The Doctrine of Exclusion

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By: Peter Grear

In order for the various efforts of Black Lives Matter, The Moral Monday Movement and other Third Reconstruction initiatives to succeed, it is imperative that activist understand the historical public policy of America as it is being carried out today. That public policy is being demonstrated in Ferguson, Missouri, at the University of Oklahoma, and in many other places around the country.

In 1619 African Blacks were brought to America in bondage and sold to the Jamestown colony. And, according to Dr. Claud Anderson, in Dirty Little Secrets, before the Maryland Colony came into existence in 1634, newly arrived European Whites and African Blacks intermingled and socialized reasonably well. In 1638, however, the Maryland Colony issued a public edict encouraging a separation of the races. It became the basis of public policy for race relations in America. 

The Council for the Maryland Colony edict stated: “Neither the existing black population, their descendents, nor any other blacks shall be permitted to enjoy the fruits of White society.” The doctrine was written to insure that Blacks would remain a “subordinate, non-competitive, non-compensated workforce,” this public edict later became more commonly known as “The Doctrine of Exclusion.” Around the mid-1660’s, various colonies picked up the Maryland Edict or the Doctrine of Exclusion and expanded it into enslavement laws of people of African descent. Once established, the laws became the basis for a national public policy on the exploitation of Blacks that was passed on from generation to generation through social customs and public laws. 

The Slave Codes of 1705 required all individuals, churches, businesses, organizations, schools, and all levels of government to teach, justify and enforce the status of Blacks as “a subordinate, excluded, noncompetitive, non-compensated, managed work force for the personal comfort and wealth building of White society.” This public policy remained in effect until the late 1960s. 

The wave of computerized technology that began in the 1960s rendered marginalized Black labor obsolete. It established a new public policy that maintained the inequalities between the races, absolved members of the majority society from feeling any guilt or accepting responsibility for what had happened to Black people, and categorically denied support to public policy or programs that would shift control and ownership of wealth and power resources from Whites to Blacks. (Dr. Claud Anderson, Dirty Little Secrets, 1998).

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Peter Grear, Esq. writes for Greater Diversity News (GDN) and with a primary focus on political, social and economic justice.  To support our efforts, to unite our politics and economics, please “Like” and follow us at Please “Share” our articles and post your ideas and comments on Facebook or at our websites and Comments can also be sent to Finally, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to like and follow our pages.    

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