Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution of the United States, provides that
The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.
The framers of our Constitution intended 1808 to be the year Americans stopped importing others to do jobs that Americans 'did not want to do.' Congress has still not gotten that message. The concept of bringing in other peoples, whether by purchase, indenture or otherwise, to do "jobs which Americans did not want to do," has always been controversial. Yet there was so much open space in 1787, such vast stretches of undeveloped land, even in the original thirteen States, that the Founding Fathers agreed on the compromise involved in the above quoted passage; thus allowing a twenty year window, for any State wishing to allow such migration or importation, to meet any perceived need. However, the clear idea, implicit if not explicit in the quoted provision, was that all such inflow would cease after 1807; that in 1808 Congress would be empowered to enact legislation to put a permanent end to a practice already well understood to be both dangerous and short sighted.
Thus, next year will mark the Bicentennial of what was supposed to be an end to what, then as now, has been an appeasement of ill-conceived rationalizations for allowing would-be employers to bring in foreign peoples to do jobs more cheaply than might be expected from dealing with rooted Americans. Yet almost no one has noticed, or suggested any formal ceremony, or even an analytic review of the subject. We will attempt to fill the void. The relevant concepts are not hard to grasp. This will be short and to the point.
Note that the Constitutional provision does not relate solely to slavery or the slave trade. It lumps together a time defined holiday from restriction on either migration or importation of persons. Thus the focus is on the influx, not whether voluntary or involuntary, of those coming in. It looks towards an immigration policy that will restrict entrance from 1808 onward, on unstated bases. Yet, since we are dealing with provisions that relate to the powers of the new Federal Government, it is clear that those bases are expected to govern all States. But again, it is clear that while the slave trade was one intended target, the words show equal concern for unstated types of voluntary migration. The drafters did not waste words, nor employ them frivolously. What, then, was the real concern?
Slavery had already become very controversial by 1787--the year the Constitution was drafted--but not alone out of a sense that it was wrong to support a trade which imposed involuntary servitude on others. Many of the Founders were more particularly focused on what they recognized as a distinct potential for harmful effects on the free citizens of the new Republics. They saw these in a discouragement of the culture of honest labor and industry--arising in the very concept of seeking outsiders to perform essential tasks;--in a prospect for a replacement of perspective settlers, who would have shared and cherished the basic traits and values of the existing citizenry, with those coming in solely to provide a particular type of labor, wholly without such ethnic or cultural compatibility. They also saw the danger in promoting a form of arrogance--the hubris which goeth before a fall--among the existing population; as well as a general diminution in self-sufficiency, growing out of all of the above. Yet we do not need to get into philosophic questions particularly involved with slavery, in order to evaluate these threats. Slavery ended in America 142 years ago; and no one, White or Black, Negro or Caucasian; no one with but a modicum of perception, would suggest that we have solved our racial problems in the five generations since. Indeed, is there anyone reading this; anyone, who can name one major American population center, anywhere in the United States, where the educated members of either of the primary races, involved, would rate the social climate--the dynamic interaction among the diverse populations, from the standpoint of racial problem resolution--even moderately satisfactory?
Given the common sense doubts of the Founding Fathers, as to the wisdom of bringing in those of other races to perform the jobs that Americans did not wish to perform; given the 142 year history of America since slavery was abolished; given the fact that our once uncrowded sub-continent--once so appealing to those of a reflective nature--is now over-populated according to the expressed tastes of those who originally settled her, with every major urban population center experiencing horrendous motor vehicle gridlock at certain hours of the day; given the numbers of native born Americans of all races on public assistance, today; is there any rational reason to even consider starting another century of a contributory practice, supposed to have ceased two centuries ago? We can conceive of none. Those American business managers, who still argue for a continued influx of large numbers of Mestizo peasants from Mexico, Central America, or from other unskilled or lightly skilled non-European stocks, to do the jobs "Americans do not want to do," have to be the most short-sighted--we are being kind in the use of adjectives--if not totally confused, class ever to be trusted with other people's money in the past 1,000 years of Western history.
Unable to solve, or even palliate, problems resulting from past folly; we are expected to turn the blind eye of mindless acquiescence to the pleas of the selfish and short-sighted, to compound existing problems exponentially; while their political lackeys, men such as Senators Kennedy and Graham, hiss insult at all who dare to speak up for the continuity of the America we have known. At this web site, we still believe in truth and a tangible reality. We see the coming bicentennial as a landmark to shame, well illustrated by a contemporary political "leadership:" The sorry, pathetic poseurs, who refuse to do their duty to the Constitutionally defined offices they dishonor and abuse.
For over seventy years, self-styled American White "Liberals"--actually egalitarian Socialists--have proclaimed concern over the plight of the American Negro. Denouncing traditional American society for injustice to the Negro, they have detailed many claimed inequities; blaming nearly every problem of American Negro society on alleged grievances growing out of still ongoing patterns of White attitude and behavior. Virtually all of those now advocating a continuation of the ethnic flood over our Southern borders--specifically including Senator Kennedy and the Democratic "leadership," and President Bush and his Republican Administration--are on record with such concerns and denunciations. Are such men only so many unprincipled hypocrites? Or is this another example of the intellectual confusion on the Left, which we have addressed in many previous essays? If these White "Liberals" were both rational and consistent--as opposed to being either cloud or windborne, as in the Kipling poem from which this web site derives its theme--nothing would be clearer, after centuries of experience, than the problems which arise, and have arisen, from bringing in other people to "do the jobs that Americans do not want to do."
Yet, even as this is true in general, the particular slight to the American Negro--specifically to his hope to recover from some of those past grievances over which such "Liberals" have frothed at the mouth, and wept in print, for those seventy some years--must be obvious. The most deleterious immediate effect of the importation of poor peasants from South of the border, should be readily apparent to anyone with ground-based perceptions. The sort of jobs that Americans "do not want to do," according to the rationalizations of those same "Liberals" speaking on the subject of immigration, are the very sort of manual jobs that Americans "did not want to do," earlier; those, which justified the pre-1808 importations, supposed to cease in 1808. And it is not as though all descendants of those brought in, usually against their will before 1808, are now gainfully employed, under conditions where they have more rewarding occupations than those very jobs, being filled by Mexicans and others, would provide. Far from it!
The arrogant indifference to the real problems of real people, here American Negroes in the process of being replaced via the ridiculous rationalizations of those pretending to be their friends, is indeed something to behold! Having never solved any of the actual problems resulting from an importation that took place over 200 years ago, those of that rationalizing mindset now seek to justify a reapplication of the same folly; the results, this time, virtually certain to be compounded profoundly by still very evident open sores, resulting from such earlier projects--a bicentennial of the intended end of which we here observe!
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