Make America Divided Again (MADA)

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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10 November 2018 11:20
 

In the book, ‘The Book That Changed America - How Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Ignited a Nation’ by Randall Fuller - Concord Mass. schoolmaster, Franklin Benjamin Sandler, a supporter of John Brown and his raid on the armory at Harper’s Ferry, was among the first Americans to read Darwin’s book.

Here is a passage from that book:

“If he (Sandler) did not grasp the theory in its entirety, he did understand that Darwin’s book seemed to describe the world he inhabited.  The depiction of constant struggle and endless competition in the Origin of Species perfectly captured what it felt like to live in America in 1860.”  [he was facing a possible conviction of treason for supporting John Brown].

quote continued:  “Sectional tensions over slavery had simmered for decades.  Sanborn had grown up during a period when North and South viewed each other with mutual suspicion, even hostility.  “The Carolinian is widely different from the Yankee,” declared the New-England Magazine; the New Orleans-based DeBow’s Review mockingly suggested how easy it was to tell “the genuine Yankee from the rest of his species as if he were an oran-outang, or a South-See Islander.”  America was split between two distinct cultures, two separate and utterly incompatible types of people.  As the New-York Tribune put it, “We are not one people.  We are two peoples.  We are a people for Freedom and a people for Slavery.”  The Charleston Mercury concurred: “On the subject of slavery, the North and South . . . are not only two Peoples, but they are rival, hostile Peoples.”

(for a continuation of this, see the book,  https://www.amazon.com/Book-That-Changed-America-Evolution/dp/052542833X/ref=sr_1_1/136-3914369-3134837?ie=UTF8&qid=1541876587&sr=8-1&keywords=the+book+that+changed+america  (page 48)

[ Edited: 10 November 2018 11:23 by unsmoked]
 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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10 November 2018 11:37
 

Yes, there are great divisions in the US today, as in the days of John Brown.  However, ending slavery completely ended a way of life.  Whereas what is being fought over today is smaller potatoes, like abortion rights, LGBT rights, health care funding.  It’s easy to see how the past generation would go to war over having their massive, enslaved labor source ended.  But would modern Americans go to war over health care taxes?  Even tempers flared over coal and oil jobs lost could be assuaged by retraining for other industries.  Anyway, I’m hoping that we keep yelling and protesting, rather than drawing battle lines, donning uniforms, and shooting.

 
unsmoked
 
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10 November 2018 12:33
 
hannahtoo - 10 November 2018 11:37 AM

Yes, there are great divisions in the US today, as in the days of John Brown.  However, ending slavery completely ended a way of life.  Whereas what is being fought over today is smaller potatoes, like abortion rights, LGBT rights, health care funding.  It’s easy to see how the past generation would go to war over having their massive, enslaved labor source ended.  But would modern Americans go to war over health care taxes?  Even tempers flared over coal and oil jobs lost could be assuaged by retraining for other industries.  Anyway, I’m hoping that we keep yelling and protesting, rather than drawing battle lines, donning uniforms, and shooting.

. . . Or calling those who disagree with us ‘enemies of the people.’  Or calling those who physically attack reporters, “My kind of guy!” 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7mfp1YUcK4

Do you think Trump is encouraging violence against reporters?  It’s just harmless banter and joking?  (as Trump would undoubtedly claim if someone shot up CNN office).

 
 
Cheshire Cat
 
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Cheshire Cat
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10 November 2018 15:41
 

Here’s an opinion article by Rebecca Solnit from the Guardian.

The title say it all:

The American civil war didn’t end. And Trump is a Confederate president

From the article:

We had an ardent Unionist president for eight years, and now we are 21 months into the reign of an openly Confederate president, one who has defended Confederate statues and Confederate values and Confederate goals, because Make America Great Again harks back to some antebellum fantasy of white male dominance.

We never cleaned up after the civil war, never made it anathema, as the Germans have since the second world war, to support the losing side. We never had a truth and reconciliation process like South Africa did. We’ve allowed statues to go up across the country glorifying the traitors and losers, treated the pro-slavery flag as sentimental, fun, Dukes of Hazzard, white identity politics.

