How to Eradicate Racism

The massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston and a rash of arson at other black churches across the South show that despite conservative self-serving claims and liberal wishful thinking about racism becoming a thing of the past, much more work needs to be done, says Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson

On the evening of June 17, a 21-year-old white man by the name of Dylann Roof walked into an old and famous black church, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in Charleston, South Carolina, where a Bible study group was underway. Roof sat in on the class for an hour before allegedly pulling out a .45 caliber handgun, announcing that black people were ”taking over our country. And, you have to go,” and shooting 10 of the 12 people in the study group, nine of whom died.

It should be pointed out that at 21 years of age Roof presumably doesn’t have a fully developed pre-frontal cortex (which, in part, means his risk-aversion impulse is not fully developed) – a fact that is likely to do as little good in court for him as it did Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (also 21) in his Boston Marathon bombing trial.

Accused mass murderer and white supremacist Dylann Roof shown burning an American flag.

Accused mass murderer and white supremacist Dylann Roof shown burning an American flag.

It did not take long for the authorities to identify and apprehend Roof. It turned out that he is a thoroughgoing racist with delusions of starting a second Civil War. He also had a thing for flags. Among the Facebook-posted pictures of Roof that soon surfaced were ones showing him with the flag of apartheid South Africa and the flag of white-ruled Rhodesia. Both of these are reported to be used as symbols of white supremacy in the U.S. And, there is the picture of him, with his handgun displayed, with the Confederate battle flag – the same flag that flies on the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse.

By the day after the shooting the issue for the media was no longer Dylann Roof (who had confessed to the murders, according to police). The issue was whether or not the Confederate battle flag on the statehouse grounds should be removed. For much of the country, the flag was a symbol of the racism that had moved Roof to commit the massacre.

As Nikki Haley, South Carolina’s Republican governor, stated, the flag is a “deeply resented symbol of a brutally offensive past,” and literally overnight, the AME massacre galvanized most of the country to show support for the victims by demanding the flag’s removal.

But it wasn’t going to be that easy. It turns out that many white citizens of South Carolina and beyond don’t see the flag as a symbol of a “brutal past,” much less the symbol of the nine dead people shot down inside the Emanuel AME Church. No. They claim that flying the battle flag simply honors their ancestors who fought in the Civil War for the cause of “states’ rights.” Based on this interpretation, Dylann Roof got it wrong when he sported that handgun along with the battle flag.

Well, most of the African-American population, along with many American whites, think this ancestor story is a rather poor ploy. Honoring one’s ancestors who fought in a lost cause to sustain the institution of slavery (which is why states’ rights were important to the Confederate South) is a bit weird in today’s cultural environment, but one can show such respect in the privacy of one’s own home or even at a veterans center.

However, making it an obligation of the state (in this case South Carolina) is downright dangerous because what you have is half the population commanding the government to pay homage to those who fought to maintain the enslavement of the other half. From a socio-political standpoint, that homage validates the historic actions of those ancestors i.e., fighting to maintain a slave society thus possibly encouraging their descendants (like Mr. Roof) to mimic them. This is just asking for trouble, and on the evening of June 17, South Carolina and the rest of us experienced a horrific example of that trouble.

Why Do Dylann Roof’s Exist?

The Civil War ended over 150 years ago. So one can reasonably ask why Americans are still dealing with this issue of racism? Why is it that, as President Barack Obama said, shortly after the murders, that “slavery still casts a long shadow” on American life? There is no shortage of those who recognize that racism is still deeply ingrained in U.S. culture, but there are few suggestions as to why that is and what can be done about it.

That being the case, I thought I might revive my thoughts on these questions ones originally posted in March 2013 in an analysis entitled “Civil Rights Takes a Hit.” It was written on the occasion of the Supreme Court’s consideration of an Alabama suit to rescind Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which allowed the Justice Department to review any changes in voting procedures in areas of the country traditionally tainted by racism.

Here are some of the points I made in that essay:

,Cultures can evolve over centuries, yet once their major parameters are set, they have remarkable staying power. The notion that such parameters can be reversed in, say, 48 years (counting from the 1965 Voting Rights Act) is naive at best.

,Why would that be the case? A good part of the answer is that a culture of racism shaped the way of life, particularly in the southern United States, for hundreds of years. This culture was only briefly interrupted by the Civil War. After that war, there followed a period known as Reconstruction, when the U.S. Army’s occupation of the South interfered with ingrained racist practices. But Reconstruction lasted only a brief 12 years, until 1877.

Thereafter the South reverted to racist ways under a “legal” regime commonly known as “Jim Crow.” That lasted until the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Subsequent Republican administrations have been chipping away at civil rights laws and regulations ever since. Because, over hundreds of years, the interruptions in Southern racial practice were relatively brief, racism has persisted in that region of the country to a relatively greater degree than in other areas.

,This pervasive and long-lasting culture was reflected in local and regional laws. Laws, in turn, are to be understood as educational tools that tell citizens what society deems to be right and wrong behavior. If laws are consistently enforced over a long period of time, most citizens will internalize these messages and they will become part of their moral code. Except for the 12 years of Reconstruction, the South had known nothing but legally sanctioned racist rules of behavior right up to the middle of the Twentieth Century. And so it was racist rules that were thoroughly internalized.

