Posted in Issues of Race

The Difficult Truth of 1619 — #11

There are similarities between the Post-Civil War Reconstruction atrocities and the Post-2020 Election Insurrection.

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“The number of voters supporting Trump, a white nationalist President, increased when he ran for a second term. And when Trump lost, some of his supporters led an insurrection in the nation’s Capitol, seeking, just as white mobs had done repeatedly during Reconstruction, to overturn and delegitimize an election won by a multiracial coalition of voters.

Then, in response to well-organized Black, Latino and Indigenous voters helping turn heavily Republican states such as Georgia and Arizona blue, Republicans began a coordinated effort to introduce and pass hundreds of bills that would make it harder for millions of Americans to vote.

Some have called these efforts—which came not even a year after the death of civil rights icon John Lewis, who in the 1960’s nearly lost his life to secure voting rights for Black Americans—the worst attack on voting in more than fifty years.” p. 455-456

And did you see the anti-democracy, white nationalist ex-President’s comments about all this in a speech the other day?

“On Thursday, former President Donald Trump told conservative radio host Wendy Bell that if he were to return to the Oval Office he would grant pardons and also apologize to participants in the January 6 insurrection. Trump promised that if ‘I decide to run, and if I win, I will be looking very, very strongly about pardons, full pardons…with an apology to many.’” Slate

Posted in Seeing Race and Racism

The Difficult Truth of 1619 — #10

A blog category examining the difficult yet enlightening truth found in The 1619 Project.

A major contributor to the prosperity of the United States …

“The prosperity of this country is inextricably linked with the forced labor of the ancestors of more than 30 million Black Americans, just as it is linked to the stolen land of the country’s indigenous people.

Though our high school history books seldom make this plain, slavery and the hundred-year period of racial apartheid and racial terrorism known ad Jim Crow were, above all else, systems of economic exploitation. To borrow a phrase from Ta-Nehisi Coates, racism is the child of economic profiteering, not the father.” p. 458

Posted in Issues with Race

The Difficult Truth of 1619 — #9

A blog category examining the difficult yet enlightening TRUTH found in The 1619 Project. (I encourage you to read the book!)

Let’s take a closer look at the historical, racist and almost always overlooked hypocrisy of the 2nd Amendment.

“ A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

The scholar Carl T. Bogus writes in a law review article, “The Hidden History of the Second Amendment”:

“As a Virginian, Madison knew that the militia’s prime function in his state, and throughout the South, was slave control. His use of the word ‘security’ in the Second Amendment is consistent with his writing the amendment, for the specific purpose of assuring the southern states, and particularly his constituents in Virginia, that the federal government would not undermine their security against slave insurrection by disarming the militia.” (p. 257, The 1619 Project)

”The second amendment, ratified in 1791, codified for white citizens the right to bear arms and to protect themselves. If there were any doubts about who these rights pertained to, they were put to rest in 1800, when Virginia governor James Monroe called out several regiments of the state’s militia to thwart, before it could begin, a widespread revolt planned by an enslaved man named Gabriel, and then to hunt him and the other participants down.”

“As the historian Herbert Aptheker wrote in ‘American Negro Slave Revolts,’ as word of Gabriel’s revolt spread, the ‘nation from Massachusetts to Mississippi was terror-stricken.’ The response was to double down and make more explicit through legislation the prohibitions on Black people owning guns.”

“One Virginian wrote in the local newspaper that ‘we must reenact all those rigorous laws which experience has proved necessary to keep slavery within bounds. In a word, if we will keep a ferocious monster in our country, we must keep him in chains.’” (p. 257. Full documentation available in the Notes section of the book.)

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The 2nd Amendment continues to be misinterpreted and misconstrued today by far-right extremists, the NRA (and the politicians they own), as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.

Just up the road from Robert and me … Daniel Defense — the Gun Death and Murder Company which supplied the assault weapon used in the Texas Uvalde massacre.

Can’t afford two grand? No problem. Three months interest free financing!

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Is there any answer to all this centuries-long deadly injustice?

If so, I surmise it will be found in voting out those politicians who continue to sustain laws (and introduce new ones) which enable potential domestic mass terrorists. Who continue to revel in the glory of guns. Who place the value of the dollar above (far above) the value of human life. Who refuse to even entertain the idea of common sense gun laws.

Midterm elections are on the horizon.

May they portend a new birth of Just Good.

