Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/07/04/day-they-tore-old-dixie-down
Our nation mage a huge mistake allowing the South to erect monuments to praise the Confederacy and it’s embrace of slavery.
The “Jim Crow” era gave rise to this resurgence of racial hatred, allowing it to continue to affect our youth.
One would think that after the defeat of Hilter, an example so monstrous of hate gone unchecked, that our nation would have taken steps to legislate the end of racial oppression.
I was in a Lithuanian neighborhood of Pittsburgh, when The Band took off like a rocket. It was spooky, how RACIST the whole BS hippie thing was, immediately below the surface? We’d figured we Yankees broke from the planter class. That the planter class, who’d fought the British to spread slavery, had to be overcome by immigrants, coming to work in US northerm industry. That Capitalism was pulling away from Feudalism a bit later, here? That foreign financialization of chattel slavery debt, where raw materials like sugar, cotton, tobacco, dye-stuffs were manufactured, elsewhere… well, mechanization stopped slavery, right? I’m guessing smart industrialists thought they’d benefit from setting refugees from plantations against refugees from progroms in STILL feudal Europe? Why would any beneficiary allow change?
Isn’t today the day 13K peckerwoods walked into canister, grapeshot, miniballs and bayonets, so massa could keep his little Black boy? Pickett knew Lee was drunk, but did it anyway?
That monstrous hate of the fascist Hitler era was well known to US politicians. Hitler’s war machine was rolling on tires made in Amerika, and the NYT reported around 1936 somewhere on the last pages of their paper hidden among advertisements, about the annihilation of Jews in Nazi Germany.
Racism in the US is systemic and has been since the time of Colonialism which is a brother to Fascism…
Militarists admire and honor other militarists. That’s what bad family traditions, and the Army is One Big Family, carry forward and gave to the country’s future. When they gave us Southern Civil War heroes, they gave us garbage and little else.
The U.S. Army Command honored and uplifted Robert E. Lee by instructing cadets on his supposed battle tactics, overlooking or burying the fact he was a traitor and detestable human being. Some, perhaps the silent majority, of Northern citizens never considered Mr. Lee to be anything above a garden snakes’ muddy arse. To put it another way; he’s just another slicked up, over-perfumed and well-greased Southern male boar.
We still don’t think much of the whole lot of them.
From my earliest recollection in the mid 50’s in my rural white neighborhood, racism was all around me, mostly experienced through interactions with my friends parents.
My parents were the exception. They respected everyone and taught my brother and I to do so too.
Well, as far as I know the confederate statue in the Texas town where I went to high school is still standing proud. Just before the Civil War they hanged around 40 people for daring to speak up against secession. There’s a memorial but it quotes the “judge” of the kangaroo court that “convicted” them. Basically, rationalizing the reason for sentencing those people to death. I think in this region there were around 200 people who resisted secession that were murdered. You can look it up. There was a book about it. The town is called Gainesville. In Texas. It’s called “The Great Hanging at Gainesville” on Wikipedia.
Dang, B_T you’ve got one or more necessary and dynamic memoirs or books of essays in you. Sure hope you get them up on our shelves where we can pull 'em down and recapture the sense datum that our **indoctri-**NATION mass media has no interest in reconstituting. The Neo-Liberal E-CONomic doctrinal revolution that was not televised during my youth or since needs to be reconstituted, addressed by name and analyzed within cost\benefit socio-political parameters failed policy by failed policy.