,What the Civil Rights laws of the1960s did was to suddenly, and partially, reverse the behavioral messages based on the older racist laws. They did so only partially because these new laws concentrated on making discrimination illegal within the public sphere. You could no longer segregate public schools, hotels, restaurants and the like, as well as government offices.

Today, African-Americans in the South check into a hotel, eat at a restaurant, shop where they want to without much trouble. However, if they do happen to have trouble, there is recourse under the law to deal with the problem. That has now been the case for 48 years. Yet this is not nearly enough time to have the message that racial discrimination is wrong penetrate deeply into the private sphere of a region where the opposite attitude has long been the default position.

My guess is that among some Southern citizens, the new egalitarian way of thinking is superficially there, and among others it is not there at all.

Communities with historically ingrained patterns of thinking and behaving may be bludgeoned, say, by violent revolution, into changing their ways. However, if you are to change them in a non-violent fashion you must bring to bear all of society’s traditional rule-making devices. These are primarily the law and the schools.

In the case of the United States, laws that enforce civil rights must be strengthened and steadily applied for multiple generations (at least four or five) until obeying these laws is habitual. That should permanently reform the public sphere.

Yet if Dylann Roof’s actions teach us anything, the rules regulating the private sphere must also be addressed. The teaching of the essential correctness of civil rights and the essential wrongness for racist attitudes must be put into the curriculum and taught in all the schools, public and private, from K to 12, and probably in undergraduate college as well. This too must be universal (whether parents like it or not), consistent and multigenerational.

None of this is really impossible. It can be done. We know enough about psychology to recognize that such an effort is not a waste of time. All it takes is the political and institutional will to do these things with patient persistence. Not until there are clear signs that racism has been erased from both the public and private spheres should anyone breathe a sigh of relief.

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National Interest; America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism.

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32 comments for “How to Eradicate Racism

  1. Mark
    July 2, 2015 at 9:31 am

    Racism is a large and natural part of human nature for some and may be completely absent in others without being socially indoctrinated. For others, their human nature will compel them to oppose racism on a matter of pure principle regardless of any other known factor. It may be quite some time before racism is “erased”, if it ever is, while humans live and breath.

    As soon as children are aware of the differences between themselves and others they apply meanings and inferences to those differences in ways that are often irrational — eye color, hair color, skin color, height and weight and race are some of the most obvious and easily recognizable differences — with skin color/race being one of the most obvious of differences, it is frequently and irrationally cited by children as proof of one’s superiority over another. It is my personal belief that if left to their own devices, some children will gravitate towards racist attitudes without any outside influence or social indoctrination.

    Some children never grow up. And culture is a huge influence on those who are easily led and those who generally don’t think for themselves, along with those who might lack a sense of justice concerning anyone but themselves and those they care about.

    One part of history the North generally refuses to acknowledge, is that the South was misled and betrayed to some degree by the North through the “understanding” of the slavery issue as reached prior to the Declaration of Independence being signed — this fact does not negate the injustices that existed through the practice of enslaving fellow human beings nor did it justify retaining racial privileges for one segment of the population at the expense of others — but due again to human nature, the Southern culture resented that betrayal and it only served to exacerbate the situation — no different than humans in the North would have resented the same had that shoe been on the other foot.

    What racism shows us is that we’re unable to make decisions based on ethical and legal principles alone and we’re subjected to our own measure of irrational and emotional hysterics along with all the unnecessary pain and hardship that our irrational human nature provides.

    Now if we could just turn off that racism switch that develops in some of our natures and in various parts of our cultures, this could actually benefit the entire human race…

    • bobzz
      July 2, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      Well, Mark, I am a Southerner, and I used to say all you said, except you said it better. The more intelligent one is, the more effective one can be at erecting ego defenses. The scatter gun defense is a good one. The North was racist too. Africans delivered their fellow blacks to the slave traders. Blacks are racist too (never mind they have a better reason than whites). The Northern factory worker was a wage slave. Blacks are more prone to crime. The biggest slave trader city was in Providence, RI. All that and more I suppose. Then I became a Christian and learned that all are created in the image of God, which means we are not equal, but the same with respect to our God-given humanity. I had to face up to the fact that I was a racist and then repent to use a word out of fashion these days.

      • Mark
        July 3, 2015 at 5:43 am

        If, as you say, “all are created in the image of God”, then by your definition, God must have some racism and a few other undesireable traits in him?

        I do believe a person can recognize their trespasses against others and repent without being a Christian.

        As a Christian, how should being non-judgemental and practicing forgiveness influence civilized people when it comes to dealing with repetitive or serial criminal behavior?

        • bobzz
          July 3, 2015 at 10:34 am

          You: If, “all are created in the image of God”, by your definition, God must have some racism and a few other undesireable traits in him?
          Me: Quite a leap.
          You: I do believe a person can recognize their trespasses against others and repent without being a Christian.
          Me: I did not exclude that possibility for non-Christians, but only said that for me it was becoming a Christian.
          You: As a Christian, how should being non-judgemental and practicing forgiveness influence civilized people when it comes to dealing with repetitive or serial criminal behavior?
          Me: It is ironic that I only see offended blacks doing the forgiveness. God ordained government to intervene in cases of criminal behavior. Unfortunately, America is hardly even handed in extending justice at home or abroad, and eventually we shall pay the price. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but some day…as the saying goes.

