Skip to comments.Bank of America insists it can't find slave profits in its past
Posted on 04/30/2005 5:21:01 AM PDT by Founding Father
Bank of America insists it can't find slave profits in its past
April 30, 2005
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
Under fire from the City Council's champion for slave reparations, Bank of America stuck to its guns Friday: The bank has hired a researcher to dig deeper but has so far has uncovered no evidence that a predecessor bank invested in or profited from the slave trade.
To the contrary, Bank of America said its research suggests that the predecessor, Providence Bank, "distanced itself from and declined to support slavery-related activities." That's even though John Brown -- Providence Bank's founding president, director and shareholder -- was a well-known slave owner who arranged for the transportation of slaves.
Founded in 1791, Providence Bank is a predecessor of Fleet Boston, which was acquired by Bank of America last year.
"First, the research disclosed no evidence establishing that the Providence Bank had investments or profits from slavery. Second, there is no indication of the source of the funds used by Brown to purchase his 23 shares in the bank. Last, the evidence suggests that the bank, in fact, avoided slave-related activities of John Brown or any other bank customer," said the bank's attorney V. Duncan Johnson.
'We won't stop'
Ald. Dorothy Tillman (3rd) accused "arrogant" bank officials of providing "selective and fraudulent" information to a joint City Council committee.
Tillman said research conducted by her daughter at some of the same places Bank of America looked -- the Rhode Island Historical Society and Brown University Library -- has already produced evidence that Providence Bank made loans used to purchase ships that transported slaves.
"The whole reason the bank was founded was so that the merchants could have a bank for their money to go through. Their whole existence was slavery. They had no other existence," she said.
"They thought they could bring this lawyer in and lie and just say, 'Moses Brown [John's brother] was an abolitionist. You see, they were good guys.' The lawyer's job was to protect Bank of America -- not to get to the truth. And we won't stop until we get to the truth."
Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) cautioned Tillman not to "toss around the words 'fraud' and 'misrepresentation.' "
"It is the opinion of the chair that there has been no fraudulent conduct on the part of these witnesses," he said.
Black, Jewish aldermen clash
Ald. Burton F. Natarus (42nd) also urged Tillman to take a deep breath -- prompting an uncomfortable clash between black and Jewish aldermen.
"Prior to the Civil War, you're going to find almost every one of these corporations were involved with the institution of slavery. You're going to find it, and no matter what you do, you can't hide it. But the problem is, how long are you going to badger them with it?" Natarus said.
That infuriated Tillman, who reminded Natarus that African-American aldermen had supported him in the threat to punish Swiss banks that ultimately resulted in the return to Holocaust victims of hundreds of millions of dollars in gold looted by conquering German armies.
"The Jewish community -- your community -- received reparations. What happened to them was wrong. And you were relentless in making sure that anybody and everybody who had anything to do with the Holocaust would be brought to justice . . . What we're saying is, we have a right to be repaid," Tillman said.
Ald. William Beavers (7th) added, "You want to know how long it's going to go on? It's going to go on as long as the Holocaust. The Holocaust is never going to end, and this is never going to end. So when we support you, you support us."
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Loopy stories lke this typically appear in late August, during summer vacations.
Must be where all that money is hidden, eh?
Last time I checked over 250,000 "white boys" gave their lives during the civil war to insure the slaves were free. IMHO I would say they have been paid in full.
It is almost a certainty that the folding money in Ald. Tillman's purse is tainted by cocaine residue. Perhaps she should be arrested for her ties to the organized drug trade.
Better check your Civil War statistics. The Union Army had beaucoup African-American troops. It's beyond belief that none of them died in the war.
Yankee bankers denying that they profited from slave trade.
Better check your Civil War statistics. The Union Army had beaucoup African-American troops. It's beyond belief that none of them died in the war.This post wins the I'm Not A Genius But I Play One On The Internet Award.
First, you demand that we check our "statistics" and then you cite "beaucoup" as your own statistical example.
Second, the sentence "It's beyond belief that none of them died" leaves the reader wondering:
a) Are you amazed that none of them died?
b) Are you being sarcastic and are certain that many of them died (using the "beaucoup statistical standard" as your measurement test)?
Either way. Your post gets my nomination for an award.
Now, now, you know racism doesn't exist once you cross the Mason-Dixon line.... /sarcasm
But whatever you use there are several hundred thousand references to Civil War statistics.
Well, if he had a profit making slave operation... funds ARE fungible.
So did the South.
I have what some Southern sympathizers and Unreconstructed Confederate terrorists might consider a peculiar attitude toward our Civil War dead ~ namely that all honor and glory goes to the Union Army, and to all of our dead. Anything less than that is anti-American!
I saw Ferris Buellar lead many Union black soldiers to their deaths in battle.
We'll see if they answer the call from Jesse?
Reparations... gimme a break.
In ten thousand years of human civilization, the only recorded instance of slavery was during the period of 1500- 1865 in the American south, by White Christian European men.
I don't think all honor goes to the Union Army. The Confederate Soldiers were also fighting for their country. They weren't all fighting to keep slaves. Most of them were poor boys who would never be slave owners. They were patriots, according to the standards of their community.
But the point here is that when some African Americans today demand "reparations", it's helpful to point out all the Union Soldiers who died to end slavery. In terms of the "reparations" argument, it doesn't add much to talk about the honor of the Confederate Soldiers who died, and who were honorable, but who don't add to the equation of "reparations".
The bottom line is, slavery was ended by the Brits and the Americans much earlier than it was ended in other countries. Slavery continues in Africa today. Leftists the world over ignore that continuing slavery, including Leftist One himself, Koffi (Show Me The Money) Annan.
One more point about "reparations": Many different immigrants came to the New World in a variety of different ways. However they got here, their decendents are better off today than had they never arrived on these shores. That includes African Americans.
Sad as it sounds (and it is sad), the only possible way for Africans to join the New World in the early centuries of the building of the Americas, was as slaves. Sad but true. Sad for the slaves. Not sad for the decendants, none of whom are yearning to return to the "homeland", which in many cases includes countries where slavery is actively practised today.
You guys seem to want to discuss raparations.
I think we'd be ahead of things discussing how the Mob has infiltrated every nook and cranny of government and business in the State of Rhode Island, and why that would be a good reason to disestablish them as a state once and for all.
Why does this sort of thing always have to be about the South anyway?
Well Bank of America has lots of slaves today paying for their credit cards! :-)
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