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'Neighborhood Watch' Groups Like Zimmerman's and in Much of the Deep South Are Hardly Different Than Slave Patrols of Old

Slave patrollers traveled, through the countryside looking for African-Americans who were “not where they belonged.”

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In a previous article, I documented how these southern militia slave patrols were acknowledged and incorporated into the Second Amendment. That Second Amendment tip of the hat to white power has now been expanded and amplified with the so-called Stand Your Ground laws.

Patrick Henry to the Virginia Ratifying Convention (June 1788) arguing for a Bill of Rights to be ratified along with the Constitution in order to preserve slavery:

With respect to that part of the [Bill of Rights] proposal which says that every power not granted remains with the people, it must be [ratified] previous to adoption [of the Constitution], or it will involve this country in inevitable destruction. To talk of it as a thing subsequent, not as one of your unalienable rights, is leaving it to the casual opinion of the Congress who shall take up the consideration of that matter. They will not reason with you about the effect of this Constitution. They will not take the opinion of this committee concerning its operation. They will construe it as they please.

If you place it subsequently, let me ask the consequences.

Among ten thousand implied powers (sic) which they may assume, they may, if we be engaged in war, liberate every one of your slaves if they please. And this must and will be done by [northerner] men, a majority of whom have not a common interest with you. They will, therefore, have no feeling of your interests.

It has been repeatedly said here, that the great object of a national government was national defence. That power which is said to be intended for security and safety [In article 1, section 8 of the Constitution] may be rendered detestable and oppressive.

If they give power to the general government to provide for the general defence, (sic) the means must be commensurate to the end. All the means in the possession of the people must be given to the government which is intrusted with the public defence.

In this state there are two hundred and thirty-six thousand blacks, and there are many in several other states. But there are few or none in the Northern States; and yet, if the Northern States shall be of opinion that our slaves are numberless, they may call forth every national resource.

May Congress not say, that every black man must fight? Did we not see a little of this last war?

We were not so hard pushed as to make emancipation general; but acts of Assembly passed that every slave who would go to the army should be free.

Another thing will contribute to bring this event about. Slavery is detested. We feel its fatal effects—we deplore it with all the pity of humanity. Let all these considerations, at some future period, press with full force on the minds of Congress. Let that urbanity, which I trust will distinguish America, and the necessity of national defence,—let all these things operate on their minds; they will search that paper [The Constitution], and see if they have power of manumission [to free the slaves].

And have they not, sir? Have they not power to provide for the general defence and welfare[In article 1, section 8 of the Constitution]? May they not think that these call for the abolition of slavery? May they not pronounce all slaves free, and will they not be warranted by that power?

This is no ambiguous implication or logical deduction. The paper [the Constitution] speaks to the point: they have the power in clear, unequivocal terms, and will clearly and certainly exercise it.

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