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Parry writes: "It is now clear that Obama's election in 2008 was not the harbinger of a 'post-racial' America, but rather the signal for white right-wingers to rally their forces to 'take back America.'"

President Barack Obama. (photo: file)
President Barack Obama. (photo: file)


Racist Roots of GOP War on Obama

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

25 July 13

 

Exclusive: Right-wing Republicans in Congress are plotting to cripple the U.S. government if Barack Obama, the first African-American president, doesn’t submit to their demands. The battle pretends to be over the size of government but it echoes the whips, chains and epithets of America’s racist past, writes Robert Parry.

he United States finds itself at a crossroad, with a choice of moving toward a multicultural future behind a more activist federal government or veering down a well-worn path that has marked various tragic moments of American history when white racists have teamed up with "small government" extremists.

Despite losing Election 2012 - both in the presidential vote (by five million) and the overall tally for Congress (by one million) - the Republicans are determined to use their gerrymandered House "majority" and their filibuster-happy Senate minority to slash programs that are viewed as giving "stuff" (in Mitt Romney's word) to poorer Americans and especially minorities.

Republicans are gearing up to force a series of fiscal crises this fall, threatening to shut down the federal government and even default on the national debt, if they don't get their way. Besides sabotaging President Barack Obama's health reform law, the Republicans want to devastate funding for food stamps, environmental advancements, transportation, education assistance and other domestic programs.

"These are tough bills," Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Kentucky, who heads the House Appropriations Committee, told the New York Times. "His priorities are going nowhere."

A key point is to slash help to what the Right sees as "undeserving" Americans, especially people of color. The ugly side of this crypto-racist behavior also surfaced in the gloating by right-wing pundits over the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. Fox News pundits, in particular, have mocked the outrage over the verdict from America's black community and Obama's personal expression of sympathy.

It is now clear that Obama's election in 2008 was not the harbinger of a "post-racial" America, but rather the signal for white right-wingers to rally their forces to "take back America." The fact that the modern Republican Party has become almost exclusively white and the nation's minorities have turned more and more to the Democratic Party has untethered the GOP from any sense of racial tolerance.

There is now a white-supremacist nihilism emerging in the Republican strategy, a visceral contempt for even the idea of a multi-racial democracy that favors a more vigorous federal government. Some of these extremists seem to prefer sinking the world's economy via a U.S. debt default than compromising with President Obama on his economic and social agenda.

Though the mainstream media avoids the white supremacist framing for the political story - preferring to discuss the upcoming clash as a philosophical dispute over big versus small government, - the reality is that the United States is lurching into a nasty struggle over the preservation of white political dominance. The size-of-government narrative is just a euphemistic way of avoiding the underlying issue of race, a dodge that is as old as the Republic.

The Jeffersonian Myth

Even many liberals have fallen for the myth of the dashing Thomas Jefferson as the great defender of America's Founding Principles - when he was really a great hypocrite who served mostly as the pleasing political front man for the South's chief industry, human slavery.

The popular history, perpetuated by authors such as Jon Meacham, downplays how Virginia's plantation owners and other investors in slavery served as Jefferson's political "base" helping to fund his propaganda battle - and then his political war - against George Washington's Federalists who were the real designers of the Constitution with its dramatic concentration of power in the federal government. [See Consortiumnews.com's "The Right's Made-Up Constitution."]

Prominent Anti-Federalists, such as Virginia's Patrick Henry and George Mason, were alarmed that the Constitution's overturning of the states' rights-oriented Articles of Confederation would inexorably lead to Northern domination and the eventual eradication of slavery.

After ratification, many of these Southern agrarian interests grew even more alarmed when the Federalists began using the expansive federal powers in the Constitution to begin creating the framework for a modern financial system, such as Alexander Hamilton's national bank, and promoting a potent federal role in the nation's development, such as George Washington's interest in canals and roads.

With every move toward a more assertive national government, the Southern slaveholders saw a growing threat toward their economic interest in human bondage. After all, slavery was not just a cultural institution in the South; it was the region's biggest capital investment.