          • Mark
            July 3, 2015 at 12:16 pm

            If not from being “created in God’s image”, from where then is it that you believe racism comes?

            And if your answer is the devil, then I wonder if you would consider revising your statement to include the devil as the model for part of our creation? And why would a benevolent God allow such a thing?

      • uthink
        July 3, 2015 at 9:29 am

        African-ameruicans may pre- judge because of the barbaric nature of the European-American. Racist have power with their ignorance!!! To try and justify the actions of these demons, you use the myth that Africans were selling/ trading, just as the Real-Americans were helping the capture other tribes for the European-americans. People were doing things trying to preserve their tribes or clans from the white devils!!!!As for the crimes committed read your history, investigate your GOVERNMENT, banking, LEGAL system, idiots are the only ones to think this is HUMANITY. Look around the earth everywhere the European has landed, is chaos. The only people to destroy their land and now others.

      • Dr. Norm
        July 15, 2015 at 9:37 am

        Two corrections about racist justification of slavery, bobzz: First, Africans did not deliver “their fellow Blacks to the slave traders.” The Europeans and the Americans traveled thousands of miles to Africa, armed and provoked wars between the various culturally and linguistically different African national groups, who sold the war captives to them; without the European invasion, “Africans” would never have shipped anyone abroad; they would rather have continued to practice the more “humane” and “socially open” traditional form of “indentured” servitude.

        Second, you should also know that while Blacks can be “prejudiced” like others, they cannot be “racist.” For racism connotes centuries of institutional political, economic, social, military, and cultural power and dominance based on color, by whites over blacks; it is white supremacy. That is why more recent white immigrants-the Irish, Italian, Polish etc-are, after decades of discrimination, eventually assimilated into the white dominant culture, while blacks are not.

        Racism is a “sickness” that has only a spiritual solution; legal solutions have their limits. Unfortunately, most mainstream white churches, who once used the Bible to justify slavery and racism, have woefully failed to confront the two intermingled issues. They rarely preach about racism; and when they do, it is all talk and no walk.

  2. Abe
    July 2, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Racial biases are a form of implicit bias, which refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect an individual’s understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases, which encompass unfavorable assessments, are often activated involuntarily and without the awareness or intentional control of the individual. Residing deep in the subconscious, these biases are different from known biases that individuals may choose to conceal for the purposes of social and/or political correctness.

    Racial bias in criminal news reporting is a manifestation of this bias. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_bias_in_criminal_news

    Racial bias against African Americans

    Traditional racism towards African Americans consists of beliefs about African American intelligence, ambition, honesty and other stereotyped characteristics, as well as support for segregation and support for acts of open discrimination.

    Research done by Dana Mastro, on racial bias in the United States reveals persistent racial prejudice among Caucasians, regarding the characterization of African Americans as violent and aggressive. These beliefs have been found to manifest in a heightened fear among Caucasians of victimization at the hands of racial minorities, specifically African American males. Both theory and empirical evidence indicate that media exposure contributes to the construction and perpetuation of these perceptions by disproportionately depicting racial/ethnic minorities as criminal suspects and Caucasians as victims in television news. Further consuming these messages has been shown to provoke prejudicial responses among Caucasian viewers.

    Robert Entman suggests that today’s media environment suggests that old-fashioned racial images are socially undesirable and stereotyping is now subtler and stereotyped thinking is reinforced at levels likely to remain below conscious awareness. Rather than grossly demeaning distortions of yesterday’s stereotyping now there is a grey area allowing for denial of the racial component. The phrase “threatening black male” allows for a negative attribute rather than an attack on racial identity.

    The study conducted in the article Race and Punishment states that current crime coverage strategies aim to increase in the importance of a crime, thus distorting the public sense of who commits crimes, and leads to biased reactions. By over-representing Caucasians as victims of crimes perpetrated by people of color it exaggerates crimes committed by African Americans and downplays victimization of African Americans. For example, the majority of US homicides are intra-racial, but media accounts often portray a world in which African American male offenders are overrepresented.

    Congresswoman Maxine Waters believes the system is racist, stating that “The color of your skin dictates whether you will be arrested or not, prosecuted harshly or less harshly, or receive a stiff sentence or gain probation or entry into treatment.”

    African American suspects presentation in news

    A study in the article Race and Punishment reports that African American crime suspects were presented in more threatening contexts than Caucasians; to specify, African American suspects were more often left unnamed and were more likely to be shown as threatening by being depicted in physical custody of the police.

    Analyses of television news consistently indicate that African American males are overrepresented as perpetrators and underrepresented as victims, compared to both their Caucasian male counterparts on TV as well as real-world Department of Justice arrest reports. In these news stories, African American suspects are more likely than Caucasians to be portrayed as nameless, menacing, and in the grasp of the police.

