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“BLACKS ATTACKED IN COLUMBIA:RACISM IN LATIN AMERICA”BY PIANKE NUBIYANG ON RACEANDHISTORY.COM

September 19, 2007

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BLACKS ATTACKED IN COLOMBIA: RACISM IN LATIN AMERICA

Posted By: Pianke Nubiyang
Date: 11, May 02, at 12:44 p.m.

BLACKS IN CHOCO REGION OF COLOMBIA HIDING IN CHURCH BOMBED: RACISM, GENOCIDE AND NEGLECT IN LATIN AMERICA AGAINST BLACKS.

One of the first regions settled by ancient Africans for thosands of years before Columbus is the Choco Region of Colombia. In fact, in certain areas, such as San Agustin, one will see monuments with Negroid featured sculpture holding African shamanistic objects identical to those used by the ancient Oni or Priest-Kings of Nigeria (see the Essay, “African Civilizations of America.”

Choco was one of the primary areas of Portugese and Spanish slave-raiding before Columbus’ official trip to the Americas. The slaves were Africans who had been living on the coast of Colombia for hundreds of years before the arrival of the Europeans to the New World. In fact, some of the very first African slaves to reach North America were Africans captured on the Coast of South America by the Spaniards and Dutch, then sold to North America (the U.S.) (See the writings of Peter Matyr, Balboa, Ivan Van Sertima); see also the world-famous book, “A History of the African-Olmecs, pub. by 1stbooks Library, 2595 Vernal Pike, Bloomington, Indiana 47404 U.S.A
or the work, “Susu Economics: The History of Pan-African Trade, Commerce, Money and Wealth,” by 1stBooks Library.)

SLAVERY, RACISM, EXPLOITATION AND GENOCIDE AGAINST LATIN-AMERICAN BLACKS

Slavery was abolished in Brazil in the late 1800’s. That was one of the last places to abandon slavery, just after some of the Spanish-speaking nations. Yet, today in many Latin American nations, the conditions are no different from the days of slavery. Blacks are stil being oppressed at a level that is beyond anything in existence except the oppression of Black Untouchables (Dalits) in India.

MISCEGENATION AS A TOOL OF GENOCIDE

Oppression against Blacks in Latin America follows a very different pattern from that which existed in the U.S. during the Jim Crow and Civil Rights era or even the slavery era. In the history of people of Spanish and Portugese origins, the African/Blacks are not some strange, unknown race. Blacks ruled Iberia for 800 years and contributed to the technological and cultural development of Spain and Europe. These Blacks who came from an area stretching from Nigeria to Morocco were Africans who had converted to Islam and created an African version of Islamic culture in parts of West Africa and the Maghreb. That culture used Islamic religion but the African customs, family values, structure, architecture, military system and languages remained intact. In Egypt, that was not the case, Arabic customs and culture replaced the old Khemitic (Felahim and Black Egyptian/Nubian traditions).

Thus, the Blacks who entered Spain in 711 A.D. were Islamized Africans and we know them as Black Moors. The Arabs invaded in abot 1000 A.D. and with them came in Jews and others. When Queen Isabella and Ferdinand defeated the Moors, millions dispersed throughout Europe, including the one million who went to Southern France. Many returned to Africa, others were enslaved and shipped to the Americas. Many were eliminated.

So, people of Spanish, Italian, Portugese, French and other southern European origins have been interacting with Africans even before there was a large European (Caucasian) population in Southern Europe.

Hence, the application of racial integration and miscegenation with the objective of blending out the Black is part of the system of Latin American/Spanish genocidal racism called “The Spanish Experiment.” It was applied in Spain to destroy the cultural and racial identify of the Blacks, Arabs and Jews in Spain after the takeover by the Spanish crown. This racist system is today applied in Brazil and Latin America, where the great mythology of “racial harmony” and “integration,” is being promoted. Yet, Blacks in Latin America, who know better, do not accept this genocidal “utopia” that is being pushed by the Latins in these nations.

