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Mon May 27, 2019, 11:33 AM

 

MUST READ: The surprising lesson the Fugitive Slave Act can teach us about anti-abortion legislation

This article is very eye-opening and is something every Democrat should be aware of.

Neo-Confederate apologists have long claimed, with spurious reasoning, that the American Civil War was simply about “states’ rights,” and in one ironic sense they were arguably right. The war was precipitated by a violation of regional sovereignty – of northern states rights. Case in point: the afternoon of June 2nd 1854, Bostonians gathered along the harbor’s embankments to watch a ship bound southward. Onboard was a man named Anthony Burns, but for the captains of that ship and for those who owned it he was simply cargo to be returned to his “owners” in Virginia. A formerly enslaved man, now a Baptist minister, Burns had escaped from a Virginia plantation to the freedom which Massachusetts offered, only to find that with the 1850 passage of the Fugitive Slave Act the seemingly limitless and probing powers of the slave states had followed him to Beacon Hill’s environs, and that whether willingly or unwillingly the new law would implicate all of his white neighbors in the enforcement of that slavocracy’s laws.

According to the language of the Fugitive Slave Act, a New Yorker might dislike slavery, but if southern slave catchers did “summon and call to their aid the bystanders” witnessing a kidnapping, then it was required that the New Yorker must aid in that kidnapping. If a Vermonter or Rhode Islander found slavery distasteful, that was of no accounting if slave catchers were collecting a bounty in Montpellier or Providence, as all “citizens are hereby commanded to aid and assist in the prompt and efficient execution of this law, whenever their services may be required, as aforesaid.” As historian Jill Lepore writes in These Truths: A History of the United States, “Nothing so brutally exposed the fragility of freedom or the rapaciousness of slavery.”


History might not repeat exactly, but there are certain themes that can be detected throughout, and there’s something clarifying in identifying those correspondences. Slavery was, among other things, an issue of violating bodily autonomy; of the state enabling one section of the population to declare to another “You do not have sovereign right over your own body – I do.” If one of the consequences of the Fugitive Slave Act was that it enlisted the unwilling to aid the violator in that violation of another person’s bodily autonomy, then Georgia’s HB 481 bill passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Brian Kempe last week does something similar. Under that draconian law, and allowing few exceptions, a woman who elects to have an abortion can be charged with “murder,” not to mention the possibility of criminal charges against women who’ve suffered a miscarriage. The possibility for such punishment does not end at Georgia’s borders.

Historian Mark Peterson explains in The City-State of Boston: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Power, 1630-1865, that the Fugitive Slave Act “demanded the active cooperation of every US citizen, on pain of severe punishment.” Harriet Jacobs, a formerly enslaved woman living in New York, noted that the passage of the law was the “beginning of a reign of terror” to African-Americans living free in the north. While certainly anyone who understands slavery knows that that is the nature of that evil institution, for the vast majority of northerners such an arrangement south of the Ohio River was of little concern to them. With the passage of the 1850 legislation, such willful ignorance could no longer be countenanced, for those who wished no part in slavery were now directly implicated in its practice in an indirect manner. Northerners could no longer pretend that slavery was simply a “regional issue;” the plantations which supposedly stopped at the Mason-Dixon Line had a federally invested power that allowed them to arrest formerly enslaved people not just in Georgia or Alabama, but in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts as well.

In a similar manner, both patient and doctor, whether that abortion was performed in New York, or Massachusetts, or California, could be theoretically charged with murder under Georgia law if that procedure involved a state resident. Mark Joseph Stern writes in Slate that if a “Georgia resident plans to travel elsewhere to obtain an abortion, she may be charged with conspiracy to commit murder… An individual who helps… or transports her to the clinic, may also be charged with conspiracy.” Antebellum northerners were content to pretend that bondage was simply a southern problem; in a north that may have found slavery unsavory, arrests such as those of Burns had a galvanizing effect. As the activist Amos Adams Lawrence would write, “We went to bed one night old-fashioned, conservative, compromise Union Whigs & waked up stark mad Abolitionists.”


Read More: https://www.rawstory.com/2019/05/the-surprising-lesson-the-fugitive-slave-act-can-teach-us-about-anti-abortion-legislation/

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Reply MUST READ: The surprising lesson the Fugitive Slave Act can teach us about anti-abortion legislation (Original post)
Vidal May 27 OP
malaise May 27 #1
no_hypocrisy May 27 #2
northoftheborder May 27 #3
musette_sf May 27 #4
hlthe2b May 27 #5
no_hypocrisy May 27 #6
CaptainTruth May 27 #14
hlthe2b May 27 #19
Vidal May 27 #15
TheBlackAdder May 27 #7
leanforward May 27 #12
Hekate May 27 #13
Vidal May 27 #16
PatrickforO May 27 #18
malaise May 27 #20
Freddie May 27 #8
Ilsa May 27 #10
leanforward May 27 #9
Hekate May 27 #11
PatrickforO May 27 #17
BSdetect May 27 #21
Vidal May 27 #22
Generic Other May 27 #23
Voltaire2 May 28 #24
Generic Other May 28 #25

Response to Vidal (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2019, 11:42 AM

1. Important

Get thee to the greatest page

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Response to Vidal (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2019, 12:00 PM

2. Theoretically then, if a pregnant woman who lives in Georgia,

gets on a Greyhound Bus for a "visit" to New Jersey, doesn't tell the bus driver that she's pregnant or lives in Georgia, doesn't tell the doctor in New Jersey that she lives in Georgia (or puts down a false address), is there a "criminal act"?

