Syndicate

Who's Online

We have 21 guests online

DS-Syndicate







JamesLandrith.com is registered with the Washington, DC Registry







PositiveSingles.com - the best, most trusted and largest anonymous STD dating site!
PositiveSingles.com - the best, most trusted and largest anonymous STD dating site!


InterracialMatch.com - the best interracial dating site!
InterracialMatch.com - the best interracial dating site!


Coalition Letter to SEC Regarding Corporate Whistleblower Protections
User Rating: / 0
Advocacy and Letters - Letters to Government Agencies Signed by TMA
Written by Coalition   
Friday, 25 July 2014

July 25, 2014


The Honorable Mary Jo White
US Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Washington DC 20549

 

Dear Ms. White:

 

We, the undersigned organizations, write to express our concern for the widespread and growing problem of retaliatory conduct against corporate whistleblowers. Not merely a threat to public policy, retaliation of this nature has a deleterious effect on corporate culture and growth. And, ultimately, such conduct undermines the force and efficacy of the SEC Whistleblower Program.

 

Retaliation against whistleblowers is a quiet and growing epidemic. In a 2012 supplement to its National Business Ethics Survey, the Ethics Resource Center (ERC) found that a near recordsetting 22% of employees who reported misconduct faced retaliation, up from 12% in 2007.1 More than a third of those who declined to report misconduct pointed to fear of retaliation as the reason for their silence. A culture in which employees are retaliated against or fear to speak up is a cancer that slowly grows but consistently kills and has been responsible for countless highprofile corporate scandals. Most alarming, increases in the incidence of retaliation are outpacing the overall rate of increases in Whistleblowing disclosures. Various other studies confirm the prevalence of retaliation and fear of retaliation in the corporate workplace.2

 

The commercial marketplace wants and needs guidance. We believe the majority of corporations want to do the right thing and many invest in robust ethics and compliance programs to do so. Unfortunately, corporate compliance is not a panacea. While there is a low incidence of whistleblower retaliation in companies with strong ethical program, the ERC survey found that these organizations also represent the greatest uptick in reports of retaliation. In other words, even strong ethics programs alone are an inadequate deterrent. The proposed guidance would benefit employers and whistleblowers alike by reducing the litigation expenses associated with legal uncertainties, helping companies more effectively reduce their risk of retaliationrelated liability, and ensuring that individuals who report possible misconduct, both internally and to the Commission, do so with a full understanding of their reporting options and the applicable risks and rewards. It also would benefit corporations, because most whistleblowers disclose fraud against their employer, and every study has shown that in this role they are more effective than audits, compliance programs and law enforcement combined.3

 

The success of the SEC Whistleblower Program, the health of our markets and the broader public interest are protected and served when employees can safely report wrongdoing. Indeed, an open and transparent workplace is a key barometer of a working democracy. For these reasons, we urge the SEC to take the following actions:

 

(1) Engage in appropriate rule-making to clarify and strengthen protections available to those who report misconduct internally or externally. Specifically, clarify that whistleblowers are in fact eligible for protection when they make disclosures within their respective corporations. Further, clarify that any actions made by the wrongdoer in effort to block the flow of whistleblowing evidence are illegal. Finally, clarify that it is legally protected to disclose evidence of crime or other violations of SEC rules, despite any assertions by wrongdoers that employees have stolen their “property.” These suggested solutions warrant a public hearing and careful consideration by the Commission.
(2) Launch a series of field hearings around the country to discuss the problem of workplace retaliation and explore new ways to increase reporting—both internally and externally; and
(3) Create an Advisory Committee on Whistleblower Reporting and Protection. Leveraging the staff reports from the field hearings described above and the expertise of a diverse group of participants that meet regularly, this committee will serve as a vehicle for the Commission to collate advice, best practices and recommendations related to whistleblower reporting and protection.

 

We thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important investor protection problem. As the SEC places more emphasis on the role of whistleblowers in the national enforcement program, it must also use its authority to mandate integrity, transparency and accountability in the marketplace. This is good for whistleblowers, good for business and good for our country.

