Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Robert E. Lee Plaque Removed From Frank Crowley Court House/ Exchange Club has this plaque in public places across the nation

I was on jury duty earlier this week and I was pleased to see that the Robert E. Lee plaque had been removed from the "Freedom Shrine" in the Frank Crowley Court jury room in Dallas, Texas.

We had criticized this plaque being in the jury room in our essay published in the Dallas Morning News. 

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2017/08/04/dallas-confederate-memorials-scream-white-supremacy

There had been no reporting of it being removed, but when I got there I could see that it was removed and that there were two holes in the wall left from the screws that had held it in place.

This "Freedom Shrine" is distributed by the Exchange Club which is a national organization.

It is a set of plaques with important documents in American history. There is Lincoln's Proclamation of Emancipation and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. I am sure some members in the past were whining that the South was being put upon and the Exchange Club stupidly added in Robert E. Lee's letter of acceptance to be the president of Washington College.

These "Freedom Shrines" are all across the nation in public buildings and likely in every state in the nation. Removing the Robert E. Lee plaque from a jury room is an obvious thing to do. It can be asked to be removed as being a thing that biases jurors.

Next time you see a "Freedom Shrine" look at it and see if there is a Robert E. Lee plaque included.

The Exchange Club still included the Robert E. Lee letter in their Freedom Shrine display. It is item No. 19 here.

https://members.nationalexchangeclub.org/sites/default/files/attachements/30-PieceFreedomShrineArrangements.pdf

It is also in their 20 piece collection which you can see here. It is item No. 19

https://members.nationalexchangeclub.org/sites/default/files/attachements/20-PieceFreedomShrineArrangement.pdf

Why is the Exchange Club still including Robert E. Lee in a Freedom Shrine in 2018? They are an out of touch white club. I am sure they have some African American members who I am sure will come to their defense.

This could be a starter project for any effort to de-Confederate your city.  A small victory is encouragement to go after larger projects.

Also, each of these plaques in a government building legitimizes the Confederacy and their removal de-legitimizes the Confederacy and Confederate monuments. So removing these plaques also helps in removing other Confederate items.

Most importantly though is that we need to take the Confederacy out of the criminal justice system.

BEFORE AT THE COURT HOUSE


AFTER


CLOSE UP   You can see the drill holes.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

"Confederate Identity Extremists" and elastic definitions

On Dec. 16, 1773 a group boarded a ship and threw the cargo of tea into Boston Harbor.

Were they Colonial Identity Extremists?

Years ago, when I graduated and I was living in an urban old style apartment building, we saw a tall person drag a smaller person into a doorway in the alley way and started to beat the person severely. Back to the alley way were the kitchen windows to the apartments and we, me and my neighbors started calling out, "We are calling the police!" so to get the criminal to run and stop the beating. Imagine our surprise, when the tall person held up a police badge and was rather smug about it.

At the time there were no smart phone cameras or smart phones or digital cameras at all. There was nothing we could do to document it. No one called, because you didn't want thugs in blue calling on you. So it essentially never happened except in stories related by me and other residents.

Christopher Daniels who goes by the name Rakem Balogun in the heat of anger said some really bad things about the shootings of police officers in Dallas and Memphis. This article by the Dallas Morning News (DMN) which got published rather late sometime after Daniels was released from prison details his statements on Facebook.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2018/05/14/black-activist-celebrated-murders-police-social-media-says-feds-targeted-political-views

I raised the issue whether the DMN would cover this story at all which was getting global coverage. I discuss the rather delayed reporting in one of the numbered sections below.

This is The Guardian coverage of the story.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/11/rakem-balogun-interview-black-identity-extremists-fbi-surveillance

This is the Aljazeera coverage of the story.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/05/judge-orders-release-black-identity-extremist-180504115412408.html

I am quoted in another story where I create the term, "Confederate Identity Extremist."

There are multiple issues raised here.

One

First, the statements made by Daniels are not acceptable. Five officers didn't come home that night. They had people that loved them. They were just people trying to do their job.

These type of statements are the type of thing that results in mob violence and lynch law where rage sweeps respect for the law aside.

Of course appealing to the rule of law when videos keep surfacing of law enforcement officers not following the law and abusing their authority makes my position seem foolish to some. Where is the law it could be asked?

Further the courts seem to be unable to convict police officers when they murder someone and the evidence is obvious. Prosecutors seem to be all fumble fingers on these prosecutions, because I think they don't want to do what is necessary to successfully prosecute the case.

Again, with the videos and the failures of prosecutors to do their job, appealing to the rule of law makes my position seem detached from reality and self-serving.

However, situations come up where rage threatens us to be pulled into a vortex of violence. I think we must resist making statements like this. I had a real fear at the time of these shootings that there would be a chain reaction of violent actions and violent actions in response that could spiral out of control. Down in Baton Rouge there was another individual who went on a murderous rampage.

Recently in Balch Springs a teen was murdered by a police officer. There are indications that it was fairly clear this officer had menacing rage and should have been removed the police force some time ago. However, the problem officer was tolerated and it resulted in a young teen murdered. The trial is coming up this June 2018.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/courts/2017/12/20/murder-trial-cop-killed-jordan-edwards-pushed-back-june

I suspect that one way or another the police officer will either have a hung jury, get off, or have a ludicrously light sentence.  At that point the DMN will report the usual vetted "leaders" making pious statements. There will be discussions of how the trial went wrong or some proposed changes. It will be treated as some aberration in the law rather than the systematic problem it is. Lots of local ministers will ask for prayer, but it will be a substitute for engaging the question. I am not taking a position against prayer, I am just saying that a call for prayer can be an opportunistic move to avoid an issue.

I think that for some in Dallas all this will be "blah, blah, blah" and the belief in the rule of law will seem ridiculous.

The opinions in this blog posting will seem like babbling in the reality of a nation of murders by a society in which Black lives don't seem to matter very much.

What is worse is that though it might be a "few bad apples" who do these deeds, time and time again it is revealed that other officers gave the bad actor a free pass. And these officers murdering individuals act with the expectation that their behavior would be tolerated.

For people to believe in the rule of law we actually need to have the rule of law and not excuses or expressions of ain't it awful.

Regardless of the above, the officers killed were people going to their jobs, and there needs to be police for society to function, and they were killed by a delusional individual and that night there were people who loved these officers who realized they were never coming home.

The descent into savagery which we see nations and places descend into is because the humanity of individuals is forgotten. We must take action to avert going down a path which leads into this descent.

Since the above sounds like some treacly thing some local leader might say on TV so we all feel good about the situation so let me restate it.

The killing needs to stop, and it needs to stop soon, and those who kill need to be punished. While this problem exists we need to consider our actions.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans Commander-in-Chief has done writing in which never mentioning Black Lives Matter by name, has in his columns in the Confederate Veteran, had writing which I think is very clearly about the police shootings and Black Lives Matter and which attempts to represent the whole protest movement against the police shootings as wrong and the result of some nefarious movement.


Two

There are racist and reactionary political factions who like to portray calls for accountability in police behavior as somehow as an attack on the police. Everyone is accountable for their actions and this includes the police.

What is more disturbing is the assertion that lawless action by police is needed to preserve public order.

These racists are looking hard for any pretext to move the conversation or distract the conversation from the issue and to make it look like it is about attacking the police. In this environment Daniels's statements enable the opposition. Though I don't know how much a person is responsible for self-serving and dishonest actions of another.

Three

Looking at the pictures of Rakem Balogun and associates, I see khaki outfits and guns. What it reminds me most is This is Texas Freedom Force. I did look up the word Balogun and I think it means "war lord" in Nigerian. I have been to Scottish Highland festivals also. It all reminds me of Cosplay.

As a cultural geographer you realize that people in the late 20th century and in the 21st century consume identity. If you want to sell someone something sell an identity with it.

Nationalism is also a component of this movement which has names derived from Africa.

