Thursday, August 24, 2017

False Idols

In current events there has been a lot of hoopla about confederate monuments. As I'm sure anyone that that doesnt live under a rock is aware of the riot that started in Charlottesville VA and ended with some wacko Neo Nazi wanna be nationalist gunning it towards a group of people, killing 1 woman and injuring about 2 dozen more.

In a recent study (2017) there are about 1500 statues, symbols and monuments of the Confederacy in public places throughout the country, most of which are in the southern part of of the country.  They include not only statues and monuments but also names of schools, libraries, flags and other assorted tributes.  The majority of which were erected in the early 20th century, specifically 1911 which was the the 50 year anniversary of the start of the civil war.  (1861 to 1865).  There is a belief that a lot of these statues and monuments were erected as a "fuck you" to the north and the introduction of the Jim Crow laws that supported segregation between 1876 and 1965.  

Make no mistake, we all know why the Civil War was waged, it was in a nutshell for a State's right to allow people to be owned.

A little History Lesson...

By the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 slavery was legal in all 13 colonies.  By the time the Constitution was ratified in 1789 there was a small number of free people of color who were among voting citizens (male property owners).  After the revolution the Abolitionist laws were passed in most northern states which developed into a movement to abolish slavery.

By the end of the 18th century, Slavery was pretty much abolished, in the north at least.  The problem came around because in the north there was a different economy and much more low cost labor.  At the same time, the cotton industry in the south was booming, and so to keep up with the high demand, the southern states remained slave societies.   And during that same time, the southern states tried to extend slavery into the western territory and annex cuba as slave territory, this is pretty much when the country became polarized over the use of slavery, so much so, it created the mason-dixon line, where above the line, colored people were free, below, not so much.

One more little tidbit before I get to my actual commentary is by the time the Slaves were freed, there were 4 million slaves in this country...think about that for a second...FOUR MILLION that's fucked up...

So here we are, 2017 and we are fighting over tributes.  I mentioned above, the majority of these statues, monuments and tributes were not erected directly after the end of the civil war but decades later.  Whether or not they really were a "fuck you" in the face of the more socially progressive north and government, I do not know, it was 106 years ago, not many people are still around from that time to tell us truthfully what was the idea behind the tributes.  

If you look at this logically, for colored people, to look upon a statue of a general or soldier that you know wanted you and your children enslaved to them, segregated, ostracized and treated worst than a dog, just put your feet in their shoes for a minute.  What if it were colored people who wanted to subjugate white anglo saxon people?  How would it make you feel seeing those tributes?

I am not condoning the violence and the protests that have been going on, I feel that nothing will ever be settled if people don't stop screaming and listen for a minute and have a reasonable conversation without resorting to name calling and blame...

Should the tributes be taken down?

I think that should be handled on a case by case basis.  These are all antiquated works of art and should be treated as such.  Art in its many forms, isn't always liked or enjoyed.  Art is made to evoke emotion, good and bad, so these tributes are indeed works of art.  As works of art, I feel they should be put into museums, not destroyed.  

There are larger ones, like Stone Mountain in GA (which, if you have never been, you should go, it's really spectacular) which can not be put into a museum but I think should stay where it is, untouched.  The point is that we can not whitewash (no pun intended) our history but we can tell it to our children in an appropriate way.  What is going on now with the insanity of the statues is just ridiculous and short sided.    

Why is this a Problem now?

In my research on this subject, I found that it's not necessarily new.  While there have been outcries about the flying of the confederate flag over Public properties for many years, it all came to the mass public light and social media in 2015 when Dylan Roof shot and killed 9 colored people in a church in Charleston, SC.  He got a lot of attention because he posted pictures of himself posing with firearms and the confederate flag.  Eventually the confederate flag that flew for years at the state capital was taken down.  And this is what started this Statue shitstorm we are living through today.  

The confederacy fought to maintain slavery and white supremacy in the United States, it's a very dark spot on the south, and they know it and that is why now the representatives of these states are looking at taking these tributes down.  

While there is historical justification to these tributes, it isn't really something this country as a whole should honor or commemorate in any way.  But because these tributes have been there for so long, they should be treated with the historical value and teaching generations to come.

