The Civil War Had Nothing to Do With Slavery | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

The Civil War Had Nothing to Do With Slavery

Articles of Secession, State of Mississippi, 1861

A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.

In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery—the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.

That we do not overstate the dangers to our institution, a reference to a few facts will sufficiently prove.

The hostility to this institution commenced before the adoption of the Constitution, and was manifested in the well-known Ordinance of 1787, in regard to the Northwestern Territory.

The feeling increased, until, in 1819-20, it deprived the South of more than half the vast territory acquired from France.

The same hostility dismembered Texas and seized upon all the territory acquired from Mexico.

It has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves, and refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories, and wherever the government of the United States had jurisdiction.

It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and seeks to extinguish it by confining it within its present limits, denying the power of expansion.

It tramples the original equality of the South under foot.

It has nullified the Fugitive Slave Law in almost every free State in the Union, and has utterly broken the compact which our fathers pledged their faith to maintain.

It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.

It has enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us, until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed with prejudice.

It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists.

It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better.

It has invaded a State, and invested with the honors of martyrdom the wretch whose purpose was to apply flames to our dwellings, and the weapons of destruction to our lives.

It has broken every compact into which it has entered for our security.

It has given indubitable evidence of its design to ruin our agriculture, to prostrate our industrial pursuits and to destroy our social system.

It knows no relenting or hesitation in its purposes; it stops not in its march of aggression, and leaves us no room to hope for cessation or for pause.

It has recently obtained control of the Government, by the prosecution of its unhallowed schemes, and destroyed the last expectation of living together in friendship and brotherhood.

Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property. For far less cause than this, our fathers separated from the Crown of England.

Our decision is made. We follow their footsteps. We embrace the alternative of separation; and for the reasons here stated, we resolve to maintain our rights with the full consciousness of the justice of our course, and the undoubting belief of our ability to maintain it.

Previous Comments

ID
172218
Comment

The Public Eye is all about making documents available to the public, so here's a golden oldie. We have wanted to post this one for some time, simply to demonstrate how ridiculous it is to say that the Civil War wasn't really about slavery. Mississippi's legislators certainly thought it was. Some highlights to that end: "Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery." Then there is this bit of absurd pseudo-science: "These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization." But my favorite is this: "We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property." To translate into modern language: "The Unio's trying to steal $4 billion of our property! Never mind that these are people we're talking about." But of course, everyone knows that the Civil War was really about Northern financial interests seeking unfettered access to Southern and Western markets, right? Not slavery. No, not slavery at all.

Author
Brian Johnson
Date
2006-05-07T14:44:49-06:00
ID
172219
Comment

Yep, and the institution of slavery—and building wealth by using other human beings for free labor—has nothing whatsoever to do with what wealth and opportunity have been passed down and inherited through the ages, eh? I find it remarkable, just remarkable when someone makes a dumbass statement that the Civil War wasn't about slavery. As Brian points out, just read the Articles of Secession. And it feels really dumb to even have to point this out. But, hey. That statement is about as smart as the screech-radio meme of "well, you know black people are better off in this country now because of slavery because it got them away from the savagery of Africa." (You know, the statement in that column Wyatt Emmerich awarded $100 for a while back.) A. Savagery?!? You help people escape "savagery" by packing them into ships, beating them, killing them, selling them, etc. B. What moron thinks that Africa would be the same place today, and certainly certain African countries, without the interference of invading nations and the friggin' slave trade. Some of these folks don't deserve a high school diploma because on this bad education. Does this mean we obsess every day about slavery? Hell, no. We deal with what's on our plate. But that also cannot mean that we revise history to make white guys more comfortable. Screw comfort. Living free is not about being uncomfortable. It's about fighting to ensure equality and freedom and the same opportunities for everyone.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-05-07T16:38:08-06:00
ID
172220
Comment

Growing up in California, we learned that the civil war was about slavery. Period. I recall being taught that the North fought to free the slaves, but the South needed extremely cheap labor for cotton. [California teaching -- at least in the 1970s and 1980s -- was very ego-centric; we spent most of our time learning about the greatness of our own state.] When I moved to the South (1993), one of the first things I was told was that the Civil War wasn't really about slavery, it was about "states rights, and the right of individual states to make decisions about their own governance. I asked what the state rights issues were. It was quite for a while, and then someone said, "Slavery." That was the end of that discussion. While I have learned more about the Civil War since moving here, I have yet to learn anything that made my simplistic California lesson seem incorrect (expect that not everyone fighting for the North was actually worried about slaves' lives -- although I had figured that out on my own!). You are right that this isn't an issue we need to discuss daily, but it cannot be forgotten -- or worse, ignored -- either.

Author
Newt
Date
2006-05-07T20:26:07-06:00
ID
172221
Comment

"These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization." Philip: Pseudo-science is right! With a little research, they could have discovered that Australia is just as much "verging on the tropics" as Mississippi - with the northern half of the country being outright IN the tropics. Yet, white Australians seemed to do fine on their farms in the 1860s. So much for the notion that whites can't survive the subtropical sun.

Author
Philip
Date
2006-05-07T22:27:48-06:00
ID
172222
Comment

Yet, white Australians seemed to do fine on their farms in the 1860s. So much for the notion that whites can't survive the subtropical sun. Don't think aussies are in the clear, being called an ABO down there is the same as the N word up here. Cultures clash and they really don't like one another in most instances.

Author
*SuperStar*
Date
2006-05-08T09:59:53-06:00
ID
172223
Comment

Yes, despite the claims of our secessionist legislators, white people can survive in Mississippi, even if they get off their butts and work. Who did they think they were kidding?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-05-08T10:21:53-06:00
ID
172224
Comment

Slavery is a world system not just a white one. White are just the masters oft it at this particular point "In Time". But all ethnicities enjoyed the spoils of slavery since the beginning of civilized thinking thru war. ....so every war has something to do with or leading up to some form of slavery, physical or mental.

Author
JSU
Date
2006-05-08T10:45:59-06:00
ID
172225
Comment

Living free is not about being uncomfortable. In contrast, Living Free will indeed bring about comfort in your life whether you accept it or not.

Author
JSU
Date
2006-05-08T10:57:57-06:00
ID
172226
Comment

I believe slavery was a cause of the Civil War, but not The cause. The underlying cause was indeed states rights as the institution of slavery would have died out. The percentage of whites that owned slaves wasn't all the high and I belive the institution would have died out on it's own. State rights was a big cause of the war and no one can historically deny that fact. The southern states were being pushed around by the northern states. The southern states wanted a small fed goverment where the states could make a majority of thier own laws with limited oversight from the feds. The north wanted a big federal goverment. The northern states used their wealth and population advatage and imposed their ideas on the south. By the north winning it ensured that this cournty would always and forever have a big federal goverment. While it may be good the country stayed united as one it was a bad thing that states rights took a beatin. So in my opinion to stay the Civil War was just about slavery would be an incorrect statement.

Author
nyview
Date
2006-05-08T11:41:10-06:00
ID
172227
Comment

nyview writes: I believe slavery was a cause of the Civil War, but not The cause. Slavery was behind the secession and the Confederacy, and therefore the root cause of the war. It wasn't the reason most Confederate soldiers fought, nor was it the reason the North declared war (which was all about preserving the Union until Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in late 1862), but it was the root cause of the war. Let me make this as simple as I can: The South seceded because Abraham Lincoln was elected president and refused to expand slavery into the Western territories, leaving Southern slaveowners concerned about the effects this might have on their slave trade proposals. He had no intention of abolishing slavery in the South, and he repeatedly said so, but just electing an anti-slavery president was enough to bring about the Confederacy. State rights was a big cause of the war and no one can historically deny that fact. The southern states were being pushed around by the northern states. The southern states wanted a small fed goverment where the states could make a majority of thier own laws with limited oversight from the feds. Hogwash. You've got a copy of the Mississippi secession document sitting right in front of you saying that the state's right issue in question was slavery; South Carolina's looks the same. Although most Southerners could not afford slaves, Southern legislatures were dominated by slaveowners. And the institution of slavery, whether it might eventually die out or not--and if you read the slavery apologetics documents of the time (which you obviously haven't done), you'll find that most apologists considered it the natural order of things and expected it to last forever--was essential to the slaveowners' livelihood. The north wanted a big federal goverment. Again, hogwash. The North imposed a "big federal government" during Reconstruction to (a) rebuild the Southern infrastructure after the war, and (b) enforce equal rights because Southern states refused to honor the spirit of the Emancipation Proclamation and Thirteenth Amendment, necessitating the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-05-08T14:47:23-06:00
ID
172228
Comment

I'm sorry TH, but I believe your statements are inaccurate. You must have studied history from the revisionist history books. States rights was a major cause of the civil war and an affect of the north winning is today's big federal goverment. That's just how it is. Look, I'm from upstate NY and I've come to learn a lot of things I was told growing up about the south just aren't true. I've found in the 10 years I've been here that a lot of the sterotying that northerners put on the south is just not the truth.

