Monday, April 25, 2011

The Response: This is in response to my article that appeared in the MDN about Civil War celebrations. There are those rightwingnuts who are always there to protest even the most benign comment especially if a liberal presents it. "Proudliberal" offered a cogent response to many of those who posted. One extremist right wing blogger singled out in the end always uses the word "OUCH" (whatever THAT means) when making an attempt to voice his/her opinion. If you want to see the original article and the blog posts I enclose the link at the end.

The Response: I should not even address CLEARLY illogical and make-no-sense comments but I must. Some wingers on here would have something negative to say if one came out and said the bunnies on the lawn are cute. The most benign and indeed humane comments on some letters to the editor are opposed often with vitriolic rhetoric which is racist transparent. Scratch the surface of those who disagree on, for example, the viewpoint here and I suspect what would be found no not always but OFTEN -- too often.

I would not mind if the opposition was made in intelligent fashion like that which is written by David Brooks, Krauthammer, Jacoby, George Will and others with whom I largely disagree but it is the opinions which are personal attacks that are the most objectionable and I loathe stooping to that low.

I do not think EVERYONE in the south harbors secessionist thought. Nor do I think that everyone is racist and I do surely know racism exists here. One need only read the MDN blogs in response to opinions like the benign one above to know that.

Secessionist thought exists in MANY states and not just in the ones Kane mentioned although it exists there as well. It has been advocated in all states by one crank or another. Check out some recent talk -- sometimes very angry talk -- in states like S. Carolina, Texas by its governor Rick Perry, Nevada, and others. It EVEN exists in Alaska where Palin's husband allegedly was a member of a secessionist group. There have been numbers of Civil War commemorative celebrations and dances complete with Confederate uniforms and stars and bars Confederate flags some of which still fly in southern state capitols today and are pasted on vehicles everywhere.

While states rights can be argued from a Constitutional point of view it has historically and even in contemporary politics been intrinsic code for the abandonment of federal civil rights law secured by and for African Americans and others who have been socially and institutionally ostracized because of an ascribed status i.e. the color of the skin in which they were born.

There are states which want to return to the era of literacy tests but instead of calling it that they advocate for people to show licenses they may not have making it more difficult for the poor and others including African Americans and Hispanics, who are largely Democrats, to vote. Others want as proof of citizenship a requirement to appear on a ballot using the ad aburdium notion of showing baptismal certificates OR even the more laughable proof of all things circumcision. Jewish circumcision is done eight days after birth so conceivably (pardon the pun) one could be born in Somalia, eight days later come to the US to be circumcised by a rabbi and ultimately 35 years later run for president! THAT made me laugh. All of these, I submit, have racist animus.

There is a HUGE difference between arguing for a fair electoral count within each state than there is if certain states want to return to yesteryear to deny service, a home or a job to a selected minority, advocate for the so called 'southern cause' and couch that advocacy in veiled racist thought hiding behind the Constitutional concept of states rights. It is those profound equal rights for minority groups who have been historically excluded from the majority culture and debate that are and should be in this country universal. When they are not the courts need to intervene and can because Federal law ensuring egalitarian treatment gives teeth to those who can prosecute against it. Might I remind, for those who saw it, Rand Paul stumbling over the question of property rights versus human rights when asked if he, who supports property rights nearly universally, would support a business owner denying service to people of color. One could see and hear he did NOT know how to handle that simple question. For most of us the answer to that is easy. Human rights should prevail against property rights when a person simply wants to eat at a lunch counter, have a job, sit on a bus or go to an integrated school.

This is what the Civil War entailed; this is what the fight for civil rights meant; this is what is signified by resurgent secessionist thought; this is what is meant by the Confederate flag flying; this is what is meant by desiring the ability of states to use the 10th amendment to return to an era where states could enforce ANY law they passed no matter how discriminatory and prevail over any federal law which might legislate against it. The celebration of the Civil War and its attendant race issues are alive and well in our country trying to kick and scream their way into modern public policy.

November 2nd, I simply shake my head in incredulity. Your comment today takes the cake. Perhaps YOU should spend YOUR Easter thinking as YOU say 'Absolvi meam animam.' I am sure waxing repentant and getting things off your chest would be an oh so satisfying experience. I promise I won't say 'OUCH'!

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