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Tag: civil war

Is The United States Too Disunited To Survive?

Reprinted with permission from Creators

The United States has rarely been as divided as it is today — red states vs. blue states, vaxxers vs. anti-vaxxers, the woke mob vs. insurrectionists and Houston Astros fans vs. decent human beings. Some people think the problem is not that Americans are too divided but that they are not divided enough. They have a suggestion: a national divorce.

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Statues Come Down While Barriers To Truth Are Erected

Reprinted with permission from Roll Call

In Charlottesville, Va., where a Unite the Right gathering of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Lost Cause devotees and other angry history deniers left destruction and death in their path in 2017, there was a different scene this past weekend.

The city removed statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, memorials to those who fought on the losing side of a Civil War to maintain the brutal and murderous institution of slavery. They were erected as monuments to white supremacy, not in the 1860s but the 1920s, a Jim Crow threat to Black citizens to "know their place."

Now, as then, there are those opposed to this bit of progress, with arguments that removing the stone idols would mean erasing history, which is ridiculous since that history will never disappear from books, museums and tall tales handed down by the "never forget" brigade.

Ironically, many of these same folks would be only too glad to forget what really happened, during that bloody Civil War and in the 100 years after — the ingenious laws and policies that continue to reverberate through everything from health care to housing.

As part of the plan, they've come up with a fear-based campaign to, you got it, erase any part of American history that deals with racism and the ways it was intentionally embedded in American institutions. And predictably, this battle in a war that has never ended is actually gaining momentum that Republican politicians hope to ride to electoral victory.

The Ultimate Snowflakes

They could not do it without the cooperation of aggrieved parents fighting against something they haven't even tried to understand.

I really wish that instead of tying themselves into contradictory knots, these troops standing in the way of the truth — the ultimate snowflakes trying to "cancel" facts — would come clean and just admit that it's not history they're opposed to, it's any reckoning that gets in the way of their myths.

The version of history they love is what's been spoon-fed to many generations until fairly recently — propaganda in the name of patriotism. The concern "for the children" expressed in tear-stained testimony at school board meetings from Loudoun County, Va., to Chandler, Ariz., only extends to certain kids, their own. It leaves out the Black, brown, Asian American and Native American children who have suffered through and been traumatized by a white-washed tableau that either villainizes or disappears American heroes who always have been stalwart fighters for an inclusive and welcoming society, also known as America as it supposedly aspires to be.

There is no more absurd example than in Tennessee, where parents from "Moms for Liberty" don't want children to learn about what six-year-old Ruby Bridges endured when she integrated her New Orleans elementary school in 1960. The image of young Ruby immortalized by quintessential American artist Norman Rockwell depicts her daily walk surrounded by federal marshals. To get an education, her body and soul had to survive angry white parents, faces twisted, who greeted her with jeers, who threatened to poison her, who, when a child her age should have been playing with baby dolls, held up a coffin carrying a Black one so Ruby could get the message.

So, white children of today are too fragile to merely read about the dangerous racism a 6-year-old faced not that long ago? Do their parents realize they are still trying to bar Ruby Bridges from school?

A complaint is that Ruby's story needs more whites in shining armor.

Well, there were a few, including Barbara Henry, a white teacher from Massachusetts, who did the job she was paid to do for the year Ruby was in a class all her own. And there are the parents who eventually sent their children back to get an education, in more ways than one.

The star of her story, though, is Ruby, someone any child should admire. She never cried or whimpered, said federal marshal Charles Burks. "She just marched along like a little soldier." A former first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, wrote her a letter.

An argument brought up again and again in these curriculum fights is that teaching stories like Ruby's causes children of color to think of themselves as victims. The opposite is true. Ruby, at 66, is still an activist, as well as a wife and mother. Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story, her book that parents are so afraid of, teaches lessons of resilience and strength that transcend color. The message she continues to share: "I tell children to be kind to each other."

Oh, the horror!