Author
nyview
Date
2006-05-08T14:55:28-06:00
ID
172229
Comment

nyview, please read Mississippi's Articles of Secession. Yes, "state's rights" were involved—largly "state's rights" to own and sell slaves, and to tell other states whether they could or not. Because, you know, the only states that has rights are the ones with slaves. You really cannot revise history here, as much as you might want. Just read the words again: Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-

Author
ladd
Date
2006-05-08T15:00:34-06:00
ID
172230
Comment

nyview writes: I'm sorry TH, but I believe your statements are inaccurate. You must have studied history from the revisionist history books. Studied from books, then wrote a few. Google my name on Amazon, son. States rights was a major cause of the civil war and an affect of the north winning is today's big federal goverment. If by "state's rights" you mean slavery (Confederate legislators certainly did!), then this sentence would technically be correct, however little it might have to do with your original argument that slavery was not the primary cause of the war. That's just how it is. Sorry, but it ain't. Southern legislators really were nasty buggers. The Civil War really was a massive, expensive, unspeakably violent waste. Read a few more of those so-called revisionist history books and you'll find yourself confronted with that very uncomfortable truth. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-05-08T15:02:52-06:00
ID
172231
Comment

American Civil War = Fought over The States Right to Own Slaves Saying the the Civil War was not about slavery is like saying, sweatshops are not about cheap labor. You can dilute the stance as to what the issue really was but it was definitely about Sourtherners right to own slaves. How can some even make the comparison of States Rights and actual Human Slavery anyway? As if Slavery wasn't an abomination in itself I guess it would have been argued as God Sanctioned Slavery if the State had it's way huh???? The Good Ol "State" Has to be the reminisce of that very very SICK 10 to 30 percent of the American Populace that is the ire of my rants these days.

Author
JAC
Date
2006-05-08T15:41:57-06:00
ID
172232
Comment

I'm not trying to revise history, but carry on as you wish.

Author
nyview
Date
2006-05-08T15:55:05-06:00
ID
172233
Comment

do I really need to repost these comments? "Slavery is a world system not just a white one. White are just the masters oft it at this particular point "In Time". But all ethnicities enjoyed the spoils of slavery since the beginning of civilized thinking thru war." ."...so every war has something to do with or leading up to some form of slavery, physical or mental." some of you are real selective about American history.

Author
JSU
Date
2006-05-08T16:14:39-06:00
ID
172234
Comment

JSU, slavery in this context means chattel slavery--but point taken. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-05-08T16:36:53-06:00
ID
172235
Comment

I know that nyview has since been banned from this site, but I do want to correct one particularly ignorant thing he wrote, because it is a very common misperception. He wrote: "The percentage of whites that owned slaves wasn't all the [sic] high and I belive the institution would have died out on it's own." Wrong. According to the 1860 census, close to 50 percent of white Mississippians owned slaves. JSU, don't repost your comments. People ignored them because they were incoherent. You are right when you claim that slavery has a long and widespread history. One thinks of the hundreds of thousands of slaves Julius Caesar sent home from the Gallic Wars. However, it is patently false to claim that "all ethnicities" have "enjoyed the spoils of slavery" since the beginning of "civilization." Many have, some have not. It is even worse to say that all wars involve "some sort of slavery, physical or mental." The only way you can make this true is by expanding the definition of slavery to such an extent that it's meaningless. How does the Iraq War involve slavery? Oh, it must be "mental" slavery. May I submit that "mental" slavery and "physical" slavery share little in common? That the very term "mental slavery" is ... er, pointless? That it trivializes real slavery? So "some" of us are "real selective" about American history because we are blogging about actual, literal slavery instead of your high-fallutin', entirely empty history lesson? Do explain.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-05-10T13:51:34-06:00
ID
172236
Comment

to further explore, how does one become a mental slave? rational thought and reasoning make us human, no "master" can take that away can they? I'm curious to know how that process plays out.

Author
*SuperStar*
Date
2006-05-10T14:19:14-06:00
ID
172237
Comment

I will disagree some on this one. Only an idiot would say it was not about slavery. Slavery was probably the leading issue. However, it was not the only major reason. The South opposed a strong centralized government. Its stance was a decentralized one which ironically doomed it in fighting a war. The population swings towards the north were probably the major reason for the war. the North heavily outnumbered the South in Congress to the point where it could now impose its will on the South. What you were seeing was Plato's cycle replayed. The commercial class versus the agricultural class. Same thing destroyed the Roman Republic. Same thing destroyed Athens when the oligarchs betrayed Athens to Sparta. North was not JUST abolishing slavery, it was also going to jack up the tariffs. That would have bankrupted the South as well.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-25T12:30:19-06:00
ID
172238
Comment

After the war the tariffs were jacked up and the North pursued very punitive policies that wered esigned to keep the South poor, not just the whites but the blacks as well (example, check the rr freight rates from steel to NO from Birmingham versus from the North until WWII). Not many Southerners owned slaves. however, Tarriffs also affected EVERYONE as most finished goods were bought from Europe. Same arguements you hear about NAFTA. Tarriffs were the reason for Calhoun's and others stands on states rights. Keep in mind that there were alot of people that fought not because they believed in slavery but their homeland was also invaded as they saw it. Everyone at that time saw themselves more as Texans or New Yorkers, not Americans. No different than in 200 BC everyone seeing themselve as a Roman, Samnite, or Etruscan compared to 100 AD where everone in central Italy was considered a Roman. Good interesting book to read is Lost Cause by Pollard. Written by editor of Richmond Examiner during the war as it occurred. Not a whitewash, he slams both Lincoln and Davis and all the hotheads. However, it is good contemporary reading for the time by someone who was a decent writer. I personally think within 20-30 years slavery was gone away although they couldn't see it back then. Wilbeforce's crusade was bearing fruition and the moral pendulum was swinging against slavery (an institution which was nothing like Roman slavery). Technology would've made it obsolete soon. And at some point Europe would've gotten cheaper cotten from Egypt, India etc. which would've changed the Southern economy anyway. What the neo Confederates forget is that if the war had not occurred, you would've had a very large, undeducated class of people. PERFECT for Lenin type or a Marxist which is EXACTLY what happened in Russia and China. To recap, it was not just about slavery. I'd say the top three reasons were population shifts, slavery, tariffs. I also have an interesting article I can fax from 1961 us news and world report on the effects of the civil war for the next 60 years on the country. very interesting.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-25T12:32:05-06:00
ID
172239
Comment

Damn, you know, I had not thought of that before. Did the Civil War, bloody as it was, forestall a later "revolution" occuring where Marxism or its various forms would've led to an even bloodier civil war as a large undeducated group would've been inflamed by demagogues and revolutionaries like lenin who saw war as a way to gain power? Did the Civil War keep that from happening?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-25T12:36:15-06:00
ID
172240
Comment

it was about slavery...... the whole issue of admitting this state or that state as a free state or a slave state meant that there would be equal representation....more free states would have probably meant that a bill or amendment could have been introduced that would outlaw Slavery. So best to secceed before that happened.....I mean that's how I have always understood it. But "TH" is right....a waste of American Men and Youth and those hothead "Fire Eaters" they called them brought this calamity down on themselves. What i think evryone gets all freaky about is that the Civil War was indeed about Slavery but it wasn't about Blacks......those little dudes were incidental to the issue. The minute those "emancipatin" Northerners found out they were fightin to free the blacks that's when the race riots broke out in New York,,,Baltimore, Boston, Chicago......and alot of innocent "by standing" free blacks responsible hard working American blacks were grabbed and lynched. One case in front of his little daughter from a lamp post..... The abolitionist Societies made up about 2 per cent of the northern cause and they were looked on as extremists for the most part same as Focus on the Family is today. Republican radicals in 1867 grabbed the government and pushed through a radical kick um while they are down get the ex Confeds agenda and turned reconstruction into the seeds of Jim Crow....as a result.....the American Black was only lifted up from the legacy of Slavery in the 1960's a century after the fact.

Author
ATLExile
Date
2006-09-25T13:07:09-06:00
ID
172241
Comment

The South opposed a strong centralized government. Right. Until it was going to be centered in Richmond—and protect the beloved institution of slavery. Of course, the Civil War was about slavery—and the economic, government and social apparatus that supported it. Just like now—we've got all these, er, anti-federal government types in Washington, and what are they doing? Trying to tell states and locals what to do. Centralized is just fine, as long as what's centralized it's your own ideas. History has proved that fact.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-25T13:13:44-06:00
ID
172242
Comment

ATl, I never said it wasn't. In fact I'll say its the main reason. I just stated that there were larger forces at play here like the population. If South had outnumbered North 2-1 would there have been one over slavery started by the SOuth? Probably not. And like I said about Plato's cycle, that conflict was coming. Had started with tarriffs, then slavery. Tarriffs were still a major issue, don't think they weren't. But if slavery had been resolved, it would have happened on something else in the future. THey were just too different in their ways of th inking.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-25T13:15:28-06:00
ID
172243
Comment

There was no "larger" force at play then than slavery, Kingfish.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-25T13:16:22-06:00
ID
172244
Comment

don't even t hink of writing I said it wasn't about slavery Ms. Ladd. Read the confederate consititution, it was much more decentralized than the US COnsitution. Was closer to the articles of confederation. Why don't you post THAT on here as well?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-25T13:16:40-06:00
ID
172245
Comment