Though Jefferson was in France when the Constitution was written in 1787 and ratified in 1788, his return in 1789 marked an important political moment in early U.S. history. The Anti-Federalists, stung by their bitter defeat at the hands of Washington's Federalists over the Constitution, finally had a charismatic leader to rally behind.

Jefferson, who was a critic of the Constitution but not an outright opponent, retained an outsized reputation from the American Revolution as the principal author of the Declaration of Independence. He was also a star intellect and a crafty political operative who, perhaps more than anyone else, personified the hypocrisy of the slave-owning Founders.

Though he had famously declared, as "self-evident" truth, that "all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," he also was one of Virginia's major slaveholders. And he engaged in the pseudo-science of racial supremacy, measuring the skulls of his African-American slaves to "prove" their inferiority.

Known as a harsh "master" when having runaway slaves punished, Jefferson lived in deathly fear that his slaves would rise up violently against him and his fellow plantation owners, much as the slaves of St. Domingue (today's Haiti) did against their French plantation owners in the 1790s.

So, like Patrick Henry and George Mason, Jefferson wanted a strong state-controlled militia in Virginia to put down slave revolts while opposing a professional federal military which white Southerners saw as a potential threat to the future of slavery.

Rose-Colored Glasses

Despite Jefferson's interest in maintaining slavery and his racist pronouncements, many modern writers have bought into the Jeffersonian version of early American history. In part, that may be because Jefferson was among the most handsome, most complex and most intellectual of the Founders. But that modern fascination with Jefferson frequently involves averting one's gaze from the dark - and racist - underbelly of Jefferson's personal beliefs and his political movement.

For instance, Meacham's best-selling Thomas Jefferson: the Art of Power says almost nothing about Jefferson's real source of power, the South's plantation structure. Instead, Jefferson's advocacy for "farmers" and a "small-government" interpretation of the Constitution is taken at face value. Plus, few questions are asked about the fairness of his vituperative attacks on the Federalists, especially Hamilton and Adams. Those assaults are seen as simply an expression of Jefferson's sincere republican spirit.

Meacham's writing is instructive, too, on the Jefferson-slavery issues. Meacham focuses mostly on Jefferson's taking a teenage slave girl, Sally Hemings, as his concubine, what could be regarded as rape, pedophilia or both. While Jefferson's sexual exploitation of a vulnerable girl is certainly noteworthy in evaluating Jefferson's character, the liaison is less significant historically than Jefferson's role in defending slavery by revising the original (Federalist) interpretation of the Constitution.

The Federalists, who included the document's principal drafters, understood that the Constitution granted very broad powers to the federal government to act in the national interest and on behalf of the general welfare. That was also the interpretation held by Anti-Federalists, explaining the intensity of the battle against ratification. So, by substituting a revisionist interpretation, stressing "states' rights" and a tightly constrained federal government, Jefferson negated much of what the Framers had sought to do with the Constitution. He also set the country on course for the Civil War.

Before becoming President, Jefferson secretly conspired with some political forces in Kentucky on possible secession, and he helped devise the theory of nullification, the supposed right of the states to nullify federal law, which became a driving force in the South's belief that it could secede from the Union.

Jefferson was one of the eight early presidents who owned slaves while in office (another four owned slaves while not in office). But Jefferson was one of the most unapologetic, insisting that blacks could never live as freed citizens in the United States and refusing to liberate his own slaves after his death (except for a few relatives of Sally Hemings).

When I visited Monticello some years ago, the tour guide pointed out the beautifully manicured Jefferson family cemetery, which was for white members of the household. When I asked where the slave cemetery was, I was told that no one knew. By contrast, Washington's Mount Vernon has a respectfully maintained slave cemetery.

More Hypocrisy

Meacham and other Jeffersonian apologists also miss many other layers of hypocrisy surrounding their hero, such as his near-hysterical condemnations of the Federalists as they struggled with the herculean task of building a functioning government under an untested constitutional framework, amid extraordinary international pressures and threats.

It is surely true that Washington, Hamilton and Adams made missteps in their efforts to pioneer this new form of government - and thus left themselves open to political attack from Jefferson's paid propagandists - but historians who buy into Jefferson's narrative ignore the unprecedented challenges that the Federalists faced.

