Rethinking Indentured Servitude in America

Happy Black History Month!

Well, it’s actually April now, though. I planned on writing this weeks ago but for whatever reason, I’d been under the weather.

This website is all about sharing my truths, dreams, and visions of the future in an artistic way and otherwise through poetic expressions. As such, I have a yearning to share these ideals even if they are deemed unwise or ‘controversial’. I’ve been struggling back and forth within myself.

“Do I share this story idea?”

“Is it too weird?”

“What if I get a ton of hate from it?”

“What if no one understands what I was going for?”

Then another voice overpowers the doubt (figuratively, not literally of course) and answers these nagging doubts.

“Yes, share it.”

“No, every story is weird at its core once you give it more thought”

“There will always be internet trolls and agendas to control unharmful freedom of speech and its expression”

“Then keep explaining it until its better and more palpable. Refine your writing, hone your skills, and become the best version of yourself you can muster.”

So, here we are.

Today, I will talk about Indentured Servitude in America. It will not be anything like your 6th grade textbooks that show one illustration of the trans-Atlantic slave trade your grandparents never heard of, one (seemingly photoshopped) “negro auction” poster, or the stunning lack of artifacts cementing this time period – salve an ‘enslaved’ person in a white family’s photo album or two.

And no, we are not going the “slavery was a choice” Kanye route in this exploration. Although on some miniscule level I do see where he was getting at. This is not a denial of slavery, generational inequalities, racism that upholds the capitalistic system, the prison to pipeline, wealth gaps and other societal issues that plague a plethora of melanated people around the globe.

I am not minimizing or erasing any one body’s struggle. I simply don’t think it happened the way it did.

It always interests me, how many of our families came from the South. Most even have stories from the older generation about certain tribes they belonged to – which are written off by the younger generation as “self-hating”.

But then it stops there.

There is no research on the other parties’ vocative concerning the “Out of Africa” Theory. Which at its core, argues that since those with melanin oftentimes share the same features (darker skin, darker textured hair, wider noses) that they all came from Africa so they are indeed African. There is no account for cultural differences, aesthetic differences, even jumbled languages between a people – which all falls under the umbrella of Pan-Africanism.

Again, if you are African by no means this is not an offense.

I’m mainly speaking to the Black Americans who call themselves ADOS (A Descendant of Slaves) proudly without even searching their genealogy.

“Well I descend from a slave, there are no records. I don’t want to read about the family that owned me-“

They’d say, to which I’d reply “the information is there”.

Yes, there were a few choice records that were burned which is unfortunate, but there are things that can tell you if your ancestors arrived on a boat, or otherwise. I will go much deeper into this in later posts, as I am also in the process of researching my roots.

My grandparents always proudly claimed they were indigenous, so that is the knowledge I grew up with.

Despite saying this in during grade school ages and getting teased because I (and to quote) didn’t “look like the Indians in the textbooks”.

Which now that I am older, I’ve learned a lot of those on the reservation are of mixed European/white bloodlines that admit tribal citizenship on phenotype, or the color of your skin or the looser texture of your hair. Then again, the five major tribes were deemed ‘civilized’ because they interbred with the invading colonizers.

I then learned that there are still thousands of tribes that remain federally unrecognized, or state recognized only – that we never hear about.

I know this is not related, but it reminds me of the first time I learned that only one or two varieties of fruit are sold in the supermarket. I went my whole life thinking that there was only one type, to realize that I had been mistaken and just because I was constantly shown one singular fruit, it did not mean that it was the only breed left of its kind.

You’d be surprised what is really out there.

Anyway, before I go on to the core of this article, I would also like to caution against those who would seek DNA tests such as Ancestry, 23andMe, and the like. Those are mainly used for “entertainment purposes” and the companies make a fat check selling your DNA to private companies once it’s done.

Also just think about this: as I have just mentioned, the major five civilized tribes are intermixed with Europeans. The companies are not digging up ancient bones from ‘cursed’ burial sites and gathering data. So that ethnic group would be tested against those now claiming that identity. If there is a sizeable amount of European ancestry, it is not surprising that on the commercials there is always an old white lady claiming she is “30% Native American”.