    Dana Mastro reports that African Americans are nearly four times more likely to be represented as criminals than police officers on television news—a proportion inconsistent with U.S. Department of Labor statistics. Alongside their overrepresentation as criminals in the news, African Americans also are underrepresented as victims compared with their on-air counterparts. Further, the text of crime-related news stories also has been found to vary depending on the race of the perpetrator. For example, Dixon and Linz’s research reveals that statements containing prejudicial information about criminal suspects, such as prior arrests, were significantly more likely to be associated with African Americans as opposed to Caucasians defendants, particularly in cases involving Caucasian victims. Exposure to biased messages has consequences. When the public consistently consumes the persistent overrepresentation of African American males in crime-related news stories it strengthens their cognitive association between Blacks and criminality in their mind such as the connection “Blacks and crime” and thus becomes chronically accessible for use in race-related evaluations. Notably, as the research on media priming illustrates, even a single exposure to these unfavorable characterizations can produce stereotype-based responses.

  3. Zachary Smith
    July 2, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Most likely there won’t be a flood of support from the other neo-Confederates now….

    On the subject of “identity”, I’m “white”, male, and was born and partly raised below the Mason Dixon line. The church we attended was Southern Baptist, and so far as I know, I’ve never met anybody who was either Jewish or Muslim. Probably at college I ran into both, but I wasn’t aware of the fact. In fact, until high school in Indiana, I’d never met an actual Black man. Until moving north, no Catholics either. My part of the South was pure white – except for some slum folks in town who were barely visible and always at quite a distance.

    I’m over the “Southern Baptist” business – partly because of the college, but the tipping point was when a preacher of that sect made a rousing Come-To-Jesus sermon over my grandmother’s body. Anyhow, being ‘pro-choice’ and knowing climate change is an enormous problem and not believing Noah rode around on friendly grass-eating dinosaurs would disqualify me anyhow.

  4. Peter Loeb
    July 3, 2015 at 7:02 am

    WHOSE RACISM, WHOSE SUPREMACY ?

    While most Americans would like to wash themselves of their
    sjupremacist, racist “sins”, no one sees the similarities
    with the supremacy and racism of the Israeli government
    which no politician can wait to support wholeheartedly.

    [I assume that Lawrence Davidson does not support
    Israeli oppression based on his past writing.]

    Our President in our name wishes condolences for
    those murdered in Charleston and sings “Amazing
    Grace” at the funeral. No words came from this
    Administration during the Israeli state-terrorism and
    murder of over 2,000 Gazans and the destruction
    of their communities. Perhaps a Presidential visit to
    the affected would have been more than appropriate
    in support of their courage in fighting for their rights,
    their freedom, their survival.

    But then, our government must consider donations
    as it is an election year in the US.

    (Note: These cases are not exactly similar but
    there is enough to warrant a visit and US
    support.)

    We, the silent, understand.Or do we? I do not “understand”..
    Oppression, murder, “mowing the grass” as Israelis call it,
    is unacceptable in Palestine and in South Carolina.

    —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Mark
      July 3, 2015 at 8:10 am

      US hypocrisy knows no bounds!

      It is unfortunate that our politicians are so corrupted and easily pursuaded to become more so — lord Acton’s axiom holds true — power corrupts…

    • hammersmith
      July 3, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      Thank you.

  5. Abe
    July 3, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Hey Zachary, the stench of hasbara troll is strong with this one.

    • Abe
      July 3, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      Note to readers:

      Zachary’s exchange with an aggressively anti-Semitic commenter (likely a hasbara troll) has been removed by the site editor.

      The comments section of news articles on racism are often visited by pro-Israel Hasbara trolls who pose as racist anti-semites.

      Hasbara (Hebrew: הַסְבָּרָה‎ hasbará, “explaining”) propagandist trolls strive to discredit websites, articles, and videos critical of Israel and Zionism.

      Consortium News is often targeted by hasbara trolls.

      Hasbara tactics of deception include:

      1) accusing anyone who offers legitimate criticism of Israel or Zionism of being “anti-semitic”, and

      2) deliberately posting incendiary comments with links to “anti-semitic” and “Holocaust denial” material.

      These smear tactics have intensified due to ever-increasing Israeli military aggression and outright racism, as well as Israel’s collusion with the United States in regime change projects from the Middle East to Eastern Europe.

      Readers of Consortium News are alert to these deceptive tactics.

      • Mark
        July 3, 2015 at 12:34 pm

        One of the peculiar things about Zionists is the elaborate lengths they go to toward obscuring the truth and trying to shape the present and future reality with lies and deceit.

        All this energy, human and otherwise, could be spent for much more constructive purposes than building a religious theme park in the Holy Land over a foundation of deception and mass murder…

        Holy Land + deception + mass murder = irony

  6. bobzz
    July 3, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Answering Mark above: “It is a commonplace to assert that the ancient world knew nothing of colour bar and racial prejudice…” (A. N. Sherwin-White, Racial Prejudice in Ancient Rome, 1). The Greek Strabo for example noted that Ethiopians were the handsomest of men. In the ancient world the prejudice was directed at barbarians, but if barbarians assimilated to Roman culture, they could advance to become a “people of the toga” regardless of race. Racism does not seem to be a problem in Brazil. Racism is a modern phenomenon that grew out of genetics. It took a ‘junk science’ turn when Germans used it to establish a scientific basis for Aryan superiority. This is on humans. Why is it that human beings know better and still insist on inflicting the worst imaginable suffering on their brother and sister humans? Why does God allow that? I can’t read his mind. He could turn us into robots because that is what it would take to excise evil. Then we could complain about a lack of freedom…well, no, robots would not know they were not free. I do not mean to be facetious, but that is the alternative.

