The 2nd American Civil War is beginning


Hannah Beier/Reuters

The US supreme court’s upcoming decision to reverse Roe v Wade (an early draft of which was leaked last week) doesn’t ban abortions; it leaves the issue to the states. As a result, it will put another large brick in the growing wall separating blue and red America.

The second American civil war is already occurring, but it is less of a war than a kind of benign separation analogous to unhappily married people who don’t want to go through the trauma of a formal divorce.

One America is largely urban, racially and ethnically diverse, and young. The other is largely rural or exurban, white and older…

Surveys show Americans find it increasingly important to live around people who share their political values. Animosity toward those in the opposing party is higher than at any time in living memory. Forty-two per cent of registered voters believe Americans in the other party are “downright evil”.

Increasingly, each America is running under different laws…

“States rights” was always a cover for segregation and harsh discrimination. The poor – both white and people of color – are already especially burdened by anti-abortion legislation because they can’t afford travel to a blue state to get an abortion.

They’re also hurt by the failure of red states to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act; by red state de facto segregation in public schools; and by red state measures to suppress votes.

“What is to be done?” is the question waiting for an answer. Not for the first time in any nation; not even the first time in this one. But, a non-violent solution is to be preferred. That doesn’t include “States’ Rights”.

Republicans decide Nazis had the best idea when they came up with burning books

The Republican-led Tennessee state House passed a bill Wednesday that would require public school librarians to submit to the state a list of book titles for approval, as a GOP lawmaker suggested burning books that are deemed inappropriate.

During a contentious debate on the bill in the House, state Rep. John Ray Clemmons (D) asked state Rep. Jerry Sexton (R) what he would do with the books that he and the state consider inappropriate for libraries.

“You going to put them in the street? Light them on fire? Where are they going?” Clemmons asked.

“I don’t have a clue, but I would burn them,” Sexton replied.

“That’s what I thought,” Clemmons said…

Book burning is emblematic of authoritarian regimes, and it was notably carried out in Nazi Germany. One of the most prominent examples in history occurred May 10, 1933, when students in German universities set fire to more than 25,000 books that were deemed “un-German,” according to the U.S. Holocaust Museum. The action came after some 40,000 people gathered to hear Joseph Goebbels, chief propagandist for the Nazi Party, deliver an address declaring “No to decadence and moral corruption,” according to the museum.

Under the Tennessee House bill, librarians would be required to submit to a state-run commission a list of book titles in their collections for approval. The Tennessee state Senate approved a different version of the bill. After differences between the two are resolved, it will head to Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) to be signed into law.

This new formerly-known-as-the-Republican-Party will now literally carry their torch forward to advance racism, discrimination on gender, politics and sexual identity. All the bigotry historically favored by the Nazi Party…is now embraced as the heart and soul of the Republican Party.

“They are preparing for war”

An expert on civil wars discusses where political extremists want to take this country

So we actually know a lot about civil wars — how they start, how long they last, why they’re so hard to resolve, how you end them. And we know a lot because since 1946, there have been over 200 major armed conflicts. And for the last 30 years, people have been collecting a lot of data, analyzing the data, looking at patterns. I’ve been one of those people.

We went from thinking, even as late as the 1980s, that every one of these was unique…Then methods and computers got better, and people like me came and could collect data and analyze it. And what we saw is that there are lots of patterns at the macro level…

In 1994, the U.S. government put together this Political Instability Task Force. They were interested in trying to predict what countries around the world were going to become unstable, potentially fall apart, experience political violence and civil war…

Originally the model included over 30 different factors, like poverty, income inequality, how diverse religiously or ethnically a country was. But only two factors came out again and again as highly predictive. And it wasn’t what people were expecting, even on the task force. We were surprised. The first was this variable called anocracy. There’s this nonprofit based in Virginia called the Center for Systemic Peace. And every year it measures all sorts of things related to the quality of the governments around the world. How autocratic or how democratic a country is. And it has this scale that goes from negative 10 to positive 10. Negative 10 is the most authoritarian, so think about North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain. Positive 10 are the most democratic. This, of course, is where you want to be. This would be Denmark, Switzerland, Canada. The U.S. was a positive 10 for many, many years. It’s no longer a positive 10. And then it has this middle zone between positive 5 and negative 5, which was you had features of both. If you’re a positive 5, you have more democratic features, but definitely have a few authoritarian elements. And, of course, if you’re negative 5, you have more authoritarian features and a few democratic elements. The U.S. was briefly downgraded to a 5 and is now an 8.

And what scholars found was that this anocracy variable was really predictive of a risk for civil war. That full democracies almost never have civil wars. Full autocracies rarely have civil wars. All of the instability and violence is happening in this middle zone…

And then the second factor was whether populations in these partial democracies began to organize politically, not around ideology — so, not based on whether you’re a communist or not a communist, or you’re a liberal or a conservative — but where the parties themselves were based almost exclusively around identity: ethnic, religious or racial identity.

Sounds like home to me. The country I grew up in has changed in so many ways. I reflect on that, sometimes. Not actually better excepting a piece of civil rights.

No fears strong enough enough to label “concrete”. Not many ideas on how to “fix things”. This article seems to be a sound starting point.

100 years ago, Mississippi’s Senate voted to send all the state’s Black people to Africa

One hundred years ago, the Mississippi state Senate voted to evict the state’s Black residents — the majority of its total population — not just out of Mississippi, but out of the country.

The Senate voted 25 to 9 on Feb. 20, 1922, to ask the federal government to trade some of the World War I debts owed by European countries for a piece of colonial Africa — any part would do — where the government would then ship Mississippi’s Black residents, creating “a final home for the American negro.”

