross – have been busted  for wasting tens of millions of dollars of donations on lavish salaries, offices and banquets for their wealthiest donors, or that they simply don’t even try to provide any kind of accounting at all for what they do with the hundreds of millions of dollars they rake in every year.  The indifference of the US citizenry is necessary in order for these vast charitable frauds to be perpetrated decade after decade.

So, what is to be done about this, sisters and brothers?  Especially by you, our working-class sisters and brothers who make up the 95.5% of the world’s population?

First of all: stop thinking that the United States is composed of really nice, compassionate human beings who are simply not aware of the monstrous crimes being perpetrated by the US capitalist class and its military all over the globe: the citizens of the United States don’t know about what’s going on because they don’t want to know and they don’t give a damn.  They are willfully ignorant, hoping that by remaining aloof to the suffering imposed on millions of their fellow human beings by the US Government they can continue to be perceived as being merely unaware of the suffering they are solely responsible for as citizens of the United States who have the unique responsibility for imposing their will on “their” national government.  The citizens of the US believe in their corrupted, amoral hearts that they are benefiting economically from the brutalities inflicted by the US military around the world and so they refuse to do anything to stop the atrocities.

Secondly: do not expect the situation to change any time soon in the United States.  There is not an inkling of any motion among US workers to start fighting even for their own rights, let alone for yours (the uprising in Ferguson, MO is very tiny and has set for itself political goals so feeble as to be utterly useless even in the narrow realm of fighting police brutality in Ferguson itself).  It is possible that things could change, and that’s why we continue to agitate for a socialist workers revolution here in the US: it would be the best thing for the whole planet if the US capitalist class and their state was overthrown by the workers of the US and replaced by a revolutionary socialist government – but it does not look very likely to happen any time soon, if ever.  The citizens of the USA, like their predecessors in Nazi Germany, are literally fat, dumb and grudgingly satisfied enough with the racist capitalist status quo to allow the US Government a free hand to brutalize and colonize the whole planet for the foreseeable future.  Do not expect the stupid assholes of the 2014 US working class to help you drive the US military and US corporations out of your countries in any way, shape or form.

The bottom line:  unless a major sea change takes place in the minds of the workers of the United States – and soon – it is going to be up to YOU – our working-class sisters and brothers OUTSIDE THE US – to band together worldwide and organize yourselves to do the same thing to the United States that the international working class was compelled to do when the Red Army of the no longer extant USSR smashed Nazi Germany in 1945.  There is no other way forward.  If the people of the United States continue to act like “good Germans” they are doomed to suffer the fate of the “good Germans” in 1945.  The world simply can not afford to wait for the relatively pampered, spoiled, over-entertained, over-amused, selfish, pro-capitalist, socialism-hating proto-Nazi US working class to start acting like civilized human beings.  Time is not on our side:  the US government is preparing to unleash a series of massive pre-emptive military assaults on any nation that dares to stand up to the lust of the US capitalist class for global domination of the world’s political and economic future – and the workers of the US are giving them a free pass to do whatever it takes to maintain the current economic status quo inside the US.  Declining gas prices are just going to increase the indifference of the US workers as they find a bit more change in their pockets every time they fill up their gas-guzzling cars at the service stations of America.

The future of the entire planet is at stake.   If 4.5% of the world’s population, due to its callous heartlessness, selfishness and untrammelled greed, must be wiped out so that the planet can survive, then so be it.  It’s a small price to pay!  No one will miss the United States when it’s gone – except brutal dictators and criminal bankers and capitalists who depend on the US military to drown every manifestation of revolutionary socialist working-class leadership in blood wherever and whenever it raises its heroic and noble presence among us.

It is high time that the working class of the United States stood up on its hind legs and started fighting against the encroaching fascism here in the USA and organized itself into revolutionary socialist workers parties dedicated to overthrowing the US capitalist class and its capitalist state and its hideous war machine and building a socialist workers republic!  The slogan “Either socialism or barbarism” has never been more sharply posed as it is today right here in the United States of America!

Workers of the World, Unite!

Independent Workers Party of Chicago

Full Text of Chinese Report: “Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013”

We republish below China’s response to the U.S. Department of State’s “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013”.  China is the only country we know of that actually attempts to catalog all the human rights violations committed by the United States Government every year; given that the US loudly trumpets its own self-serving “Human Rights” report – which conveniently neglects to mention any of the US’ own human rights violations – we believe that this will provide our readers with a rare opportunity to see the United States hypocrisy through the eyes of, in this case, the Chinese government.

