On March 20, 2008, a New York man filed a personal injury lawsuit naming among numerous others, the rap artist Jay-Z. this man claims among other various complaints that in many cases made no sense, that each of the defendants was connected to the Black slave trade in the 1600-1800’s. The case claims that each of these people, including Jay-Z who is black himself, were connected with the slave traders who brought African slaves into the British colonies in North America and the West Indies. The Kings County court redirected the case to the Supreme Court in April of 2008. That court determined that no case was made out that was cognizable for a federal court to handle. The case was sent back to the Kings County Supreme Court for review.
The case was laid out in a thirty page essay form that alleged that the trans-Atlantic trade in African slaves was connected with Barclays, the New Jersey Nets and Jay-Z. It is unclear, even upon reading the essay, how the complainant managed to make such a mental connection between the slave trade of the colonies and the defendants that he named in the suit. He alleged that all of the defendants should be required to start a trust fund that would benefit all of the black people in the United States. He contends that the trust fund should be five billion dollars as punitive damages for the crimes that the early colonists committed against the black community. The complainant fails to ensure that his historical “evidence” is correct and much of the rambling complaint is inaccurate. According to the complaint, blacks were the only group that were victimized. He fails to recognize the Irish slaves and indentured servants, the Romany Gypsies, the Jews, or even the native Americans who suffered from human rights abuse over the years. In fact, the most abused group of Americans who have suffered the most numerous human rights injustices in this country continues to be women of all hues. However, none of these groups are listed in his complaint.
The complainant names Barclays Bank as being a group that perpetuated the slave trade. Apparently, the discussion of naming rights of the New Jersey Nets Atlantic Yards arena is what provoked the complainant into filing the complaint. At one point in the absurd complaint, the complainant rambles about the Barclay Bank being responsible for the South African apartheid regime and Nazi financing. His claims of genocide stem from his allegations that the defendants of the suit, including black rapper Jay-Z are involved in building their reputations and wealth on the backs of blacks for over 400 years. He accuses them of continuing to profit from crimes against the black people of America.
There is no doubt that slavery was a contemptible institution. However, it is the uneducated rambling of persons such as this one who inflame others with no factual information at all. Slavery was horrible. However, there were many more groups who were enslaved than just African blacks. In fact, slavery is still a problem for countries all over the world, including the United States. Rather than rambling about a problem that was abolished two hundred years ago, this complainants time would be better spent educating himself about the facts of slavery. There are still millions of women who are enslaved in this country as well as others. Rather than dwelling on the past, we should all be working to abolish the sex slave trade that is flourishing in our current societies. Women are being purchased and forced into prostitution. They are transported all over the world and traded like chattel. Just last year in Atlanta, 30 sex slaves from different countries were discovered and freed in Gwinnett County where they were held in a bordello. Clearly this man’s case was dismissed, but the message should be updated and applied to educating the American public about the truth of slavery in this country.
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