Nationalism is a European ideology with which the Western European nations created themselves as very powerful nations, and which many ethnic groups in Eastern Europe saw the means to wrest power from the Russian, German, Austrian, and Ottoman Empires in the late 19th and early 20th century.

It was seen as a means to achieve independence from European empires across the globe in the 20th. The idea of nations is the globally triumphant ideology such that we have trouble recognizing that it is an ideology and thinking outside of its concepts.

I think its ideological success comes from the fact that it has allowed dispossessed groups to achieve power.

Nationalism is what led to violent war in the 20th century. With World War I and II the 20th century is the century of violence. There were calls to have a conflict with Russia, there could have been a World War III, but it was realized that it would be a war of total destruction of of the Western world if not the radioactive poisoning of the Northern hemisphere. Nagasaki and Hiroshima with the small 20 and 40 kiloton bombs gave insight as to what 10 and 20 megaton bombs might do. Nationalism and violence seem follow each other in history.

Nationalism is a time worn strategy to create a state or to coalesce an identity to fight for rights, particularly when the dominating society is demeaning your identity. That is why there are parades or festivals in the United States for so many groups. We have Christopher Columbus day for Italian Americans, St. Patrick's Day for the Irish Americans, other groups have parades and days also. Solidarity in politics works.

Though now that persons with Irish ancestry are part of the dominate group and most white Americans and maybe most African Americans have some Irish ancestry, St. Patrick's day means green beer. Which is another thing about identities, they are put on like clothes when needed.

So these Black nationalist groups are latching on to a strategy which works for other groups.

Of course sense nationalism is imagined, a nationality can exist if you convince people of its existence. This creates an inherent instability. Is it Great Britain or Scotland and England and Wales and Northern Ireland, and what about Cornwall, and then you can pull maps of the distant past and image further more nations. What about the Heptarchy? The success of a nationalist project depends also by suppressing other possible nationalisms.

Nationalistic difference within a state is separatism and thus threatens social unity. That is why the national American metaphor is the "melting pot" and there historically have been speeches against "hyphenated Americans."  However, the quickest way to get rid of "hyphenated Americans" is to truly eliminate prejudice against a group which is being hyphenated. Black nationalism exists since there really isn't a post-racial society in America and the "melting pot" is seen as a deceptive fiction.

You won't be very credible saying were are all in this together, when there is an ongoing pattern abuse by the police and others which make it very clear that we aren't.

I can see nationalism being used to keep from being co-opted by the system by being separatist, but I also see it as leading to carving out worlds of nationalist fantasy in which you can live inside.

In 2018 I see that with the Baloguns that African nationalism is still seen as a strategy.

All of the above is to explain that I find nationalism dubious, but I also find that these nationalists are the least accommodating of racism. So I think that they will continue to find follows.


Four

The Aljazeera article was on May 5th, the Guardian article was on the 11th, and the DMN didn't report it until the 14th after it was becoming an issue locally on Facebook. The DMN is still the Dallas Managed News. This is an important national story with a local connection. The DMN has a past history of doing things like this hence their nickname.

People in Dallas are somewhat annoyed, including myself, that the DMN does stuff like and I posted links here and there so that the story would be known and I was testing to see how the DMN would respond.

They just did a court report type article. No insight at all.

But never fear there is this article form the DMN.
https://www.guidelive.com/bars-and-cocktails/2018/05/15/waste-away-margarita-mile-app-dallas-new-cocktail-crawl#_ga=2.112256132.1647958528.1526036106-1544550825.1491865227

Four

The most serious thing about this whole "Black Extremist Identity" is that it seems elastic. In this article below I point out that you could create a classification "Confederate Identity Extremist."

http://atlantablackstar.com/2018/05/15/federal-judge-finally-releases-man-fbi-targeted-black-identity-extremist-now-hes-job-home/

Also, there seems to be selective enforcement involved.

It seems that the FBI combed through Daniels' past to find something on which to prosecute his ownership of a gun, though it is fairly apparent to anyone that this detailed going through Daniels' past was based on what Daniels' statements in the present.

Though one neo-Confederate group has said some quite threatening things online I haven't seen the FBI acting on them.

I pointed out the comments of Miss. State Rep. Karl Oliver who called for the lynching of opponents of Confederate monuments. Did the FBI visit him?

As frequently is the case, the government overreaches and threatens constitutional liberties with a case where the defendant is unpopular with the public, has done something where sympathy is little, and has limited support.

The Aesop fable of the small tree being surrendered to the woodsman resulting in the destruction of the great trees of the forest applies here.

I think that the FBI acted out of anger and once this BIE thing got started no one was willing to critically examine it, maybe because it was not politically tenable to ask questions. Maybe the FBI wanted to prosecute an African American so they could look "fair" when they went after white supremacists. Regardless, they have made themselves look less credible and look like they were influenced by Info Wars, a really ridiculous conspiracy website.




Sunday, May 13, 2018

Southern Partisan magazine, Abbeville Institute, Revival or Decline of the Southern Partisan and the neo-Confederate movement

The Abbeville Institute is running a lot of essays from the Southern Partisan magazine.

https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/

First I want to discuss and dispose of this website which seems to be some zombie thing in case anyone thinks it represents a real continuation of the Southern Partisan magazine. This website exists with the old Southern Partisan cover title.

https://www.southernpartisan.com/

However, it seems to be a content farm or some type of website in which an algorithm scans published articles and presents them on the website.

All the authors are, "by Editor," or at least the ones I have reviewed.  I don't see any of the old Southern Partisan material from the magazine available.

So it is with some interest that I have seen a lot of Southern Partisan material being republished online at the Abbeville Institute. Is it a sign of the Southern Partisan neo-Confederate ideology continuing on into the present and possibly into the future?

I thought initially it might be that. However, I am also thinking that it might be that the Abbeville Institute needs filler. I noticed last week on the blog it is all or almost all old Southern Partisan articles.

It could be that since 2015 there are less and less individuals willing to write for the Abbeville Institute. They no longer list a faculty, and I can't find online any indication anymore that Brion McClanahan is the editor. I notice that some contributors have nothing to lose in their reputations.

Or it could be that this nationalist movement is dying out. The purposes which drove neo-Confederate nationalism and much of Southern studies, the maintenance a hierarchy of class, gender, race are still there, but neo-Confederate nationalism is no longer seen as the means to maintain these hierarchies. It could be that among neo-reactionaries, white nationalists, other reactionary sorts neo-Confederate nationalism is seen as irrelevant or at best a charming antique from the past.

These reactionary forces might still respect the Confederacy and revere figures of the Confederacy, but they don't see neo-Confederacy as a means or program to direct the future.

One of the forces which drove neo-Confederate nationalism was the need to maintain a separatist anti-democratic and explicitly racist section in the former slave states against national democratizing trends and national movement towards civil rights. It was to facilitate an internal secession.

The Southern Partisan started in 1979 and got serious funding in 1980 and was really launched that year, when it seemed that with the election of Ronald Reagan there was a real chance of overturning or rendering impotent civil rights legislation. The neo-Confederates felt very betrayed when Reagan didn't restore the pre-civil rights era status quo, though Reagan did much to undermine civil rights.

Though there still is a struggle over civil rights in 2018, the old segregationist regimes of the 1950s are gone forever. M.E. Bradford's hopes remain dashed.

Also, the struggle is for the nation at large. States' rights is gone. All the political forces are playing for the nation. Separatism is conceived as being realized through external secession in the form of a nation state and not internal secession with the vehicle of states' rights.

The whole Lost Cause argument of the Civil War being about states' rights doesn't seem to be that important. Secessionists might believe that the Civil War was over states' rights, but they are planning secession. They may be justifying secession a little because they see a lack of states' rights.  But I think the whole discussion might be seen as superfluous to secessionists who are conceptualizing their arguments within nationalist concepts, and nationalists aren't interested in being within a larger polity with or without "states' rights."

Neo-Confederacy is not dead though. It will continue as a reactionary thread in American thinking. It is still a concern. It has influence, such the "Politically Incorrect Guides" of the Regnery Press.