Or . . . . if the woman finds out she's pregnant in Georgia and immediately moves out of state for a new residence, is there a crime?

Will Georgia ban all OTC pregnancy tests to force women to be documented as pregnant and therefore monitored by the state until the baby is born?

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Response to Vidal (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2019, 12:15 PM

3. When you think about trying to enforce these abominable laws....

....it boggles the mind.

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Response to Vidal (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2019, 12:18 PM

4. K&R

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Response to Vidal (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2019, 12:49 PM

5. Most important sentences in that argument going forward:

In 1851, three years before Burns’ arrest, and Frederick Douglas said “I am sick and tired of arguing the slaveholders’ side;”

in a similar vein Traister writes “Let’s just say it: Women matter more than fetuses do.”

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #5)

Mon May 27, 2019, 12:50 PM

6. + 1 million

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #5)

Mon May 27, 2019, 02:07 PM

14. Because there's a 50/50 chance the fetus will be male?

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Response to CaptainTruth (Reply #14)

Mon May 27, 2019, 02:50 PM

19. ?????????????

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #5)

Mon May 27, 2019, 02:12 PM

15. I agree

 

you make an excellent point

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Response to Vidal (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2019, 01:04 PM

7. Southern Paternalism was justified by a perversion of Bible passages. The same with anti-abortion.

.

A professorial overview: As Barry Hankins points out, a Christian researcher, some of the strongest elements of the abolitionist movement, the movement to end slavery in the 1800’s came out of Charles Finney’s preaching and the revival which was called the Second Great Awakening. So, there were Revivalists/Evangelicals who were condemning slavery as wrong and incompatible with Christianity.

Nevertheless, other Christians, including Evangelicals could point to the Bible to justify the institution. In a previous unit we saw that both Ephesians and Colossians in the New Testament ordered slaves to “obey their masters.” Hankins mentions Leviticus 25:44-46, where the people of Israel (who had been delivered from slavery in Egypt!) are told they can buy slaves from the nations around them.

However, slavery, in the Bible was not about one race or another being slaves. Unlike Southern slavery, when it came to the issue of racism there was simply nothing in the biblical text to support such attitudes. To a great extent, deep at heart, many Evangelicals knew this. This is why Hankins notes the frequent occurrences of racial unity in the revivals.


===


I did a research paper a few years ago on Southern Paternalism, and I won't paste it here for identity reasons.

I'll try and give a quick memory summation, without writing it in a too revealing manner:


1) 1800s-10s: Christian Revivalist tours shook down Southern Slaveholders for thousands to get their blessings. The majority of Southerns despised the slaveholders. Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians are the ones who mainly will end up promoting slavery in the coming decades and onward.

==

2) 1820s-30s: Northern abolitionists tried to use the Bible as justification that slavery was immoral. This backfired, as the Bible is rife with verses that Southern clergy perverted to their own gain. Northern clergy were invited to tour southern plantations and were either offered property or marriage to daughters and part of estates if they relocated and formed churches. They were showcased plantation areas that portrayed the slaveholder in a good light. Many of these church pastors had slaves of their own. Slave riots occurred, which panicked the whole community. The idea of Southern Paternalism is hatched, saying that slaveholders are rescuing those held by slave merchants and offer the slaves an opportunity to be exposed to Christianity, and eternal salvation.

A partnership between slaveholders and clergy forms. Slaveholders want to control the slaves, the clergy wants to expand their church, their tithings, and spread the gospel. The clergy become wealthy members of the community. However, there are two variations of this:

White church services: Promote the Christian tenets of slavery, how the slaveholders are effectively doing God's work by saving the captives of the slave traders. The slaveholders gain legitimacy.

Slave church services: They are told to be good Christians, they must be good servants to their masters. That, no matter what happens to them in life, they will reap rewards in the afterlife.

==

3) 1840s-50s: Southern Paternalism, with the help of the churches expands rank of congregants, this generation is the one who now embraces slavery as an institutional norm, feeding into the Civil War.

==

It only took one generation to convert the Southerners over to accepting slavery. While the elders had to be swayed or convinced, the young adults just sold on the idea, the youngsters would grow up in this new institution and view it as a societal normalcy.

