That 1619 Project

Here on Gulf South Free Press we are trying to get the American people to have a “real” conversation about race and the institution of slavery instead of the disingenuous BS from the past.

What significance is the year 1619?

Answer to follow.

In these trying days of protests and the issue of slavery has risen yet again…..there is an attempt to educate the people on the barbaric institution of slavery……that education is being called the “1619 Project”…….

New York Times Magazine launched The 1619 Project on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to Jamestown. Its stated goal was “to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.” Rather than standing with the American Revolution’s radical promise that we are all created equal and possess the same “unalienable rights,” or Abraham Lincoln’s description of America’s as mankind’s “last best hope,” the revisionist view of The 1619 project argues that America was founded upon slavery and that the effects of white supremacy distort every aspect of American public life today.

Prominent historians, educators, and writers have challenged these claims. Noted scholars such as Gordon WoodWilfred M. McClaySean WilentzJames McPherson, and James Oakes have publicly questioned its main contentions. And the 1776 Project, a group of black scholars and writers led by entrepreneur and civil rights leader Bob Woodson, has produced essays, and eventually a curriculum, that will “challenge those who assert America is forever defined by its past failures, such as slavery.”

Is this a look at history or not?

When The New York Times Magazine published the 1619 Project last year, supporters hailed this retelling of America’s founding as a “woke” counternarrative meant to correct the historical record.

Yet in recent weeks, Nikole Hannah-Jones, the lead editor, has stressed that her project to reframe history is not the same as “a history.” Clear enough?

Even Americans who haven’t read the 1619 Project, a series of written work on the legacy of slavery, know the project was launched with fanfare. And the rollout continues: A series of books are to follow, a podcast is available, and public schools are using the material. Lionsgate and Oprah Winfrey intend to adapt the project for film and TV.

For the 1619 editors to now say, “presume not that I am the thing I was” should make us suspicious of the project’s future. Shakespeare’s Hal said as much to his former drinking companion, Falstaff, in “Henry IV, Part 2,” and the audience can afford the presumption because we know his victory at Agincourt is coming in “Henry V.”

The next act, however, for the 1619 Project may be less promising. As the project’s creators spread it across more media and entertainment platforms, the Times, its partners at the Pulitzer Center, and Hannah-Jones have already said 1619 should be considered history.

Creator of New York Times’ 1619 Project Changes Tune to Insist It’s Not History

Thee are those that are afraid of this if it is handled properly because it will crap on the dialog that they have been preaching for decades.

Slavery should be viewed from ALL angles…..but emphasize that it was a horrible barbaric institution.

I stated that we were “trying” to help the American people have that REAL conversation about race…..and so far we have sadly failed….

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Race And Slavery

In case you are interested there are still protests raging across the nation but the reader would never know it if they watch their evening news.

As a matter of fact another black man was killed by police who shot him in the back numerous times…..

And yes there is still a debate on the subject of race and slavery being offered around the nation…..but the reader would never know it for they still do not get actual news in the evenings but rather a form of propaganda.

So to be a better writer I will continue my posts on race and slavery and equality……this post is a look at race and slavery…..

American slavery was a blight upon the nation dedicated to the principle that “all men are created equal.”

Chattel slavery—in which human beings are bought and sold as property—was introduced to America during its colonial period, continued through the American Revolution, and increased in scope (the slave population was nearly four million in 1860) by the start of the Civil War. Though the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment dismantled legalized slavery in 1865, the specter of Jim Crow, rise of groups like the Ku Klux Klan, and proliferation of theories of racial supremacy clothed in scientific rhetoric put off the hope that blacks would be fully included in the American promise for nearly a century.

Though her citizens have not consistently risen to the level of treating every person, regardless of race, as equal human beings and citizens, America is based explicitly upon antislavery principles. Civil rights leaders such as Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr. instructed Americans to live up to these principles and acknowledge that the American promise includes blacks as well as whites.

In his “I Have a Dream” speech, King told the massive crowds gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial “that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed—we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” which applied to “black men as well as white men.”

Unfortunately, glaring disparities between blacks and whites in modern American life have given credence to the view that it is not a rejection of American principles but the adherence to them that causes the widening of these gaps. Some even argue that slavery is in fact America’s true foundation.

This growing consensus ironically echoes the false reading of our country’s history put forward by Chief Justice Roger Taney in arguably the worst Supreme Court decision in American history, Dred Scott v. Sandford. There, Taney argued that the American Founders thought blacks “so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” But this reading of history is incorrect.

This discourse needs saying….but as of yet the actual debate is not being offered…..instead it is each person’s sanitized version of slavery and that of race….like this post from In Saner Thought…….