The reality for Blacks in Latin America is what occurred in Choco, Colombia, where Blacks are not even counted. With about 30 percent or more of Colombia’s population being African descent, it is a matter of time that Blacks in that nation and the rest of Latin America, where the Black population is about 200 million, rise up in a struggle that is unlike any that the Americas has known.

BLACK UNIFICATION IN THE AMERICAS IS VERY IMPORTANT

The Organization of Africans in the Americas (O.A.A.), held a meeting in Venezeula about a year ago. That organization includes representatives of all Blacks living in the Americas, from Argentina to Canada. The objective of the OAA is to improve the lives of Blacks throughout the Americas whose suffering in some Latin American nations and elsewhere is becoming unbearable.

The newspaper “The Final Call,” carried an article about the various forms of racism, neglect and genocide being carried out against Blacks in Latin America. This reality was crucial in pushing for the establishment of the Organization of Africans in the Americas. The aim of that organization is the protection and the development of Blacks throughout the Americas. With the attacks on Blacks in Latin America, including the elimination of Black children on the streets of nations like Brazil and others, the organization has a task on its hands that will one day extend beyond mere poitical solutions.

The attack on the Blacks of Choco, Colombia, a region with remnants of people of African slave origins as well as Africans who lived in the region for thousands of years before European colonialism in the area, is really an attack on Black people all around the world. What do Blacks world-wide do, when racism and genocide worse than anything that happened in South Africa is allowed to fester in Latin America. What does the Black world, particularly powerful Black neighbors like Black America and the Black Caribbean do when Black people in Latin America are being treated worse than animals? We unite and formulate a policy of Black Liberation and upliftment throughout the Americas. We form alliances with Black nations and other nations around the world and work to improve the lives of Blacks on a worldwide scale. That is what the Organization for Africans in the Americas is doing and it is an organization that should build its strengh among the Black nations and communities in every nation of the Americas. It is only through unity and strength that Blacks will not be treated worse than animals in Latin America. It is through close cultural, economic, military and physical unity, contact and unification of African religion, culture and values that Blacks in the Americas will move forward. Languages like Spanish, Portugese, English, French and Dutch were the languages the slave-owning elite of Europe imposed on Blacks in the Americas, but who are we as African people. We are Niger-Congo. Our linguistic pattern, which is still thriving in the accents as well as actual languages of some in Cuba, Brazil and elsewhere is the Niger-Congo pattern. We are Africans of the Negro race and the fact that we are Black people is the reason why we are not respected and ran over by others. We who live throughout the Americas should reject all colonial and slave ties and work to unify our people. Perhaps we should return to making Yoruba a common language among the three hundred million people of African descent of the Americas. We should return the religions of Shango, Mbanda, Vadu, Lucumi and the African metephysical and spiritualist religions as a tool of spiritual and cultural unity. Perhaps publishing companies like Ebony, Essence and others should work to create versions in Spanish and Portugese. BET (Black Entertainment Television) and other Black owned media should expand in Black Latin America, where the vast majority of Americas-Africans reside. After all, WHERE WAS THE INFORMATION ABOUT THE MASSACRE OF BLACK PEOPLE IN COLUMBIA ON WHITE LATIN TELEVISION???? Where is anything about Black culture on white Latin television and media, which is even more racist and exclusive than American television and media, when it comes to Blacks.

It is time for a change and that change will come when Blacks who speak Spanish, French, Dutch, Portugese, Yoruba and Arabic (in Sudan) realize that we are Black Africans first and foremost and no matter which colonial language we speak, RACE IS THE ISSUE, and in Latin America as well as Arabic-speaking North Africa, or even West Papua, its our Blackness and African being that pushes people to attack us. Furthermore, it is the use of religion as an excuse to commit genocide, along with racist ideas that adds to the attack on Blacks. It is time to come up with a religious, political, economic and military ideology and strategy based on Black World Nationalism that counters and defeats racist oppression of Blacks in Latin America, the Americas and around the world.

