Get out the eggshells

June 6, 2007

The following story appeared on the Website today. It says that there is a bill being introduced at the Massachusetts State House that would hold companies who do business with the state responsible for detailing any involvement that company had with slavery. The reporting requirement would go back 400 years.

Here’s the link.

(*I’ve pasted the first few paragraphs of the article below in case the Globe gets uncomfortable and takes the story down.)

Now, let’s discuss this move – and please note the eggshell tagline up top.


1-Slavery was wrong and was one of the most horrible things that has occurred in memorable history. We don’t do it anymore…except by condoning the use of child labor in other countries, the use of immigrant workers for pennies an hour, or the horrible way in which we treat teachers in this country.

2-Societal norms change as do the habits of people over time. Witness the burning of witches – which was thought to be a good test to weed out sorcerers among us. Maybe at one time it was OK to own a person, but it’s not right anymore…but the only way it would be OK to punish people and businesses TODAY for something that was done decades and centuries ago is to get a time machine and punish the actual people and companies perpetrating those horrors.

3-Once this bill is passed are we going to get one that says we now have to persecute any employee at a Volkswagen dealer for the holocaust? Or will we ban sushi restaurants because many Japanese Americans have relatives that took part in Pearl Harbor?

4-Why don’t our local legislators get to work on any or all of the following…

Zipper-lane access for cars that get more than 30MPG

A non-corrupt hierarchy running the T

Free Wi-Fi in all the Baystate communities – so we don’t have to Wijack

Cops that understand that bikes have the rights AND responsibilities as cars

and much, much more.

Here’s the story pasted in…..feel free to sign up for an account and leave me a comment.

Bill would scrutinize companies’ historical ties to slavery

By Andrew Ryan, Globe Staff

A background check for companies doing business with the state would reach back almost 400 years under a bill pending on Beacon Hill that would require corporations to detail historical connections to slavery.

The measure would force companies to submit an affidavit describing what — if any — role they played in the slave trade. It would require details about the treatment of slaves, profits earned from the trade of human beings, and a record of the names of anyone the company may have owned.

The proposal was spearheaded by state Representative Byron Rushing, a Boston Democrat, and is scheduled to be debated at a hearing before the Administration and Regulatory Oversight committee this afternoon at the State House. It has drawn the support of 10 cosponsors in the House, including Representative Ruth B. Balser, a Democrat from Newton.

“It really is about creating a historical record and remembering,” Balser said today in a telephone interview. “We shouldn‚Äôt whitewash our history. We should recognize and acknowledge crimes committed against humanity.”

The legislation would not require companies to pay restitution for any profits reaped from the slave trade.

The first African slaves arrived in Massachusetts in the 1630s, records show. Legally sanctioned in 1641, slaves were owned in Massachusetts until the 1780s, when a series of decisions by the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that slavery contradicted the state’s new constitution.
Posted by the Boston Globe City & Region Desk at 12:27 PM

More to come…