Welcome to Earthcolony.net – The Killing of Michael McDonald – By Wayne Johnson, Attorney – Political Economist

This is an interesting article I would love to share with our readers.  Quite often you hear people say what is wrong with Black people?  They have been here in the United States since before the establishment of these United States and they are not able to build thriving economic centers as have others who have recently arrived.  

These sorts of acts, those described below,  are why Black people have been here so long, since the inception of the United States, and have not been able to reach their true potential. 

I submit to those of you who believe Blacks are inferior, what would you do if you and your family were subject to this sort of punishment just for your status?  Would you be able to concentrate in school?  What if the people in this country were more cruel to you than those you fled from in your own country?  Would you be able to build a thriving business if so many neighbors were members of or open supporters of a Klan bent on destroying all that you are, all that you built? 

Not only was justice delayed in most cases, it was denied.  Please absorb the words, but also, for a moment just place yourself in Michael McDonald’s shoes, and those of his friends and family.

After Michael McDonald’s senseless and brutal killing, Ku Klux Klan members created cruel caricatures depicting his lynching.


Fortunately, Michael McDonald’s family, with the assistance of well prepared attorneys was able to bankrupt the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama, which led to many other Klan Chapters across the country closing shop or going underground, not longer openly advocating death and destruction to Black people.

You often hear stories of survivors, of heroes, and of courage under fire.  When your life is on the line because it is threatened by overconfident and crazed “Klansmen” who had traditionally been protected by public officials and law enforcement officers fighting back is true courage and fearlessness.

The Lynching of Michael McDonald, as recounted by John Simkin


Michael McDonald – lynching




“Michael Donald was born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1962. He attending a local trade school and worked part-time at the Mobile Press Register.



In 1981 the trial of Josephus Andersonan, an African American charged with the murder of a white policeman, took place in Mobile. At the end of the case the jury was unable to reach a verdict. This upset members of the Ku Klux Klan who believed that the reason for this was that some members of the jury were African Americans. At a meeting held after the trial, Bennie Hays, the second-highest ranking official in the Klan in Alabama said: “If a black man can get away with killing a white man, we ought to be able to get away with killing a black man.”


On Saturday 21st March, 1981, Bennie Hays’s son, Henry Hays, and James Knowles, decided they would get revenge for the failure of the courts to convict the man for killing a policeman. They travelled around Mobile in their car until they found nineteen year old Donald walking home. After forcing him into the car Donald was taken into the next county where he was lynched.


A brief investigation took place and eventually the local police claimed that Donald had been murdered as a result of a disagreement over a drugs deal. Donald’s mother, Beulah Mae Donald, who knew that her son was not involved with drugs, was determined to obtain justice. She contacted Jesse Jackson who came to Mobile and led a protest march about the failed police investigation.


Thomas Figures, the assistant United States attorney in Mobile, managed to persuade the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to look into the case. James Bodman was sent to Mobile and it did not take him long to persuade James Knowles to confess to the killing of Michael Donald.





In June 1983, Knowles was found guilty of violating Donald’s civil rights and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Six months later, when Henry Hays was tried for murder, Knowles appeared as chief prosecution witness. Hays was found guilty and sentenced to death.


With the support of Morris Dees and Joseph J. Levin at the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC), Beulah Mae Donald decided that she would use this case to try and destroy the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama. Her civil suit against the United Klans of America took place in February 1987. The all-white jury found the Klan responsible for the lynching of Michael Donald and ordered it to pay 7 million dollars. This resulted the Klan having to hand over all its assets including its national headquarters in Tuscaloosa.


After a long-drawn out legal struggle, Henry Hayes was executed on 6th June, 1997. It was the first time a white man had been executed in Alabama for a crime against an African American since 1913.


(1) The trial of James Knowles in June, 1983.


James Knowles: I’ve lost my family. I’ve got people after me now. Everything I said is true. I was acting as a Klansman when I done this. And I hope people learn from my mistake. I do hope you decide a judgement against me and everyone else involved. (Turning towards Beulah Mae Donald.) I can’t bring your son back. God knows if I could trade places with him, I would. I can’t. Whatever it takes – I have nothing. But I will have to do it. And if it takes me the rest of my life to pay it, any comfort it may bring, I hope it will.