Pianke Nubiyang

SEE THE “AFRO-LATIN, AFRICAN-AMERICAN, AFRO-BRITISH, AFRICAN,” page on the website below: Read more about Black Latin American, Black Brazilian, Black British, Black world issues, news, views, culture, music.

http://community.webtv.net/paulnubiaempire

Messages In This Thread

BLACKS ATTACKED IN COLOMBIA: RACISM IN LATIN AMERI
Pianke Nubiyang — 11, May 02, at 12:44 p.m.
Re: BLACKS ATTACKED IN COLOMBIA: RACISM IN LATIN A
Elvin Childs — 25, February 06, at 6:03 p.m.
Re: BLACKS ATTACKED IN COLOMBIA: RACISM IN LATIN A
Eski — 26, April 07, at 10:39 a.m.
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BLACKS IN COLUMBIA ARE ENDANGERED!

September 19, 2007

from cidcm.umd.edu

About MAR(Minorites at Risk program at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management,Univ. of Maryland,College Park,U.S.A)

Assessment for Blacks in Colombia
View Group Chronology

Colombia Facts
Area: 1,138,910 sq. km.
Capital: Bogota
Total Population: 38,581,000 (source: unknown, est.)

Risk Assessment | Analytic Summary | References

Risk Assessment
Two factors increase the likelihood of future black protest in Colombia: (1) territorial concentration and (2) reaction to government culpability in war crimes committed against black Colombians. Two factors favor the containment of rebellion: (1) a recent history of democratic government and elections, (2) lack of serious armed conflicts in neighboring countries.

Despite a strong regional identity and significant grievances, particularly with respect to the government’s failure to prevent the civil war’s victimization of innocent people, black Colombians, lacking a history of significant mobilization and beleaguered by the ongoing civil

Assessment for Blacks in Colombia
View Group Chronology

Colombia Facts
Area: 1,138,910 sq. km.
Capital: Bogota
Total Population: 38,581,000 (source: unknown, est.)

Risk Assessment | Analytic Summary | References

Risk Assessment
Two factors increase the likelihood of future black protest in Colombia: (1) territorial concentration and (2) reaction to government culpability in war crimes committed against black Colombians. Two factors favor the containment of rebellion: (1) a recent history of democratic government and elections, (2) lack of serious armed conflicts in neighboring countries.

Despite a strong regional identity and significant grievances, particularly with respect to the government’s failure to prevent the civil war’s victimization of innocent people, black Colombians, lacking a history of significant mobilization and beleaguered by the ongoing civil war, are unlikely to engage in future protest at levels higher than verbal protest.

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Analytic Summary
Colombia’s black population is concentrated in the Choco region along the Pacific Coast where they represent 95% of the population (GROUPCON = 3). Colombian blacks also inhabit urban centers and the Caribbean coastal region. They are distinguished by ethnocultural traits (ETHNOG = 1), religious traditions combining Catholicism with African customs (RELIG = 1), and polygamous family structures (CUSTOM = 1).

Black Colombians are the descendants of African slaves brought to Colombia in the 1700s to serve Spanish colonists, primarily as laborers (TRADITN = 1). The abolition of slavery in the years after 1850 coincided with the displacement of black laborers by an influx of non-blacks seeking employment in the mining, commerce, and timber industries then developing in black areas. Consequently, many blacks were forced to look for labor in urban centers such as Medellin and Bogota, where they work today primarily in domestic service and various low-skilled labor positions. Black labor continues to drive Colombia’s labor-intensive industries, notably the coffee plantations of Antioquia and the mines and trade services of the Choco. The long-held practice in Colombian society of blanqueamiento, or the dis-identification with blackness as expressed through the encouragement of race-mixing and the societal privileging of lighter skin, carries the legacy of discrimination and disadvantage Colombian blacks have endured since slavery (ATRISK1 = 1, ATRISK2 = 1).

Colombian blacks experience demographic stress in the form of deteriorating public health, migration to urban centers and abroad, and the dispossession of land by militant groups engaged in Colombia’s civil war (DEMSTR00 = 6) Discrimination and social exclusion limits access to the civil service and high office as well as general economic opportunity (ECDIS03 = 3, POLDIS03 = 3).

Black Colombians’ principal demands include: greater political rights in their own communities, greater participation in decision making at the central state level, equal civil rights and status, greater economic opportunities, and protection of land and jobs used for the advantage of other groups.