There will be NO solutions as long as we keep having the same sanitized version of the institution of slavery and the larger issue of race.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Morality Police

We Americans shake our head at the very thought of the state determining what is moral and what is not…..kinda craps all over the freedom of choice huh?

And we are warned about the creeping Shariah Law that is foreseen on the horizon (by some)….the laws like those in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia… no music, no religious tolerance, women are second class citizens. etc etc.

But KSA is by no means alone in the pursuit of morality……

Police forces tasked with implementing strict state interpretations of Islamic morality exist in several other states, including Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Malaysia.

Many – especially those with an affinity with Western lifestyles – chafe against such restrictions on daily life, but others support the idea, and growing religious conservatism has led to pressure for similar forces to be created in countries that do not have them.

Here are some places where “morality police” forces patrol:

But a century ago North American cities like Toronto (that is Canada) had a “morality police”…..

William Howland, mayor between 1886 and 1887, established the Morality Department, known as the Office of the Staff Inspector. It was responsible for patrolling any instances of infractions of public order, which were quite diverse: public drunkenness, houses of ill fame, gambling, cruelty against women and children (which included abortion and infanticide), and perhaps most importantly, prostitution, which will be the focus here.

And the idea of social control never died out…..even here in the US, even today, we have our version of the “morality police”…….that’s right…..a “moral patrol”……

In the United States, the Morality Police regulate everything from the color of hair to what people do in their bedrooms.

A high school in Missouri recently suspended a student for having “unnatural” hair color. The student, a junior, is a natural redhead, but she decided to dye her hair auburn. Unfortunately, the commercial hair dye gave her what the school administrators thought was an unnatural color of red.

That high school isn’t the only one with Puritanical rules. School administrators and their elected school boards throughout the country have somehow given themselves the right to create and enforce rules that prohibit students from wearing clothes that could impede the learning of other students. It might be logical to ban girls from wearing short-shorts and halter tops to class. Or, maybe guys who, on a hot day, decide to embarrass themselves and others by wearing nothing but Speedos to Biology class.

America’s Morality Police

My point is that there will always be those “religious sorts” that think they have a grasp on morality…..but that is a matter of opinion and in this society we still have the Freedom of Choice.

And since I have the freedom I choose to ignore these societal slugs.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

American Mind–Civics Class–Part Five

This is a continuation of my series on the American Mind…..a bit of civics in an age when all knowledge of such a topic is missing…..

The reader can get caught up with the series here….the first 4 parts are here……

This part deals with the American mind on “Self-Government”…..

After winning the independence they had declared in 1776, Americans had to prove that they could sustain self-government in peace. They’d governed themselves already, as colonists, but now the British government no longer protected them from the other European powers, and indeed remained a potential enemy of the new country. It’s easy for us today to wonder why American statesmen from Washington to Lincoln seemed obsessed with building and sustaining “the Union,” or why President Jefferson so readily bent his constitutional scruples to purchase Louisiana from Napoleon to extend it. But to Americans then, looking at maps of North America, seeing their republic surrounded by hostile empires and nations whose rulers viewed republicanism with fear and contempt, maintaining the Union meant survival—survival not just of their way of life but of their very lives.

How to strengthen that Union, the new American state—not a simple, centralized state as seen in Europe throughout the modern period, but a confederation—without losing the new American regime, one of the few existing democratic republics? The first American constitution, the Articles of Confederation, seemed incapable of holding the Union together. Americans tried again, framing the much-amended, much-abused, but still existing United States Constitution, which took effect in 1789.

George Washington as our first president had the chore to overseeing the experiment we call self-government……

s George Washington’s first presidential administration, the first term of government under the United States Constitution, neared its end in 1793, the president found himself confronting a form of populism antithetical to stable politics in a republic. The situation emerged from the turbulent development of highly polarized partisan politics, along with efforts by France’s revolutionary government to interfere in American elections and in the expression of public opinion. In this context, there was an explosion in the formation of “democratic societies”—“so-called” democratic societies, Washington termed them—that sought to capitalize on the idea of popular sovereignty as an instrument to influence and shape government policy.

This charged political atmosphere presented a challenge to the meaning of “self-government” as a practice compatible with stable politics. Washington took up that challenge in a manner that continues to define our understanding of the concept. To understand his response, however, it is important to understand the nature of the terms involved, for self-government has both a moral meaning and a formal meaning. The moral meaning defends the right (and duty) of individual self-government as the source (through consent) of all political authority. That meaning, in turn, produces the formal concession that representative government frames the only practical initiative that can make good or operationalize political authority consistent with individual liberty—that is, freedom of conscience and self-government. As a result, the term self-government comes to apply by analogy to the institutional arrangements or mechanisms designed to implement these moral conditions.

