“Christopher Columbus landed first in the New World at the island of San Salvador, and after praising God enquired urgently for gold. The natives, Red Indians,…directed him to Haiti (where) the Spaniards, the most advanced Europeans of their time…introduced Christianity, forced labor in mines, murder, rape, bloodhounds, strange diseases, artificial famine,…and reduced the native population from around 500,000 to 60,000 in 15 years. …A Dominican priest…hit on the expedient of importing…more robust Negroes from…Africa; in 1517, Charles V, authorized the export of 15,000 slaves to San Domingo, and thus priest and King launched on the world the American slave trade and slavery.” – C.L.R. James, The Black Jacobins, Toussaint L,Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution, 1938
“The impact of the Negro’s color was the more powerful upon Englishmen…because England’s principal contact (@1550 AD) with Africans came in West Africa and the Congo, which meant that one of the lightest-skinned of the earth’s peoples suddenly came face-to-face with one of the darkest.” – Winthrop Jordan, The White Man’s Burden: Historical Origins of Racism in the United States, 1974
“In Haiti life itself is a competition…and its people are some of the world’s fiercest competitors.” – Ricardo Pierre-Louis, Hunger for Hope, 2021
“More Americans have learned the story of the South during the years of the Civil War and Reconstruction from Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind than from all of the learned volumes on this period.” – Beck and Clowers, Understanding American History Through Fiction, 1975
“Man risked life undercover to expose KKK: (Joseph) Moore says Klan very present in (Florida) law enforcement.” – AP/Bismarck Tribune, 12/24/21
“If you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans.” – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), 1/19/22
“University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and other prominent sport figures with ties to West Virginia…urged U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVA) to support sweeping legislation to protect the right to vote: ‘We are all certain that democracy is best when voting is open to everyone on an even playing field; the referees are neutral; and at the end of the game the final score is respected and accepted.’” – AP/Bismarck Tribune, 1/19/22
“Election fraud is a disguise for our bigotry…every legislature knows what the goal of restrictive legislation is all about so let’s stop kidding ourselves about the legitimacy of laws intentionally limiting the vote…The right to vote has fallen into the crosshairs of the most vicious political polarization since the Civil War…Politics has become more important than democratic values…Democracy is in trouble.” – Lloyd Omdahl, Bismarck Tribune, 1/22/22
“This my prayer: Civil War fattening on men’s ruin shall not thunder in our city. Let not the dry dust that drinks the black blood of citizens through passion for revenge and bloodshed for bloodshed be given our state to prey upon.” – Aeschylus, The Eumenides, 458 B.C.
When smoke cleared from the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, there were two sovereign nations in the Western Hemisphere, the United States of America and the Republic of Haiti. Each country had won their independence by force of arms; the U.S. against the British Empire, but Haiti against both Imperial Britain and Napoleonic France, a far greater military achievement given their comparative resources. Governor Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) just signed bills from his Republican Legislature, an out-post of Jim Crow “culture,” making it illegal for Virginia’s teachers to reference any such history: organized black men decimating 50,000 British troops (white guys in red coats) in 1795 and 30,000 French troops (white guys in the red, white and blue of Napoleonic France) in 1802. Presumably, such truths make white guys in Robert E. Lee’s home State “feel bad.” What Youngkin’s GOP types really fear is that genuine culture (Arts and Sciences, rational thinking, sophisticated humor) is cancelling out a Jim Crow “culture” which white guys like him have been using since the real Civil War (1861-1865) to maintain their supremacy; and like a guard dog gone rabid, has gotten out of hand on the leash of psychopathic moron Donald Trump.
Before Trump’s Big Lie that he had not lost due to his own flaws, there was Hitler’s Big Lie (courtesy of democracy hating reactionaries before him) that Imperial Germany had not lost World War I due to its own deficiencies in leadership. Trump’s and Hitler’s Big Lies both cited fancied internal and external “enemies.” But before Trump’s and Hitler’s Big Lies, we had Jeffersonian and Jim Crow cover ups of the truth of Haiti; proof that black men at arms were the equal of white men, and, when properly led and motivated as in 1795 and 1802, occasionally superior. As the Virgina GOP touts wimp versions of Mao Zedong’s “Red Guards” to rat on the dispelling of Jim Crow lies about the U.S. past, I wonder what Virginia educators will do about his idiocy edicts when they get to the Battle of Little Big Horn. Perhaps they’ll describe Colonel Custer and his troops as “tourists:” lost on the Northern Plains, as Republicans now describe the murderous mob of Trump supporters on January 6th, 2021 as having “lost their way” (like the Whiffenpoofs’ Little Lambs) on the U.S. Capitol Steps. Nowadays, “people of color” to the GOP and historic American racism – Native Americans, Asians, as well as many-hued college kids – are also targets of systemic voter suppression organized by GOP State Legislatures. I asked my KGB animal friends why so many Americans resist democracy changing color.