    • Anonymous
      July 3, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      I sit corrected. America was the initiator of eugenics. See book by Edwin Black. Not only did Germany pick up eugenics from America, they got the idea of concentration camps from America’s putting Indians on reservations. All I can say is that a reckoning is coming.

    • bobzz
      July 3, 2015 at 4:23 pm

      I sit corrected. America was the initiator of eugenics. See book by Edwin Black. Not only did Germany pick up eugenics from America, they got the idea of concentration camps from America’s putting Indians on reservations. All I can say is that a reckoning is coming.

    • Abe
      July 4, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      Only after eugenics became entrenched in the United States was the campaign transplanted into Germany, in no small measure through the efforts of California eugenicists, who published booklets idealizing sterilization and circulated them to German officials and scientists.

      Hitler studied American eugenics laws. He tried to legitimize his anti-Semitism by medicalizing it, and wrapping it in the more palatable pseudoscientific facade of eugenics. Hitler was able to recruit more followers among reasonable Germans by claiming that science was on his side. While Hitler’s race hatred sprung from his own mind, the intellectual outlines of the eugenics Hitler adopted in 1924 were made in America.

      During the ’20s, Carnegie Institution eugenic scientists cultivated deep personal and professional relationships with Germany’s fascist eugenicists. In Mein Kampf, published in 1924, Hitler quoted American eugenic ideology and openly displayed a thorough knowledge of American eugenics. “There is today one state,” wrote Hitler, “in which at least weak beginnings toward a better conception [of immigration] are noticeable. Of course, it is not our model German Republic, but the United States.”

      Hitler proudly told his comrades just how closely he followed the progress of the American eugenics movement. “I have studied with great interest,” he told a fellow Nazi, “the laws of several American states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock.”

      Hitler even wrote a fan letter to American eugenic leader Madison Grant calling his race-based eugenics book, The Passing of the Great Race his “bible.”

      The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics
      By Edwin Black
      http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/1796

      Black is the author of IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation. (Crown Publishers, 2001) and War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race (Basic Books, 2003).His most recent book is Financing the Flames: How Tax-Exempt and Public Money Fuel a Culture of Confrontation and Terror in Israel. (Dialog Press, 2013).

    • Mark
      July 6, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      bobzz,

      Racism did exist in biblical times — just read the Bible.

      And racism like anything else, can certainly be advocated, promoted and litterally forced on peer group members within any culture just as the opposite could also be promoted.

      People hate for all manner of irrational reasons. And it seems unrealistic to believe that some of the people alive at any given time during the past 10,000 years, would not hate others because of race.

      Racism is natural for various tribalistic peoples — do you think some ancients didn’t hate the entire race of their tribes nemesis or chief competitor?

      As tribalistic as many in the US are, it should be no wonder at all that some Americans zero in on race to focus their hate on. Hate too seems natural for some people today — ironically — the better to be a racist — they both can feed each other in certain situations with certain personalities, intellects and mind-sets.

  7. John B
    July 3, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    While it is true that government and subcultural support of specific discrimination targets must be opposed, the underlying cause is desire for someone to discriminate against.

    That comes from a hyper-competitive, unsympathetic culture, that places no value upon humanity, but only upon ability to force others to pay. We have a bully culture, wherein the underclass cannot be eliminated, and is always looking for a lower underclass, a category even they can discriminate against, from whom they can take dignity, possessions, self-esteem. Where blacks are liberated, immigrants or foreign labor are the targets. The uneducated southern poor white male exults in “hiring a mexican” to do the labor he disdains, because to do it would make him disdained. His ancestor wanted slaves to prove that he was not himself an economic slave. Eliminate the class structure and we eliminate the desire for a permanent underclass.

    Another origin of support for the Confederacy is simply the geographic loyalty that makes southern males think that they are disgraced and emasculated by the defeat of the South in the Civil War. They search for rationales, and in fact there are good ones: not slavery of course (which few in the North opposed until it needed to sanctify casualties). If North and South had examined the rights and interests of the other side, there would have been no war.

    The South believed (and none in the North could then refute) that plantations could not be operated without slaves, and indeed they could not unilaterally convert to wage labor without price guarantees. The South controlled the Supreme Court and could have stated their constitutional property rights: Dred Scott is free because he went to a state where all men are free, but that the free state owed his owner all direct and consequent economic damages for taking his property. But they didn’t, they denied that Dred Scott could be freed.

    The North could have proposed a viable transitional mechanism, but it didn’t. Because the markets for slave cotton were the North and England, the centers of abolitionism, the abolitionists would have had to pay for wage labor anyway, so all could have agreed to tax slave products after purchase to support wages and construction of towns and services for freed slaves. The plantations would never have felt the economics of the transition. But no such proposal was voiced. As a result the North demanded seizure of essential private property of the South, an unconstitutional demand for economic ruin.

