The development of the United States has been marked by conflict over questions of race. Our nation was formed only after Native Americans were displaced. The institution of slavery had as its underpinnings the belief in white supremacy. In slavery’s aftermath, people of color have borne the brunt of violence and discrimination. James Jerome Bell unequivocally condemns these evils, recognizing them as a social problem of paramount significance.
The community of people of African ancestry whose family members were held in chattel slavery in what is now the United States of America have legitimate claims to reparations including monetary compensation for centuries of human rights violations, including the Transatlantic Slave Trade — now recognized by the United Nations as a “crime against humanity.” As our Nation has done in the past with respect to the Choctaw, the Lakota, the Lambuth, and more recently for Japanese
Americans and the European Jewish community, reparations are now due to address the debt still owed to descendants of enslaved Africans.
African-Americans deserve reparations for hundreds of years of slavery followed by another 150 years of terrorism, brutality and oppression. African-Americans deserve reparations to help heal the mental, emotional and financial injuries resulting from the lynching campaign, segregation, Jim Crow laws, media stereotypes, taxation without representation, structural racism and legalized inequality. African-Americans should be granted reparation not just because it is right; but because of the practical benefits reparations would bring to the entire nation. The secondary effects of racism – hopelessness, violence, mental illness, drug abuse, family disintegration and community disunity – have made the United States of America weaker as a nation. These secondary effects have weakened the entire fabric of our nation by sowing seeds of division; causing a nation once bent on realizing the high ideals stated so elegantly in the United States Constitution to degenerate into a destructive disunity – leading to taxation without representation even for most White Americans.
Independent presidential candidate James Jerome Bell is committed to full and complete reparations to the African American community of this nation for the past four hundred plus years of genocide, slavery, land-loss, destruction of original identity and the stark disparities which haunt the present evidenced in unemployment statistics, substandard and inadequate education, higher levels of mortality including infant and maternal mortality and the practice of mass incarceration. James Jerome Bell recognizes that reparations are a debt (not charity) that is owed by our own and other nations and by the corporate institutions chartered under our laws to a collective of people. He believes that the leadership on the question of what our nation owes to this process of right ought to come from the African American community, whose right to self-determination and autonomy to chart the path to healing should be fully recognized.
James Jerome Bell believes that — until significant steps are taken to reverse the ongoing abuses; to end the criminalization of the Black and Brown communities, to eradicate poverty, to invest in education, health care and the restoration and protection of human rights — it will be impossible to repair the continuing damage wrought by the ideology of white supremacy which permeates the governing institutions of our nation.
While consensus is still evolving on what would constitute full and complete reparations, James Jerome Bell supports the following initial steps:
- Creation of a claim of action and a right to recover inherited wealth and other profits accumulated from the slave trade for the benefit of a reparations trust fund.
- The repeal of the slave clauses that survive today in the U.S. Constitution.
- The restoration of lands stolen through a variety of tactics including: violence, terrorism and the discriminatory access to operating capital that together has robbed black farmers and the broader community of their lands.
- The release of all political prisoners held by the USA. It is time that the political frame-ups, the prosecutorial misconduct and the racist application of police power that pass for justice in our country be buried and those victimized by these abuses of state power be given their lives back.
- Support for existing Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as new and existing Education and Development Funds.
Independent presidential candidate James Jerome Bell support efforts to overcome the effects of over 200 years of racial discrimination. He has called for an end to official support for any remaining symbols of slavery and specifically call for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from all government buildings.
James Jerome Bell condemns the practice of racial profiling by law enforcement agencies, which are guilty of stopping motorists, harassing individuals, or using unwarranted violence against suspects with no other justification than race or ethnic background. He favors strong measures to combat official racism in the forms of police brutality directed against people of color.
He supports effective enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, including language access to voting.
He opposes discriminatory English-only pressure groups, calling for a national language policy that would encourage all citizens to be fluent in at least two languages.
He strongly supports the vigorous enforcement of civil rights laws, the aggressive prosecution of hate crimes, and the strengthening of legal services for the poor.
James Jerome Bell has great respect for Native American cultures, especially their deference for community and the Earth. He recognizes both the sovereignty of Native American tribal governments and the Federal Government’s trust obligation to Native American people. Native American nations are just that — nations — and should be treated in like fashion, with the special circumstance that they are located within the United States.
The federal government is obligated to deal in good faith with Native Americans; honor its treaty obligations; adequately fund programs for the betterment of tribal governments and their people; affirm the religious rights of Native Americans in ceremonies (American Indian Religious Freedom Act); provide funds for innovative economic development initiatives, education and public health programs; and respect land, water and mineral rights within the borders of reservations and traditional lands.
He supports efforts to broadly reform the Bureau of Indian Affairs to make this vast agency more responsible and more responsive to tribal governments. He supports the just settlement of the claims of the thousands of Native American uranium miners who have suffered and died from radiation exposure. He condemns the stance of secrecy taken by the Atomic Energy Commission during this era and its subsequent claim of government immunity, taken knowingly and immorally at the expense of Native people. He supports the complete clean-up of those mines and tailing piles, which are a profoundly destructive legacy of the Cold War.
Native American land and treaty rights often stand as the front line against government and multinational corporate attempts to plunder energy, mineral, timber, fish, and game resources; pollute water, air, and land in the service of the military; expand economically; and consume natural resources. James Jerome Bell supports legal, political, and grassroots efforts by, and on behalf of, Native Americans to protect their traditions, rights, livelihoods, and sacred spaces. He supports the rights of indigenous peoples to their lands, their ways of life, and all other rights of free peoples. He supports the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the UN General Assembly on September 13, 2007, and call for its provisions to be actively supported by our own government and by governments worldwide.