Album in the Crosshairs: Saoul — Seldom Oddity EP [Special Edition] (self-released; 2019)

saoul seldom oddity album cover

Saoul wants you to taste the bread.

And be sexy while doing it.

Plus, he has a new release, Seldom Oddity, to help you along …

The unsuppressed, sensual funkiness of the multi-instrumentalist’s EP mirrors writer James Baldwin’s admonition to view sensuality — despite the unequal and on-the-brink times we live in — as a way to “respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the breaking of bread.”

Saoul gets every bit of that quote, and understands that Baldwin wants all of us to “eat bread again, instead of the blasphemous and tasteless foam rubber that we have substituted for it.”

In other words, TASTE the bread.

And Saoul’s follow-up set to the equally engaging The Juice is all the way here for it. Seven tracks of party-ready funk that snatch you through those ear buds and into his 30-minute jam of love, lust and longing as a counter to world’s emphasis on greed, hatred and isolation. Two chill-out jams are also included. Saoul playfully — if not cleverly — disguises the state of the world in poetic schemes while shaking sexy objects in front of your ears.

“Funk with You” sets clear instructions for tasting the bread with textbook-tight Minneapolis Funk as the groove of choice. You’ll hear strong rhythm guitar work on this track and throughout the set.

“Fire to the Flame” featuring George Andre is a thoughtful nod to hip-swaying Neo Soul that emotes imagery of intimate sweaty nights in underground Brooklyn tea houses or perhaps perfect sessions at London’s Hideaway.

Broken Beats get proper shine through “Fast Eddie” — accented by a deft allegory — and the efficient but massively funky musicianship in “Audacious” is arguably the most danceable track. Like this and most of the songs on the EP, Saoul handles the bulk of the vocal work.

If slowing down is how you prefer to taste your bread, checking the astral vibe of intrigue and attraction in “Fruitbasket” and “Distant Whisper” will be your soundtrack. In the latter instance, SoBeReal understands Saoul’s vision and steps up to solidly deliver the spoken pieces, while Saoul’s guitar solo breathes fire. Perfect songs for a Future Beats set.

But some of you may require additional instruction, which is probably why Saoul saved his clearest messaging for last in “Youbettagogetit!”: “Before they take it all” and “Before they build the wall.”

Speaking of that verb, Seldom Oddity is available now. Take your sexy self to his Bandcamp page or the usual online spots to get yours.

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Empty victory: young Black wrestler’s sacrifice

andrew johnson wrestler

Reading Frantz Fanon or writers like him can make you easily relate to a dictum that seems to describe unequal societies: when you’re on the losing side, a “W” is an welcomed “W” — until you realize it’s not.

I see this dictum in the angering story of Buena Regional High wrestler Andrew Johnson, a junior athlete who was forced into a Thursday night game-time decision to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit the match he was minutes away from competing in. The incident smells like a continuation of the war on dreads.

Johnson’s choice to have his hair cut out of a desire to win and not let his team down, his subsequent match victory, and his persistent pissed-off look about the whole experience is a diorama for — dare I say it — the struggle of race among many African Americans.

They become victims of someone’s not-so-random power trip, they make sacrifices for others in the name of helping the “team” through a challenge but then walk away from the experience with a disgusting taste of a hollow victory. No progress, no inner peace, but sometimes an ultimately meaningless symbol in the shape of a “W” lingers for an ephemeral celebration.

And then the pattern repeats. The dictum of chasing a “W” arrives again, its emptiness either ignored or loathed.

Or in some cases, the fruits of victory are not evenly shared.

Examples of this pattern are the sacrifices African-American soldiers made in World Wars I and II — during the Jim Crow era.

The Korean War. Vietnam.

Many federal, state and local elections. You get the idea.

We dig symbols. Even if they’re of the “W” kind.

And symbols — aside from the classic Richard Pryor joke reference that nestles just below our belt buckles — is all many marginalized people have.

But symbols cannot serve as proxies for real progress and equality.

Based on studies like this one from the St. Louis Fed, if everyone in Andew Johnson’s class pursued no education goals beyond graduating from Buena Regional, his net worth would likely be 11 percent of the average White classmate. And this is only one standout statistic of inequality among many others.

Johnson is too young to learn that lesson, though.

