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"Why We Believe in the Proposed Executive Order for Freedmen Families: A Comprehensive Letter of Support"

May 27, 2024

Dear Ms. Young,

The nature and purpose of this proposed order is to establish a Presidential Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals specifically for the American Freedmen families. “American Freedmen” are that class of persons who were emancipated from slavery in 1865 via the 13th Amendment or prior in the United States and includes their descendants.

The background of such a proposal stems from the fact that congressional actions like the "Port Royal Experiment," was undermined by those who didn’t want to see the Freedmen rise from slavery. Reconstruction efforts which would have secured to Freedmen the rights, privileges and immunities of United States citizenship, were overthrown and the agreement to grant 40 acre land plots to the loyal Freedmen was subsequently reneged upon in favor of the traitorous Confederates. The Freedmen’s Bureau was defunded and shut down, the federally chartered Freedman’s Bank was looted and shut down where most depositors never had their deposits returned and thus Congress has never fully utilized its 13th Amendment powers to eradicate slavery’s legacy, rightly termed the badges and incidents of slavery. Consequently, from the time of emancipation, the American Freedmen families inherited the unavoidable stain of slavery and for generations were forced to endure its legacy.

Outside of those above mentioned, the legacy of slavery has manifested in a number of ways since emancipation e.g., most Freedmen were unable to benefit from the southern homestead act, unconscionable sharecropping arrangements were imposed on the Freedmen, housing covenants designed to lock Freedmen families out of wealth accumulation as well as the consequences of redlining, the loss of millions of acres of land, lack of access to New Deal programs, military members of the Freedmen class could not benefit from the G.I. Bill. All of this among other things contribute to the significant “wealth gap” which has ill-effected the American Freedmen class for generations and who now face what economists have predicted in that the projected median household wealth of Freedmen families will reach zero by 2053.

The effect of creating a Commission by way of this proposed order would be the study of slavery, Jim Crowism as well as all identifiable badges and incidents of slavery and their ill effects on the families of the Freedmen class since emancipation. As well, creating reports of the findings for the President and ultimately making recommendations of appropriate remedies in consideration of the Commission’s findings. These recommendations of appropriate remedies could be considered special benefits for a specific race of people and deemed unconstitutional however, in Justice Thomas’ concurring opinion of the June 29, 2023 United States Supreme Court case of STUDENTS FOR FAIR ADMISSIONS, INC. v. PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGE, the term “freedmen” is described as a “formally race-neutral category” that does not include “blacks writ large” and “freedman” as a “decidedly underinclusive proxy for race.”

Justice Gorsuch, in his concurring opinion, while speaking on racial classifications which appear on forms that draw from the OMB’s established racial categories of SPD15 asked and answered, “Where do these boxes come from? Bureaucrats. A federal interagency commission devised this scheme of classifications in the 1970s to facilitate data collection. See D. Bernstein, The Modern American Law of Race, 94 S. Cal. L. Rev. 171, 196–202 (2021); see also 43 Fed. Reg. 19269 (1978). That commission acted “without any input from anthropologists, sociologists, ethnologists, or other experts.” Brief for David E. Bernstein as Amicus Curiae 3 (Bernstein Amicus Brief ). Recognizing the limitations of their work, federal regulators cautioned that their classifications ‘should not be interpreted as being scientific or anthropological in nature, nor should they be viewed as determinants of eligibility for participation in any Federal program.” 43 Fed. Reg. 19269 (emphasis added).’”

Finally, Justice Gorsuch stated that “‘Black or African American’ covers everyone from a descendant of enslaved persons who grew up poor in the rural South, to a first-generation child of wealthy Nigerian immigrants, to a Black-identifying applicant with multiracial ancestry whose family lives in a typical American suburb. See id., at 15–16.” The term Freedmen, as viewed in Justice Thomas’ concurring opinion, is an underinclusive proxy for race, yet is itself not a racial term but is race neutral. Historically, the term predates American negro chattel slavery or even the concept of race and can be traced back to older civilizations such as that of Rome, demonstrating that it has no racial rooting and is not synonymous with the African/African American, black, colored, Ethiopian or negro race.

In a question and answer exchange between Justice Kavanaugh and attorney Cameron Norris as part of the October 31, 2022 oral arguments for the Affirmative Action case, Kavanaugh said, “So today a -- a benefit to descendants of slaves would not be race-based, correct?” Norris responded by stating, “I -- I think that's incorrect, Justice Kavanaugh.” Kavanaugh then noted that Norris had already acknowledged that the post-Civil War benefits that formerly enslaved people (Freedmen) received from the federal government were not race-based. Those benefits were based on their status as having been enslaved, not their skin color.

Justice Kavanaugh went further by saying, “If that's correct, then the benefit for descendants of former slaves (i.e. members of the Freedmen class) is also not race-based… you can make other arguments if you want about that, but it does not seem to be race-based…”

Ultimately, racial classifications are considered “suspect classifications” which trigger the doctrine of “strict scrutiny,” decidedly the highest standard of review which a court will use to evaluate the constitutionality of governmental discrimination. Even prior to Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, 600 U.S. 181 (2023), cases such as Wygant V. Jackson Board Of Education (476 U.S. 267 (1986)), and City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co.,(488 U.S. 469 (1989)), applied the highest form of scrutiny and in both cases, the courts ruled that any preference based on race is unconstitutional.

Edward Blum, the man behind the efforts to overturn affirmative action and his American Alliance for Equal Rights (AAER), as well as The Project on Fair Representation (POFR) has shown that he and his organizations intend to pursue and dismantle all race based and race conscious initiatives for discrimination. This is clearly proclaimed in the mission statement on the introduction page of his organization’s website. In one of the six arenas POFR is committed to, it will, "...devote all of its efforts to influencing jurisprudence, public policy, and public attitudes regarding race and ethnicity" and will fight against "racial reparations."

They sued the “Fearless Fund” in August 2023, an Atlanta-based fund that invests solely in women founders of color. In its lawsuit, AAER accused Fearless Fund of racial discrimination over a grant program that offers $20,000 to “Black” women owned small businesses. AAER argues the grant violated Section 1981 of the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which states private contracts must be made and enforced without regard to race. Thus, Atlanta’s 11th Circuit issued a preliminary injunction barring Fearless Fund from awarding its $20,000 Fearless Strivers Grant to “Black” women entrepreneurs.

Further, the AAER filed lawsuits against certain U.S. law firms for discriminatory programs. They agreed to drop the lawsuits once the firms capitulated and agreed to change their policies. Blum said in a statement, “There are many other law firms with similar racially discriminatory programs… It is to be hoped that these firms proactively open their programs to all law students before they are sued in federal court.” His and his organization’s success thus far is nothing that we take lightly.

Our desire as members of the American Freedmen class, is to inform our elected officials and others in government as well as members of the general public of

the significance in working towards remedial justice without the invocation of race, it is with specific legal intent. As reparationists, we seek to ensure the success of any true Reparations efforts on behalf of our particular class and we view this as having to be done by avoiding race and instead standing on the fact that we are a special class of tax paying American citizens who for generations have inherited the unavoidable stain of slavery.

It is worth noting that our class of voters cast our ballots for the current President at a higher rate than any other in America. Recent polls demonstrate that not only is this proposed Executive Order in the domain of the most popular issues among African American voters, rectifying this issue with ordering the creation of a commission to study reparations proposals would significantly boost African American voter turnout in several battleground states. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss any part of this in further detail...

Sincerely, the United Sons & Daughters of Freedmen.


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