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Fables of the Reconstruction: Why Clinton's Comments About Southern History Matter


Fables of the Reconstruction: Why Clinton's Comments About Southern History Matter

Chris Kromm

At a CNN town hall for the Democratic presidential hopefuls this week, Hillary Clinton was asked a seemingly softball question: Who is your favorite president of all time?


A key component of brand Clinton, actually all things Clinton, is to not let facts get in the way of a good story.

Based on my observations, the Rove/Cheney/Dubya cabal set a record for creating the most revisionist history in my lifetime. It appears that the Clinton campaign is likely to outdo Rove/Cheney/Dubya in that department.


that is the fable of reconstruction, a complete lie!

the truth is that lincoln had voted the idea of black voting rights. he did so with the constrains of those rights going first to black union vets & "educated" blacks. However, that was an extremely radical position for that period, one that was the
reason given by booth for his murder. lincoln also proposed some level of land reform & major union rebuilding of that area, w blacks played a central role.

far from the fable of johnson being "tough on the south," he completely derailed reconstruction. johnson was a unreconstructed racist, actually one that favored slavery, but was a disenfranchished southerner who resented the plantation owners. However, as president he worked against any reforms that would include any land reform, any black enfranchisement & he worked to put the former slave-owners back in power. this was done at the point of guns, with a wave of lynching, murders intimidation of former slaves & poor whites who worked w them.

This became the myth of "peaceful coming together of north & south" that was a central core of the racist 'Lost Cause' mythology. it, in fact, was the coming together of the corporate rulers in the north w the racist former slave owners in the south, resulting in the total disenfranchisement of the former slaves (& thousands of former union soldiers) as well as poor whites.


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Not a surprise that Clinton would go with lies about reconstruction--right out of "Birth of Nation".

Here's Hillary in Iowa saying the Bible is 'the biggest influence on my thinking.'.

In the New York Times yesterday:


Which is why her positions provoke cognitive dissonance.


Slavery might have been ended by the Civil War, but the racism that was central to it was never challenged because the North was just as racist.


Of course the NYT makes no mention of Hillary Clinton's participation in DC-area prayer groups affiliated with the hyper-right-wing "The Family."


Maybe I’m just older than you, but my nomination for that dubious honor would go to the Reagan/Bush/Schultz/Weinberger/Stockman/North crew, for initiating most of the perfidy that has plagued us ever since.

We also shouldn’t overlook the Clinton/Gore gang and its solid record of Republican-agenda achievements.

In fact, it’s not all that far-fetched, given the failure of the last two (corporate) Democratic administrations to provide positive “change,” to make the case that we are now, for most practical purposes, in the 35th year of the Reagan Administration.

In that context, I do think you nailed it vis-à-vis Clinton-the-Next. I don’t know if she’ll “outdo Rove/Cheney/Dubya,” but she sure seems to personify “more of the same.” Bernie, on the other hand, leaves little doubt that he’s going to fight some of the evils of the status quo.


I have been in the south only twice in the last 25 years and from what I saw Reconstruction is a myth, and segregation is far from complete. Things could have changed a lot since then but I doubt it, since so little had changed over a hundred years after the civil war. For example, in New Orleans there were blacks all over the streets around motels not far from Jackson Square, but in the motels and tourist areas downtown the only blacks were employees. My friend and I went to a movie not far from our motel and while waiting for the start she asked if I noticed anything strange. I looked around and found we were the only two non-black people there. Downtown, to my horror and shame for America, we saw a little black boy in ragged clothes tapdancing on the street with his father, perhaps, playing a banjo. Quaint, to show the world this is how some blacks have to survive, by becoming side shows? Atlanta, years later was somewhat better, but still the racial divide and predominance of blacks in the service professions was very evident, and I understand that Atlanta is supposedly one of the better cities for blacks. With the rise of the Tea Party and tales of towns like Ferguson, I would not even drive through the south, even though I am Native American, not black, non-white is non-white there I believe. A third reconstruction is probably needed there, since lately with the Tea Party and increase of white supremists and the KKK, the south seems to be trying to revert to its true color: dirty white.


Turning to religion is a very good reason not to elect her. Knowing the 'golden rule' ought to be her guiding philosophy.


Have you been to the quite northern cities of Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee Chicago and many other cities well north of the Mason-Dixon Line? They are far worse with regard to discrimination and stark racial divides than what you describe.

And how can visiting the south only twice in 25 years provide you with an accurate perspective on the south?