Because a specific nationalist movement is becoming less important, doesn't mean that the Lost Cause is fading out. School textbooks pander to the Lost Cause. The Lost Cause and its monuments seem to have become an agenda item of reactionary or racist websites like Breitbart. But Breitbart doesn't care about M.E. Bradford or neo-Confederate writing or ideology. Instead their defense of Confederate monuments is more about white nationalism in general and white resentment.

At this time neo-Confederacy is largely expressed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The United Daughters (UDC) of the Confederacy seems to have dropped entirely advocacy of neo-Confederate ideas. Privately they might still support neo-Confederate ideas though, it just isn't public. The UDC has set up their website such that archive.org doesn't archive it.

This doesn't mean neo-Confederacy is dead or will be dead. I don't think it will be what it was in the 1980s and 1990s. It will likely be picked up as a narrative in a larger reactionary narrative of national or world history. It might be a field of study for reactionaries reading reactionary books.

I think there still remains work to be done about neo-Confederacy. There is the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy and their enablers. There is still the issue of the complicity of the field of Southern studies with neo-Confederacy which the field refuses to acknowledge much less address.

Of course like a herpes infection, neo-Confederacy might flare up again under stressful circumstances.

However, even then I think that it will be that elements of neo-Confederate thinking will be used by national reactionary movements to advance a national reactionary narrative rather than push regional agendas.

The publication of the American Ideas Institute is American Conservative though they have had neo-Confederate contributors.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Kanye West, Obama, Bill Clinton, slavery and selective neo-Liberal outrage

I review Breitbart routinely since I feel they represent White House ideology generally and also in monitoring Breitbart I get a fairly good idea of the Trump supporting right wing ideas and positions on issues relating to historical memory. I have discussed this before in this blog.

So recently I have been printing out all the Breitbart postings about the controversy surrounding Kanye West and West's statements regarding slavery. I initially wasn't thinking that much about it, but I noticed that there was a tremendous amount of condemnation of Kanye West but also, it was interesting that other pop cultural figures came to West's defense, such as Justin Bieber.

Something about the outrage over Kanye West got me thinking.

Former president Bill Clinton wrote three letters of congratulations to the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The neoliberal press and the media that is just  furious about Kanye West has never been interested. Democrats have given me all sorts of rationalizations over the years.

Hillary Clinton had her infamous "super predator" remarks some time back, but that doesn't seem to be a concern.

Then there was the 2009 letter sent to former president Barack Obama asking him not to send a wreath to the Arlington Confederate Monument.  Letters were later written asking Obama to put an end to the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) handing out of neo-Confederate awards at the U.S. Military Academies. Additional letters were sent about the Arlington Confederate. Never got any response to any of the issues about neo-Confederate involvement in the federal government.

https://arlingtonconfederatemonument.blogspot.com/

In 2009, prior to Obama sending a wreath to the Arlington Confederate Monument the neoliberal press mounted an effort to sideline the issue and rationalize Obama sending the wreath. The Washington Post took a leadership role in this with the New York Times in a supporting role.

When Obama spoke at the Arlington Cemetery in 2009 what references that were made to the issue sounded like he was channeling former president Woodrow Wilson. At the end I was somewhat glad that Obama's speech didn't involve any history written with lightning. Democrats had all sorts of rationalizations for Obama and it was made really clear that the letter was not welcome. The persons who had supported the effort lost interest. Obama did send a wreath to the African American Civil War Museum in DC and that was supposed to make it okay and I was told, "Let's declare victory and move on."

Of course there was the Obama "Beer Summit" which occurred before cell phone cameras and social media had advanced such that police abuse and murder of African Americans was routinely captured on video and shared online in social media and new online media websites.

Regarding Confederate monument removal you read here and there in the neoliberal media that being active against Confederate monuments is supposedly falling into some trap that Trump is setting.

I am not seeing a lot of interested by the Democratic Party in the Black Lives Matter movement or discussion about Confederate monuments.

The operating policy of the Democratic Party is that African Americans have no place to go so if they don't like the Democratic Party policies they can lump it.

Meanwhile there a desperate searching for some magic formula to shake loose a few more white votes for the Democratic Party. Progressives are lectured in the neoliberal press to stop being concerned about Democratic candidates positions on issues, that the winning of elections is paramount.

So into this situation comes Kanye West openly admiring president Donald Trump and saying slavery was a choice.  West's views and behavior suggests that African Americans do have the Republican Party as an alternative.

Kanye West is a major entertainment figure and has a substantial base of fans. On Twitter he has 28.2 million followers. (The story that he lost 10 million followers is incorrect, twitter had a glitch and when corrected there was no loss of 10 million followers.) This number of Twitter followers is after all the controversy over West and any supposed lost.

A short tweet, "free thinking is a super power," on May 8th, by West gets 5,100 comments, 46,000 retweets, and 180,000 hearts.

On Facebook there are various pages for him, with hundred or millions of likes. One page which is just a topic page has over 9 million likes. West currently has his Instagram account shut down, but the number of comments about Kanye West are over 5 million.

What is worrisome to the Democrats is that their program of civil rights is not very substantial and West might be validating to African Americans that African Americans should consider the Republican Party of Donald Trump.

David A. Love had an article in the Atlanta Black Star titled, "Should the Kanye West MAGA Debacle Remind Black People That It's Time to Hold Democrats and Liberals Accountable?"

http://atlantablackstar.com/2018/05/06/kanye-west-maga-debacle-remind-black-people-time-hold-democrats-liberals-accountable/

Nice sentiment, and good luck with that.

Chance the Rapper was chastised for a tweet in support of Kanye West but had this to say:
My statement about black folk not having to be democrats (though true) was a deflection from the real conversation and stemmed from a personal issue with the fact that Chicago has had generations of democratic officials with no investment or regard for black schools, neighborhoods, or black lives,” he said. “We have to talk honestly about what is happening and has been happening in this country and we have to challenge those who are responsible, as well as those who are giving them a pass,” the rapper concluded. “If that happens to include I love, someone who is my brother-in-Christ and someone who I believe does really want to do what is right, it’s not my job to defend or protect him. It’s my job [to] pick up the phone and talk to him about it.” (Taken from David A. Love's article.) 
It is not just leftists or political economists who are realizing that the Democrats policy on civil rights is the general idea that African Americans have nowhere to go and a Democratic candidate needs to search for a Sistah Souljah moment, or speak out and tell those African American men to pull up their pants to validate themselves with white voters.

But also, I sense there is a little bit of panic. I don't think that the general public really cares about what the Washington Post or New York Times has to say on West. I don't think the neoliberal press will have that much affect on West's fan base.

I live in Oak Cliff section of Dallas, and I notice that there are a lot off African American male pants not pulled up. Maybe I should tell them that Obama says pull up their pants and see what the reaction is. I wonder what the response would be? (I am being sarcastic and ironic and in no way would I do that.)

In short the fan base of of Kanye West largely isn't going to care about the fulminations of the neoliberals. Justin Bieber realized his fan base doesn't care either and came out in support of Kanye West. I am not hearing a lot of condemnation from Hollywood figures either who I think realize that West does have a lot of fans who would not be sympathetic to such a condemnation of West.

Remember when the National Review put out an issued devoted to the single topic of condemning Donald Trump and it had no impact on politics? I think that is what might be happening here. Neoliberals go thunder your Bull against West.

Of course Kanye West career might be on the way out, but pop stars are like meteors. They flash across the sky and blaze in the heavens and vanish. I don't think his career is going to be that much impacted. What will happen to it will not be that impacted by this. In a month West might be focused on something else and the media will be on some other topic. West's career might go one way or another and these recent remarks will have little impact.

Basically I think that the reaction to Kanye West's statements is in some sectors of the press, selective outrage. Bill Clinton sends letters to the United Daughters of the Confederacy and bringing up the topic is dismissed with annoyance. Obama sends a wreath to the Arlington Confederate monument and bring up that as a topic is dismissed with annoyance. Kanye West saying something about slavery being a choice, and all hell breaks loose.

