Racial Segregation

The “Lost Cause” After Civil War Again Rears Its Ugly Head In 2024!

Hard to believe, but the American Civil War (1861-1865) continues to divide America more than a century and a half after its impact on America!

Nikki Haley has trouble realizing that slavery was the major cause of the Civil War.

Ron DeSantis, when a high school teacher two decades ago, told his students that slavery was NOT the major cause of the Civil War.

Donald Trump tells us that Abraham Lincoln should have negotiated with slave owners, as it might have prevented the Civil War, and that Lincoln would not be remembered if it was not for the bloodshed of that war.

The “Lost Cause”, that of “states rights”, was used in the South to propagandize for generations the fact that the South had lost the war, and only was finally overcome in most circles since the 1960s, but now the new MAGA Republican propaganda is reviving the old myth, which justified Jim Crow segregration, lynching, and denial of basic civil rights to African Americans for a century after the Civil War.

Leave it to those who attack DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion), and the nation will be going backwards in understanding of our history, and promoting racial reconciliation, so the battle against the “Lost Cause” must be waged!

The South Of Slavery And Racial Segregation Now The South Of Denial Of Health Care And War On Women’s Rights!

The American South, the area of slavery and racial segregation in its past, is once again demonstrating that it is the area of denial of civil and human rights.

In the past, it was the Democratic Party that worked to deny human rights and dignity.

Now it is the Republican Party, the party that had fought for civil and human rights in the mid 19th century.

A total switch which remains startling, but now the emphasis is on denying health care to millions of poor whites and minorities, and taking away the right of women to control their own bodies and reproductive life.

The Medicaid Program enacted into law by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966 now is being denied to help the health and safety of poor Americans, most particularly in Texas and Florida, but throughout the American South, as well as other Republican controlled states.

The section of the nation that demands that all fetuses be born, no matter what condition they are in, or how the woman became pregnant, is only too willing to deny health care, which undermines and shortens the lives of their less fortunate constituents.

This is so mind boggling, and it is as if the American South is still fighting the Civil War a century and a half later, continuing to be lacking in humanity and common decency.

Conservative Counter-Revolution Against 20th-21st Century Constitutional Law!

America is facing a conservative counter-revolution against 20th-21st Century Constitutional law!

We have Supreme Court Justices and their right wing ideologues who wish to bring back the 18th century Constitutional Convention of 1787, a time when women were totally under the control of their fathers, husbands, or other male relatives.

They also want to bring America back to a time when African Americans were slaves, or if that is not tenable, then back to the era of segregation and lynching.

They also want to bring America back to a time when interracial marriage and gay marriage were forbidden.

They also want to bring America back to a time when there was no right of privacy, because such a term was not mentioned in the Constitutional Convention or in the document produced for ratification in 1787.

The concept of originalism is preposterous, that all constitutional law since 1787 is null and void unless it applies to the exact language adopted 235 years ago!

It would put America back to a time when democracy was only for white male Protestants of property!

This battle is one that must be fought all the way to victory, as otherwise, how is America any different than an authoritarian dictatorship, run with the backing of powerful corporations and wealthy people, and based on the concept of theocracy, allowing so called “religious” values to dictate the lives of 330 million Americans?

The War On Learning Truth And Reality In Schools And Libraries: The Dangerous Censorship Movement!

American public education and public libraries are facing a massive crisis of extremist right wing ideology promoting censorship, preventing truth and reality of history, science, and free thought to flourish.

The attack is on against teaching the truth of racism against African Americans, Latino Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and the widespread antisemitism against Jews over the history of America.

White Supremacists want to wipe clean the truth about slavery and racial segregation, mass extermination of native peoples, and even the facts and reality of the Nazi Holocaust in World War II.

They express concern for the feelings and insecurities of white children that they believe will have guilt over the historical past, when that is preposterous!

What all children should have is an awakening of their minds to the horrors of the past so as to be able to deal with them in a far better manner in the future, but covering up for past wrongs is never the answer, as ignorance is NOT bliss!

The same applies to sexuality, the thought that somehow children cannot handle the recognition of sexual expression, not only heterosexual, but also gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals, as expressed in literature. This censorship on such matters only endangers children who will be treated as if their inner feelings have no significance, and sadly, will lead to more suicides and mental illness!

And allowing religion to replace science, and to repudiate science, as so many antivaxxers promote, is dangerous in the struggle against the COVID 19 Pandemic, as well as undermining the fight against global warming and climate change!

95th Anniversary Of Woodrow Wilson’s Death: The Decline In Historical Reputation, Although Still In Top Quarter Of All Presidents

On February 3, 1924, Woodrow Wilson, who had been in retirement only for nearly three years, died in his home, the Woodrow Wilson House, in Washington DC, at the age of 67.