The Federalists also were the ones, particularly Hamilton and Adams, who demonstrated sympathy and support for Haiti's black freedom-fighters, while Jefferson did all he could to undermine their success. But Jefferson is the Founder who is praised for his open-mindedness. [See Consortiumnews.com's "Rethinking Thomas Jefferson."]

Though Jefferson skillfully exploited examples of the Federalists' elitism and overreach to win the presidency in 1800, President Jefferson proved to be hypocritical, too, regarding his insistence on "limited government" narrowly defined by the Constitution's "enumerated powers" as well as his supposed respect for freewheeling dissent and his love for freedom of the press.

After undermining President Adams over his signing of the Alien and Sedition Acts - a wartime measure meant to suppress alleged foreign influence seeking to induce the young Republic to take sides in a European conflict - Jefferson expressed his own sympathy for harsh measures against dissidents.

For instance, in 1803, President Jefferson endorsed the idea of prosecuting critical newspaper editors, writing: "I have ... long thought that a few prosecutions of the most eminent offenders would have a wholesome effect in restoring the integrity of the presses. Not a general prosecution, for that would look like persecution: but a selected one," as cited by Meacham's largely pro-Jeffersonian book.

On a similar note, after leaving the White House, Jefferson advised his successor and ally James Madison on what to do with Federalists who objected to going to war with Great Britain in 1812. As historians Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg write in Madison and Jefferson, "Jefferson called for different measures in different parts of the country: 'A barrel of tar to each state South of the Potomac will keep all in order,' he ventured in August [1812]. 'To the North they will give you more trouble. You may have to apply the rougher drastic of ... hemp and confiscation' - by which he meant the hangman's noose and the confiscation of property."

In other words, Jefferson, who has gone down in school history books as a great defender of freedom of speech, urged the sitting President of the United States to "tar" war dissenters in the South and to hang and dispossess dissenters in the North.

Jefferson was similarly hypocritical when it came to his views on "limited government." He arguably was the first imperial president, dispatching the Navy to battle the Barbary pirates before seeking congressional approval and then negotiating the purchase of the Louisiana Territories despite the absence of any "enumerated" power to that effect in the Constitution.

As even an admirer like Meacham was forced to acknowledge, Jefferson "believed ... in a limited government, except when he thought the nation was best served by a more expansive one." So, Jefferson's opposition to the Federalists' view of the Constitution was less philosophical than political. He, like them, adopted a pragmatic approach, accepting that the Constitution did not anticipate all challenges that might confront the country.

While one might commend Jefferson's flexibility - even though he decried similar actions by the Federalists - the public impression of Jeffersonian "small government" principles became more absolute and dangerous. As the nation's early decades progressed, Southern slaveholders seized on Jefferson's constitutional positions in defending the South's investment in slavery and its expansion to new states.

Jefferson had put a powerful stamp on the young country through his own two-term presidency and those of his Virginia colleagues James Madison and James Monroe. By end of this so-called Virginia Dynasty in 1825, the permanence of slavery had been burnt deeply into the flesh of not only the original Southern states but new ones to the west.

In the ensuing decades, as the national divisions over slavery sharpened, the South escalated its resistance to federal activism, opposing even non-controversial matters like disaster relief. As University of Virginia historian Brian Balogh noted in his book, A Government Out of Sight, Southerners asserted an extreme version of states' rights in the period from 1840 to 1860 that included preventing aid to disaster victims.

Balogh wrote that the South feared that "extending federal power" - even to help fellow Americans in desperate need - "might establish a precedent for national intervention in the slavery question," as Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne noted in a May 22 column.

The intensity of the South's hatred toward a reformist federal government exploded into warfare once an anti-slavery candidate, Republican Abraham Lincoln, won the presidency. The South rekindled Jefferson's old flirtations with nullification and secession, even though Lincoln was willing to continue tolerating slavery to save the Union.

But Southern politicians saw the handwriting on the wall - what Patrick Henry and George Mason had warned about - the inevitability of Northern dominance and the eventual demise of slavery.