Colombian blacks are represented primarily by umbrella organizations (GOJPA03 = 1). The National Movement for the Human Rights of Black Communities in Colombia (Cimarron), which is modeled after the U.S. Black Panther and Nation of Islam movements, uses pamphlets and bulletins to mobilize smaller groups and organizations throughout the country. The Center for the Investigation and Development of Black Culture (CID), once funded by UNESCO, models its platform on the ideals of the U.S. civil rights movement. Annual seminars for black teachers and the publication of black literature are the organization’s primary activities. Among the smaller, more transient black Colombian organizations reported to be recently active are: Asociacion de Campesinos, Integral del Atrato, Asociacion Juvenil Nortecaucana, Equipo Misionero Medio, Fundacion Civica, Fundacion de Vida, Grupo de Mujeres, Hermanas Compania de Maria, Moviiento Investigativo Sinesio Mena, Organizacion de Barrios Populares, and Organizacion Regional Embera Wawnana. Though the concentration of blacks in the Choco region gives Colombian blacks a strong regional identity and there has been no reported intragroup conflict, the practice of blanqueamiento may have limited the extent to which black Colombians identify as a group. Black Colombians receive no direct support of significance from transnational actors.

Black mobilization since 1990 has included: Cimarron’s 1990 campaign to include reforms in the new constitution (PROT90 = 1), a 1992 petition to lobby for the implementation of property rights and cultural protections provisionally granted by the new constitution (PROT92 = 1), a 1994 protest outside the Colombian Institute of Anthropology calling for the fulfillment of legally-mandated studies of the black population (PROT94 = 3), a 1995 demonstration, organized by the Regional Indigenous Organization Embera Wounaan (OREWA), against the development of land on which black Colombians live and to include blacks in land demarcations in the Choco (PROT95 = 3). More recently black Colombians have voiced opposition to under-representation in the national census and to anti-narcotic fumigation of black regions (PROT00 = 1). The greatest adversary of the black population continues to be the bloody civil war waged by military, guerrilla, and paramilitary forces—all of which share responsibility for killings, disappearances, and land displacements in black communities (INTERCON00 = 1). More recently, in May 2002, during a fight for control of the Afro-Colombian fishing village of Bellavista (located on the Middle Atrato River in the municipality of Bojayá) FARC launched a bomb at AUC, which had holed up around the catholic church of St. Paul the Apostle. The bomb, made from a propane gas canister packed with explosives and shrapnel, hit the church instead, killing 119 (45 of whom were children) and injuring 108 of the 500 people who had taken refuge inside. The attack wiped out 10 percent of the village. Due to continued fighting in the area, more than 5,000 people fled the Bojayá region, the town of Bellavista, and the town across the Atrato River, Vigía del Fuerte. It took the Colombian army six days to reach the village, after fighting eight battles with the FARC or the ACCU in the jungle environment to regain control of the River.

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References
Cordoba, Amir Smith. Vision Sociocultural del Negro en Colombia. Bogota. Centor para la Investigacion de la Cultura Negra en Colombia. 1986.

Espinosa, Manuel Jose Cepeda. Ethnic Minorities and Constitutional Reform in Colombia. Presented at the Woodrow Wilson Center Latin American Program. November 15, 1994.

Lexis-Nexis news reports. 2001-2003.

Solaun, Mauricio and Sidney Kronus. Discrimination Without Violence. New York. John Wiley and Sons. 1973.

U.S. Department of State. Colombia Human Rights Practices. March 1995. 2001-2003.

Wade, Peter. The Cultural Politics of Blackness in Colombia. XVIII LASA International Congress. March 1994.

Wade, Peter. Blackness and Race Mixture. Baltimore. Johns Hopkins University Press. 1993.