I think the neoliberals see the Trump presidency as some type of inter period. The Blue Wave will come and if they can just keep the Progressives under control everything will be restored to the earlier status quo. Even better they will have sunk the Republicans and thus defeated the neoconservatives as competitors for establishment support.

However, I see the situation as fluid. One of the things that I was taught in ancient history is that when the Western Roman Empire fell it took a while for people to realize it was really over. The empire had lost provinces and restored itself many times before. Maybe the old political regime is gone forever. This doesn't necessarily mean that Trump is the future, but we are entering a new situation.

The Democratic narrative is that with time demographics will mean the doom of the Republican Party. Tomorrow belongs to them is the thinking. The Blue Wave is one idea of inevitable triumph. However, with Kanye West maybe some demographic groups are not locked up after all.

Labor market shows signs of tightening also. Articles talk about companies dropping drug testing for marijuana so they can find more workers, others about wage increases in fast food. Economics counts for a lot in elections and I don’t think the Democrats crediting it to the previous administration will have much effect.

Trumph has invited Colin Kaepernick to the White House. Would a Democratic president do such a thing? I doubt it. Obama invited police officers who had abused Louis Gates. Has Hillary Clinton met with Kaepernick? No. Nor is it likely that would ever happen. Yes, Trump uses the term “Bigly,” and neoliberals can be disdainful, but he did defeat both the Republican and the Democratic establishments with very little money or campaign apparatus. I think he has a type of cunning.

By the way here is another neoliberal lecture being given to Kaepernick for bringing up that the Democratic Party is missing in action about the issue of Black Lives Matter. Kaepernick crime was pointing out Clinton’s comments about “super predators.”

https://www.cnn.com/2016/08/30/opinions/where-kaepernick-lost-me-cane/index.html

It seems that these lectures to African Americans are becoming a regular thing.

The Democratic Party is out of power, neither controlling either house of Congress or the presidency. The neoliberals in particular are out of power, and so they can't necessarily punish dissenters as they might. I think people are realizing that being scolded by the New York Times or the Washington Post isn't quite the thing it used to be.

The whole matter with Kanye West might be just a blip, or it might be the beginning of a trend of African Americans realizing that the Democratic Party doesn't really care that much about their rights. If it is a new trend, in five years it will be proclaimed as an obvious beginning of a new trend, by various pundits and historians, like those who would write for the Washington Post, but I don't really know. I do think that the neoliberals are afraid that it could be a trend, that the African American vote won't be locked up.

Remember the victory in Alabama over Roy Moore? It was due to the Democrats getting an extremely high percentage of the vote of African Americans men, 93%,  and African Americans women, 98%, which gave a sort of nothing Democrat Doug Jones a small percentage win. Of course Roy Moore was a neo-Confederate lunatic and that helps.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/glanton/ct-met-alabama-black-women-dahleen-glanton-20171213-story.html

If the percentages for Doug Jones by African American women had only been 95% against Roy Moore, an African American men 90%, Roy Moore well might be in the U.S. Senate today. Even a small loss of African American votes to the Republicans could have severe consequences to Democratic Party fortunes.

The Democrats have come to depend a lot on extremely high percentages of the African American vote falling their way. Of course it remains to be seen what Doug Jones' election means for African American women.

Well actually it doesn't. Read this article.

https://www.theroot.com/doug-jones-and-the-democratic-party-just-screwed-black-1823802570

That didn't take long.

What the Democrats should be concerned about is that low turnout for voting in the African American community is driven by the fact that voting for Democrats has had limited benefits for the African American community as pointed out by Chance the Rapper quoted above.

As for “choice,” the idea of slaves choosing suicide to avoid slavery goes way back in history. If I remember the accounts of ancient slavery in Pierre Dockes, “Medieval Slavery and Liberation,” Roman slave owners had punishments of throwing slaves into pits of moray eels or crucifixion because slaves were quite willing to commit suicide or get themselves killed to escape the brutal horror of ancient slavery and so death had to be really horrific to be a punishment.

There is in popular culture the whole idea of the captured African committing suicide rather than being a prisoner or slave. The character Killmonger does it in the movie Black Panther, Toni Morrison has a character who does it, in the movie Amistad there is a scene where a woman jumps overboard with a baby to prevent them from being enslaved.

What does this say about those who didn’t commit suicide. Those who survived and those from whom the present generation of African Americans are descended?

This is somewhat a modern and American historical problem. Slavery in the Caribbean and Brazil mostly meant being worked to death as did slavery in most places in most historical times. There sometimes weren't too many survivors. Slaves in mines just died and largely didn't have surviving generations.

The other issue is that race marks out African Americans as being descended from slaves. There were English slaves, villain is derived from the term villianage a type of bondage in early and medieval England. You can't tell among modern day English who was likely descended from slaves. Some of these ideas about choice have a consequence of potentially stigmatizing African Americans.

There are various classes of bound labor also, serfs, peons, etc. What are we saying about their survivors?

Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” He was a slave owner. In ancient history soldiers who were captured were enslaved as an alternative to death and this was part of pro-slavery ideology. Are there historical roots of pro-slavery ideology in the narrative of dying rather than be a slave?

I am not saying that one should live under any circumstances. The idea of suicide being a sin is a Christian and Western idea. Japanese and other cultures don’t have a horror of it. I don’t know what the many African cultures thought in the past or think in the present about suicide.

I think that this whole thing about slaves committing suicide hasn’t been thought through.

It could be that with 2016 the neo-liberals win the U.S. House and in 2018 the U.S. Senate and the White House, and we do live in an inter-period and neo-liberalism will be restored but I am not so sure that is the case.

I am not saying that the future will be where Trump or others like him continue in power either. It could be that politics will have a new structure and new contenders and new alliances and configurations. There won't be a restoration of the pre-Trump political world.



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Will be presenting at the South Dallas Cultural Center about the white supremacy inherent in Fair Park

April 28th, 2-4 pm, Sat. at the South Dallas Cultural Center I will be giving two presentations on Fair Pair and I will be on one of the panels.

We expect to have a good crowd attend. What is happening is that more and more people are realizing that Ed Sebesta does fairly good research and he is likely to have the story on some item of the Dallas landscape and Ed Sebesta will have documentation that it is about white supremacy.

Also, I expect that with this presentation, and the others planned after it, a lot of people will know about my research into the neo-Confederates.

I am also developing methods which I think will serve as a model to other cities to get rid of their Confederate built landscapes.

Click on it to see the whole thing.


Monday, April 16, 2018

Kay Bailey Hutchison Confederate Convention Center

The City of Dallas thinks that since the Confederate War Memorial is in a section of the park that people generally don't visit that maybe they can just let it stay.

However, monuments live in the imagination. The physical monument is just there to place in your thoughts the monument in your imagination. You don't need to be there every day, the impact of a monument isn't proportional to the percentage of time you are in its proximity. In fact monument that require some pilgrimage or trek can be only seen once but have the greatest impact on the imagination since they require a special visit.

The Confederate War Memorial has some special elements which I think will give it a place in the imagination of the nation and the residents of Dallas, and not in a good way. It turns out that being downtown the monument can be photographed against a backdrop of skyscrapers.

The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center is one of those designs of a large amount of glass windows and the Confederate War Memorial reflects very well both during the day and at night off those windows in the most interesting ways. I put some of the pictures on the following web page.

http://templeofdemocracy.com/dallas-convention-reflections.html

I am mailing all copies of all the pictures on the above webpage, except one, to Mayor Rawlings and the City Council. They have all the same little comments that I show associated with the images in the above web page.

As a method of getting your city to rid itself of a Confederate statue I don't think my method of photographing the reflected images off the convention center has much general applicability. This combination of architectural style and close proximity was rather fortuitous.

However, photographing images of the Confederate monument against local landmarks I think could be applied to varying extent in a lot of situations.