Beulah Mae Donald: I do forgive you. From the day I found out who you all was, I asked God to take care of you all, and he has.


(2) Jesse KornBluth, A Mother’s Justice, the Sunday Times (31st January, 1988)


From its new headquarters the SPLC undertook in 1984 its biggest anti-Klan project – using Mrs Donald’s civil suit to dismantle Robert Shelton’s branch of the Klan. Sheldon’s men had been involved in the beating of Freedom Riders at the Birmingham bus station in 1961, in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham in 1963 and in the shooting of Viola Liuzzo near Selma in 1965.


(3) Frances Coleman, Mobile Register (1st June, 1997)


June 6 will be a sad day for Alabamians, whether their skins are white, black or brown. On that day — the previous night, really, at 12:01 a.m. — the state of Alabama will electrocute Henry Francis Hays for beating a black man to death 16 years ago, and then hanging his body from a tree.


The execution will rip the scab from the old, deep, nasty wound of racism, which in the 20th-century South alternately heals and festers. It will fester again this week as residents of the Heart of Dixie re-live the brutal death of 19-year-old Michael Donald.


It is a story of contrasts: The murderer, a white man, grew up in a home filled with hate and violence. The victim was reared by a loving mother and doting older siblings.


Henry Hays knew what he was about that night, when he and a friend set out to kill a black man. Michael Donald, on the other hand, was innocently walking up the street on a spring evening in Mobile to buy some cigarettes, when fate delivered him into the white men’s hands.


Most vivid, though, is the contrast between fiction and reality. Michael Donald was murdered – beaten to death with a tree limb – not in the 1930s or ’40s, even in the 1960s, but in 1981. Such things weren’t supposed to happen almost 30 years after the Supreme Court declared “separate but equal” unconstitutional, and nearly 20 years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


Nor were they supposed to happen in Mobile, which in the 1960s had somehow managed to avoid the racial violence that erupted in Selma and Birmingham.


Black men kidnapped and beaten, their bodies strung up in a tree? That was something that happened on the dark back roads of Dallas County or over in the Mississippi Delta, not in Alabama’s second-largest city.


But hate crimes aren’t constrained by time, place or suppositions. The reality is that Michael Donald died just 16 years ago at the hands of two Ku Klux Klansmen. So what if his death came years after lynchings were supposed to have ceased, and in a place not known for such things?


Barely out of childhood, he was a tragic, latter-day victim of a time when it was safer to be white – when to be a black girl or woman was to invite sexual violence, and to be a black boy or man was to evoke daily disrespect, laced always with the potential for a fatal confrontation.


In the early hours of Friday morning, Henry Hays will pay for ending Michael Donald’s life that day in 1981. He claims that he is innocent – death row residents generally say that – but the evidence shows otherwise. Yet Hays is also a victim, albeit in a much different way than Donald.


Reared by an abusive father who beat his sons mercilessly, he was steered into a life of brutality and hate – a life that one day included membership in the KKK. Hays learned little about love and less about tolerance.


Death penalty advocates tout execution as a deterrent to crime, and maybe it is in some respects. Henry Hays’ death, though, will serve mostly as a sad commentary on a society that in 1997 – less than three years from the turn of the century – is having to electrocute a man for murdering another man, solely because of the color of his skin.”


I say it is time for the Black man to rise.  Be strong.  Do something.  Go to school.  Learn something that you can teach your children.  Start a business.  Hire a Black man.  Treat him fairly.  Be successful.  Reject the temptation to engage in Black on Black crime.  Develop a positive message.  Pass it on.



Welcome To Earthcolony.net – An Ugly Truth Of American History, By Wayne Johnson, Attorney, Political-Economist

Below  is a newspaper article on which I’d like to comment.