The act is a reminder of just how long after the end of slavery some White Southerners were pushing not just to strip African Americans of their political rights but also to remove them from the land of their birth

Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 21 was written by Sen. Torrey George McCallum, a former mayor of Laurel in Jones County. The county has achieved some measure of Hollywood fame as the “Free State of Jones,” a pocket of Unionist sentiment during the Civil War, but the McCallums were deeply engaged in the institution of slavery. Torrey’s grandfather Archibald enslaved 51 people on his plantation in 1860 and had a net worth of $80,000, about $2.5 million today…

His resolution argued in flowery language that “the spirit of race consciousness” had grown with a postwar increase in nationalistic feelings worldwide and that it was “our most earnest desire to reach a just, fair, amicable, and final settlement” to what some White people then called “the Negro question.”

I can’t know exactly how such a vote would total out, nowadays. Been a few decades since I’ve been in Mississippi; but, this crap still would have passed, then. I think it would pass, now. And this kind of racism isn’t limited to one state, just one piece of our nation’s history.

White Christian Worldview ain’t an anchor – it’s just a dead weight!

From an article by Robert P.Jones

As I came of age in Woodville Heights Baptist Church, on the white working-class side of Jackson, Miss., I internalized a cycle of sin, confession and repentance as a daily part of my life. Though I wasn’t aware of it at the time, this was a double inheritance. Beneath this seemingly icy surface of guilt and culpability flowed a deeper current of innocence and entitlement. Individually, I was a sinner, but collectively, I was part of a special tribe. Whatever our humble social stations might be, we white Christians were God’s chosen instruments of spreading salvation and civilization to the world.

The power and sheer cultural dominance of white Christianity in America historically bound these contradictory sensibilities together. But today we are witnessing the unmaking of this white Christian worldview, and it has unleashed remarkably destructive forces into American life.

Understanding this dissolution is the key to deciphering one of the most vexing puzzles in our politics: how a purportedly sober Christian worldview has become a volatile cocktail of fealty to Donald Trump, wild-eyed rants about vaccines, faith in QAnon conspiracies and hysteria over critical race theory.

Recent surveys by PRRI, an organization I lead, reveal disturbing realities among white evangelical Protestants today: 61% believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump. And the idea of patriotism has taken a troubling turn: 68% believe Trump is a “true patriot,” and one in three believe that “because things have gotten so far off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.” More than seven in ten deny that the history of slavery and discrimination in the U.S. has any bearing on economic inequalities between white and Black Americans today. White evangelicals are the religious group most likely to refuse COVID-19 vaccines and object to mask mandates. One in four are QAnon conspiracy believers.

RTFA. Please. I try hard as I can to differentiate between ignorance and stupidity. Especially among religious folk who embrace both with open arms, open mouths, forever open wallets…and closed minds.

Most inspiring event I ever saw on TV

Four weeks later, I was co-chairman of a newly-chartered chapter of C.O.R.E., the Congress Of Racial Equality. The other co-chair, a Black man named Frank, was a machine operator in an aircraft engine factory. I was working in a warehouse. We both lived and worked in a factory town in Southern New England.

We marched forward. Never looked back.

John Salter, a social science professor at Tougaloo College, sat with his students Anne Moody, Pearlena Lewis and Memphis Norman–a white man and three black students–at the “Whites Only” counter in Woolworth’s store lunch counter. Nobody would serve them. Behind them was a growing crowd of frenzied onlookers, police officers and news people. It was 11:15 a.m. on May 28, 1963.

#Bill Minor, then a reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, was there that day. He was the Mississippi correspondent covering civil rights events in Jackson and the state. Minor, tipped off by Medgar Evers, gathered with the other news people at the planned sit-in and watched the scene unfold.

Please read the article. Learn something about American history. This was not an isolated incident. Fightback had been going on since the first slave escaped. The racism that was part and parcel of justifying slavery lasted decades and centuries beyond the inhumane economics that justified the lies.

100 years ago, Tulsa’s thriving ‘Black Wall Street’ — Burned Down by a White Mob

Almost 100 years ago, in a small town office building, a man named Dick Rowland tripped on his way into an elevator. The car hadn’t stopped properly, and Rowland hadn’t noticed, catching his foot on the uneven ledge. As he fell, he reached out, looking for something to stop him. That something turned out to be someone — Sarah Page, the young elevator operator, who naturally screamed as a man fell on top of her.

In another place, at another time, between anyone else, the incident may have gone unnoticed. But the place was Greenwood, Oklahoma — then known as “Black Wall Street.” The time was 1921. And Dick Rowland was a black man. To make matters worse, Sarah Page was a white woman.

The immediate response was typical of the time and place. The local newspaper called for Dick Rowland’s lynching. Local white citizens obliged…”as the most brutal and destructive race riot in history unfolded, in one of the most prominent black neighborhoods”.

Over the course of 12 hours, a white mob, joined by more rioters, collectively burned down almost all of Black Wall Street. They looted businesses, shot and attacked black residents, and left the town in ruins…

According to initial reports, more than 800 people were injured, and roughly 35 had died. More recently, in 2001, an investigation by the Tulsa Race Riot Commission claimed the death toll was closer to 300…

10,000 black residents had been left homeless, and over 6,000 were held by the National Guard, some for as long as eight days.

The racist history of America from slavery times to today is never a surprise to anyone of conscience and education. That leaves a lot of folks who might wish to take a step back from what they think they know of American history.

Please read this one.