I didn't, Kingfish. I'm challenging the stuff you shrouded it in—which are common arguments used by slavery apologists (not saying you're one, but that you're repeating the arguments). And you're welcome to post links to bolster your statements. You know that. There's a great book on this topic (the myth of "state's rights" during that time). I'll need to dig up the title for you.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-25T13:18:33-06:00
ID
172246
Comment

What myths did I repeat? The South was heavily outnumbered by the North in terms of population? That is a myth? Last I checked that was the case in 1860. The North's economy was more commercial/industrial in nature, ,the Souths agricultural? That was a myth? So I used the cycle of governments as outlined by Plato and said that the Civil War was a conflict between the Industrial North and Agricultural South? A theme that played out in Rome and Greece and other revolutions/civil wars? That in no way says that Slavery was not the major cause. I'm saying they were going to come to a conflict of sorts at some point. Slavery was the catalyst. It was the issue that inflamed both sides. However, when I say tarriffs, it had been a bone of contention between the two sides for decades. A major bone of contention at that. Calhoun, Clay, et al all fought vehemently against tarriffs and it was tarriffs that led Calhoun and others to first speak of secession. tarriffs are an underestimated issue and a reading of some of the writings back then will show there was a huge controversy over tarriffs themselves in addition to slavery although slavery was the major cause. And in terms of the Confederacy, it was much more decentralized. Davis had much less power than Lincoln. Thats not a myth. That is a fact. The irony is that of all the situations a country faces, war is the one that usually calls for a more centralized government.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-25T13:53:25-06:00
ID
172247
Comment

Also Kingfish the Great Compromisers were all dead...Henry Clay and his group and all that was left inthe congress were the folks they compromized for. The hotheads......so sicnce the inceptionof the Republic there had been giver and take mostly give and then the rope ran out....we can all look back and say what if but the reality was..them was fightin times. I think it was inevitable that the two brothers just came out swingin......the south surrendered because they knew they were whipped and squarely so.....they gage it all they had and that is why the peace was held. The problem was the way reconstrucion and the enfranchisment of the ex slaves the American Black was carried out. Just as the Treaty of VErsalies laisd the ground wok for WWII and the Nazis so Reconstrucion laid the ground work for Jim Crow and the atrocities of the century proceeding the Civil Righs movement. Maybe I have simplified this but I think it's there. And I think Ladd is right in there with the slavery institution. But it had to be sacrasanct as it was the back bone of the whole society and industrial agrarian complex. It was too big and too late to reform any other way but a fist fight.

Author
ATLExile
Date
2006-09-25T13:57:41-06:00
ID
172248
Comment

However, I am not shrouding anything, just looking at the larger, more historical picture. In Rome, the farmers held the Senate and held that power jealously. The knights in the assemblies challenged their power. the Optimates and Populaires. Caesar, Marius, Gracchi, Cinna, represented the Populaires, Sulla, Cato, Brutus, etc represented the Optimates (farmers). They naturally engaged in civil wars, this time being two different ideas of who should rule Rome and how it should be governed, that destroyed the Republic. Same thing in Athens. The business minded Oligarchs fought the more democratic and landed farmers and sold them out to the spartans to end the pelopynessian war. French Revolution: Landed aristicracry versus the business class, which it looked down upon started the whole thing. we were no different. Slavery was the focal point of the sword upon which the Republic balanced but it was the same battle: commercial class versus business class. that is NOT whitewashing slavery. Just pointing out the inherant conflict which manifested itself in centalized v. less centralized government, slavery, tariffs etc.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-25T13:58:49-06:00
ID
172249
Comment

ATl, email me a fax number and I have a great article I'll fax you from 1961 copy of Us News and World report. Very fascinating reading. also talks about how the north inflamed tensions between the races after the war in the South to keep themselves in power.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-25T14:00:35-06:00
ID
172250
Comment

also sorry about all the mis-spellings Yes I can spell Versailles......it was "compromise" I was hung up on.......but I'm not very good at that anyway.....getting better though.....

Author
ATLExile
Date
2006-09-25T14:04:14-06:00
ID
172251
Comment

interestingly enough I listened to a very well informed historian interviewed on a Black History Program that gave a very in depth talk about the re-emergence of the old Slavery system under Share Cropping. Once the Planters were pardoned by Johnson in those months while the Congress was in recesss prior to fall 1866 sesion, the Wall Street banks stepped in and underwrote the share cropper system and saved the largest concerns (maybe I'm simplifying what she said but in a nut shell). Meaning the Fisks, Goulds, and Vanderbilts extended secure loans and got the Plantations up and running again. Of course guess who did the running. Yes the former slaves. They were the back bone before and they were the back bone after. I maen the biggest Plantation owners were bowed but not beaten and most had extensive contacts in the Northern banking centers. The problem being that cotton prices slumped as they Brits and French had found new markets for growing it in Egypt, Brazil, India and Africa.

Author
ATLExile
Date
2006-09-25T16:27:16-06:00
ID
172252
Comment

Read Origins of the New South. Not really. not really the case at all. alot of the former plantation owners were in the same boat as the slaves. Like I said, you should read this article. Some very interesting facts in it.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-25T16:30:21-06:00
ID
172253
Comment

As if we needed the North to inflame tensions, what with people's children being sold out from under them and Nathan Bedford Forrest handing out bedsheets. But why miss an opportunity to scapegoat rather than accept full responsibility for the crap that went on this region, stop apologizing for it and make up for its results so we can all move forward *together*? Rather reminds me of The Clarion-Ledger of old reporting that Beckwith was a California man when he was first arrested (born there and lived there a few months, I believe). Folks (or at least to my fellow southerners), we cannot pass the buck for anything that happened here to another region. There are northerners who behaved badly, but slavery, Jim Crow and the legacy of both are our problems and our history to deal with, repair, atone for and make sure never happens again. We own it. Trying to pass the buck is not going to help a damn thing. Southerners are the ones who are hurt every time "we" do that. Just say no.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-25T16:35:28-06:00
ID
172254
Comment

alot of the former plantation owners were in the same boat as the slaves. Kingfish, you have got to read a bit more widely. It's fine to read the apologist stuff, dude, but don't be swept up so easily. There is nothing that can be said that abdicate's the south's respnsibility for Jim Crow and slavery. Nothing. You just showed your hand. You cannot possibily be equating the position of the plantation owners and the slaves (and I'm matching your generalities here with my own, being that you seem to be trying to generalize away a good chunk of responsibility from the South). This line of reasoning doesn't work.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-25T16:38:27-06:00
ID
172255
Comment

Origins of the New South is not apologist stuff. It was a highly acclaimed book. News flash Ms. Ladd: when an army comes through and burns everything in sight and takes all valuables goods, horses etc, everyone is generally destititute. Plantation Owners, slaves, everyone. In case you never noticed, the South SINCE the civil war has been the poorest region of the country. Think war being fought on your own soil has anything to do with that? Look how long it took Spain to recover from its bloody civil war. I haven't generalized away any responsiblity from the South. Only thing I said was after the war everyone was pretty much broke. Things didn't really beging to change til FDR came down here and was shocked at the poverty among whites and blacks. And no where at all have I indicated that slavery was not the main reason for the war. I said there were other reasons and also other forces at play. If you'd read some Plato and then read a decent amount of history such as Greece, Rome, France, Englad, etc and how their civil wars came about due to class warfare as defined by Plato you would not have thought I was apologizing for the South or dismissing slavery as the major cause.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-25T16:48:33-06:00
ID
172256
Comment

Kingfish, I know *that* part of our history, too, just as well as you do. I have written many times about the "Afghanistanism" of the northern press when it comes to their own racism vs. ours. Everyone. does. it. That does not, however, mean that any of that excuses what happened right here, and who benefitted from it. Of course, there were plantation owners who were screwed after the Civil War. Of course there were. They had built fortunes on the backs of black people that they owned, and then it was taken away. The biggest problem here is that you are generalizing about "the north," seemingly to somehow take some of the heat off the South. As in these statements of yours from above: also talks about how the north inflamed tensions between the races after the war in the South to keep themselves in power. Now, as for Woodward. I know he is respected. The problem here isn't him; it's your selective reading of his work. Without that book in front of me, I am going out on a limb and guessing that you have taken this statement of yours out of context: alot of the former plantation owners were in the same boat as the slaves. "Same boat"? Really? Did they know where all their family members were? Did some of them have some sort of family ties to help them start over? Did some of them still rest on the mantle of white supremacy to believe they could put their fist in the air and start over because they were, supposedly, "superior" to people they owned and sold? Did a few of them, perhaps, enact Jim Crow in order to regain what it was they lost? Now, I've said many times that racism is a tragedy to racists and their children; it is horrifying to be taught to hate and to make excuses for hatred. However, in no frackin' way does that mean that the plantation owners were in the boat as the slaves!?! That's a ridiculous, horrifying statement and shows a real void in your understanding of our shared history. If you don't know how offensive such a statement is—not just to blacks, but to those who refuse to apologize for our history—then I quit.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-25T17:02:04-06:00
ID
172257
Comment

Also, Kingfish, don't tell me to go read Plato to justify what you're saying. Your words are your responsibility. And I hate to tell you this, but I've read a sentence or two uttered by Plato myself along the dirt road less travelled. As my mama always like to say, don't pick a fight you can't win. I'm out.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-25T17:04:57-06:00
ID
172258
Comment