The bloody Civil War ended slavery but it also stoked the bitterness of white Southerners who reacted to federal amendments granting citizenship rights to blacks by engaging in the terror of the Ku Klux Klan and broad resistance against Reconstruction. Finally, the North's determination to reshape the South as a place of racial equality dissipated and Union troops were withdrawn in 1877. A near century of Jim Crow laws, lynching of blacks and racial segregation ensued.

When the federal government finally moved to outlaw the South's apartheid system in the 1950s and 1960s, white racists mounted a new political resistance, this time by forsaking the Democratic Party, which had spearheaded the major civil rights laws of the era, and migrating in droves to the new Republican Party, which used racial code words to make white racists feel welcome.

The key subliminal message was opposition to "big guv-mit," an allusion that white racists understood to mean less interference with their suppression of black votes and black rights.

Second Reconstruction

Just as the civil rights victories of the 1960s were viewed as a resumption of America's march toward racial equality that was begun a century earlier with the Civil War, so too the petering out of this so-called Second Reconstruction paralleled the original Reconstruction, which ended also about century earlier.

With the emergence of right-wing Republican Ronald Reagan in the late 1970s, the white racist resistance to civil rights found another charismatic front man, who - like Jefferson - pushed the message of "small government" and "states' rights."

The Reagan era marked a reversal of the strides that America had taken after World War II to open mainstream society to black citizens. But it also signaled a retreat on other federal initiatives, including regulation of Wall Street and other industries.

So, besides worsening the financial standing of many blacks and other minorities, Reaganomics returned to a boom-and-bust economy of an earlier capitalism. The Great American Middle Class, which had emerged with the help of federal laws after World War II, began to shrink, though many whites, especially in the South, stuck with the Republicans because of the party's hostility to helping blacks.

But there was still a national push-and-pull over whether to resume a march toward a more equitable society or to embrace Jim Crow II, a more subtle and sophisticated arrangement for disenfranchising black and brown Americans.

Some political observers believed the election of Barack Obama as the first African-American president was a point of no return toward a multi-cultural America. However, instead of heralding a day of greater racial tolerance, Obama's presidency intensified the determination of right-wing whites to do whatever is necessary to make his presidency fail.

That battle appears likely to get even uglier this fall as the House Republican "majority" plots to shut down the federal government and even default on the nation's debt if the African-American president doesn't surrender to their political demands.

Pundits are sure to frame this donnybrook as an ideological fight over the principles of "small government," but behind that will be a replay of the South's historic insistence on maintaining white supremacy.


Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, "Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush," was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, "Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq" and "Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth'" are also available there.

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-61 # indian weaver 2013-07-25 14:16
I never want to see Obama's face again, anywhere, for any reason.
 
 
+4 # rleroygordon 2013-07-27 16:27
Quoting indian weaver:
I never want to see Obama's face again, anywhere, for any reason.


Well, come back in 60 years. He should be dead by then.
 
 
+2 # ganymede 2013-07-28 18:35
Mr Indian Weaver, Your rage and rants against Obama are either caused by your not taking your meds, or because you're an unreconstructed racist or both.

I always appreciate Robert Parry's articles because he writes so clearly and forceably. After five years of Obama and the unbelievable hostiliy from rightwingers, it's crystal clear that these misbegotten angry white people just can't abide having a Black man as President. The slave mentality works two ways from the slaveholder, or today's racist who thinks he is better than a Black man, to the rest of us who either for religious, spiritual or just commonsense reasons, think that we're all equal as God's children. It is outrageous that the whole country is being held back by a large number of mentally unbalanced people who populate the former Confederate states and other backward parts of the country. Fortunately, demographics is against them and no amoubnt of money or gerrymandering is going to prevent their eventual demise.
 
 
+27 # Hephaestion 2013-07-25 18:30
Will the Republicans treat Hilary the way they've treated Obama when she becomes president?
 
 
+27 # bubbiesue 2013-07-25 22:36
In a word, Yes. Watch for it.
 