    Our northern ancestors were not saints, they were fools to go to war without consideration of the other side’s rights and interests. Both North and South were misgoverned by factional ideologues, and neither side triumphed nor was defeated. It was reason and the national interest that was defeated, and it was emotion and the factions against which Madison warned that triumphed, and the price has not yet been paid.

    So if all could now agree that North and South were both foolish to go to war when both had legitimate constitutional positions which could readily have been accommodated, we would not be demanding emasculation of southern punks, but only demanding their education. Respect for their ancestors does not require flag-waving in the South, it requires reason and humility in the North.

    • boggled
      July 3, 2015 at 11:44 pm

      Nicely said John B, and I agree.
      You have a gift with putting your thoughts into words.
      Be careful, the Mr. Parry’s Teacher’s Pet ‘Abe’ will call you a conservative or neoConfederate or Southern Apologists or some other idiotic term to insult you and demean your comment while trying to demonstrate his superiority over you.
      He acts like he hates racists and bullies, while he himself is one.
      Be prepared for him to have his ‘friends’ erase your comment because it does not fit their narrative of their site and they will censor anyone and erase their comments because they do not fit their fictional conspiracy theories and self serving narrative.
      Thank you anyways, if both our comments get deleted, you have a gift in writing, and you expressed many of the feelings in a sensible unbiased fashion.
      There were a lot of wrongs on both sides and a lot of grey’s and not the farcical history Parry and Abe want to push to the readers.

      Fare thee well

      • Abe
        July 4, 2015 at 3:07 pm

        The boggled logic of comrade “boggled” —

        “Racism” = criticizing the Neo-Confederate Culture of Hate’s white supremacist narrative.

        For comrade “boggled”, Consortium News articles “attacking ‘White America’ neocons” are “a form of hatred and ‘racism’ writing”.

        No overt jew-bating but, good lord, the stench of hasbara troll is strong with this one too.

  8. boggled
    July 4, 2015 at 8:44 am

    It is a great thing that Mr. Parry is willing to claim to be against racism as well as his contributors like Lawrence Davidson and Abe here, however they tend use a form of racism in their model of ‘journalism’ and comments.
    When was the last time any of the regular readers saw a feel good piece about America on Consortium News?
    Anyone who casual reads here can see it is obviously slanted Anti American and Anti White.
    I would not say it is hate speech, but the site’s articles are hatred speech of America and White Christians mostly.
    A place Mr. Parry calls home and a place he can run a business to pay his bills.
    An Ameriphobia, if you will, and a form of racism.
    It is not a healthy skepticism, as anyone can see, the articles are all attacking ‘White America’ neocons etc.
    It is a form of hatred and ‘racism’ writing.

    Look at this article, did they address racism prevalent in the Colored population towards both Whites and Mexicans?
    Did they address racism by Muslims towards Christian and people of the Jewish faith?
    No, they will not, because it does not fit their narrative, their Ameriphobia.
    Look at the comments of Abe, Mr. Parry’s Teacher’s Pet, he will often insult people just because they disagree with his narrative.
    Often he uses slurs, at least to him they are, like neoConfederate, Confederate apologists, or Confederate Defender as an attempt to denigrate or discredit those that disagree with his narrative, you can see it in the other article on getting rid of the Southern Battle flag by Mr. Parry.
    If your going to address the racism question, you better address ALL racism.

    By them using their hatred speech, they are encouraging division among those that read their Anti American articles.
    They are not encouraging a bringing together of Americans.
    They are are racist and part of the problem not the cure.
    You will never help to solve racism if you do not look at the total picture and change your model of articles here from hatred speech towards actual healthy skepticism.

    It is no wonder the Kremlin and its proxies send big donations to this site.

    Most of what I read here is not healthy skepticism or actual facts, it is racial Ameriphobia to install division.

    Consortium News is written in a form of grocery aisle tabloid journalism with an ounce of facts, a half pound of whatifs, 3 pounds of slander and ‘spinning’ of facts to fit their narrative, and add to that 2 pounds of outright lies all mixed up together.

    Fare thee well

    • Abe
      July 4, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      “Ameriphobia” is a term used by American right-wingers as a slur against those who disagree with their narrative.

      Right-wing groups portray virtually anybody who doesn’t believe America is the greatest country in the world, or criticizes American policies, as being “Ameriphobic”.

      Basically, “If you don’t agree with us, you must hate America”.

      —–

      Commenter “boggled” is a resident pro-Eliot Higgins troll at the Bellingcat disinformation site.

      Comrade “boggled” has been trolling here at Consortium News ever since Robert Parry outed Australian “60 Minutes” as a blatant, unabashed shill for Higgins.

      Comrade “boggled” is most easily recognized by his “Kremlin” Tourette’s, repetition of the phrase “conspiracy theories” and rampant WORD CAPITALIZATION.

      Toning it waaaay down (single mentions of”Kremlin” and “conspiracy theories” with no word caps), comrade “boggled” suddenly wants to eradicate racism by championing the Neo-Confederate Culture of Hate.