I was speaking in terms of economics when I said in the same boat. Before you had rich man poor man afterwards everyone was poor. I mean, if you are now free but have nothing, and you were a slaveowner but you lost your home, regardless of how it was built, you have no livestock to farm with etc, an dou have nothing, I would say in terms of economics, you're all in the same boat. When I say the North what I mean is for the next 40 or so years after the war, the South was prevented to some degree from making a recovery. Woodward covers this some what. This article I quote discloses some interesting facts and I'll be sending you a copy this week. For example, Northerners came up and scooped up timberlands for pennies on the dollar, oilfields for dirt cheap prices and took advantage of the poverty to pillage the natural resources. They fixed the freight rates so that in New Orleans it was cheaper to have steel shipped from Penn. than it was from Birmingham. this prevented the Steel industry in the South from developing. Similar industries were strangled as well. guess what? this affects both blacks and whites at the time and kept the whole region poor for longer than it should've been. Am I proud of the history of what the politicians did back then? Hell no. Any fool should know that without me having to post that on here. However, I think the treatment of the South after the war, and I am NOT talking nec. about reconstruction, pretty bad. And when you talk about suffering, keep in mind how many whites who died who didn't own slaves, or women and children who grew up without fathers, husbands etc that had no say so in how the war was conducted or in its even being fought in the first place. Its not like the average white guy had any say so in the politics of the time. Too often he was shut out as well.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-25T17:11:52-06:00
ID
172259
Comment

I figured you've read Plato. However, I was referring to the rest of history.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-25T17:12:48-06:00
ID
172260
Comment

Of course, reconstruction was bad, one could even argue karmic if one believes that direction. (There are biblical warnings that apply as well.) But it in no way compares to the horribleness of the institution of slavery and then the south's revenge in the form of Jim Crow. The problem here is the weight you're placing. This is where lingering racism and/or ignorance often gets in the way. You can admit that slavery may have been the cause of the Civil War (good for you; that's more than many apologists will do), but then you feel the need to add that reconstruction was just as bad. Then you say everyone ended up in the same proverbial boat: I mean, if you are now free but have nothing, and you were a slaveowner but you lost your home, regardless of how it was built, you have no livestock to farm with etc, an dou have nothing, I would say in terms of economics, you're all in the same boat. OK, freeze frame. You should spend some time in this space. Really, truly think about whether you think that statement is true. This is a good exercise for today's world as well—a world in which many tell us that it doesn't matter how/why the inner cities and horrible black-on-(mostly)black violence came to be. It's about "moral poverty," they say, pointing to the black families who aren't doing their jobs. But do you think it frackin' started there? Likewise, do you think that the forces that would shape the legacy of the slave-holding south started at the point that the damned Yankees instituted harsh Reconstruction policies? Do you really think at that point that, suddenly, lo and behold, blacks and whites were equal in the South? They would have the same opportunities moving forward? They were all in the same sinking boat? If that was the case, just how was it that white southerners—including some of those plantation owners, left with nothing—figured out a way to institute harsh black codes and Jim Crow laws that would return blacks to a surrogate slavery state for decades to come, crippling their ability to be educated and learn to build wealth?

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-25T17:28:50-06:00
ID
172261
Comment

Obviously, Kingfish, slavery-Jim Crow-white flight-red-lining-and-so-on were bad for us all. These habits of racism (note the -ism part) have hurt us all, leaving us with several poverty, crime and distrust of others. We can acknowledge that poor whites in the south were hurt by the Civil War, too, while not trying to equate the losses that blacks and whites suffering. If we do that, and declare that everything is now equal (or, through your argument, presumably was during Reconstruction), then we are setback in our ability to cure the legacy of slavery. And that's what this is really about. For all of us. Thus my passion: I'm looking back to look forward. (As for your last line—now you're saying I've read Plato, but know nothing of "the rest of history"? You're digging your own grave here, Kingtrout. )

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-25T17:29:34-06:00
ID
172262
Comment

... meant *severe* poverty ... too lazy to go edit ...

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-25T17:30:56-06:00
ID
172263
Comment

One more pass, Kingfish, and I'm done. My point is that the Civil War, slavery, Jim Crow, etc., are tragic, and their legacy still affects us every day. All of us. We can feel the pain of Jackson being burned by Sherman et al three times, and still not try to equalize the positions of blacks and whites here after the Civil War. That kind of faulty logic does not help us develop a higher understanding that will, some day, help us shake this legacy and cure the problems that linger. Such false equalization makes a very painful, shameful history easier to swallow for white folks, but it does nothing to move us forward. It is good that you understand that the Civil War was about slavery. It was. Mississippi's Articles of Secession prove it. But what is needed now is a full toolbox to deal with the legacy of slavery, which is a direct cause of the conditions that hold us back today. (And an unapologetic read of our history proves that.) Of course, examining the past won't alone solve our problems, but neither will blaming black families (which have been ripped apart in this state for centuries now); or elected tough-on-crime officials; or improving the education system; or creating jobs; or, or. It takes *all* of these things. And we won't get there if we try to whitewash history to make it sound like blacks and whites were in the same place after the Civil War ended.That sets us off on the wrong track—and, frankly, leads to a lot of the faulty thinking that holds us back today. I'm not saying that is all your motive to do—I can tell that it is not. But this is one of those places where asking ourselves if we are purposefully trying NOT to be racist is more useful than asking ourselves if we are being racist, as I talked about on the George Allen thread. OK, I'm officially out of words. Later.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-25T18:01:25-06:00
ID
172264
Comment

Tom Head said: Studied from books, then wrote a few. Google my name on Amazon, son. I just did, and all I came up with were things like Tom and Jerry Bobbleheads! 8-) Share some titles, Tom! When I was in grade school, the War between the States was all about slavery. By the time I reached junior high, it had changed to states rights and Northern aggression. No wonder that I've always been confused about it. Thanks for the history lesson everyone!

Author
Rico
Date
2006-09-25T18:57:51-06:00
ID
172265
Comment

It's pretty telling that it became *more* apologist as time went by for you, Rico. That's kind of what I'm talking about—that we get further and further away from the truth the more we think it's all "behind us." "Tom and Jerry Bobbleheads"? I personally am going to start calling him Tom Bobblehead. Cheers.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-25T19:22:21-06:00
ID
172266
Comment

If Germany could confront its own even-more-recent past, then why Southerners do the same for something (arguably) less "severe"? I myself have come to terms with the pain that slavery undoubtedly caused Blacks. Ditto for the pain Jim Crow caused them. (well, I think I have, but always congnizant that there may be still some 'hidden bias' on my part). People are People. I freely acknowledge the injustices, but I don't dwell on them, and (MOST IMPORTANTLY) try to reach out to those "not like me". It seems that ALL these elements MUST be present in a person for true integration to have even a fighting chance.

Author
Philip
Date
2006-09-25T22:18:47-06:00
ID
172267
Comment

This is a topic I could argue if I had more time and interest. Suffice it to say that's it's pointless to wage war over why the Civil War happened. It ended in 1865, the occupation in 1871, with the actual reasons for the war starting ending slowly until 1964, when the government made it official. I'd rather make sure the future is better.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-09-25T23:03:40-06:00
ID
172268
Comment

Ironghost writes: Suffice it to say that's it's pointless to wage war over why the Civil War happened. It might be less urgent when we don't have the stars n' bars on our state flag, buildings and landmarks named after Confederate generals, and so forth--but until then, we need to take a hard look at these truths. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-25T23:18:53-06:00
ID
172269
Comment

[quote] It might be less urgent when we don't have the stars n' bars on our state flag[/quote] Which people voted on there. While we can dissect those stats again, it shows people either haven't gotten the liberal angst message or don't honestly care across a large section of the state. :) I prefer earlier flags, and not celebrating a war we lost.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-09-26T07:17:14-06:00
ID
172270
Comment

Kingfish, saying that former slaves and former plantation owners were in the same boat after the Civil War, because they were all "poor" is nonsensical. A background of wealth, of access to power, of understanding and participating in the political system, access to money, a background of education - these all create vast differences in situation. To say that there was "equality" after the Civil War, or even, Ironghost, after 1964, is like saying that women automatically had equal rights, equal access to education and equal access to power after they were granted the right to vote less than a century ago. It shows, at the very least, a *huge* failure of imagination on someone's part.

Author
kate
Date
2006-09-26T08:51:55-06:00
ID
172271
Comment

Thank you Kate for straigtening out this lie about blacks and whites being in the same or nearly the same boat after the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement. No knowing or honest person could believe that. The world is still full of white people trying to spin the truth. Ths is a perfect illustration of why blacks often have to research, study, learn, and tell our own history or past. This comment in no way denigrate the contributions of many whites, especially white women, for having the courage and moral integrity to learn and tell the truth. I agree that many whites were left with few or no material assets after the civil war, and things were much better for blacks after the civil rights movement.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-26T09:42:17-06:00
ID
172272
Comment

Thanks, Ray. But really, I was just reiterating what Donna posted yesterday. Also trying to figure out Kingfish. On the one hand, he thinks it's 'racist' to ask a politician about their ethnic heritage. On the other, former slaves and former plantation owners were all "in the same boat" at the close of the Civil War. I'm reminded of the way that Steven Colbert "doesn't see race". And, I can't think about the Civil War without remembering the first Chappelle Show that I watched, that has the skit where he goes back in time and shoots the slave master. Which was freakin' hilarious. I still want Chappelle to come to town and start doing some skits based on Melton. Or, maybe we can get D'Ali G to come back to town and interview him.

