Friday, August 18, 2017

Time to Remove the Monuments to the War to Perpetuate Slavery

A “a peaceful, nonviolent protester” from Pensacola attended the neo-Nazis and white supremacists rally in Charlottesville carrying his pistol and assault rifle to protect ‘the true history and heritage of the Confederacy and the American South.’

Our local congressman, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, says that removing a Confederate monument in Pensacola would be “whitewashing history."  President Trump would agree.

But Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward wants the monument to come down.

What might he understand that the others refuse to acknowledge?

More than 240 years ago, our country was founded on the principle of life, liberty and property protected by the rule of law, enshrined in the Constitution adopted in 1787. What many people forget is, at the time, property included people held in slavery, an abhorrent practice. The founding fathers knew the contradiction, but made a bargain with the understanding that the Constitution provided a peaceful method of change in the future by amendment.

As the U.S. moved toward that change to end and outlaw slavery, Southern states, which benefitted economically from free labor at the end of a lash, refused to accept this change and decided to create a new country that would protect their right to enslave people.

It wasn’t a War Between the States, to protect states’ rights, except to the extent it was meant to allow the continuation of chattel slavery. The Southern states said so, read their declarations of succession defending the practice and angry with the states that were refusing to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act. The Southern states were also being denied “equal rights” in the new territories, which meant the days of slavery were near an end. And many Confederate politician and soldiers freely acknowledged, before and after the war, that they would and did fight to stop the abolitionists who were rallying support to end slavery, which was so important to the way of life in the South.

These states renounced the bargain, rebelled and used violence and war to prevent that change. This was treason plain and simple. Thankfully they were defeated.

But in the years after, Southerners created an heroic myth, the Lost Cause, to convince themselves that the war was “just” and noble and the Confederate flag represented freedom, not slavery. Reconstruction was abandoned in the 1870s, and the terrorism of the freed men and women began in earnest. Jim Crow laws, violence, lynching, the KKK, and White Citizen Councils were just a few of the methods used. (Ask Rep. Gaetz and that young man celebrating his history about Rosewood, Florida.)

Confederate flags were adopted and monuments were built, many between the 1890s and 1930s. The whole point of these methods, and the Confederate flags and monuments, was to institutionalize and celebrate white supremacy.

Substantial movement toward equal protection under the law began in the 1950s, and continues today, despite the ignorance of some, and the efforts of others. (If “national unite” is so important, why the effort to undermine the right to vote.)

So Rep. Gaetz, tell me a little more about “whitewashing history,” I find your use of the term a little ironic.

Maybe that is the reason that young man who attended the rally has so little knowledge of ‘the true history and heritage of the Confederacy and the American South.’ If he is a peaceful, nonviolent protester, he should leave the pistol and assault rifle at home. Our understanding, empathy, laws and Constitution – not violence – are all that are needed for change.

And thank you Mayor Hayward for agreeing that it is time for Pensacola's Confederate monument to come down.

Trump's Big CON: Counter-Demonstrators Lacked a Permit

UPDATE:  "Trump should have left his Monday statement condemning white supremacists as his last word, 'but he just can’t stop himself, so he goes off without understanding the history of neo-Nazism and white supremacy. And those of us who had so much hope for him are just exhausted, because this is every day. People see it as a betrayal. Soon, he won’t have anybody, because when you start talking about Nazis and supremacy, who’s going to defend him on that?'" said Armstrong Williams, a conservative, African-American TV and radio talk show host and longtime supporter of Trump.

Read the Washington Post, Trump and race: Decades of fueling divisions.

"In blaming both sides for the violence in Charlottesville that left one person dead, President Trump twice asserted that the people protesting white supremacists and neo-Nazis lacked a permit, unlike the groups that gathered to protest the possible removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

But that’s turned out to be false".

Read the Washington Post, President Trump’s false claim that counter-demonstrators lacked a permit.

You can NEVER believe anything The Donald says unless it is verified.