      Using that dog-eared page from the hasbara propaganda manual (labeling any criticism of Israel and Zionism as racist hate-speech), comrade “boggled” labels Consortium News criticism of Southern “Victimhood’ as “racial Ameriphobia” and “hatred speech”.

      However, unlike Eliot Higgins’ Bellingcat site, where commenters are policed by boggled and his confederates, and banned for disagreeing with Higgins’ pro-US/NATO propaganda, comrade “boggled” is faring well here at Consortium News.

    • Abe
      July 4, 2015 at 5:16 pm

      There was quite the spectacle of “boggled” logic on the Bellingcat site occurred when commenter “Jason” pointed out how Eliot Higgins’ “investigations” use erroneous analysis of satellite images.

      Higgins uses DoD and CIA-client information and digital tools to “back up” (as the Atlantic Council put it) the US/NATO/Kiev regime non-evidential claims about Malaysian Air Flight MH-17.

      Commenter “Jason” was banned by Bellingcat for highlighting these facts.

      Who to Trust, Google or the Russian MoD? A Guide to Verifying Google Earth Satellite Image Dates
      https://www.bellingcat.com/resources/how-tos/2015/06/05/google-earth-image-verification/#comments

      Jason – June 12th, 2015

      US DOD and CIA use digital information technology TOOLS to destroy, deny, degrade, disrupt, deceive, corrupt, or usurp the cyberspace domain.

      US military and intelligence also use for-profit companies, NGOs and journalists as TOOLS for offensive deception operations.

      For these reasons, honest investigative journalists exercise journalistic skepticism.
      —————–

      boggled – June 12th, 2015

      Jason, so the result and conclusion of all your many diatribes here is –
      The US intelligence agencies have the ability to manipulate data of DG, and Google entities.
      And therefore since Bellingcat uses data from those sources, it is possible that they are being fed fraudulent data.
      And by basing PART of their analysis on POSSIBLY fraudulent data, but most likely not, and by not questioning and proving in their article it was not manipulated data, their conclusion MIGHT be incorrect.

      And as an added point, you supplement that since they do not demonstrate that they question that part of that data in the article (although they may have done it in their investigation and just not told anyone about it) it is possible they are fronts for the US intelligence structure.
      And this is were your logic has led you.
      Is that right?

      And your final comment is – that you have not made that accusation that they are, although you are going through all this bla bla bla to say it is a possible hypothesis, but your not going to make that accusation directly.
      It is all speculation.

      Know what that makes it? Conspiracy theory.
      Why? because a conspiracy theory is a hypothesis based on a bunch of loosely connected facts that might be true but there is no substance to the argument.
      It is just a possibility.
      Your trying to cast doubt, where there is no suspicion of doubt.

      That is ALL you have is a possible conspiracy, a lot of words, but NOTHING to prove they have any basis in reality in any manner what so ever.
      A lot of ifs and maybes, but that is it after all this.
      SERIOUSLY???

      Fare thee well
      —————–

      boggled – June 12th, 2015

      Really? Your going to continue onto other loosely factual conspiracy theories to keep ranting?

      Your basic premise is that honest investigative journalists should trust but verify the sources as well as the data they collect.

      All that hullabaloo for just a recommendation to Aric and other people with Bellingcat?

      What is to say they do not?
      They have used a large bit of skepticism in their overall work.

      You are saying, because they do not show you they are skeptical of the USA government in their short history as investigative journalists by having a plethora of anti DC rants like Parry and Paul, it gives you reason to question them.

      On the other hand, let me point out Parry and Paul have not had one article in their long careers skeptical of the Kremlin or of Uncle Vova.
      On the other hand, the Kremlin has flatly admitted they budget for the manipulation of tv and internet.
      On the other hand, it is a proven fact they utilize troll factories.
      It is a proven fact that up until this year, the facts of the Stalin German agreement were still kept hidden.
      It is a proven fact that the Kremlin is dangerous to journalists who investigate it. 300 dead in less than 30 years.
      It is a fact that a Chechen government official put out a death threat on a journalist this week.
      It is a fact that Uncle Vova lied to those who would believe him about the little green men.
      The Kremlin has proven MORE untrustworthy then DC.

      So who should journalists go to for facts? Hamas?
      *snicker* yeah right.
      There is a reliability of proof that journalist place on sources.
      Much of America’s facts can be.
      Much of the Kremlin’s cannot be.
      Those are simple realities.

      You can choose not to accept American commercial technological tools.
      There are other sources.
      China? You get hacked if you use there.
      Japan? Reliable, but there is not a lot of it.
      Various European countries? Some good, but many are not near the level of Silicon valley.
      Australia? You would just claim they or Canada are American underlings.
      You have your choices.
      And your right to be somewhat skeptical of some of US supplied data.
      However, it has proven its reliability time and time again.
      That is why they are at the top.

      Your highly skeptical of USA sources, I get that.
      Fine, others are also, and I can say there is some small basis for your skepticism.
      But why do you go out of your way to make yourself look like a conspiracy theorist that sees ONLY USA conspiracies?
      Don’t you think there are others?