High Plains Reader: Dear friends. I realize that the color of democracy in the U.S. officially changed from white to a rainbow of races in 2008 with the election of Barack Obama as President, but why has there been so much resistance by the Republican Party since then?
Schickelgruber: It’s simple. Political power for the “divine right of money bags” of the few depends upon channeling hatreds of the many; not delivering positive socio-economic results for these folks that would increase their leverage vis-à-vis the rich. Stoking negativity requires really Big Lies. The biggest lie in U.S. history is “aristocracy-of-the-skin.” Trump and the GOP are just keeping up a Jim Crow “Fam’ly Tradition.” As a liar, Hitler had nothing on lies white Americans tell themselves about race. Tennessee school board bubbas who just banned teaching about the Holocaust, banned the teaching of Darwin in the 1920’s. They slop food for stupid and vicious thoughts from the myth-troughs of Caucasian superiority; fortified by religious dogma.
Prudence Possum: Jim Crow prejudice used to entice Democrats before President Lyndon Johnson, and goes back before your Founding Fathers, and the American Revolution (for the “Rights of Englishmen”) to the English slave traders of Shakespeare’s time who peopled the New World with black slaves from Africa. When the heat was on against the slave trade in England in the 19th Century, British and American fat cats just switched to South and East Asian coolie labor to keep the money flowing in, and peddled the myth of white superiority to the white working-class suckers who were being exploited almost as viciously. It worked all too well.
HPR: But in the 20th Century, though peace didn’t break out, democracy did. Women got the vote in 1920; civil/voting rights came about in 1964 and 1965 and there was progress of sorts.
Brenda Bison: Of sorts, yes. Enough to piss off Americans who yearned for fantasies of white (often male) supremacy; but not enough to keep them from power to reverse the diversity process, and kill off democratic procedures which had underwritten progress in the first place.
Chicago Dog: Responsible government is realistic politics. It’s what most Americans want, no matter the noise from pundits who presume to know what is going on. “Good Government is Good Politics” was first coined officially by Chicago’s Mayor Richard J. Daley (1955-1976), arch villain of 1960’s idealists. The concept was true before Daley used it in 1955, and is true in 2022, as instituted by President Joe Biden and the Democrats in the course of their governing strategies since taking over on January 20, 2021.
Mr. Swamp Fox: Naturally, main stream media are loathe to admit that the likes of a Big City Mayor from the Midwest, or a non-Ivy League working class politician, both of whom believe(d) in strong labor unions, would know more about how to get things done in American legislatures than they ever will. It’s messy, but so are the lives of ordinary folks they sought/seek to benefit.
Chicago Dog: Like many Irish and other white working-class folks in his generation, Richard J. Daley was racist. His son Richie, later a Chicago Mayor (1989-2011), like Joe Biden, is not. By his own admission, Richie Daley learned more politics from Chicago’s first black Mayor, Harold Washington (1983-1987) than any other human being besides his father.
Agatha Alligator: Despite successes of Barack Obama on national and world stages, local roots of his rise, Chicago (and IL) Democrats’ racial and gender progressivism, are still underreported. New York media won’t do that as long as they have to explain the Cuomos by comparison. D.C. centered media, for the most part, are still sucking up to or wringing their hands over power generated in the House and Senate from racist enclaves across the nation. Pundits and press, with no sense of shame, ridicule President Joe Biden for a speech impediment, rather than take on Republicans, Trumpies, and bottom feeders in their own trade for more serious impediments of the soul. For want of mirrors and the will to use them, democracy may be lost.
HPR: But won’t democracy be lost anyway, now that Senators Joe Manchin (WVA) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) hid behind the filibuster to avoid voting for voting rights?
Mr. Crying Wolf: Professional pessimists do well, of course, selling books about “the coming civil war” – as if Americans haven’t been “at war” over race since Thomas Jefferson first preached equality that he did not practice. Doom dreck counts as conscience money for the NY Times editorial board, but grass roots citizens who lawfully put Joe Biden in the White House and Democrats in charge of the House and Senate are organizing with gusto and savvy.
