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Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:30 AM

Chris Hedges: White Power to the Rescue


from truthdig:



White Power to the Rescue

Posted on Jan 28, 2013
By Chris Hedges


On a windy afternoon a few days ago I went to a depressed section of North Memphis to visit an old clapboard house that was once owned by a German immigrant named Jacob Burkle. Oral history—and oral history is all anyone has in this case since no written documents survive—holds that Burkle used his house as a stop on the underground railroad for escaped slaves in the decade before the Civil War. The house is now a small museum called Slave Haven. It has artifacts such as leg irons, iron collars and broadsheets advertising the sale of men, women and children. In the gray floor of the porch there is a trapdoor that leads to a long crawl space and a jagged hole in a brick cellar wall where fugitives could have pushed themselves down into the basement. Escaped slaves were purportedly guided by Burkle at night down a tunnel or trench toward the nearby Mississippi River and turned over to sympathetic river traders who took them north to Cairo, Ill., and on to freedom in Canada.

Burkle and his descendants had good reason to avoid written records and to keep their activities secret. Memphis, on the eve of the Civil War, was one of the biggest slave markets in the South. After the war the city was an epicenter for Ku Klux Klan terror that included lynching, the nighttime burning of black churches and schools and the killing of black leaders and their white supporters, atrocities that continued into the 20th century. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis in 1968. If word had gotten out that Burkle used his home to help slaves escape, the structure would almost certainly have been burned and Burkle or his descendants, at the very least, driven out of the city. The story of Burkle’s aid to slaves fleeing bondage became public knowledge only a couple of decades ago.

The modest public profile of the Burkle house stands in stunning contrast with the monument in the center of Memphis to native son Nathan Bedford Forrest. Forrest, who is buried in Forrest Park under a statue of himself in his Confederate general’s uniform and mounted on a horse, is one of the most odious figures in American history. A moody, barely literate, violent man—he was not averse to shooting his own troops if he deemed them to be cowards—he became a millionaire before the war as a slave trader. As a Confederate general he was noted for moronic aphorisms such as “War means fighting and fighting means killing.” He was, even by the accounts of those who served under him, a butcher. He led a massacre at Fort Pillow in Henning, Tenn., of some 300 black Union troops—who had surrendered and put down their weapons—as well as women and children who had sheltered in the fort. Forrest was, after the war, the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. He used his skills as a former cavalry commander to lead armed night raids to terrorize blacks.

Forrest, like many other white racists of the antebellum South, is enjoying a disquieting renaissance. The Sons of Confederate Veterans and the West Tennessee Historical Commission last summer put up a 1,000-pound granite marker at the entrance to the park that read “Forrest Park.” The city, saying the groups had not obtained a permit, removed it with a crane. A dispute over the park name, now raging in the Memphis City Council, exposes the deep divide in Memphis and throughout much of the South between those who laud the Confederacy and those who detest it, a split that runs like a wide fault down racial lines. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/white_power_to_the_rescue_20130128/



19 replies, 2593 views

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Chris Hedges: White Power to the Rescue (Original post)
marmar Jan 2013 OP
xchrom Jan 2013 #1
gateley Jan 2013 #2
xocet Jan 2013 #13
gateley Jan 2013 #19
Lifelong Protester Jan 2013 #3
OneGrassRoot Jan 2013 #4
Blecht Jan 2013 #5
loudsue Jan 2013 #10
gtar100 Jan 2013 #6
mountain grammy Jan 2013 #7
awoke_in_2003 Jan 2013 #8
vinny9698 Jan 2013 #9
AlbertCat Jan 2013 #16
redqueen Jan 2013 #11
Mister Ed Jan 2013 #12
AlbertCat Jan 2013 #14
DhhD Jan 2013 #17
arcane1 Jan 2013 #15
just1voice Jan 2013 #18

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:36 AM

1. du rec. nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:47 AM

2. I'm glad he's writing about this.

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Response to gateley (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:39 AM

13. Chris Hedges made some very similar remarks at this conference at MIT in December 2012...

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/309814-1

These remarks are near the end of the video - at a time index of about 1 hour 23 minutes. He believes that it is necessary to re-establish hope for the economically dislocated individuals who have succumbed to this delusional revision of history by getting them meaningfully involved again in the economy; that then gives them something other than a corrosive mythology to give their lives meaning and hope.