 

Sincerely,

 

American Association of Small Property Owners
Americans for Financial Reform (coalition of 200+ organizations)
Atlantic States Legal Foundation
Bernabei & Wachtel, PLLC
Californians Aware
Circumpolar Conservation Union
Citizen Works
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
Community Research
Consumer Action
Corporate Action Network
Defending Dissent Foundation
Employment Justice Center

Evangelicals for Social Action
Evans Law Firm, Inc.
Faculty Against Rape
Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics
Government Accountability Project
Global Witness
Heart of America Northwest
Implode-Explode Heavy Industries, Inc.
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
International Association of Whistleblowers
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Investor Environmental Health Network
Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
Labaton Sucharow LLP
Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum
National Coalition of Organized Women
National Consumers League
National Employment Lawyers Association
National Organization for Women
National Whistleblower Center
New Jersey Citizen Action
New Jersey Work Environment Council
New Orleans Women's Shelter
OpenTheGovernment.org
The Other 98%
Peace Fund and Peace Action Education Fund
Pentecostals and Charismatics for Peace and Justice
Privacy Times
Project On Government Oversight
Public Citizen
Public Concern at Work
RootsAction.org
Sustainable Energy and Economy Network
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
The Coalition For Change, Inc.
The Multiracial Activist
Tri-Valley CAREs
WarIsACrime.org
WESPAC Foundation
West Virginia Citizen Action Group
Wild Earth Guardians
Workplace Fairness
Zuckerman Law

 

 

 1 Ethics Research Center, Retaliation: When Whistleblowers Become Victims (2012),
http://www.ethics.org/files/u5/RetaliationFinal.pdf.
2 See 2012 Corporate Governance and Compliance Hotline Benchmarking Report commissioned by The Network; Wall Street in  Crisis: Labaton Sucharow Survey of Financial Services Industry 2013.
3 PricewaterhouseCoopers and Martin Luther University Economy and Crime Research Center, Economic Crime, People,
Culture and Controls: The 4th Biennial Global Economic Crime Survey (2007), http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/economic-crimesurvey/pdf/pwc_2007gecs.pdf.; Society of Certified Fraud Examiners, 2008 Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud and Abuse (2008), at 4. 30.

 
Labaton Sucharow, GAP Lead Coalition to Combat Retaliation Against Corporate Whistleblowers
User Rating: / 0
Press Releases - Press Releases Sent By TMA and Coalition Partners
Written by Coalition   
Monday, 21 July 2014

Labaton Sucharow, GAP Lead Coalition to Outlaw Gag Orders and Combat Retaliation Against Corporate Whistleblowers

July 21, 2014
Printer-friendly version

Coalition Petitions SEC to Ban Corporate Tactics Used to Silence Whistleblowers

(Washington, DC) On the fourth anniversary of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, better known as Dodd-Frank, Labaton Sucharow LLP, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) and a growing coalition, representing more than 250 organizations and nearly two million citizens, announce they have submitted petitions with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) demanding a strengthened Whistleblower Program.

The SEC Whistleblower Program offers eligible whistleblowers the ability to report anonymously, robust employment protections and the opportunity to earn substantial monetary awards – regardless of nationality. A recent Wall Street survey, commissioned by Labaton Sucharow, found that financial services professionals were aware of unethical and illegal behavior in the workplace (23%), willing to report possible violations with the protections and incentives offered by the Program (89%) and knew about the existence of the Program (60%, up from 49% just one year earlier).

"As awareness and interest in the SEC Whistleblower Program and other similar programs has grown, they have come under stealth attack by Corporate America," said Jordan Thomas, Chair of the Whistleblower Representation Practice at Labaton Sucharow and a former Assistant Director in the SEC’s Enforcement Division. "If the SEC doesn’t adopt appropriate counter-measures, gag orders, retaliation and other forms of legal bullying will quickly erode the potential of this powerful investor protection tool." 

The first petition (rulemaking proposed by Labaton Sucharow and GAP, summary here) addresses unscrupulous legal maneuvers employed by many companies trying to silence potential whistleblowers. Examples include: preventing employees from consulting independent legal counsel, requiring notice of external reporting, demanding waivers of any future whistleblower awards, and threatening lawsuits to enforce secrecy agreements. These and other troubling legal tactics effectively topple each of the three pillars of the SEC Whistleblower Program – anonymous reporting, employment protections and monetary awards. This petition provides companies with clear guidance regarding these problematic employment agreements. The petition also urges the SEC to issue a policy statement regarding the current scope of employment protections available to SEC whistleblowers and its intent to prosecute companies that retaliate against them. 