 
+19 # bubbiesue 2013-07-25 22:41
Obama has a chance to open the national moral conversation, to extend the Carolina Moral Monday, throughout his term, to bring the cancer of race to the table honestly and forthrightly, if he will use it. We should never teach children to be colorblind. We should talk about how we are alike and how we are different and how it makes us human and richer as a nation of immigrants--eve ry last one except the Indians. And maybe them, too.
 
 
+23 # Regina 2013-07-25 23:36
Guaranteed -- they're still carrying on with their War on Women.
 
 
-23 # The Voice of Reason 2013-07-25 20:17
Maybe it's too soon, but you guys are sure slow to comment on the racial posts. I'm sure it's coincidence.

Amazing how it was the Republicans who abolished slavery, passed the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s, and tried to pass an anti-lynching law as recently as the 50s, all opposed by southern Democrats.
 
 
+46 # giraffee2012 2013-07-25 22:39
Quoting The Voice of Reason:
Maybe it's too soon, but you guys are sure slow to comment on the racial posts. I'm sure it's coincidence.

Amazing how it was the Republicans who abolished slavery, passed the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s, and tried to pass an anti-lynching law as recently as the 50s, all opposed by southern Democrats.

That was then AND this is now --- i.e. t-bag-GOP are nothing like the Republicans of THEN
 
 
+26 # xflowers 2013-07-26 00:29
Yes, the parties swapped places when Nixon developed the southern strategy to win over southern white racists who felt betrayed by the Dems federalist approach to enforcing civil rights in the 60s. A bad decision by Nixon; of course, we know it wasn't his first or last. He probably didn't recognize how this move would transform his future party. But until this blundering move on his part, both parties had come to recognize the importance of civil rights, Eisenhower in the 50s, Kennedy and Johnson in the 60s, both parties united on this front for a time, which is how it should have remained.
 
 
+33 # Tazio 2013-07-25 23:23
Southern rednecks were all Democrats until LBJ, a Democrat, signed the Civil Rights Act of 1965. This legislation so infuriated them crackers that they all turned Republican and elected Nixon.

By the way, had Kennedy not been assassinated, the Civil Rights Bill could never have been passed. The Republicans wouldn't have allowed it.

And President Obama's two landslide elections so upset these good old boys that some of them actually get physically ill when they even see his face.
Thank God these old fools are a dwindling minority.
 
 
+19 # Regina 2013-07-25 23:39
The "Dixiecrats" switched party with the ascension of Reagan. And took over the Republican Party, which they found willing and able to adopt Dixie positions on national issues.
 
 
+27 # Texas Aggie 2013-07-26 03:52
You do realize that the repubs who passed the Civil Rights Act have been primaried out of the repub party, don't you? You do understand that the Dixiecrats have been welcomed into the open arms of the repub party, don't you?

Of course, you do. But that isn't going to change you, is it?
 
 
+7 # dkonstruction 2013-07-26 11:45
Quoting The Voice of Reason:
Maybe it's too soon, but you guys are sure slow to comment on the racial posts. I'm sure it's coincidence.

Amazing how it was the Republicans who abolished slavery, passed the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s, and tried to pass an anti-lynching law as recently as the 50s, all opposed by southern Democrats.


To equate today's Republican Party with "the party of Lincoln" is like saying that today's Democratic Party is the party of Jefferson and Madison (who formed the Democratic-Repu blican Party in opposition to the Federalists) or that it is the same party as the party of Andrew Jackson. It is an absurd comparison in other words. So, if you are making this analogy then the "radicals" in today's Republican Party must then clearly be the political descendants of the Radical Republicans/Rad ical Reconstructioni sts right?
 
 
-1 # The Voice of Reason 2013-07-27 12:36
What equating? I said it was amazing. Which it is. The party that passed more civil right advancements for African American is the most racist party of the centuries. And the southern dems who were so openly racist claim to be the party of the AAs.

Although it is also amazing how there is no real progress for African Americans as a whole. Maybe a few have gotten out, but the vast majority are suffering.
 
 
+7 # Billy Bob 2013-07-27 14:25
Do you find it equally "amazing" that those southern Democrats all became southern Republicans - or doesn't that fit the narrative?