But the humiliating sight of his locks falling to the gym floor in response to a known racist referee’s demand — and the lack of willingness on the part of adults who were present and his own team to protect Johnson from this humiliation — serve as an introduction to that pattern of marginalization, sacrifice, and hollow victories.

The post-match sour expression on Johnson’s face while the referee raised the young athlete’s hand in victory tells me almost everything I need to know about this story.

The inactions of Johnson’s coaches and teammates told me even more.

And the people who held up Johnson’s actions of sacrifice and victory as heroic actions, but ignored the instigating acts, completes the diorama …

song currently stuck in my head: “the land of freedom” – quasimode

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Album in the Crosshairs — Annabel (lee): I Came Across a Dreamer; Youngbloods, 2018

annabel lee, I came across a dreamer, album

Three dreams, guided by a polaris of better times, but for the most part pursued by somber realities while awash with indulgent compositions, vocals and lyrics.

Count Richard Ellis and Sheila Brown Ellis of the group Annabel (lee) among the shortlist of creatives who can solidly deliver on such an angular approach to storytelling. Their new three-song EP release serves as solid evidence of their capabilities. The work of this duo is so stunning that their individual contributions provide a strong aural framing for each other. A collaboration of true equals. My only (minor) complaint is that they’ve yet again teased us with a resonating set of songs and not the full-length album their fans want.

Circling the stars …

—Annabel (lee)

In the spirit of Psychedelic Soul, Funk and Jazz artists decades prior who weaved Afrofuturism metaphors into story quilts of exodus to free spaces, the modal ”Circles” utilizes a Jazz club as your interstellar transportation — saturated with Sunday morning spirituality — and finished with splashes of sci-fi electrons. The musical foundation established by Richard engages you with a rework of a Novo Tempo (Japan) riff of bass and piano, while deftly using Jake Telford’s sax work to fill in spaces. Ellis’ once again displays an incredibly versatile vocal range and prose-styled lyrics to complete the story of a dreamer’s quest for freedom.

Wish I had the power
To control these fragile hours …

—Annabel (lee)

Nocturnal dreams enjoy visions of change in the same way traveling the cosmos serves as a device to explore new states of living — except the former acknowledges its limited life expectancy, victim of the sun’s ironically cruel rapier. “Glow” offers additional Jazz flavor, and a deep listen will reward you with Annabel (lee)’s signature Dark Pop and Folk patterns. The lyrics — I used a Langston Hughes poem to help establish my personal reference point — leave behind phased emotions of hope and dread, combined with a contemporary Lounge music feel. This will be the second time in just over a year where I had Nick Drake on my mind after listening to someone else’s song.

The tune never ends
As long as, in the sky
You catch a sight of the wings
And something flying …

—Annabel (lee)

Given how the first two tracks can get all up in your ambivalent feelings as you nod your head the entire time, “Lovers’ Wings” offers a highly-visible counterpoint. The breezy Bossa Nova construction helps to complete the imagery of two lovers’ take on paradise.

Some of you know about greatest compliment I can give to a release: you will continue to enjoy it years later after purchase. I Came Across A Dreamer is in that category. While the dreams shared are engaging, don’t miss the stories within the songs the group doesn’t tell — a change in your channel frequency may be required for that.

The EP is available now at Youngbloods, Bandcamp, Apple Music, Spotify, and many other outlets. And here’s more good news — a full-length album is slated for release next year.

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Synagogue of blood and the warlock’s spell of hatred

Synagogue shooting Pittsburgh

The warlock’s latest spell — cast since June 16, 2015 — of manipulating hatred, paranoia, and economic exclusion, remains intact.

This spell, like the others, can easily integrate with each other to present society with more complexity and danger.

And extensibility. We saw evidence of this on November 11, 2016.

We see additional proof today as the American flag flies at half-staff — under White House decree — in response to Neo-Nazi Robert Bowers’ horrifying gun executions of 11 Jewish worshippers on Shabbat the previous day.

The warlock mourning the blood he arguably drew with no widespread backlash underscores this spell’s power.

The hex works in two parts: the manipulation I just mentioned, and the creation a diametric universe where nothing outside of it will be accepted as fact.

