“The Thirteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution commands that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist.” What has been the effect of this command? It will serve my present purpose to offer the following too-simple answer to this complex question: the Thirteenth Amendment secured little more than the manumission of slaves already practically freed by the friction of war. It guaranteed, in Confederate General Robert Richardson’s now well-known phrase, “nothing but freedom.” Supposing this answer to be true, a further question presents itself: Did the Thirteenth Amendment’s effect fulfill its command? Did universal manumission abolish slavery? A full answer to this question would require a rich historical account of the evolving institution of American slavery, the features of that institution that survived the Reconstruction era, and how those features evolved in the ensuing century and a quarter. I have no intention of proiding such a full history here. I intend only to argue for the indispensability of such a full history to the task of interpreting and applying the Thirteenth Amendment. I mean to argue for the relevance of remote and recent history to the meaning of the Thirteenth Amendment by arguing against the sophistry that would make General Richardson’s crabbed account of abolition true by definition. Thus, I will not argue that abolition must mean more than universal manumission, but merely that it may. Abolishing the institution of slavery may entail more than manumitting slaves for the simple reason that manumission was itself an important feature of the institution. Thus, I propose the paradoxical possibility that the institution of slavery could persist without any individual being lawfully held as a slave.”
— Guyora Binder, “The Slavery of Emancipation,” Cardozo Law Review, Vol. 16 (1996); pp. 2063-2064 (via so-treu)
I’m all fucked up cause I hear everyone interviewed keep repeating “equality, freedom, liberty, american equality, justice, etc”
“Striking down discrimination, no more second class citizens, etc”
I keep hearing Rachel maddow saying “we are never going back”.
And I’m like, um have yall muhfuggas been here for the past 3 days?
It is literally harder for me and mine to vote and the sparse protection of affirmative action has been absolutely shat on.
Tell me again how gay is the new Black (while erasing black queers)?
Tell me again how this is the new civil rights movement when the old civil rights movement never ended and was pushed back in the past 2 days. (While ignoring the Black Queers who where fighting for their Blackness and their Queerness)
The continued systemic erasure and genocide of Native Americans has been approved yet again.
I’m happy that good stuff is going down. But How can I think about marriage when my daily life and political engagement in this land, freedoms that my ancestors were abused and murdered for, are being stripped away?