A Comeback for Chattel Slavery? Remarkable Revelations from a Top Obama Aide
By GERALDINE WINSTANLEY, AN political writer – 30 minutes ago
Associated Newswire (AN)
April 1, 2010
WASHINGTON D.C. Looking for a new way to appease the American Right and giving a provocative new twist to his definition of “sound, centrist policy,” Barack Obama is considering an executive order that would bring "the experimental reintroduction of slavery” to the United States.
Housed in Alleys Behind K Street
According to a top administration aide in an exclusive and extensive interview, one program currently under consideration would be dubbed “Freedom in the Homeland.” It would begin in two selected ghetto neighborhoods in predominantly black Washington D.C., the United States’ most unequal city. Unemployed men and male high-school dropouts in those neighborhoods would be purchased by a joint public-private consortium and housed in alleys behind the city’s leading financial, insurance, and “defense” industry lobbying firms on K Street near the capitol. The program would fall under the wing of a little-known office in the Department of the Interior.
The slaves would perform a broad number of tasks for senior members of those firms: shining shoes, washing cars, picking children up from day care, doing laundry, helping lobbyists’ older parents’ dress and clean themselves, growing vegetables and tending plants in lobbyists’ gardens, doing car maintenance, working in sweatshops owned by lobbyists, and more. In return, the young black inner-city males would receive food, clothing, and shelter along with what the top aide calls “a feeling of being at the real center of power in the world’s greatest Empire – priceless. It should move a bunch of them off that destructive, personally irresponsible inner-city culture that the president has been criticizing for years.”
“Knowing that Barack Obama stands behind this program will be useful for garnering cooperation from the young men selected for service to their country. It will help them see bondage as an opportunity for growth,” the administration official said.
"What Are They Gonna Do, Elect Frederick Douglass?"
While he is related (through his white mother Ann Durham) to the Southern slave Confederacy’s president Jefferson Davis, Obama is himself married to a black American descendant of slaves. “This and the president’s repeated visits to Africa have helped him develop a sense of slavery’s rich contribution to the development of what he calls ‘this magical place the United States.’ ”
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official hastened to add that Obama’s “vision on this” remains “color-blind and post-racial.” The program might initially target inner-city blacks, but the White House’s program would “ultimately reach out in a spirit of inclusion to Latinos, Asians, and poor Caucasians.”
The extreme poverty of the city’s ghettoes (which “just happen to be 99 percent black”) and the lack of federal political representation for Washington D.C. are the main reasons for the initial site selection. As one administration official joked during a recent West Wing meeting: “what are they going to do, elect Frederick Douglass to the U.S. Senate?”
Prospective Private and Public Partners
After a year of close “outcomes evaluation” by highly connected research firms experienced in assessing “welfare-to-work” and "workfare" programs that have been supported by Barack Obama in the past, the White House would work with various public and private-sector partners to expand the 21st century chattel-slavery program beyond the District of Columbia and across the nation.
A number of Obama’s top corporate and financial sponsors, including Boeing, General Dynamics, Exelon, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Wal-Mart, and Exxon-Mobil, have expressed interest in partnering with the White House on the “Freedom in the Homeland” program as it develops in coming years. Already practicing essential elements of slavery at home and abroad, the Pentagon and the nation’s sprawling prison-industrial complex would likely come on board. So will immigration agencies, which interdict and detain a large number of stateless workers "ready to trade work for food, clothing,a dn shelter."
Not "Exactly Our First Big Orwellian Moment"
Anticipating political fallout from the potential irony of nation’s first black President reintroducing the widely hated system of chattel slavery (if only on "an incremental" scale), the Obama aide noted that “it wouldn’t exactly be our first mind-blowing ‘Orwellian’ moment, would it?” In a candid comment, the White House official said: “Look, let’s be clear. We ran on cleaning up Washington and came in here and cut one deal after another with big corporations, with concentrated wealth. Look at the Wall Street bailouts – we went well beyond Bush and Paulsen. Look at how we did the bidding of the energy companies and sabotaged the Copenhagen climate talks. Look at the ‘health reform’ we just passed – it’s a corporatist joke, a giveaway to the insurance and drug companies with a few bones thrown to our so-called ‘progressive base.’ Remember how we said we’d broadcast the healthcare negotiations on C-Span? We were really going to do that while the President is cutting a behind-the-scenes deal with the insurance mafia to keep the public option (which we campaigned on) out of any final bill – sure.”
“We ran on ending the Bush ‘war on terror’ police state and we’ve totally sustained all that. We told a bunch of our ‘progressive’ voters we were basically antiwar and we’ve passed a record-setting Pentagon budget and we have if anything expanded militarism in South Asia and around the world. Ask the people – the survivors – in Bola Boluk. And what did Obama get? The Nobel freaking Peace Prize, just like Dr. King.”
“We ran against offshore oil drilling and look at what the president just called for in front of a fighter jet, yesterday — offshore oil drilling.”
“I could go on. Let’s face it, we can pretty much do what we want and call it ‘reasonable’ and ‘sound’ and ‘centrist’ and ‘pragmatic’ and make anyone who opposes our program look like a carping crackpot and ‘extremist’ — an ‘ideologue.’ You guys in the media will find some way to spin it and make it sound ‘sensible’ for us. You’ll make our critics look like whack-jobs. We’ll crack the whip and make ‘the Left’ play ball with us. Welcome to the U.S, political culture!"
“And remember, we intend to include all races in this program. It’s like the president said in 2004: he doesn’t wanted to represent ‘Black America’ or ‘White America.’ It’s about ‘the United States of America.’”
"What’s ‘the Big Fucking Deal’?’"
The administration official added something else. " This is pretty unpleasant and most people don’t want to hear it," he said, "but if there’s one thing this administration is about it is realism, okay?. And here’s a harsh reality that ordinary hard-working people know about in the heart of hearts in this great country. Most Americans already live under circumstances of de facto slavery – wage-slavery, salary-slavery, debt-slavery, mortgage-slavery, insurance-slavery, car-slavery and so on – as it is. That’s a harsh fact. Let’s be clear about this: we’re all pretty much slaves to the corporate state anyway. I mean, that’s how we feel in the White House, for God’s sake. Our price is pretty high and we live a lot better than most but we certainly know who are masters are, that’s for sure. We love it but we have no illusions."
"So what’s the ‘big fucking deal,’ if I might quote Joe Biden? A lot people and especially ‘the Left’ are going to get a little crazy about this program for a while, but…they’ll get over it. They always do.”
No Comment From "The Left"
Officials at MoveOn, the AFL-CIO, Change to Win/SEIU, LaRaza, the NAACP, the National Urban League, and other "liberal" and "progressive" organizations did not respond to this reporter’s query as to how they would feel about any moves towards the reintroduction of slavery in the U.S. on the part of the Obama administration. The recent historical record suggests that they could be expected to make initial noises of complaint and then fall into supine acquiescence to "their" “progressive” and “liberal” President. An ACLU officer left a message "questioning the constitutionality" of the proposed program in light of the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, passed in the wake of the Civil War. He noted, however, that the current administration has, like its predecessors, showed a "clear propensity to disregard domestic and international law." He also added that only a small number of Americans are aware of those amendments and their content. “I’d hate to see slavery make a comeback,” the ACLU officer said, adding that “if anybody could put it back on the policy table, it’s Barack Obama.” The ACLU, the NAACP, and many other groups would "certainly offer serious legal challenges” to the "Freedom in the Homeland" plan if and when it goes public.