American Racism’s Greatest Ally: The Republican Party

My Tuesday column and some familiar territory:

In a relative sense the American Civil War wasn’t that long ago. Soon after I was born, my parents took me to visit my great grandfather, Charles Davis, who everyone called “Pappy.” Pappy was living in a VA hospital in Aspinwall, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh and it was his 93rd birthday when he was photographed holding me in his arms. Pappy was a veteran of the Spanish-American War and Pappy’s father, Richard B. Davis, was a corporal with a Zouave regiment, the 155th PA, in the Union Army and fought at Little Round Top during the battle of Gettysburg, among other engagements.

That’s how recent the war was. As a baby I was once held by the son of a Civil War veteran.

But on the other hand, 150 years or so is a very long time when we consider post-war racial equality. As many of us observed in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in America for good, passed through Congress on its way to ratification in the states in early 1865. Yet the real struggle for racial equality had only just begun and, to this day, still hasn’t been fully realized.

On February 7, 2013, after all this time, the state of Mississippi finally ratified the amendment that abolished slavery. [continue reading here]

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  • eljefejeff

    awesome pic of you and your great grandpa

  • trgahan

    Oh so true. What is even more frustrating is the large scale political manipulation conservatives can engage in when playing racial politics. Racists’ conservatives are willing repeatedly vote against their own interests as long as “those people” have it worse off.

    It doesn’t matter if they lose any safety net, never make above minimum wage, are forced to only work 28 hours a week so they don’t get health benefits, their landlord has no legal obligation to provide safe housing nor does their employer need to provide a safe work environment. As long as “those people” are sufficiently socially and legally below them; they will accept increasingly low living standards.

    • muselet

      “I may be poor, but at least I ain’t no …”

      People are really bad at identifying their economic self-interest.

      –alopecia

  • muselet

    Thanks for sharing the picture, Bob. I hope it has a cherished place in your home.

    –alopecia

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    That whole incident is unbelievable, and makes me want to react with violence (as in pounding the hell out of that creep). Since I can’t do that, I can only hope that the FBI does it for me.

    [very cool pic of you and Pappy, Bob!]

    • Victor_the_Crab

      I wouldn’t necessarily say the FBI. I’m thinking some very large cellmates that take turns using him as a punching doll.