I'm a bit older, and I witnessed the conversion of many Reagan Republicans and even the Sarah Palin types of just a couple of years ago. They were against Putin, they were against Russia and any foreign interference of our government. They were saying how Putin would make Obama his bitch. Now, in less than a decade, we are seeing the complete reversal of those positions and acceptance of them, just to get some political and short-term hopes of financial gains. The protection of country is no longer paramount--it is just a talking point to them. I worry, that if this is not addressed quick, fast, and in a hurry--this might become an institutional norm and it will be difficult to ensure national security, on a wide range of topics, in the future.


==============================


There is not one thing in the Bible that supports the "Pro-Life" doctrine.


The triviality of the fetus, diminished to a fine, is all that exists. All other claims are just fabricated bullshit.

In fact, there is once section that talks about miscarriage drugs being given if there is question of paternity.


The churches use this as a tool to fleece congregants, keep them galvanized and perform free labor at church.

.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #7)

Mon May 27, 2019, 01:17 PM

12. Paternalism

Seems to be similar to seniority in the senate, i. e. the turtle, grassley. Pick a few more, your choice.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #7)

Mon May 27, 2019, 01:33 PM

13. Excellent post, BlackAdder. nt

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Response to Hekate (Reply #13)

Mon May 27, 2019, 02:13 PM

16. Yes

 

very excellent BlackAdder

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #7)

Mon May 27, 2019, 02:49 PM

18. Always about money and power, the two great illusions

that may well plague our species to extinction. I don't know if you've read it or even would be interested, but I read a good book the other week called 'Dying of Whiteness.'

It speaks of guns and healthcare. So many historical antecedents, but the troubling thing is that right now, we have substantial numbers of older white men in places like TN who are willing to die because they can't afford proper healthcare AS LONG AS black people ALSO can't afford proper healthcare.

And, what's more, these men 'reason,' if you can call it that, that black people simply should not have the same healthcare white people have, and that if white people could access affordable healthcare, it would be great as long as minorities didn't have that same benefit.

I just can't get my head around that. Why should someone wish to get a benefit while denying that same benefit to others?

Sometimes, on bad days, I contemplate the state of the human race and wonder if it wouldn't be better if we simply did go extinct. I mean, every single other species, and the world itself, would be measurably better off if we were gone...

Sigh.

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Response to TheBlackAdder (Reply #7)

Mon May 27, 2019, 03:02 PM

20. Excellent post

Should be an OP

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Response to Vidal (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2019, 01:05 PM

8. Women will delay seeking prenatal care

Even for wanted pregnancies. They won’t want the pregnancy on record in case of miscarriage and possible criminal charges. So very pro-life.

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Response to Freddie (Reply #8)

Mon May 27, 2019, 01:13 PM

10. Absolutely. They'll wonder for

another couple of months to make certain they've entered the second trimester. Or, if they can't hide it and do see a doctor, they'll pretend to everyone to be happy, even if a pregnancy isn't affordable financially or healthwise, even to the detriment of other young children in the family.

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Response to Vidal (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2019, 01:13 PM

9. K & R

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Response to Vidal (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2019, 01:15 PM

11. Dammit I knew it when I referenced the Mann Act; I just didn't reach back far enough...

The Fugitive Slave Act is their historical precedent.

The last two sentences are great:

In a north that may have found slavery unsavory, arrests such as those of Burns had a galvanizing effect. As the activist Amos Adams Lawrence would write, “We went to bed one night old-fashioned, conservative, compromise Union Whigs & waked up stark mad Abolitionists.”

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Response to Vidal (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2019, 02:38 PM

17. This thread certainly is worth bookmarking. This is a very, very

astute observation.

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Response to Vidal (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2019, 03:48 PM

21. I did not know exactly about this law. What a vile nonsense.

I knew people were kidnapped by force in the north but this crap law is incredible.

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Response to BSdetect (Reply #21)

Mon May 27, 2019, 04:15 PM

22. I agree

 

it really is. i was shocked by the history, and also what's going on right now with abortion.

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Response to Vidal (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2019, 07:43 PM

23. Isn't this what Dred Scott was about?

This decision was never overturned.

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Response to Generic Other (Reply #23)

Tue May 28, 2019, 05:46 AM

24. Not exactly.

That decision held that the 5th amendment prohibition against taking property applied to any African American where there was an intrastate conflict over that person’s status as a slave. It prevented free states from emancipating slaves.

The fugitive slave act was what forced free states to return escaped slaves to their owners. That was us law, passed by Congress.

Neither Dred Scott nor the fugitive slave act are relevant.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #24)

Tue May 28, 2019, 11:02 AM

25. I was thinking about how state lines weren't honored

So if you were a resident of one state, you could be legally returned if you went to another. I think women from these states do need to consider what extent the states will go to enforce their Draconian laws.

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