Tag Archives: civil war

The torch has been passed to a new generation of Republicans

Sadly…

Born in the XXIst century, tempered by nothing, disciplined by a hard and bitter government shutdown, proud of their ancient confederate heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those privileges to which the white majority has always been committed, and to which they are committed today at home and around the world.

H/t:  Don Babets

 

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Welcome to the new Civil War

Welcome to the new Civil War

In a recent discussion with a friend, I mentioned how news pundits constantly use the phrase: “Our country has not been so ideologically divided since the Civil War.”

My friend’s question was “why the Civil War analogy…?  The following piece tends to address this question.

Salon

Lincoln’s unfinished war rages on, as the neo-Confederacy tries to turn back the clock on women, gays, God and guns

On a repeat viewing of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” over the New Year’s holiday, a scene I had barely noticed the first time jumped out at me. Confederate vice-president Alexander Stephens (played with reptilian gentility by Jackie Earle Haley), in a secret meeting aboard a steamboat with Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward, faces up to the reality that the era of slavery has come to an end. Ratification of the 13th Amendment, Stephens muses, will destroy the basis of the Southern economy and the South’s traditional way of life. “We won’t know ourselves anymore,” he says.

If only it had been so. What an affluent slave owner like Stephens feared most, no doubt, was the utopian vision of “radical Reconstruction” imagined by legendary abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones in the movie), in an earlier conversation with Lincoln in the White House kitchen. Stevens envisioned a future in which all the land and property of the Southern aristocracy would be dispossessed and divided among the emancipated slaves, building a new society of free soil and free labor amid the ruins of tyranny. To put it in contemporary social-studies terms, Stevens hoped that by uprooting and destroying the South’s slave economy, one could also replace its culture.

It didn’t quite work out that way. You can’t boil one of the most tumultuous periods of American history down to one paragraph, but here goes: Lincoln was assassinated by a domestic terrorist and replaced by Andrew Johnson, who was an incompetent hothead and an unapologetic racist. Within a few years the ambitious project of Reconstruction  fell victim to a sustained insurgency led by the Ku Klux Klan and similar white militia groups. By the late 1870s white supremacist “Redeemers” controlled most local and state governments in the South, and by the 1890s Southern blacks had been disenfranchised and thrust into subservience positions by Jim Crow laws that were only slightly preferable to slavery.

So even though it’s a truism of American public discourse that the Civil War never ended, it’s also literally true. We’re still reaping the whirlwind from that long-ago conflict, and now we face a new Civil War, one focused on divisive political issues of the 21st century – most notably the rights and liberties of women and LGBT people – but rooted in toxic rhetoric and ideas inherited from the 19th century.

Edit Note:  Emphasis are mine

Continue reading here…

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Filed under GOP Hate-Mongering, The Great American Divide

Civil War, 150 Years Later, Still Divides Our Nation

In 2000 when George Bush was “selected” by the SCOTUS to be President of The United States, his supporters kept saying to the detractors who protested The Court’s decision to “move on and get over it…”   I think it’s time to get over this issue as well.  The North won.  It’s time to move on.

AOL News

When National Park Service rangers fired a New Year’s cannon shot at this Civil War battleground to hail the arrival of 2011, they also ushered in the start of a four-year commemoration of the war’s 150th anniversary.

The events include a multitude of battle re-enactments, lecture series, readings, concerts and plays that will be held on the battle fields tended to by the Park Service and in private estates from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico to New York.

But the slate of commemorations is also fraught with political peril. Deep divisions over why the war was fought persist, especially in the South. The debate still roils over slavery’s role as the principal cause of the war. The first commemoration, a private “secession gala” organized by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Charleston on Dec. 20, did not signal an auspicious start to the upcoming calendar of events.

The date marked the 150th anniversary of the day South Carolina became the first of 11 states to secede. Inside the ballroom, elected officials and others in period costume celebrated the courage of their fore-bearers to stand up for their state’s right to leave the Union. Outside, on the sidewalk, the NAACP led 100 demonstrators who viewed the event as a celebration of a treasonous act against the federal government in order to protect the institution of slavery.    More…

 

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Filed under Racial Divide, The Civil War

The Tea Party: It’s Worse Than You Think

The following article is provocative and informative.  It’s a very long article but I’ve only inserted the relevant parts as it applies to the title of this post.  I recommend that everyone read this article over at truthdig from beginning to end:

Truthdig

A debate has raged over the last 18 months as to whether the tea party movement is racist. Never mind that the inauguration of the first black president in January 2009 was followed in February by the first of the tea party “moments”—when CNBC’s Rick Santelli called for a Chicago tea party on national television from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Never mind that April 15 of 2009 saw the first nationally organized protest of the tea partyers in cities across the country. When the summer of 2009 arrived, all tea party guns (some real firearms were openly carried at Obama events) turned on President Barack Obama and his health insurance reform proposals. Obama was demonized with invective that included being called Hitler, Stalin and the Antichrist.