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Response to xocet (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:55 PM

19. Thanks!

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:55 AM

3. bookmarking for reading later

thank you for posting.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 09:57 AM

4. WOW, that was powerful.

I can't recommend this highly enough.

Thank you for posting.

K&R

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:11 AM

5. Hedges is such a great writer

People who dismiss him for some of his opinions should read this article.

His comparison to what happened in Yugoslavia should serve as a warning to us all.

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Response to Blecht (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:51 AM

10. I'm glad he brought up that comparison. I had never thought of it that way,

but that's exactly what happened.

I'm white. I get so angry at racists sometimes, I start feeling violent. I hate that feeling. Racists love that feeling. The entire world would be so much better off without them. The ignorance of it is reflected in everything else they do. They are a pox on the world.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:17 AM

6. The naming of this park after a genocidal maniac speaks volumes...

Honoring figures like Forrest in Memphis while ignoring Wells would be like erecting a statue to the Nazi death camp commander Amon Goeth in the Czech Republic town of Svitavy, the birthplace of Oskar Schindler, who rescued 1,200 Jews.


And yet, that is what they have done, in essence, in Memphis.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:24 AM

7. I lived in NC in the 50's and Texas in the 80's. Same shit, different day.

It's fucking scary what's goes on down there.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:34 AM

8. K&R. nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:44 AM

9. Poor whites hated slavery also.

Poor whites had to compete for jobs with slaves. Plantation owners would use slave to compete against anyone who wanted to start their own business. So, today's poor whites would not have a chance at their low paying jobs. I knew of two poor whites who were bragging about the the South shall rise again. I pointed out to them if slavery existed today they would not have jobs, one was a car detailer the other a prep cook. Both jobs would be done by slaves today if slavery existed. They just sat their dumbfounded.

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Response to vinny9698 (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:03 PM

16. Poor whites hated slavery also.

Then there's wage slavery. It was practiced up north. It's when you don't pay workers enough but you provide housing and the "company store" where you can get what you need on credit to the company.... thus keeping the workers indebted to the company always... indentured servitude.


Slavery is of course worse. But wage slavery....somehow....sounds familiar....still...

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:55 AM

11. K&R

Sickening. And scary.

Thank you for posting this.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:06 AM

12. Excellent article. I strongly recommend reading it in full. n/t

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:58 AM

14. those who laud the Confederacy and those who detest it,

Oh, both groups are ridiculous. The Confederacy doesn't exist! Why hate or love something that is no more? You can like the memory or hate the memory of it but that's all...

And the facts are the Confederacy did not remotely achieve any of its goals. It was a complete failure. The North fought with one hand behind its back (they never stopped construction of the Capital building throughout the entire war. So, see... they did not put "everything" into the war. The South did).

Yes Southerners fought bravely. So did Yankees. The Civil war has much to do with the way things are today. And that's all a great thing to remember and laud. But loving or hating the nonexistent failed Confederacy is just ridiculous.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:21 PM

17. Armed Militia is still active today because of the 2nd Amendment. Armed Militia was active before

and after the Civil War. Armed Militia was active before the Revolutionary War in America.

Before President Obama issued Executive Actions to regulate the Armed Militia, it was not well regulated enough. Maybe more regulation needs to happen. This is my opinion.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:02 PM

15. Kicking to read later

:kick:

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 03:53 PM

18. The U.S. outsourced the slavery and still fully supports it

 

Perhaps this would have never happened if the confederacy and all its members had been treated as the traitors they were. Lets see, not holding war criminals and traitors accountable, how does that sound familiar today?

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