Before I reproduce the article, I just want to say I am somewhat familiar with John F Kennedy.  I have considered the conspiracy theories surrounding his death.  I also know that he needed the votes of Black people to become President of the United States.  I also know that the country was involved in a war and that there was civil unrest and protests taking place around the world.   President Kennedy did not want to really challenge the system, yet he was forced to do so to become elected.


I do know some of the things I have read about him were not necessarily flattering,  I do have an opinion on whether he was benevolent or an advocate of civil rights, or even a true friend to Black people.  I will say that his polices; however, he defined them, probably caused him to be viewed unfavorably by many Whites and some may say cost him his life.


This article is not about the President or whether his Presidency would have made a huge difference for Blacks.  I suppose one could argue that his death inspired Black people to stand up for themselves because they then realized the Calvary was not coming to save them.


One could also argue that his death caused a major rift between Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad over Malcolm X’s “Chicken’s coming home to roost comment.”


However, this article is about reflection.  For those of you who did not remember, or did not know, this article describes how many Whites viewed Black people and the disrespect that many suffered who are still alive today.  This is not a tale of 400 years ago, but just about 50 years.  Read on and digest the mentality of that era, and consider the pain of the Blacks who endured.


“Spencer Haywood on Kennedy assassination



Spencer Haywood, 19 years old in 1968, was a caddie at a white Mississippi country club when Kennedy was slain. Photo: Associated Press

Hang with me, if you will, for one last Kennedy assassination-day memory.

It’s an ugly glimpse, but it shows – I hope – the progress made in 50 years.

Spencer Haywood would become an Olympic basketball hero, then a superstar in the old ABA and then the NBA. But on Nov. 22, 1963, “Weedie” Haywood was a 14-year old in tiny Silver City, Miss.

Haywood was picking cotton by age 8, spurred on by the overseer’s belt. He played basketball barefoot, on dirt, until high school.

To escape the cotton fields, Haywood caddied at the Humphries County Country Club, seven holes hacked out of the woods. The club members were white, the caddies were black. A caddie’s mistake might get corrected by a smack across the face or a kick in the butt.

Sometimes the members would line up caddies on the driving range, 40 yards from the tees, and take target practice. Haywood was too quick, but he carried a couple of his wounded pals home.

On 11-22-63, Willie, the Uncle Tom caddie master, burst into the caddie shack, crowing, “Well, now you n-s are gonna be in the barn for good! They got him! They shot Kennedy dead in Dallas.”

Haywood knew nothing of politics and little of the civil rights movement, but he knew the whites hated John Kennedy. When the club’s cook, a black woman, staggered out of the kitchen sobbing, Haywood got the picture.

“Several of the club members ran out of the clubhouse like the place was on fire, yelling and yahooing,” Haywood wrote in his autobiography, co-authored 20 years ago by yours truly. “A few of them whipped out rifles and handguns and fired off shots into the air.”

A party broke out. One golfer slapped Haywood’s back.

“We got him, Weedie. We got him good, didn’t we, boy?”

Haywood, a Basketball Hall of Fame candidate, said Friday’s anniversary brought it all back.

“A lot of hope went down that day,” Haywood said when I phoned him. “I thought I was going to be a slave forever.”

Now Haywood’s handicap is a number, not a color.”

Welcome To EarthColony.Net: YOUR TIME HAS RUN OUT, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

On March 11, 2011 a 9.0 magnitude earth quake hit Tohoku, Japan.  It was followed by a Tsunami.  The Tsunami was 14 meters (32 feet) high.  The death toll was 15,883 persons plus 2,651 missing persons.


The earth quake was related to a great under ocean trench in the Pacific.  That trench is a dividing line between continents.  At the bottom of the trench there is a process which is called subduction.

japan trench article

Subduction is a process whereby the sea floor slides down beneath the mantle and then into the molten outer core of the earth carrying everything down and under with it to be recycled. This process spans millions of years.  It is part of the mechanical movements of tectonic plates on which the continents float about.

 Japan rift 2

Earth quakes are the effect of the friction caused by the oppositional movement and collision of tectonic plates and the great cracks running along the crust and mantle of the earth. The Pacific Rim is called the ‘Ring of Fire’ because of the high probability of volcanic and earth quake activity along it at all times.  Japan is a set of islands situated along the Ring of Fire.