The experiment that started with the first presidential tenure is now being stretched and banged all out of shape.

This nation needs to get back to the intentions of the Founders….or we can witness the end of this experiment in “self-government”…..

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is An Autocracy Coming?

We have been watching all sorts of stuff transpiring around our famed American society…..protests and the reaction of the president.

Some are calling it an burgeoning autocracy…..but really?

What is an autocracy.

Simply……government in which one person has absolute power; dictatorship; despotism

Now that you have the definition let’s go deeper into the events of the past couple of months…..

This is not only one of the worst times for American democracy, it is one of the most dangerous times.

The creeping – and creepy – autocracy that is the hallmark of President Donald Trump and his inept, ineffective administration of court loyalists has slithered further into upending America’s freedoms with the dispatch of federal officials onto the streets of Portland, Oregon., despite the repeated objections of federal, state and local leaders.

The purpose: to police and detain protesters who have staged daily demonstrations since the May 25 cop killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement to secure more racially just law enforcement.

This is the tactic of police states, a red line in any true democracy that should not be crossed. Every day something new, unexpected and usually distasteful from the White House. Every day something worse than the previous one.

Rising Autocracy

These things seem to have the backing of wealthy elites….for there has been very little opposition to Trump’s decisions to send in paramilitary (Gestapo) police……

The main target of Trump’s authoritarian efforts is the working class. The Trump administration’s actions take place as the ruling class anticipates an enormous growth of social conflict and resistance.

After handing trillions of dollars to themselves, the corporations and banks are enforcing a homicidal back-to-work campaign that has already produced an explosion of coronavirus cases and deaths. Foreclosures are about to begin again after a temporary moratorium, and the federal unemployment subsidy of $600 a week is scheduled to expire at the end of this week.

I am sorry to those Trump supporters that cannot see the danger their “buddy” is doing to the American society….but this is FASCISM plain and simple.

“Make no mistake: Trump’s federal troops will not be a constructive force in Chicago,” she added. “As our colleagues have seen in Portland, Trump’s secret forces will terrorize communities and create chaos. This is not law and order. This is an assault on the people of this country, and the specific protections of protest and press in the First Amendment.”

After video footage and reporting from Portland started emerging last week of unidentified federal law enforcement driving around in unmarked vehicles and grabbing people off the streets, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) announced he would introduce an amendment to military spending legislation to block the Trump administration from sending agents to other cities.

And now I await those people who will find exception to this…..but think about it….if say Obama had done any of this the toads that pretend to care about the Constitution would be screaming so loud they would rupture a blood vessel.

And I wait…….

While I wait something to think about…..DHS…..Dept. of Homeland Security……the perfect weapon for authoritarian rule……

In the wake of 9/11, the Bush administration made a series of blunders that have created havoc in U.S. governance. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was the worst of these decisions, but not far behind was the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS has turned out to be the perfect authoritarian tool in the hands of a corrupt administration, and there is ample evidence of the department’s role in degrading public life in America in the past several weeks. The department has become Trump’s tool for targeting “anti-fascists,” the label that he has broadly applied to all protestors.

The DHS is a bureaucratic monstrosity that includes the Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), and various unrelated departments. It has over 240,000 employees, a $50 billion budget, and a reputation for excessive waste and ineffectiveness. It is the third largest government agency, and its 60,000 law enforcement officers represent half of all federal law enforcement agents in the government. DHS has too many subdivisions, operates in too many disparate fields, and lacks proper congressional oversight. The creation of DHS meant that immigration enforcement and border protection were moved from the Departments of Treasury and Justice, respectively, and were then treated as national security issues. Under Trump, demonstrators, dissidents, and protestors have become national security issues.

The Department of Homeland Security: the Ideal Authoritarian Tool

Think about that when you enjoy your corn flakes….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

White Like Them

Years ago I had this debate with a group here in the South… all began when I heard someone bitching about Black music and how irritating it was…..

But it began when a couple of men were talking about mixed race marriages and their offspring…….their big question was which culture is the best to bring up their children?

My first question was what did they mean by culture.

After a few minutes of bumbling and stumbling they moved their conversation to the music.  (okay I got a chuckle out of their awkwardness)

I immediately jumped on this with blaming segregation for these so-called “ills”…..

Here in the South segregation was a enforceable social event.  Blacks were herded into enclaves in cities and towns…..they had the own medical services, education, lingo and music.

Then when segregation was overturned whites began wanting to include the Afro-American people into the land of the Whites.

They wanted Blacks to embrace the white world in all its glory (sarcasm)…..the lingo, the attitudes, the music……but to their disappointment that never occurred….why?