[...] The tea party is racist. Its followers have deployed a brilliant strategy to deflect charges of racism by using a form of the legislative provision known as severability. Whenever a tea party group or person is “caught” with a racist sign, or saying explicitly racist comments, they simply “sever” that person from the movement by saying, “That person does not represent the tea party.” They get away with it because they claim the status of a “movement” with no structure, leadership or cohesive identity except allegiance to the three magic phrases: “Constitutional Republic,” “Founding Fathers” and “I want my country back!”

I submit that their defense, while clever, is inadequate. Racism virtually drips from their lips when they spew out their ridicule of President Obama. It lies just underneath the surface of all the signs imaging him as a native African, a Muslim or an animal. But, one might note, they never called Obama by a racial slur. They have never said they don’t like him because he is black. Well, they don’t have to say it—he is black. And to say, “I don’t like [black] Obama because he is black” would be redundant.

[...]

However, I will make my argument for their fundamentally racist opposition to Obama and their racist opposition to any and every government program that they perceive to be taking their hard-earned tax dollars and redistributing them to people of color. This racism is at the core of their opposition to health care reform that would subsidize premiums for people who cannot afford them or educational or tax credits to low-income persons and families or any of the myriad social programs meant to strengthen the general welfare of the nation. In their opinion, these monies are going to noncitizens who do not deserve the benefits and blessings of their dear USA, USA, USA.

I stumbled across my evidence through an e-mail alert I received for tea party “meet-ups” near where I live. When I noticed a tea party meet-up in south Orange County [Calif.] being held at a church, I couldn’t resist taking a closer look. Five clicks later I was enthralled by a document that I found both horrifying and revealing. The document was titled “The Non-Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment” and written by A.H. Ellett, a retired Utah Supreme Court justice. Ironically, the tea party movement generally “supports with worshipful intensity the constitution of the United States,” according to historian Mark Lilla, but when its followers say “Constitution” they don’t mean the same U.S. Constitution that you and I mean. The recent issue for the tea party has been the repeal of the 14th Amendment. But repeal is just one small step compared to the giant leap that Justice Ellett makes in claiming that the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments (the so-called Reconstruction Amendments) were never legally (i.e. constitutionally) ratified in the first place. When the tea party folk say that they want their country back, I’m starting to understand just how far back they want it—back before the Civil War!

 The goal of this retrogression is revealed in Ellett’s opening paragraph of his arguments specifically against the fact of the ratification of the 14th Amendment. He writes:

The validity, or should we say invalidity, of the Civil War Amendments is very important to reinstating the inalienable rights of free white Citizens in the United States of America. At every juncture where the government of the United States of America and/or the governments of the several States attempt to usurp inalienable rights, the Civil War Amendments are ultimately claimed to be the authority for such deprivations of rights.

His 200-page treatise is filled with sophist (not sophisticated) argument that hinges on whether the authors of the 14th Amendment used uppercase or lowercase when conferring C/citizenship and P/personhood on the newly freed slaves. He also warns the contemporary reader that his citations may make some uncomfortable but they are necessary to the truth of his argument. He warns and then continues:

Please remember that the following Authorities reflects the understanding of the Founding Fathers at the time the Constitution for the United States was adopted, and although they may not be “politically” correct today, the Authorities represents the law at the time the Fourteenth Amendment was (purportedly) adopted.

This is further clarified in Amy v. Smith: /60

“Free negroes and mulattoes are, almost everywhere, considered and treated as a degraded race of people; insomuch so, that, under the constitution and laws of the United States, they can not become citizens of the United States.”

Amy v. Smith, 1 Litt. Ky. R. 334.

In light of this, no person would be considered as a United States Citizen or a citizen of the United States; as the Constitution was framed to incorporate the common law, in opposition to international law.

· common law—one race governs;

· international law—all races govern.

The capitalization of the words “Person” and “Citizen” could mean only one thing, the denoting of only those of one race in compliance with the common law.

“According to the common law principle (upon which our Constitution was founded), only the race (family) of people forming the sovereignty to adopt the Constitution (We the People) are considered “Citizens.” All others born inside the Country and owing allegiance to “We the People” are natural born “Subjects.” Under principles of International Law, that is, inter-racial law (See definition in Webster’s Dictionary, [1828]), these “Subjects” (who, by special privilege, are licensed to become something or do something normally illegal under the common-law), are said to be “citizens” and “persons.”

… [B]ut only those of the white race could be recognized as national citizens under the Preamble to the Constitution for the United States of America and be treated as “Citizens” in any State they entered.

And finally he reaches the ultimate point of it all for the tea party. While party followers might like to disenfranchise all persons of color, they are really after one in particular, President Barack Obama. To wit, Justice Ellett continues:

Thus, only white State citizens held the privileges and immunities known to Article IV, Section 2, among the several States, and no State could confer that Constitutional protection on any other race. In consequence thereof, the “also” could not authorize a “non-white” to be an “Officer” of the United States government.

Thus, according to Justice Ellett, Obama cannot constitutionally be president of the United States.

Continue reading…

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Filed under Tea Party, Tea Party Anger, Tea Party Ignorance, Tea Party Racists, Teabaggers