Ironically, the government of Japan allowed a company called TEPCO and GE (General Electric) to build a nuclear power facility at Fukushima Daiichi.  This, Japan allowed, even though it is the only nation whose people have suffered a direct explosion and the radioactive collateral effects of atomic bombs being dropped on them during World War II.


The earth quake and tsunami caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to go into melt down.  As a consequence since 2011 radioactive water from the reactors have been spilling into the air and ocean.  The amount of radioactive water spilling into the ocean has been measured at about 300 tons per day.  The amount spewing into the air has been measured at over 200 on the radioactive scale.


Through both of these avenues dangerous levels of cesium-137, Iodine-131, and Strontium-90 are getting into the food chain.  Over time, the amount of radioactive material will increase in both the ocean and air. Those radioactive materials damage human bones, muscles, and thyroids. Medical experts have reported a 40% increase in damaged thyroids among the children of Fukushima.


Cancer rates are up among the Japanese people who were exposed to the radioactive fallout, too.  I leave it to you to do further research on that problem.  I want to address a bigger problem which will happen and for which you and the world are not prepared and cannot prepare to handle.


Very soon there will be another earth quake at or above a 7.0 magnitude near Tohoku, Japan.  It will cause the nuclear rods in the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant to touch.  That will then trigger a nuclear reaction called fission.  It will cause a global crisis the likes of which no life on this planet has ever faced.  It will mark the end of mammalian (human) life on this planet.  Let me explain why.

 the water

First let’s analyze what will happen in the ocean.  See the picture above? The amount of radiation leakage into the ocean off the coast of Japan will increase by multiples of greater than 10.  It will cause an already radioactively contaminated area around Japan to spread throughout the Pacific Ocean.


The first animals to die en mass will be the phytoplankton.  Since microscopic animals called phytoplankton are the base of the ocean food chain, a domino effect will be triggered up the food chain causing food shortage and starvation of small and then large species including whales.  Dead sea life will wash ashore by the trillions causing a stench that will drift inland hundreds of miles.


Then things begin to get even worse.  The radioactive contamination will slowly spread to every ocean and sea in the world.  Dead zones will spread and eventually engulf the world’s oceans and seas.  The domino effect eventually hits human populations because the extinction of sea life eliminates a vital source of protein for human beings and birds.  People will panic out of fear.  Then people will begin to die by the millions.  The old, those impaired and/or ill, and babies will die first, then those technologically undeveloped or unskilled.  Lastly, Black people, and those without weapons for self defense will die or be killed. People will commit suicide by the millions. Insanity will be the new norm.


Because of the contaminated ocean water billions of people will begin to migrate inland. Populations will collide and be crushed together.  Competition and the ensuing conflict between nations and individuals over land, animals, and crops will increase thus causing more millions of human deaths at the hands of other humans.  But the horror will increase yet again as the human predicament will then take a turn for the worse.


There will be a massive problem of human waste. Contaminated dead animal and human bodies will lay unburied everywhere along with human feces and will cause the spread of disease.  Everywhere, swarms of flies as thick as clouds will engulf whole towns. People will eat dogs and dogs and insects will prey upon people.  And this shall not be the worst of our problems.



Drinking water which for so long we have taken for granted will diminish.  The global hydrologic system is well known.  Due to heat, water evaporates from the oceans and seas leaving its salt content in the ocean.  The vapor rising into the air is condensed and form clouds.  Those clouds are pushed by the currents of wind. They are then affected by temperature thus causing snow, rain, or hail to fall to the ground.


That fallen water is our only source of fresh water.  However, because of radioactive contamination continually leaking out of the nuclear reactors the fresh water will become contaminated also.  Within a few months, plants, insects, and mammals will begin to die from dehydration and or radioactive poisoning. The entire base of the human food chain will be destroyed. The fighting and killing between nations will increase geometrically as governments become dysfunctional or completely collapse.



