The US has a long and shameful history of treating women like property Michael Koard


As they write this week’s column, the misogynist and theocratic majority in the US Supreme Court has overturned over 50 years of judicial precedent by overturning the Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973, declaring that women’s bodies do not belong to them, but belong mostly to male government.

Replica of the 1848 slave auction poster displayed at the Michigan Street Baptist Church in Buffalo, New York (Image via The Philadelphia Tribune).

In doing so, the court also declared – in effect – that if women and girls die by being forced to have unsafe abortions in backyards, so be it.

It is estimated that there were between 630,000 and 886,000 abortions in 2021. That means as many as nearly 900,000 women and girls could die in 2022 as a result of this Supreme Court reversal.

It’s bad when men control the bodies of women and girls. In fact it is very bad. But during slavery it was even worse.

Have you ever heard the expression “bud’n out”? If you’ve been on social media in the past few days or have friends who have been on social media in the past few days, you’ve surely seen or heard this phrase in a post that went viral. But if you haven’t, please continue reading this article because I will explain. However, as The Tribune is an impressively plush publication, I won’t be as graphic in explaining the term as I probably should be. But I’ll make sure you understand how appallingly lewd it is.

As you can see just below the headline in this article, the “bud’n out” phrase is featured on the “Slave Auction” poster.

As reported by thefocus.news on June 21:

“A poster promoting ‘slaves for sale’ went viral on Twitter after its content horrified readers. The poster also includes the phrase “bud’n out” the meaning of which is even worse than you could have imagined…. The poster advertises a public auction held on Thursday, April 12, 1848 at O’Donald’s Auction House in Charleston, South Carolina.”

And as documented on urbansimplicity.com in its June 16 essay on the historic Michigan Street Baptist Church, which began in 1836 with an abolitionist pastor and congregation, it is the first black church in Buffalo, New York, and served as a key focal point for the subway:

“There were some deeply disturbing things [Bishop William Henderson highlighted]. From the 18 women for sale [as shown on the poster], 8 … came with “future insurance,” meaning they could still have children. So essentially pay the price of a human and you have the potential to get more.”

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That is outrageously inhuman. And it gets worse. The essay continues by noting that the learned Bishop Henderson stated:

“Even more chilling is… the description of the 6 girls [in connection with the phrase ‘bud’n out].’ That meant two things. Because the girls were going through puberty [which is what the phrase means]they were available for the personal pleasure of the “slave” owners and also had the opportunity to have children – more “future insurance”.

Wow! “Bud’n out” means puberty! The National Library of Medicine says puberty begins in women between the ages of 8 and 12½. That means from 8 years. Eight years old! Black girls as young as 8 were sold to creepy, perverted, “slave-owning” pedophile men who could legally do to these little girls whatever their sick fantasies wanted.

Stop for a minute and think about it. And think of your innocent little second/third class daughter, granddaughter, great-granddaughter, niece, great-niece or great-grand-niece.

Then stop for a minute and think about how common not only was “bud’n out,” but that the rape of enslaved black girls and women occurred throughout the 246-year existence of American slavery from 1619-1865.

Incidentally, whenever a white man raped an enslaved black woman or girl, not only could the devastated victim not file a criminal complaint, but that victim also could not sue in civil court for assault or psychological distress. However, if the “owner” was not the rapist, that owner (if he wished) could sue the perpetrator for “damage to property.” WTF?!

In editor Merril D. Smith’s 2018 Encyclopedia of Rape, Yale University archivist and librarian Dannell Moon pointed out that slavery in this country includes widespread rape and sexual abuse.

And Nell Irvin Painter, professor, historian and former President of the Organization of American Historians, aptly described what went on in this relentless and all-consuming, viciously exploitative sexual hell as “soul murder” for the victims, with the trauma that resulted leads to deep depression and irreversibly low self-esteem. Painter passionately expanded on this concept in her 1995 scholarly article Soul Murder and Slavery: Toward a Fully Loaded Cost Accounting.

I should mention that the “slave-making” rapists weren’t strictly the stereotypical toothless hillbilly type, like the degenerates in the movie Deliverance.

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Among them were also politically influential people. And nobody is more politically influential than a US President. During their lifetime, the following 12 presidents enslaved Black people (and the last eight did so during their tenure): Martin Van Buren at one, Ulysses S. Grant at five, Andrew Johnson at eight, William Henry Harrison at 11, James K. Polk at 25, John Tyler at 70, James Monroe at 75, James Madison at around 100-125, Zachary Taylor at around 150, Andrew Jackson at around 150-200, Thomas Jefferson at 267, and George Washington at 316.

And what do you think many or most of these powerful white men probably did to these powerless black women and girls? You don’t think Thomas Jefferson was the exception, do you? As a US envoy and minister to France, Jefferson lived there regularly from 1784 to 1789.

He took his eldest daughter, Martha, and some of those he enslaved, including James Hemings. In 1787 he asked his daughter Polly to join him. This meant that Polly’s enslaved maid, 14-year-old seamstress Sally Hemings (James’ younger sister), was to accompany her.

Both Sally and James were among the six mulatto descendants of Jefferson’s father-in-law, John Wayles, and his enslaved “domestic servant,” Betty Hemings. Sally and James were half-siblings to Jefferson’s late wife, Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson (meaning Thomas Jefferson and Sally were technically related). Jefferson, after repeatedly raping Sally in Paris, impregnated her. Her first child died after she returned to America. But she had six more of his children in Monticello.

And don’t forget West Ford, whose descendants say he was George Washington’s mulatto son. And here’s why. Washington and Ford spit out images of each other, as historical drawings of both in their early 20s clearly attest. Log in to westfordlegacy.com to view them.

Additionally, Ford’s mother Venus was “owned” by Washington’s brother and sister-in-law at Bushfield Plantation, who visited Washington several times, including between July 1784 and January 1785 when Ford was conceived. Also, Venus said Washington was Ford’s father. In addition, Ford became Washington’s personal attendant at Bushfield Plantation during Washington’s frequent visits there, when they rode and hunted together and attended church together—until all of this ended abruptly when Washington became president in 1789.

And it wasn’t just presidents who likely raped enslaved black women and girls. It was probably many or most of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, since 41 of them were slave owners. And of the 55 signatories to the US Constitution, 25 were slave owners.

Elizabeth Keckley, the mulatto daughter of a raped mother, has written a compelling book, Behind the Scenes; Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House,” published 1868.

In it, she recounted the “wild effort [of a white man] to quell my pride,” adding, “I was considered handsome for one of my races, and for four years a white man had … bad intentions toward me. I don’t want to delve into this subject because it is one that is filled with pain. Suffice it to say he stalked me for four years and I became… a mother. The child he fathered was the only child I ever gave birth to.”

Before concluding this article, I must give Tamorah Shareef Muhammad kudos. She’s the Sistah, with the Twitter handle @ModestyQueen19, who tweeted her justifiable outrage on June 19, sweeping the social media universe with her now-viral tweet about the horribly lewd “Bud’n out” phrase on the sadistic evil “slave auction” poster lit up.

Sistahs have always been through hell in America. Sistahs have always fought Hell in America. Sistahs continue to fight Hell in America. And victory is near.

And soon they will sit on matriarchal thrones like their royally ancient African ancestors did.