RACE RELATIONS IN AMERICA

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This is my first post. So if there are any errors please pardon me.
I want to share this interview of Michelle Alexander on Democracy Now. It is a fascinating piece. I would love to see her interviewed by Thom Hartmann some day (hint,hint).
Here's the

link.http://m.democracynow.org/stories/10828

CiscoKydd
Joined:
Apr. 23, 2014 3:14 pm

Comments

Will blacks in the US ever be able to avoid the stigma of originally being brought over as slaves and having no human value? The race issues in England and other countries where slavery wasn't an issue don't seem to be as severe. Here's a thought-did the South's use of slaves create their attitude towards blacks or did their view of blacks allow slavery?

DynoDon
Joined:
Jun. 29, 2012 9:24 am

Dyno, you bring up an interesting question, comparing racial attitudes in this country to other countries with no history of slavery. But the stigma belongs with us, descendents of slave owners. And your chicken-or-the-egg type argument seems pointless to me. Obviously what "justified" slavery, or what was used to rationalize it, was (1) ignorance and (2) xenophobia.... and (3) just plain old sleaze. If descendents of slaves are the ones suffering the burden of a residual stigma, all it proves is that America never got over the pathology. Maybe the pathology is where the stigma belongs, rather than descendents of slave owners, who are no more guilty of that crime than the descendents of slaves themselves. All any of us are really responsible for is our own behavior, and our civic duty to speak out against bigotry, like yours and Palindromedary's and Dexterous's ad nauseam.

Have a nice week and please, just give it a rest.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland
Joined:
Mar. 10, 2011 9:42 am

P.S. CiscoKydd, welcome aboard!

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Aliceinwonderland
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Mar. 10, 2011 9:42 am

DynoDon brings up a good point, save for one thing and it's THE thing that made hellish the lives lived entirely under bond to other humans, always living in fear of the bullwhip, dogs, chains and shotgun.

That one key thing I'm pointing to is the extra financial value the white establishment derived from slavery that it wasn't ever going to part with without making sure a lot of others would suffer greatly if they were to lose the cheap labor supply that made the enormous wealth of the planters possible.

I strongly recommend Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery (1974) by Robert William Fogel and Stanley L. Engerman (WW Norton). You will also find this review by the Arkansas Historical Rev. very useful.

To this very day, apologists for the Confederacy and its plutocrats' rationales for committing treason and going to war on behalf of slavery are either very ill-informed about the real beastly nature of slavery, or they're just too damned blockheaded to see the evil of their shallow "justifications" for the treason committed by their ancestors that led to the slaughter of 800,000 +plus American lives.

It's not that the industrialists of the North, especially those in the six New England states whose factories along the Connecticut and Merrimack Rivers were turning out uniforms, shoes, all kinds of clothing wear, not to mention cannons and rifles, side arms, etc. ... all made by the sweat off the backs of shabbily paid immigrant Irish and French Canadian factory workers. True, they supplied housing, but if the worker was injured no thanks to the spinning leather belts, etc., or he had enough, he and his family were turned out on the street, no matter how steamy the summers were or how high the snow was piled in winter. But the abolitionists who were hardly sinless in their pleas for the slave's plight, (after all, where did a lot of wealthy abolitionist's money come from?) In fairness to the abolitionists, at least they read their Bibles more thoroughly (insofar as where it teaches the masters to treat their slaves w/o cruelty. But the more high minded Northerners had their blind spots too, esp. when it came to worker safety, right up to the Triangle Shirtwaist fire in downtown Manhattan just a century ago.

The slaves had economic value for sure. Did they ever! The everlasting shame of the old ante-bellum South, the wartime Confederacy, the post-war Jim Crow era, and the neo-plantation society ethic largely responsible for that region to make such "economic progress" on the backs of poorer folks intimidated from forming unions and locked into a whole regionwide embrace of "right to work" laws . . . will continue to live so long as we allow today's apologists and their political puppets to keep that region's sick, sick, sick economic mindset to continue.

Come to think about it, John Wilkes Booth actually succeeded on economic grounds alone. Lincoln's Republican Party was buried with him. Today throughout the Sunbelt, the repackaged plantation society Booth murdered Lincoln on behalf of is very much alive and well.

Steven.PBarrett
Joined:
Nov. 1, 2010 9:01 am

Excellent post, Steven! I agree with at least 98% of it.

However I encourage you to read Dyno's posts on other threads pertaining to race relations. Then you might have a better understand of why I responded like I did.