The document makes a lot of very incisive criticisms of the US human rights record in regard to the treatment of minorities in the US as well as the sheer numbers of number and conditions under which the US prison population suffers.  But the report is also full of strange references: not surprisingly, the Chinese Maoist government is aghast at the vast number of guns in the possession of the citizens of the United States.  We at the Independent Workers Party of Chicago defend the “right to bear arms”; the Chinese Maoists reveal their utter hostility to basic Marxism when they rail AGAINST the right to bear arms.  If they were actually revolutionaries, they would easily understand the revolutionary nature of the fact that the US working class is armed to the teeth: but the Maoists are NOT revolutionaries, and they, like their former counterparts in the now-defunct USSR, seek rapprochement with the US capitalist class – “peaceful coexistence” – and thus decry the US workers’ ownership of weapons that can be (and hopefully someday will be) used to overthrow the capitalist US Government.  We couldn’t ask for a clearer confirmation of the reactionary, anti-Marxist nature of the Maoist ruling caste in China.

The Chinese report also inexplicably attempts to place the blame for the terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon on the US Government itself – without giving any reason as to why this should be done.  Overall, the document reveals as much about the class-collaborationist philosophy behind the Chinese fake-communist government as it does about the hideous human rights record of the US capitalist class.

We do not pretend that China does not routinely deny the Chinese working class the right to speak out and organize opposition to the counter-revolutionary and proto-capitalist Chinese Communist Party leadership – even if that opposition is itself anti-capitalist.  The Chinese fake-communist bureaucracy is busy restoring capitalism to China – and stuffing their pockets with cash as they go along.  As Trotskyists, we call for a workers political revolution in China to seize power from the reactionary, nationalist and  pro-capitalist bureaucrats and to establish in their place an internationalist revolutionary socialist workers republic.

  —- IWPCHI

***********************************

Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013

Updated: 2014-03-01 08:22

( China Daily)

Editor’s Note: The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China published a report titled “Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013” on Friday. Following is the report’s full text.

Foreword

The State Department of the United States, which posed as “the world judge of human rights,” made arbitrary attacks and irresponsible remarks on the human rights situation in almost 200 countries and regions again in its just-released Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013. However, the U.S. carefully concealed and avoided mentioning its own human rights problems. In fact, there were still serious human rights problems in the U.S. in 2013, with the situation in many fields even deteriorating.

— In 2013, 137 people died in 30 mass killings, which caused four or more deaths each, in the U.S.. A shooting rampage in the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C. left 12 people dead.

— The U.S. engaged in a tapping program, code-named PRISM, exercising long-term and vast surveillance both at home and abroad. The program is a blatant violation of international law and seriously infringes on human rights.

— The use of solitary confinement is prevalent in the U.S.. About 80,000 U.S. prisoners are in solitary confinement in the country. Some have even been held in solitary confinement for over 40 years.

— The U.S. still faces grave employment situation with its unemployment rate remaining high. Rates of unemployment for the lowest-income families have topped 21 percent. The homeless population in the U.S. kept swelling and it had climbed 16 percent from 2011 to 2013.

— There are a large amount of child laborers in the agricultural sector in the U.S. and their physical and mental health was seriously harmed.

— Frequent drone strikes by the U.S. in countries including Pakistan and Yemen have caused heavy civilian casualties. The U.S. has carried out 376 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, causing deaths of up to 926 civilians.

— The U.S. remains a country which has not ratified or participated in a series of core UN conventions on human rights, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

I.

On Life and Personal Security

The U.S. was haunted by an increasing number of violent crimes in 2013 with frequent occurrence of firearms-related criminal cases, public information shows. American citizens’ lives and personal safety are threatened by an increasingly dangerous environment.

The number of violent crimes has risen sharply. According to the Uniform Crime Reports, released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2013, the U.S. registered 1,214,464 violent crimes in 2012, of which 14,827 are murders and nonnegligent manslaughters, 84,376 forcible rapes, 354,522 robberies and 760,739 aggravated assaults. According to statistics revealed by the Bureau of Justice on October 24, 2013, the rate of violent victimization increased from 22.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older in 2011 to 26.1 in 2012.

On April 15, 2013, twin bombings ripped through Boston Marathon, leaving three dead and 264 injured. Among the killed was an 8-year-old. U.S. authorities called the bombings a terrorist attack (USA Today, December 6, 2013).

The Washington Post reported on January 1, 2014, that Robert Senquan Spencer, 21, was dead from a shotgun blast on a Southwest Washington street, becoming the District’s 80th homicide victim of 2013. The District had 103 homicides in 2013 – a sharp increase from 88 in 2012.