What I find amazing is how much current conservatives resemble conservatives from the Civil War and how CONSERVATISM is to blame for ALL of this. I also find it AMAZING that conservatives try to shift blame away from themselves by playing word games and using code words, as if the rest of us are children who can't see through the obvious disingenuousnes s.
 
 
0 # Brooklynite 2013-07-29 07:31
Quoting The Voice of Reason:
What equating? I said it was amazing. Which it is. The party that passed more civil right advancements for African American is the most racist party of the centuries. And the southern dems who were so openly racist claim to be the party of the AAs.
Not amazing. Think of the names "Republican Party" and "Democratic Party" as names of 2 residential buildings. What happened is that the residents of the 2 buildings switched residences but kept the old names of the buildings.

Although it is also amazing how there is no real progress for African Americans as a whole. Maybe a few have gotten out, but the vast majority are suffering.

Not amazing, considering the long history of this country. Trying to change the prevailing mentality of an colonizing oppressor group takes more than a century or 2 especially when the colonialist oppressors still labor under the delusion that the attitude they brought with them to this hemisphere was "freedom" (for themselves only).
 
 
+39 # Willman 2013-07-25 20:50
Another important point to remember is the fact that President Obama is from a mixed race marriage. This is lower in a racists mind than just black/brown etc.Their distaste for this is not often verbalized. Interracial marriage was only recently made legal (1968)
The republicans are digging their own grave. Its up to the non racist to bury them at the voting booths.
 
 
+14 # Brooklynite 2013-07-26 08:18
Quoting Willman:
Its up to the non racist to bury them at the voting booths.
If future USA elections aren't thwarted by the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, as well as by voting machines open to covert manipulation (Diebold, a major maker of voting machines is a top GOP backer)
 
 
-2 # rleroygordon 2013-07-27 16:37
Quoting Willman:
Another important point to remember is the fact that President Obama is from a mixed race marriage. This is lower in a racists mind than just black/brown etc. Their distaste for this is not often verbalized. Interracial marriage was only recently made legal (1968)


You know, what I find amusing about this all is how everyone was dancing veritable tarantellas of joy in November 2008 over the fact that America "finally elected a black man to the presidency". Why is it okay to make a big deal about President Obama's race when Americans voted for the man, but scream "RACISTS!!" when poorly-educated , slope-browed pseudo-conserva tives hate him.

If his race matters in one case, it matters in every case.
 
 
-20 # Jack Gibson 2013-07-25 22:15
It isn't a war on ObamaCON/FRAUD! It is a war against the bipartisan eradication of the rights, duties, freedoms and liberties delineated in the U.S. Bill of Rights, and against the bipartisan will to turn the U.S. into a dictatorial, totalitarian militarized police state with no privacy rights, and no longer any of the most basic of human rights and civil liberties, allowing the U.S. government to do and get away with just about anything including terrorizing the U.S. populace and essentially locking us all down under martial law. But, thank God, an increasing number of Americans are waking up to these facts and standing up against it, including more and more members of Congress(!):

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/424-national-security/18581-focus-nsa-defense-unmasks-democratic-establishment

We have Edward Snowden to thank for the turning of the tide, and the increasing resistance against the unbridled national "(in)security" state, the elimination of our fundamental liberties and freedoms, and human and civil rights and duties, and the criminalization of the nothing but non-violent exercise of those rights and duties. Therefore, thank you Brother Snowden for being a True American patriot and helping turn the tide towards the restoration of sanity and putting our human rights and civil liberties first, ahead of the so-called "security" that is destroying all that this country is only supposed to stand for, and turning it into a totalitarian police state!
 
 
+27 # Farafalla 2013-07-25 23:13
This is a good piece for the large swathe of history it covers and the ever present thread of racial politics it traces. I grew up in a southern family where the Civil War was the War Between the States and the black civil rights movement was influenced by communism. I can smell Southern talking points across the room.

The trouble is we never really finished the Civil War. There were no reparations to the huge African American population which makes our war different than most of the others on the world. Black people in this country were left with nothing after slavery. They were free to starve and live lives of poverty for all future generations.

