Update: St. Louis Jail Crisis & Its History As A City of Slavery

Last week victims of modern day slavery and human trafficking in St. Louis were filmed by a local Fox2Now reporter Elliot Davis begging and screaming for help in a facility that held as many as 750 people plus staff. The detainees were screaming for help as they were slowly baking without air-conditioning during days when temperatures reached as high as 107 degrees with lows of 89. Mr. Davis, who should win a Pulitzer for excellence in journalism, stood outside the facility last week and recorded inmates saying “please help me” and “we ain’t got no AC” at the medium security jail nicknamed the “workhouse.” Local St. Louis Public Radio reported that its at least 10 degrees higher inside the workhouse than what the temperature is outside.

Saint Louis has a history of slavery and some would say it was founded on slavery. The St. Louis Dispatch reported in 2014 that “Slavery was a fact of life in St. Louis from the beginning”. Writer Tip O’Neill wrote that it was more than likely victims of slavery who cleared the land to start the town in 1764. Later In 1804, US Army Capt. Amos Stoddard wrote “They are habitually cruel to their slaves.” regarding the local citizens. A New Englander, Stoddard was the United States’ first representative there after the Louisiana Purchase from France which shares a similar history of slavery and human trafficking.

Stoddard said he found slavery distasteful but he bowed anyway to the wishes of St. Louis’ perverse families who peddled in captive flesh and cheap labor. Stoddard claimed that the wealthy slavers fretted their victims might get ideas of freedom under the new management of the United States so he agreed to enforce a “slave code” of restrictions. That would have been the most likely outcome considering the person given credit for the United States acquiring almost 1 million square miles of land was President Thomas Jefferson who in addition to being a rapist of his victims of slavery once bragged in a letter about how his wealth increased with the birth of each new victim of slavery. Jefferson would get along well with the slavers of St. Louis.

The city, of course, is located in the infamous St. Louis County, Missouri, whose combined modern slave patrol forces put down a modern rebellion against slave codes that were in effect in the town of Ferguson just miles from the city.

The rebellion against the slave codes that an FBI report said violated U.S. Federal law was sparked by the killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson by former slaver catcher and suspected murderer Darren Wilson. Ferguson will go down in the history of rebellions against modern slavery and human trafficking in the United States and it inspired the award winning radio podcast New Abolitionists Radio’s “America Is Ferguson” weekly series on slave code conditions all across the United States.

Because people took action we can report that action on behalf of the prisoners caused the authorities in St. Louis to resolve the air conditioning problem at the jail.

In three weeks, people from all over the world have a chance to take action and perhaps make history by attending the first public slavery abolitionist convention since before the passage of the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution. The 13Th did not abolish slavery but reserved it as punishment for crimes. When one group controls the legislative houses that pass laws that outlaw non-violent behavior that people engage in a display of abuse of power and uses that power to target and oppress certain groups and/or classes of people, a grave injustice is commited against humanity. Find out more information about how to join the new abolitionist movement and come out to the abolitionist rally taking place in the park in front of the White House that victims of slavery built in Washington, DC on August 19th.

The author Scotty T. Reid has been writing and podcasting about social/political issues since 2007 and is the producer of several successful digital radio programs and the founder of the non-profit new media education organization Black Talk Media Project and the Black Talk Radio Network. He is part of the New Abolitionists Movement to abolish slavery in the United States as permitted by the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution. He is a United States Army veteran, serving a tour in the Gulf War and one of the many descendants of American Revolutionary Samuel Rankin that still reside in Gaston County, North Carolina. He is also a descendant of Afro-Americans of North Carolina and the Cherokee tribes of Western North Carolina. He considers the Autobiography of Malcolm X to be the greatest influence on his life.

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