A non-fiction book by Carol Anderson that describes the structural racism of the United States.
Lincoln tried to get all black people to move to Panama placing the blame on them for the war rather than the confederate traitors.
Andrew Johnson pardoned many confederate leaders and plantation owners and undid programs to re settle former slaves. Confederate leaders made it back to office and vowed to recreate slavery–which they did with the Black Codes. Johnson overtly proclaimed a government for white men and created the conditions for genocide at the hands of southern states embittered.
Whites even complained about the Black Codes for driving down the wages for workers.
Mississippi delayed ratifying the thirteenth amendment until 2013 (it was ratified 1995, but not made official by notifying the U.S. Archivist, source).
The Supreme Court systematically nullified the 13th 14th and 15th amendment by asserting the federal government has no rolein preserving rights and protecting people and the states must do that. However, the states were the ones actively circumventing rights of Black people and inflicting harm by using laws to incarcerate, force conscription of labor, allow violence and murder against black people, and segregation.
Only because labor was in short supply due to ww1 in the north.
The South was content thinking Blacks were ok with their current station and immediately blamed outside forces I.e. labor agents from north when Black Americans moved in the millions. Southern states countered with oppressive licensing fees while cracking down on the exodus to keep their no-cost labor force that was the engine of their economy, wealth, and power.
Under the guise of legal and economic policies the south consistently undermines and enslaves.
To stop the migration they went after labor agents, Blacks with train passes, a newspaper in Chicago (the Chicago Defender, also an example of the Streisand effect), then they delayed trains to stop transport while WWI desperately needed supplies.
Vagrancy laws targeted Blacks to put them back into peonage (slavery by another name) or coerce they into staying in the south when they attempted to leave for north.
Arriving in the north caused immediate reaction from Northern whites. Race riots which were actually white people mass killing black people occurred in major cities. Real estate agents confined black populations to slums and when moving into white neighborhoods met with more mobs.
States rights is intertwined with slavery, segregation, and disenfranchisement. When states like Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina didn’t like the Supreme Court ruling on Brown, they changed they argued it was unconstitutional and I grinned on states rights. Really they just wanted to maintain the institutions of Black subjugation and so states rights is a farce to dress up White southerner’s desire to enslave Blacks.
The playbook repeats throughout the book, use the courts to legitimize and dress up racism, disenfranchise with violence and block Black voters, prevent education by budget spending, argue that its a ‘states rights’ issue as a cover, prevent mobility to shut down economic access and free market wages, look the other way when it’s white on Black crime.
Stall and deny, stall and undermine. Prince Edward county did everything they could to prevent desegregation. Repeatedly the Supreme Court ruled against them but found ways to keep schools closed, busing, privatize and find white private schools, and eventually black students just dropped out after missing critical years of schooling.
Southern states like Alabama went after the NAACP, banning it with laws, then taxes, forced to reveal a list of members so they to could be banned from jobs and subject them to violence. Linked them to communism and made up citations from HUAC (House of Un-American Activities Committee).
Rolling Back Civil rights
Racism was redefined to mean seats on a bus and voting. It was reduced further to mean KKK radicalism and shift the blame away common white people. Resentment grew from policies like affirmitive action and racism was recast as a zero sum game for jobs (losing jobs to Black people despite Black employment rates and wages drastically lower than white), welfare (medicaid and food stamps), and education (affirmitave action). Nixon embodied this with a dog whistle campaign of law and order and anti liberalism (very reminiscent of Trump).
Laws targeted Black voters using gerrimandering, literacy requirements, and changing elected positions to political appointees. This further disenfranchised Black voters using a political process they had no representation in.
Nixon appointed four supreme court justices that pushed the court in an even more conservative to the detriment of civil rights laws.
The new supreme court found Texas practice of school funding through property taxes which resulted in far less funding per pupil for poor districs was perfectly constitutional. The justices stated that class did not require strict scrutiny like race. However this allowed racial descrimination as most of the white people lived in the rich districts and black people lacked the economic means to move to them.
A tactic used by the Texas lawyers was to present instances of children that succeeded in poorer neighborhoods proof that the system was fine. But as Thurgood Marshall put it, “[it’s] to the credit if the child not the State.”
Regan made it worse. He “oozed racial innocense” despite furthering the Southern Strategy. He affirmed states’ rights and pushed budget cuts that diproportionatly hurt Black people such as grants for higher education and loans. He even cut school lunch programs.
Unemployment of Black people rose, widening the gap with Whit people. Youth unemployment was 45% and Regan cut training and employment services by 70%. He induced mass layoffs in government jobs in agencies disproportionately Black.
Reagan set the stage for a huge drug influx from the Contras who were trying to raise money to fight back after being overthrown by marxists in Nicaragua. Regan was obsessed with helping them fight a shadow war. The CIA and National Security Council ran interference on customs, DEA, FBI to help the contras flood the US with cocaine.
Crack quickly spread through Black neighborhoods to a population with high unemployment. It was the spread through gangs throught America.
The CIA, then directed by George H W Bush, funneled money and guns to the Contras. They enlisted the help of Noriega to funnel money through Panama corporations. Noriega, with partnership with the Medellin cartel, used the planes being flown in from the US Black Eagle for drug trafficking! Instead of cracking down, the US agreed that as long as they use a percentage of the drug money for funding the Contras it was ok.
This resulted in cocaine imports increasing by 50 percent in three years.
Although the administration actively supported drug trafficking under the guise of national security, even reducing sentences to build a relationship with Noriega, at home they began the mass incarceration of crack users. Worse, Reagan and the media made made crack the enemy threatening their way of life. However, crack was largely associated with Black people furthering a racial divide.
Crime increased as a result of the crack boom decreasing the life expentency of Black youths.
Then the Anti-Drug Abuse Act was passed introducing harsh sentences, minimum sentences, even the dealth penalty setting the stage for even more mass incarceration. This also damaged the communities as more people fell victim to the war on drugs.
Race became criminalized. Tulia, Texas there was a mass arrest of 10% of the black population for drug posession and trafficking. However, the lead investigator made baseless allegations with no evidence while the attorney general and judge enabled it. Later they found no proof, but clearly there racism was at the heart if it.
In 2008 when President Obama won the election, Republicans turned to disenfranchisement to surpress minority votes that turned out in record numbers. They introduced legislate that required certain kinds of voter ID that Black people are significantly less likely to get. They blamed ACORN, an organization that helped register voters for stealing election after some employees fabricated some voter registration cards. Even though widespread voter fraud was a complete fabrication, they pushed legislation changes to make it harder to vote under the guise of voter fraud.
They cut down on early voting, essential for hourly workers who already faced lengthy lines at polling places. On Florida, they eliminated voting on the sunday before the election day knowing that Black churches help organize voting. In Arizona, they purged voter rolls by sending mass mail to minority neighborhoods and using any return to senders as grounds to remove them.
The supreme court in Shelby County v. Holder gutted the Voting Rights Act and said it was discriminatory to the South and did not meet “current needs” despite numerous voter supression legislation in numerous counties. Immediately following, 9 states passed similar voter suppression laws.
Not only that, voter supression could only be fought after the fact. In Texas a voter ID law made hundreds of thousands of Black voters ineligible. It went to the Supreme Court that ruled in favor of the State because it was too close to the mid-term elections. They later found that it was in violation of the VRA, but only after the election took place.
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A victory that results in self-inflicted devastation equivalent to defeat.
Racism that has been deliberately built into systems that govern and organize our lives including education, courts, laws, constitution, law enforcement, etc. that deprives and inhibits the progress of Black Americans from colonization to present day.
An illusion of a choice between two inequivalent options.