American citizens keep the world’s largest number of privately owned guns. According to figures released by the FBI in 2013, the total number of background checks conducted for gun sales in 2013 add up to 21,093,273, beating the previous 2012 record of 19,592,303 by 1,500,970 (www.townhall.com, January 7, 2014). As of 2013, there were about 300 million guns in the U.S.. On average, more than 100,000 Americans are being shot each year, and 30,000 deaths are caused by the use of guns. Victims are either killed in gun-related crimes or died in suicide or nonnegligent manslaughter. The U.S. government failed to take effective measures to control guns. (www.gunfaq.org, http://www.guncrimestatistics.com).

After the mass shootings in Colorado and Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, there were strong calls in the United States for stricter controls on firearms. On April 17, a bipartisan bill to support expanded background checks on firearms was blocked in the Senate. Previously, plans for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines had already been removed from the gun-control bill (www.bbc.co.uk, April 17, 2013). At the same time, states in the U.S. continue to loosen their gun laws. On January 5, Illinois became the last state in the U.S. to allow average citizens to carry around concealed firearms. Anyone with firearm owner’s identification card in the U.S. is allowed to pack heat in places except the no-go zones including schools, parks and restaurants (www.usatoday.com, January 8, 2014).

 Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013

Demonstrators hold up their signs during the “Stop Watching Us: A Rally Against Mass Surveillance” march near the U.S.Capitol in Washington, October 26,2013. Reuters / Jonathan Ernst

Gun violence is rampant in the U.S.. There are 11,000 Americans killed by gun violence every year (www.telegraph.co.uk, December 17, 2013). Information collected regarding types of weapons used in violent crime showed that firearms were used in 69.3 percent of the nation’s murders, 41 percent of robberies, and 21.8 percent of aggravated assaults, according to the Uniform Crime Reports released by the FBI in 2013. Every year, there is serious gun violence in the U.S.. On October 21, 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder said the average number of mass shooting incidents has tripled in recent years. According to Justice Department figures on mass shootings, 404 people were shot and 207 people were killed from 2009 to 2012 (www.huffingtonpost.com, October 21, 2013). According to a report published on the USA Today on December 16, 2013, 137 people died in 30 mass killings – four or more people killed, not including the killer – in 2013.

On September 16, 2013, civilian contractor and military veteran Aaron Alexis, a resident of Texas, went on a shooting rampage after he entered the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C. in the morning, killing 12 people and injuring several others. An eye witness said the gunman began shooting from a fourth-floor overlook in the hallway and was aiming down at people in the building’s cafeteria on the first floor. Aaron Alexis was shot dead in a 30 minutes’ exchange of gunfire with authorities (www.usatoday.com, September 17, 2013).

II.

On Civil and Political Rights

The U.S. government took liberty in monitoring its citizens, which shocked the world. Tortures in the U.S. prisons raised concerns. Elections and the checks-and-balances systems were plagued by malpractices and inefficiency, impairing civil interests.

The U.S. government exercises massive and unrestrained information tapping on its own citizens. Edward Snowden, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee, revealed a tapping program carried out by the National Security Agency (NSA), code-named PRISM. Under the program, the U.S. intelligence, by virtue of data provided by nine Internet companies, including the Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, and Yahoo, and other major telecom providers, tracked citizens’ private contacts and social activities recklessly (www.washingtonpost.com, June 7, 2013).

The website of The Washington Post revealed on June 7, 2013, that the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were tapping directly into the central servers of some Internet companies, and users’ data, extracting their emails, chats, audio and video data, documents and photos in real time, and putting certain targets and their contacts under full surveillance. According to a government document disclosed by The New York Times on September 29, 2013, the NSA, since November 2010, had been exploiting its huge collections of U.S. citizens’ data to identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions, and other personal information. The scrutiny program, which links U.S. citizens’ phone numbers and e-mails in a “contact chain”, exposed large amount of citizens’ privacy to the government. The website of the Guardian, a British newspaper, revealed on June 6, 2013, that one of the largest U.S. telecommunications providers, the Verizon Business Network Services Inc, was required to provide to the NSA all the telephony metadata within its system, including telephone numbers, locations and call durations. Germany’s Spiegel Online reported on September 7, 2013, that internal NSA documents showed that the U.S. intelligence has the capability of tapping user data from the iphone, devices using Android as well as BlackBerry, a system previously believed to be highly secure. The NSA developed cracking programs and tapped users’ data held on the three major smart phone operating systems, including contact lists, SMS traffic, and location information about where a user has been. The NSA is able to infiltrate the computer a person uses to sync their iphone, and the script programs enable additional access to at least 38 iphone features.

The journal.ie reported on June 14, 2013, nine major international civil liberties groups issued joint declaration that the U.S. federal government’s secretive scrutiny program, PRISM, is a breach of international conventions on human rights. The joint declaration said, “Such vast and pervasive state surveillance violates two of the most fundamental human rights: the right to privacy and to freedom of expression.”