The other lesson is to really look at your local Confederate monument and its location. We had been at this monument multiple times, and no one noticed the reflected images until the last anti-monument mini-rally and then only myself. One pointed out people picked up on the symbolic meaning fairly quickly.

So ask yourself do you really see your Confederate monument? Have you looked early in the morning, noon, late afternoon, night. What does it look like in rain or fog? Is it always illuminated at night or never? Does it have ultraviolet fluorescence? Have you tried photographing it with polarized filters?

There must be a lot of ways to get the Confederate monument seen for the thing it is, and get others to really "see" it.








Saturday, April 07, 2018

Secession and Gun Control, or "That was fast!"

In this earlier Feb. 2018  blog posting I concluded that I thought the ignition point to get secession movements going was likely to be the passage of gun control legislation.

https://newtknight.blogspot.com/2018/02/status-of-texas-secession-secessionists.html#.Wsigt4jBqiO

The comment about gun control was at the very end.  It is part of a lengthy assessment of the status of the Texas secessionists. To give a very brief assessment, the Texas secessionists aren't going to gain any traction as long as Trump is in office and the Republicans control the government.

I blogged about a news article about secession and gun control March 27, 2018.

https://newtknight.blogspot.com/2018/03/liberal-left-is-noticing-secession-and.html#.WsihuIjBqiM

A left/liberal website Think Progress reported on some fringe elements advocating secession to prevent gun control. This is the link to their article.

https://thinkprogress.org/why-do-these-patriots-hate-america-ec1a093a8df6/

So I saw a developing idea among fringe elements. Maybe some time some where this would have consequences. I was really surprised that the issue of gun control and secession would find its way into state legislatures this fast with the introduction of a bill into the South Carolina legislature calling for secession if there is federal gun control legislation.

http://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/382003-south-carolina-house-republicans-introduce-bill-to-consider-secession

http://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/the-buzz/article208132169.html

It became an Associated Press story.

Reminds me of the statement by South Carolinian James L. Petigru that South Carolina in 1860 was too small to be a republic but too large to be an insane asylum.

From the AP article we learn the following:

A trio of state House Republicans on Thursday quietly introduced a bill that would allow lawmakers to debate seceding from the U.S. "if the federal government confiscates legally purchased firearms in this State."
 The chief sponsor is Rep. Mike Pitts who contradictorily also says:
Pitts, a longtime law officer and Army veteran, said his bill isn't a call for secession but merely a proposal to make the action possible if events warrant.

"I'm not promoting secession. I served this country, and I don't want to see it broken up."
I think this shows that Pitts thinks that secession is a little out there as an idea or perhaps he doesn't have coherent thinking.

However, this puts the idea in the news for both South Carolina and in North Carolina where the story was covered in the Charlotte Observer.  https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/state/south-carolina/article208132169.html  The story is identical to the article in The State.

It has gotten national coverage in the media and with the Internet the secession proposal in South Carolina can be accessed by a national audience.

Perhaps this is the next ultra position to show that you are really a strong supporter on gun control. Or maybe it isn't. It could be that the Republican leadership is ready to severely criticize the three Republican legislators. Or it could be that some other Republican legislators will join the effort to make sure they don't lose the next Republican primary. Or it could be both. I think I have covered all the possibilities there.

However, the fact that this is proposed at all is cause for concern. We don't hear calls for the resignation of these three Republicans by the Republican leadership.

It is another incremental step forward in the normalization of secession. A little here and a little there secession continues to be normalized.

The attitude of the media has been bemusement. The history of secession is that it seems comical or outlandish until it isn't.

Any political movement, anything new, starts first with imagining it. At this point we have secession being imagined. We don't have the imagining of the consequences, just some idealized fantasy of secession. I don't see any anti-secession movement getting people imagining the consequences. There is just bemusement.

There needs to be conceptualized some anti-secession strategies with some group having some ongoing focus on preventing secession. That way when a body of ideas is needed they will be developed and there will be something better than some slogan like, "Better Together." (Used in opposition to Scottish secession.)

The fundamental problem in getting people to take secession seriously is that people think that nations are composed of some solid material, maybe concrete, and indestructible. The reality is that nations are imagined and are composed of dreams. Once the dream is gone, the nations may have all the apparatuses of state power, but as imposing as they may seem, a nation dependent on them alone, and not the support of the general population is in a desperate situation.

The collapse of the Soviet Union should have taught the public that. It hasn't. The secessionists however, were quick learners regarding this. The neo-Confederate Kennedy twins discussed the Soviet Union in their second edition of "The South Was Right!" Other secessionists noticed.

Also, I fear that if secession starts getting some traction the opposition to it will be blunt and unthinking and act to enable secession. Opposition to secession needs to be grounded in the field of cultural geography and that field's understanding of nationalism. The reliance on force will be a losing strategy.

However, at this point secession has moved forward just an increment. Perhaps I can't really believe that this is going anywhere. Even to myself it seems outlandish. However, I think that it might turn out to be very real and a great danger.




Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Take 'Em Down NOLA Item # 5 - The end of the Confederacy in the built environment and place names

The importance of the Take 'Em Down NOLA national conference is that we are networked now. A loose network to be sure, but a network. There is the sense that there is a national movement being born.

The conference has been inspiration for other groups to form and work in their areas. Information is being exchanged. I gave out 80 copies of my book "Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction," to the attendees. To one individual from each city I gave a copy of the "Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader," and "Pernicious." I think they will be surprised how rabid the neo-Confederate movement is.

I also shared with the people for whom I got contact cards online resources including my website http://www.confederatepastpresent.org/ and my curriculum vitae with its sources. http://templeofdemocracy.com/curriculum-vitae.html

If some neo-Confederate group is defending Confederate statues some place I can have information to the local group fighting Confederate statues as soon as they contact me. Though now the network is aware of this article.

http://www.blackcommentator.com/526/526_confederacy_sebesta_guest_share.html

Being informed is always an asset and people will be bring the information I have shared to others.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans will no longer be able to pass themselves off as sentimentalists and neither will the United Daughters of the Confederacy be able to pass themselves as persons with historical nostalgia. The neo-Confederate agenda will be known.

I can get information documenting the neo-Confederate movements hostility to all sorts of groups in hours.

The other groups bring their own talents and resources into the effort with their experiences to organize and mobilize.

We haven't gotten involved about half of the groups across the nation which are involved so there is potential for expansion and as mentioned new groups will be forming.

Another national convention is planned to be in Jacksonville. Annual conventions will keep the sense of there being a national movement and continue the exchange of information. I think Jacksonville will be closer to groups in Virginia and the Carolina's and we will get more participation from that part of the nation. Also, being in Florida I think there will be people wanting to have a combined vacation/conference visit. The ocean will be close by.

Up until recently campaigns against Confederate statues have been done by temporary ad hoc groups or groups that are only temporarily focused on this. Also, one interesting feature of the attendees at the NOLA conference is that they understood how the built environment created a framework of values that shape society.

Whereas there had been groups in defense of Confederate statues that continued from year to year for generations, there hadn't been counter organizations against the Confederacy that were more than temporary efforts. That is now changed. Elected officials will have to understand that there will be groups holding them accountable if they support or aid neo-Confederates. There might be a protest group showing up at their next event.

The was the comparison of local efforts and learning that some of the obstacles and behaviors they observed were the same in their different cities and an exchange of tactics and counter-arguments that people had learned.

The Confederate built environment is losing popularity over time and I think it just needs some focused groups to keep pushing and in 20 years Confederate monuments will be few and the indicators of some really backward town.

The Confederacy is going down.

Police Harassment after ministers event.

About half the group had dispensed all ready and some people still hadn't left and were talking and the group was gradually leaving as people wrapped up their conversations.

However, the police showed up and told us we had to leave. This is a public park and people just told the police that they were going to be staying.

What was interesting is that the police did this with media people still there with TV cameras. The police backed off when they realize they were being filmed, not just by me, but by the media.

The video is unedited. People come up to talk to me not realizing that I am taking video of a developing situation.