The South is a festering sore of haters and religious zealots who would destroy education before getting one. Ever notice how many counties in Dixie are Jefferrson County? I'm a citizen of the United States, not Alabama. My rights are American rights not state's rights.
 
 
+7 # Brooklynite 2013-07-26 08:22
Quoting Agricanto:
The trouble is we never really finished the Civil War. There were no reparations to the huge African American population which makes our war different than most of the others on the world.
Exactly!
 
 
+28 # X Dane 2013-07-26 00:23
I disagree with Jack Gibson. The Republicans' hatred is racial AND personal. They hate seeing a black man and his family in the White House.

They hate that so many Americans like Obama. They hate that he is a confident person. And they do NOT want him to help the Middle class. They don't want the middle class to get health care.

They were not able to defeat him in the election, so now they double down on destroying his presidency, even if it destroys the economy of not just OUR country, but the world's economy.
They are sick, sick sick and evil.
 
 
+19 # RMDC 2013-07-26 06:49
I advise everyone to take a look at "The Neo-Confederate Reader," a collection documents from the Southern Redemptionist movement to the current neo-confederate societies like the Federalist Society. These people and organizations go back to the original intent of the constitution which was written by southerners and for a southernern and slave-holder's nation.

From 1792 to the civil war, the south controlled the central government. It lost control until Nixon's "southern strategy" in 1968. Now the south again runs the central government, along with their fellow travelers from the north. Obama is powerless in the face of these racists and oligarchs.

I also advise Michele Alexander's "The New Jim Crow." She shows how supreme court decisions from the 70s to now have recreated the apartheid laws of the old Jim Crow period when the supreme court overturned the reconstruction laws and created a legal apartheid.

The US is a racist nation to its core. There are a lot of people who are good and decent and believe in equal rights and opportunities for all. But they are just overpowered by the ruthless tactics of the racist neo-confederate s. The republican hostage taking in congress is just a good example of these ruthless tactics.
 
 
+6 # dkonstruction 2013-07-26 07:24
Quoting RMDC:
I advise everyone to take a look at "The Neo-Confederate Reader,"....


RMDC, thanks for the tip about "The Neo-Confederate Reader." I did not know about it before. I have read Loewen's other books including "Sundown Towns" which I would also highly recommend to people interested in understanding the history of institutionaliz ed racism (and in this case segregated communities/tow ns/cities). Thanks again for the tip (I also agree that Michele Alexander's book is an important one for people to read). Last, i would also highly recommend Theodore Allens "Invention Of the White Race" and the works by David Roediger (e.g., "Wages of Whiteness") which show how race has always (from the beginning) been used in this country to divide the US working class as a whole.
 
 
+7 # Brooklynite 2013-07-26 08:31
Quoting RMDC:
The US is a racist nation to its core. There are a lot of people who are good and decent and believe in equal rights and opportunities for all. But they are just overpowered by the ruthless tactics of the racist neo-confederates. The republican hostage taking in congress is just a good example of these ruthless tactics.
This may be a case of "Which came first, the chicken or the egg" but what you correctly cite goes hand in hand with what I see as the single specific worst thing with the US government in 2013, i.e., the utter domination by the mega-corporate elite (the "1%"). But in any event the racism card our corporate masters play is major, really THE major way they use to try to control and de-power the population.

In any event the core mentality is the same, a psychopathic inhumane selfishness to everybody else but themselves.
 
 
-16 # Johnny 2013-07-26 07:12
Obama's election in 2008 was part of a brilliant strategy by the one percent to employ a half-black stooge to implement racist agenda that an obviously-white goon could not have gotten away with.
 
 
-2 # Brooklynite 2013-07-26 08:34
Quoting Johnny:
Obama's election in 2008 was part of a brilliant strategy by the one percent to employ a half-black stooge to implement racist agenda that an obviously-white goon could not have gotten away with.

Even though I question the motivations of the poster, in my more paranoid moments I am half-way tempted to see his point.
 