"Virtually every corporation in America has internal policies that encourage employees to report wrongdoing and promise to protect them from retaliation for doing so," said Tom Devine, GAP Legal Director and author of The Corporate Whistleblower’s Survival Guide. "The problem is the reality gap between what these organizations say and what they do, because they have not been held accountable. Currently, corporations have little or nothing to lose from legal bullying. The worst that can happen is they won’t get away with it. The SEC can change this." 

"Retaliation against corporate whistleblowers is a quiet and growing epidemic," said Thomas. In the 2013 National Business Ethics Survey, the Ethics Resource Center found that retaliation has increased sharply since Congress passed stronger legal rights to protect whistleblowers. A near record-setting 21% of employees who reported misconduct faced retaliation, up from 12% in 2007. More than one-third of those who declined to report misconduct pointed to fear of retaliation as the reason for their silence. 

In recognition of this serious problem, a broad coalition of organizations, including Americans for Financial Reform, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the National Employment Lawyers Association, and many other prominent groups, has submitted a second petition (non-rulemaking) asking the SEC to: launch a series of public hearings to discuss the problem of workplace retaliation and ways to increase reporting, create an Advisory Committee on Whistleblower Reporting and Protection, and engage in appropriate rulemaking to clarify and strengthen whistleblower protections. A full list of coalition members is available here.

Whistleblower Summit 

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the passage of the Whistleblower Protection Act, GAP encourages the public to attend the Whistleblower Summit for Civil and Human Rights in Washington D.C. beginning on July 28, 2014. As part of that effort, on July 30, National Whistleblower Appreciation Day, GAP is producing a panel discussion on financial whistleblowing held on Capitol Hill. More on that panel can be found at the link provided above. 

About the Campaign Organizers 

Labaton Sucharow has been one of the country’s premier law firms comprehensively representing businesses, institutional investors and consumers in complex securities and business litigation for more than 50 years. It was the first law firm in the country to establish a practice exclusively focused on protecting and advocating for whistleblowers who report possible securities violations to the SEC. Building on the Firm’s market leading securities litigation platform, the Whistleblower Representation Practice leverages a world-class in-house team of investigators, financial analysts and forensic accountants with federal and state law enforcement experience to provide unparalleled representation for whistleblowers. Labaton Sucharow is consistently among the top plaintiff litigation firms based upon its rankings in Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500, The National Law Journal’s Plaintiff Hot List and Benchmark Plaintiff

The Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization. A non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization that litigates whistleblower cases, GAP helps expose wrongdoing to the public and actively promotes government and corporate accountability. Since its founding in 1977, GAP has represented over 6,000 whistleblowers in the court of law and in the court of public opinion, including hundreds of whistleblowers who have reported financial misconduct. GAP is also a leader in campaigns to enact or defend all federal whistleblower protection statutes, including those in the Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank laws. 
 

Contact: Zach Kouwe, Press Representative for Labaton Sucharow, Dukas Public Relations Office 
Phone: 646.808.3665, cell 551.655.4032 
EmailThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Contact: Dylan Blaylock, Communications Director, GAP
Phone: 202.457.0034, ext. 137, cell: 202.236.3733 
EmailThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

###

 
Coalition Letter to SEC Regarding Corporate Whistleblower Protections
User Rating: / 0
Advocacy and Letters - Letters to Government Agencies Signed by TMA
Written by Coalition   
Monday, 21 July 2014

July 21, 2014


The Honorable Mary Jo White
US Securities and Exchange Commission
100 F Street, NE
Washington DC 20549

 

Dear Ms. White:

 

We, the undersigned organizations, write to express our concern for the widespread and growing problem of retaliatory conduct against corporate whistleblowers. Not merely a threat to public policy, retaliation of this nature has a deleterious effect on corporate culture and growth. And, ultimately, such conduct undermines the force and efficacy of the SEC Whistleblower Program.

