Southern States

Labor Day Should Remind Us Of Significance Of Labor Unions In American History!

Monday is Labor Day, a celebration of the contributions and sacrifices of generations of workers who struggled to honor the efforts of working people, who had to combat the power of corporations and commit themselves to reform and humane treatment.

The first national holiday came about in the Presidency of Grover Cleveland in 1894, just as we had the Pullman Strike, which led to the imprisonment of Socialist Eugene Debs, but led to the growing success of organized labor over the next decades.

The ultimate triumph of organized labor came in the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and while much of the nation, particularly the Southern states, worked against unionization, there was expansion of labor union membership nationally.

Sadly, the Presidency of Ronald Reagan saw labor union growth come to a halt, and has only recently started to increase once again.

But membership in labor unions is only in the midteens in number right now, when it once was about a third to 40 percent.

President Joe Biden, however, is a champion of organized labor, and will speak on Labor Day tomorrow in Pittsburgh, to commemorate labor, and call for the further expansion of unions for workers!

In the Presidential Election of 2020, Biden gained the backing of 56 percent of union households, crucial to his victories in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania in particular!

FINALLY, LYNCHING IS DECLARED A FEDERAL CRIME, AND LEGISLATION NAMED AFTER EMMETT TILL!

The crime of lynching, the hanging and butchering of a human being by a mob, most often utilized against African Americans, and particularly in the Southern States, but sadly against other groups, including Jews, Catholics, and Hispanics, and in other parts of America, has existed since the Reconstruction period after the Civil War.

But finally, Congress has passed Lynching legislation, making it a federal crime punishable by 30 years in prison, and the law is named after Emmett Till, the 14 year old lynched in Mississippi in 1955, for the supposed crime of flirting with a white woman, with his body desecrated, and causing shock around the nation.

The vote in the US Senate was unanimous, and only three Republican Congressmen voted against the legislation.

The white woman who lied about Emmett Till making a pass at her is still alive, and she should face prosecution for what became a heinous crime, perpetrated by her now dead husband and another man, both of whom were found not guilty in a disgraceful mockery of a trial in Mississippi in 1955!

The Emmett Till lynching helped to motivate the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

And there is a museum which commemorates the Lynching issue, located in Montgomery, Alabama, the heart of the “Old South”, named the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement To Mass Incarceration!

Labor Day: A Reminder That Democrats Are Pro Labor Rights, Republicans Always Opposed!

Today is Labor Day, a day to celebrate organized labor and workers, and their contributions to America past and present!

Celebrating Labor Day began in the 1880s as millions of workers, many immigrant or people of color, were exploited by corporations, who did not care about their health, safety, or having a decent standard of living!

It was not until the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s that workers finally had a federal government that promoted recognition of labor unions by the National Labor Relations Act (1935), also known as the Wagner Act, and establishment of basic labor conditions, such as outlawing child labor, and setting minimum wage and maximum hours, under the Fair Labor Standards Act (1938).

Sadly, in the Southern states, dominated by Racist Democrats and now by Republicans, so called “Right To Work” laws, which limited labor rights, became and has remained normal, so the battle for labor to organize and bargain remains a struggle in such states, including some in the Midwest and Mountain States, as well.

Labor Unions declined after Ronald Reagan fired Air Traffic Controllers in 1981, but labor is reviving in the present economic climate to some extent.

But the important point to remember is that it is conservatives and Republicans who have never been supporters of organized labor and basic worker rights, but rather the Democratic Party outside of the South!

Voting Rights Act 1965, And Now The Same Battle Again, This Time Caused By Republicans, NOT Southern Democrats!

On this day, 56 years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson spoke before Congress, and called for a Voting Rights Act to insure all Americans could vote.

This marked the South leaving the Democratic Party, and becoming Republicans, and now Republicans are working to deny African Americans and Latinos the right to vote all over again.

This is because the Supreme Court in 2013 allowed much of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to be repealed by the conservative Court, in Shelby County V. Holder, and opened up massive efforts to limit voting.

The new bills HR 1 and HR 4, now introduced in Congress, are trying to prevent state legislatures from bringing back the old days of voter suppression.