So much of what is at stake is the definition of “us”, “ours” and “we”. “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union,” says the preamble to the constitution. It was murky about who “we” were, and who “the people” were. That document apportions each state’s representation according to “whole Number of free Persons, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons”. “All other persons” is a polite way of saying enslaved black people, who found the union pretty imperfect. “Who’s your ‘us’?” could be what we ask each other and our elected officials.

https://tinyurl.com/ybmpz3sg

 
 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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13 November 2018 12:22
 
Cheshire Cat - 10 November 2018 03:41 PM

Here’s an opinion article by Rebecca Solnit from the Guardian.

The title say it all:

The American civil war didn’t end. And Trump is a Confederate president

From the article:

We had an ardent Unionist president for eight years, and now we are 21 months into the reign of an openly Confederate president, one who has defended Confederate statues and Confederate values and Confederate goals, because Make America Great Again harks back to some antebellum fantasy of white male dominance.

We never cleaned up after the civil war, never made it anathema, as the Germans have since the second world war, to support the losing side. We never had a truth and reconciliation process like South Africa did. We’ve allowed statues to go up across the country glorifying the traitors and losers, treated the pro-slavery flag as sentimental, fun, Dukes of Hazzard, white identity politics.

So much of what is at stake is the definition of “us”, “ours” and “we”. “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union,” says the preamble to the constitution. It was murky about who “we” were, and who “the people” were. That document apportions each state’s representation according to “whole Number of free Persons, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons”. “All other persons” is a polite way of saying enslaved black people, who found the union pretty imperfect. “Who’s your ‘us’?” could be what we ask each other and our elected officials.

https://tinyurl.com/ybmpz3sg

I forwarded this article to several people.  M said she read it several times and wished PBS would interview Rebecca Solnit.

 
 
bbearren
 
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bbearren
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13 November 2018 14:28
 
hannahtoo - 10 November 2018 11:37 AM

Yes, there are great divisions in the US today, as in the days of John Brown.  However, ending slavery completely ended a way of life.

Not quite.

Prison Labor and the Thirteenth Amendment

bbearren - 07 November 2018 10:09 PM

Slavery is a Very Real Thing in America

I urge you to watch the entire video.

Prison labor is modern slavery.

The federal government markets prison labor to businesses as the “best-kept secret”

The ‘Modern Day Slavery’ Of Prison Labor Really Does Have A Link To Slavery

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/30/opinion/national-prison-strike-slavery-.html]Serving Time Should Not Mean ‘Prison Slavery’
“Up to 800,000 prisoners a day are put out for work without their choice, usually for extremely paltry compensation that in Louisiana is as low as 4 cents per hour.”

Is Prison Labor the Future of Our Food System?
“Prisoners are being used to fill the growing shortage of farmworkers —shortages that in large part are caused by the US immigration enforcement system.
Anti-immigration legislation in many states has led to a crackdown on undocumented farmworkers, resulting in a shortage of agricultural labor.”

The Prison Industry in the United States: Big Business or a New Form of Slavery?
“Human rights organizations, as well as political and social ones, are condemning what they are calling a new form of inhumane exploitation in the United States, where they say a prison population of up to 2 million – mostly Black and Hispanic – are working for various industries for a pittance. For the tycoons who have invested in the prison industry, it has been like finding a pot of gold. They don’t have to worry about strikes or paying unemployment insurance, vacations or comp time. All of their workers are full-time, and never arrive late or are absent because of family problems; moreover, if they don’t like the pay of 25 cents an hour and refuse to work, they are locked up in isolation cells.”

An economic analysis of prison labor in the United States
“The practice of using the labor of inmates in state and Federal prisons to produce commodities has expanded rapidly in recent years, paralleling the growth of the number of people incarcerated. Last year, prisoners in state and Federal institutions in the U.S. produced over $2 billion worth of commodities, both goods and services. In addition, prisoners performed various acts of labor such as food preparation, maintenance, laundry, and cleaning—forms of labor which, though necessary for the operation of every prison—do not produce commodities with market prices. A conservative estimate places the value of these goods and services at $9 billion.”

And many, many more.  Put “prison labor” in your favorite search engine and start scrolling.