The U.S. federal narcotics officers and other agents, in cooperation with American Telephone & Telegraph, can not only gain access to all the clients’ phone records, but also all the phone calls made through the company’s telephone exchangers (The Huffington Post, December 20, 2013). The Los Angeles Times’ website, http://www.latimes.com, reported on September 26, 2013, the FBI has long used drone aircraft in domestic investigations, exercising clandestine surveillance over the public. The website also reported, the U.S. federal prosecutors secretly obtained records of telephone calls from more than 20 telephone lines belonging to The Associated Press and its journalists in a two-month period in early 2012 (www.latimes.com, May 13, 2013).

Inmates are treated inhumanely in prisons. The use of solitary confinement is prevalent. According to news reports, in U.S. prisons, inmates in solitary confinements are enclosed in cramped cells with poor ventilation and natural lights, isolated from other prisoners, a situation that will take tolls on inmates’ physical and mental health (www.bbc.com, June 12, 2013). About 80,000 U.S. prisoners are in solitary confinement, including nearly 12,000 in California. The California’s Pelican Bay prison has more than 400 prisoners who have been in isolation for over a decade. In many cases, the inmates are isolated for up to 23 hours per day in cells measuring 3.5 by 2.5 meters (www.reuters.com, August 23, 2013). Some have even been held in solitary confinement for over 40 years (www.cbc.ca, October 4, 2013). In the prison system of the New York state, about 3,800 prisoners are in solitary confinement every day (online.wsj.com, Feb. 19, 2014). The then 49-year-old prisoner, William Blake, had been held in solitary confinement for 26 years, locked in a cell furnished with only one iron bed (www.dailymail.com, March 15, 2013). In 2013, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture Juan Mendez repeatedly urged the U.S. government to abolish the use of solitary confinement. He argued, even short-term solitary confinement can be counted as torture (www.bayview.com, October 14, 2013). In California state prisons, 30,000 inmates began hunger strikes on July 8, 2013 in protest of the use of solitary confinement. The hunger strikes lasted two months (www.latimes.com. September 15, 2013).

On January 29, 2014, the British Daily Mail’s web edition published New York photographer Scott Houston’s photos featuring working and living conditions of inmates in Arizona State’s prisons. The images show, inmates are shackled together while working and eating, five on one chain, with just nine feet between them. Houston said, he was left with the impression that the chain gangs working together were similar to the days of slavery. “You could go back 200 years.”

Election becomes the game of a few. A great number of researches showed that the Americans’ influence on policy is proportional to their wealth. About 70 percent of the population, who are on the lower wealth and income scale, have virtually no influence on policy whatsoever. They are effectively disenfranchised. Only a tenth of one percent essentially get what they want, i.e. they effectively influence policies (www.salon.com. August 17, 2013). The U.S. citizens get less and less enthusiastic about election. The mayoral election of Los Angeles in May 2013 only had 23.3 percent of the city’s registered voters cast a ballot. And the winner got 222,300 votes, just 12.4 percent of the registered voters (www.latimes.com, June 11. 2013).

The checks-and-balances system has become an impediment to actions. On October 1, 2013, the U.S. federal government, except for its core functions, entered a shutdown, after Congress failed to pass the budget bill as the Democrats and Republicans failed to agree on the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” Francis Fukuyama, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, wrote in an article published on October 4, 2013, on The Washington Post’s website, the American system of checks and balances gradually becomes a “vetocracy”. “It empowers a wide variety of political players representing minority position to block action by the majority and prevent the government from doing anything.” The U.S. government shutdown is the very result of such vicious checks and balances.

A new poll found “Americans entered 2014 with a profoundly negative view of their government, expressing little hope that the government can or will solve the nation’s biggest problems.” According to the poll conducted by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, half respondents said American system of democracy needed either “a lot of changes” or a complete overhaul (www.huffingtonpost.com, January 2, 2014). The U.S. president, in his State of the Union Address in January 2014, also criticized the U.S. democratic system full of bickering and debates. “When that debate prevents us from carrying out even the most basic functions of our democracy – when our differences shut down government or threaten the full faith and credit of the United States – then we are not doing right by the American people.”

III.

On Economic and Social Rights

Despite the fact that the economy is recovering, the U.S. citizens’ economic and social rights are still under challenge.