Posted in Issues of Race

The Difficult Truth of 1619 — #8

A blog category examining the difficult yet enlightening truth found in The 1619 Project.

“In 2020, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights reported on the racial implications of Stand Your Ground laws: the criminal justice system is ten times more likely to rule a homicide justifiable if the shooter is white and the victim is black than the other way around. In fact, the report notes that when a white person kills an African American, it is 281 percent more likely to be ruled a ‘justifiable homicide’ than a white-on-white killing.” (Full documentation on page 266)

Posted in Seeing Race and Racism

The Difficult Truth of 1619 — #7

A blog category examining the difficult yet enlightening truth found in The 1619 Project.

“Donald Trump’s false claims of electoral fraud in the wake of the 2020 presidential election were an expression of the idea that only certain majorities are real majorities, that only some Americans deserve to hold power.”

“And while Trump lost and left office, the idea persists.”

“Rather than mobilize new voters or persuade existing ones, Republicans throughout the country have set about restricting access to the forms of voting that helped Democrats win in traditionally Republican states like Georgia and Arizona.”

“In Michigan, likewise, Republican lawmakers want to change the way the state distributes its Electoral College votes to nullify the influence of Detroit [overwhelmingly Black] on the final result.” p. 208

May our democracy survive this extremist far-right onslaught of truth, integrity and American values.

Posted in Seeing Race and Racism

The Difficult Truth of 1619 — #6

A blog category examining the difficult truth found in The 1619 Project.

In late August, 1619, 20-30 enslaved Africans landed at Point Comfort, today’s Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., aboard the English privateer ship White Lion. In Virginia, these Africans were jtraded in exchange for supplies. Several days later, a second ship (Treasurer) arrived in Virginia with additional enslaved Africans. Both groups had been captured by English privateers from the Spanish slave ship San Juan Bautista. They are the first recorded Africans to arrive in England’s mainland American colonies. hampton.gov

Difficult U.S. Presidential truth …

“[T]en of this nation’s first twelve Presidents were enslavers.“ p. 19

And look at this “poster” I found while Googling “Presidents who owned slaves” …

We don’t see these truths in Presidents Day coloring books.

And why is truth “indoctrinating” and “brainwashing” our children?

Are we so weak as a people that we cannot hear and bear truth?

Posted in Seeing Race and Racism

The Difficult Truth of 1619 — #5

A blog category examining the difficult truth found in The 1619 Project.

In late August, 1619, 20-30 enslaved Africans landed at Point Comfort, today’s Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., aboard the English privateer ship White Lion. In Virginia, these Africans were traded in exchange for supplies. Several days later, a second ship (Treasurer) arrived in Virginia with additional enslaved Africans. Both groups had been captured by English privateers from the Spanish slave ship San Juan Bautista. They are the first recorded Africans to arrive in England’s mainland American colonies. hampton.gov

Antebellum Plantations. Such Southern beauty!

But we need Truth in Terminology, Truth in Naming …

PLANTATIONS = FORCED LABOR CAMPS

Posted in Seeing Race and Racism

The Difficult Truth of 1619 — #4

A blog category examining the difficult truth found in The 1619 Project.

In late August, 1619, 20-30 enslaved Africans landed at Point Comfort, today’s Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., aboard the English privateer ship White Lion. In Virginia, these Africans were traded in exchange for supplies. Several days later, a second ship (Treasurer) arrived in Virginia with additional enslaved Africans. Both groups had been captured by English privateers from the Spanish slave ship San Juan Bautista. They are the first recorded Africans to arrive in England’s mainland American colonies. hampton.gov

A few thoughts on the Revolutionary War period in U.S. history.

“The wealthy, educated men who led the revolt against Britain needed to unify the disparate colonists across social class and region. For those leaders, the comparison to slavery constituted a powerful rhetorical tool.” The 1619 Project

George Washington, Brittanica.com

George Washington’s words:

“‘The Crisis has arrived when we must assert our rights or submit to every imposition that can be heap’d upon us; till custom and use, will make us as tame & abject slaves, as the Blacks we rule over with such arbitrary sway,” Washington warned in an August 1774 letter to his friend and neighbor Bryan Fairfax.

It is important, even imperative, that we stop Disney-fying our “Founding Fathers” and see their darker sides as well, especially those sides which involve enslaving people. Surely we can all agree that darker sides abound in us all.