WARNING: Some bad language.

https://youtu.be/vYQX5kuPVIY


Click on the image to see the whole video.

Confederate Monument a Bad REFLECTION on Dallas, Texas

This is the Confederate War Memorial reflection on the windows of the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. Took it 3/29/2018.  What organization wants their event reflecting the Confederacy.

https://youtu.be/Klxrs0H_fVk

Click on video to see the whole thing.




https://youtu.be/NTOHsij2Dhc

Click on video to see whole thing.




Sunday, April 01, 2018

Texas Secession at the 2016 Texas State Republican Party Convention

The debate over secession at the 2016 Texas State Republican Party Convention video has been released.

You can watch and listen at this link.

https://texasnationalist.com/news/video-released-of-republican-debate-on-texas-independence

The proposal was defeated by the platform committee 16 to 14.  Fairly close I think for a party that claims to be patriotic.

The relevance is that the Texas Nationalist Movement is planning to get some measure passed at the 2018 Texas State Republican Party convention.

https://texasnationalist.com/news/tnm-rpt-past-and-future-part-1


What is in this movements favor is there is no longer the presidential campaign of Ted Cruz to ferociously oppose it.

Against it is that Donald Trump did get elected president and to advocate secession would undermine him, and the potential base for secession is largely the same people who support Donald Trump.

The Republican Party state convention is June 14, 2018.

As I have explained before, the secession movement would only start up if its potential base lost hope in Trump or the Republican party's current ascendancy in national politics, or the federal government passing gun control legislation. None of these things is going to happen between now and the June 14, 2018 Republican Party state convention.

If, and I emphasize if, there is some "blue wave," in the 2018 Nov. elections, then the Texas secessionist movement will start gaining traction.

These page and video links are posted so people know what is surfacing in the Texas Republican Party.

This is the link for the Republican Party state convention.

https://www.texasgop.org/2018-convention/

Take 'Em Down NOLA. Rationalizations of statue defenders Item #4

After I left the Mitch Landrieu book signing I ran into a person outside the museum who as critical of Take 'Em Down NOLA (TEDN). Being an older white guy often people will make assumptions about my opinions.

This person's argument against TEDN was that the members of TEDN were "transplants."

I pointed out that in our legal system there weren't hereditary castes nor privileged voters, and that everyone living there in New Orleans was a citizen with rights.

Of course the person didn't accept this, he said how would I like it if people came to my place to change my culture or some such thing.  A little Xenophobia is the basis of his argument.

If I moved someplace and something there was really stupid I would speak out. If it was something like cottage cheese pie in West, Texas. (That is West, Texas not West Texas, on the way to Waco.) I am not going to be that critical. Local favorite, awful, but let it go, I don't have to eat it.  But I think, and I have opinions, and I can choose to express them. I will be sensitive to feelings where possible, but I don't think locality enables stupidity.

What you learn is that people with banal white nationalist views don't want to recognize that they are white nationalists and come up with all sorts of inane arguments.

The tactic of discussing whether they are transplants or not is to avoid discussing the issues involved with Confederate monuments. The person discusses these other topics to avoid discussing the Confederacy or realizing his or her white nationalist views.

We need to confront these various rationalizations by the following

1. Point out that they are means to avoid discussing the issue.

2. Call it banal white nationalism.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Liberal/ Left is noticing secession and that gun control might drive it

The article is titled, "What's with these so-called 'patriots' calling for the breakup of America?"

https://thinkprogress.org/why-do-these-patriots-hate-america-ec1a093a8df6/

In this February 2018 I said that Texas secession would likely have an ignition point with the passage of gun control.

http://newtknight.blogspot.com/2018/02/status-of-texas-secession-secessionists.html#.Wrr3FYjBqiM

With the demonstrations for some type of control of fire arms after the Parkland school shootings it seems from the Think Progress article that this move towards secession to avoid gun control is starting.

It seems that the recent demonstrations for gun control have persons strongly opposed to gun control rattled and talk of secession has begun.

I knew that the protests had been large, but I didn't really think that the students had a chance, but maybe people against gun control are seeing that they do have a chance.

What needs to be remembered about these calls for secession or threats of secession is that they normalize secession. Maybe a person is just blowing off steam, but for what ever reason they talk about secession as a possibility means that this is no longer a taboo topic, or that there is a barrier between them and this position. They have taken this position once, so even if they lose interest, they have done so prior and there is no barrier psychological or intellectual to doing it again. There isn't a need to think through the issue, since in the past they had thought through the issue.

The percentage of people who have discussed secession increases a little or maybe more than a little. A larger population of those more open to secession than before is built up.

Take 'Em Down NOLA, Marching in the street. Item #3

On Sunday, 3/25/2017 we marched through streets in New Orleans and stopped at various monuments that needed to go.

There was no parade permit. The police just stopped traffic along the route so we could pass unhindered. I was able to safely walk backwards into intersections against the traffic lights so I could get Facebook live broadcasting of the group.

The city didn't want any incidents and it was like we had an escort along the way.

I have the video of the parade on Facebook.  My cell phone would lose signal and I would have to restart.

This is the first video.

https://www.facebook.com/edward.sebesta/videos/10157266790959829/

This is the second video.

https://www.facebook.com/edward.sebesta/videos/10157266915554829/

This is the third video.

https://www.facebook.com/edward.sebesta/videos/10157267094869829/


The police barricaded one monument so that the TEDN couldn't use the monument for some action.

At the end of the march we were back at Lafayette Park and we formed a big circle. This is part of the circle.

Click on pictures to see the ENTIRE photo.

This is another section of the circle.

And another section of the circle.

another section of the circle


another section of the circle

A very diverse group of people working for a common goal. People who are going back to their communities and who are fired up to take down Confederate statues and I will be providing research support for all of them.

Take 'Em Down Nola Friday night session, meet and greet 3/23/2018 Item #2

The leaders of Take 'Em Down NOLA spoke to everyone Friday night. There were still people driving to attend starting in the morning so all the attendees of the Conference weren't there yet.

Click on image to see whole thing.



At the end of the session we formed a big circle as a means of achieving group solidarity. This was a big circle, but we had several groups not there yet, but would be there in the morning.





One photo shot didn't get the whole circle in.

These are people really serious about bringing down Confederate monuments across the nation and people making up a support network.

This will be the beginning. As we get a national group going, we will get individuals interested from different cities and they will contact our groups and they will be referred to other interested individuals from their city.


Some liberal Democrats and Leftists finally wise up.

This is the article in Nation magazine.

https://www.thenation.com/article/how-charles-koch-is-helping-neo-confederates-teach-college-students/

The article doesn't mention Marshall DeRosa's involvement with the Abbeville Institute.

https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/?s=Marshall

The problem is that Nation magazine relied on the Southern Poverty Law Center and they won't label negatively the Abbeville Institute.

Marshall DeRosa has a book on the Confederate Constitution also as well as other neo-Confederate books.

https://www.amazon.com/Marshall-L.-DeRosa/e/B001JP40L0

In addition to the books listed at Amazon, he has also contributed book chapters to "A Defender of Southern Conservatism: M.E. Bradford and His Achievements," Univ. of Missouri Press; "Rethinking the American Union for the Twenty-First Century," Pelican Press; "The Politics of Dissolution: The Quest for National Identity & the American Civil War," Transaction Books. Transaction books is at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

The liberal/left and the neo-liberals in particular were always afraid that they might not get an extra electoral vote in the South and so they have ignored this. Also, a large chunk of all these movements contain individuals which haven't really given up on the Lost Cause or the Confederacy and had various degrees of identification with the Confederacy. They think they are liberal and this and that, but mentally they have never left the plantation.

Now, neo-Confederate has gone further on the road to bringing down American democracy and the indifference of the American liberal/left and their whiteness has a lot to do with it.