This is not a conspiracy people, its critical thinking. Just think about that for a second.

But on to my original goal.

So by now, I’m sure you’ve heard Governor Ralph Northam’s comments, right?

During an interview with Gayle King (CBS), the Virginia man stated “Well, it has been a difficult week… If you look at Virginia’s history, we’re now at the 400-year anniversary – just 90 miles from here, in 1619, the first indentured servants from Africa landed on our shores in Old Point Comfort what we call now Fort Monroe and while—”

Keep in mind, the state of Virginia does not have its original boundaries and names of places have been changed over the years. Did a handful of indentured servants from Africa arrive on the shores of Virginia? Probably.

“But Stories From the New World, you just said that slavery was a choice and there were no Africans. Now there were Africans? This is fake news!”

Slow your roll, it’s not. I never denied that Africans did come to this land under whatever sort of contract, and that some of the Black American population today is descended from these individuals. There is nothing wrong with that. My issue is the propagation of the ADOS term (originally found in the depths of hell, otherwise known as ‘the underground’  forum on Lipstick Alley) without any research into your family’s history. The reliance on textbooks from middle and high school when we know that information is false and Eurocentric.

There are even running jokes about the lie that Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492. We know that isn’t true, (you can’t discover a continent full of people) yet it is still being taught this very day. Hell, the Columbus statue in Central Park is routinely vandalized with red paint symbolizing blood.

If you know that isn’t true, or that the Mercator projection of the world map is upside-down nonsense, or the basis for 1900s census reports – why do you prescribe to other bold faced lies? Maybe it’s just me, but certain things in this country’s given history have never sat well within me – thus I never internalized them.

I would also like to touch on one other incident similar to Northam’s comments, a ‘Freudian slip’ if you will.

Also keep in mind regarding Indian citizenship, in the 1900s census reports generally the rule was that unless you lived on a reservation you could not be classified as Indian. The taker was also given authority to use their own judgment during classification. So let’s say your family moved off the reservation to settle elsewhere. The census taker could see your darker skin and classify you as ‘Negro’, or Black. Is your wife of lighter skin? Maybe she would be classified Mulatto. But then the one drop rule kicks in, so your children would all most likely be black.

This is called reclassification.

There was a video clip I watched years ago on YouTube that showed government officials in a closed courtroom speaking. One of the men speaking referred to Black Americans as ‘aboriginals’. I could not remember the name of the video so I did a quick google search and stumbled upon this.

PBS screenshot of Rawls article in question

In 2011, Alabama senator Scott Beason came under fire for referring to “African Americans” as “aborigines”.  Of course, when you do a quick google search of the term ‘aborigine’ the native Australians come up as they have heavily been associated with it. But for humor’s sake, the definition is as follows: “a person, animal, or plant that has been in a country or region from earliest times.”

Beason on his comments and recantation

What is interesting, is that I cannot locate the original source article on BusinessWeek or the AP site. The single most interesting thing, is that when you search the ‘Phillip Rawls’ credited with the “Senator in Ala. probe called blacks ‘aborigines’”, the first article you would find is the Alabama political reporters retirement. 

“Senator in Ala. probe called blacks ‘aborigines'”

And that’s it. Of 38 results, only his name is listed once. The rest are others with either the ‘Phillips’ or ‘Phillip’ surname.

This is not what I was originally looking for, but regardless – where is this article other outlets sourced? Why can I not find it indexed on AP’s website when searching the author’s name and the title of the screenshot article as per the PBS video?

I did, however, find an article by Phillip Rawls where he covers the forced recantation of Beason’s statement. Rawls references the transcripts from the incident caught on a wire in question, but does not allude to the supposed groundbreaking article where he broke the story – the one that is continually quoted and referenced despite not being indexed. There is also no internal link to this infamous article.

Rawls’ recantation article on Beason’s Aborigines comment

I would think the journalist would go to his local or state papers, not the San Diego Union Tribune. Maybe I am missing something, but I will examine this further another day. The fact that another website linking to this phantom article returns a dead 404 page in the age of archiving is enough of a mystery unto its own.

