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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:47 PM

Salon: Welcome to the new Civil War

Good article

On a repeat viewing of Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” over the New Year’s holiday, a scene I had barely noticed the first time jumped out at me. Confederate vice-president Alexander Stephens (played with reptilian gentility by Jackie Earle Haley), in a secret meeting aboard a steamboat with Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward, faces up to the reality that the era of slavery has come to an end. Ratification of the 13th Amendment, Stephens muses, will destroy the basis of the Southern economy and the South’s traditional way of life. “We won’t know ourselves anymore,” he says.

If only it had been so. What an affluent slaveowner like Stephens feared most, no doubt, was the utopian vision of “radical Reconstruction” imagined by legendary abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones in the movie), in an earlier conversation with Lincoln in the White House kitchen. Stevens envisioned a future in which all the land and property of the Southern aristocracy would be dispossessed and divided among the emancipated slaves, building a new society of free soil and free labor amid the ruins of tyranny. To put it in contemporary social-studies terms, Stevens hoped that by uprooting and destroying the South’s slave economy, one could also replace its culture.

It didn’t quite work out that way. You can’t boil one of the most tumultuous periods of American history down to one paragraph, but here goes: Lincoln was assassinated by a domestic terrorist and replaced by Andrew Johnson, who was an incompetent hothead and an unapologetic racist. Within a few years the ambitious project of Reconstruction fell victim to a sustained insurgency led by the Ku Klux Klan and similar white militia groups. By the late 1870s white supremacist “Redeemers” controlled most local and state governments in the South, and by the 1890s Southern blacks had been disenfranchised and thrust into subservience positions by Jim Crow laws that were only slightly preferable to slavery.


So even though it’s a truism of American public discourse that the Civil War never ended, it’s also literally true. We’re still reaping the whirlwind from that long-ago conflict, and now we face a new Civil War, one focused on divisive political issues of the 21st century – most notably the rights and liberties of women and LGBT people – but rooted in toxic rhetoric and ideas inherited from the 19th century.


http://www.salon.com/2013/01/05/welcome_to_the_new_civil_war/

40 replies, 4552 views

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Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
Reply Salon: Welcome to the new Civil War (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Jan 2013 OP
jpak Jan 2013 #1
patrice Jan 2013 #4
BuelahWitch Jan 2013 #12
patrice Jan 2013 #32
ReRe Jan 2013 #14
patrice Jan 2013 #33
trof Jan 2013 #26
amandabeech Jan 2013 #38
formercia Jan 2013 #2
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2013 #3
zappaman Jan 2013 #7
ReRe Jan 2013 #16
riderinthestorm Jan 2013 #9
CTyankee Jan 2013 #11
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2013 #13
TahitiNut Jan 2013 #17
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Jan 2013 #15
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2013 #18
CTyankee Jan 2013 #20
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #25
CTyankee Jan 2013 #28
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #29
CTyankee Jan 2013 #31
riverbendviewgal Jan 2013 #27
meow2u3 Jan 2013 #5
ZRT2209 Jan 2013 #6
tblue37 Jan 2013 #21
TwilightGardener Jan 2013 #8
stultusporcos Jan 2013 #10
TwilightGardener Jan 2013 #30
stultusporcos Jan 2013 #37
Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2013 #19
Zoeisright Jan 2013 #22
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2013 #23
Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2013 #24
amandabeech Jan 2013 #39
Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2013 #40
moondust Jan 2013 #34
trof Jan 2013 #35
Fumesucker Jan 2013 #36

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:49 PM

1. and its retched spawn - the GOP's "Southern Strategy"

yup

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Response to jpak (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:13 PM

4. Which Southern Strategy began as a response to the Democratic convention of 1948 in which

PROGRESSIVE LABOR candidate, Henry Wallace, Roosevelt's Vice-President, narrowly lost the nomination to Harry Truman.

Since Democrats had tried, unsuccessfully, to draft Eisenhower that year, Republicans were paying very close attention to our convention, in which there was a big floor fight over the platform, especially for how Henry Wallace wanted labor oriented economic platforms that would address racism in the South. He succeeded in some version of a plank that addressed Southern racism, but Democrats from the South lead by Strom Thurmond walked out and later became Republicans, and Wallace lost the nomination . . .

which was also, essentially, the beginning of the Military Industrial Complex as a driver in economic policy under Truman and also, in foreign policy, the Cold War nuclear arms race, which later became American Exceptionalism for the OIL that MIC needs to survive.