Beyond The Classroom

Children wrongly taught that America was and has always been perfect, presumably grow into the fragile flowers that Sen. Tom Cotton believes need protecting when they enter the military. In the manner of the thought police in Russia or China, the Arkansas Republican is trying to get an instructor at the U.S. Air Force Academy fired for teaching about systemic racism that shaped all-American institutions, like the military.

Does Cotton not know that African Americans fought for the right to fight and die for a country that enslaved them, discriminated against them, segregated them into separate units until 1948?

Was Cotton not taught of the Japanese Americans who fought in World War II — including in one of the most decorated regiments in the country's history — while family members back home were herded into internment camps, suspect only because of their race and ethnicity?

That made their sacrifice more patriotic, with their numbers in service still strong. Though they lack representation at the top, about 43 percent of the 1.3 million men and women on active duty in the United States military are people of color.

People of color in America know, have always known about, injustice, just as six-year-old Ruby learned. Being clear-eyed about how the country falls short of its ideals only hardens the determination to right those wrongs.

And, in truth, it's not just students of color whose lives continue to be affected by systemic racism. In a Texas school, a white teacher gave white students permission to use the "N-word." In California, a high school basketball team had its title taken away for throwing tortillas at members of the opposing, predominantly Latino team at a postgame "celebration."

All children, as well as adults who should know better, have learned only too well lessons about the country's power divide, about who counts and who does not.

When you hide history, a price will be paid. Esther Bejarano knew. The Auschwitz survivor, who used the power of music to fight anti-Semitism and racism in postwar Germany, died recently at the age of 96. She used to tell the young people: "You're not guilty of what happened back then. But you become guilty if you refuse to listen to what happened."

When I study the pictures of those everyday Americans spewing hate at a 6-year-old and then the faces of angry parents and politicians, so insistent on burying the truth, my wish is that they listen, then look in a mirror.

Mary C. Curtis has worked at The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Charlotte Observer, as national correspondent for Politics Daily, and is a senior facilitator with The OpEd Project. Follow her on Twitter @mcurtisnc3.

America Marks Slavery's End On New 'Juneteenth' National Holiday

New York (AFP) - With marches, music and speeches, Americans on Saturday celebrated "Juneteenth," the newly declared national holiday that marks the end of slavery and which comes a year after George Floyd's murder sparked anti-racism protests. Hundreds of events were held across the country, from New York to Los Angeles, and most notably in Galveston, Texas, the symbolic heart of the Juneteenth commemoration. For on June 19, 1865, it was in that Texas coastal area that the Union Army -- victorious after the bitterly fought Civil War -- announced to African Americans that, even if some in Texa...

The Boogaloo Boys Who Are Trying To Instigate Civil War

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Following the violent January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol Building, national security experts are pointing to the Boogaloo Bois as one of the extremist groups that law enforcement will need to keep a close eye on in the months ahead. Dallas-based journalist Michael J. Mooney examines Boogaloo's goals in an article published by The Atlantic this week, stressing that although they didn't have a "huge presence" in that attack, they have been inspired by it.

"The riot at the Capitol last Wednesday featured partisans of the long-gone country of South Vietnam, Falun Gong adherents, end-times Christians, neo-Nazis, QAnon believers, a handful of Orthodox Jews, and Daniel Boone impersonators," Mooney writes. "The Boogaloos weren't a huge presence in that mob. But according to federal officials, the attack on the Capitol has galvanized them and could inspire Boogaloo violence in D.C. and around the country between now and Inauguration Day."

Most of the far-right insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol Building were devotees of President Donald Trump and were hoping to prevent Congress from certifying the Electoral College victory of President-elect Joe Biden. But according to Mooney, "The Boogaloos don't appear interested in fighting for Donald Trump — they tend to despise him, mostly because they think he panders to the police. But for the past year, Boogaloo Bois all over the United States have been cheering on the country's breakdown, waiting for the moment when their nihilistic memes would come to life and the country would devolve into bloody chaos."

Many liberal and progressive activists, contrary to what right-wing media often claim, have stressed that they are not anti-police — that they want to reform law enforcement, not abolish it. But at Mooney points out, the Boogaloo Bois have expressed a visceral hatred of law enforcement in general.