BET decides to cover the ‘issue’ of Black American Aborigines

 I don’t put a lot of stock into this organization, but BET also has the same BusinessWeek link in their 2011 article that does not work.

There was a documentary I watched long ago that focused on the “heritage, not hate” argument for confederate flags and a movement lobbying for re-writing the history books in favor of the Confederacy. Along with the closed courtroom video I mentioned, I would like to locate these pieces of media and expand what was written in this article in a new article at a later date.

The last point of interest I would like to bring up.

It concerns an old book by Zora Neale Hurston. The anthropologist and folklorist went around 1930s Florida and Louisiana capturing and transcribing stories in the person’s native dialect. In Mules and Men, there is a story on page 89- 90 titled “Member Youse a Nigger”.

Ole John the ‘slave’ and Ole Massa save an overturned boat of children because Ole Missy (Ole Massa’s wife) expressed it would be sad to lose them because she’s never going to have more children.

John and Massa take the children into the house and Massa tells his ‘slave’ that if he “make a good crop dat year and fill up de barn” and lay the crops for the following year, he would “set him free”.

So the next year John upholds his end of the bargain, and Massa lets him go despite not wanting to “git rid of a good nigger lak you.”

“So he went in de house and give John one of his old suits of clothes to put on. So John put it on and come in to shake hands and tell ‘em goodbye. De children they cry, and Ole Missy she cry…”

They didn’t want to see John leave. John then has his suit on and assembles a bag of provisions. Ole John starts down the road and Massa tells him that the children love him, he loves him and even his wife likes him. But despite all this – remember “youse a nigger”.

The further John got, the shouts from Massa screaming his love never faded, along with the adage of remembering he was still a nigger.

“Ole Massa kept callin’ ‘im and his voice was pitiful. But John kept right on steppin’ to Canada. He answered Ole Massa every time he called ‘im, but he consumed on wid his bag.”

The first time I read this story, my mind was blown. Given all American children are taught about slavery, being born into slavery, etc. – why would the plantation “master” give a negro slave his best suit, free him and send him on his way with supplies?

Which brings us back full circle to another good ole Southern Freudian slip, this time concerning Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and his recent comments that suggested slaves were indentured servants. Regaling the same main stream media outrage and cries of apology from…the main stream media.

Maybe in our old age our subconscious begins to slip further and further into telling the truth?

Who knows, but either way this is something of note and I wouldn’t be surprised if they try and get this man to retire. This is the second time he has essentially spilled the proverbial beans. But this is my truth, something I prescribe to. I invite you to do your own research on subjects of interest, and to never blindly accept anything you see or hear without your due diligence.

 I’d just like to put this out there, in the hopes that it sparks a chain reaction of research and morally, factual, and socially constructive dialogue on truths long hidden in this country of America.

Is there a difference between indentured servants and slaves? What do you make of these comments concerning the ancestry of Black Americans? Do you remember the stories your grandparents or the older generation told you as a child?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section, I’d love to hear from you! Also, be sure to bookmark this webpage and check back for more content soon! We’ve got some episode reviews coming up in April and the exploration of the Solarpunk theme as well as more Stories From the New World!

⊙ Remember, this world is a shadow of the real one.

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The King Who Was Not Promised

Whew, this Game of Thrones episode was definitely a strong one!

I don’t even know the title of the first season 8 episode, so either HBO really kept things under wraps or I was that successful at avoiding pre-season spoilers. As I type this I fondly think back to the terrible spoilers that leaked and a horrid, fan-fiction riddled season 7 that came into fruition. But I have high hopes for this one; and it is especially bittersweet that this may be the only end to A Song of Ice and Fire we receive, given George RR Martin’s current writing pace.

But enough of that, let’s get into the episode review. Shall we begin?

A few years ago, I had a YouTube channel. It was not very successful, but I had a lot of fun with it. On this channel, I covered many things and I made a video that has since been deleted. It raged on Jon Snow and his absolute and utter stupidity in The Battle of the Bastards. I am sorry to any Jon Snow fans, but I still dislike his character. Heck, after Season 5 of the HBO show I hate a fair amount of characters I love in the books. Arya used to be my favorite show character, until she decided to completely forget herself and take a stroll to smell the sweet Braavosi air with a death cult hunting her. I guess getting a haircut and holding her sword with the wrong hand was more important than living.