The latter saturates social media and cable channels with tales of how any critique of Trump is a mainstream Liberal conspiracy; the global warming hoax and associated Chinese plot against America; the refugee caravan heading north through Central America toward the United States border being an elaborate collaboration between liberals and refugees to disrupt American society; how US-based MS-13 gang members are are supported by left-wing US politicians; the reason to still doubt the previous president’s citizenship status; pizzagate; and other stories not supported by any coherent assembly of facts.

The spell is supported by the warlock’s refusal to immediately and unambiguously take a stand against anti-semitism and racism’s support systems.

For instance, consider how long it took for Trump to denounce the “Jews will not replace us” madness in Charlottesville, Virginia over a year ago.

And how about Trump’s decision to not make an immediate comment about anti-Semitism following yesterday’s shootings?

Let’s also add the President’s refusal to cancel political rallies in Illinois and Indiana that were scheduled the same day as synagogue shootings, with Trump citing the falsehood of the New York Stock Exchange opening one day after the 2001 September 11 terror attacks.

Here’s what Trump said while in Illinois:

With what happened early today, that horrible, horrible attack in Pittsburgh, I was saying maybe I should cancel both this and that. And then I said to myself, I remembered Dick Russell, a friend of mine, great guy, he headed up the New York Stock Exchange on September 11th, and the New York Stock Exchange was open the following day …

The stock market opened six days later back then, and the NYSE head at that time was Dick GRASSO. The RUSSELL Trump referred to was a Democratic Senator from Georgia who voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act and supported segregation.

It’s time for a reminder: the spell can integrate with other spells and is extensible. They can also serve as poetic dog whistles …

Creating such a abstusely-sealed environment of hatred as well as distrust for facts makes it easy for the warlock’s supporters — even when dead bodies, blood and spent bullets painted a Synagogue floor yesterday — to furiously spin tales of how the opposing political party has been the sole promoter of extremists and has more responsibility, if not all, for the current climate of violence.

The warlock’s supporters even hang on to the argument that Bowers hated Trump. At the same time, they ignore the fact that Cesar Sayoc — the suspected pipe bomber who targeted two former Presidents and other high-profile Liberal political leaders earlier this week — is a Trump supporter.

Gregory Bush’s execution of two Black adults in Louisville, Kentucky, after he unsuccessfully attempted to enter a Black church to possibly commit a mass shooting, is a product of this spell.

Only the spell can explain Susan Westwood’s bizarre confrontation with two African American women who were waiting in a Charlotte, North Carolina parking lot for AAA assistance. Westwood threatened the women with violence while saying “I’m White! I make $125,000 a year!” [Well, used to make $125,000 a year.]

When Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s post-incident comments referenced “healing,” I thought about how 2017 saw a 57 percent year-over-year increase in Anti-semitic violence, and hate crimes in general have spiked immediately after Trump’s election in 2016.

I also thought about that spell again.

It’s hard to heal when the wound is filled with hate.

It’s hard to get rid of hate when this spell remains intact.

There are times when the Warlock’s spell loses control of the ghouls it creates.

And as shocking as this may sound, America’s had previous warlocks and spells. We’re witnessing the newest edition.

I said a long time ago that legislating love is virtually impossible, and I rarely use the I-word.

But voting in more officials who will do more to check hate and chip away at this spell is a start.

You know what to next Tuesday.

No song stuck in my head right now …

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Album in the crosshairs — Patsy Moore: What Surprises Us (2018)

patsy-moore-what-surprises-us-album-review

In 2018, music of the flesh thrives hard while its more soulful counterpart ironically gives up more of its ghost, leaving the responsibility of holding down what remains to a shrinking handful of singer-songwriters like Patsy Moore, who reverently treat music as the spiritual nexus of mind and body.

Moore’s latest album, What Surprises Us, is a gathering of the ancestors’ diasporic forms — a modern rendering of American Roots music, if you will — where the set sounds idyllically articulate, despite the many influences.

Warm electronic dreamscapes, Folk, and Pop flourishes gracefully lie with spiritual hymns, Funk, Blues patterns, Og Mandino(!), Alice Walker(!!), and even subtle Trap references.

Half of Moore’s winning formula lies in the way she pulls these musical pieces together and integrates them with her deceptive emotional intensity.

The other half is the assembly of three elements that tie into Moore’s beautiful deployment of prose: spirituality, ancestral guidance, and love.

