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The Reasons Won’t Disappear!

Abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass had it right when he said that July 4th to the slaves was a horrible sham, but what he might not have put together were the reasons for the American colonies wanting to leave control of England and declare their independence. We have all heard that the main reason for the American Revolution was that Britain was taxing the colonies without representation. This is taught from kindergarten to the university level, and though it is partially correct, it is nowhere near the real reason. It has been a schemed history to cover up the relationship between slavery and the development of this country.

Even though there were millions who did not believe in slavery, they did not control the reins of power—the slave owners did. Keeping slavery was a central reason for the American Revolution. From George Washington to Ulysses Grant, all owned slaves or supported it, with the exceptions of John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Abraham Lincoln. Thomas Jefferson owned the most slaves, but the issues behind the scenes were hidden.

How did it become acceptable to view human beings as inferior based on skin color? The Spanish and the Portuguese slave trade needed a justification for its brutal actions. Henry the Navigator used his Portuguese chronicler Gomes Azurara to compile accounts of the voyages to Africa and the enslavement of human beings. In his records, he is the one who first wrote into his copious notes the idea that Black people were inferior and ugly. He said, “Others again were as black as Ethiops, and so ugly, both in features and in body, as almost to appear (to those who saw them) the images of a lower hemisphere.” His racist descriptions lived on in the minds of many and were eventually hammered into the minds of American colonists. The Spanish brought the first African slaves to Florida in approximately 1530, and this was way before the 1619 date that many of us are familiar with.

The 13 original colonies were filled with Black slaves and Native American slaves as well. According to the Jefferson website, “Directly or indirectly, the economies of all 13 British colonies in North America depended on slavery. . . By 1675, slavery was well established, and by 1700, slaves had almost entirely replaced indentured servants. With plentiful land and slave labor available to grow a lucrative crop, southern planters prospered, and family-based tobacco plantations became the economic and social norm.”
This proves that slavery made the United States possible, and hence, the idea that white people were superior became ingrained in the minds of millions over the centuries.

By the time of the American Revolution, slavery controlled politics and social relations. However, a real problem was created for slave-owning Virginia colonists as several incidents led directly to the revolt against England. There is adequate proof to exhibit that the war with the English was a war pointed toward safeguarding the American slave-owning class. In fact, a Black man by the name of Aaron Briggs was the primary witness against white colonists for burning and killing Englishmen aboard the English ship the Gaspee in 1772. The so-called “Committees of Correspondence” described Briggs’ willingness to testify against white colonists as “obnoxious, alarming, and arbitrary.”

American colonists were worried that the British would free Black slaves in the colonies and use them to fight the Americans. As a matter of fact, the English organized Black troops and later made sure that they would not be returned to their American slave owners. More Black soldiers fought for the British than for the Americans. Numerous African Americans were permitted to stay free and were resettled as freemen in Canada, Nova Scotia, the Bahamas, and Cuba.

Much of this historical revelation is contained in a research book titled, “The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America” by Dr. Gerald Horne. Additionally, in 1772, Dr. Horne pointed out that a slave by the name of James Somerset became the focus of attention in England and the growing English abolitionist movement. This became known as the Somerset Case. Somerset was kidnapped from Africa and taken to Virginia in 1749. He was later sent to England, but he asked for his freedom while on English territory. When Somerset was freed, this sent off a fanatical response in the American colonies. Benjamin Franklin, in crazed justifications for slavery, struck out at abolitionists.

By the time the Constitution was written in 1789, slavery and white supremacy were enshrined in America. The 3/5ths Clause made legal the idea that Black people were inferior by only counting Black slaves as partially human in order to give the Southern slave owners a leg up in congressional representation. If the American colonists had lost the revolution, slavery would have been abolished and the slave owners economically ruined. In 1799, George Washington owned about 320 enslaved humans, while Jefferson owned over 600. It did not end. Protecting slave owners would later be the reason for the Civil War in 1865. These facts have been obscured and ignored, and it would take a war to finally end the bondage of human beings. White supremacy held the country in bondage, as hundreds of years later, civil rights protests would be needed to gain citizenship

Gabriel Wheatley is an experienced writer and educational researcher who has written several books and penned articles in several newspapers. Gabriel seeks to write about objective reality as it is played out in justice issues globally. He often tackles the unknown aspects of history or current events through writings that reveal the hidden history and the untold stories of many events both in the present and in the past, and how issues and their relationships to myth, lies, and falsehoods are anchored in the minds of many. Gabriel presents academic knowledge in simple language to better understand the facts about the headlines that are generally ignored. Gabriel maintains his historical achievements at various universities and museums, including UTSA, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza in Dallas, the University Of North Texas (UNT), and other educational locations. He also has published books with Sentia Publishing.

Gabriel Wheatley takes his name from the area he grew up in near Gabriel Street, which is the street on which Wheatley High School is located and where he attended.

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