Unemployment rates are high in the US. Employment rates for 25-to 54-year-olds were lower in 35 states in fiscal 2013 than in 2007. In 2007, nearly 80 of every 100 people aged 25 to 54 in the United States had a job. In the 12 months ending June 2013, only about 76 of every 100 people in that age group were working (www.pewstates.org, November 27, 2013). According to a report by the CNBC on September 16, 2013, in 2012, the average length of unemployment for U.S. workers reached 39.5 weeks, the highest level since World War II. Rates of unemployment for the lowest-income families topped 21 percent, nearly matching the rate for all workers during the 1930s Great Depression. The overall unemployment rate for U.S. veterans stood at 6.9 percent in October 2013. A total of 246,000 post-9/11 vets are looking for jobs (www.edition.cnn.com, November 11, 2013). According to the 2014 State of the Union, “even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by… And too many still aren’t working at all.”

Wealth gap in the US is widening. Statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau in September 2013 showed more than 47 million U.S. people living in poverty in 2012, and that the poverty rate reached 15 percent. The data also indicated about 6.4 million people aged 65 and older were poor (www.reuters.com, November 6, 2013). New research using the U.S. Internal Revenue Service data from 2012 all the way back to 1913 found that the current gap between America’s rich and poor is the widest in history. The richest 1 percent’s share of total household income was a record 19.3 percent in 2012. The top 10 percent of U.S. households controlled 50.4 percent of total income in 2012, the highest figures seen since 1917. In the U.S., the top 1 percent saw their incomes recover by 31.4 percent during 2009 and 2012, accounting for 95 percent of the total gain recognized in the U.S., whereas the bottom 99 percent had to content themselves with growth of only 0.4 percent (www.globalpost.com, September 10, 2013). The U.S. 2014 State of the Union noted that average wages in the U.S. have barely budged, and inequality has deepened.

Labor unions see eroding leverage. According to data released by the PEW on April 15, 2013, in 2012, unions lost 400,000 members, and states like Indiana and Wisconsin have clipped the organizing rights of state employees and others. Labor leaders see the largest growth potential in the private sector, however, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, only 6.6 percent of private-sector workers belong to a union. On July 18, 2013, the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy, making it the largest-ever municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Despite the objections from unions including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the United Auto Workers as well as local retiree associations, a U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled that Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy protection. Representatives of the unions and retirees argued that the decision turned a blind eye to the appeals of the unions. Local citizens took to the streets to protest with anger (www.usatoday.com, December 3, 2013).

Working conditions and pay are declining. On April 18, 2013, a deadly blast at a fertilizer plant in Texas killed 14 people, left 200 others with injuries and caused some toxic gas concern. It was reported that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, being chronically underfunded, has never inspected the plant since 1985 (www.huffingtonpost.com, June 4, 2013; http://www.salon.com, May 17, 2013). A report titled “Farm Worker Conditions Likened to Modern Slavery” and carried by the Huffington Post on February 1, 2013 quoted a migrant worker as saying that the piece rate has not changed in over 30 years. The report also said that one farm worker dies on the job every day and hundreds more are injured, noting that relevant authorities have failed to exercise effective monitoring and law enforcement regarding the working conditions for farm workers. The USA Today reported on December 5, 2013 that fast-food workers planned one-day labor walkouts at fast-food restaurants in 100 cities, claiming that they can not survive on a minimum wage of 7.25 dollars per hour, or about 15,000 dollars a year. The campaign was called “Fight for 15” – pressing for a minimum wage of 15 dollars per hour (www.usatoday.com, December 5, 2013).

Homeless population is growing. A report by the Los Angeles Times on November 22, 2013 said the homeless population in the U.S. had climbed 16 percent from 2011 to 2013. Los Angeles County’s homeless population rose 15 percent from 2011 to 2013, to 57,737 people. According to data released by the U.S. Coalition for the Homeless in November 2013, the number of homeless New Yorkers in shelters had risen by more than 71 percent since 2002, and each night more than 60,000 people, including over 22,000 children, experience homelessness.

Social security in the US is problematic. A U.S. Census Bureau report released on September 17, 2013 said that in 2012, a total of 15.4 percent, or some 48 million people in the U.S. were uninsured. The share of people relying on the government for health insurance edged up slightly to 32.6 percent, from 32.2 percent a year ago. Whether they have insurance or not, people spent more on health care in 2012 than in 2011 (www.edition.cnn.com, September 17, 2013).

According to the U.S. Federal Funds Information for States, some major programs, including most K-12 educational-support programs; the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program for the poor; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children; Funds to administer the Unemployment Insurance program; Child nutrition programs and other programs starting on or after October 1 could be affected by the federal government shutdown in 2013 (www.pewstates.org, September 26, 2013). When the funds run out on December 28, 2013 for a program created during the recession to supplement the federal emergency benefits for jobless people and efforts to renew the benefits stalled in the U.S. Senate, about 1.3 million jobless Americans who were receiving the benefits averaging about 300 dollars a week had been affected (www.usatoday.com, December 27, 2013).