Starting with the institutional canonization of Woodrow Wilson (don’t forget even Woody Guthrie’s father before he was wiped out by the Great Depression and Dust Bowl Big Ag policies named his kid ***Woodrow Wilson Guthrie)***a president who screened the cinematic paean to White Supremacy BIRTH OF A NATION in the White House for the ritual celebrations to be shared with fellow members of the Ku Klux Klan cultists. To regain a non-ironic human aspirational understanding of what it meant to live in a land who’s PR image is "Bringing Democracy to the Shi_hole Countries of the World one overthrown elected regime at a time since the early removal of our own First Nations…"
Also, we cannot forget Woodrow Wilson’s role at the Birth of Edward Bernays’ envisioned PR Industry of the use of tax-payer dollars to propagandize its own Isolationist and Pauperized People into becoming boots on the ground for the Daddy Warbucks benefiting Perma War Economy via the formation of the Creel Commission: Read All About It In That Commie Rag THE SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE
To live in a nation where the newspaper monopolist William Randolph Hearst when not starting foreign wars to stoke sales of his papers for the lucrative amusement of his Big Biz advertisers and vicarious consoling psychic compensations of most of the U.S.'s Feudal Ruled serfs and tenant farm labor.
The same Hearst Family whose names were given to buildings they endowed on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley and the U.C.S.F. Medical Center on Parnassus Hill whose own William Randolph Hearst by-lined CITIZEN KANE editorials supporting the Rise of the Nazis as U.S. Captains of Industry went ka-ching, and who held his verbal fire and any damaging propaganda against the Koch family of Kansas amassing an Amurrikin Fortune selling their oil-field and chemical services to Stalin during the genocidal policies as that Workers’ Revolution was subverted by its own Cult of Personality.
When I worked right out of college at the administrative company for the 2 SF daily newspapers, the afternoon paper being the “Monarch of the Hearst Empire” the SF EXAMINER I would in my off-hours avail myself of the micro fiche archives of those Hearst editorials making the economic case for the benevolence and good tidings that the Rise of the Nazis would bring to the world.
Now that I live in Oregon which while still a Territory and devolving into a State for Whites Only with Sundown and Exclusion Laws, I can avail myself of the barely known academic research into the institutionalization and entrepreneurial motivations of the Ku Klux Klan as the cult that one needed to belong to and be photographed with to get elected to office.
Here’s a recent remembrance run in one of PoTown, Ore’s alternative weekly papers as Trump and the Alt Right were working their magic to resurrect them Wild West salad days for the 21st Century:
Thank you Tony Norman for your own gamey endurance in Pittsburgh’s own loss of journalism as a relevant and thriving key element to shared prosperity. Wonder if Mr Norman visited PoTown, Ore over the last decade as local productions of Pittsburgh’s African American Shakespeare, August Wilson, had his whole cycle of Pittsburgh-based plays produced in vibrant local indie theater productions via the August Wilson and Red Door Theater Projects?
Some of those August Wilson plays like RADIO GOLF dealt so knowingly and BUSINESS INSIDER-ly of what was to come as gentrification, red-lining and the Wellness Spa-ification of 'hood after 'hood fell to speculators who came from within and without to undo the hard-won legacies of Pittsburgh’s own scrappy Hill District neighborhoods.
Keep on doing B_T, Tony Norman, Robbie Robertson and First Nations all, writers and artists united even in diversity of views. We need to keep producing even as our neighborhoods fall to the normalization of the New Homeless Hoovervilles and the Financialization as Saskia Sassen has studied and lectured around the world on of Housing Stock and the decimation of Public Housing as the purpose of Housing shifts even further from basic human shelter to globally traded commodity replacing unfettered capital as the world’s reserve currency:
Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters, Code Shifters and Song Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa
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The Internaltional Jews did declare war on Germany in 1933. There’s also a book writeen by an American jew at the time called, “Called Germany Must Die”!
That happened across Texas. The memorial in my area for that is the Treue der Union memorial in Comfort, but it is not at all sympathetic to secessionists who did the slaughter. This was German Freethought community (who came here to escape religious persecution) and the town and surrounds was overwhelmingly opposed to slavery and loyal to the Union. I think it’s the oldest Civil War monument in Texas, and the only monument in the country which flies the 36-star flag permanently at half-mast.
And of course, they couldn’t fix that problem without creating another.
Robbie Robertson traveled to the Mississppi Delta at 16years old following his musical wonderings with friend Leon Helm. They have a lot of music from what they learned, interesting choice for this article.