The album’s opening track, “Kundalini,” triggers my earlier thoughts about spirituality and the diaspora with its mystical fusion of awakening themes and Mississippi Delta sketches, in which the latter looks to its Ghanaian griot parents to help tell a story through the spiritual realm.

The gloriously-triumphant positioning in the face of adversity expressed by “Evocation” has a beat that makes me think Kerri Chandler or some beloved DJ from Detroit should seek out for a remix. This is praise music for the dancefloor — and everyone.

“Talisman,” “Sister Moon” and “The River Song” are highly-literary pieces that reveal inspiring tales of personal and collective struggle, with the spirit of ancestors and their own victories serving as sources for historic precedent and extensible courage.

Fellow soulful creator Maritri Garrett makes an appearance in “Magic” — a tune that considers your special place in the world, and more specifically in the lives of other people.

Moore treats affairs of the heart with similar care. The longing expressed in “Speechless” may strike a personal chord with many of you, while “All the Things” is a simmer of a song that turns quite torrid towards the end. I also dig the smooth Funk and thoughts of kindness in the title track.

The minimal phrasing of “Brooklyn” has a unique charm that’s further enhanced by the story-within-the-story lyrics that leave the listener to wonder.

I don’t knock flesh music. There’s a place for it.

But What Surprises Us is your soul’s antidote for what’s been a helluva 2018.

Head over to Moore’s Bandcamp page today and get your dose …

[Note: the track “Evocation” was previously given an incorrect title. The correction has been made.]

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Bitter gumbo: drunken ultra-White male privilege and the political party that didn’t give a damn in 2014

Kavanaugh midterm elections

At this point, it would be a bit cliché for me to say “What if me and my Black azz showed up to the job interview amidst word that I drank myself into unconsciousness when I wasn’t trying to rape high school girls, I then melted down in the interviewee seat because I’m pissed that people are judging me before finally holding out my privileged hand to receive the inevitable keys to the office.”

Therefore, I won’t rap about the surreal B.S surrounding the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

And for the same reason, I won’t deal with the history of the 60-vote Senate confirmation threshold for SCOTUS confirmations that transitioned to a simple majority, thanks to Democrats.

Instead, I’ll cover how the Party of No Guts temporarily become the Party That Doesn’t give a Damn — and eventually presented the Party of No Brains with the gift of Neil Gorsuch AND Kavanaugh.

You can reference the 2014 midterm elections — cited by Pew as the meh elections — for the source of the Kavanaugh gift.

Meh — where America has seen the lowest voter turnout since World War II.

You only go “Meh” when you think the stakes aren’t high.

Perhaps the Democratic breed of the “Meh” people didn’t think that after losing the house in 2010 and yawning through 2014 to lose the Senate, they would then wake up in 2016 to the sum of all their fears: the election of a Republican President with an inheritance of Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress, plus four Supreme Court Justices over the age of 65.

And I’m sure Dems yawned through the chance any of the four Justices could retire or leave this planet.

Those were the stakes in 2014 — but how many people were thinking about such an outcome back then?

Party of No Brains did a better job of getting their people out to the polls in 2014, while the Party of No Guts became the Party That doesn’t Give a Damn and stayed home.

The resultant of those two vectors created more Republican Senate seat victories in 2014 than most analysts expected, along with a cascade of gifts to the now-ruling legislative party.

in February 2016, the new Senate regime blocked the Supreme Court Justice confirmation process for President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland.

And with the November 2016 elections placing Donald Trump in the Big Chair, he received Senate support to confirm his nominations of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.

And more SCOTUS vacancies are possible.

There are plenty of lessons to be learned here, including the one where Obama’s influence did not trickle down to state and local elections.

But as many of you already know, I don’t like to write long-form pieces.

So I’ll leave you with the most obvious and urgent lesson: stakes are high in every election …

song currently stuck in my head: “just do it (joey negro club mix)” – sunburst band

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Dallas police officer Amber Guyger — killer of Botham Shem Jean — may still retain God status after her arrest

Amber Guyger arrested for shooting Botham Shem Jean

Off-duty Dallas, Texas police officer Amber Guyger walks into civilian Botham Shem Jean‘s apartment last Thursday night — because she thought it was her residence — and then shoots Jean to death because she thought he was an intruder.

The incident is another example of how cops are treated as God.

Infallible.

Uncorrupted.

Not capable of making mistakes or deadly actions driven by some form of prejudice.

