On Monday, September 23, 2019, Sound Off Louisiana’s Robert Burns, upon reflection of national news features on reparations for past slavery, asked each of the three candidates for Governor appearing before the Baton Rouge Press Club for their thoughts on the matter. The following video captures their responses:
Burns poses the question regarding reparations for past slavery and Gov. Edwards, Mr. Rispone, and Congressman Ralph Abraham provide their responses.
As is obvious, Gov. Edwards, who responded first, stated that reparations is, “not something I have studied or am considering.” Three days later, the Washington Times found Gov. Edwards’ response noteworthy as it published a feature and made more than a few interesting observations, to wit:
In the case of Mr. Edwards, slave labor appears to have been instrumental in the family’s rise to affluence. Records show that spacious family homes, such as Edwards Manor near Wilmer, were built by slaves who used timber they cut and hued from the family’s extensive land holdings.
Conveyance records in the St. Tammany Parish Courthouse show Daniel Edwards, a friend of Andrew Jackson’s and the family patriarch who first held elected office in Louisiana, buying and selling slaves.
The governor’s great-great-grandfather, Nicholas Stone Edwards, then became a member of the exclusive “planter” class, which historians generally describe as people who owned more than 20 slaves.
Census records show Nicholas Stone Edwards expanded the family’s slave ownership. In 1830, he owned 35 slaves. By 1860, on the eve of the Civil War — in which he fought on the Confederate side leading what was known as the “Edwards Guards” — the family’s slave holdings had swelled to 57 people.
Now, let’s take just a moment to reflect upon the next words uttered by Gov. Edwards: “I am focused on making sure we have access to increased opportunity and prosperity.” We seriously doubt that Dr. Oscar “Omar” Dantzler, a black opponent of Gov. Edwards, would agree with that assessment, to wit:
Dr. Dantzler, in an interview with Sound Off Louisiana on Monday, September 16, 2019 states his resolute believe that “one of the candidates” (Edwards?) has, “paid highly money to make sure that I be concealed from the public,” entailing his candidacy for Governor of Louisiana.
If Dr. Dantzler’s statement is true, that’s a very interesting way to “increase access to increased opportunity and prosperity.”
Now, let’s consider another case where Gov. Edwards’ actions directly defy his words of “increasing opportunity and prosperity.” On April 20, 2016, Gov. Edwards named Rev. Freddie Lee Phillips, Louisiana’s first and, to date, only African American auctioneer in its history as a member of the Louisiana Auctioneer Licensing Board (LALB). Fifteen (15) days later, on May 5, 2016, Edwards rescinded the appointment and, on May 9, 2016, Phillips directly confronted Edwards over the move. Let’s take a look at Phillips’ confrontation and Edwards’ stated rationale for why he removed Phillips before Phillips could even serve at his first meeting after the appointment:
Phillips confronts Edwards on his decision to remove him from the LALB only 15 days after making his appointment.
Now, as is obvious on the video, Edwards described Phillips’ appointment as “a mistake,” because he’d made a “prior commitment.” That statement by Edwards is a 100 percent, T-total, unadulterated falsehood! How do we know? Because, after this bizarre incident transpired, we made extensive public records requests for all emails received by a few State Senators whom we were informed were being lobbied hard to deny Phillips’ confirmation. We welcome our subscribers to view the flood of emails received calling for Phillips’ head and decide the validity of Edwards’ official rationale above.
Actually, we would contend that Edwards’ “mistake” was the person he chose to replace Phillips. That would be none other than Jacob Brown, son of convicted felon Cecil Brown, who served time in Federal prison pertaining the Edwin Washington Edwards’ term as Governor from 1992 – 1996 (for which Edwards also served time in Federal prison). Brown wasted little time fleecing Louisiana taxpayers out of over $175,000 entailing auction contracts the Edwards administration awarded Brown. Brown was in dire need of the money to support an out-of-control drug habit!
It’s a fair question to ask at this point regarding whether Edwards has differing treatments for his appointees depending upon the color of their skin. We would submit that he does and, further, that Caucasian appointees are treated vastly more favorably. What prompts us to make such a claim?
Well, as everyone knows, Edwards, despite Johnny Anderson’s past reputation of extensive sexual harassment at Southern University, appointed him to his administration. Then, when Anderson reverted to “old ways,” right under Edwards’ nose, Edwards did the right thing and fired Anderson within mere hours (taxpayers ultimately had to pay $85,000 to settle a sexual harassment suit against Anderson). In doing so, Edwards did exactly what he should do (though we submit Anderson never should have been hired in the first place). For the record, Anderson is African American.
Let’s contrast that with a Caucasian staffer of Edwards at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF): Stephen Holliday. Mr. Holliday was convicted for domestic abuse for punching his 14-year-old daughter in the face with a closed fist. Edwards’ then-head of LDWF and former U. S. Congressman, Charlie Melancon, also did the right thing and demanded Holliday’s immediate resignation when evidence of the abuse conviction was uncovered. Holliday did not want to resign but ultimately did and then immediately went to Edwards telling him just what all had transpired. Edwards response? Melancon was quickly escorted out on stage left, after which Edwards opted to bow to the attorney cabal who placed Edwards in office via some $6 million in PAC campaign contributions and REHIRE Holliday.
Now, yesterday, we noticed that Brietbart did a second national feature on the Edwards family’s past slave ownership. They too had some interesting observations, to wit:
Breitbart News has confirmed the basics of the Edwards family history outlined in the Times article, though it appears the slave holdings of Gov. Edwards’ ancestors were more extensive than initially reported.
The 1850 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedule shows that Edwards’ great-great-great grandfather Daniel Edwards, a resident of St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, owned 26 slaves. That same census showed that Daniel Edwards’ son, Gov. Edwards’ great-great grandfather Nicholas Stone Edwards, a resident of nearby Washington Parish, Louisiana, owned 33 slaves. Daniel Edwards and his son Nicholas Stone Edwards owned a combined 59 slaves in 1850.
The 1860 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules shows that Edwards’ great-great-great grandfather Daniel Edwards, a resident of St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, owned 57 slaves. That same census showed that Daniel Edwards’ son, Gov. Edwards’ great-great grandfather Nicholas Stone Edwards, a resident of nearby Ward 1 in Washington Parish, Louisiana, owned 33 slaves. Daniel Edwards and his son Nicholas Stone Edwards owned a combined 90 slaves in 1860.
The Edwards family was one of the largest slave holding families in Louisiana in 1860, and was near the top one percent of slave holding families in the entire country at that time, according to data provided by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United States, 1970.
In 1860, there were about 22,000 slave holders in Louisiana. Only 547 owned more than 100 slaves. There were about 390,000 slave holders in the country, of which about 2,300 owned more than 100 slaves.
In 1869, during the Reconstruction period, a new parish, Tangipahoa Parish was organized from parts of St. Tammany Parish, where Gov. Edwards’ great-great-great grandfather Daniel Edwards lived at the time, and Washington Parish, where the governor’s great-great grandfather Nicholas Stone Edwards lived.
The Edwards family has played a prominent role in the politics of Tangipahoa Parish ever since.
Perhaps Gov. Edwards has never “studied reparations” and is not “pursuing it” because of the sheer size of the checks he may have to write to some of his African American neighbors in and around the Amite, Louisiana area who are descendants of slaves who helped his family amass its vast wealth. Just a thought! At any rate, it’s interesting how one relatively simple question at a forum can blossom, huh?
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