 

Retaliation against whistleblowers is a quiet and growing epidemic. In a 2012 supplement to its National Business Ethics Survey, the Ethics Resource Center (ERC) found that a near recordsetting 22% of employees who reported misconduct faced retaliation, up from 12% in 2007.1 More than a third of those who declined to report misconduct pointed to fear of retaliation as the reason for their silence. A culture in which employees are retaliated against or fear to speak up is a cancer that slowly grows but consistently kills and has been responsible for countless highprofile corporate scandals. Most alarming, increases in the incidence of retaliation are outpacing the overall rate of increases in Whistleblowing disclosures. Various other studies confirm the prevalence of retaliation and fear of retaliation in the corporate workplace.2

 

The commercial marketplace wants and needs guidance. We believe the majority of corporations want to do the right thing and many invest in robust ethics and compliance programs to do so. Unfortunately, corporate compliance is not a panacea. While there is a low incidence of whistleblower retaliation in companies with strong ethical program, the ERC survey found that these organizations also represent the greatest uptick in reports of retaliation. In other words, even strong ethics programs alone are an inadequate deterrent. The proposed guidance would benefit employers and whistleblowers alike by reducing the litigation expenses associated with legal uncertainties, helping companies more effectively reduce their risk of retaliationrelated liability, and ensuring that individuals who report possible misconduct, both internally and to the Commission, do so with a full understanding of their reporting options and the applicable risks and rewards. It also would benefit corporations, because most whistleblowers disclose fraud against their employer, and every study has shown that in this role they are more effective than audits, compliance programs and law enforcement combined.3

 

The success of the SEC Whistleblower Program, the health of our markets and the broader public interest are protected and served when employees can safely report wrongdoing. Indeed, an open and transparent workplace is a key barometer of a working democracy. For these reasons, we urge the SEC to take the following actions:

 

(1) Engage in appropriate rule-making to clarify and strengthen protections available to those who report misconduct internally or externally. Specifically, clarify that whistleblowers are in fact eligible for protection when they make disclosures within their respective corporations. Further, clarify that any actions made by the wrongdoer in effort to block the flow of whistleblowing evidence are illegal. Finally, clarify that it is legally protected to disclose evidence of crime or other violations of SEC rules, despite any assertions by wrongdoers that employees have stolen their “property.” These suggested solutions warrant a public hearing and careful consideration by the Commission.
(2) Launch a series of field hearings around the country to discuss the problem of workplace retaliation and explore new ways to increase reporting—both internally and externally; and
(3) Create an Advisory Committee on Whistleblower Reporting and Protection. Leveraging the staff reports from the field hearings described above and the expertise of a diverse group of participants that meet regularly, this committee will serve as a vehicle for the Commission to collate advice, best practices and recommendations related to whistleblower reporting and protection.

 

We thank you for the opportunity to comment on this important investor protection problem. As the SEC places more emphasis on the role of whistleblowers in the national enforcement program, it must also use its authority to mandate integrity, transparency and accountability in the marketplace. This is good for whistleblowers, good for business and good for our country.

 

Sincerely,

 

American Association of Small Property Owners
Americans for Financial Reform (coalition of 200+ organizations)
Atlantic States Legal Foundation
Bernabei & Wachtel, PLLC
Californians Aware
Circumpolar Conservation Union
Citizen Works
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
Community Research
Consumer Action
Corporate Action Network
Defending Dissent Foundation
Employment Justice Center

Evangelicals for Social Action
Evans Law Firm, Inc.
Faculty Against Rape
Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics
Government Accountability Project
Global Witness
Heart of America Northwest
Implode-Explode Heavy Industries, Inc.
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
International Association of Whistleblowers
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Investor Environmental Health Network
Kentucky Resources Council, Inc.
Labaton Sucharow LLP
Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum
Minnesota Coalition On Government Information
National Coalition of Organized Women
National Consumers League
National Employment Lawyers Association
National Organization for Women
National Whistleblower Center
New Jersey Citizen Action
New Jersey Work Environment Council
New Orleans Women's Shelter
OpenTheGovernment.org
Peace Fund and Peace Action Education Fund
Pentecostals and Charismatics for Peace and Justice
Privacy Times
Project On Government Oversight
Public Citizen
Public Concern at Work
RootsAction.org
Sustainable Energy and Economy Network
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
The Coalition For Change, Inc.
The Multiracial Activist
Tri-Valley CAREs
WarIsACrime.org
WESPAC Foundation
West Virginia Citizen Action Group
Wild Earth Guardians
Workplace Fairness
Zuckerman Law

 

 

 1 Ethics Research Center, Retaliation: When Whistleblowers Become Victims (2012),
http://www.ethics.org/files/u5/RetaliationFinal.pdf.
2 See 2012 Corporate Governance and Compliance Hotline Benchmarking Report commissioned by The Network; Wall Street in  Crisis: Labaton Sucharow Survey of Financial Services Industry 2013.
3 PricewaterhouseCoopers and Martin Luther University Economy and Crime Research Center, Economic Crime, People,
Culture and Controls: The 4th Biennial Global Economic Crime Survey (2007), http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/economic-crimesurvey/pdf/pwc_2007gecs.pdf.; Society of Certified Fraud Examiners, 2008 Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud and Abuse (2008), at 4. 30.