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© 2004 • Minorities At Risk Project

Center for International
Development and
Conflict Management

0145 Tydings Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Last Updated December 31, 2003

Chronology for Blacks in Colombia
View Group Assessment

View Additional Chronology Information

Date(s) Item
1989 OREWA (the Regional Organization of Emberas and Waunanas) organized the First Meeting for the Unity and Defence of Indigenous and Black Communities. This meeting formed the joint organization, ACADESAN, the Peasant Association of San Juan River, for the purpose of protesting the development of the Pacific region.
Jul 1990 The First Meeting of Black Communities was held to organize and mobilize blacks to lobby for reforms in the new constitution. Black candidates also ran for election for the Constituent Assembly. One candidate was from the Liberal Party, one represented Cimarron, and one represented the guerrilla group, FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia). None of these delegates were elected.
Dec 1990 The black group Cimarron lobbied the National Constituent Assembly for reforms in the new constitution for blacks.
Jul 1991 The organization and mobilization of blacks increased due to the Transitory Law, which had to be passed by 1993. Cimarron and church groups formed the Organization of Black Communities. This organization facilitated the coordination of local groups and programs to publicize the Article.
Jul 5, 1991 The new constitution was ratified by the Constituent Assembly. Transitory Article 55 was passed, but had to be implemented through the passage of a law which was subject to study by a government commission. This law would recognize the “collective property rights for black communities which have been occupying tierras baldias (public or state lands) in the rural riverine zones of the rivers of the Pacific Basin.” The law also established “mechanisms for the protection of the cultural identity and rights of these communities, and for the promotion of their economic and social development.” The law could also apply to other black regions of the country that met similar requirements.
Apr 1, 1992 The government formed a special commission to review Article 55.
Oct 18, 1992 500 people were left homeless and 20 injured due to an earthquake which hit one of the poorest regions of Colombia in the northwest, near Antioquia – inhabited by indigenous and black populations.
Nov 1992 Black organization delegates signed a petition to refuse to assist in the commission until the government fulfills its obligations to the black members. Negotiations were held between the government and black members to resume the study of the Article.
Aug 27, 1993 The President ratified Law 70. This law recognizes black communities as an ethnic group and defines the titling of collective land rights to whole black communities on the rivers of the Pacific region. The law gives land rights to communities, but excludes community control over natural resources, subsoils, National Park areas, zones of military importance, and urban areas. It also contains articles to improve education, training, and access to credit for blacks. Black representatives were appointed to the National Planning Council, regional planning boards, and a Consultative Commission to inform the government of the implementation of the law. Discrimination was outlawed against blacks and education must include cultural diversity. Two representative were also appointed positions in the National Constituent Assembly.
Dec 1993 The government initiated policies to employ black police officers in black community areas, such as the Choco, through scholarship and training programs.
Jan 1994 In the western town of Las Chinitas (inhabited by indigenous and black people) guerrilla groups attacked and killed 38 people in the streets.
1994 One black congresswoman and one congressman were elected to the National Constituent Assembly.
Apr 10, 1994 Blacks protested outside the Colombian Institute of Anthropology to develop research programs for the study of black populations in addition to indigenous populations. The new Law 70 states that research on black populations must be conducted.
Aug 1994 A government sponsored policy, called BioPacific, was formulated to improve the land rights and living situations of Afro-Colombians. The policy is aimed at preserving areas of land for black communities and for environmental protection.
May 13, 1995 OREWA lobbied the government and held a demonstration against the development of forest lands upon which black-Colombians live. OREWA, which represents blacks and indigenous people, has also lobbied to include blacks in the demarcation of lands in the forest area of the Choco.
May 15, 1995 Senator Piedad Corboda de Castro, a black female senator from Colombia, visited the U.S. to build ties between the black communities of both countries. She told the human rights conference members that black-Colombians were still marginalized in society. Aside from the human rights conference which she attended, she met with diplomats, international financial institutions, and African-American organizations.

