Monday, December 10, 2012

Westport to Freetown

Today's installment of Mass Moments connects two places about which I have written in this space frequently, but which today seem worlds apart: Westport and Sierra Leone. They are connected, of course, by the Atlantic Ocean and also by a remarkable individual who sailed from one to the other on this date in 1815. Having read his remarkable story, I look forward to visiting the Paul Cuffe memorial and grave site on an upcoming visit to Westport.

Among the many causes he championed was that of voting rights for all who pay taxes. Although slavery itself has ended, the problem continues among marginalized people living in the United States. Undocumented workers contribute both labor and taxes without any chance to vote, as their labor has been successfully sieved from their humanity, and even some citizens are barred from representation in Congress, if they live in Washington, D.C.

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