This weekend I had the grim opportunity to see "12 Years a Slave" based on the true story and written work of a free African, Solomon Northup, in 1841. Northup, a great African American violinist and musical talent living as a freeman in the north, gets apprehended by thugs and sent back into slavery in the 1841 south. If one sees that film, which I HIGHLY encourage, and really understands it one will be guaranteed a true perspective on the etiology of our nation's historical white racist albatross. The old Confederacy is dead BUT the white Tea Bag Republican Party is determined to keep its malevolent heart beating and the major Republican Party is more than willing to use these know nothing Tea Baggers to attain power for the rich who so desperately want it.
If one sees this film one will know why, if you do not already, our first African American president is disrespected and pilloried attempting to crush everything he proposes whether his nomination of judges or his signature legislation the Affordable Healthcare Act by those who wave the Confederate flag proudly and those rich white men within the Republican Party echelons of power who allow these malevolent malcontents within their ranks to exist undeterred.
This film is a window into the American soul. The nation armed with its document of freedom and egalitarian treatment for all can reduce this precious document to refuse. It is impossible to understand how African Americans could even survive the onslaught of a system that degraded and reduced their status to beasts of burden; property that whites could kill or use at will. One sees, through this film, man's inhumanity to man EVEN in a country which purports to know better. The hypocrisy is endless and the cruelty of white masters toward their black property knows no boundaries.
It mattered not whether one was a black man or a black woman as each were treated with unfathomable cruelty in his/her own uniquely vulnerable way. Both sexes endured the lash but the female had to endure the lash and the humiliation of loveless, brutal and savage rape by her white master and could do not a thing about it. It can be said and Todd Aiken who made the preposterous statement that a woman can shut down a pregnancy if she is raped that unequivocally biology knows no difference between impregnation by love or by rape as the many light-skinned blacks of that era could attest.
This is what it is like when men because of who they are have no rights and where other men can lord over them, strip them of rights, strip them of the vote and strip them of the humanity of human dignity based solely on who they were born.
The film has great relevance to our day. Republican whites, as in the era of Jim Crow, try their best to deny, by any means necessary, the vote to those blacks and others who would attempt to vote those into office who would have their interests at heart.
This film instructs us today NOT to let racists within our ranks gain traction and win electorally through rancid policy that which they could not win through a Civil War that crushed them two centuries ago. The Old Confederacy has morphed into a new and ugly monster that will rise again ONLY if we of egalitarian principle let it. WE WILL NOT LET IT RISE AGAIN NOT THIS TIME and take us back as they did Solomon Nothrup to the bestial era of the 1841 south.
They must be roundly defeated not only for persons of color but for all of us including women whose power WILL be nullified by right wing extremists who have only hate and religious dogma in their hearts. They will take us back to the 19th century and even, as one Nevada know nothing legislator said, vote to take us back to slavery if the public wants it. According to the Las Vegas Sun, Jim Wheeler of Gardnerville, NV was speaking to the Storey County Republican Party when he made the remarks. That remark says it all as does the remark in the film of Brad Pitt abolitionist white plantation worker when he says of the corrupt and bestial slave system: "Thou devil, sooner or later, somewhere in the course of eternal justice, thou shalt answer for this sin!'" And so they have but, in my opinion, not nearly enough!