Wilson had never fully recovered from the massive stroke he suffered on October 2, 1919, and he was unable to gain support of the US Senate for the Versailles Treaty and American membership in the League of Nation that he had fought for when he attended the Peace Treaty negotiations in France, the first President to travel overseas as America’s diplomat.

Wilson had accomplished much domestic legislation that was memorable, including the Federal Reserve Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, and the first federal labor laws.

But his record on racial segregation was horrendous, and he opposed the woman suffrage movement for a long time. He also presided over massive attacks on civil liberties during the First World War, totally intolerant of dissent.

And his mission to the Versailles Peace Conference ended in failure, as America did not join the League of Nations, and ratified its own peace treaty with Germany and the other nations on the losing side of the war.

Wilson’s reputation for his accomplishments kept him in the top ten of all Presidents for many decades, but lately he has come under fire, and his spot in the Presidential polls of scholars has declined. He is now out of the top ten at number 11 in the C Span Presidential Poll of historians conducted in 2017, after having earlier been number 6 in 2000, and number 9 in 2009. The American Political Science poll of Political Science professors had pegged Wilson at number 10 in 2014, and in 2018, he slipped to number 11, the same as the most recent C Span poll.

The troubling part is that Wilson fell behind Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson in the recent polling, and is only 15 points ahead in the C Span 2017 poll over number 12, Barack Obama, just as he left the Presidency.

So do not be surprised that Wilson will likely slip to number 12 in the next polling, with Obama surging ahead of him, as Obama looks ever better in comparison to Donald Trump, who ended up at the bottom of the APSA 2018 poll as number 44 out of 44.

The Muslim Ban Decision Of The Supreme Court (Trump V Hawaii) Will Go Down As One Of Worst Decisions In 229 Years Of Our National History!

The Supreme Court has just made one of the worst decisions in its 229 year history, and has besmirched its own reputation in the process.

It will match such decisions as the Dred Scott Case of 1857; Plessy V Ferguson 1896; and Korematsu V US 1944—all racist decisions justifying slavery, racial segregation, and the internment of Japanese Americans in internment camps during World War II.

All have been roundly condemned, as violations of basic human rights and civil liberties, and now, once again, the Supreme Court has proved how it has allowed itself to promote discrimination and racial prejudice, all in the name of “national security”.

Instead of labeling African Americans or Japanese Americans, now the whole Islamic religion has been judged as a threat to national security, based on the hysteria and racism of Donald Trump.

We have, therefore, allowed an authoritarian who threatens our whole system of government to win a case based purely on bias and religious hatred.

This is a slippery slope that can lead to victimization in the future of people from other nations and other religions.

Jews who were refused entrance in the late 1930s, and now people from Central America who want to escape similar violence and bloodshed and are being held in detention away from their children, are just further examples of how religious prejudice and racism are winning out.

The John Roberts Court has undermined its own reputation in the process, and will be condemned in history.

And the fact that Merrick Garland, appointed by President Obama, was denied a hearing for the Supreme Court vacancy in 2016, led to Neil Gorsuch, who predictably now and in the future will advocate an extreme right wing agenda, harming our constitutional liberties for the next thirty years.

The fact that three members of the Court would not be there if the popular vote had won out in 2000 and 2016 just adds to the tragedy, as George W. Bush would not have been able to appoint John Roberts and Samuel Alito, and Donald Trump would not have been able to appoint Neil Gorsuch.

Sonia Sotomayor registered her vehement dissent, along with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the opposition of Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan. But it was all for naught!

America’s reputation has been permanently damaged, and we are no safer against those Muslims who are extremists, who are now emboldened to do harm more than ever, and at the same time, those Muslims in America who have served in our armed forces honorably, and those who have done good work in other fields, have been slapped in the face.

Our most ugly side as a nation has been displayed for all to see, and anyone who believes in justice and fair play is weeping today, and will for the long term of our history as a nation, as tolerance and open mindedness have been denied!

History Tells Us Many States Are Not Protective Of Their Population: Reason Why We Need Federal Government!

Conservatives and libertarians love to promote the propaganda that “states rights” are the best government, and that state governments are there for their population’s needs.

History tells us otherwise, clear and simple.

“States rights” promoted 76 years of slavery under the Constitution, until it was ended by the Union winning the Civil War over the Confederacy.

“States rights” promoted segregation of the races for nearly a century after the Civil War until the 1960s.

“States rights” promoted laws against marriage, including blacks and whites, and gays and lesbians.

“States rights” promoted vigilante justice, including lynchings, chain gangs, and overly harsh criminal justice laws.

“States rights” promoted men having dominance over their wives in marriages, and resulting abuses toward women.

“States rights” promoted inferior education, including denial of historical facts, and of science, favoring religious ideas over facts.

“States rights” promoted violations of voting rights, with the intent of ruling white upper classes controlling who could vote.

“States rights” promoted denial of health care to people, while insisting on all fetuses being taken to birth against a woman’s wishes.

