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Slavery by Another Name
by FREDERICK GOULD - Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 10:08 PM
 

The documentary "Slavery by Another Name" shows us the terrible truth about the virtual enslavement of blacks after the Civil War, and how the United States proved to be incapable of stopping it. After the Civil War, the US was faced with the task of reconstructing the impoverished, destroyed South. With Congress firmly in the hands of radical republicans, the US made serious progress towards giving blacks complete freedom with the 14th and 15th amendments. But when the political pendulum swayed away from the radical republicans, thanks in part to the intimidation of black voters, the South was placed in charge of its own reconstruction. What ensued was more than 70 years of the virtual reenslavement of blacks through methods such as the convict leasing system, peonage, sharecropping, and other forms of forced labor.  Blacks suffered lifetimes of brutal forced labor for committing absurd crimes and being rented out by the state. They also were forced to work to pay off a debt that would never end. What surprised me the most was what the federal government did in response to the South blatant resistance to equality. What had previously been a Congress that was willing to give citizenship and voting rights to blacks became a congress that, in the 20th century, wouldn't even stop peonage in the South. Not until World War II did the federal government do anything substantial to help the blacks suffering in virtual enslavement in the South. Whatever the reason, from economic necessity to wide political divides, nothing should have stopped Teddy Rosevelt from enforcing peonage laws, or allowed Woodrow Wilson to similarly oppress blacks in the North. The story of slavery in another name in the South is also the story of the federal government being unable, or not wanting to help those who should have lived a life of freedom.

Picture of SOPHIE HARRINGTON
Re: Slavery by Another Name
by SOPHIE HARRINGTON - Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 10:38 PM
 

I completely agree with the point you make about time - that issue is emphasized, in that the U.S. as one complete entity took over 60 years following the Civil War to stop the oppression of black people. The South's strong resistance to Federal ruling resulted in Congress chosing not to push for equal rights for black people, which is why so much time was taken. There was no desire to push for these efforts by Congress and thus the South continued to opress and force black people into labor. 

Picture of ABDELAZIZ RIFAI
Re: Slavery by Another Name
by ABDELAZIZ RIFAI - Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 04:21 PM
 

I agree how the 13th,14th, and 15th amendment was progressing towards giving blacks complete freedom, but unfortunately people found ways to go around the amendments and frame blacks of ridiculous crimes and attempting to make them miserable.

Picture of XOLOTL ALFONSO CRUZ-DEJESUS
Re: Slavery by Another Name
by XOLOTL ALFONSO CRUZ-DEJESUS - Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 09:38 PM
 

I thoroughly agree. The politicians did not do enough to end the new versions of Slavery in the United States. The 13-14th amendments had promised and gave hope to the newly freedpersons for a life of freedom, but the lack of enforcement by the federal government allowed for such a huge issue to slip through the cracks where these amendments could be exploited to the verge to the point in which another system of slavery was developed. 

Picture of LAURA GILL
Re: Slavery by Another Name
by LAURA GILL - Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 09:56 PM
 

I agree. Black people suffered incredible violence and oppression after the civil war and 13th amendment, despite the fact that they were supposed to end the mistreatment of blacks in America.