Author
kate
Date
2006-09-26T10:06:58-06:00
ID
172273
Comment

Ironghost, it's not a question of why the Civil War was fought. It's a question of whether we are honestly facing our history. If we are honestly facing our history, then we do not understand why, say, black men are in such a difficult place, packed into prisons in disproportionate numbers, black families are struggling to stay together, inner cities are crumbling, and public schools are under siege (to name a few). If we don't understand our past, distant and recent, then we refuse to recognize what we have to do in order to truly equalize things. You don't declare equality, and that's the end of it. Anyone who, well, faces and undertands history knows that. You can't go forward without studying and learning from the past. Interestingly, that's one of the biggest lessons of studying history. Thus, the Mississippi riddle I like to speak up: you move forward by looking toward the past and then back forward again. It's not either-or, and until we realize that, we will be stuck in a certain place, constantly pointing fingers at each other.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-26T11:32:56-06:00
ID
172274
Comment

Nice to see that what I say is misconstrued. let me see, army comes through, burns down everything in sight. war is over, no one has anything. Seems pretty clear cut to me. South was poorest part of country and still is. Freed slaves had nothing really. And except for a few rich whites who had somehow escaped the fortunes of the war to some degree, the whites were pretty bad off too. That is simply all I said from an economic point of few. I'm not talking about education, family ties etc. people forget that there was not much of a middle class. Mainly poor and rich and I have a feeling the poor whites after the war were pretty bad off too, in addition to the freed Black. if that makes me a racist for saying that, well, then go *********. I didn't think it was racist to point out that when war is fought in an area it tends to level everything for the most part. And the Civil war in terms of economics tended to level everything. NOW that may have accented racism. People that are pretty poor like to see themselves as better than someone else too often. Keep in mind, the average white guy was not a plantation owner. If he was a shopkeeper, he had no one really that could afford to buy his goods, if he could now afford to get them (remember the tarriffs? His costs went way up). The average white guy working as a farmer probably couldn't afford to own slaves. Suddenly his crops are destroyed, no horse or livestock. How does he live? Or if he was killed during the war? repeat it over and over. You have alot of destitute whites as well. Its not racist to point it out. Only racist if you make it sound like they are the only ones that suffered and that is clearly not the case. Slavery went on a lot longer than did the war obviously. and Ray, I said NOTHING about the civil rights movement. Don't know where you think I did.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-26T11:42:35-06:00
ID
172275
Comment

let me see, army comes through, burns down everything in sight. war is over, no one has anything. Seems pretty clear cut to me Kingfish, do you value land? Do you value family ties? Do you value being taught from birth that you are free and have rights? I'm sorry, Kingfish. It's really kind of ignorant to say that the field was "leveled" for blacks and whites after the Civil War. It sounds like you really want to believe that, and have probably been told that by people who want to believe that—but I urge you to challenge yourself harder on this one. This particular belief isn't going to serve you or the community as a whole.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-26T11:47:01-06:00
ID
172276
Comment

Duh, Ms. Ladd. I'm speaking purely in terms of economics. Only a fool would state that the other things you mention are not important. and I have repeatedly said in terms of economics. I am well aware of such nice little concepts of family ties, liberty, freedom, education, etc but was not addressing them. They are so obvious I didn't think they needed to be.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-26T11:49:46-06:00
ID
172277
Comment

Also, try to mix up the thoughts here. Of course, it is not racist to point out that whites were poor, too, and the Civil War was bad for everyone. Of course it was. However, it is extremely ignortant to try to say that the Civil War "level(ed) everything" for blacks and whites—whether economicially, culturally, psychologically or socially. It really is OK (and quite freeing, really) to admit that slavery and what it caused was bad for all Americans and much worse for black Americans. I actually don't think you're far from being able to do that—you've just throw up a rationalization that says that, yes, slavery was bad and led to the Civil War—but since then everything has been equal because everyone was poor (which they weren't, but that's another story). Of course it hasn't been level, and it wasn't then. And it certainly wasn't when southern whites turned around and re-instituted a legal form of slavery called Jim Crow, which lasted until the late 1960s and caused many of the problems of today.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-26T11:52:05-06:00
ID
172278
Comment

Duh, Kingfish. In terms of economics, your argument doesn't work, either. I ask you again: Do you understand the economic value of LAND? I mean, even Scarlett had land to start over on. (smile) And, Kingfish, do you understand how side issues like family ties, liberty, freedom, education, etc., affect economics?!? Duh, indeed.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-26T11:54:17-06:00
ID
172279
Comment

Hang in there Kingfish. At least you're talking. Not many honest black folks would deny large-scale southern white poverty after the civil war, or some before then or now. I lived all around white and black poverty growing up in Louisville. I once asked an old black man how the Great Depression affected him and black folks he knew. He stunned me by saying this was a Great Depression for white folks and that blacks lived the great depression at all times back then with very few exceptions.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-26T12:13:28-06:00
ID
172280
Comment

Ray makes a good point. You get major points for even being in this conversation—which most whites will not do, Kingfish. I apologize if I'm been hard on you, but I get so, so frustrated at the denial of white people about the severity of the disparities caused by slavery and its legacy that ends up hurting every one of us. The truth will set us all free.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-26T12:16:24-06:00
ID
172281
Comment

'splain to me please, Kingfish, how an education does NOT count as an economic asset? I don't think even economists define "economics" as tightly as you are trying to define it here. And, Kingfish, if you'd read what people write, you'd see that Ray was referring to my post, and I was referring to Ironghost's post, which referred to 1964. Also, not sure why you think you're being called racist here. I'm not seein' it. No one has said that war is not destructive, and that white people weren't poor. What we're saying, is that to say that whites and blacks were "in the same boat" immediately after the Civil War is naive, at best.

Author
kate
Date
2006-09-26T12:17:23-06:00
ID
172282
Comment

From US News & World Report: April 10, 1961. Here is one myth: South was richer than the North. North: South: States: 23 11 People: 22 mill. 9 mill, including 3.5 million slaves factories: 100K 20K $$ (bank deposits) 189 mill 47 million rr miles: 20K miles 9k miles industri. output/yr: 2.8 mill 0.9 is in value per year manuf. workers: 1.1 mil .111 mill wealth in property: 11 bill. 5.4 billion. sufficeth to say, one myth is that South was richer than North. How many necks have we heard say that? South reflected what you would expect above of an agricultural society versus an industrial one. continued.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-26T13:41:35-06:00
ID
172283
Comment

er, not sure what your point is Kingfish. No one's arguing that the South wasn't rural, or that the north didn't have plenty of economic assets. And, most statistics like these are more impressive if you give the date that they apply to. And, it'd be good to know where US News got the data in the first place.

Author
kate
Date
2006-09-26T13:46:34-06:00
ID
172284
Comment

US news on how things were after the war: Nearly a million whites starved in first year of war. No relief sent. Congress levied a tax on cotton that took 70 million dollars from Southern farmers first three years after the war. (my note: keep in mind that tarriffs were instituted so blacks and whites were hit with a double whammy, tax on cotton and tax on finished goods) Special trains were run from North bringing speculators who plundered. 5.7 million of southern timberland was bought up for as little as 25 cents an acre Cotton was left UNPROTECTED from foreign competition (hello Bush) and northern industrial goods got tariffs. Cotton dropped to 5 cents a lb in1890s. Southern railroads were bought up by northerners. Discriminatory freight rates were introduced until it was impossible for southern industries to compete. This was the case until US SC decision in 1945. Freedmans bureau took in 4 dollars for ever 1 dollar in aid it gave. Carptebaggers built up state debts to the tune of $101 million by 1874. Mississippi's tax rates for example, were 14 times higher at the end than the beginning. continued

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-26T13:52:26-06:00
ID
172285
Comment

Just to point out: Nearly a million whites starved in first year of war. No relief sent. My guess is that there's no statistic on how many blacks starved. Kingfish, no one is disputing that poverty was widespread after the war. You're missing the point.