IV.

On Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination systematically exists in the U.S society. The situation of ethnic minorities’ human rights is grim.

Racial discrimination is prevalent in the field of law enforcement and justice. According to a survey carried out in 2012, at least 136 unarmed African-Americans were killed by policemen or security guards in the year (www.un.org, September 3, 2013). Unarmed black youth Jonathan Ferrell, 24, sought help after a car accident, but was shot multiple times and killed by police (New York Daily News, September 16, 2013). Black lady Diggles, 25, was handcuffed and brutally beaten by two white cops for an unpaid fine (www.dailymail.co.uk, June 4, 2013). Racially biased stops and interrogations often occur at streets. The U.S. district judge declared that at least 200,000 stops were made by New York police without reasonable suspicion (www.usatoday.com, August 18, 2013).

A latest report released by the American Civil Liberties Union revealed that despite the fact that marijuana use was about the same for both black and white Americans, blacks were four times as likely as whites to be arrested for marijuana possession. One primary reason is that racial bias prevalently exists in the field of justice (www.usatoday.com, June 24, 2013). Similarly, even though data collected have shown that white women use drugs at roughly the same rate as minority women, two-thirds of women in state prisons incarcerated for drug offenses are Hispanic or black (www.humaneexposures.com, December 12, 2013).

In July 2013, protests took place in several cities in the U.S. after a white neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was not found guilty of murdering black youth Trayvon Martin by gun shot (www.abc.net.au, July 15, 2013). The U.S. civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said that “the American legal system has once again failed justice” (www.bbc.co.uk, July 14, 2013). On September 3, 2013, the Working Group of Experts on Peoples of African Descent with the United Nations Human Rights Council and Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism lodged a joint appeal, asking the American government to reinvestigate into the Martin case as soon as possible and review the laws that may lead to racial discrimination against African-Americans (www.un.org, September 3, 2013).

Racial discrimination is rampant in public places. The Los Angeles Times reported on December 2, 2013, racial and sex discrimination exists in the employment and daily workplaces of the Los Angeles Fire Department. From 2006 to 2010, payouts in Los Angeles Fire Department discrimination and harassment cases cost more than 17 million U.S. dollars. New York Daily News reported on October 26, 2013, black star Rob Brown bought his mom a 1,350 U.S. dollars watch at Macy’s, but was suspected of using a fake credit card after being racially profiled by the store. The police handcuffed and detained him for an hour. According to a report by huffingtonpost.com on October 23, 2013, black college student Trayon Christian was buying a 350 U.S. dollars belt at Barneys, but a Barneys sales clerk believed the transaction was fraudulent and called police. Despite showing the officers the receipt for the belt and his ID, he was still handcuffed and taken to a local precinct. Christian’s attorney said that “His only crime was being a young black man.”

 Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013

Protester Keisha Martin-Hall holds a bag of Skittles as she participates in a rally in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin trial in Times Square in New York, July 14,2013.U.S.President Barack Obama called for calm after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, as thousands of civil rights demonstrators turned out at rallies to condemn racial profiling. Zimmerman, cleared by a Florida jury of six women, still faces public outrage, a possible civil suit and demands for a federal investigation. Reuters / Keith Bedford

Some mainstream media, social organizations and politicians publicize racist comments. On October 16, 2013, American Broadcasting Company’s Jimmy Kimmel Show aired a segment saying “kill everyone in China” and promoted racial hatred. It aroused unease and protests from Asian Americans especially Chinese Americans (www.washingtonpost.com, November 8, 2013). The American Family Association, one of the leading religious right groups, claimed that “Latino voters are greedy and lazy socialist, and that’s why they don’t vote for Republicans” (www.voiceofrussia.com, March 30, 2013). A white women Colorado lawmaker insinuated, via mentioning barbecue and chicken, poor habits and diets should be considered factors to the life expectancy and diseases of blacks. Her remarks were regarded as having a tendency to racism (www.usatoday.com, August 22, 2013).

Encroachment on indigenous peoples’ rights prevalently exists. On February 13, 2013, Anaya, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples highlighted high rates of violence against American indigenous women by non-indigenous men. On September 10, Anaya reiterated the obstacles to implementing the law on ensuring Indian children’s wellbeing and called on the U.S. government to take all necessary measures to safeguard the human rights of Indian children (www.unsr.jamesanaya.org, February 13, 2013). On September 10, 2013, the Minority Rights Group International accused the U.S. Capital Energy Belize, Ltd of oil exploration in Belize’s Maya communities without consent of indigenous peoples (www.minorityrights.org, September 10, 2013).

V.