 
+17 # kyzipster 2013-07-26 07:38
Everything in the article is true no doubt but it may be implying that the current situation in Congress is a result of the election of an African American president. I don't believe that's true, if Hillary was in office we'd be in the exact same position, the rhetoric would be sexist instead of racist.

This obstruction is a reaction to the failure of the Bush years. The economic crash marked the end of the Conservative Era brought in by Reagan. They're desperately clinging to their failed ideology as if it were a religion, which it is for many. They will not go down without causing as much damage as possible and they will continue to decline if they refuse to embrace some decency and sanity. I suspect there are many Republicans who see this clearly but they've been silenced by the extremists.
 
 
+8 # Larry 2013-07-26 08:40
What we are seeing from the right is a sustained grand mal tantrum over the fact that the formerly secure white majority is devolving into the very insecure white minority. The racists, religious bigots, xenophobes, homophobes and their ilk, whose views have in too many instances and for far too long influenced our customs and laws, are losing their grip in more ways than one. Before they go extinct, they are determined to permanently disfigure the face of American society in their image, even if they destroy our democracy and shred the Constitution in the process. Just beneath their defiant, fascistic ranting is desperation. Prime examples are the increasingly deranged rants of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.
 
 
+4 # X Dane 2013-07-26 15:46
Larry.
You are right, (that is correct!) They ARE desperate. Many DO realize that very soon the white race will be a minority.

Instead of understanding how important it is that we ALL learn to exist and work TOGETHER, They seem to want to wreck as much destruction as possible.

I hope there are enough smart TOLERANT young people to save the country. The majority of the young are tolerant in regard to same sex marriages and I think they also get along racially.

Mainly it is older people who fight the fact, that the world is changing. They are enraged that all they felt was THEIR RIGHT, no longer is.

A Black President is in the White house, and a black attornye general is in charge of the justice department. That is intolerable to them.
 
 
+4 # ishmael 2013-07-26 11:29
The American Taliban (GOPee/SCA) has been at war with the US at least since Nixon. The Reagan era codified it.

How is that "bridge to the fifteenth century" workin' out fer ya??
 
 
+3 # fredboy 2013-07-26 14:09
Wish Obama had been a stronger leader, one who would clearly lead everyone past the stereotypes the racists spread. He caved instead.
 
 
+4 # X Dane 2013-07-26 15:57
Fredboy.

From your comments you seem to be a tolerant person. I wonder if you realize the tightrope Obama has to walk ALL the time.

If he shows anger. He is an angry black man. (TO be afraid of!) If he tries to do things for black and poor people. He is a racist and a leftie.

Also from the very beginning the republicans have been dead set on destroying him. They will NOT do anything that will make him look or be successful.

When he "caved" I think it was because he tried to get something else accomplished.
But as we know the republicans were not going to cooperate.
 
 
+1 # rleroygordon 2013-07-27 16:26
Sigh! Again with the "racism".

Listen, folks. While the Tea Party Taliban has lots of racists in its membership, anti-equality is NOT the driving force behind that astro-turf movement.

The first teapot taliban demonstrations began in mid-February, 2009. A month after one of the largest Democratic election victories since WWII. It wasn't a reaction to "corruption" and "politics-as-us ual". It was a reaction to massive loss of "conservative" and Republican government.

Sometimes, I suspect that the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, and big business supporters of the respooblikan party are the real souces of the "racism" label. It's always possible to act behind the scenes if you keep people looking at the wrong "enemies".
 
 
+1 # ericlane 2013-07-28 04:34
There is no doubt that racism is the undercurrent of most of our problems in this country. But, we need to remember that the Republicans went off the 'deep' end with Clinton. I would argue their extremism was even more vile against him.

They set a special prosecutor on his ass almost from the day he got elected and they made sure to ruin his legacy in history. The problem with Obama, I believe, is that coming from Chicago he was clueless (as hard as it is to believe) about white Southern attitudes. I think Obama's naivety has been a huge problem and the cause of many opportunities lost. Especially in the first two years of his presidency.

I believe he is a genuinely good guy but I think Hillary was much more prepared to be president and ready to deal with the arrogant ignorance of the right.
 

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