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Response to patrice (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:49 PM

12. Don't you mean 1948?

FDR won his last Presidential election in 1944, so he was the candidate.

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Response to BuelahWitch (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:38 PM

32. Thanks for the catch! Yeah, will edit. nt

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Response to patrice (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:52 PM

14. Wow.. patrice!

+1000

...you nailed it! You sort of remind me of Lincoln himself...being able to put so much in to so few words. That is an Art and I salute you for it!

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Response to ReRe (Reply #14)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:42 PM

33. Thank you! I should try harder to get the dates right. Doing stuff on the fly usually.

Checking myself against google really wouldn't be that hard now would it.

Thanks again! Fascinating topic isn't it?

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Response to patrice (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:00 PM

26. Strom Thurmond and the Dixiecrats

When Roosevelt died, the new president Harry Truman established a highly visible President's Committee on Civil Rights and ordered an end to discrimination in the military in 1948. Additionally, the Democratic National Convention in 1948 adopted a plank proposed by Northern liberals led by Hubert Humphrey calling for civil rights; 35 southerners delegates walked out. The move was on to remove Truman's name from the ballot in the South.

This required a new party, which the Southern defectors chose to name the States' Rights Democratic Party, with its own nominee: Governor of South Carolina J. Strom Thurmond. The Dixiecrats held their convention at Municipal Auditorium in Birmingham, Alabama, where they nominated Thurmond for president and Fielding L. Wright, Governor of Mississippi, for vice president. They later adopted a platform in Oklahoma City, on August 14, 1948, that said:

"We stand for the segregation of the races and the racial integrity of each race; the constitutional right to choose one's associates; to accept private employment without governmental interference, and to learn one's living in any lawful way. We oppose the elimination of segregation, the repeal of miscegenation statutes, the control of private employment by Federal bureaucrats called for by the misnamed civil rights program. We favor home-rule, local self-government and a minimum interference with individual rights."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dixiecrat

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Response to patrice (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:45 AM

38. Don't forget the accelerating affects of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

passed by Congress and signed by Pres. Lyndon Johnson. Lyndon and far-seeing sens and reps, many of them then liberal and moderate Republicans from the NE, the Great Lakes states and the Pacific NW., did what was right. Lyndon pushed that Act hard, even though he knew that the Dems would lose white votes in the South for generations.

But the folks in Washington at that time weren't the ones who had been doing the really hard work for over two centuries. The people really responsible for that Act, which changed the U.S. immeasurably right before our eyes at the time, are those who fought for Civil Rights all through the bleak years from the time when slavery was introduced here until the historic marches and court cases of the post-WWII years.

We should also honor those who fought for change after the Act, and who continue to fight to this day.

Thank you all.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:54 PM

2. Looks like the 'Southern Strategy' bit the GOP in the Ass.

Former racist Southern Democrats were embraced by the GOP and taken into the fold. What could go wrong?

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:55 PM

3. Gee, how long have I compared the present dysfunction to the 1850s

Now we see it in national papers. I fear it will end the same way...with force of arms.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:23 PM

7. Yes, you have predicted a civil war now for at least 6 years

And you fear it?
Hardly. I think you actually hope for it just so you can say "I told ya so".

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Response to zappaman (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:12 PM

16. That wasn't very nice, zappaman...

...so let me get this straight... you're saying that nadin should just keep his/her mouth shut, because if he/she speaks his/her fears, that he/she is only fomenting rumors and inciting civil unrest? So, if you think this, how do you think things are going in our society? Hunky-dory? Everything is beautiful, in it's own way, all Mack Davis and all? So what's your view on the OP?

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:32 PM

9. I get the feeling Nadin that this article is more focused on the post Civil War era, alas.

Which in its own way was just as tragic.

But I see the similarities and grieve as well.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:47 PM

11. And I get the distinct feeling that there are some of this board who would side

with the obstructionist South and you know whereof I am speaking...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #11)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:51 PM

13. I do, i do.

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #11)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:17 PM

17. More than most of us would even imagine, I think.

Far too many think "discretion is the greater part of valor" is good cover for political cowardice.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:01 PM

15. I hope not.

But if they do take up arms they should pay the ultimate price for treason.