On Women and Children’s Rights

Sex discrimination is still serious, and children’s rights are not well protected in the United States.

Women are facing serious employment discrimination. According to a report carried by the Los Angeles Times on December 2, 2013, the ratio of women firefighters in the uniformed ranks remains at just under 3 percent – the same as in 1995. Women’s salary is far lower than men’s. On average in 2012, women made about 81 percent of the median earnings of male full-time wage and salary workers, according to figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on March 20, 2013 (www.bls.gov, October 2013). Women’s average annual income is 11,500 U.S. dollars less that that of men’s. African American women are paid 69 cents for every dollar paid to all men, and Latinas are paid just 58 cents for every dollar paid to all men, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual survey (www.nationalpartnershipforwomen &families.org, September 17, 2013).

Women and children experienced frequent violent attacks and sexual assaults. In 2013, lawsuits on female suspects being strip-searched were frequently reported. According to a report from the Chicago Tribune on October 10, 2013, several bones were shattered in a woman’s face after she was arrested for drunk-driving. She was shoved, beaten and strip-searched by police. Domestic violence is still serious in the U.S.. According to a report by the National Network to End Domestic Violence in 2013, a survey conducted in September 2012 showed in just one 24-hour period, local domestic violence programs across the country provided help and safety to 64,324 domestic violence victims. Sadly, 10,471 requests of domestic violence victims went unmet on that same day due to lack of funds (www.nnedv.org).

U.S. female soldiers experienced frequent sexual harassment and assault. According to the website of the Military Times, 6.1 percent of active duty women say they experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2012 (www.militarytimes.com, May 7, 2013). From 2010 to 2012, there was a 35 percent increase in sexual assault and harassment cases in the military. Fourteen percent of military victims report their assaults and 64 percent of convicted sexual perpetrators were discharged from the military (www.airforcetimes.com, July 23, 2013). Cases of children sexual abuse and exploitation occurred frequently. According to a report on the website of Los Angeles Times on July 29, 2013, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a three-day sex-trafficking sweep in 76 cities in July 2013. Some 105 sexually exploited teenagers, some as young as 13, were rescued during the nationwide campaign. Nearly all of them are girls.

Children’s security can not be effectively protected. Children’s security in family is a prominent problem. According to a report carried by the Chicago Tribune on November 16, 2013, 111 children lost their lives from abuse or neglect in Illinois in 2012, a year of record child deaths from abuse and neglect. The majority died before they were one year old. Nationally, the number of child deaths from abuse and neglect was 1,545. According to a report from the Los Angeles Times on December 18, 2013, child abuse is serious under California’s privatized foster care system. The system is so poorly monitored that foster care agencies with a history of abuse can continue caring for children for years. In Los Angeles County, at least four children died as a result of abuse or neglect over the last five years in homes overseen by private agencies. Children have become frequent victims of violent crimes. According to a report carried by the Chicago Tribune on September 15, 2013, all summer long, wounded little children arrived in Chicago’s emergency rooms at a pace of about one a week. Victims’ parents had this revelation: “We’re not safe anywhere!”

Large amount of child labors in agriculture. According to the 2012 childhood agricultural injury survey conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 41,310 youth under the age of 16 were hired on farms. But a representative from the Children in the Fields Campaign believed there were about 400,000 to 500,000 kids who were working in the fields in 2012. Some types of chores, such as agricultural machine operation and pesticide spraying, have directly threatened children’s health, security, or even life (www.usatoday.com, October 25, 2013). Statistics released by the National Children’s Center For Rural And Agricultural Health and Safety in December 2013 showed that 38 children were injured in agriculture-related accidents each day in the U.S.. In March, 2013, the National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System broadcast in-depth stories about a 14-year-old child who was engulfed by grain and killed while working in a silo in Illinois. And 20 percent of the victims of grain engulfment are young workers (stopchildlabor.org, March 29, 2013).

VI.

On Violations of Human Rights against Other Nations

The Untied States is the world’s biggest violator of human rights of non-American persons and has been strongly denounced by the international community in cases of the PRISM program, drone strikes, Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp and prisoner torture around the globe.

A large number of overseas surveillance projects conducted by the U.S. violated other countries’ sovereignty and the civil rights of their people. State heads and other leaders, diplomatic agencies and citizens of other countries have long been under surveillance of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). According to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the NSA monitored the phone conversations of 35 leaders of other countries and collected five billion pieces of information every day through tracking cell phone movements around the world (www.theguardian.com, October 25, 2013; swampland.time.com, December 4, 2013). In April 2013, the United Nations special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the rights to freedom of opinion and expression Frank La Rue noted in a report that “the United States renewed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendment Act of 2008 extending the Government’s power to conduct surveillance of non-American persons located outside the United States, including any foreign individual whose communications are hosted by cloud services located in the United States” (UN document A/HRC/23/40).

