The DC Voice

The Last Plantation

The events of the past month should make it clear that D.C.’s demand for statehood is more than just a slogan or rallying cry. It’s an existential reality that President Donald Trump laid bare to the world that 700,000 US citizens live at the whim of the federal government. When federal troops were unleashed on citizens, peacefully protesting in front of the White House, also known as The People’s House, it should have been clear that the predominantly Black, Nation’s Capitol, is indeed the last American plantation.

As troops rolled into the district joining the multitude of law enforcement alphabet soup already on guard it was clear that,  we the people of the District, were being used as pawns in a president’s attempt to flex his supposed “law and order” authority. The reality is that he was more likely trying to debunk the images of him hunkered down in the White House bunker as the throngs of “violent protestors raged at the doors of the White House.”  The District has hosted all manner of protest ranging from the most benign to those bent on bringing disruption to the city. Everybody knows…..I mean everybody knows the White House is off-limits. Even though, this is the first time that some of the statues on the mall weren’t spared, attacking the White House is a different story. So, exercising his executive power in a majority-Black city, with a Black female mayor wasn’t lost on the citizens of DC. Even those who are not Mayor Muriel Bowser supporters.

As a native Washingtonian, old enough to remember the ’68 riots where national guard stood at the ready with M-16 rifles and helicopters landing in odd places – there’s never been a display of military control for a protest that even at its height didn’t demand federal troops. It was nothing more than the slave master mentality. Let me show these n****s who’s in charge.

If you think the comparison of the Nation’s Capitol to a plantation is extreme, consider the following from the DC Fiscal Policy Institute:

  • Black residents are seven times as likely as white residents to be unemployed, despite actively looking for work, which cannot be attributed to differences in education or skills-training alone.
  • Vast racial wealth differences cannot be explained by education, employment, or income alone.
  • Black workers are more likely to work jobs that require manual labor and pay lower wages than white workers, such as cashiers, janitors and building cleaners.
  • The Black median household income in DC is $45,200 and has not improved over the past decade, while the median household income for white households is more than three times higher at $142,500 and growing.
  • Black workers have fewer benefits such as health insurance, paid leave, and employer-provided retirement contributions than white workers. White working parents are far more likely to receive health insurance, as well as a pension or retirement plan, through an employer or union, than Black working parents.
  • Black entrepreneurs face greater obstacles to accessing capital than white entrepreneurs which further exacerbates the wealth gap. The average business value (measured in annual revenue) of Black-owned businesses is $125,371, just one-seventh of the average value of white-owned businesses.

The report goes on to state that “The place now known as the District of Columbia was established as a slave capital in 1790 on land seized violently from the Nanticoke and Piscataway peoples by English colonizers. City commissioners immediately needed labor to construct the city so they forced enslaved Black people to labor from sunrise to sunset to clear the physical landscape that would support federal buildings, public squares and the local population. Enslaved Black people further made up about half of the workers used to build the White House and the Capitol. Enslaved Black women primarily were forced into domestic service, taking care of the homes and children of white people.”

Finally, do you really think it’s a coincidence the White House sits pretty much like the “big house” on a plantation? The images below are a stunning comparison of the White House to Nottoway Plantation, in White Castle Louisiana. Nottoway Plantation House is one of the largest plantations in the south. In fact, they are approximately the same size in square footage; 55,000 sq ft and 53,00 sq ft respectively. You decide.

White House – Top row
Nottoway Plantation House – Bottom row

 

The DC Voice

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The walls and alleys in DC are adorned with colorful and interesting displays of the artistic, historic, and often colorful richness of the nation's capital. We feature these works of art as backgrounds for The DC Voice web site. Hopefully, it brings further recognition to those artists!

This month's image is one of my favorites and one of three that adorns North Capitol & Florida Avenues NW.

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