Made possible by Europe’s advantages in military and social technology, the slavery started by Europeans in the fifteenth century was different, because it became the enslavement of one race by another.
(Excerpt from Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your High School History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen)
White supremacy and racism were the causes, rather than the symptoms, of slavery in our country. The enslavement of Africans was justified, in part, because of the presumed superiority of whiteness. In short, without racism, we have no slavery or defense of its existence. In the past ten days, we’ve had memes and discussions of our racist history popping up everywhere, and all too often, they’re either incomplete, distorted by bias, or inaccurate. Today I’m going to let some of these historical figures speak for themselves. This post is subject to my own bias by virtue of which figures and quotes I choose to highlight, but I will try to include a representative sampling.
By slowking4 (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Inspired by a comment made by bfitzinAR and the encouragement of WYGalinCA, today’s post is all about Maxine Waters (CA-43), one of the leaders of the ReSisterhood. She’s 79 today, and as a self-described “strong black woman,” she’s been controversial, contentious, courageous, and a clarion of truth.
“The toes of Miss Liberty found a home on American soil.”
The comments of Stephen Miller and the restrictive immigration standards of the proposed RAISE Act have caused me to think a lot about immigration lately. I’m in the privileged position as a white woman to have been able to trace my family tree back many generations; in some cases, that translates to many centuries too. I am 100% a child of immigrants, and of the seven lines I’ve been able to trace back beyond my maternal and paternal great-grandparents, only two lines spoke English as their primary language. It troubles me deeply that people, especially those in my own family, see no problem with a condition that would require English-language ability before allowing immigration. The claim that learning English is now more accessible than it was in my great-grandparents’ day falls short for me, because it presumes access to a type of education that is still more available for the privileged, the white, and the western European. But then, I suppose that’s the point.
Today, I’m taking a break from our platform, healthcare legislation, and all things Twitter. This choice is not because our resistance is over or because we can take our eyes off the ball, but because things in DC are still very fluid, making “current events” hard to cover, especially since I write these posts a day in advance. Instead, I’m asking you to join me in exploring newspaper stories from 31 July 1917; my commentary will be minimal since the stories speak for themselves. This post was prompted by this tweet from last week, and my awareness of how much of our history is lost or forgotten.
I’m continuing my look at the healthcare planks of both the Democratic and Republican Party platforms, despite the fluid events in the news about the status of BCRA[p] and the ever-changing Republican plans to destroy the ACA. We need to know just what the Republican positions are, not matter how unworkable, because if we know anything, it’s that they don’t quit. And if by some miracle a chance for bipartisan fixes to the ACA comes about, we need to know what fixes, additions, and changes Democrats might have in mind; Medicare for All is still unlikely, even if a push to work together somehow comes about.
Senator McCain’s surgery and his as-of-yet unknown date of return to the Senate; a BCRA(p) bill that must be passed under the FY17 budget resolution, using the reconciliation process (thus preserving a FY18 budget resolution/reconciliation process for tax reform); senators announcing they are no votes on the MTP for widely-varying reasons; and a squabbling Republican caucus that is being “enticed” by McConnell in any way possible have combined to create a perfect storm for the Resistance. Every delay enables us to make more calls and create more pressure, and every delay brings us closer to the end of FY17, the adoption of a FY18 budget resolution, and the resulting loss of the ability to use FY17 reconciliation for the repeal and replacement of the ACA. In the event you’re starting to feel the Resistance Burnout Blues, today I’m comparing and contrasting the Democratic and Republican platform planks related to healthcare. Because of the timeliness, detail, and complexity of the topic, I will be covering healthcare in two separate posts, today and on Thursday.
So you thought you were going to get Part Three of my exploration of the party platforms today, didn’t you? Well, I’m tired and busy, and that combination means that my research and posting is going to be put off another week. The platforms aren’t going anywhere, so I will be returning to them…one of these days.
“May the foundation of our new constitution, be justice, Truth and Righteousness. Like the wise Mans house may it be founded upon those Rocks and then neither storms or tempests will overthrow it.” — Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, July 13, 1776
“Do you recollect the pensive and awful silence which pervaded the house when we were called up, one after another, to the table of the President of Congress to subscribe what was believed by many at that time to be our own death warrants?” — Benjamin Rush
“I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ring-bolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.” — Frederick Douglass
“Let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.” — Thomas Jefferson
Before I start today’s look at the Democratic and Republican Party platforms, your Resistance reminder to call, call, and call again. Yes, even if you have Dem senators and even if you know your senator is a jerk who is in favor of #Abomnicare: Information for contacting those senators on the [allegedly] wavering list…