Slavery as Fatal Design Flaw of the Constitution

The Counter-Revolution of 1776It is also worth reiterating that the potent concept that is racism is necessary but insufficient in explaining the past and present plight of those who are now designated as “African-American.” …

It is also the case that it is much too generous to conclude that the former slaveholding republic has suffered from a tragic flaw: it is more accurate to aver that this polity has suffered from a design flaw, that is, that it was not accidental that the fabled founders somehow “forgot” to include all of the former colonies’ denizens in its bounty. Unavoidably, this design flaw led to blazing conflagration that concluded formally in 1865.

In some ways, 1776 was an outgrowth of 1688: the result of “free trade in Africans” and resultant restiveness of overwhelming slave majorities in the Caribbean that drove the Crown to retrench on the mainland and the concomitant growth of the productive forces there, allowing North American colonies to strain at the leash held by the colonizer. Likewise, 1861 was an extension of 1776: the failure to resolve the nettlesome matter of slavery — indeed, augmenting this atrocious institution — culminated in bloody civil war. Strikingly, the supposed trailblazing republic and its allegedly wondrous Constitution had a fatal design flaw in the form of enhanced slavery, which caused it to crash and burn by 1861.

—Gerald Horne
The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America

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