"Some are likely just joking when they 'shit-post' about shooting cops or 'yeeting alphabet boys' — killing government law-enforcement agents," Mooney explains. "But others seem serious. They've already shown up heavily armed — and in their signature Hawaiian shirts — at protests and at state capitols. They've allegedly killed law-enforcement officers, talked about throwing Molotov cocktails at cops during the racial-justice protests this summer, and plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. They say they want a total reset of society, even if they haven't thought very hard about what, exactly, should come next."

The Boogaloo Bois have made it clear that they want a civil war, and Mooney notes that he has "spent the past few months trying to figure" exactly why they want one. For his article, Mooney interviewed JJ MacNab, a fellow with the Program on Extremism at George Washington University

According to MacNab, "They really want to create their own in-world so the rest of us won't get their jokes. It's tribal. These are tribal markings: the shirts they wear, the jargon they speak, even the types of guns they like."

But Mooney writes that even though Boogaloo's beliefs are nebulous and seem incoherent at times, that doesn't mean they aren't dangerous.

Watching hordes of armed people storming the doors of Congress, facing off with any cop who offered resistance, killing a Capitol Police officer, and chasing another through the halls of a government building, I couldn't help thinking: These are the fantasies that Boogaloo Bois have been posting about for months," Mooney writes. "The riot may have captured their imagination."

Texas Republican Touts ‘Hot Civil War’ If Democrats Win Georgia Runoffs

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) claimed on Monday that if Democrats win two Georgia Senate races, the country will erupt into another civil war.

"What happens tomorrow in Georgia, if we have a Democratically controlled Senate, we're now at basically full-scale hot conflict in this country, whereas right now we're at a cold civil war," he told Fox News.

"If Georgians don't show up and ensure that we hold the Senate in Republican hands, then that's what's happening. Two additional votes coming out of the Senate in Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico and they lock it down for good," he said.


Roy was referring to Tuesday runoff elections — one between Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and Democrat Raphael Warnock, the other between Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) and Democrat Jon Ossoff — that will determine what party holds a majority in the Senate for the next two years.

His suggestion of civil war comes just weeks after his own state party chair, Allen West, urged "law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution." West denied that this was a call for pro-Trump states to secede from the union.

Republicans have attempted to make the Georgia Senate races a referendum on whether millions of Americans in Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia should be given full representation in Congress — hoping that conservative voters in the state will be motivated to stop other citizens from having the same rights they enjoy. Like Roy, they have suggested that statehood for the citizens of those two territories would make it impossible for Republicans to ever again hold a majority in the Senate.

This argument makes little sense. While Washington, D.C., has been reliably Democratic, Puerto Ricans have elected several Republicans — including their current resident commissioner, a non-voting delegate in the U.S. House of Representatives. And even if Democrats had gained four new Senate seats in the last Congress, Republicans would still have held a 53 to 51 majority.

In just one term in Congress, Roy has already amassed a long record of extreme comments. Last year, he attacked a 20-year-old survivor of the Parkland mass school shooting as "functionally illiterate" for criticizing Donald Trump's family separation policies, likened anti-racism protesters to the white former cop charged with murdering George Floyd, and compared pandemic safety guidelines to "Nazi Germany."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

‘Civil War’ And ’Secession’ Chatter Getting Louder On Far Right

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

Right-wing figures online are now toying with the ultimate act of resistance against Joe Biden's win over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election: secession and civil war. The idea has picked up steam in the past few days, thanks to a boost it got from talk radio host and Medal of Freedom recipient Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh made waves on Wednesday when he said, "I actually think that we're trending toward secession." I see more and more people asking what in the world do we have in common with the people who live in, say, New York?"

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Civil War? A Military Spouse Wonders — And Worries

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

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Can The United States Survive The 2020 Election?

At the 2004 Democratic National Convention, a little-known state senator from Illinois electrified the crowd with a speech proclaiming our fundamental unity. "There's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America," Barack Obama declared.

Four years later, he campaigned for president promising that we could overcome our differences. His election offered evidence that he was right. His presidency, however, proved that he was wrong.

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