And even if cops actually did something awful, it’s just a part of Cops’ Plan — right?

Guyger’s been arrested tonight for manslaughter in connection to Jean’s death, but an arrest is a long distance from court conviction when a cop is involved.

We could go even further and say police officers are even more revered than God is.

You may or may not believe in any sort of deity, but play along with me for a minute and say that you do.

After you’ve lost your home, family, friends, wealth and even your state of mind, you have a statutory right in this country to say “Hey y’all, I’m no longer down with Team God because my messed-up life only shows how God never even existed to have my back.” You may have also thrown in a curse word or two on your way out the temple doors.

And yet you can be arrested in America for saying “F*** the police” after you think they’ve they’ve made life harder for you.

But Amber Guyger just took a human life and nearly 72 hours later, wasn’t questioned by her own Police Department about the matter.

You could be an airplane mechanic whose error in judgment resulted in deaths from a passenger flight crash, and you’ll be immediately questioned before facing manslaughter charges.

But in a staggering number of cases, cops have made deadly errors in judgment — 12-year old Tamir Rice’s killer quickly comes to mind — and have been acquitted of criminal charges.

Sounds like wannabe gods to me, at minimum, and I’m sure the Dallas Police Department will gladly accept tithes contributions for Amber Guyger or her fellow officers’ emotional health after the shooting.

Meanwhile, we’re left to guess that wretched-of-the-earth Botham Shem Jean doesn’t have a criminal background since the media hasn’t been so keen to share that information.

Plus Jean’s clean record will matter just as little as the reason for his death.

It’s all a part of Guyger’s Plan, I suppose …

song currently stuck in my head: “carnaval de são vicente (body & soul vocal nix by françois k. & joe claussell)” – césaria évora

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When the beat stops dropping — marching after Trump

neo-nazi-charlottesville-virginia

The synchronized goose-stepping to President Donald Trump’s White-America-First drumbeat seems highly familiar to many of you.

And this is the point where most media analogies between Trumpism and Nazi Germany stop short.

I want to go deeper and explore the policy and moral ramifications of Trumpism’s eventual end — and what will happen once the beat stops dropping.

Let’s first establish, for the sake of sorting out our woke-since-2016 friends from The Resistance that Trumpism is yet another outgrowth of decades-long white supremacist repression, and this phase of hatred will nominally end by 2024 — if not sooner.

For people betting on Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s gift of impeachment, it’s still too early to put bets on the Russia angle as an enabler.

My bet at the moment is money and women, if a rapid White House exit happens.

In any case, Trump’s turn at the White House will eventually end.

And then what?

I’m reminded of the book Destined to Witness: Growing up Black in Nazi Germany by Hans Massaquoi where the African-German author noted how marching to the beat of hatred felt good to many civilians, military personnel and government officials.

Perhaps the feeling among swaths of the German middle- and working-class masses back then was a glorious one because they finally — perhaps for the first time through their lens — can march with the assurance that the leader of their beloved country can relate to his socially and economically marginalized Aryan citizens.

“Blood and soil” and all.

Or perhaps they realized that marching to the beat is the path-of-least-resistance approach to maintaining — if not improving — their social status.

“It’s hip to hate in 1936,” some may have said.

Massaquoi observed that becoming a national SS operative or local Nazi Party official was even hipper since the hegemony of the time made others think that acting more Nazi than most others was the way to move up the social ladder.

Or perhaps many Germans back then were scared by the drum’s call but they capitulated — moving to the beat of narrow options, in their view.

And then the beat died 12 years later.

Along with Nazi Germany’s death came a moral and even physical accounting of all Nazi ideas and artifacts, including the people behind them.

Statues and flags were collected and destroyed.

People were tried and then either imprisoned or executed.

And while policies of hatred were being reversed, some Nazi evangelists insisted that they weren’t really down with team Hitler.

They were only following orders, they said.

Many political officials — along with shopkeepers, trade workers and stay-at-home spouses who supported this infrastructure of hatred — changed sides to claim their innocence as victims of the times.

To the extent possible, these people faded into the new beat of democracy.

I generally stay away from making comparisons between Trump and Hitler; there are deeply emotional considerations that can even make anti-Trump thinkers disagree among themselves.

But one question seems fair to ask about both periods of rule which I’ll apply to the current time: what happens once the beat stops dropping?