Author
kate
Date
2006-09-26T13:59:05-06:00
ID
172286
Comment

merely pointing out here how the South, which to me includes blacks and whites, was strangled for decades after the civil war. more: a cottonseed oil firm in North controlled 88 percent production of that product. Entire American supply of bauxite, found in 4 southern states, went to one northern company. Control of 80% of America's sulphur was picked up by another firm. "Southern shippers had to pay higher freight rates than did shippers from the North for sending the same goods equal distances.....The rates held the approval of the ICC. Not until 1945 was this changed. The Southern steel industry, doing a booming business in 1900,was stopped dead in its tracks. ....the rates required payment of price differentials so sharp that that it became cheaper for an industry in n.o. to buy steel from Pittsburgh than it did Birmingham. " "Control of the major Southern railroads, the Alabama coal and iron industries, and many millions of acres of southern timberland was all held by Northern interests.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-26T14:02:12-06:00
ID
172287
Comment

i would agree that that statistic probably was not kept. Probably half a million or more.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-26T14:03:23-06:00
ID
172288
Comment

The point of the article was to point out how we helped Germany and Europe with the Marshall plan and how they recovered with our help. It then took the excuse of the 100th anniversary of the Civil War to compare how we treated Germany to the South and said surprise, there are some good reasons why the South is the poorest region of the country.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-26T14:08:42-06:00
ID
172289
Comment

Kate, I pointed out the economic assets of the South/North before the war not for the debate earlier but for the fact that I have heard it said repeatedly that the South was richer than the North, the South had the money, they wanted it etc. Clearly such was not the case.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-26T14:11:30-06:00
ID
172290
Comment

Kate's right, Kingfish. Your arguments are all over the place. We can clearly stipulate that the South was left devastated by the Civil War. There were some resulting problems in the north as well. So please stop trying to convince us of something we already know to be true. That's like arguing with the wall, and is a waste of energy. What's more interesting here is the idea that blacks and white were left "level" by the war. That's a harmful and naive misperception that doesn't help us deal with slavery's legacy. I do know you would be offended at a suggestion of racism here, which I'm not making, but I don't think that's your motivation. But you ought to back up a few steps and read all your posts taken together and consider how they might sound. You are doing backflip and making all sorts of illogical leaps in order to, seemingly, make it sound like whites were as bad off as blacks after slavery/Civil War. Why do that, when it's clearly not true? When someone makes these kind of arguments, that are based in ignorance and wishful thinking, it is exactly the point where you get accused of being an "apologist" (or worse). Instead of simplly acting defensively, maybe try some self-examination and hard consideration of the arguments you've made and the generalizations you've based on them. There is something to be learned here about why our race dialogue is so bad in this country—and a whole lot of it has to be with white people's shame and desire to never have to face the awful things that our ancestors did to other people. Thus, we choose denial and revisionist arguments about how things were "level" after the Civil War. It's just not good enough, Kingfish. We all owe each other better than that.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-26T14:21:41-06:00
ID
172291
Comment

Also, it's not effective to quote national white media from 1961 (such as U.S. News). It's interesting, but you have to be careful with the arguments. I did a big study in graduate school about how national media failed on covering race issues in the 1960s—starting with The New York Times. Then, of course, the Kerner Commission had done a much more famous study than mine (smile) after the Watts riot that dedicated an entire section to how the mainstream media had failed the country on race issues. So bear that in mind.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-26T14:23:58-06:00
ID
172292
Comment

[quote]To say that there was "equality" after the Civil War, or even, Ironghost, after 1964, is like saying that women automatically had equal rights, equal access to education and equal access to power after they were granted the right to vote less than a century ago.[/quote] I didn't say the government waved a magic wand a *poof* everything was good. We all know that doesn't happen overnight. It only happens at bayonet point. I think the core of my beef with this debate is the idea that somehow, just by virtue of skin color whites have always had it better than blacks. I would say that certain whites possibly had an easier time accessing the proper tools than some whites and most blacks. Poverty can equalize a lot.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-09-26T21:24:37-06:00
ID
172293
Comment

Ironghost, I do think poverty can equalize a lot. But, that's very different from saying that, post- Civil War, former slaves were 'in the same boat' as former plantation owners. Also, I don't think poverty equalizes everything. I think we are progressing, slowly, but to say that society is somehow fundamentally equalized right now just goes against my own experience. It would be great if we were all living in a meritocracy, but we're not. I've been the only women in any number of business situations, and I can tell you without a doubt that there is an abundance of sexism in the workplace, both institutional and personal. One that sticks in my head as a stupid example of stereotyping. On a committee, volunteering to help put on an event. We needed brochures, posters, coffee mugs, etc created. The Chair of the event asked me to do it because "women are always better at that kind of thing." As in, I'm supposed to be better at graphic design because I'm a woman? The hell? I have the design sense of a flea. Now flip that around, and imagine what jobs this guy was not giving to women, because women just "aren't good at" math, negotiation, strategic planning, etc. I can't speak from personal experience about racism, but I can say that I firmly believe that gender and race do make a difference.

Author
kate
Date
2006-09-27T09:15:46-06:00
ID
172294
Comment

One of the things you say is factually wrong, Kingfish, and that's that few whites owned slaves. If I may quote myself: We often hear that only a tiny percentage of whites held slaves, but that was not true of the Deep South. Nearly half of all white Mississippians owned slaves: of 63,015 white households, 30,943 of them held slaves, according to the 1860 census. There were more than 436,000 slaves in Mississippi, or 55 percent of the total population. In Hinds County alone, 1,421 white households held 22,363 slaves, the highest slave-to-master ratio in Mississippi and the ninth highest in the South. Here in Mississippi, both the very rich and the merely comfortable owned slaves. The difference is between owning 100 slaves and only one.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-09-27T11:33:55-06:00
ID
172295
Comment

The citation was from an opinion piece I wrote a while back. I also need to write a few words about the idea of the playing field being leveled between blacks and whites. Of course, this is asanine, but let me give some examples of why. One, sharecropping. There were parts of rural Mississippi where slaves were still held as late as 1870. Even where slaves were emancipated, most were illiterate as a direct consequence of slavery. So they were robbed blind by their white masters--I mean, business partners. Two, convict leasing. After reconstruction, the state Legislature passed laws that made it illegal for blacks to do--well, just about anything. For instance, drinking liquor. Also, stealing a bag of chicken feed--don't know why that example comes to mind--could get a black a sentence of five years or more in state prison. So you have horrible poverty among blacks, who were turned out without any institutional assistance whatsoever, and if they got hungry and took a chicken, they went to prison for five years. White people were never convicted for these crimes. Once the black man or woman was convicted (with dispatch), they were then leased to plantation owners. Virtually none of this leased labor made it through the five years, because the plantation owners had no economic incentive to keep them alive. If a convict died, the owner just got another. Three, highly organized violence by whites against blacks. In Vicksburg, even before Reconstruction ended, a black government was turned out of power by a white militia--I think they called themselves the Redeemers. When the black sheriff tried to resist, the militia gunned him down along with his men. No one was ever punished for this, of course. The list could go on and on. If you want to argue that the North was also racist, you've got no argument from me. Nevertheless, the issue was slavery, if not necessarily the slaves themselves. What I mean is that it was chiefly religious sentiment, i.e. that slavery was an abomination to God, that drove Northern sentiment. That does not mean that Northerners wanted to have anything to do with blacks, as they amply showed after the war. But it deeply offended them that other white people thought it was OK to hold slaves. I don't think there's any way of evading that fact.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-09-27T11:53:09-06:00
ID
172296
Comment

I think the core of my beef with this debate is the idea that somehow, just by virtue of skin color whites have always had it better than blacks. I would say that certain whites possibly had an easier time accessing the proper tools than some whites and most blacks. Poverty can equalize a lot. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redlining Turn the argument on its head. Yes...*certain whites* could do better than *other whites.* But what if black folks were *systematically denied* the opportunity to do better for themselves at all? In other words, we'd have to rephrase what you're saying about to "just by virtue of skin color, blacks have, historically, had it worse than nearly all whites." It's probably fair to say that the most significant wealth-building investment that the typical working or middle-class family makes is real estate. But let's get in the WayBack machine and put ourselves in, say, the 1940s, 50s, 60s or, hell, the 70s. With institutional redlining in this country, living in the wrong part of town and/or with the wrong skin color meant you couldn't get a mortgage. Not a signature loan, not a credit card (again, as we can see here from the portal window of the WayBack machine, credit cards that we know-and-hate these days were in their infancy even in the 1970s), not a student loan...not anything you could, perhaps, work hard enough to save for and overcome through diligence...but a mortgage. You know, the sort of loan that most people couldn't save for 20 years and still cover. That once-in-a-lifetime long-term loan that gets you a roof over your head and the opportunity to pour your rent money into something that, hopefully, would be an appreciating asset.

Author
iTodd
Date
2006-09-27T12:21:06-06:00
ID
172297
Comment

In the modern era, redlining and Jim Crow kept black people (all over the country, but in a more pronounced way in the South) from *building wealth* both individually and within their communities. Without wealth in a household and/or a community, investment and infrastructure suffer, education suffers, making that future brighter for your children suffers. Wealth-building begins for many, many Americans with that mortgage for a home or small business. But what happens when the goverment literally institutionalizes policies that essentially guarantee you can't get that loan, even if you work as hard and manage money as responsibly as someone of a different race who is otherwise in the same economic boat as you are? That's where we are now...we have a disparate distribution in wealth even within the communities right here in Jackson, where, historically, whites have been given access to the Horacio Alger's "bootstraps" while blacks have not. Hopefully, the law since 1977 (the Community Reinvestment Act) has given a new, first generation of middle-class blacks the opportunity to build wealth, which could translate into strong community assets in the future. (As a footnote, it's worth nothing that parts of the CRA of 1977 had few regulatory teeth until the S&L scandal of the late 1980s, when, in 1990, CRA examinations where made public for the first time.)