Monday, March 26, 2018

Take 'Em Down NOLA reads Kevin M. Levin just before confronting Mitch Landrieu: Item #1 TakeEMDownNOLA Series

I was down in New Orleans at the Take 'Em Down NOLA (TEDN) national conference, 3/23-25/2018, this last weekend. It had people from across the nation attending. I will be doing a series of posts on what happened. The neo-Confederate movement is now doomed and it is just a matter of time before the Confederate landscape is gone.

Sunday, 3/25/2018 we had a morning march in the streets of New Orleans to the statues of white supremacists. Then a little later in the early afternoon we went to for lunch. Saturday, the previous day, I learned that TEDN was not happy with Mitch Landrieu taking all the credit.

The plan was that after the lunch we would go to the Mitch Landrieu book signing at 2pm.

During lunch, I shared with them Kevin M. Levin's posting on Mitch Landrieu's book where Levin criticizes Landrieu for taking too much credit for the monument removal. This is the link to Kevin Levin's posting.

http://cwmemory.com/2018/03/24/mayor-mitch-landrieu-and-the-mythology-of-confederate-monument-removals-in-new-orleans/

One of the TEDN leaders was very interested and read it through on my cellphone. I also shared the link. This was good preparation when we tracked down Mitch Landrieu's book signing several blocks away at a museum.

It was on the second floor with tables with linen cloth and African American food servers in an elite space and thus creating plantation optics. You needed a ticket to get up.

I was asked to reconnoiter and find out where it was.

I was able to get upstairs anyways by just walking up and saying no I did not have a ticket, but I was a historian that just happened to be in town and wanted to get a book. I had a nonchalant attitude that I expect to be admitted anyways and it worked.

I did photo documentation of the event and the audience and the food servers and the whole elite thing. Then I went down to report. However, TEDN had decided to come up and I direct them to the book signing where Landrieu was just spinning his narrative.

Malcolm Suber entered into a dialog with Landrieu but his is a very able politician, that is he had some rationalizations for everything. He also spoke to Suber as if he was an acquaintance.

I had explained that Kevin M. Levin was a person who wrote articles for the Smithsonian and The Atlantic and was an establishment figure and Levin saw what Landrieu was doing. I have shared the link and showed the URL of Levin's blog to them. There was a lot of interest and I think some gratification that others were seeing what Landrieu  was doing.

I also explained that though Levin and I am opponents that his blog often has good information. I also explained that Levin got on the train to remove monuments very late in the historical process.

TEDN during the march criticized academics for being missing in action and not challenging the built environment that honors white supremacists. They are right to a great degree, but I was able to show that there were exceptions.

The power of these conferences is that they connect resources. I was able to alert TEDN to Levin's posting. It lets TEDN know that there are people who see their side of this story and are supportive. It encouraged TEDN to continue to assert their narrative.

The following are photos of the event. Click on them to see the WHOLE photo.









Then TEDN appeared. It no longer was just an elite event.



Monday, March 19, 2018

"Deep States" and Secession

There is this concept among the right wing or right populists about a "deep state." I am not sure what the formal definition of "deep state" is, or what would distinguish it from just cliques of special interests in and outside the government. Would the "military-industrial complex" referred to by President Eisenhower be a "deep state"?

It could be that the public now has adopted a term to refer to a bureaucracy that has been built up by special interests ascendant in prior presidential administrations. However, the idea that there is a bureaucracy with its own agenda and disdainful of popular elections is hardly new.

The hugely popular comedy, "Yes, Minister," with its sequel, "Yes, Prime Minister" portrayed a British bureaucracy which had its own agenda and did what it could to thwart the elected officials in any and every way it could. I don't know if it could be called the "deep state" since it seemed to encompass the entire British government excepting the elected officials. The first series ran on BBC from 1980 to 1984 and the sequel from 1986 to 1988. Episodes ran on PBS later.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yes_Minister

The movie, "A Very British Coup," has the government attempting to undermine a socialist prime minister, and then when the elections go the wrong way the final scene suggests that the elected government has been overthrown. In this case there is a formation within the government which is actively opposing a socialist prime minister. It was originally a novel published in 1982, and then adapted twice for television in both 1988 and 2012.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Very_British_Coup

The idea that the federal government is working to undermine and subvert the agenda of a newly elected president with a different direction for government isn't new either.

M.E. Bradford, neo-Confederate, paleoconservative, and racist reactionary saw the federal bureaucracy as an active enemy of the new direction of Ronald Reagan and also was very vocal in his concerns that the Washington establishment would undermine Reagan's agenda until it became clear that Reagan didn't really have much of an agenda himself. This was back in 1976 when Reagan was elected.

The above is to show that the idea of a grouping or clique of government officials operating with various levels of conspiratorial methods is not a new concept. It has been abroad in popular culture and now it is called "deep state."

What is interesting is this article at Politico that the majority believe or tend to believe that there is a "deep state."

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/03/19/poll-deep-state-470282

The results are 27% says the "deep state" definitely exists and 47% believe it probably exists. That totals up to 74%. Who says Americans are deeply divided?

Only 5% said they believe the "deep state" definitely doesn't exist, and 16% said it probably doesn't exist.

The impact on the issue of secession is the relation of the ideas of a "deep state" and "nationalism."

Nation's are elite projects. They were invented with the end of dynastic states to provide a vessel for governance. The statement with the formation of Italy, made by an Italian nationalist, that they have created Italy, and that now they must create Italians, actually applies to most western European states of any size.

If the Nation as a political vehicle is seen as a vehicle that is only beneficial to an elite unbounded by democracy and disdainful of it, the particular national idea loses support. Though secession has the idea that another smaller nation as a political vehicle can be kept from the control of elites because everyone is part of some smaller national identity. Currently the idea to counter the failings of nationalism is to launch another nationalism which can be expected to result in small petty states with small elites. In short the secession idea is to fight the consequence an idea with more of the same with hopes that it will turn out different because our nationality is so special.

Since there isn't really any alternate idea, secession will likely pick up support from the alienated. With 75% of Americans thinking the national government is a "deep state," I don't think that there will be a lot of interest in supporting the national government if it calls for personal sacrifice, and nations often need to consume personal sacrifice.

For secessionists it means that they can expect to have a body of alienated to recruit from. For national governments they will have to largely support themselves with the resources they have and not expect the public to make serious sacrifices if things get difficult. The national government can expect that they have ambivalent support. Historically this is the situation where seemingly imposing states find that their situation is very much at risk.

The federal government's actions against the Bundy Ranch and the occupiers of the Malheur Refuge show a government that doesn't feel they have strong popular support and act cautiously to avoid giving insurrectionists public sympathy. I can only imagine what would be the situation if somewhere there were several hundred people better organized, determined and planning serious insurrection.

This doesn't mean secession is the wave of the future. It just is another indication of the shift in the environment towards conditions favorable towards secessionists. It isn't that you have a big shift in support of secession, though it could be expected that there will be some increase of support for secession, especially if the Democrats are seen as the future of the national government.

The importance is that support for the government will be less. The national government can be packages inside the concept of a "deep state" which sounds ominous instead of the concept of the United States of American which has popular sympathy. A movement composed of a small percentage of highly motivated individuals when faced with a largely apathetic opposition is not in a bad position.

Again, this is just a development, and hopefully will remain an obscure footnote in national history.













Sunday, March 18, 2018

Comical aspects of white supremacy and neo-Confederacy

One thing that you often note about white supremacists is that often individually they aren't very notable in personal achievements themselves. They talk about a white civilization as if there is some such thing and that white people did this or that, but they haven't done much of anything or anything notable in the least.

However, these things done in European or American history are done by individuals who had opportunities in education and personally pushed themselves to do something with their lives white or otherwise. In contrast these type of white supremacists themselves haven't done much with their lives besides gripe.

There is a stereotype that white supremacists are marginal individuals with out of control lives. This is not helpful in combating neo-Confederacy since people overlook educated racists and the neo-Confederate movement is lead by people with degrees and people in the establishment.

However, somethings are just too funny to pass up.

