On the 242-Year Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence: WOULD SLAVERY HAVE ENDED SOONER IF THE BRITS HAD WON?

KEITH BROOKS—Historians have long grappled with the contradiction of a revolution under the banner of “all men are created equal” being largely led by slave owners. Once free of England, the U.S. grew over the next 89 years to be the largest slave-owning republic in history.
But the July 4th 1776 Declaration of Independence (DI) was in itself a revolutionary document. Never before in history had people asserted the right of revolution–not just to overthrow a specific government that no longer met the needs of the people, but as a general principle for the relationship between the rulers and the ruled


Everything is Love? Beyoncé and Jay-Z flaunt their wealth

HIRAM LEE—On “713,” Jay-Z begins, “Cash, hit deposit, 24-carat faucets, Louis V and Goyard trunks all in the closet.” He raps in his usual self-satisfied manner. His voice has always contained a kind of chuckle of contempt for those beneath him financially. “Black Effect” contains one of many references to luxury watches. Jay-Z raps: “Got the Richard Mille all colors, might hit you with the Rose Gold all summer.”

How does one begin to address such lyrics? It is doubtful that even the cleverest melody could render such ugliness beautiful. If there is one elementary theme running through much of the world’s greatest artwork it is that the single-minded pursuit of wealth is a soul-destroying and self-defeating enterprise.


Racist Roseanne Was Way Off: Valerie Jarrett Hailed from Planet of the Rich

JON JETER—According to the New Republic and several other sources, it was Jarrett who extinguished Obama’s occasional populist impulse, like a firefighter hosing down a small fire. When Obama proclaimed in late 2009 that “I did not run for office to be helping out a bunch of fat-cat bankers” — Jarrett coaxed his political team, led by former Washington advisor David Axelrod, to tone down the inflammatory rhetoric. Said Axelrod in an email to the New Republic: “Valerie viewed Wall Street and the business community as a constituency and was generally uncomfortable with expressions of chastisement toward Wall Street.”


Imperialism and Apocalypse: An Interview with Gerald Horne

GERALD HORNE—”Establishing settler colonialism based on the illicit expropriation of the land of indigenes, accompanied by their enslavement and the accompanying enslavement of illicitly procured Africans perforce must be perpetrated by massive violence, which inexorably engenders a ceaseless cycle of vengeance. Of course, the settlers with their religious zeal felt the land and labor improperly obtained was mandated by the “Almighty,” and those victimized stoutly disagreed, and—arguably—this resultant cycle has yet to be extirpated altogether…”