top

© 2004 • Minorities At Risk Project

Center for International
Development and
Conflict Management

0145 Tydings Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Last Updated January 10, 2007

Chronology for Blacks in Colombia
View Group Assessment

View Additional Chronology Information

Date(s) Item
1989 OREWA (the Regional Organization of Emberas and Waunanas) organized the First Meeting for the Unity and Defence of Indigenous and Black Communities. This meeting formed the joint organization, ACADESAN, the Peasant Association of San Juan River, for the purpose of protesting the development of the Pacific region.
Jul 1990 The First Meeting of Black Communities was held to organize and mobilize blacks to lobby for reforms in the new constitution. Black candidates also ran for election for the Constituent Assembly. One candidate was from the Liberal Party, one represented Cimarron, and one represented the guerrilla group, FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia). None of these delegates were elected.
Dec 1990 The black group Cimarron lobbied the National Constituent Assembly for reforms in the new constitution for blacks.
Jul 1991 The organization and mobilization of blacks increased due to the Transitory Law, which had to be passed by 1993. Cimarron and church groups formed the Organization of Black Communities. This organization facilitated the coordination of local groups and programs to publicize the Article.
Jul 5, 1991 The new constitution was ratified by the Constituent Assembly. Transitory Article 55 was passed, but had to be implemented through the passage of a law which was subject to study by a government commission. This law would recognize the “collective property rights for black communities which have been occupying tierras baldias (public or state lands) in the rural riverine zones of the rivers of the Pacific Basin.” The law also established “mechanisms for the protection of the cultural identity and rights of these communities, and for the promotion of their economic and social development.” The law could also apply to other black regions of the country that met similar requirements.
Apr 1, 1992 The government formed a special commission to review Article 55.
Oct 18, 1992 500 people were left homeless and 20 injured due to an earthquake which hit one of the poorest regions of Colombia in the northwest, near Antioquia – inhabited by indigenous and black populations.
Nov 1992 Black organization delegates signed a petition to refuse to assist in the commission until the government fulfills its obligations to the black members. Negotiations were held between the government and black members to resume the study of the Article.
Aug 27, 1993 The President ratified Law 70. This law recognizes black communities as an ethnic group and defines the titling of collective land rights to whole black communities on the rivers of the Pacific region. The law gives land rights to communities, but excludes community control over natural resources, subsoils, National Park areas, zones of military importance, and urban areas. It also contains articles to improve education, training, and access to credit for blacks. Black representatives were appointed to the National Planning Council, regional planning boards, and a Consultative Commission to inform the government of the implementation of the law. Discrimination was outlawed against blacks and education must include cultural diversity. Two representative were also appointed positions in the National Constituent Assembly.
Dec 1993 The government initiated policies to employ black police officers in black community areas, such as the Choco, through scholarship and training programs.
Jan 1994 In the western town of Las Chinitas (inhabited by indigenous and black people) guerrilla groups attacked and killed 38 people in the streets.
1994 One black congresswoman and one congressman were elected to the National Constituent Assembly.
Apr 10, 1994 Blacks protested outside the Colombian Institute of Anthropology to develop research programs for the study of black populations in addition to indigenous populations. The new Law 70 states that research on black populations must be conducted.
Aug 1994 A government sponsored policy, called BioPacific, was formulated to improve the land rights and living situations of Afro-Colombians. The policy is aimed at preserving areas of land for black communities and for environmental protection.
May 13, 1995 OREWA lobbied the government and held a demonstration against the development of forest lands upon which black-Colombians live. OREWA, which represents blacks and indigenous people, has also lobbied to include blacks in the demarcation of lands in the forest area of the Choco.
May 15, 1995 Senator Piedad Corboda de Castro, a black female senator from Colombia, visited the U.S. to build ties between the black communities of both countries. She told the human rights conference members that black-Colombians were still marginalized in society. Aside from the human rights conference which she attended, she met with diplomats, international financial institutions, and African-American organizations.

top

© 2004 • Minorities At Risk Project

Center for International
Development and
Conflict Management

0145 Tydings Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Last Updated January 10, 2007

“POLYGAMY AND CIVIL RIGHTS” IN AMERIKKKA!

September 19, 2007

from intentionalfamily.org

POLYGAMY AND CIVIL RIGHTS

ISSUE:

The right to practice polygamy is considered to be the next civil rights battle and many individuals and groups are working to have anti-polygamy laws struck down as unconstitutional.

CURRENT STATUS:

In the U.S., pro-polygamy forces have many supporters — legally, academically and culturally:

Polygamy is supported in principle by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Libertarian Party.