On September 9, 2013, the UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay expressed concern about the impact of the U.S. surveillance on the individuals’ right to privacy and other human rights during the opening of the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva (www.ohchr.org, September 9, 2013). The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution of protecting the right to privacy in the digital age at its 68th session on December 19, 2013, stressing that unlawful, arbitrary surveillance, interception, and data collection are a breach of the right to privacy and freedom of expression. Some countries condemned the U.S. as a violator of human rights, as well as the UN Charter principles of respect for national sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs (www.un.org, December 19, 2013).

Frequent drone strikes by the U.S. have caused a large amount of non-American civilian casualties. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an independent not-for-profit organization in the UK, the U.S. has carried out 376 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, and up to 926 civilians were reported dead (www.reuters.com, October 22, 2013). On May 9, 2013, the Peshawar High Court in Pakistan ruled that the U.S. drone strikes on targets in Pakistan illegally breached national sovereignty and were in “blatant violation of Basic Human Rights” and provisions of the Geneva Conventions, according to the New York-based Open Society Foundations (www.opensocietyfoundations.org, May 28, 2013). On December 12, 2013, a U.S. drone mistakenly targeted a wedding convoy in Yemen’s al-Baitha province after intelligence reports identified the vehicles as carrying al Qaeda militants, with 14 people killed and 22 others injured, two Yemeni national security officials told CNN (www.edition.cnn.com, December 13, 2013). In October, the UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism Ben Emmerson, urged the U.S. to disclose more information about its drone programs (www.un.org, October 31, 2013). The UN special rapporteurs on extrajudicial executions and on the protection of human rights while countering terrorism focused on the issue of civilian casualties caused by drone strikes in their reports to the third committee of the UN General Assembly. The U.S. refused to account for those strikes and take measures to reduce civilian casualties as requested by the UN or other government organizations (www.un.org, October 31, 2013).

The U.S. tortures prisoners in other countries and regions. In March 2013, the special rapporteur Ben Emmerson noted in a report that on September 17, 2001, the former U.S. President Bush authorized the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to operate a secret detention program which involved the establishment of clandestine detention facilities known as “black sites” on the territory of other states, and allegedly authorized the CIA to carry out “extraordinary renditions.” Despite wide criticism against the CIA’s illegal action, no American official has so far been brought to justice (UN document A/HRC/22/52). The program saw terror suspects spirited to secret prisons around the globe without legal process, interrogated and sometimes tortured (www.independent.co.uk, February 18, 2013). The Open Society Foundation said at least 136 individuals were reportedly extraordinarily rendered or secretly detained by the CIA (www.opensocietyfoundations.org, February 5, 2013).

Guantanamo Bay detainees’ human rights were severely damaged with many of them held there indefinitely without trial. On October 3 2013, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said on its official website the continuing indefinite incarceration of the detainees amounts to arbitrary detention and is in clear breach of international law (www.un.org, October 3, 2013). A total of 92 Guantanamo military prisoners joined in the hunger strike that began in February 2013, to protest indefinite incarceration and bad treatment (www.ohchr.org, October 3, 2013). Force feedings were carried out. Inmates were chained to chairs by Army guars, tubes were inserted through their noses by Navy medical workers (www.upi.com, April 24, 2013). The UN human rights office announced that the force feedings of prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay Detention facility is a breach of international law (www.commondreams.org, May 1, 2013). On October 3, 2013, the special rapporteur on torture noted indefinite incarceration, solitary confinement, force feeding are a breach of international law (www.ohchr.org, October 3, 2013). The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in May 2013 that the Guantanamo Bay camp is a typical case of violating human rights while countering terrorism (www.ohchr.org, October 3, 2013).

The U.S. denies the right to subsistence and development of people in developing countries. On October 29, 2013, the 68th session of the UN General Assembly adopted its twenty-second consecutive resolution calling for an end to the U.S. decades-long economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba, with a recorded vote of 188 in favor to 2 (the U.S. and Israel) against with 3 abstentions. The General Assembly criticized the U.S. for violating the Cubans’ right to subsistence and development (www.ohchr.org, October 29, 2013). The U.S. is indifferent to the right of development of people in developing countries. In September 2013, the twenty-fourth session of the UN Human Rights Council adopted the resolution reaffirming the declaration on the right to development, with a recorded vote of 46 to 1 (the U.S.), with no abstentions (UN document A/68/53/Add.1).

Xinhua News Agency

(China Daily 03/01/2014 page5)

[SOURCE: China Daily at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2014-03/01/content_17314424.htm ]