Yes, the confederacy was about slavery. And so, to a degree, is modern conservatism
Posted by Charles II on June 23, 2015
Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic:
It’s mostly links to here, the Civil War Trust, dedicated to preserving the battlefields.
And before anyone gives the Republicans of South Carolina and Mississippi too much credit, hear what the Rev. William Barber said on DemocracyNow:
REV. WILLIAM BARBER: …[President Obama is saying … that to talk about race…We have to recognize…what Lee Atwater explained about the Southern strategy, that Kevin Phillips designed in 1968. He said, “I know how to win the South, but we have to move away from talking about race openly. We can’t do like George Wallace or Goldwater. We have to find a way to talk about race without sounding like it.” And he listed a number of things—tax cuts, forced busing, states’ rights—as code language for talking about race. Ronald Reagan used it when he started his campaign…. by being in Philadelphia, where Schwerner, Chaney and Goodman were killed, it was clear.
And so, today, what the president is saying, you’ve got to look at structural, systemic racism. That’s what that young man [murderer Dylann Roof] meant when he said, “Somebody’s trying to take over and destroy my country.” He had heard politicians and others saying the president is ruining the country;… Only the willfully deaf, said one author that wrote a book called Racism Without Racists, cannot hear the racialized implications of that kind of rhetoric, in that kind of policy, which is why I agree with the president that we have to talk about race in terms of systemic racism and institutional racism. For instance, why is it that of the 24 states that are denying Medicaid expansion, six out of 10 African Americans live in those states? Why is it that we talk about entitlements in a way that suggests that it’s about them? The very programs that lifted up white Americans in the ’40s and ’50s, after the ’60s, became an anathema in certain arenas. Why is it that we don’t talk about the fact that our schools are resegregating faster now than they were in the 1970s?
We have to talk about wage disparity, both generally for all Americans, but then the disparate impact upon black people and brown people. And we’ve got to get black and brown and poor white people to understand that, in many ways, we are being played by an oligarchy that knows how to use these racialized code words to create wedge issues rather than to create the kind of moral transformative fusion of blacks, whites and browns that need to happen in this country, particularly in the South, to move us forward.
So, fine, clean up the symbols. But we will look to the policy to reach a judgment on whether your hearts have truly changed. When the policies you promote end up with people unable to vote, unable to influence what laws are made, unable to get a decent education, unable to get decent wages, then they are not free. Southern conservatives and more generally the American oligarchy is trying to reimpose slavery, not only on African Americans, but on all of us, and not only in the South, but everywhere.
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