90 Miles From Tyranny : No, America Was Not Founded On Racist Principles

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

No, America Was Not Founded On Racist Principles

Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., told an audience at Liberty University that the United States was founded “on racist principles.” He added, “That’s a fact. We have come a long way as a nation.”

The principles on which on our country was established are articulated with clarity in the Declaration of Independence. On the matter of race, the Declaration has one simple but profound teaching: “all men are created equal.” That’s it. There are no qualifications or subtractions.

Nowhere does the Declaration or the Constitution, for that matter, classify human beings according to the color of their skin.

Far from the principle of equality being a product of racism, it actually struck at the heart of slavery. By making equality the defining principle of the nation, the Founders hoped to put slavery on the course of its ultimate extinction.

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While some of the Founders held slaves, they all knew that blacks were human beings.

In a rough draft of the Declaration, Jefferson charged King George III with waging “cruel war against human nature itself” by keeping “open a market where men should be bought & sold.” By calling slaves men, Jefferson clearly recognized their humanity.

Not only did the Founders think that blacks were human beings, but they also acknowledged the wrongness of slavery in principle.

Benjamin Franklin succinctly stated his opinion on slavery: “Slavery is…
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  1. Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution reads:

    Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

    1. If your point is that it is racist not to tax Indians, I agree.
      There is nothing racist about indentured servitude, it is wrong, but not racist.

  2. Dear Unknown: The Southern Colonies wanted slaves counted equally to increase their power in Congress and to increase the likelihood of future slave states admittance to the Union. The idea of counting slaves as three fifths of a free man was a Northern/Abolitionist idea to cull power from the South. IOW, it was a compromise which benefited the North.


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