I digress.

Sansa Stark still remains my favorite book and show character and I will forever be a Sansa Stark apologist. Say what you will, but that girl survived and has prospered despite hardship. She killed Littlefinger, who pretty much started the War of the Five Kings. Even Daenerys, who I loathe in the show but love in the books is tolerable in the adaptation despite Emilia Clarke’s best efforts to… ’emote’.

But Jon Snow, King in da Norf, Lord Commander, Bastard of Winterfell, then the True Ruler of the Iron Throne, The Seven Kingdoms, etc. I just cannot condone. The show has forgone various Westerosi customs in an effort to pacify the dumbed down masses (or at least that is how they treat their audience) but I simply cannot understand why The Northerners would place a bastard on the throne or make him even Lord of anything when Sansa is the rightful heir. Brandon Stark has decided to become a psychic tree, Rickon is dead (and no one still cares, poor thing), Arya doesn’t want Winterfell anyway and Robb is gone so by birthright it should be Sansa’s. Now Aegon gets the entire realm too?

So with these feelings in consideration, seeing Jon and Dany have a “How to Train Your Dragon” moment where he just hops on Rhaegal had me rolling my eyes. I wanted to die of cringe when the two are randomly dropped off near a cave and Drogon seems to egg on the incest. I can understand the symbolism of the caves in relation to Jon’s past relationship with Ygritte,  and that he rode on Rhaegal which was named for his father, Rhaegar – but C’mon!

Dany (at least in the books) grew up hearing stories from Viserys before he inherited the Targaryen madness. Surely he would have told his sweet sister that only the bloodline could “wake the dragon” or get near one.

Dany even brings up these stories in the teaser for episode 2 when Jaime is seemingly put on trial for his crimes. Unless, this is being retconned now that Tyrion had contact with the dragons while in Meereen. Or, Tyrion is a secret Targaryen, and Varys a Blackfyre as theories suggest. Either way, I hated that sequence.

I also remain unsure of what exactly Euron Greyjoy’s endgame is. Euron told Yara he wanted to “fuck the Queen” and he somehow manipulated Cersei into bed. Cersei then strategically strokes his ego by implying he was a great lover, much better than her twin brother. The illegitimate Queen then tasks Bronn the sellsword with killing Tyrion and his new best friend, Jaime Lannister.

The terrible thing is, I think Bronn might actually do it.

Yes, he did show loyalty to Jaime during the Field of Fire in season 7 when he forewent his bag of gold to try and kill Drogon with the anti-dragon ballista. The mercenary has shown loyalty to Jaime, but that love was lost on the younger brother Tyrion. He would kill Tyrion as he has nothing more to gain from the Imp. Last season, he made his stance clear on where he stood before the culmination of the silly “let’s show Cersei a wight and maybe she’ll help us” plotline.

It will be interesting to see what his ultimate choice is.

Heading North once more, Jon and Arya’s reunion was not what I expected. Obviously, Jon does not realize that his little sister is a member of a death cult who kept a list of names to kill as a lullaby over the years.

Jon also does not realize that Arya and Sansa are closer now that Littlefinger is dead. Because Jon Snow knows nothing. I did not expect Arya to threaten him in a way reminiscent of Cersei threatening Jaimie if he ever betrayed the family.

Could Arya have it in her to kill her dear brother?

And where is Ghost? Does the budget still not allow the direwolf to show his face?

Arya had two other fateful reunions simultaneously with the Hound and Gendry Rivers. The conversation with the Hound went as expected – there were unsaid emotions that spilled into insults and empty words. That is how those two always communicated, insulting one another while hiding their wounds. I think Sandor is proud of Arya and her survival. I guess we got his real emotions when Brienne informed him last season that Arya found her way home, and that she was strong.