In ending, a quote from Frederick Douglass, Abolitionist.

"We must never forget Victory to the Rebellion meant death to the Republic.  We must never forget that the loyal soldiers who rest beneath this sod flung themselves between the nation and the nation’s destroyers. The Confederacy was on the wrong side of history and humanity. It sought to tear apart our nation and subjugate our fellow Americans to slavery. This is the history we should never forget and one that we should never again put on a pedestal to be revered."

Peace Out
Jaded 😸

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Me Thinks Thou Protests Too Much

When I think of Protests, I think of the Vietnam war and the huge protests that happened in the 60's & 70s.  Or more famously in America the Boston Tea Party.  Our country is young but we have seen our share of Protests, Violence and Chaos when a group of people gather to assert their first amendment rights and free thought and expression.  Especially when counter-protesting groups have something to say too.

There have been many Protests that people came together peacefully to force a change and it actually worked.  The Seneca Falls Convention in 1894, led to the 19th amendment and the Right of Women to vote in 1920.  The Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, when Rosa Parks was arrested for failing to give up her seat to a white man.  After about a year a protesting, Montgomery Alabama integrated it bus system.  In 1963, when Martin Luther King and 200,000 people Marched on Washington and he gave his famous speech "I have a dream" lead to Lyndon Johnson signing the Civil Rights act of 1964.  There are many many more throughout our history that have culmanated in changing what was into what is.

I believe that the idea behind what a protest is, is indeed genuine and thought of with good intentions for most people. However, as with many good intentions, someone is always bound to take things too far. Many groups these days I believe begin altruistic and eventually get taken over by people that's sole purpose is to physically fight with opposing groups.  

Groups that started with a legitimate cause, such as BLM or Occupy Wall Street, who had a legitimate grievance to voice, it began very slowly and quietly, until every time they gathered, the Black Bloc would creep in and ruined whatever peaceful demonstrations they were having. We have all seen the videos of those black clad demonstrators, faces covered, woven between peaceful participants, then they go berserk and start smashing windows, cars, fences, barricades, whatever they have or can find.

So now we have violent groups to the far left, such as the Black Bloc and Antifa, that have fashioned themselves after the far right groups such as the KKK, Neo Nazis, Skinheads, White Supremacists or Nationalist.  Ready to incite violence whenever they can.  It's kind of hard to wrap your head around people whose core beliefs are liberal or socialist to want to incite violence but as I always say, the pendulum swings both ways.   Perhaps their ideas are a bit barbaric, perhaps they are mad for totally different things.  Whatever the case, it seems to me that people who join any of these groups, left or right are mad about something.  But being mad, doesnt make a bit of difference if you don't get out and Vote!

There are still the altruistic people stuck in the middle, which is who most people that go to these demonstrations are.  I think we all lose site of the fact that we all still have the right to speak out against our grievances and most people are not totally left, or totally right but sit somewhere in the middle, shaking our heads and fingers at both sides.  We all have an opinion, and are duly entitled to that opinion.  But we do not have a right to force our opinion on another person.  We can debate, argue, bicker or stew over our beliefs but it will always be wrong to use violence to get our point across.

Violence will never change anyones mind.  As a matter of fact you may just lose ground if you are violent or cause chaos.  Demonstrations or Protests are meant as a platform to bring people together under a common cause PEACEFULLY.  You do not have to agree with what the Protesters are saying, that's up to you, but to invoke violence in the name of Peace?  Are you fucking kidding me?  You just make yourself look dumb.  

As far as joining these dumb groups, I will say this in ending. You were born into a group, it's called AMERICAN CITIZENS. For crying out loud, start acting like it already.  This is a country that has many people to make one people, e pluribus unum. There is no white indigenous people here, there are no black or latino, or asian indigenous people here.  No one has more rights than any other person, it's guaranteed by our constitution.  We are only fighting each other while all the politicians screw us over.  There will never be a good ending if WE don't ban together to make this country work, its call team work and its not impossible, it may take some effort on everyone's part, but it does work out in the end.  I promise...

Peace out..
Jaded 😸