      Or you won’t look at those because you think EVERYTHING that makes other countries look bad that you like is some crazy concoction of the USA intelligence community and has no basis on reality?

      If you really think that, you need some serious help.

      When you act like you see the USA bogeyman everywhere, that is an obsessive paranoia and it is no way to live, and not factual.
      If that really is your thinking, you need to disconnect from Vineyard of the Saker, Rt, Ron Paul, Mr Parry, GlobalResearch, Veteran’sToday, etc. and get out in the world and live a little.
      I am not telling you to not remain skeptical, but if that is your obsession, you really need to tone it down, get out and live a little.

      Fare thee well
      —————–

      Jason – June 12th, 2015

      The DoD and CIA connections to Digital Globe, Google Earth, and Google are impossible to deny.

      Commenters then resort to minimization, a type of deception involving denial coupled with rationalization.

      Minimization. Denial. Avoidance. Boilerplate attacks. Clumsy diversions. Logical fallacies galore. Name-calling.

      The level of discourse degrades precisely when someone dares to point out the deficiencies of Eliot and Bellingcat analysis.

      Good lord.

  9. Abe
    July 4, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    why did the South secede?

    I can testify about the South under oath. I was born and raised there, and 12 men in my family fought for the Confederacy; two of them were killed. And since I was a boy, the answer I’ve heard to this question, from Virginia to Louisiana (from whites, never from blacks), is this: “The War Between the States was about states’ rights. It was not about slavery.”

    I’ve heard it from women and from men, from sober people and from people liquored up on anti-Washington talk. The North wouldn’t let us govern ourselves, they say, and Congress laid on tariffs that hurt the South. So we rebelled. Secession and the Civil War, in other words, were about small government, limited federal powers and states’ rights.

    But a look through the declaration of causes written by South Carolina and four of the 10 states that followed it out of the Union — which, taken together, paint a kind of self-portrait of the Confederacy — reveals a different story. From Georgia to Texas, each state said the reason it was getting out was that the awful Northern states were threatening to do away with slavery.

    South Carolina: “The non-slaveholding states … have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery” and “have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes.”

    Mississippi: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world. … There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union.”

    Georgia: “A brief history of the rise, progress, and policy of anti-slavery and the political organization into whose hands the administration of the Federal Government has been committed will fully justify the pronounced verdict of the people of Georgia.”

    Several states single out a special culprit, Abraham Lincoln, “an obscure and illiterate man” whose “opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery.” Lincoln’s election to the White House meant, for South Carolina, that “the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.”

    In other words, the only state right the Confederate founders were interested in was the rich man’s “right” to own slaves.

    It’s peculiar, because “states’ rights” has become a popular refrain in Republican circles lately. […] Gov. Rick Perry of Texas wondered aloud whether secession was his state’s right in the aftermath of laws out of Congress that he disliked.

    In part because of this renewed rhetoric, in the coming remembrances we will likely hear more from folks who cling to the whitewash explanation for secession and the Civil War. But you have only to look at the honest words of the secessionists to see why all those men put on uniforms.

    Gone With the Myths
    By Edward Ball
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/19/opinion/19Ball.html

    In the 1990s, Ball began to research his father’s family, which had enslaved some 4000 people on twenty-five rice plantations in South Carolina, between the years 1698 and 1865. The family legacy, documented in several archives, led to his book, Slaves in the Family (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998) that won the National Book Award for Nonfiction.

    • Thomas Howard
      July 10, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      Fact is, the Emancipation Proclamation was written THREE YEARS into the war,
      and “Honest Abe” then freed ONLY the rebellious States slaves, not the Union slaves.

  10. Abe
    July 4, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction, edited by Euan Hague, Heidi Beirich, and Edward H. Sebesta (University of Texas Press, 2008) examines the mainstreaming of the New Dixie movement, whose calls range from full secession to the racist exaltation of “Celtic” Americans and whose advocates can be found far north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

    A century and a half after the conclusion of the Civil War, the legacy of the Confederate States of America continues to influence national politics in profound ways. Drawing on magazines such as Southern Partisan and publications from the secessionist organization League of the South, as well as DixieNet and additional newsletters and websites, Neo-Confederacy probes the veneer of this movement to reveal goals far more extensive than a mere celebration of ancestry.

    Incorporating groundbreaking essays on the Neo-Confederacy movement, this eye-opening work encompasses such topics as literature and music; the ethnic and cultural claims of white, Anglo-Celtic southerners; gender and sexuality; the origins and development of the movement and its tenets; and ultimately its nationalization into a far-reaching factor in reactionary conservative politics. The first book-length study of this powerful sociological phenomenon, Neo-Confederacy raises crucial questions about the mainstreaming of an ideology that, founded on notions of white supremacy, has made curiously strong inroads throughout the realms of sexist, homophobic, anti-immigrant, and often “orthodox” Christian populations that would otherwise have no affiliation with the regionality or heritage traditionally associated with Confederate history.

    • boggled
      July 5, 2015 at 8:22 am

      Or are you just an avid believer in Consortium News’s slanted rhetoric and have a lot of time on your hands?

      Fare thee well

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