 
What To The Slave Is The 4th Of July?
User Rating: / 0
TAE Articles and Commentary - TAE Commentary and Articles
Written by Frederick Douglass   
Thursday, 03 July 2014

What To The Slave Is The 4th Of July?

Independence Day Speech at Rochester, New York

Given on July 5, 1852

by Frederick Douglass


 

Frederick DouglassFellow Citizens, I am not wanting in respect for the fathers of this republic. The signers of the Declaration of Independence were brave men. They were great men, too Ñ great enough to give frame to a great age. It does not often happen to a nation to raise, at one time, such a number of truly great men. The point from which I am compelled to view them is not, certainly, the most favorable; and yet I cannot contemplate their great deeds with less than admiration. They were statesmen, patriots and heroes, and for the good they did, and the principles they contended for, I will unite with you to honor their memory....

...Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? and am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?

Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions! Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold, that a nation's sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish, that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation's jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the "lame man leap as an hart."

But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common.ÑThe rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrevocable ruin! I can to-day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people!

"By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea! we wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, 0 Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth."

Fellow-citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not faithfully remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, "may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!" To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs, and to chime in with the popular theme, would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then, fellow-citizens, is American slavery. I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slave's point of view. Standing there identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this 4th of July! Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America.is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and the Bible which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery Ñ the great sin and shame of America! "I will not equivocate; I will not excuse"; I will use the severest language I can command; and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slaveholder, shall not confess to be right and just.

But I fancy I hear some one of my audience say, "It is just in this circumstance that you and your brother abolitionists fail to make a favorable impression on the public mind. Would you argue more, an denounce less; would you persuade more, and rebuke less; your cause would be much more likely to succeed." But, I submit, where all is plain there is nothing to be argued. What point in the anti-slavery creed would you have me argue? On what branch of the subject do the people of this country need light? Must I undertake to prove that the slave is a man? That point is conceded already. Nobody doubts it. The slaveholders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government. They acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia which, if committed by a black man (no matter how ignorant he be), subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of the same crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment. What is this but the acknowledgment that the slave is a moral, intellectual, and responsible being? The manhood of the slave is conceded. It is admitted in the fact that Southern statute books are covered with enactments forbidding, under severe fines and penalties, the teaching of the slave to read or to write. When you can point to any such laws in reference to the beasts of the field, then I may consent to argue the manhood of the slave. When the dogs in your streets, when the fowls of the air, when the cattle on your hills, when the fish of the sea, and the reptiles that crawl, shall be unable to distinguish the slave from a brute, then will I argue with you that the slave is a man!

For the present, it is enough to affirm the equal manhood of the Negro race. Is it not astonishing that, while we are ploughing, planting, and reaping, using all kinds of mechanical tools, erecting houses, constructing bridges, building ships, working in metals of brass, iron, copper, silver and gold; that, while we are reading, writing and ciphering, acting as clerks, merchants and secretaries, having among us lawyers, doctors, ministers, poets, authors, editors, orators and teachers; that, while we are engaged in all manner of enterprises common to other men, digging gold in California, capturing the whale in the Pacific, feeding sheep and cattle on the hill-side, living, moving, acting, thinking, planning, living in families as husbands, wives and children, and, above all, confessing and worshipping the Christian's God, and looking hopefully for life and immortality beyond the grave, we are called upon to prove that we are men!

Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Amercans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom? speaking of it relatively and positively, negatively and affirmatively. To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and to offer an insult to your understanding. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.

What, am I to argue that it is wrong to make men brutes, to rob them of their liberty, to work them without wages, to keep them ignorant of their relations to their fellow men, to beat them with sticks, to flay their flesh with the lash, to load their limbs with irons, to hunt them with dogs, to sell them at auction, to sunder their families, to knock out their teeth, to burn their flesh, to starve them into obedience and submission to their mastcrs? Must I argue that a system thus marked with blood, and stained with pollution, is wrong? No! I will not. I have better employment for my time and strength than such arguments would imply.

