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Sun Aug 13, 2017, 06:25 PM

Sanctioned violence against the left has a long history in this country but retaliation is illegal [View all]

I know this post is too long so I apologize but I had to put my thoughts on where we are historically in a context. When drump got elected I was in the middle of reading a history of abolitionism in this country and saw a lot of parallels. Many of you know examples of this history but to point out a few facts from the mid-19th century that I think are relevant to today:

The first famous abolitionist, William Lloyd Garrison was nearly beaten to death by a mob while another, pastor Lovejoy, was murdered, both in northern states. While there were a few examples of whites successfully fending off slave catchers for the most part northern whites in the 1830s and 40s favored slavery.

The Dred Scott decision and Fugitive Slave Act reinforced the institution and also the power of southern states and the view of blacks as inferior. Whites in the north were required by law to help capture runaways - a slap in the face to abolitionists and not unlike the many laws floating around today like those seeking to make it ok to drive into protesters that are basically there to remind any dissenters whose country this is, in their minds anyway.

Of course the deaths of black people did not figure into the equation for most whites before the Civil War and only for a short time during Reconstruction after. Nat Turner's rebellion led to the deaths of many innocent blacks in retaliation, but most slaves weren't usually killed in antebellum times due to the fact that they had monetary value. After the war, the KKK and lynchings helped enforce white rule - with state laws and white juries giving legal sanction to murder. I'm sure people can easily recognize analogies today.

Many if not most historians would agree that the single event that precipitated the Civil War was the attack on Harper's Ferry. The reaction didn't just come from the U.S. government in putting it down and hanging John Brown, but from southern states that began forming militias and talking about secession. Three years before, the cane beating of Senator Sumner (celebrated in the south) followed with a clear message: disagreeing with us and our way of life justifies violence. That attitude continues today from the POtuS to his trump-aligned terrorists. Brown's use of violence was met with a furious response while his foes had the backing of the state. As some on here have noted, imagine if Muslims or Black Lives Matter had done what the nazis did yesterday.

If there are examples from the left where laws sanctioned violence I am hard pressed to find them. Has there been leftist violence in this country? Yes like the Wisconsin university bombing and the Weathermen, but they were met with a determined federal government that used any means necessary to stop them. I don't expect to see any similar response to the modern white supremacists (the Order and McVeigh were exceptions for obvious reasons) until they do greater violence and maybe not even then - for purely political reasons.

After Charlottesville I admit a desire for revenge and have a certain sympathy for the antifa young people (if I was their age instead of retired I might join them). If it comes down to our democracy versus fascism then you have to fight. But one thing history points to is that we are not allowed to use their same tactics and the thug in the White House will use any excuse to become the dictator he wants to become. I admit I don't have the perfect answer to all this but answering them with further violence right now is not an option. So I have volunteered for our local Democratic Party and will be attending a candlelight vigil tonight.



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Reply Sanctioned violence against the left has a long history in this country but retaliation is illegal [View all]
Bradshaw3 Aug 2017 OP
Weekend Warrior Aug 2017 #1
Bradshaw3 Aug 2017 #5
Thomas Hurt Aug 2017 #2
Alpeduez21 Aug 2017 #3
Bradshaw3 Aug 2017 #4
Docreed2003 Aug 2017 #6
Bradshaw3 Aug 2017 #7
Docreed2003 Aug 2017 #8
marked50 Aug 2017 #9