Let's call the Civil War what it was - treason. The only one who used that word during the Civil War was General Sherman when he invaded South Carolina. His comment was "this is where treason began."

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:24 PM

18. In the movie, Lincoln makes a distinction about treason:

he says to the effect that that southern STATES are/were not treasonous, but the some of the people who live in them are acting treasonous.

There are several very interesting slices of legal logic discussed in the movie, I hope more folks here can see it.
Food for thought.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:37 PM

20. I could see that, in the interest of holding together the Union after the Civil War.

But I really don't know how we could have avoided what happened after Reconstruction fell apart...this is probably the biggest reason that other countries put their treasonous actors to death...to get rid of them so they can never rise again...harsh, but true. However, I just don't see how the North could have prevailed more completely in the South...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #20)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:00 PM

25. The South got treated more like Germany after WWI than West Germany after WWII

The Reconstruction was bungled very badly by the federal government, it's the failed Reconstruction more than the war itself that caused Southerners to make one word out of "damnyankee".

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #25)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:20 PM

28. It must have been very short lived because the South managed to make African

Americans virtual slaves again through their own state legislatures and the terror of the Klan. Please do not excuse the Southerners from their responsibility to join the rest of the civilized world and outlaw slavery! You cannot seriously defend that!

As I recall, Lincoln was stopped from carrying out the Reconstruction he wanted because he was killed in an assassination, an act of terror against the state!

Please do not de-emphasize the guilt and responsibility of the South of their crimes against black people! Perhaps the Reconstruction was flawed, but a lot of it had to do with Lincoln being assassinated and succeeded by a slavery sympathizer. Terrorism has its advantages, after all, doesn't it?

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #28)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:28 PM

29. Explaining something is not the same as defending it

I'll point out how Germany now officially at least feels toward Jews, that's largely due to a well planned Reconstruction by the Allies (mostly the US) after WWII.

The South was about as thoroughly beaten after the Civil War as Germany and Japan were after WWII, it was a total war effort and left the region utterly destitute and broken, that it reverted to the old system slightly modified without the proper guidance was about as predictable as gravity.

Modern Japan and particularly Germany are the result of the brilliance of the US government in planning the rebuilding of Europe and Japan after WWII, we have the example of Germany after WWI to show how it can be done badly which lead straight to WWII less than thirty years later.





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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #29)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:37 PM

31. Thanks and good explanation. WWI was a horror show from beginning to end.

I would probably chalk that up to the Western nations being too tolerant themselves of anti-semitism to do much, resulting in the horror of WWII where they HAD to be!

Our Reconstruction after the Civil War was probably the same as the European in WWI, because we weren't sufficiently anti-racist as a nation (and I am pointing directly at the North here). But liberalism at least has now a great foothold in the Northeast and as someone who lives there, I am very happy with it...

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:16 PM

27. me too

I am an avid American history junkie. I agree with Nadin.

Traveling south the last few winters made me very aware of the divide. Many in gated communities think this way. Also reading of All the militias forming and using the confederate flag as their flag and espousing racial hatred has made me realize my days of going south are over.

I just hope this does not spill over up to my country.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:02 PM

5. We should KICK unreconstructed neo-Confederates out of the country

They're holding back the progress of the nation and are threatening its downfall.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:20 PM

6. it's an unbroken line

that leads to the migration of African Americans to cities to escape Jim Crow, where they were forcibly and violently gheto-ized, denied the services their taxes paid for, denied education and jobs, and are now told - after centuries of generational disenfranchisement from effective citizenship - that affirmative action hurts white people.

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Response to ZRT2209 (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:56 PM

21. Another of the main drivers of African Americans' northward migration was

the great Mississippi flood of 1927. In addition to the displacement caused directly by the flood (as also happened after Katrina), Southern African Americans were responding to being repeatedly dragooned--often at gunpoint, and often after just spending endless hours on the same jobs--to work at the most dangerous tasks of sandbagging, etc., along the raging river.