What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman, cannot be divine! Who can reason on such a proposition? They that can, may; I cannot. The time for such argument is passed.

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation's ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.

What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy -- a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival....


...Allow me to say, in conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this day presented, of the state of the nation, I do not despair of this country. There are forces in operation which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery. "The arm of the Lord is not shortened," and the doom of slavery is certain. I, therefore, leave off where I began, with hope. While drawing encouragement from "the Declaration of Independence," the great principles it contains, and the genius of American Institutions, my spirit is also cheered by the obvious tendencies of the age. Nations do not now stand in the same relation to each other that they did ages ago. No nation can now shut itself up from the surrounding world and trot round in the same old path of its fathers without interference. The time was when such could be done. Long established customs of hurtful character could formerly fence themselves in, and do their evil work with social impunity. Knowledge was then confined and enjoyed by the privileged few, and the multitude walked on in mental darkness. But a change has now come over the affairs of mankind. Walled cities and empires have become unfashionable. The arm of commerce has borne away the gates of the strong city. Intelligence is penetrating the darkest corners of the globe. It makes its pathway over and under the sea, as well as on the earth. Wind, steam, and lightning are its chartered agents. Oceans no longer divide, but link nations together. From Boston to London is now a holiday excursion. Space is comparatively annihilated. -- Thoughts expressed on one side of the Atlantic are distinctly heard on the other.

The far off and almost fabulous Pacific rolls in grandeur at our feet. The Celestial Empire, the mystery of ages, is being solved. The fiat of the Almighty, "Let there be Light," has not yet spent its force. No abuse, no outrage whether in taste, sport or avarice, can now hide itself from the all-pervading light. The iron shoe, and crippled foot of China must be seen in contrast with nature. Africa must rise and put on her yet unwoven garment. 'Ethiopia, shall, stretch. out her hand unto Ood." In the fervent aspirations of William Lloyd Garrison, I say, and let every heart join in saying it:

God speed the year of jubilee
The wide world o'er!
When from their galling chains set free,
Th' oppress'd shall vilely bend the knee,
And wear the yoke of tyranny
Like brutes no more.
That year will come, and freedom's reign,
To man his plundered rights again
Restore.

God speed the day when human blood
Shall cease to flow!
In every clime be understood,
The claims of human brotherhood,
And each return for evil, good,
Not blow for blow;
That day will come all feuds to end,
And change into a faithful friend
Each foe.

God speed the hour, the glorious hour,
When none on earth
Shall exercise a lordly power,
Nor in a tyrant's presence cower;
But to all manhood's stature tower,
By equal birth!
That hour will come, to each, to all,
And from his Prison-house, to thrall
Go forth.

Until that year, day, hour, arrive,
With head, and heart, and hand I'll strive,
To break the rod, and rend the gyve,
The spoiler of his prey deprive --
So witness Heaven!
And never from my chosen post,
Whate'er the peril or the cost,
Be driven.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 July 2014 )
 
Trayvon and George, A Year Later
User Rating: / 1
TMA Articles and Commentary - TMA Commentary and Essays
Written by Emily Monroy   
Thursday, 03 July 2014

Trayvon and George, A Year Later

by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
July/August 2014


 

 

Emily Monroy

It's been over a year now since the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. In many ways, it appears we are no closer to a definite answer as to what really happened than we were at the time of the event. The ability to get a clearer picture is hampered by among other things the lack of reliable witnesses and, more importantly, the absence of one of the key parties, Trayvon Martin himself. Was Martin a victim of racism as well as overzealous vigilantism, a young Black male killed for being, well, a young Black male? Or was Zimmerman a victim of a violent counterattack by Martin and thus guilty of nothing other than self-defence?

 

Immediately after the fact, public opinion divided itself into two camps: those who would say 'yes' to the first question in the previous paragraph and those who would respond in the affirmative to the second. I myself take an agnostic approach to the Martin-Zimmerman affair. Until we have more and better information on what truly occurred that fateful night in Florida, everybody might do well to look before they leap to any particular conclusion. (Personally, I lean more to the 'Trayvon' side as opposed to that of a man who seems to want to be a real-life Eugene Tackleberry from the movie Police Academy.) Unfortunately, many partisans on both sides of the issue lack credibility. For example, PZ Myers of the left-wing blog Pharyngula, who in an entry titled 'Racist goddamned Florida' railed against the 'puffed-up coward Zimmerman,' had five years earlier sarcastically referred to three male Duke University students falsely accused of sexually assaulting a stripper as 'those nice boys at Duke' - long after it became evident that the rape charge was a hoax.