Underground aquifers which have built up over millions of years will then become the prize possession of ruthless gang lords. They are situated more on some continents than on others. That will push their value up. You can see that the big fight will be in Africa. The gangs alone will possess the drilling equipment now owned by the oil companies to access underground water and they will possess unimaginably destructive weapons to control the aquifers.  There will be no more governments.


air fukushima_radiation_nuclear_fallout_map 

Those humans who survive will live around underground aquifers eating what packaged foods remain until it, too, is all depleted.  They will live in caves to avoid radioactively contaminated air, dust, and rain.  But they must breathe air and they will.  And so, eventually horrific cancers will eat away at their bodies.  There will be no medical infrastructure, nor medical experts to give aid, nor morphine to relieve their pain.

After 265 million years of evolutionary twists, turns, and interventions, in a last rite of savagery those last survivors will resort to cannibalism.  Finally, the last human being will eat the other last human being in a metaphorical twist on the very problem which confronts us today. That problem is the unsolvable problem of human nature; those murdering beasts who cannot stop killing to avoid killing themselves.


We were never the best that we thought ourselves to be, but we were the very worst that we so artfully covered over in the guise of civil life. So from space this old planet will look inviting. It will cast itself earthen brown and blue with fluffy white clouds, but it will be a dead planet for millions if not a billion years.  And if there are any survivors those survivors will be insects which evolve and perhaps play the game again but perhaps making better choices.


And what might you ask of the zoo keepers?  Ahhh, they will continue to watch and again place their bets.  For whatever intelligence does evolve to rise up from among the bugs will in time discover the same physics to play with again.














Welcome to EarthColony.Net; From the Syllabus of Malcolm X: “TO SLEEP; PERCHANCE TO DREAM”, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

Perchance to dream

Nothing prepares a person for the kind of noise generated in a prison.  It is insidious.  It is counter-rhythmic noise. There is endless mindless chatter of hundreds of convicts. The slamming of cell doors, clanking and scrapping of metallic cups, utensils, and trays along the surface of metallic tables batter one’s ears and shock the mind.  There is no pattern to it.  No tempo, no beginning nor end and inescapable.


It was always the first challenge for Malcolm. To surmount it by coping with in some way the continuous stream of undirected outbursts, belches, farts, coughs, screams, and laughter. They invaded his zone of privacy; a zone of privacy not defined by space but defined by thoughts alone or simply defined by the antithesis of thought,- not thinking at all.  All of that and the ever present ringing of a jailer’s keys coupled with their shouts for ‘count’ evoke visceral tension that simply burns and twists one’s gut into ever smaller knots. 


But sometimes on stormy nights there’d be flashes of lightening coupled with the sound of thunder and rain drops splattering onto those same objects of yesterday’s mangled noise though now commanding dead silence in everyone everywhere. 


On such a night, they’d lay frozen as if out of time and in moments of utter focus would realize how estranged their lives were in their little cells set within a cell block in an isolated prison. How could it be possible for a man to be so alone?  And what exists in part or in whole that can inflate his spirit with the fullness of life so that he could feel life and live again? Malcolm must be thrown into a corner with no way out to face his fear of love.


Malcolm had never really ever loved a woman.  He had even lost his bond to his mother when he was a child. And so, on nights with deep and penetrating rolls of thunder claps, he too, would lay in his bunk silent.  He’d lay there with his eyes staring upward to the ceiling rolling on a stream of thoughts; those thoughts would be his pathway to dreams. Then, suddenly, by the flick of a switch lights were out everywhere and he was covered by a blanket of darkness.


Now, there were no counter-rhythmic sounds to short circuit his feelings.  Wood and metal objects in relation to rain drops would trigger pleasurable and calm feelings from his inner most self. Those same sounds now would tickle him.


There was nothing now but those natural rhythmic sounds made by nature and inducing him to think on big questions.  And so he would.   Why, he would think, had he never loved a woman and whether he would ever love, or even if he’d be capable of trusting and loving a women. But certainly not there in his cell or cell block or on a prison yard.


