Sunday, November 16, 2014

Understanding the threat of a confederate insurgency

Rev. William Barber captured the moment we are living in by talking about a Third Reconstruction.

Doug Muder expanded on that idea with an article titled: Not a Tea Party, a Confederate Party. Muder's point is that in order to understand the Tea Party today, we have to realize that  - unlike what our school history books told us - the south didn't really lose the Civil War. Much like George W. Bush preemptively declared "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq, the Civil War didn't end when Lee surrendered at Appomattox.
After the U.S. forces won on the battlefield in 1865 and shattered the organized Confederate military, the veterans of that shattered army formed a terrorist insurgency that carried on a campaign of fire and assassination throughout the South until President Hayes agreed to withdraw the occupying U. S. troops in 1877. Before and after 1877, the insurgents used lynchings and occasional pitched battles to terrorize those portions of the electorate still loyal to the United States. In this way they took charge of the machinery of state government, and then rewrote the state constitutions to reverse the postwar changes and restore the supremacy of the class that led the Confederate states into war in the first place.

By the time it was all over, the planter aristocrats were back in control, and the three constitutional amendments that supposedly had codified the U.S.A’s victory over the C.S.A.– the 13th, 14th, and 15th — had been effectively nullified in every Confederate state. The Civil Rights Acts had been gutted by the Supreme Court, and were all but forgotten by the time similar proposals resurfaced in the 1960s. Blacks were once again forced into hard labor for subsistence wages, denied the right to vote, and denied the equal protection of the laws. Tens of thousands of them were still physically shackled and subject to being whipped, a story historian Douglas Blackmon told in his Pulitzer-winning Slavery By Another Name.

So Lincoln and Grant may have had their mission-accomplished moment, but ultimately the Confederates won. The real Civil War — the one that stretched from 1861 to 1877 — was the first war the United States lost.
Let that one sink in for a moment, white folks. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it all. That's what happens when it turns out that a story you've been told all your life doesn't really capture what happened. All the links to meaning that have been created by believing the story have to be re-examined as well. That is the path each of us must take if we're ever going to be successful at "undoing racism" in our own lives.

Muder goes on the make the connection between the mindset of the insurgent confederates and today's tea party.
The essence of the Confederate worldview is that the democratic process cannot legitimately change the established social order, and so all forms of legal and illegal resistance are justified when it tries...

The Confederate sees a divinely ordained way things are supposed to be, and defends it at all costs. No process, no matter how orderly or democratic, can justify fundamental change.
That is the sentiment we hear when both citizens and political leaders talk about "second amendment remedies" and rally round things like this:

I believe that - due to this country's changing demographics - this confederate insurgency would have eventually surfaced even if we hadn't elected our first African American president. But having done so, it has been released with a vengeance.

The basic right wing message we've heard for the last six years has been to challenge this President's legitimacy. We've seen that in everything from the birther movement and charges that he's somehow "un-American" to criticisms of Barack Obama that have never been leveled against a United States President (i.e., how much golf he plays, the fact that he takes vacations and that he signs executive orders).

Call me naive, but I don't believe that all white Republicans buy into this insurgency. But their leadership has used this message of illegitimacy to undermine President Obama and convinced too many people that he is somehow a threat to the country. To the extent that they (and the media) have bought into the lies, they have given credence to a movement that is dangerous to our democracy.

I am reminded once again of something Derrick Jensen wrote in his book The Culture of Make Believe.
From the perspective of those who are entitled, the problems begin when those they despise do not go along with—and have the power and wherewithal to not go along with—the perceived entitlement...

Several times I have commented that hatred felt long and deeply enough no longer feels like hatred, but more like tradition, economics, religion, what have you. It is when those traditions are challenged, when the entitlement is threatened, when the masks of religion, economics, and so on are pulled away that hate transforms from its more seemingly sophisticated, "normal," chronic state—where those exploited are looked down upon, or despised—to a more acute and obvious manifestation. Hate becomes more perceptible when it is no longer normalized.

Another way to say all of this is that if the rhetoric of superiority works to maintain the entitlement, hatred and direct physical force remains underground. But when that rhetoric begins to fail, force and hatred waits in the wings, ready to explode.
Change to our "social order" is coming, whether we like it or not. The traditions, economics, religion that mask our entitlement are being stripped away and the hate is becoming more perceptible. As a result, the confederate insurgency is threatening to explode.

Black people are noticing. But too many white people are in denial about what's really going on (including a lot of Democrats/liberals). We need to wake the f*ck up!!! I'm not suggesting that everyone needs to support President Obama's policies. But what I am saying is that we all need to recognize the threat posed by this confederate insurgency...and take on the task of ushering in a third reconstruction.


  1. electing a black guy for president has resulted in the two party system being changed into the confederate party vs the dixiecrat party - both against Obama.

  2. I understand ...the question is do we do do we wake folks up....Blk folks have been engaged in the struggle Justice and Equality for our entire time here in America...we see it...we will continue to fight...but we cannot defeat this insurgency on our own....

    1. The question comes down to whether or not white people will wake the f*ck up. I don't know. I'll just keep trying.

      What I DO know is that things are about to heat up w/ Obama's immigration executive action and Ferguson grand jury announcement. So hold onto your hats!!!

  3. I couldn't agree more. I've said almost the same things when trying to explain the deep and divisive hatreds that have stalked this president from even before he took office. I have also observed that for a very long time, the southern politicians seem to always hold the entire country ransom to their demands. Before I'm accused of being anti-southernt, I have southern relatives, and my parents were southerners, although from a different country, but were subjected to their northern compatriots' disdain.

    Aside from that, I hope the president continues to accomplish what he needs to do to finish a productive, even transformative, presidency and that those who resist him, for the reasons you spell out here, will learn that Mr. Obama is no push-over and will be someone to reckon with over these next two years.

  4. I forgot to add that I'm going to quote some of what you've written here and link to this article in my next post. More people need to read this.

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  6. This is the thing, which you may not understand - but when you do, you will see the totality of it.

    There are no White People in Europe.

    White people only exist in colonized countries for solidarity against those colonized. From your name you are likely Germanic French. There are no white people there. There are Germans, Swedes, Dutch, Norwegians, and other peoples.

    When I encounter Europeans, though I am of Black, Choctaw, Cherokee, French and Irish descent. I am asked if I am American, and then if I am French.

    The cultural genocide of White People mirrors that of that of indigenous and Black People.

    There are no White People in Europe.

    1. That is the most tortured escape clause I've ever read. It makes no sense historically, biologically, factually. Whatever your point, you've not made it at all.

  7. Escape clause?

    White People can only exist in colonial societies. Where is the escapism?


  9. Perhaps with the disappearance of the middle class, white people will come to realize that it's not just people of color who are suffering. I can't help but believe that these Koch brothers and their minions truly visualize a Birch-ian utopia that turns the US into a third-world country with crumbling infrastructure, rampant illiteracy, starvation, and illness for the masses, but incredible wealth for the one percent.