The Republican Party, rather than broaden their base, are trying to insure that only white voters, the Trump voters, will be able to control government, but it is a losing strategy long run, as nothing will prevent the white majority from declining to less than 50 percent of all Americans in the next quarter century.

So the Republican Party is in its death knell, unless and until they realize the future, and adapt to it soon!

“Red” States Are Suicidal In Thinking They Are “Safe” Due To State Lines, As If CoronaVirus Pandemic Does Not Cross Borders!

We have now seen about 44,000 people die from the CoronaVirus Pandemic, increasing more than 2,000 per day.

Twenty thousand of these deaths are in the Tri State Area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

But there are even more deaths in the other 47 states, and not just the coastlines, meaning not only the Pacific Coast and Atlantic Coast.

The virus has hit everywhere, although not equally, but there is no certainty or security that numbers will not grow dramatically, in the so called “Flyover States”.

And yet, the “Red States”, the Republican states of the “hinterland” are living in a delusion that they can conveniently “open up” in the next few days or week, particularly in the Southern states of Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, and Florida planning to join this “suicide mission” in effect soon, as well!

These states, which tend to be highly religious, as compared to most of the nation, and are so oriented toward Pro Life on the issue of abortion, seem ready to sacrifice loss of life because the capitalist system demands opening up, even if workers are endangering their own lives, and that of their families!

And we have people who cannot tolerate delaying haircuts, having their nails done, going bowling, and a myriad of other activities, and are not concerned that they are endangering their own family members and friends, and strangers too, along with themselves, because they are so spoiled and only think of “Me, Myself, and I”!

We are losing an American life every 32 seconds right now, and have lost more than the top five European nations combined, but profit and greed still rule in Republican states, as if the virus does not cross state lines!

Within the next two weeks if not sooner, we will have lost more Americans in two months than all of the years of the Vietnam War–58,000–which took 12 years, not 60 days!

When will Republicans and Southerners value life over profits? This is what Donald Trump has done to the party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan and H. W. Bush, a total disgrace!

Eleven State Governors Ignoring Need For Shutdown To Combat CoronaVirus Pandemic!

Eleven state governors, all Republicans, are ignoring the CoronaVirus Pandemic, and refusing to shutdown their states to combat the threat!

Alabama

Arkansas

Iowa

Missouri

Nebraska

North Dakota

Oklahoma

South Carolina

South Dakota

Utah

Wyoming

At the same time, other Republican states held off, delayed doing so, including

Georgia

Florida

Mississippi

Texas

The delay on the part of Georgia, Florida and Texas, all large populated states, is particularly reckless, but even smaller populated states, by not cooperating, insures a higher level of infection, and more deaths.

All of these governors have failed in their responsibility to protect their population, the most urgent job they have.

By all rights, all of these states’ governors should resign in shame, including the ones that delayed to just today!

One other point to make is that many of these states are mostly small in population, much more rural, and are concentrated in the South and Great Plains and Mountain West, all states known for being much more backward in their concern for their citizens!

The Fifty States And Educational Levels

A new 2018 survey of education in the 50 states reveals the following:

The top ten states are found in New England and the Middle Atlantic states primarily–with Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire in New England; Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia in the Middle Atlantic area, with Virginia greatly influenced by the educational level of its Northern Virginia suburbs outside of Washington, DC; and also the states of Minnesota in the Midwest, Colorado in the Rocky Mountain West, and Washington State on the Pacific Coast. All of these top ten states were Democratic states in 2016.

States, including California, Florida and Texas rank lower on educational attainment because of large numbers of immigrants with lower accomplishments due to language barriers, but are rated higher in quality of education ranking. New York, Illinois, Delaware, Oregon and Hawaii are among the states which are ranked in the second ten best states, all Democratic states in 2016.

Meanwhile, the ten lowest states in educational levels are all Southern States, except for Nevada, Oklahoma and New Mexico—Mississippi, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee, not at all surprising. All of these ten were Republican states in 2016, except for Nevada and New Mexico.

Notice that the higher educated states are “Blue”, while the lower educated states are “Red”, and this is the basic split within the nation–the educated vs the poorly educated.

Trump Voter Fraud Commission An Attack On Voting Rights, Clear And Simple!