Eventually, and on his path of thoughts, sleep would carry Malcolm away. They would carry him far away from his cell.  On that rare night and in peaceful sleep he would ride his stream of consciousness into his own dreamscape fashioned by his hopes, his dreams, and his desires. Therein he would find his answers which during his waking consciousness could not be discovered. 

Scene 1, Act 1: Dream Garden


Silently Malcolm walked in and about his garden.  Plush green trees and bright colorful plants lay along the way on either side as he strolled along.  In the distance he could see a small lagoon with crystal clear water. He looked ahead and down the brown pathway and saw what he thought was the figure of a woman. 


Malcolm: Hey, who are you?

Staring at Malcolm, the woman said nothing.

Woman: humming and smelling a flower.

Malcolm stared at her.  From what he could see she was naked. She must have been about 24 years of age. She looked up at him and smiled. Her teeth were pearl white; her eyes were dark brown and clear. Her lips together were plush; her skin was shimmering silken dark. There was not a shade of sadness or worldliness in her gaze. 


She was sitting on the edge of a fallen tree trunk.  Malcolm sat down beside her and looked at her silently.


Malcolm lifted his hand and touched her hair. Closing his eyes he put his fingers on her hair and squeezed, he could feel between his fingers her soft radiant and spongy hair.  


Malcolm: This is so real…who are you? Do you have a name?


The Woman looking in Malcolm’s eyes: Yes, Malcolm I have a name.


Malcolm: What is it?


Woman: giggling…


Woman: Malcolm you can’t know a woman’s name until you can reveal to her your poetry.

Malcolm looking puzzled.


Malcolm: I’m not a poet. I’ve never been…I’m not a very good speaker either but why should that stop me from knowing your name?


Women: Malcolm have you ever loved a woman?


Malcolm looking down,


Malcolm: I, I…no.  I haven’t had time to love a woman..


Woman smiling: Malcolm I need your poetry.


Malcolm stood up and looked away with his head down.  The Woman stands up and steps behind him. She is slightly taller than Malcolm. Her form perfectly proportioned. She gently put her hands upon his back. Malcolm turned around and faced her.  His composure became relaxed.


Suddenly the woman reached behind Malcolm’s head with her two hands and thrust his face into her chest burying it into her bosom.  Then with her lips pressed solidly against his ear she screamed into his ear with tears streaming from her eyes onto his cheeks and onto her breasts. 


Woman: Give to me your poetry! Give to me your poetry! I need your poetry! I want to live too.


Malcolm could not break free from her hold; he could not breathe. Then as suddenly as she had grabbed him she let him go.  Once released Malcolm fell to his knees before her grasping for his breathe. 


Malcolm’s eyes were glazed as he looked up at her. A flood of images surfaced from some deep subconscious place in his mind painting upon his consciousness as if it were a canvass a montage of images moving in kaleidoscopic patterns.  He then with the utter loss of his power of control yielded to a deep evocation of some undiscovered part of himself and said:



Upon the verdure of our garden lies crystal due,

Permeating the souls of our feet,

Cooling them from the flowing motion of desire,

As golden ice plants entwine about our ankles,

Locking us in eternal love;

Can I love you?

 As I loved you in Egypt,

Can I prove my love with monuments reflecting the glory of Eternity?

Can I build a river like the Nile?

To designate that space cannot sever our tie,

nor is there distance separating us;

And time will not vanquish the image that our moment in the garden has cast.

Every flower gives scent,

And the bees, the music of their solemn buzz,

They shall play for the union in our garden.

And the distant stars shall alight with splendor,

Because we loved,

And cast our image to co-mingle with other images of different hues throughout all Eternity.


The woman looked into Malcolm’s eyes and they fixed in gaze each onto the other she said to him: this love shall always be in you.  And my love will be fulfilled by you Malcolm because I am known as Hathor.  I shall wait for you Malcolm on the bank of the river under the weeping willow tree.


Malcolm opened his eyes. The storm had long passed. He could hear jingling keys down the cell block hallway.  The turn key yelled: count time.

