In a 2004 commentary in USA Today, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said anti-polygamy laws are hypocritical and that Green’s 2001 bigamy conviction was “simply a matter of unequal treatment under the law.”

Georgia State University professor Patricia Dixon interviewed numerous polygamous families who live in three black (U.S.) communities: African Hebrew Israelite, Ausar Auset Society and African American Muslim. In her book, We Want for Our Sisters What We Want for Ourselves (2002), Ms. Dixon concluded that polygyny, in which one man co-partners with many women, can be quite advantageous for women when it’s practiced openly and with consent, The women in these communities would “really appreciate” having polygamy rights, “Not having a legal license [as a second or third wife] causes a lot of anxiety.”

“Polygamy rights is the next civil rights battle” has become the motto of a Christian group that believes in “freely consenting, adult, non-abusive, marriage-committed polygamy”. Mark Henkel, founder of http://www.TruthBearer.org website, has said: “There’s no doubt about it, we are next. Liberals and feminists have to be pro-polygamy because of their tolerance doctrine and belief in a woman’s right to choose, which certainly includes ‘the right to choose polygamy’. The goal… is to convince conservatives, especially Christians, that ‘consenting adult’ polygamy is biblical and valuable, both to society and to individual men and women. Opposition to polygamy will come crashing down … like a house of cards.”

“We’ve got some judicial activists all over the country, especially on the 9th Circuit [Court of Appeals], who would probably be ready, willing and able to include polygamy as a constitutional right,” says Jan LaRue, legal specialist at Concerned Women for America.

An estimated 30,000 to 80,000 families are living polygamously in the United States, including hundreds of Laotian Hmongs in Minnesota and thousands of fundamentalist Mormons in Arizona and Utah.

Individual citizens, who are starting to wonder why polygamy is a crime, ask the following kinds of questions?

o If consenting adults who prefer polygamy can do everything else a husband and wife can do—have sex, live together, buy property, and bring up children jointly — why should they be prohibited from legally committing themselves to the solemn duties that attach to marriage? How is society worse off if these informal relationships are formalized and pushed toward permanence?

o Why is it a crime for an upstanding, tax-paying legal U.S. citizen who chooses to legally marry one wife and they solemnize, in a religious ceremony only, a relationship with another consenting adult? All parties are adults capable of making this decision and willing to live with each other in this scenario freely. I thought the protection of religious choices and the privacy of intimate, personal relationships between consenting adults were upheld by the U.S. Constitution?

o Isn’t it funny that a married man can legally have a mistress, children out of wedlock and that, without the knowledge or consent of his legal wife, sleep with other women – or men for that matter – and the legal system looks the other way? Yet, a spiritual man who believes it’s wrong to have marital relations outside the sanctity of God’s holy ordinance, and without the permission or knowledge of his legal wife, is a criminal if he lives a polygamous lifestyle.

BACKGROUND:

Polygamy was outlawed in the U.S. during Colonial days, when Mormon pioneers in Utah wished for Utah to become a state. When Mormon pioneers moved to areas of western Canada, the Government of Canada also created anti-polygamy legislation.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected polygamy in its 1879 decision in Reynolds v. United States, which said government can enforce anti-polygamy laws even if they run counter to people’s religious beliefs.

Utah’s Constitution outlaws polygamy “forever” and, in 2001, the state’s anti-polygamy laws were upheld when Thomas Green, a fundamentalist Mormon man with five wives, was sent to prison for bigamy and related crimes.

In recent years, the U.S. federal government and 40 states have passed Defense of Marriage Acts and/or constitutional amendments that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Source documents:

“Why is this a crime?” by Janie Miller The Salt Lake Tribune May 23, 2006
http://www.polygamy.com/articles/templates/?a=182&z=2

“The Marriage of Many” by Cheryl Wetzstein The Washington Times December 11, 2005
http://www.washingtontimes.com/specialreport/20051211-121113-7195r.htm

“Polygamy Is ‘Next Civil Rights Battle,’ Activists Say” by Randy Hall Staff Writer/Editor, CNSNews.com, March 16, 2006 http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=%5CCulture%5Carchive%5C200603%5CCUL20060316a.html


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