Melissa Harris-Perry: America Treats Black Men Same as Dred Scott Days

Melissa Harris-Perry: America Treats Black Men Same as Dred Scott Days

In relation to last weeks controversy and protests surrounding the police fatally shooting Michael Brown, Saturday MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry made the argument that black men in America are still being treated as they were when slavery was still legal in large sections of the United States of America.

Harris-Perry referenced the infamous Supreme Court decision from 1857 when Dred Scott, a slave living in St. Louis, MO unsuccessfully sued for his and his families freedom. 

Harris-Perry said, “Ferguson is just outside St. Louis, MO, the place where, as historian Kelly reminded us this week, Dred Scott sued for his freedom on the grounds that he and his wife had for three years, had for many years lived in a free state. This case eventually went to the Supreme Court and in 1857 Chief Justice Roger Tanney declared Scott had no right to sue because as a black man he was never intended to be an American. 

She continued, “Speaking on the clause of the declaration of independence, Tanney wrote, quote, ‘it is too clear for dispute the enslaved African race were not intended to be included and formed no part of the people who framed and adopted this declaration.’ and he went on to say a black men had no rights, which the white man was bound to respect.”

She repeated, “No rights which the white man was bound to respect. No rights which the white man was bound to respect. No rights which the white man was bound to respect.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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