Will Trump’s advisors — the people who have helped to sustain the White House’s assault on immigrants, Muslims, poor people and the environment — slither from the Beltway to become born-again private sector executives, as if the age of Trump never happened?

Who will be held accountable?

What policies will be reversed?

And what about the Trump supporters who have felt marginalized prior to November 2016?

In the most non-etheric terms, what steps will be taken to heal the nation and all affected people?

And when thinking about reversing policies, will anyone remember that the American war on race, immigrants, the poor and middle class has been a decades-long work-in-progress?

How much of a sweeping change would you expect to see when this beat ends?

song currently stuck in my head: “bantu” – randy weston

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The latest Mueller indictment against Russians? We’ll have to wait and see

mueller russia

Before I dig into the latest indictments Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has filed against a dozen Russian military officers for hacking into then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails, I’ll attach my typical caveats whenever writing about The Resistance versus President Donald Trump: I don’t believe Trump has the intellectual curiosity nor emotional stability to serve as President of any country.

But up to the point where Mueller launched this legal burst, there hasn’t been a strong case to support indictment of — well, excuse the interruption in thought but that’s part of the problem.

I can’t be sure what narrative is being drawn because post-November accusations seem to mimic THE RUSSIANS! — they’re in all places at once.

I can only say “wait for the evidence to be shared” after reading the papers Mueller filed yesterday since the only thing he’s presented so far is a set of accusations.

Perhaps Mueller has more data at this point, or this is a remix of what occurred five months ago when he indicted three Russian businessmen and 13 Russian companies for using social media to interfere with America’s 2016 elections.

And then a reaction occurred that Mueller didn’t expect: lawyers for one of the indicted firms — Concorde Management and Consulting LLC — appeared in court to fight the charge and the US government punked out. Mueller suddenly moved to suppress evidence he initially wanted to share with the court, citing an intelligence risk in sharing tools and methods deployed to investigate THE RUSSIANS! with accused Russians.

I didn’t buy that story. The post-9/11 US court cases brought against jihadist terror suspects prove how a precedent has been established for sharing sensitive information while a broader investigation is ongoing.

So … let’s wait and see what follows yesterday’s indictments.

Plus, I can’t stop thinking about what former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray, has consistently said about the Clinton emails since December 2016:

I know who leaked them. I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.

I’d love to see Trump share a cell with Big Swol — I hear the latter has been feeling a bit lonely lately — assuming a criminal act can be attached to Trump.

But I’m also not down with hyperbole that positions democracy and freedom as the diversionary argument for whose currency and system of trade will rule the planet. Hot wars can start that way, y’know.

On my last point … seems like we’re overdue for breaking down some post-Cold War history. I may be down to write a piece about that …

song currently stuck in my head: “having your fun” – focus

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Deleting inconvenient contradictions: US Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson and Congress

Leave it to me when it comes to peppering America’s Independence Day celebration with quick dive into how the country reconciled its slave-owning system of production with a statement for liberty and independence from Britain’s rule.

Like most other chapters in American history were the narrative of virtues cruise closer to B.S. territory, the nation ignored the contradiction.

And the contradiction quickly handled by Congress in the case of the Declaration of Independence.

In a previous version of the epochal document, Thomas Jefferson — a walking contradiction of sorts as informed by his statements of moral opposition to slavery while he owned African slaves in addition the title of child predator — proposed the following passage that charged England with its support and establishment of the transatlantic slave trade and its instigation of African slaves to violently rebel against America for their own domestic freedom:

[The King of England] has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s most sacred rights of life & liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. this piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce: and that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them; thus paying off former crimes committed against the liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another.

The document’s reference to the indigenous people of the Americas is also telling:

[The King] is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation & tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty & perfidy unworthy the head of a civilized nation:

he has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, & conditions of existence …

With all historical artifacts considered, The US, Britain and Jefferson are full of it.

By the way, this isn’t the right moment to get all cliché with me and mention how Jefferson lived in a different time from today.

Back to my point — Congress efficiently resolved this 3-D contradiction by deleting the entire passage.

Which means owning human beings — let alone treating them unfairly — was steam-ironed into the King Cotton fabric of this nation.

Happy Fourth, y’all …

song currently stuck in my head: “stimela (jazzanova remix)” – hugh masekela

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