“States rights” promoted resistance to the Bill of Rights, and to federal government political, social, and economic reforms that made America pursue the goals of democracy, equality, and justice.

Those states that have regularly promoted “states rights” have been the most backward, the most discriminatory, the most regressive. the poorest, and have depended on the more advanced and open minded states for their economic existence.

It is the “Red” states, those in the old Confederate South, and in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain West, where we see the worship of “states rights”, as long as the elite political and religious hierarchy keep control over their populations, and keep them ignorant and under mind control.

History tells us that these states are not protective of the needs of their population, the reason we need a strong, assertive federal government, ready to step in, and having bettered life for people who are seemingly unaware how they have been manipulated by corrupt state governments.

Wipe Out Memory and Statues Of Thomas Jefferson, John C. Calhoun, Jefferson Davis, Woodrow Wilson? NO WAY!

A major campaign has been mounted to “cleanse” America’s history of political leaders who were racists, people who advocated and owned slaves, and those who promoted segregation and “Jim Crow” after slavery ended 150 years ago.

So the move is on to wipe the name of various major figures off of buildings, and the removal of statues and monuments erected in their honor.

The biggest “villains” in this quest to “correct” the past are President Thomas Jefferson, Vice President and Senator John C. Calhoun, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and President Woodrow Wilson.

There is no question that all four, and others, can be condemned for their beliefs and behaviors.

But if we are to “discipline” them, then should we NOT add eight of the other nine pre Civil War Presidents who owned slaves; and the multitude of political leaders since the end of the Civil War who promoted segregation and racist views in the century and a half since 1865?

So while we are at it, why  not wipe out all American history, instead of recognizing the sins and shortcomings  that exist, as any good history professor will do in class, including this blogger, and also point out the major contributions that these leaders had on the totality of American history?

We cannot wipe out the past, and the move to sanitize it is a massive mistake!  We need to TEACH and LEARN about it, and draw attention to it for present day political leaders, not try to make believe it never occurred in the first place!  The goal should be to demand that today’s leaders stop promoting racism, nativism, and misogyny by exposing their transgressions!

So NO, to the attempt to reconstruct history, and wipe out the past, too common, ironically, to what happens in left wing and right wing dictatorships!

150th Anniversary Of 13th Amendment, Ending Slavery: Abraham Lincoln’s Enduring Legacy!

Yesterday, December 9, was the 150th Anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment, ending slavery, lobbied for and pushed through by the efforts of President Abraham Lincoln, his most enduring legacy!

The Republican Party and its first President were totally principled and decent in what was done 150 years ago, and yet slavery in a different form would continue, with a century of legal segregation of the races, until Lyndon B. Johnson engineered the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

And unjust imprisonment of African Americans. as well as people of other races and ethnic backgrounds and poor people of all races, due to inability to have proper legal representation and a biased legal system, including private prisons, means that slavery in a different form has always existed and still flourishes in 2015!

And the Republican Party and its conservative ideologues have completely destroyed the heritage of a party with great Presidents and a list of great members of Congress and governors who carried on the early tradition of the Republican Party a century and a half ago.

Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, if they came back to 21st century America, would be shocked at what has happened to their party!

So the fight against the mean spirit and lack of compassion and empathy of the modern GOP is a continuing one, as we celebrate the official end of slavery a century and a half ago!

“We Must Take Our Government Back!”—To What, May We Ask?

Carly Fiorina said it last night in the GOP debate; Donald Trump has said it; so has a multitude of others in the Republican Party debates so far—“We must take our government back!”

Back to what, is the question!

Back to a time when women were “dutiful” housewives who stayed home, avoided education and employment, and were totally dependent upon their husbands?

Back to a time when “Negroes” were segregated by law and custom and “knew” their place not to complain?

Back to a time when “Negroes” were lynched at will and no one seemed to notice?

Back to a time when gays and lesbians were openly discriminated against in all areas of life without any protection or support of their rights?

Back to a time when child labor existed as young as six years old, and they and poor women who worked were paid far less than men?

Back to a time when there was no Social Security system for the elderly and disabled?

Back to a time when immigrants were barred from coming to America if they were Jewish or Catholic or Asian in origin?

Back to a time when labor unions did not exist, and work places were totally unsafe, and there was no workers compensation for injuries at work?

Back to a time when corporations “raped” and pillaged the environment for their own selfish purposes?

The list could go on and on, and who would “love” if all this was to return, from the 1950s, 1920s, and the “Gilded Age” of the late 19th century?

Conservatives who have fought against and resisted all of these changes and reforms brought about by progressives such as Theodore Roosevelt; Progressive Era reformers at all levels;  Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal coalition; Harry Truman; John F, Kennedy; Lyndon B. Johnson; 1960s reformers at all levels; Jimmy Carter; Bill Clinton; Barack Obama; and the constant battle of modern progressives and liberals to protect and expand all of the great political, social and economic reforms of the 20th century, hard fought, and the battle goes on in 2015!