Friday, October 20, 2006

New platform planks from Robert Mendelson

Before announcing the results of the historic vote for inclusion of reparations to African Americans, and a reinvestigation of 9-11, to the Longhouse Coalition platform, there's three things I'd like to mention;
First, Roger Gurk helped put together the section on reparations for land left over after African Americans have received their portion. Thank you, Roger, and I'd like to thank all of you for your wonderful ideas, and the heart and energy you put into your campaigns.
Second, Jesse Johnson, thanks to you as well, for your tenacity in having reinvestigating 9-11 included, when I wanted to keep it simple, and one issue, even though I agreed with you and meant to push for it at a later time. Truly, not demanding a reinvestigation is hypocritical, when we know the deck was rigged the first time, and all those who lost their lives, and their families, and their communities, were all effected by their loss. We have to honor their lives as well. So, thanks for your insistence. This makes our platform all the more honorable.
Third, we have our newest member of the Longhouse, Lydia Lewis, next senator for Missouri. Welcome to the Coalition, Lydia.
And now, the voting on items 23 & 24;
Item 23, Reparations, voting for 33, abstain 5, did not vote 7.
Over 90& of votes cast are "YES", so Reparations is now part of the Longhouse Coalition Platform.
Item 24, Require Reinvestigation of 9-11, 22 for, 23 did not vote.
Over 90% of votes cast are "YES", so item 24 is added to the platform, too.
A workable reparations plan in full accord with our nation's original promise to African Americans following the Civil War. Watch what happens next! Everyone, this is truly historic. Now, we have to make every effort to get the news out to the churches, civic groups, African American owned press, civil rights groups, and last, the regular media.
Below are the two platform additions;
Our platform provides a basis for full healing in this country. After returning portions of the National Forest to the First Nations, addressing the Reparations issue with African Americans naturally follows. We have the historic opportunity to right two of the most basic and grievous wrongs that have blighted our country's soul, encouraging a denial that's grown so large as a nation, we now have Bush. It's time we meet past injustices and heal them fairly. Since our platform wasn't crafted by corporatistas, we can offer the People what's best for Them. In turn, we'll give the People a real reason to jump up out of their chairs and carry us to victory!
For African Americans, that means the equivalent of 40 acres promised every freed slave after the Civil War. Because our farming platform redirects agriculture subsidies from Agri-giants to farmers making less than $1 million/year, the net result will be the giant agricultural corporations will go under, while small farmers thrive. The Agri-giants are built on the snatched-away land of small farmers, many of whom were driven bankrupt. Now, as they go under and declare Chapter 11, the land can be re-allocated to small farmers, and here's where Reparations comes in.
While the promise by the federal government was never fully delivered, there's also a question as to whether this meant 40 acres to each child, or to heads of households. Although common sense says it wasn't meant to make baronial estates, the Homestead Act of 1862, a parellel law, specifies family heads of 21 years or older. The spirit of the promise would have meant heads of households,or perhaps one quarter of the total population, yet there's the years of justice denied to factor in, too.
It turns out that if we take the middle road, half of 3.5 million freed slaves to 1.75 million, and then multiply that by the 40 acres each, we come up with an area of land similar to that returned to the First Nations--about 110,000 sq. mi., which is about 1 and ½ Nebraskas.
From that we subtract the area of farmland in farms 40 acres or larger currently owned by African American farmers, and the difference is the 'New Reparations' land, something closer to the size of 1 Nebraska.
As the Agri-giants die, the recovered land will go first to African American farmers, up to the full New Reparations land area. All recovered farmland after that will be allocated through a lottery of farmers who've had their farms repossessed by the banks.
To provide balance with African Americans in the cities, for the next fifty years, 10% of the annual normal taxes on farms in the New Reparations area will be directed half to providing scholarships for African American children, and the other half to providing funds for urban renewal projects for African American companies.
For recovered land in addition to the New Reparations area, 10% of taxes would be divided, with half going for scholarships for rural children, and half going for development of jobs in areas where factories have been shut down, and unemployment is high, namely, the cities.
Now, there's always the possibility someone could receive a farm and just sell it and take the money and run. That wouldn't work, because that denies others their share, or their continued income from the 10% fund.
This is simplest done on a fifty year scale. The farmer gains 2% equity in the farm for every year the farmer is there. The rest remains with the 'People'. If a farm is sold, the farmer gets his equity portion only (2% times years occupied), while the remainder is split three ways, going back to the People. One third to other farmers, one third to scholarships, and one third to urban development.
#24 Fully re-investigate the 9/11 attacks.

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