The conversation with Gendry was everything to me. He even called her m’lady, which was a throwback to their time with the Brotherhood without Banners. And Arya…flirted with Gendry? I know the age difference is sizeable in the books, but in the show I desperately want Arya to find happiness even if it’s temporary. Before anyone says it no, she does not need a man to make her happy. But those two had something all those years back, and as Arya wanted Gendry did end up coming to work in Winterfell. Which technically makes her his lady. I think that’s pretty neat.

I do wonder what schematic Arya handed him, as she already has a  Valyrian steel dagger. A dragonglass dagger would never compare. Maybe she has other plans? Did her creepy psychic tree brother whisper something in her ear about possibly needing one without giving a reason?

The shift in Brandon Stark from touching that last weirwood to entering Winterfell was jarring. The Three-Eyed Raven completely took over his personality out of nowhere, although Meera does lend some explanation. Bran died in that cave beyond the wall with Summer, although we didn’t see these effects until he arrived back home. It can also be pointed out that Bran showed emotion while hugging every sibling except Sansa. If I believed in Dan and Dave’s abilities to foreshadow I would think that actually meant something and wouldn’t just chalk it up to bad writing.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this show. I just can’t ignore poor plot points and characterization that apparently changes each episode.

I would like to touch on Sam Tarly and the beginning of dissent in Jon towards Daenerys. Samwell is Jon’s best friend, and Jon’s new woman murdered House Tarly. On top of that, the man formerly known as King in da Norf finds out House Glover has betrayed them and that he’s been banging his Aunt. While I enjoy consequences for his stupid actions, I hate that the others have to suffer because of it. Sansa rightfully pointed out that she does not have enough resources to feed these massive armies, and had Dany not burned those supplies on the Field of Fire last season she could have brought those along to Winterfell.

All of this poor planning is going to bite Jon Snow in the ass, and may result in Arya turning against him. I would like to see Dany’s reaction to this news. I’m sure she doesn’t mind that they are related, after all she was supposed to wed Viserys. Had Viserys been born a girl, he would have wed Rhaegar. The Targaryen’s love keeping it in the family, but Dany does not want a challenge of authority. Rightfully so, despite Sam painting her out to be a heartless villain who would not give up her crown to save the realm.

Jon’s “selflessness” has gotten him killed once, and almost again during the Battle of the Bastards. Jon is reckless and blinded by the same honor that got Ned killed. This was not the excellent argument I’m sure Samwell thought it was. Regents need to be selfish in order to preserve what they already have.

Sacrifices must be made, sure – but when the costs are weighed and correct. If little Lyanna Mormont told Jon she needed to pick an apple he would take off his crown, use it as a lasso, and hand the fruit to her. If Dany were presented the same situation, she would strategize for her subjects to work together and secure all the fruit on the tree. Bad analogy aside, Jon lacks the foresight and tactic necessary for leadership.

That is what got him killed.

No one doubts his love of the people or the passion for his causes, but Jon is so laser-focused on singular goals that he forgets the rest of the world exists. He assumes his honor weighs the same as everyone else’s, and that they will see his point of view naturally.

Sansa tried to tell Jon that the North would not wait for him to return, and they did not.  Even after returning back to Winterfell, Jon fails to see the error of his ways. When Arya points out that Sansa is smart, he laughs it off. Tyrion points out Sansa’s intelligence as well, to which she tells Tyrion that she used to think highly of him.

The power dynamics have changed, the students have become the masters. Jon fails to realize this, he fails to adapt and that is why he does not deserve the Iron Throne.

This was a great first episode back, and I would love to see Bran’s reaction to seeing Jaime again. Well, let’s be honest, he probably has no reaction…but the King Slayer will! It should be glorious.

What was your favorite moment of the episode? Do you think Bronn will kill the Lannister Brothers? In your opinion, where does Jon really stand in Westerosi politics? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you! Also be sure to bookmark this page and return next Sunday for another Game of Thrones Season 8 episode review!

This World is a Shadow of the Real One.

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Uneasy Changes to Your Identity Come 2020

In a few days, I will have a birthday coming up. With my license due to expire, I recently took a trip to the DMV for a renewal. There I learned about new NYS IDs that will be federally mandated come next year in 2020.

