And Speaking of Reading

February 26, 2017

A Bill to Prevent All Persons from Teaching Slaves to Read or Write, the Use of Figures Excepted (1830)

Legislative Papers, 1830–31 Session of the General Assembly of North Carolina.


Whereas the teaching of slaves to read and write has a tendency to excite dissatisfaction in their minds and to produce insurrection and rebellion to the manifest injury of the citizens of this state: Therefore

Be it enacted by the General Asembly of the State of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, that any free person who shall hereafter teach or attempt to teach any slave within this State to read or write, the use of figures excepted, Shall be liable to indictment in any court of record in the State having jurisdiction thereof, and upon conviction shall at the discretion of the court if a white man or woman be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned and if a free person of colour shall be whipped at the discretion of the court not exceeding thirty nine lashes nor less than twenty lashes.

Be it further enacted that if any slave shall hereafter teach or attempt to teach any other slave to read or write the use of figures excepted, he or she may be carried before any justice of the peace and on conviction thereof shall be sentenced to receive thirty nine lashes on his or her bare back.


February 24, 2017

The Poets!

February 24, 2017…/

Kevin Coval, Poet

February 24, 2017

Remembering Malcolm on the Anniversary of his Murder

February 23, 2017

Kent State Book Talk Friday

February 23, 2017

Milo Yiannopoulos

February 21, 2017

Milo Yiannopoulos, bomb throwing Breitbart News editor, was disinvited by the Conservative Political Action Conference for comments condoning pedophilia. Simon and Schuster immediately cancelled his lucrative book deal. At last we’ve found the limit of what the Right will tolerate and accept in their Big White Tent. White nationalism, Islamaphobia, anti-Black hatred, anti-Semitism, male supremacy, anti-immigrant policies, attacks on transgendered people—none of these were a bridge too far for CPAC or S and S or the dozens of college Republican clubs who invited him. “Free Speech!” they cried. “We’re not politically correct!” they chanted. But now it’s become clear that free speech was just a convenient smokescreen for the neofascist, “alt-right” forces. White supremacy and nationalism is the glue that holds it all together. And that’s what we reject and fight.

Rashid: Get Woke

February 20, 2017

On 2/19/17, the 75th Anniversary of the Japanese Internment Order

February 19, 2017

Remember that the US Supreme Court upheld the internment orders in Korematsu v. US., convicting US citizen Fred Korematsu for refusing to comply with the order.  The Korematsu decision has long been viewed as one of the “ante-canon” landmarks of constitutional law, along with Dred Scott and Plessy v Ferguson.  But it has never been overruled by the Supreme Court, so in a sense it lies in wait…

Korematsu’s conviction was finally overturned in 1998 by a California federal court that found that the Supreme Court decision was based on a fraudulent military report, and Clinton gave him a presidential medal of honor.  The dissent of Robert Jackson (former chief US prosecutor in Nuremberg) in Korematsu is worth revisiting today:

“But once a judicial opinion rationalizes such an order to show that it conforms to the Constitution, or rather rationalizes the Constitution to show that the Constitution sanctions such an order, the Court for all time has validated the principle of racial discrimination in criminal procedure and of transplanting American citizens. The principle then lies about like a loaded weapon, ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need. Every repetition imbeds that principle more deeply in our law and thinking and expands it to new purposes. All who observe the work of courts are familiar with what Judge Cardozo described as “the tendency of a principle to expand itself to the limit of its logic.” [*] A military commander may overstep the bounds of constitutionality, and it is an incident. But if we review and approve, that passing incident becomes the doctrine of the Constitution. There it has a generative power of its own, and all that it creates will be in its own image. Nothing better illustrates this danger than does the Court’s opinion in this case.”

Brother Rick

February 18, 2017