 

Where those on either side of the fence went wrong at first was to label the Martin-Zimmerman case a Black versus White issue. It was soon discovered that George Zimmerman might more appropriately be classified as Hispanic rather than White. While his father is White, of German descent (some people mistakenly thought George Zimmerman was Jewish, probably with the famous Robert Zimmerman - aka Bob Dylan - in mind), his mother is Peruvian. And, irony of ironies, Mrs. Zimmerman is believed to possess African ancestry: Peru has a history of slavery from colonial times and a sizable Black population today. Some say that far from being a 'White vigilante,' as one left-wing website called him, Zimmerman looks more like a 'cross between Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez'1 (personally, I see some resemblance between Zimmerman and Chavez but not much with Obama).

 

The difficulty with labelling the Zimmerman-Martin incident a Black-White affair lies precisely in the difficulty with labelling Hispanics at all in a racial sense. US government surveys state that Hispanics can be 'of any race.' In terms of actual ancestry, the majority of Hispanics in and outside the United States tend to be European plus something or some things else, the 'things' in question being African and/or Native American. On the other hand, some so-called Hispanics have no non-White ancestry whatsoever. For instance, my ex-fiancé was born in Lima, Peru, to a German father and Northern Italian mother. He had no problem, though, defining himself as a 'Spanish-speaking minority' when seeking work in the States. There are also Hispanics like my more recent boyfriend, who obviously has some non-European (in his case, Amerindian) forbears but who identifies as White.

 

The 'outing' of George Zimmerman as Hispanic challenges another widely held view: that different 'peoples of colour' will bond together or, in the White Supremacist paradigm, conspire against the White race. Here again, both Left and Right are guilty of promoting a false belief. One example: the White Supremacist website Stormfront talks in sinister tones about how 'the Jew, the Asian, the Black, and the Latino' have it in for the White man. This poster might be surprised by a recent poll from Great Britain showing that South Asians in that country were more likely to approve of a family member marrying a White than marrying a Black. This was true even among South Asian Christians (yes, they do exist), the category most accepting of interracial marriage. At the other end of the political spectrum, the Left also embraces the idea of people of colour engaging in some great interracial love-in. We saw this, for instance, in their support for 'Writing Thru Race,' a conference in Vancouver in 1994 which limited participation to non-White writers so as to 'ensure a milieu in which writers directly affected by racism [could] engage in candid and personal discussions.' But outside of the leftist - or for that matter rightist - fringe, it is far from clear whether different minority groups actually like each other any more than they like Whites.

 

We are still awaiting the final word on Trayvon Martin's death, if the final word indeed comes. What is obvious at this point, however, is that the event cannot be boiled down to a simple Black versus White or, in the eyes of Martin supporters, White versus Black issue. Going beyond what happened in Sanford, Florida, it is equally clear that race, whether in the United States or elsewhere, is literally not a matter of black and white.

 

1 Sailer, Steve. George Zimmerman, Wrecker. http://isteve.blogspot.ca/2012/07/george-zimmerman-wrecker.html

 

 

 

 

Emily Monroy is a professional translator and is of Irish, Italian and Norwegian descent. Born in Windsor, Ontario, she now resides in Toronto. Her articles have appeared in several publications, including Interracial Voice, Cats Canada, and Urban Mozaik. She welcomes feedback on her articles. You can contact Emily here

 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Results 1 - 5 of 796
Blogosphere of the Libertarian Left
Ring Owner: Thomas Knapp Site: Blogosphere of the Libertarian Left
Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet
Get Your Free Web Ring
by Bravenet.com
escort bayan escort escort istanbul справочник телефонов тулы и области eblaster android spy phone software is it legal to spy on someones cell phone download spy mobile software тут track my top spy phone software tracking cell phone app ссылка spy на сайте cell phone listening software company logos ultimate bluetooth mobile phone spy software edition 2010 ссылка решебник хэппи инглиш ру русская речь решебник 8 класс mobile phone tracking blackberry на сайте app to spy text messages справочник телефонов острогожска phone tracker for the iphone Натруальный крем на травах для женщин Уфич в интернете купить дженерики sitemap