A Short Refresher Course.

© 2006 Chuck Klein


Some of us have forgotten details to three very prominent Black American/symbols.

A pious and subservient slave character in Harriet Beecher Stowe's, Uncle Tom's Cabin (1851). The term has come to mean anyone who is overeager to win the approval of Whites. Though, it is a very derogatory term, it is also a symbol of truth of how some Black's had to behave in order to survive - and that's what we tend to forget. This behavior is similar to how other minority groups have been forced to behave when under the thumb of a vindictive, controlling majority.

DRED SCOTT: This is more of a case about the man than the man himself. Dred Scott was a slave who was taken by his master, in 1834, from Missouri (a slave state) to Illinois and then to Ft. Snelling in the Minnesota Territory. In 1846, Mr. Scott sued to establish that he (and his family) were free because they had lived in a free state and free territory. The U.S. Supreme Court, embarrassingly, ruled:

1) Negroes were not citizens and therefore could not sue in federal courts;

2) A slave's residence in a free state did not make him a free man;

3) The Missouri Comprise of 1820 (forbidding slavery in that part of the Louisiana Purchase - except Missouri) was an unconstitutional exercise of congressional power.


The case had a polarizing effect on the slavery issue and was a factor in the conflict between the North and the South. After the Civil War, the case influenced the passage of the 13th and 14th Amendments - which gave freedom and citizenship to slaves.

JIM CROW: There never was a real person named Jim Crow. However, there was a song-and-dance, minstrel routine - preformed by a White man (Thomas "Daddy" Rice), who blackened his face with charcoal paste or burnt cork and danced a ridiculous and degrading jig that depicted Blacks as inferior (c.1830). The term, post bellum, along with other White popular culture "code words," such as Sambo or Coon, were used to define any "person of colour." Jim Crow soon became synonymous with segregation and thus any law segregating Blacks from Whites became knows as "Jim Crow Laws." Some rail cars carried the sign "Jim Crow" to designate cars for Blacks only. In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court finally got it right by declaring segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional. This led to similar decisions that outlawed any form of "Jim Crow" legislation.

THE BADGEPost Script: JOHN McWHORTER, author of Losing the Race: Self Sabotage in Black America, has just published Winning the Race: Beyond the Crisis in Black America. Both books take a hard look at the Black issues - by a Black writer. The bottom line of each treatise is: It is not racial or economic discrimination that causes Black students to underperform, but a "self-destructive culture of victimhood." McWhorter also believes the Race Can Be Won, but the "payback fantasies" that have permeated his race since the ill-fated social programs of the 1960s has to go.

Last week I asked the 200 or so on this list for comments in favor of prohibiting firearms in the work place. I got a total of two (2) responses - both predictable, i.e., the only reasons tendered were because it just didn't seem like a good idea. These touch-feely reasons are a direct result of the "main stream" media's decades of dissing guns. The truth is guns save far more innocent lives than they cost and though there are many reasons for allowing licensed and trained citizens to bear arms in the work place, there are no pragmatic or real reasons for excluding them.

KLEIN'S 9th LAW OF SURVIVAL: All Americans have the inherent and constitutional right to be free of fear from armed citizens. However, this right does not extend to usurping or disparaging other American's inalienable 2nd and 9th Amendment rights to be free of fear from thugs intend on doing them harm."