The Bronx Has Never Accepted Slavery

A Juneteenth Message from Jose Vega, LaRouche Independent Candidate, 15th CD in the Bronx

In the 15th Congressional district, where I am running as an independent candidate for Congress, there is an area called Morrisainia. It was once the plantation estate of the Morris family. Why should that name mean something to everyone and America, and why do I bring this up to you on this day? 

Everybody has been talking in these recent days and years about Alexander Hamilton, but not many people know about his closest friend, the man who gave the eulogy at his funeral. His name was Gouvenor Morris, and Morrisainia in the Bronx was his home. There’s another reason you should know who he is; he wrote the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States. We used to all know how to recite it: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Defense, promote the General Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

In 1777, at the age of 25, the same age I am right now, Gouvenor Morris wrote a constitution for the state of New York that abolished slavery. He lost. In 1787, at the Constitutional Convention, he challenged the shameful “three-fifths” clause, which counted five black slaves as equal to three whites in order to apportion Southern Congressional representation. Morris instead proposed that the nation as a whole purchase all the slaves from the South, and set them free immediately. He lost. Here is part of what Morris said about slavery, during his losing battle at the 1787 Constitutional Convention:

“It was a nefarious institution-It was the curse of heaven on the States where it prevailed. Compare the free regions of the Middle States, where a rich & noble cultivation marks the prosperity & happiness of the people, with the misery & poverty which overspread the barren wastes of Va.  Maryland & the other States having slaves. Travel thro’ ye whole Continent & you behold the prospect continually varying with the appearance & disappearance of slavery….. 

“Upon what principle is it that the slaves shall be computed in the representation? Are they men? Then make them Citizens & let them vote. Are they property? Why then is no other property included? The Houses in this city (Philadelphia) are worth more than all the wretched slaves which cover the rice swamps of South Carolina. The admission of slaves into the Representation when fairly explained comes to this: that the inhabitant of Georgia and S. C. who goes to the Coast of Africa, and in defiance of the most sacred laws of humanity tears away his fellow creatures from their dearest connections & dam(n)s them to the most cruel bondages, shall have more votes in a Government instituted for protection of the rights of mankind, than the Citizen of Pa. or N[ew] Jersey, who views with a laudable horror, so nefarious a practice.”

He would add that Domestic slavery is the most prominent feature in the aristocratic countenance of the proposed Constitution.

“The vassalage of the poor has ever been the favorite offspring of aristocracy….” 

That last sentence rings particularly true right now in the Bronx, and all over the United States. Because we have electoral disenfranchisement all over the United States, and if we don’t correct it, this election cycle, we could end up in a world war, even a thermonuclear war, as a result. This is a form of volunteered slavery that is in some ways every bit as vicious as the one that was abolished through 1861-65 in the United States 159 years ago.

Do you know about the $25 million that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) spent in {one} Congressional district—the 16th C.D., right next to where I am running? In my district, where Gouvenor Morris’ home is, and where he is buried—one of the poorest areas of the Bronx—my opponent is notorious for being bought and paid for. But it’s not just the Bronx—look at the United States Senate.

Did you know that various watchdog groups estimate that, in order to get elected to the United States Senate, in America today—in order to make a race “competitive”—you would have to raise about $45,000 per day, 365 days/year, for six years, just to hope to unseat warlords like Chuck Schumer? My colleague, LaRouche Independent Diane Sare, who ran against Schumer in 2022 and is running this year in 2024, against Kirsten Gillibrand, another creature from the military-monetary war complex, believes, as I do, in freeing America from volunteered slavery! 

When Gouvenor Morris used the phrase, “to build a more perfect Union”, he knew whereof he spoke. The government was imperfect, and even immoral in many respects, but it had to be changed by those that refused to accept injustice, though injustice continued to rule. The fact that injustice is the rule in the society does not mean that justice cannot exist. (The African-American Abolitionist and Constitutionalist Frederick Douglass insisted that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were anti-slavery documents, despite flaws.) It means that those who are just, have to practice justice, whatever the unjust do.

The same is true of elections and political power. The fact that the citizens of our nation feel powerless to stop the corruption that they perceive through government, does not mean that self-government, true citizenship and meaningful civic action cannot exist. It means that self-government has to be practiced on an individual level, in order to practice it on an international level. At no time in history has that been easier to do, and harder to do, than now. Easier to do, because a committed individual that believes that “truth defies silence,” can and must be heard; harder, because the pressure to go along to get along is greater than ever. 

I don’t go for that. I don’t go along to get along. This Juneteenth, declare your independence from volunteered slavery. Don’t wait for someone to tell you that you are free, as enslaved people were forced to do 159 years ago. Form a More Perfect Union through a New International Security and Development Architecture, and a new United States, freed from the rule of the warlords, that returns to the vision that Alexander Hamilton and Gouvenor Morris fought for. No one need be a slave, who does not volunteer to be so.