Site Meter

Thursday, August 17, 2017

When were those Confederate Memorials errected, anyway?

From Southern Poverty Law center: Principal time period was NO WHERE NEAR the immediate conclusion of the war. It was instead a time (1898-1936, with a peak from 1905-14) when white supremacy, Jim Crow, lynching and scientific theories of racial superiority were the order of the day, expecially in the South.

A second peak, not accidentally, is found during the time of "massive resistance" to Brown v. Board and the civil rights movement of the late 1950-s and early 1960s.

This data would seem to indicate that the motives were not pure, but rather done in efforts to reinforce and reinscribe the Lost Cause mythology and the power and privilege of the white establishment.

Compare this to the timing of memorials to those who served and died in wars like the American Revolution, the two World Wars, etc.

Awe-Inspiring Words from Heather Heyer's Mom

Heather Heyer's mom at her daughter's memorial service: “The truth is we’re all going to have our differences, we’re all going to be angry with each other. Let’s channel that anger not into hate, not into violence, not into fear, but let’s channel that anger into righteous action.”
“They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well guess what? You just magnified her,” she said, as the crowd stood in applause. “I’d rather have my child, but by golly if I gotta give her up, we’re gonna make it count.”


Link to a Provocative FB post by scholar Gerardo Marti

The Wise Words of my FaceBook friend and scholar Gerardo Marti:

"Quick thoughts on violence and moral fault:
"[Jesus] made a whip out of cords, and drove all from temple courts...scattered coins of money changers and overturned their tables." Jn 2:15‬
Is manifestly physical violence the only or primary consideration on the question of assessing fault? No, we know Jesus spoke against evil; in this verse, we see him physically fighting against evil—and it is naive to think no one got hurt amidst the exercise of his anger. Money changers, livestock owners, etc, would not have left peacefully. Their livelihoods were based on their exploitation, and they would have been scrambling for their "property" and struggling to protect themselves, keep from losing their things, finally fleeing the area.
Jesus's example above is a step toward helping us see that trying to find out who started the physical violence and determining moral fault on the basis of "who started it" is an ethical and intellectual mistake.
Watch the full scope of the videos from Charlottesville. Unite the Right participants were aggressive, insulting, and openly carrying rifles and shields, saying/chanting/wearing clearly offensive, agenda-filled phrases and symbols—all of which, if they have their way and enact their race-based program, would mean the forcible exclusion and expulsion of whole groups of people (just a few clicks to these groups blogs, videos, and even church sermons show its pervasiveness and obviousness). Their continual and decades long affront to the base dignity of whole groups beyond themselves is clear.
We cannot ignore the violence inherent to people joining the rally, the videos showing the hyper-masculine intimidation, the helmets, clubs, shields, mace, and rifles, the commando gear, and their even admitting that they carried concealed guns as well. They surrounded the park, they claimed their territory, and they were locked and loaded. They were not there to persuade or engage; they rallied to bully others and energize themselves in a forceful attempt to move forward an agenda that works against everyone else.
Unite the Right is an inherently violent event rallying inherently violent movements. Although a small and admittedly fringe group (antifa) joined other protesters to confront the rally and are seen to push, mace, and hit these white nationalists/supremacists, pushing back against their explicit hate, the videos also show the witness of clergy who by their disciplined actions visibly demonstrate that progressives are not fully aligned with antifa or advocate their methods. Still, however forceful they may have been, they do not compare to the racists and bigots they stood against. Unite the Right participants's statements before and after betray their violent intent. Others who fight against them—not killing them, as seen by the alt-right sympathetic driver into the crowd who killed Heather Heyer—people who are willing to fight with enough strength to keep them in check, do so in an attempt to keep such aggressive intimidation from winning. Some ethicists consider such confrontation to be active, peace-building work.
This is why the attempt to reduce what occurred to simply "blame on both sides" is insufficient. The groups represented are not equal. Their motivation and intent are not the same. Certainly, in the confrontation of evil there are disagreements on the use of violence, much as we saw in the active discussion between Dr. King's nonviolent philosophy and Malcolm X's willingness to confront with violence. But over that debate, both Dr. King and Malcolm X did not disagree on the need to confront ACTIVELY and AGGRESSIVELY.
The protesters to the rally were against the dangerous advancement of "whiteness": this involves not just the insults, but also the ideological agenda that includes denials of opportunity, brutality, desire for exclusionary laws and business practices (or removing protections built into them), and, really, the overarching goal that whites be affirmed as superior, while blacks and other foreigners would be shown to not belong in "our" America (except for a few tasks that give whites more time and wealth). Not everyone agrees with their willingness to use physicality, but this alone does not morally invalidate their action."

Focussing on an Overlooked Snippet of Trump's Most Infamous Statements to the Press Yesterday

After talking at length about his first and second statements in regards to the Charlottesville travesty and tragedy, Trump is asked: "Can you tell us how you're feeling about your chief strategist, Mr. Bannon? Can you talk about that?"
Answer: I never spoke to Mr. Bannon about it.
Now I'm thinking: you're answering, very quickly and defensively, a question that wasn't asked. Every mom trying to get to the bottom of what REALLY happened amongst her kids would immediately turn her attention to this, thinking, "He must have had long, intense talks with Mr. Bannon about this particular matter, talks of an embarrassingly revelatory nature that could be earth-shattering were they to become public."

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Fourth

I hope it is possible today to both celebrate the quest for freedom from tyranny that motivated those revolutionaries of 1776 AND acknowledge their blatantly undeniable flaws and limitations. Keep fighting the good fight for justice and equality, my sisters and brothers, patriots. For a challenging read to counter the shallow jingoism of the day:  Frederick Douglass' speech on the 4th