I’m tired. I want nothing more than to spend the summer working in my gardens and helping my daughter put the finishing touches on her upcoming wedding. I want to play with my pups, cuddle with my cats, and lounge in the backyard with my family and friends. And I’ll do all that. And yet…and yet, I’m not able to ignore the attacks on all that I hold as right and just. I’m not able to ignore the coarsening of our discourse or the corruption of our rule of law. I’m not able to function as if community is unimportant; as if my individual wants supersede the needs of so many. And so, despite the occasional desire to stay in my safe chrysalis, my inner butterfly inevitably emerges in resistance. We have been given words that guide us; remind us; and inspire us, and I’m sharing them today for all who are as tired as I am, but continue in resistance.
Today’s post is a response to two different, but converging, prompts. First, as I mentioned in a comment yesterday, is my reading of Eric Foner’s Reconstruction Updated Edition: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, a massive history (that I’m less than one-third of the way through) of an era that continues to reverberate today. The second is the continuing criticism by Sen. Sanders of the Democratic Party, and the inevitable response on Twitter by Bros who continue to argue for “economics uber Alles.” The inability to recognize and address white supremacy with any coherence is an issue for more than just white supremacists; it becomes a problem for those of us who understand that the base of the Democratic Party is women and persons of color. In general, the Base (and allies) understand the problems associated with patriarchy and white supremacy, because it is our lived experience. We further understand that systems of prejudice don’t go away with a wave of the economic wand, and our history demonstrates that. The thoroughly ahistorical arguments of BoBers are troubling, but I am convinced that for some, the absence of historically-grounded awareness is a matter of ignorance, rather than malice. Today’s post is a compilation of quotes from Foner’s book (whether his own words or drawn from commenters during Reconstruction) (with a few tweets to add “color.”)