Slave Patrols, The Precursor to The Modern Day Police – By Wayne Johnson, Political-Economist, Attorney

Random violence plagues cities in the United States. Yesterday, In an incident about which details are still few, two women were shot at around 2:10 a.m. on Sixth Street near Jessie, in San Francisco, one of them fatally.

Some say this violence is a new phenomenon.  I say it is not. This country was founded on killing, stealing, raping, torturing, and terrorism.   If not, we would see Native American towns and villages in every city, and it would not be uncommon to find modern thriving versions of Black owned towns and businesses similar to that in the movie, “Rosewood.”

Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, also known as Hubert Gerold Brown, and better known as H. Rap Brown, is perhaps most famous for his proclamation  that “violence is as American as cherry pie”.  He is also known for his autobiography “Die Nigger Die!”  He is currently serving a life sentence for allegedly shooting two Fulton County Sheriff’s deputies in 2000. One deputy died in the shooting.

220px-H_Rap_Brown_-_USNWR                                                                         Photograph of H.Rap Brown

Is modern a violence a result of a new condition or is it an inevitable consequence of years and mistreating and disrespecting others?

Have you ever wondered why many poor and underprivileged people don’t contact the police to report violent acts?   Have you ever wondered why police, even Black police officers, and Black People don’t mix?

Many Blacks have learned the hard way that calling the police for assistance may just as easily result in their own “ass whipping” or death at the hands of the police.

But why?

Colonial America experienced an increase in population in major cities during the 1700s.  Some of these cities began to see an influx of immigrant groups moving in from various countries (including Germany, Ireland, Italy, and several Scandinavian countries), which directly contributed to the rapid increase in population.

The growth in population also created an increase in social disorder and unrest. The sources of social tension varied across different regions of Colonial America; however, the introduction of new racial and ethnic groups was identified as a common source of discord.

Racial and ethnic conflict was a problem across Colonial America, including both the northern and southern regions of the country.  Since the watch groups could no longer cope with this change in the social climate, more formalized means of policing began to take shape.


Most of the historical literature describing the early development of policing in Colonial America focuses specifically on the northern regions of the country while neglecting events that took place in the southern region—specifically, the creation of slave patrols in the South.

Samuel Walker identified slave patrols as the first publicly funded police agencies in the American South.  Slave patrols (or “paddyrollers”) were created to manage the race-based conflict occurring in the southern region of Colonial America; these patrols were created with the specific intent of maintaining control over slave populations.  Interestingly, slave patrols would later extend their responsibilities to include control over White indentured servants.

The South Carolina slave patrol is arguably the first modern police force in North America.  It was established in 1704 to find and capture fugitive slaves.  Historical documents also identify the existence of slave patrols in most other parts of the southern region.

Historical police in pro-slavery states arrested free Black people  and transferred them to slave states where they were treated as runaway slaves and sold or given to slave traders for later sale in slavery.


Public domain. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.


Runaway Slave from Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Slave patrols , sometimes called patrollers, pattyrollers or paddy rollers by the slaves, were organized groups of three to six[ white men who enforced discipline upon black slaves during the antebellum U.S. southern states. They policed the slaves on plantations and hunted down fugitive slaves. Patrols used summary punishment against escapees, maiming or killing them. Slave patrols were first established in South Carolina in 1704, and the idea spread throughout the southern states. The institution of policing in America can be traced back to the slave patrols.  See Williams, Kristen, Our Enemies In Blue: Police and Power in America, Soft Skull Press, 2004, ISBN 1932360433; and Police: History – “Early Policing In Colonial America,” Law Library – American Law and Legal Information: http://law.jrank.org/pages/1640/Police-HIstory-Early-policing-in-colonial-America.html#ixzz2AGRXNxKu

Slave patrols began with colonial attempts to regulate slavery through laws that limited enslaved people’s abilities and required all settlers to assist in enforcing the slave codes. As the population of black slaves increased, so did the fear and threat of foreign invasion which further increased the institution of slave patrols. Encountered slaves without passes were expected to be returned to their owners, and sometimes punished. As this approach became more ineffective, Slave patrols were formally established. Slave patrols consisted of white men from all social classes. This caused trouble for both enslaved and free black people as it restricted their movement. Black people were subjected to question, searches, and other forms of harassment, often leading to whippings and beatings for people who may not have broken any law.