Think about it.

Why would Black people need to change their way of thinking and acting?  Is it because whites think they are better than the Blacks?

This made me think of something I had read many years ago…..the writings of Frantz Fanon…….French philosopher and psychologist…..A psychological study of the effects of the concept of race and racism on black minorities in white majority societies.

Frantz Fanon was born in the French colony of Martinique on July 20, 1925. His family occupied a social position within Martinican society that could reasonably qualify them as part of the black bourgeoisie; Frantz’s father, Casimir Fanon, was a customs inspector and his mother, Eléanore Médélice, owned a hardware store in downtown Fort-de-France, the capital of Martinique. Members of this social stratum tended to strive for assimilation, and identification, with white French culture. Fanon was raised in this environment, learning France’s history as his own, until his high school years when he first encountered the philosophy of negritude, taught to him by Aimé Césaire, Martinique’s other renowned critic of European colonization. Politicized, and torn between the assimilationism of Martinique’s middle class and the preoccupation with racial identity that negritude promotes, Fanon left the colony in 1943, at the age of 18, to fight with the Free French forces in the waning days of World War II.

Frantz Fanon

Fanon’s key works are Black Skins White Masks, A Dying Colonialism, The Wretched of the Earth, and Toward the African Revolution. Black Skins White Masks was published in 1952 but did not gain widespread recognition until the late 1960s. This was one of the first books to analyse the psychology of colonialism. In it Fanon examines how the colonizer internalises colonialism and its attendant ideologies, and how colonized peoples in turn internalise the idea of their own inferiority and ultimately come to emulate their oppressors. Racism here functions as a controlling mechanism which maintains colonial relations as ‘natural’ occurrences. Black Skins White Masks is written in an urgent, fluid style. It is both analytical and passionate, part academic text, part polemic. The book has provided a powerful and lasting indictment of racism and imperialism.

Basically Fanon says there is a cycle…..

White colonials preach black is inferior

Colonized people want to escape their “inferior” position

Only escape is to reject “blackness”

Colonized people start assume superiority

Finally…for the Black man there is only one destiny…..and it is white

Fanon’s book is a very good look at race and racism……read….

Click to access %5BFrantz_Fanon%5D_Black_Skin,_White_Masks_(Pluto_Clas(

And since people seldom read anymore….I will give a link to the audible of this book…..

Racism is an ugly word and as soon as we can eliminate from normal discourse the better.

In closing a short video….What If Slavery Never Existed

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

American Mind–Civics Class–Part 4

Civic And Moral Virture

GSFP has been giving an on-line civics class……the first three parts can be read on this post…..

It is sometimes said that the Founding Fathers created a “procedural republic” that was indifferent to what Americans did with their freedom. But this is to confuse a forthright defense of liberty with moral relativism that cannot distinguish right from wrong, virtue from vice. In a thoughtful and penetrating essay, Will Morrisey demonstrates that “the American way” was intended from the beginning to link rights and responsibilities, political freedom with civic virtue. The old “cardinal virtues” lauded by Aristotle and Cicero—prudence, courage, justice, and moderation—still spoke to the American people in a way that respected human freedom and individual conscience. Americans were both “humble” before God, and proud or “magnanimous” in asserting their independence and freedoms. As Morrisey shows, Americans aim to be neither haughty nor servile but rather participants in “a great and good shared action, the establishment of just self-government in their country.” As demonstrated by George Washington and other illustrious founders, Americans never severed liberty from their “sacred honor” or their allegiance to “Nature and Nature’s God.”

n declaring their independence from Great Britain, Americans famously asserted their unalienable rights. Much less conspicuously, but no less tellingly, they listed ten moral responsibilities consonant with those rights.

In announcing their political separation, they begin by acknowledging a duty to observe “a decent respect for the opinions of mankind” by stating the causes for their decision. 1). “Decent” means fitting, appropriate; the opinions of mankind are fittingly respected because human beings possess the capacity for sociality, for understanding one another, for giving reasons for their conduct. Any important public action entails the responsibility to explain oneself, to justify that action before the bar of reasoning men and women.

To justify oneself, in turn, requires Americans to state their standard of justice. That standard is unalienable natural rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. 2). Justice numbers among the four cardinal classical virtues, defined and elaborated by Plato, Cicero, and other philosophers well known to the Declaration’s signers. Just conduct consists of actions defending natural rights in a civil society; to assert those rights, to separate oneself from those who would violate them, logically entails respecting those rights in all other persons, inasmuch as “all men are created equal,” all equally entitled to enjoy their natural rights undisturbed by tyrants.

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”