Trump's Big CON: Trump's Brown-Nosers (AKA Trump is a Psycho-Narcissistic Con Man (CONt., Part 10))

"On Thursday, Foreign Policy published a remarkable memo penned by a former staffer on President Trump’s National Security Council. The author, Rich Higgins, was forced out last month by national security adviser H.R. McMaster for composing it. The memo contends that the president is the target of a vast conspiracy spearheaded by so-called cultural Marxists, who have allied with Islamists and captured (among other groups) the media, the deep state, academia, 'global corporatists' and leaders of both parties. That Higgins worked for the NSC is disturbing enough. But more disturbing is that Trump, who saw the memo when it was passed to him by his son Donald Trump Jr., was 'furious' at Higgins’s removal — a sign of the scary conspiratorial depths the president is already descending to. . .

Trump’s paranoia echoes that of another president: Richard Nixon. Nixon rejected the Birchers publicly, but he shared the idea of a campaign against the president. 'Never forget, the press is the enemy … the establishment is the enemy, the professors are the enemy,' he said in December 1972. More frighteningly, as Nixon’s presidency ended in disaster, Defense Secretary James R. Schlesinger, worried about Nixon’s growing instability and increased drinking, told commanders that any order of a nuclear launch should be routed through him or Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Less than 50 years later, the Oval Office is at the center of a terrifying combination of delusions, a foreign policy crisis and nuclear launch codes. "

Read the Washington Post, This NSC ex-staffer’s memo is crazy. Trump’s reaction is more disturbing.

 Now repeat after me:  He's so pretty!

Trump's Big CON: The Wisconsin Foxconn Jobs CON

UPDATE:  Some think Wisconsin rubber-stamped the bundle of perks with with "no guarantee Foxconn will hold up its side of the bargain.

Kathleen Gallagher, executive director of the Milwaukee Institute, a technology-focused not-for-profit, pointed out that the company has previously pledged to open factories elsewhere that never materialized.

In 2013, Foxconn’s chairman said the firm would build a $30-million factory and hire 500 workers in central Pennsylvania — a promise that has not come to fruition. "

Read the Washington Post, Trump is celebrating the Foxconn deal. The people paying for it aren’t so sure.

"The deal President Trump called “incredible” and Gov. Scott Walker hailed as a “once-in-a-century” opportunity to bring the electronic manufacturing giant Foxconn to Wisconsin wouldn’t generate profits for the state until 2042, a new legislative analysis projects.

The state’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau, a nonpartisan agency that analyzes proposed economic investments, looked at Walker’s bid last month to bring a new flat-screen-display factory to the state in exchange for a roughly $3 billion-incentives package.

Foxconn said it would break ground in southeastern Wisconsin and hire 3,000 workers there over the next four years, with the “potential” to create 13,000 jobs.

If the company hits that growth target, Wisconsin would break even after 25 years, said Rob Reinhardt, a program manager who worked on the report. If 13,000 jobs never materialize, it could take decades longer. . .

Wisconsin [already] has an unusually low unemployment rate (3.2 percent), which is significantly lower than the country’s 4.3 percent. Employers there already complain about having trouble finding workers. . .

If Foxconn fills jobs with workers from neighboring Illinois, where the unemployment rate is 4.7 percent, analysts predict the deal won’t start making money for Wisconsin until 2045."

Read the Washington Post, The Foxconn deal Trump championed won’t make Wisconsin money for 25 years, report says.

Trump's Big CON: Trump Has No Morality (or Principles)

 UPDATE II:  Why has The Donald been so successful, despite his lack of morality or principles?

His core supporters don't care, so he doesn't need them.

"Trump campaigned on the Palin model. In fact, he improved upon it. His identity was his trademark, rendering the constant shifts in policy goals and promises almost meaningless. His base saw in Trump what they wanted to see. Some saw a fighter who would stand up for them, others saw a vaunted truth-teller, and a few, truth be told, likely saw a potential white-nationalist hero. And he gave it to them: the image, the veneer, the blank slate upon which their deeply held dreams — for themselves as much as their country — could be written. His fans weren’t dissuaded by his past support for Democrats (including his 2016 opponent), or his lies, or his personal liberalism, or his crudeness, or his long history of mistreating small-business owners of the kind he claimed to champion, because his fans weren’t voting for Trump. They were voting for what Trump meant to them personally. . .

