WUDC Thessaloniki Quarterfinals

TH supports the establishment of a black secessionary state within the territory of the US, the founding of which is supported by the American government.

Opening Government

Mr. Speaker,

The United States of America is a global empire built upon the subjugation of the black body. A nation built on a tradition of plunder, of slavery and of exclusion, a condition that continues to this day in a modern Jim Crow, where black people are locked up in prisons, where they are systematically kept out of the halls of power and the bastions of opportunity that we call things like education and health care. We’re proud, on opening government to stand for a people who have now withstood 400 years of victimization, marginalization, and exclusion.  We say enough is enough, we’ll give them a state. A three part model from opening government:

Model:

First, we’re going to give them a resource rich, well located part of the United States, following on the tradition of reparation based state giving i.e. Israel. And just for the sake of it, we’re going to give them Texas.

The second thing: we’re going to fulfill the reparation part of our model by saying that the United States government as it presently stands will provide technical expertise and in the first few years to get it off the ground, we’ll provide the funding for the budget.

The third thing is that it will stand as any other nation, that’s to say you can have dual citizenship with the United States, we think that’s okay for instance. We think that it will be recognized by international organizations like the GA. We allow the free flow of remittances back into that nation.

Two arguments that I’m going to present:

First is on the principle of reparation.

We say, first of all, the most important thing when it comes to reparations for historical injustice is that it be directly proportionate. It is a requirement of the principle of fairness, that is to say justice, that when you have a violation of the principle equality of individuals. That what is involved is the restoration of that past equality. The reason that that’s precisely important in this instance is because any other form of reparation would be totally inconmensurable to the kind harm inflicted upon these people. So you may apologize or you may give them more funding which is what we suspect those guys are going to stand for, but that will never systematically count for the kind of harms that we visited upon those. What are precisely the harms that the United States government have systematically inflicted on African Americans and why does that necessarily require statehood as the measure and the mechanism of reparation.

Three things that we did:

First, we denied them nationhood. And most directly we denied them nationhood. The black population of the United States begins on a fundamental  act of displacement. That is to say, white people going into Africa and rounding people onto ships, taking them out of nations that they had already belonged to, nations they could otherwise freely move out of. So it comes from displacement and it comes from a refusal to allow people to immigrate. You couldn’t, as a black slave, move out of your state let alone out of your country. The denial of that ability to choose your nation for yourself is one that requires direct redress in the form of statehood.

The second thing that we did to African Americans is we disenfranchised them. That is to say your democratic right to be heard, to be counted as a citizen among equals in ….. That requires directly, an engagement with a state that gives you precisely that democratic right. We think that enhancement of citizenship is something that’s required.

The third harm visited upon African Americans is plunder. We say that the harm of US government policy, isn’t just that they did negative policies, but rather that they stole money from African Americans. How did they do this. First, they taxed them without giving them any representation. If you tax people with the promise that you’ll get equal opportunities, education, and health, but don’t provide any of those things, we say that that is theft. When you lock up individuals unjustly and deprive them of their productive capacity to work or to earn a living wage for themselves, that too is theft. We say that those three things require in principle statehood. The importance of this argument is that it’s not premised on any hypothetical successes or failures of that future state. That is to say it’s in those people’s right to exercise for themselves and to form a system of government that they think will work for them. Just the way we don’t deny any citizen the right to a nation just because we don’t think it will work out for them, we think here the principle of reparation makes it a requirement.

Second. This makes it better for African Americans.

We’re going to explain, why the comparative they need to defend on their side is delayed reform, and in many instances no reform at all. The reason why that’s the case is because African Americans have limited democratic representation in the United States as it presently stands. This is for a host of reasons. It’s for zoning laws that have gerrymandering which have almost irreversibly meant that black people are put into smaller ghettos rather than having a bigger say in broader electorates. It’s for a history of disenfranchisement, which means that African Americans are systemically less likely to turn out and to exercise their right to vote.  It’s because of the control of the media and organizations like Fox and more importantly local media which is disproportionately owned by white people. It’s because of schooling and the ability to find education which directly correlates with you understanding voting issues and being able to turn out the vote and the systemic failures of schools in African American districts and lastly, it’s for the existence of a two party system, where the Democrats can by and large count on African American votes and assume that because they don’t have Donald Trump on their side, you’re going to be able to get their votes.

POI: Why don’t politicians in the Democratic party have an incentive to cater to African American interests if anything to ensure turnout which you say doesn’t happen in the status quo.

A: Because they won’t vote Republican.

The second thing I’m going to talk about is what kind of change this leads to. The first thing that this does is that it gives them more money. Where does that money come from. First, it comes from resources that they get by controlling oil mines, and we’re happy to give them – like if we do shale in Alaska for instance – we’re happy to give them a cut of that as well. The reason why that money and those resources rents don’t currently get to African Americans is because of really low tax rates, which means that it goes into the pockets of executives at Enron instead of African American communities.  Second. Internally, it means that African Americans for the first time have jobs on all different levels of the corporate structure. That’s to say you’re not just a low level employee, which can happen presently, but you’re middle management and upper management as well. The third thing is, within the state you don’t have to do silly things that the US system does at the moment like spending a vast  amount of their GDP on military for instance or for farm subsidies for white farmers in Iowa. We think that makes them do those things. That kind of money is going to go towards productive things like the education and healthcare system which for far too long has been disenfranchised. We think it allows them to escape from a police state that has been oppressing them. Reparations is a principled requirement. Statehood is the only way to deliver on that promise. We’re very proud to propose.

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