Right Hooks

Is Slavery Really Gone?

Obama marks the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment.

Nate Jackson · Dec. 10, 2015

Wednesday marked the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment, which banned slavery. Barack Obama observed the occasion, saying, “A hundred and fifty years proved the cure to be necessary but not sufficient. Progress proved halting, too often deferred. Newly freed slaves may have been liberated by the letter of the law, but their daily lives told another tale.” He’s right that systemic oppression has often been a part of America — indeed, the human experience. He called slavery “our nation’s original sin” and described all the ways the struggle against it has unfolded over the years. It should go without saying that slavery was (and is) a vile institution.

What Obama failed to mention, however, is his own party’s long history of guilt on the matter. The Democrats’ “Great Society” has done nothing but run up trillions in debt to continue poverty. As Mark Alexander wrote on the 50th anniversary of that travesty, “The human tragedy of LBJ’s soul-crushing ‘welfare’ programs is incalculable. A rapidly growing permanent underclass, one utterly dependent on the state for its day-to-day existence, now constitutes the Great Society.” By design, Democrats benefit politically from that dependence and permanent racial grievance. Also by design, the first black president has only made race relations worse.

Ironically, Obama also noted that former slaves “couldn’t protect themselves or their families from indignity or from violence.” That would be thanks in part to gun control. And that terrible circumstance remains today on Democrats’ urban poverty plantations, where gangs often rule the streets and the law-abiding are subject to severe gun restrictions to go along with high crime. Gun control began as a racist proposition, and it effectively remains one.

While our nation has sometimes fallen short of its own ideals (we are human, after all), rather than perpetually fomenting racial discontent we should remember that Liberty is colorblind and strive to achieve it in every arena.

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