Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

trump only part of the threat to USA & World

History is our past, sets groundwork for our present and can indicate our future. trump poses a threat to a free society and to World peace. Greater threats to what we value include forces trump symbolizes - ignorance and hatred.

Racism was on display when white idiots sashayed into The Capitol on January 6. Their anger has its roots in slavery, an institution that was legal (1620-1865) longer than it has been banned in our history. Its effects are felt today.

If the U.S. economy circa 1787 is viewed as a person who weighed 200 pounds, slavery was a tumor that comprised at least 25% of that weight. Removal of such a tumor, even if benign, has significant effects on the person’s metabolism.

Seven states that later seceded had, before the Civil War, laws that prohibited teaching slaves to read and write. Tolley, “Slavery and the Origin of Georgia’s 1829 Anti-literacy Act.” After the Civil War, and even after Brown v Board of Education I, this discrimination has continued.

John Quincy Adams, later elected President, reflected on attitudes of white Southerners toward slavery: “‘The discussion of this Missouri question has betrayed the secret of their souls ... It is among the evils of slavery that it taints the very sources of moral principle. ..

...It establishes false estimates of virtue and vice; for what can be more false and heartless than this doctrine which makes the first and holiest rights of humanity to depend upon the color of the skin?’” Kaplan, “Lincoln and the Abolitionists,” 2017, p. 126.

During Reconstruction, Southern whites were bitter toward (1) the North and (2) former slaves, who comprised nearly 39% of Southern states’ population. Because Southern laws aimed to keep former slaves under-educated and with few job skills, 39% of the population could not be integrated into the war-shattered economy.

In the mid-1960s, GOP leaders’ “Southern strategy” played on prejudices of under-educated white people. The differences between our white and non-white populations - median incomes, infant mortality rates to name 2 - are stark and always favor whites.

LBJ said of racism: “I'll tell you what's at the bottom of it. If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best [African American] man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

To prosecute those who committed criminal acts at The Capitol on January 6 is not enough. We need to restore our infrastructure - education and health care, to name two parts of it. To address the hatred we have to extinguish ignorance.

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Comment by pogden297 on January 9, 2021 at 1:37pm

The Republicans in Congress voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act, in much higher numbers than the Democrats, about 80% compared to the Democrats 60%.   

Saying the Republicans had a "southern strategy" in the mid-1960s is very much misplaced.  Goldwater in 1964 was very much an outlier in the GOP when it came to civil rights.   The "southern strategy" really didn't get going until Nixon in 1968, which I believe is the late 1960s,   But, unlike Goldwater, Nixon didn't directly take on civil rights.  (In fact, although Nixon was not in office at the time, he is on the record as supporting the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act,  And as VP, Nixon helped push through the 1957 Civil Rights Act.)    Instead Nixon's 1968  campaign focused on such things as "law and order" and curbing welfare abuse which positions were taken as coded language intended to appeal to white southerners.  That is debatable.

Very disappointed that nowhere in your article did you mention the Democrats long, horrible history when it came to civil rights.  While Republicans may be accused of language and policies that indirectly appealed to racist white Southerners, Southern Democrats DIRECTLY supported racist Jim Crow laws.  For over a 140 years after the Civil War, it was the Democratic Party in complete control of every southern legislature and every governor and virtually every mayor in the South was a Democrat.  All that discrimination going on in the South - Democrats, not Republicans, were responsible.  FYI, some of those southern legislatures didn't flip to Republican control until well into the 2000s.  In Mississippi, the GOP didn't take control of the legislature until 2012, in Louisiana it was 2011, in Georgia it was 2005, South Carolina it was 2001, Arkansas 2013.

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