Is Arizona turning the clock back on civil rights?
The violation was known as "vagrancy." If you
were a black man in the South following Reconstruction,
and you were unable to show proof of employment
on-demand to the police, you could be arrested and
delivered into what Douglas Blackmon, author
of Slavery by Another Name, calls "Neo-Slavery."
"Show me your papers" in the vernacular of the
late 19th Century through World War II involved furnishing pay stubs or,
if you were lucky, the word of your employer
-- some kind of evidence proving to a police officer that you were employed.
But what if you forgot to carry your employment
records with you when you left the house that morning? What if you were
-- like so many regular citizens -- unaware of
the anti-vagrancy law? Hell, what if you were simply unemployed?
It might be your last mistake as a free citizen
of the United States.
Like so many other African American males of that
era, you might be incarcerated, convicted and perhaps sold
to a farming, mining or lumber operation. Yes,
sold. After the Civil War. After the abolition of slavery and the
ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. Slavery,
it turns out, survived.
It seems obvious that Arizona is going to have
to retreat on this.
The boycotts will grow and grow, costing them
hundreds of millions of dollars.
They could wait a year and reverse things (and lose all that money)
but why wait?
Back to Bartcop.com