The past, embedded in the present

This article, by Jeb Lund in Rolling Stone, really should be read in full. It is a clear description of the ways in which Confederate ideology and the violence of white supremacy, have sculpted our political landscape, and continue to infect the conservative movement to this day.

The Charleston Shooter: Racist, Violent, and Yes – Political

How could it not be political, when the Republican Party has weaponized its supporters and made violence a virtue?

…And nothing — nothing — emphasizes that overreach and theft like black people. Mendacious twit and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley issued a statement saying, “We do know that we’ll never understand what motivates anyone to enter one of our places of worship and take the life of another,” but to riddle it out all she needed to do was go outside and look up at the traitorous rag borne by Confederate armies and raiding parties and rapists and murderers that flaps outside the capitol as if to say, “Enact change at your own risk.”

For the neoconfederate ghouls driving movement conservatism, that rag represents the first leftist-directed black theft. A quite literal one: They are taking the black people that are our property. It’s there to repudiate Reconstruction — government redistribution of property for former slaves and reshaping of government to create a proportional voice for blacks. It was dragged back out to respond to the Civil Rights movement: the theft of whites’ ability to codify privilege and plunder into the law, “robbing” them of a permanent subservient underclass created through systemic disenfranchisement and deprivation. That last reaction is the permanent subtext of one half of the American political dialogue, the long low dog whistle that entered the mainstream of American conservatism with Nixon and the Southern Strategy in 1968 — a toxic mixture of anti-government resentment, absolute refusal to recognize the left as legitimate, and racial loathing….

I am happy to see the Confederate flag removed from its place on official buildings and other items belonging to various state governments. I’ll be much happier if this attempt to restore the Voting Rights Act actually succeeds.


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