Recently the Traditional Workers Party (TWP) disintegrated. The explanation for the demise of the organization is explained in this Daily Beast article introduction to an article titled, "Neo-Nazi Group Implodes Over Love Triangle Turned Trailer Brawl."
Matthew Heimbach and his spokesman came to blows after Heimbach was caught sleeping with the spokesman’s wife. What’s more, Heimbach is married to the spokesman’s stepdaughter.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/matthew-heimbachs-traditional-workers-party-implodes-over-love-triangle-turned-trailer-brawl?ref=home

The stepdaughter is from a previous marriage of the spokesman. There are these comical elements. Parrot is the spokesman for the TWP.

Parrott stood on a box outside the trailer and watched Heimbach and Jessica have sex inside, according to a police report. When the box broke under Parrott’s weight, he entered the trailer to confront them. Heimbach allegedly choked him and chased him into a house, where Parrott threw a chair at him. Heimbach hit back, choking him into unconsciousness, according to the police report.

The League of the South is inviting the members of the Traditional Workers Party to join their organization.

http://leagueofthesouth.com/statement-on-matthew-heimbach-and-twp/




Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Confederacy loses again, Jerry Patterson loses to George P. Bush for Land Commissioner in Texas

Jerry Patterson interviewed in the Southern Mercury, a racist publication put out by the Sons of Confederate Veterans Educational PAC. That is what the magazine said.

He has been a supporter of the Confederacy.

George P. Bush has been the object of hostility by various pro-Confederate militia and neo-Confederate groups.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2018-elections/2018/03/06/sid-miller-wins-gop-primary-ag-commissioner-george-p-bush-headed-win-land-commish-race

Jerry Patterson got 29.7% of the vote versus 58.2% for George P. Bush in the Republican primary.

The Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans had this Facebook posting regarding George P. Bush.

https://www.facebook.com/TexasSCV/posts/1614108091970237

This is the link to the "This is Texas Freedom Force" video during the the primary election day where their leader is expecting to see George P. Bush defeated at the polls.

https://www.facebook.com/1318988724858579/videos/1585502844873831/

They have been against George P. Bush for some time now.  This is their Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/This-Is-Texas-Freedom-Force-1318988724858579/

This is another #BOOTBUSH posting.

https://www.facebook.com/1318988724858579/photos/a.1319816784775773.1073741829.1318988724858579/1584351781655604/?type=3&theater

Of course the Texas Nationalist movement didn't like George P. Bush. This is one attack article. There are others.

https://texianpartisan.com/bushs-tangled-web-finally-unraveling/

Support for the Confederacy and the Alamo is certainly down when a Republican candidate in a Republican primary can't get 30% of the vote when campaigning on being supportive of both and the winning candidate being castigated as not supporting either. Turn out in primaries is low and in them ideological forces often have the greatest influence. Not in 2018 in this primary.

I am sure politicians will take note of this, that there really isn't much support for the Alamo or the Confederacy in a Republican primary. Also, Republicans are likely to be more concerned with what appears to be a strong shift to the Democrats in Texas this year and being known to being supportive of the Confederacy certainly would be very unhelpful in trying to counter this shift.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Panicked Alarm for thrills. A Norwegian flag reported to the press as a Confederate flag.

I don't know what type of person Rebecca Morris is, and the headline is my interpretation of these events.

It is like an episode out of Portlandia.

Recently a resident of Seattle called a reporter that a Confederate flag was flying in her neighborhood on a flag pole. This is the story:

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/both-have-crosses-so-norwegian-flag-mistaken-for-confederate-flag/

It turned out it was a Norwegian flag.

Now before going forward lets contrast the Norwegian flag to the Confederate battle flag.

The Norwegian flag has a Latin cross, that is a + sign type cross.

The Confederate battle flag has a Greek cross, that is a X type cross.

The Norwegian flag doesn't have any decorative elements or symbols or anything besides the cross.

The Confederate battle flag has 13 stars. They are not small and a prominent element of the design.

They don't look like each other at all except a lot of red.

This was the news tip by Morris.
“Hi. Suddenly there is a Confederate flag flying in front of a house in my Greenwood neighborhood. It is at the north-east corner of 92nd and Palatine, just a block west of 92nd and Greenwood Ave N. I would love to know what this ‘means’ … but of course don’t want to knock on their door. Maybe others in the area are flying the flag? Maybe it’s a story? Thank you.”
A reporter drove to the corner and in this story an excuse is made for Morris.
There was no wind, and on a flagpole there was what obviously was the U.S. flag at the top, and below, a red flag with blue stripes. 
Simply hanging down, not spread out, you could make some assumptions that it was the star-filled “Southern cross” of the Confederacy.
It isn't clear whether there was no wind when Morris reported this flag.  However, if there wasn't any wind, I would think you would wait for some wind to make sure that it was a Confederate flag before you denounce a neighbor to the press. This is effectively a denunciation, Morris characterizes the neighbor flying the Confederate flag as someone potentially dangerous. "but of course don't want to knock on their door."

I can imagine that the neighbor flying the Norwegian flag felt intimidated.

The newspaper digs up another case of a Norwegian flag mistaken for a Confederate flag.

When it was reported back to Morris that it was a Norwegian flag she replied:

She says she had even looked up the Confederate flag online and it sure looked to her like the flag on that corner. 
But on a second look, “Well, it does look like the Norwegian flag!”

So here the no wind theory seems less creditable. Morris claims to have looked up a Confederate flag online and compared it to the flag on the corner.

Or perhaps there was no wind and that fact that the flag on the corner and a Confederate battle flag both had red and blue was enough for Morris to conclude that "it sure looked like the flag on that corner."

Morris then excuses herself by stating, "we're stressed by all things political that we see things that aren't there."

I think before you call the media about something this serious about your neighbor I think you really should make sure of your facts.

I would like to suggest some alternative possible interpretations of the events.

1. Maybe Morris is excitable and given to panicked alarms and just goes off the deep end easily. Perhaps cries often.

2. Or maybe Morris is excitable and saw a real opportunity for drama in her life. Morris could breathlessly report to her friends that she was the FIRST to report it. What dangers might be there with this neighbor she could dwell on breathlessly. The possibility for drama would be endless.

Right-wing news outlets were quick to take advantage of this opportunity to present opponents of Confederate things as addled persons.

Breitbart had this article.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2018/02/22/seattle-author-tips-reporter-mistaking-norwegian-flag-confederate-flag/

The Daily Caller had this article.

http://dailycaller.com/2018/02/23/seattle-confederate-flag/

Red State

https://www.redstate.com/jimjamitis/2018/02/22/seattle-author-reports-neighbors-confederate-flag-gets-geography-lesson/

The article concludes with, "To be fair, the colors are practically the same, but this seems like a mystery the true crime author could have figured out without contacting the media.

The Washington Examiner really takes Morris to task in this article and shows the two flags side by side.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/how-do-you-say-bless-your-heart-in-norwegian/article/2649898

The author of the Examiner article states.
"The reason we know about any of this is because the busybody Morris narc’d on her neighbor. "
The author also points out the alarmist representation of the neighbor by Morris and Morris' decision not to talk to the neighbor with this comment.
She would've discovered her boneheaded mistake pretty quickly, and privately, had she just done the neighborly thing and asked the man about his flag. Instead, she made a great fool of herself by ratting him out him to the local newspaper
I bring this up since I am finding in Dallas a lot of people who really aren't against the Confederate built environment, but really are primarily interested in drama and self-serving moral posturing.

They are focused on extremists and really don't want to know that the Confederate built environment is actually supported by mainstream elements in their society.

For those who have a compulsion to find silver linings in everything, I should point out there there isn't. Perhaps someone might reflect that they should check twice, but people who like panicked alarm for thrills are rarely reflective.

What the activist against the Confederate built environment needs to do is to discourage this in any organizations they have. I got to meetings and some seem to be forums for this type of self-indulgence. This needs to be called out for what it is.

Also, in building an organization don't imagine that these people are really supporters. They will be on to another issue and gone with a few news cycles when they see the current issue as exhausted for opportunities for drama and some new event provides new opportunities for drama.


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