(With thanks to David Barton of Wallbuilders for his scholarly work)

A “True or False” test consists of a series of statements to be identified as either “true” or “false”. “True or False” tests present an exclusive disjunction (i.e., a pair of alternatives of which only one is acceptable). A simple way to state this is: “One or the other but not both”. Usually there are more true answers than false on most tests. Finally, since there is no guessing penalty and you have a 50% chance of getting the right answer, feel free to guess.

Statement #1

Dred Scott was born a slave in Virginia. In 1832, after following his owners to Missouri, U.S. Army Major John Emerson, stationed just outside of St. Louis, purchased Scott. In an April 1846 action when Dred Scott made his mark with an “X,” signing his petition in a pro forma freedom suit under Missouri law, to sue for freedom in the St. Louis Circuit Court, his case lit a fire that would not be extinguished until the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.

In 1857, the Democratically controlled United States Supreme Court decided the Dred Scott Decision. Here is a quote from that decision announcing that Negroes (i.e., Black Americans) “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.” 2

While the Supreme Court has never reversed the Dred Scott case, the Supreme Court has stated in the Slaughter-House Cases of 1873 that the Fourteenth Amendment overruled at least one part of it in 1868.

True or False. Your Answer Goes Here: __________

Statement #2

In 1860, the Republican Party Platform boldly condemned the Fugitive Slave Law and the Dred Scott decision and announced its intent to end slavery and secure equal and civil rights for Black Americans.  In 1865, attorney Charles Drake, a leader of the Radical Republican Party after the Civil War helped author Missouri’s state constitution that took away many of the rights, including enfranchisement, enjoyed by Southern sympathizers.

True or False. Your Answer Goes Here: __________

Statement #3

In 1860 the Democratic Party Platform boldly supported the Fugitive Slave Law and the Dred Scott decision and in an effort to affirm their belief that it was their right to have and hold Black Americans in bondage, proudly distributed copies of the Dred Scott ruling with their party platform. 6 According to the speech of John Hossack, (who was convicted of violating the Fugitive Slave Law), while standing before Judge Drummond, of the United States District Court of Chicago, “the parties who prostituted the constitution to the support of slavery, are traitors.”

True or False. Your Answer Goes Here: __________

NOTE: The answers in this test are all: True.

We Cannot Escape History

According to David Barton: “It is worth noting that for over a century-and-a-half, Democrats often have taken a position that some human life is disposable — as they did in the Dred Scott decision. In that instance, a Black individual was not a life, it was property; and an individual could do with his property as he wished. Today Democrats have largely taken the same position on the unborn human life — that an unborn human is disposable property to do with as one wishes.” Even our Supreme Court has mentioned its own Pro-Slavery Dred Scott Decision fifty-six (56) times over more than 150 years since issuing their opinion that Black Americans could be owned as property.

I would have thought the United States Supreme Court would be ashamed to even acknowledge, let alone mention, its own ignominious “Dred Scott Decision” in public. However, I would have also thought that Black Americans would never join the party of the Ku Klux Klan. If Marcia Cavell is right and “hope is the other side of history, I fear that neither the Republican nor the Democratic Parties are on the right side of this equation.

Brothers, we really need to talk.

Walter B. Hoye II, is both Founder and President of the Issues4life Foundation.


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