The Trump Voter Fraud Commission, set up and headed by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is infamous for promoting voter suppression tactics, has become a total failure, as 44 states refuse to comply with all of the information that the commission is asking the states to provide.

Trump wants this commission, because he cannot accept that he lost the popular vote by 2.85 million to Hillary Clinton, and claims that millions of illegal immigrants voted, with absolutely no such evidence of this crazy theory.

What Trump is trying to do is a clear attack on voting rights, and an attempt to cut millions off the voter rolls, so that Trump can have less opposition for a reelection campaign in 2020.

The fact that all but a few states refuse to cooperate is a good sign, as we now have a situation in which the stares are the progressive forces, against a right wing reactionary federal government headed by Trump cronies.

This is the precise opposite of the 1960s, when we had southern states, including Mississippi and Alabama most notably, but others as well, that worked to undermine civil and voting rights, and were forced into compliance by the federal government.

There are those conservatives who believe in states rights when it is convenient, but now want that to be ignored when it comes to states and cities protecting the environment; and also law abiding immigrants, even if they may have overstayed their time as a visitor, or entered illegally, but have led law abiding lives for decades in this nation, and should not face deportation, as the Trump Administration is pursuing, to the outrage of millions of Americans!

The South’s Continuing Impact On Impeding Democracy With Voter Restriction Laws

The South lost the Civil War, but they continue to dominate American politics.

It used to be that the South was Democratic, and that they promoted slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and lynching.

Then, we had a Southern President, Lyndon B. Johnson, who accomplished the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, with the Southern wing of Democrats in Congress bitterly opposing it, and many of them, plus much of their population, abandoning the party and going to the Republicans.

Under Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, they found a home, and worked to undermine voting rights and civil rights, often with the support of those Presidents.

The state governors and legislatures became Republican controlled, and worked to limit civil rights and voting rights, and the Republican majority Supreme Court in 2013 cut back on enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.

As a result, Southern states and many midwestern and mountain states under Republican governors and legislatures started to pass new restrictive laws designed to undermine voting of minorities, particularly African Americans and Hispanics-Latinos.

This led to law suits and now decisions by federal circuit courts in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Kansas, and earlier, Texas, to declare such restrictive laws unconstitutional, a major victory which could affect the Presidential Election of 2016.

There will likely be an appeal to the Supreme Court, a clear cut reason to make sure that the Democrats win the White House and the US Senate, as the outcome for this election is uncertain, and the future of the Court and voting rights in the future hangs in the balance.

It seems likely that the present Court might split 4-4 without Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February, and that would uphold the lower court decisions declaring such laws to be unconstitutional, but no certainly of that.

The South is crucial in our nation’s politics as they hold 22 seats in the US Senate, 31 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives (138 out 435), and 162 electoral votes in the Presidential race. And this does not include the Border states such as Kentucky, West Virginia, Missouri, and Oklahoma, which tend to the same politics of exclusion toward minorities and voting rights.

Old Urban-Rural Battle Among States Now Battles Between Cities And Rural Areas Within The States!

The story of much of American history is the struggle and battles between the growing urbanization in America, and the desire of small town, rural America to keep “traditional values”.

So the South, heavily rural historically, has always held back against reform and change, and switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in the half century since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 under President Lyndon B. Johnson.

But now, in 2016, we are seeing a revolt, an uprising of growing urban areas and university towns in the South against “traditional values”!

So we see urban areas in many Southern states promoting becoming “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants; supporting gay and transgender rights; calling for minimum wage laws to be reinforced and to promote raises; and working to undermine the Confederate flag as an appropriate symbol in 21st century America!

These growing urban areas include such locations as Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Atlanta, Athens and Savannah, Georgia; Gainesville and Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Jackson, Hattiesburg, and Oxford, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; Little Rock and Fayetteville, Arkansas; Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee; San Antonio, Dallas and Houston, Texas; and Louisville, Kentucky. The Democratic Party is growing in these areas, and African Americans and Latinos are a good percentage of that growth, and university towns are also part of the massive changes that are occurring toward progressive change.

But the rural dominated Republican legislatures are passing state pre-emption laws that deny these localities the ability to set up their own regulations and laws. Ironically, it means these Republican states are fighting to take away local controls, while fighting on the national level against centralized authority of the federal government!