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Aliceinwonderland
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Mar. 10, 2011 9:42 am

I am a longtime listener of the Tom Hartmann program (actually one of the first :) and I will continue to support Tom and the progressive political policies that he champions. I truly appreciate the ability to post personal viewpoints on this website, and honestly do not mean to offer offence to anyone. In a documentary titled “The Origins’ of Aids” the film-maker included a short conversation by mail between two great physicians, Dr. Sabin, and Dr. Koprowski. Dr. Sabin attempts to warn his colleague that a sample of Dr. Koprowski’s vaccine which Dr. Sabin had tested was contaminated with an unknown virus (Dr. Sabin’s vaccine was also contaminated – so it was not uncommon). Dr. Koprowski angrily retorted with a Latin Maxim which Dr. Sabin said was ‘sarcasm and invective’. Dr. Sabin then proceeds to address the central problem facing our Democracy today by saying ‘it is clear dispassionate discourse is impossible with you’. As fellow citizens we have been conditioned over a long period of time to separate along ideological lines, to the point that, as Justice Ginsburg has so rightly pointed out, our democratic system is beginning to break down. I would also quote Scripture, “come now, let us reason together sayth the Lord of Hosts”, and “reason hath builded a house”. Therefore; having asked you to hear my opinion and consider its historical merits, and I refer you to “The Irony of American History” by Reinhold Niebuhr, “The Untold History of the United States” by Howard Zinn, and a documentary which Professor Noam Chomsky participated in. I would now attempt to re-iterate the musician Bob Marley’s point when he sang “Today they say that we are free, only to be chained in poverty.” Please recall that all wars are fought for economic reasons; but few politicians would be so foolish as to present the case for war to a democratic electorate in such terms, that the citizens would understand, that their sons and daughters should fight and possibly die to protect, or promote, the wealth of a few. The wealthy industrialists of the North did indeed want to raise import tariffs on European goods which many at the time considered superior in quality to American made goods. The Leading progressives of the day passionately supported suffrage (freedom from slavery) for the slaves. The citizenry of the northern industrial cities fought bravely to free the slaves, and preserve the Union. We are a far greater nation because of the assertion that the Federal Government’s authority supersedes the individual State government’s authority. The Southern states did indeed see this fight in terms of whose authority reigned supreme, and thus the southern soldiers did indeed fight to maintain a despicable system of usury based on “human suffering and systemic inequality”. To point out to you the evidence for Bob Marley’s lyric’s and sum up the reasoning as best I can short of a lengthy research paper; please note that Abraham Lincoln himself believed that the former slaves would only be able to truly enjoy the rights that our Creator endowed on us all, if they emigrated back to the continent of Africa. The former slaves who voluntarily relocated under the Lincoln’s program established the new Nation and government of Liberia (Liberty) in Africa. Please note that these immigrants were born in the United States, and were only attempting to relocate to escape the discrimination they were already all too familiar with. It is also important to note that President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation only freed enslaved persons in southern states, and lacked broader language which would have provided for universal suffrage. AS an example, according to some sources (Accelerated Christian History Course in Private School) the State of Connecticut did not officially end slavery until 1892 or 1893. The evidence becomes insurmountable when you begin to understand that the southern slaves actual circumstances were made more desperate because the former owners took their frustration out on the helpless former slaves while a system of usury based on “human suffering and systemic inequality” continued to be the expected social norm not only in southern states, but in every state in the union. One can hardly miss the fact that the template for school funding across the nation was set up as “Separate but Equal” and then collected revenues for each school district in that districts neighborhood; this means that even today the property value of your neighborhood in many places determines the state of the facility, if not the diversity of courses and activities available to your child. So, a good example of this structural inequality today is the Vestavia Hills Campus near Birmingham, Alabama. Very few students in poorer zip codes have such modern, lavish, luxurious, facilities, (or the curriculum opportunities that attend it). This is only an attempt to examine the past with an eye to honesty, and much more needs to be said. Please also read Derrick Jensen’s book “The Culture of Make Believe”, and “The New Jim Crow”. Then try to explain how the City of New York could disproportionally target people of color for nearly twenty years without a successful legal challenge, or mass public outcry. How long do you think you could deliberately mistreat people used to privilege and get away with it? Pavlov taught us that the secrete is to condition people as they grow up so that if a minority is mistreated, people tend to ignore it, because however rotten it is, it fits their expectation. As a gay man from Alabama, I have experienced discrimination firsthand, and I have noted that many other’s also suffer; nor am I attempting to claim perfection. I cannot help discriminatory thoughts, but I do attempt not to allow myself to engage in or help promote discrimination. I wish to remind you of President Kennedy’s father’s statement that “I see the word as it is, but I also see how it could be”. Remember Lionel Richie’s inspiring line: “Show the world and all its people all the wonders love can bring, give us strength and understanding, give us all one song to sing”. AMEN

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Religious Refugee
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Feb. 17, 2015 6:53 pm

Trump and His Billionaire Buddies Plot to Destroy Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid

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