Becky Badger: And Joe Biden gets a realistic chance to fulfill his promise to black voters to put a black woman on the Supreme Court with the timely retirement of Justice Breyer. This will fire up a Democratic base that depends upon women and folks of color.
HPR: But won’t Manchin and Sinema change parties if Democrats give them too hard a time? In helping the GOP suppress voters they have dug big holes for their Primaries in 2024.
Ms. Recovering Republican Lap Dog: Maybe, but I doubt it in the case of Manchin. He “knows his territory” better than Sinema knows hers, chairs a vital Senate Committee, and is being treated as if he really matters by his colleagues and President Biden.
Annabelle Anaconda: In helping Joe Manchin stop voting rights legislation, Kyrsten Simena apparently thought ambivalence about political parties was as tolerable in Arizona as gender ambivalence. Bad call! She might be of use to Moscow Mitch for his power games, but she is “damaged goods” for at least one of the two warring Republican factions. Also, if she gives Mitch the power in 2022 to stop Build Back Better legislation, thousands more white working moms needing help with child care as much as their sisters of color, could go Democrat this year.
Señora Perro: Republican white women, regardless of socio-economic status, are also waking up to the GOP war on their gender. The so-called “civil war” of 2022 is not just about race.
Madame Inspector Chen: Mitch’s latest racist overture to an anti-black Trump base that is also anti-Asian (as his wife may need to remind him); won’t likely work other than “owning the libs,” a favorite sport of D.C. beltway right wingers, but of little consolation to a voting public who want the GOP to stand for something that only Democrats can deliver: responsible government.
Chicago Dog: Election Day 2022 still comes down to swing Congressional Districts where 199 House Republicans who voted against the widely and wildly popular Bi-partisan Infrastructure Bill are frantically lying about how they voted; and claiming Democrats’ efforts for themselves. Such mendacious strategies have worked in the past, but Republicans are being made to own their lies about Covid, race, gender and class as never before in 2022. Inflation doesn’t care about GOP lies either. If Biden and the Fed address that forcefully by the end of the Summer, voters may not care that he stutters, when real money in their pockets is doing the talking.
Lena: It’s not like the Senate map in 2022 paints a rosy picture for Moscow Mitch, with or without Kyrsten Sinema in the GOP. Democratic incumbents have real achievements to brag about from 2021 and 2022. Democrats in Wisconsin are focused on State legislative races against Republican voter suppression, and high turnout impacts that Senate race where incumbent Ron Johnson is extremely vulnerable by reason of lunacy. Republican seats in Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina are up for grabs. If Governor “Death,” DeSantis, has killed off or pissed off as many Republican voters in Florida by his disastrous Covid policies as he has suppressed Democrats by anti-voting tactics, even “Little Marco” Rubio might be in trouble.
Jim Crow XV: Unless Republicans figure out a way to cancel Election Day, we are in for giant turnouts resembling Covid testing lines – Folks bringing food and water, blankets, pee bottles. Indivisibles, other grass roots organizations, will rout their versions of Lyft/Uber, providing child care to get their voters to the polls. Businesses fed up with GOP talk, treason and no action, may see the upside of employees engaging in the patriotic exercise of voting. There will be more lawyers (and cops) deployed on November 8th to defend the vote than GOP cops to defeat it.
Prudence Possum: Mitch has lots to worry about. The GOP going all out overt racism and the Supremes going all out misogyny in 2022, may unite critical masses of suburban and rural white women with Democrats’ diversity to cancel a Jim Crow “culture” with a “Big Bird culture” of tolerance of whomever moves into your national and local neighborhoods. One of our most effective KGB hounds, fresh from feeding on the rancid meat of Vladimir Putin’s musings over “to invade (Ukraine) or not to invade;” found leftover musings from McConnell about whether his overtures to Trump’s rabid base, plus State Republican voter suppression, will work.
Moscow Mitch’s Lament…………………………………………………….Rasputin
I’ve thought a lot about the road to take
To stop “Obama’s kind” from ruling mine.
Democracy be damned! It’s never kind
To pow’r elites: who’ll drown beneath its wake.
The fools at FOX are useful, but I doubt
That they can punch above their weight at polls;
Where Democrats, in hoards, and waves, and rolls
Can “rock the vote;” not simply scream and shout.
I sold my soul so long ago to pow’r;
I’ve quite forgotten how it feels to love
Much else; but rushes from elections’ word:
A win? A loss? Who rules from hour to hour?
But cynics have too much, this time, to prove.
Jim Crow just might get eaten by Big Bird.