Notice the similarity between the behavior of the slave patrols and the behavior  Blacks complain about today when they encounter the police.  Blacks people allege police act as though they are entitled as a matter of course to a response by Black people whenever an encounter exists between them.

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution reads:

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”


Historically this meant that if you were questioned by the police you did not have to answer because anything you said could and would be used against you.

In a blow to the fundamental right of citizens to remain silent, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that persons who are not under arrest must specifically invoke their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination in order to avoid having their refusal to answer police questions used against them in a subsequent criminal trial. In a 5-4 decision in Salinas v. Texas, 570 U. S. ____ (2013), the Court upheld the conviction of Genovevo Salinas, who was found guilty of homicide after prosecutors argued that Salinas’ silence during a police interview prior to his arrest was a “very important piece of evidence” and that only a guilty person would have remained silent when questioned about his connection to a crime. Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion that Salinas “was required to assert the privilege in order to benefit from it,” even though a person questioned while under arrest could not have his silence used against him.

Another way the police get around the Fifth Amendment is to inquire whether you are on probation or parole.  A person on probation or parole must respond or be in violation of the terms or conditions of his or her probation.  Obviously, if you are not on either, you are now required to tell them you are invoking your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

Slave patrols “apprehended runaways, monitored the rigid pass requirements for blacks traversing the countryside, broke up large gatherings and assemblies of blacks, visited and searched slave quarters randomly, inflicted impromptu punishments, and as occasion arose, suppressed insurrections.” Hadden, Sally E. (2001). Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas. Harvard University Press.

During these times, slaves were often neglected and mistreated despite having permission to travel.

Slave owners feared slave gatherings would allow them to trade or steal goods and the potential for a rebellion.

Professor, Sally Hadden, identified three principal duties placed on slave patrols in the South during this time, including searches of slave lodges, keeping slaves off of roadways, and disassembling meetings organized by groups of slaves.

Today, they enter Black people’s homes without warrants, detain them for driving while Black, and break up gatherings attended by Blacks.  Heaven forbid you are on probation or parole.  You may be treated just like a slave.

By 1837, the Charleston Police Department had 100 officers and the primary function
of this organization was slave patrol . . . these officers regulated the movements of slaves and free blacks, checking documents, enforcing slave codes, guarding against slave revolts and catching runaway slaves.”  See Barlow, Barlow, Racial Profiling: a Survey, University of Wisconsin.

This is reminiscent of the treatment Blacks receive at “Juneteenth” and other celebrations the Black people organize.  For example, they may obtain a permit to gather a park or other public venue were there is late or no curfew.  If the permit expires before the curfew, the police will arrive, sometimes in riot gear, and demand that all of the Black people disperse even if the people are peaceful or not even attending the event.

South Carolina and Virgina selected patrols from state militias.

Today we select police from the military.  Slave patrols were often equipped with guns and whips and would exert brutal and racially motivated control. At times Blacks developed many methods of challenging slave patrolling, occasionally fighting back violently. The American Civil War developed more opportunities for resistance against slave patrols and made it easier for enslaved people to escape.

Similar things occurred following the two world wars, and the War in Vietnam.

The use and physical formation of slave patrols came to its end in 1865 when the Civil War ended. Slave patrols remained in place during the Civil War and were not completely disbanded after slavery ended.

During early Reconstruction, several groups merged with what was formerly known as slave patrols to maintain control over African American citizens. Groups such as the federal military, the state militia, and the Ku Klux Klan took over the responsibilities of earlier slave patrols and were known to be even more violent than their predecessors.  These post civil war groups terrorized Black people for decades.

Over time, these groups began to resemble and operate using methods similar to those of modern day police departments in the United States.  Instead of being called pattyrollers, they were called pigs.  Modern day police departments continue to threaten and terrorize many in the black community.