So, taken from the New York State website, here is information about the Real and Enhanced IDs.

ENHANCED

An Enhanced license, permit, or non-driver ID can be used

  • to board a domestic flight (within the U.S.)
  • to enter a federal building or military base
  • to cross a U.S. border coming from Canada, Mexico, and some Caribbean countries (it is not acceptable for air travel between these countries)
  • for photo identification purposes

REAL ID

A REAL ID license, permit, or non-driver ID can be used

  • to board a domestic flight (within the U.S.)
  • to enter a federal building or military base
  • for photo identification purposes 

The older identification cards are being phased out in accordance to new state mandates. I remember thinking it was odd that Enhanced IDs specifically aid in the crossing of the U.S. border, but didn’t put much stock in it at the time. The DMV was extremely crowded and even though I made an appointment online, things were moving at a snail’s pace.

I plan on getting my passport within the next two months due to an upcoming planned trip abroad. I figured an extra $30 for this specific ID would be helpful during road travels. Since the standard license, permits, and non-driver cards would no longer be valid to board a domestic flight or enter government buildings.

Nothing else was mentioned about the identification after my barrage of questions to the staff, so just assumed it was the same card with an added American flag icon.

I was required to take a new photo (which I had to pay for even though I didn’t make the request), and two additional photos were taken of me. I don’t know where these went, but I assume into some sort of shady database that thrives on non-transparency.

Today the new document arrived in the mail and surprise, it has an RFID chip inside of it! The same monitoring equipment used on DVDs and electronics in stores to prevent theft.

The document even came with a flimsy RFID blocker.

The card is noticeably heavier and has a jumble of numbers on the backside along with my full name. I tried searching online but not much information popped up save articles from 2015 speculating the program’s implementation.

I’ve read that one reason for the chip is to expedite the work of Homeland Border Security agents but I honestly feel like that is bullshit. I understand that field is particularly difficult (given recent years and a rise in terrorism-domestic or otherwise -) but I don’t enjoy having something in my pocket that can ping, store, and record my information or location.

The simple fact that I now have to be wary of remote skimming techniques not only on what I spend through credit cards, but now my actual being really infuriates me. I will also now have to invest in RFID blockers for a new wallet because that flimsy piece of paper given by the gov isn’t doing jack.

If RFID hackers are able to easily acquire credit card information, how does that translate to my literal identity? Any why is something like this mandatory? Why will it suddenly be more difficult to enter and leave the country in 2020?

If you have any thoughts, please leave them in the comment section below – I’d love to hear from you!

Let me know if your state plans on rolling this new “feature” out, and if so is it optional or mandatory.

Stories From the New World

Remember, This world is a shadow of the real one.

Previous Post: Welcome to the New World

Fun reading for you kitties: Build your own Universal RFID Key

Welcome to Stories From the New World

What do you see when you envision this world’s future?

Is it all gloom and doom, of the dystopian lot? Or is it something much, much greater?

I envision the future as green, with great trees that snake their way into the heavens high above. I dream of streams that run clear and air that tastes as crisp as the sun’s rays on your flesh during a warm, summer day.

I dream of hiking over mountains that come alive with breath at night. Entrances into this world’s secrets filled with hidden occult knowledge of the eons.

I dream of space and its inhabitants, lumbering but sage.

I’ve walked amongst biometric gardens on the moon and felt the warm rays of the sun. The radiation sending the hairs on my skin into a satisfying frenzy.

I’ve flown through time and space and back beyond once more.

I’ve become immortal, in tune with the primordial beings of this earth.

I am free because I have been released of my earthly body’s constraints.

And I love in harmony.

And I live on harmony.

And I live in harmony.

I don’t envision the gloom and doom of dystopian science fiction in our collective nonlinear timelines.

 I see hope, growth and prosperity.

Ancient wonders run about, mingling with our prospective realities.

So this will be what this website is about, and this is the purpose of Stories from the New World.

To bring an alternative solution to the climate situation, while offering elucidation for a new beginning.

Welcome to Stories from the New World!

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