His popularity is cultural, not political, resilient to the notions of truth and fiction and to Trump’s own failures."

Read the Washington Post, Trump is Sarah Palin but better at it.

UPDATE:  "Seven months in, it’s clear that lying is not the disease afflicting us, just the most obvious symptom. The infection’s name is “getting away with it.”

The phrase 'getting away with it' didn’t even exist as an expression until the middle of the 19th century. It came into general use over the following few decades, coincident with the Darwinian phrase 'survival of the fittest' and Nietzsche’s 'God is dead.' In the 2012 book 'Missing Out,' in a chapter entitled 'On Getting Away With It,' psychiatrist Adam Phillips suggested we had, just in the last century, gone from regarding 'getting away with it' as immoral — perhaps a forbidden pleasure we might secretly admire, sometimes indulge, but could never approve — to its elevation to a highest-value goal.

In the chapter’s conclusion he writes, 'But what if getting away with it was a new moral principle or project? . . In this new morality — which sounds like a moral game, or a parody of the idea of morality — moral excellence would reside in being able to successfully exempt yourself from rules you have consented to. . . The Good Person would be replaced by the Impressive Person; and what would impress would be the breaking of rules without punishment. . . Where once there were the principled, now there would be the opportunists; the clever would displace the pious.' He all but foretold the election of President Trump. . .

When Trump gets away with flouting a rule, even as he pretends to consent to it, when he gets away with a lie, even as he pretends to consent to the commandment not to lie, he readily congratulates himself: by his own values — values our society broadly understands, and sometimes almost shares (sometimes in jest, sometimes in horror, sometimes with a delicious sense of trespass) — “getting away with it” is good, in and of itself. . .

The country is in a tough spot. But knowing what you’re up against is half the battle, and we know that Trump’s 'getting away with it' is a parody of morality."

Read the Washington Post, When ‘getting away with it’ is all Trump cares about.
"After a campaign gestated in birtherism, Trump was slow to condemn the likes of white supremacist David Duke, routinely spoke in coded racial language to energize a segment of people angry about the changing face of the country and condoned violence against those who disagreed with him, Trump, over the last four days, has proven that he is that same person as president.

And that person is the opposite of a leader. And that person is dangerous to this country's well-being.

Trump's comments at a press availability at Trump Tower on Tuesday not only revealed, again, his remarkable blindness to the racial history and realities of this country, but also showed his willingness to stake out morally indefensible positions as the result of personal pique.

Three days after insisting that the blame for the Charlottesville protests spurred by neo-Nazis and white supremacists lay 'on many sides,' and just a day removed from a more fulsome condemnation of those groups, Trump returned to his original position -- that this was a situation where both sides were wrong and the only people who disagreed with that were the fake news media. . .

That outcome is more than a failure of political leadership by Trump. It is a failure of moral leadership.

It is impossible -- given the last two years of Trump -- to conclude he is simply fumbling his way around on issues of race, gender and ethnic heritage. The mountain of evidence gathered suggests just the opposite: That he is purposely saying and doing things to make murky moral questions that should be crystal clear. And why is he doing it? For political gain.

That is the opposite of what being president of the United States should be. Hell, it's the opposite of what being a citizen of this country should be.

What Trump is doing is dangerous -- for our politics and for our moral fiber. To condone white supremacists by insisting there are two sides to every coin is to take us back decades in our understanding of each other. It is to undo decades worth of progress toward a freer and better country for all people.

To do so purposely to score political points or stick it in the eye of your supposed media enemies is, frankly, despicable."

Read CNN, Donald Trump's failure in Charlottesville wasn't political -- it was moral.

Trump's problem is that he has no persoanl morality.

He is guided only by personal, monetary and political gain.

Read also:

Trump's Big CON: When Loyalty Is Valued Above Principle and Honesty,

Trump's Big CON: What Might Have Been If He Only Had Ideas or Principles (Or Even Common Sense)

Trump's Big CON: What Might Have Been If He Only Had Ideas or Principles (Or Even Common Sense), CONt.