||[Jul. 10th, 2015|12:27 am]
First, congratulations to the South Carolina state legislature for voting to remove the Confederate battle flag from display on the Statehouse grounds. Any moral deed, whenever it occurs, deserves recognition and a pat on the back.
Now we've got that taken care of...on to the larger issue, the one that's been carried like a giant pus-filled abscess in the body politic for a century and a half....a mix of racism and treason that has frustrated repeated attempts to heal the wounds caused by the treason of a region addicted to buying, owning, and selling human beings even after a war they lost, even after a lenient post-war attempt to repatriate the traitors and restore them to a right relation, as citizens, with their country.
A potent, comforting mythology developed--was allowed to develop unchecked--and poured into the ears of the young, a toxic mythology that framed the South as the gallant, brave, victim, slavery as a misunderstood benign institution that might slowly lift "savages" from Africa into civilization, and the real issues of the Civil War a matter of cool, rational "states' rights" rather than the hot desire to own and use other humans, and spread that practice of slavery abroad. A mythology, reinforced in books, in movies, which the young were told justified slavery, segregation, Jim Crow laws, virtual slavery after slavery was illegal, false accuations, physical attacks on African-Americans, including lynchings. A mythology that spread easily from fear into hatred, and from fear and hatred of African Americans to fear and hatred of all persons of color. A myth. A lie. A string of lies, one little dram of poison at a time, until the children grew up believing it all, mouthing the same words in the same tones, including the excuses they used to cover their lies.
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