Author
iTodd
Date
2006-09-27T12:21:27-06:00
ID
172298
Comment

Well said, Todd. If someone says that institutional racism is not the root reason why a disproportionate number of African Americans live in poverty, then one is making a eugenic argument that African Americans are genetically inferior to whites. Period. What I do now differently from what I did five years ago is that I call people on this, rather than letting the matter slide. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-09-27T12:57:20-06:00
ID
172299
Comment

If someone says that institutional racism is not the root reason why a disproportionate number of African Americans live in poverty, then one is making a eugenic argument that African Americans are genetically inferior to whites. Period. So well stated, Tom. What I do now differently from what I did five years ago is that I call people on this, rather than letting the matter slide. Good. We all should call out racism whenever we see it. It's an investment in our future.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-27T14:23:47-06:00
ID
172300
Comment

I'm in the mortgage business. I would LOVE for someone to tell me how discrimination is keeping minorities from getting mortgages.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-27T15:01:25-06:00
ID
172301
Comment

Kingfish, do you read the words on the screen before you post? If you don't understand what "redlining" is and why it still has effects today, go study up. That's how the rest of us learn things.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-27T15:13:52-06:00
ID
172302
Comment

I am familiar with the term. However, I'm not talking about what happened 20 or 30 years ago. I mean in the last ten years. I'd love to know about redlining now.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-27T15:17:07-06:00
ID
172303
Comment

Kingfish: http://www.google.com Check this site out! It's got a little box where you can put in words...like, er, "redlining," and then you click "Search" (it's a another little box, but the kind that you click, not the kind where you type stuff) and then another screen (nerds call them "pages") appears where they have like a long list of all this COOL STUFF that is TOTALLY related to the word that you typed in! Then, the words that are underlined or blue or BOTH are words that you can click with your mouse. Those load MORE PAGES that are often specifically about word that you typed into the Google box (the text one) in the first place! ROCK ON!

Author
iTodd
Date
2006-09-27T15:26:37-06:00
ID
172304
Comment

haha. My point is that it was raised on this thread that minorities have had a hard time getting mortgages, that it kept them from building wealth, etc. Ok, I'll agree with that. My question is how is it occurring now?

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-27T15:29:24-06:00
ID
172305
Comment

Well, for starters, if your family has been prevented from building wealth for the past 10 or 20 generations, then you're starting from a lower level of wealth, which effects your ability to get loans at a decent interest rate. Other than that, you may want to try that site that Todd referred you to, and see if you can't find your own data on predatory lending practices. And, even if, as you imply, that in the past decade, the practice has completely been done away with, I don't think that means that the playing field is level.

Author
kate
Date
2006-09-27T15:33:23-06:00
ID
172306
Comment

Playing field right now for getting a mortgage is VERY level. To get a good rate it is all computer driven now. Most mortgage companies are tied in to Fannie Mae/ Freddie Mac/HUD in their computer systems. You enter the loan application data and if it meets certain criteria, you are approved for a mortgage. Race is NOT considered. If you pay your bills on time and thus have a decent credit score (600 or above in most cases), haven't overloaded yourself with debt, you can get a mortgage for a good rate regardless of race. there is no reason a minority borrower can not walk into a mortgage company if he has paid his bills on time for a while, has been responsible in managing his debt and get a decent rate. Now he doesn't even have to put money down for a mortgage so that dispels the idea that they are poor and have not been able to save money. You can adjust the rate to cover closing costs. There are reasons why minorities have a harder time getting mortgages but that too often is due to their financial criteria. Sorry, if you have a bunch of late payments on your credit report, lenders are going to think twice about lending to you. If 60% of your gross income is wasted on credit card, SUV payments, etc ( and that is not even including taxes) and rent, then its hard to see how you can manage a mortgage. I've even seen 80%. However, if you meet the criteria I laid out, you can get a mortgage for a good rate. By the way, this whole post or any related discussion is my PERSONAL opinion and experience and is not the official policy or practice of any business.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-27T15:42:16-06:00
ID
172307
Comment

You live in an ideal world, Kingfish. Too bad most of us can't live in it too. There is a lot of truth in what you wrote. Some stereotyping too though unintended. Great efforts have been made to take race out of the equasion of mortgages and loans. I'll admit that, however, in my view, as long as humans have any discretion, race and prejudice will never be totally absent. It won't be real hard to show race is still a factor in mortgages and loans for houses, cars, and many other things. Data contrary to your conclusion and successful lawsuits are still being filed as we speak. Maybe this is aberrant behavior.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-27T16:06:52-06:00
ID
172308
Comment

Alot of the lawsuits filed are shakedowns for money. It is aberrant behavior. Keep in mind when you read headlines no one is seeing the credit reports. You can have the best looking loan application in the world but if that credit report and tax return says something else, then its worthless. Too often the predatory lending is done by a mortgage broker who takes the loan application, HE is the one who puts the borrower into a mortgage program. He is the one who decides how much in fees to charge and has SOME but not unlimited discretion in what rate to charge. Now, he can choose to put the borrower into a subprime program which has higher rates (keep in mind, these are riskier loans in general which is why the rates are higher PLUS since they are not backed by Fannie, they tend to reflect the markets true value of them). The borrower should always pull his own credit report with a score and go to three mortgage companies/banks. Shop around like anything else. I will say this, some of the worst predatory lending in this town has been from minority brokers. A former councilman's son was pretty bad at charing fees. No one on this board will want to hear that but its true. What I recommend is asking each mortgage company who their conforming lenders are and who their subprime lenders are. If they don't have any conforming lenders, then that tells you right there the chances for predatory lending are higher as they don't have the ability to offer good rates. Keep in mind the lender only knows what is placed in front of him by the mortgage company. Its the mortgage company that has the choice to select the lender and decide the program and rate.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-27T17:02:47-06:00
ID
172309
Comment

There are several prosecutions going on right now for predatory lending, some white, some minority defendants. I've seen alot of predatory lending and fraud. I can tell you for the most part race doesn't have much to do with it. It is usually someone who sees an opportunity to take advantage of someone who has bad credit OR has good credit, good financial statements, BUT sticks them into higher fee higher rate program and takes advantage of him because he is not sophisticated and has not shopped around. However, right now, if the mortgage company is ethical, there is no reason now why a minority borrower with good financial background can not get a good rate Ray. The lenders are trying hard to improve the diversity of their borrowers (and some programs I think are a little too risky in furthering this goal) and want the business. I'm a little wary of redlining claims now when the people making the claims do not have access to credit scores and other info.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-27T17:08:42-06:00
ID
172310
Comment

by the way Ray, I'm not living in an ideal world. however, I am stating how it really is. You go to Community Bank, Trustmark, Mortgage Connection, Realty, Mortgage 1st, AMC Mortgage, FMC, and other similar mortgage companies/banks that is exactly how you will be treated. However, someone who has a credit score of 520 and no money to put down on a house is probably going to have some trouble getting a mortgage.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-27T17:13:14-06:00
ID
172311
Comment

however, I am stating how it really is With due respect, I'm not sure you could do that if you tried. Remember, you're the guy who doesn't understand the connection between economics and education. Also, Kingfish, you have completely missed the point about redlining—do you understand that?

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-27T17:17:23-06:00
ID
172312
Comment

Kingfish, I understand what you're saying. And I know, by and large, you're very correct. I just view the situation slighly differntly than you do. I wish we had a way to accurately monitor discretionary decisions where humans decide where to run risk or to make a loan or not.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2006-09-27T17:17:42-06:00
ID
172313
Comment

Kingfish: All this is great, except you've lost sight of the original point. I don't know if you're purposefully being obtuse or not. You wrote: I think the core of my beef with this debate is the idea that somehow, just by virtue of skin color whites have always had it better than blacks. I would say that certain whites possibly had an easier time accessing the proper tools than some whites and most blacks. Poverty can equalize a lot. To which I responded that institutional racism was alive and well up until a generation ago, during which nearly all blacks were overtly denied the same access to capital and the protections of the law that were afforded to all whites. Since then -- within my lifetime -- institutional racism within lending institutions has been addressed via legislation. And within just the past fifteen years, that legislation have even been given some teeth. You said: My point is that it was raised on this thread that minorities have had a hard time getting mortgages, that it kept them from building wealth, etc. Ok, I'll agree with that. My question is how is it occurring now? Who said it was? I certainly think that it's important to watch the banks, as they've consolidated dramatically in the past decade (in part due to deregulation) and as part of that consolidation, many of them are now doing less in community redevelopment than their separate parts had done before consolidation. And, second, part of the CRA works with the assumption that the community will watch and complain about lending practices, so while it's interesting that they're all done "by computer" these days, I don't think that exactly mitigates the need for oversight. Thirdly, Republicans in Congress are often trying to chip away at existing financial oversight legislation, including aspects of the CRA, as you'd see if you visit that amazing little website I mentioned early.

Author
iTodd
Date
2006-09-27T17:22:31-06:00
ID
172314
Comment

But, what's going on RIGHT NOW is also entirely beside the point. My response was in answer to your "beef" above. I never said anything about *right now* because that's not what we were talking about. My point is that institutional racism (I mean, SERIOUSLY institutional -- as in on-the-books laws) have been with us in some form or fashion into the current generation, and as de facto issues (just plain ol' institutional racism) beyond that. The result has been that black families have been systematically denied access to capital and the opportunity at standard-issue American "bootstrap" opportunities until very recently in our country's past. Ergo, historically, poverty has not been a "great equalizer" when the color of your family's skin held sway over whether or not your family was allowed to climb out of it.

