Race Baiting and the Constitution

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By Neal Boortz

 Can’t say just when it appeared, but I recently received a clip of Alexis Scott, the publisher of the Atlanta Daily World, on “The Georgia Gang” during a discussion of the voting rights act. That’s when we got this gem from Alexis Scott:

“Now don’t cite me the Constitution which counted black people as three-fifths of a person.”

Wasn’t that nice … a little bit of disingenuous race baiting from the publisher of one of America’s pre-eminent black newspapers.

Let’s bury this “three-fifths-of-a-person” nonsense. The people who spout this idiocy are generally either lying or grossly ignorant. Well .. there is another possibility, and one that might well apply with Alexis Scott. Grossly ignorant? No. Lying! Not really, because she carefully chose her words to misrepresent the Constitution without actually saying something that is flatly not true. Now we go to motivation; and the motivation is just another playing of the race card. I give Scott a little credit here … while most race pimps will say that the Constitution “says that black people are three-fifths of a human,” Alexis Scott carefully says “counted black people as three-fifths of a person.” Not “says black people are….,” but “counted black people as ….”

Since this “three-fifths of a human being” nonsense is such a favorite of race baiters of every stripe, perhaps you would like to hear (as they say) the rest of the story:

It’s called “The Three-fifths Compromise” and it was reached at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 A little understanding of this event and you will quickly see that there is no evidence to support oft-repeated claims by so many liberals and race pimps that the Constitution is racist.

In 1787 delegates from thirteen states under the Articles of Confederation were meeting in Philadelphia trying to hammer out some reforms. Flaws had surfaced in the Articles of Confederation that needed to be ironed out. As it turned out, the delegates from the 13 states decided instead to just scrap the Articles of Confederation and write an entire new Constitution … and the game was on!

This was a dangerous time in our history. With a dissolution of the Articles of Confederation and an attempt to create a new nation under a new constitution, we could have easily seen different states with different interests split off and form their own countries. At that time one of the biggest divergences was that between states which permitted slavery and those who did not. The northern colonies were determined to end slavery. Southern colonies felt that slavery was necessary for their economic survival. Northern delegates knew that if there was going to be any chance to address the slavery issue, the southern states would have to be a part of the new United States under the new constitution.

The issue came to a head during discussions on how the populations of the various states would be counted for the purpose of determining representation in the newly-formed House of Representatives – or, as they say, for the purposes of enumeration. Convention delegates opposed to slavery wanted to count only the free inhabitants of each state. They didn’t seen any sense in strengthening southern representation in the House of Representatives by allowing the southern states to include slaves in the population country. Southern delegates wanted every slave counted. Why? Because the higher population numbers would give them more members in the House.

So there we were … a compromise had to be reached. It became clear that without such a compromise the southern delegates were going to take their ball and go home to form their own nation. Thankfully, a compromised was reached. For the purpose of congressional apportionment Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the new Constitution provided that the state populations would be determined determining the number of free persons in each state and adding “three fifths of all other persons.” In other words, for each 100 people held in servitude in the state 60 people would be added to its population count. Indentured slaves were counted as free persons and “Indians not taxed” were left out of the tally entirely. Please note that there was NO mention of race and NO suggestion that anyone counted as three-fifths of a human being. There were, by the way, free blacks and even black slave owners who were counted, and white slaves who were not. But let’s not cause too much stress for delicate liberal minds here.

Now here’s something that the race pimps really need to “get.” While the sit here in 2011 and denigrate our Constitution because of the Three-fifths Compromise, the truth is that our history would have been substantially changed without it. That compromise was one of the keys to forming a new union under our Constitution, and without that new union there would have been no Union Army to fight against the South in the war between the states. How that would have played out for black slaves in the south is pretty much anybody’s guess, but I think it is safe to say that that there would have been no Emancipation Proclamation on New Year’s Day of 1863.

So … and this is just a suggestion … maybe Alexis Scott ought to give tribute to our Constitution as the representation of a spirit of compromise that led to the eventual end of slavery in this country, instead of misrepresenting the Constitution for the purpose of advancing a racial agenda.

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