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.

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.

This is the Aljazeera coverage of the story.

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

There are multiple issues raised here.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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."

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.

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.

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 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.

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?"

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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