Also as happened during the Katrina debacle, the homes, neighborhoods, and lives of African Americans endangered by the catastrophic flooding in 1927 were disregarded or even deliberately sacrificed by racist local and state governments, which were concerned only with assisting whites, especially those who were already well off.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:32 PM

8. It might seem like a war, but the "neoconfederacy" is losing.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:44 PM

10. The neoconfederacy has not lost yet they still have to rise up with arms

 

and I fully expect they will before they are finally put down once and for all.

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Response to stultusporcos (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:32 PM

30. Not anywhere near dead yet, but on every front, they are losing ground

and becoming downright hysterical and strident because of it. They're in "circle the wagons" mode.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #30)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:11 AM

37. They are quickly become trapped and corned animals and that is when they will become

 

even more violent and vicious.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:26 PM

19. You know, there was more than one type of slavery going on at that time.

Many focus on the slavery of the South. Many don't look at the slavery of the North. The workhouses, company stores, etc. Sadly there are more that one was to enslave people.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Reply #19)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:18 PM

22. That cannot POSSIBLY compare to

OWNING people.

Christ on a crutch.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #22)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:37 PM

23. Actually, I understand how people can be "owned" in many ways.

Permanent financial debt, low wages, limited jobs, effectively keeps people from exercising a lot of options, just as the Jim Crow laws made a mockery of "freedom" post Reconstruction, while ushering in sharecropping, tenant cropping as a means of covert slavery, to both African Americans and poor whites.
Plus now we have the ills of for profit prisons using minimally paid prison labor.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #22)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:53 PM

24. But those up North was owned.

In a underhanded, dark way. They had no clue till they were in so deep that the company truly owned them. Remember the line from Tennessee Ford song "Sixteen Tons"?
You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store


That is what many found themselves in. They could not quit the companies due to the debt they owed them. THey needed the "credit" that the company store "gave" them to by food. They were stuck. They could quit, but then the Company Store would demand payment. And back then, you could be arrested for it. If you lived in Company Housing they would throw you out. They gave you no time to find more work. To have food and a roof you sold yourself to them.
In other words, the Northern Companies owned people, but in a legal way so they could not get into any trouble.
The South used whips, the North used needs. Two different ways, same effects.

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Response to Lady Freedom Returns (Reply #24)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:53 AM

39. This is a nit-pick though,

the "Company Store" indentured servitude model was also used in the Southern Appalachian mining states. Nasty system for both races.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #39)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:20 PM

40. Your right.

The "Company Store" was use well after the Civil War. It was legal with the same results.
And the sad part is that given a way, they could start up again. With so many having debt problems companies could start something like it to "help" their employees. And end up owning their employees.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:47 PM

34. Slavery may have been abolished,

but certainly not the slave owner's mindset and white (male) supremacy that some believe are subverting democracy and creating massive inequality that may mean a slow transition back to feudalism and/or even slavery for some due to a lack of other opportunities.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:56 PM

35. What my granny told me re Brown vs Board of Education:

It was 1954.
Birmingham, Alabama.
I was thirteen and beginning to pay attention to the newspaper.

I read about the supreme court's decision and asked granny (the wisest person I knew) what it meant.
"It means they're gonna make you go to school with little nigra boys and girls."

The only 'nigras' I knew were Nathan, who cut our grass and carried out the 'clinkers' from the coal fired furnace; Dorothy, the young black woman who was our maid and cook; and George Washington Brown, the little boy whose family rented the former 'servants quarters' garage apartment next door in the alley.
I played with George every day after school. (I never wondered where HE went to school.)

I liked (and was liked, I thought) by all the nigras I knew, so I didn't see what a big deal it would be if we were classmates.
I didn't tell granny that.

Granny lost two uncles in the 'War of Northern Aggression'.
Her father was spared because he was too young to fight, although he ran away from home twice to try and volunteer.

No, sadly, the 'war' still ain't over for some down here in Dixie.
But I'm still workin' on it.


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Response to trof (Reply #35)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:02 PM

36. "(I never wondered where HE went to school.)"

I never wondered either.

Had the same experience, played with some black kids that lived behind our house, my dad had a black helper in his business and I remember them laughing and joking together all the time. Dad was an immigrant and told me several times he liked black Southerners better than white ones, said whites had no sense of humor, he also said to keep my lip zipped about it.

Then came the rise of the hippies when I was in HS and finally there were some Southerners with a sense of humor.

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