Author
iTodd
Date
2006-09-27T17:22:54-06:00
ID
172315
Comment

Todd makes a good point, Kingfish. Everyone can see where you bait-and-switch the topic—usually when the argument isn't going well for your point. Don't be quite so A.D.D. and maybe we can all learn something from each other.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-27T17:33:40-06:00
ID
172316
Comment

sorry. I saw mortgages mentioned above and decided to explore that tagent a little. Ms Ladd: Where have I said education had nothing to do with economics? Only a fool, which I am not, would say that one has nothing to do with the other. Todd, there is ALOT of community lending going on. I can sit with you at your computer, take you through the websites of the major lenders and you'd be surprised at how much is available. About the only way you can not get a mortgage now is if you have really really bad credit. You can even get 100% financing down to a 580 score with some lenders. What is crazy is some of these programs that were pushed around here a few years ago where someone was leasing a house for 15 years, then it would count towards a mortgage or however it worked. That was just plain nuts and bad for the renter/homeowner. However, Todd, I will take issue with one thing you wrote. Its hard for a community to complain about fair lending when they don't see the private info, including the credit report. What NEEDS to happen is better education of the minority community. If you pay rent, use checks so you can show a payment history. If you go out and buy a nice SUV with a 500 dollar a month payment, its going to count against you (notice how much marketing is now towards getting minorities to spend their discretionary income on such toys). You have a credit score and here is how it can help/hurt you. anyway, sorry for the tagent.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-27T17:35:40-06:00
ID
172317
Comment

actually no Miss Ladd, not add. just reading through a few posts and saw that so thought I would explore it a little since I am in the business. However, I will return to point. When I said poverty was a great equalizer, I meant in terms of class/economics. I meant it very narrowly however as access to education, jobs, basic rights, etc do have a bearing in your ability to improve your lot in life. Any serious reader of Hayek would realize that is the case and numerous Conservative/Libertarian writers have stated how the South's policies after the war held it back and was stupid. I meant it purely as a still photo snapshot in time. South was devastated, most everyone was dead broke and poor. The choices they made in the situation held them back even further.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2006-09-27T17:42:29-06:00
ID
172318
Comment

Ms Ladd: Where have I said education had nothing to do with economics? Only a fool, which I am not, would say that one has nothing to do with the other. Kingfish, on this very thread, you tried to make the argument that economics were "leveled" between blacks and whites after the Civil War—and then vehemently stated that you weren't talking about clearly unleveled areas such education, giving the strong impression that you were clueless that illiterate slaves might actually be at a disadvantage economically. Good to see you don't read your own posts carefully, either. Yes, your tangent is only clouding (or avoiding) an issue that you seem very uncomfortable with—the fact that very-recent discrimination against blacks, such as redlining, has left the playing field very unlevel. That is a fact, Kingfish, no matter how you try to twist it. What's so wrong with acknowledging such a thing?

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-27T17:42:48-06:00
ID
172319
Comment

I meant it purely as a still photo snapshot in time. South was devastated, most everyone was dead broke and poor. The choices they made in the situation held them back even further. Your still snapshot wasn't accurate, though. You don't seem to understand that all races can be poor (not that that is exactly accurate, post-Civil War, either but we'll ignore that for the moment), and that one race can still be in a far worse place. And at this point, an arrogant statement like "any serious reader of ..." just sounds silly, Kingfish. I suggest you become a serious reader of your own posts, and others, before venturing out into a more complicated place. Based on your interpretations here, why would we trust your reading of ... anything? With due respect.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-27T17:47:41-06:00
ID
172320
Comment

Hayek? Dear God.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2006-09-27T20:09:09-06:00
ID
172321
Comment

[quote]I think the core of my beef with this debate is the idea that somehow, just by virtue of skin color whites have always had it better than blacks. I would say that certain whites possibly had an easier time accessing the proper tools than some whites and most blacks. Poverty can equalize a lot. To which I responded that institutional racism was alive and well up until a generation ago, during which nearly all blacks were overtly denied the same access to capital and the protections of the law that were afforded to all whites. Since then -- within my lifetime -- institutional racism within lending institutions has been addressed via legislation. And within just the past fifteen years, that legislation have even been given some teeth.[/quote] Um, Todd? I wrote the first part. :D I know we're arguing racism here, I was pointing out there's a chance more than blacks suffered economically, despite the insistance that it's all the white man's fault.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-09-27T21:18:18-06:00
ID
172322
Comment

there's a chance more than blacks suffered economically, despite the insistance that it's all the white man's fault. Isn't that an obvious statement? Obviously, poor whites suffer as well. I come from a long line of poor whites. I also am not too proud (or naive) to admit that I got breaks and opportunities that poor blacks did not get when I was growing up—because I was white and blonde. Realizing that doesn't make me hate being white—or try to blame every white guy for every act of prejudice ever committed; what it does do is help me reject simplistic arguments that everything is equal now (or right after the Civil War, to hear Kingfish tell it), so get over it. What's hard to stomach is the white defensiveness that tries to argue that nothing that ever happened in regard to slavery or Jim Crow still has an effect today. That is simply absurd and intellectually dishonest. Worse, such an attitude sets up all back.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-27T21:22:59-06:00
ID
172323
Comment

Oh, did I confuse you? Oops. I apologize. Kingfish...my bad. You picked up the thread and twisted it (:-) so deftly that I thought it was a continuous discussion. Ironghost...OK, in that case...YOU'RE the moron. :-P I know we're arguing racism here, I was pointing out there's a chance more than blacks suffered economically, despite the insistance that it's all the white man's fault. Well, ya know, it's really hard to argue that it's not all pretty much the white man's fault up through at least the 1960s, if not beyond that. I refer you here to the U.S. Constitution, the Mississippi Constitution, the Fugitive Slave Acts, the Southern Baptist Convention...um...Jim Crow, the Housing Act of 1934, the Council of Conservative Citizens...and, um...John Tesh. Seriously. WTF? (A.) Some Southern whites suffered after the Civil War and (B.) nearly all Southern blacks suffered after the Civil War, largely at the hands of unprecedented institutionalized racism, therefore (C.) It's not all the "white man's fault" (whatever the hell that is in context). Care to craft an argument that's a bit more logical?

Author
iTodd
Date
2006-09-27T21:35:26-06:00
ID
172324
Comment

Newsflash to defensive white folks: Our peeps acted very badly through American history, causing a legacy of serious problems for black folks (not to mention Native Americans, but we'll save that one for another time). It doesn't help to deny it, and it helps a whole lot to admit it and then figure out how we can continue chipping down that legacy—in order to help us all move forward together. It's really that simple. Try it. Kind of reminds me of all the white folks who whine incessantly about why they shouldn't have to keep apologizing for the past—inevitably the same ones who've never apologized to a soul for the horrible things white folks did to people of color. There is a certain Zen to figuring out that a vital component of racism is denying it exists.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-27T21:41:37-06:00
ID
172325
Comment

And a good, heartfelt apology is like a good, heartfelt prayer—it helps the person doing it more than the one hearing it.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-27T21:42:56-06:00
ID
172326
Comment

I'd say I come from a longer line of poor white people, but that'd be boasting. :) We've been over this ground before, and didn't come to a common conclusion. I don't think anyone could argue that the past didn't have an effect on our common today. I think it's becoming easy to exploit the growing resentment of being the only people blamed for current conditions.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-09-27T21:43:30-06:00
ID
172327
Comment

The voices in my head are very reassuring, iTodd. :) Now, I wouldn't argue it's not someone's fault. I'd simply blame the Big Yankee Government after the civil war for not following through on their promises and go on. That it was composed of white, wealthy men is demostratable. I'd rather say it's everyone's fault, and go on to the solution.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-09-27T21:53:10-06:00
ID
172328
Comment

I'd rather say it's everyone's fault, and go on to the solution. So...you're for reparations.

Author
iTodd
Date
2006-09-27T21:59:58-06:00
ID
172329
Comment

the growing resentment of being the only people blamed for current conditions. You're joking, Iron, right? On what planet are white folks the "only people blamed for current conditions." Black families, that were ripped apart for generations by laws and practices of white supremacists, are constantly blamed for "current conditions." Why is it that every time someone asks a defensive white guy to simply take some responsibility for the "current conditions" it means that they personally are being blamed for every bad thing that has ever happened? What is really on the table here is whether or not defensive white folks are willing to *stop* blaming the victims in this country, region and state, and actually take some responsibility for helping solve the problems, instead of making it impossible to get there because they are so damned hypersensitive that they can't admit that "it's" *not* everyone's fault. Look, I know our forebears tried to instill this kind of defensiveness in us to make them feel better about their cruelty, but we don't have to keep playing along.

Author
ladd
Date
2006-09-27T22:05:29-06:00
ID
172330
Comment

I'm not really sure how to continue the argument. I'm not blaming anyone for anything, on a personal level.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2006-09-27T22:36:45-06:00

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