Don't Know What We Did To Deserve It, But Bush V. Gore Is Back
The past isn't dead. It isn't even past.
Sometimes I like to imagine what things might be like in the alternate universe where Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election. Maybe there was no Iraq War, because Gore's Cabinet wouldn't have been full of neocons. Following 9/11, the US still probably would have gone to war in Afghanistan, but without the shiny object of invading Iraq distracting everyone, the US might have caught up with Osama bin Laden in 2003 or 2004, not 2011. [Some of us who are editing this post think there would have been no 9/11, but Dok is being obstinate about it even though he is wrong.] [And others of us who wrote the post think there's at best a better chance that 9/11 would have been avoided] And just think of how much farther the US would be toward addressing global warming if Gore had had even a single term to put us on that track? Haha, we know from science fiction that the actual outcome would somehow involve brain-eating worms from Neptune, because those "better" timelines always go wrong.
In any case, we at least know a little more today about how we ended up with George W. in the White House, because on Tuesday, the Library of Congress made available files from the late Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, which CNN reports include a bunch of memos from the Supreme Court's wrangling over the Bush v. Gore decision, which handed the election to George W. Bush. If you have a spare 15 minutes today, go ahead and read the CNN piece, which looks at how Justice Sandra Day O'Connor joined up with Justice Anthony Kennedy to shape the unsigned opinion that was eventually released by the five Republican-appointed justices in the majority. The alliance between Kennedy and O'Connor shut out a far more radical opinion pushed by then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
Spoiler warning: The Kennedy/O'Connor option was bad enough, laying the groundwork for the openly partisan Court we have today. But the Rehnquist option, which he published as a concurring opinion, endorsed the fuckbonkers "Independent State Legislature Doctrine" that became the basis for Donald Trump and his cronies' attempt to overturn the 2020 election, was far far worse. Had Rehnquist's view prevailed in 2000, we can only assume the brain eating worms from Neptune would have been close behind.
On December 10, 2000, even before oral arguments in the case, O'Connor circulated a four-page memo that laid out much of the rationale for what went into the eventual opinion, particularly the argument for blocking the Florida Supreme Court's order for some counties to hand-count "undervotes" — ballots that may not have shown up in the machine count, but which had some evidence of the voter's intent, like a "hanging" or "dimpled chad," and OMG I am having 2000 flashbacks already. O'Connor's memo argued, as did the eventual opinion, that there was so much variation in how the counties were conducting the recounts that there was no way to ensure "equal protection of the law."
CNN summarizes thusly:
“The Florida Supreme Court provided no uniform, statewide method for identifying and separating the undervotes,” O’Connor wrote, referring to instances when machines had failed to detect a vote for president. “Accordingly, there was no guarantee that those ballots deemed undervotes had not been previously tabulated. More importantly, the court failed to provide any standard more specific than the ‘intent of the voter’ standard to govern this statewide undervote recount. Therefore, each individual county was left to devise its own standards.”
For that reason, O'Connor wrote, the recount system “in no way resembles the statutory scheme created by the Florida legislature” for choosing electors, so the recount should be shut down and the state's certification of the election for Bush, by just 537 votes, should be upheld.
Kennedy wrote to Rehnquist on December 11 to say
“Sandra’s memorandum sets forth a very sound approach” and said he wanted to build on it. He suggested he would point up how the varying recount practices breached the guarantee of equal protection.
Up to that point, CNN says, Rehnquist seems to have been planning to collaborate with Kennedy on a "composite opinion" that would include both the equal protection argument and Rehnquist's pet theory that the Constitution allows state legislatures to decide how to award electors without any interference from state courts, and regardless of how people actually voted, which is every bit as bizarre as it sounds. Once it became clear Kennedy wouldn't join him on that train to Crazyville, Rehnquist rewrote his own draft as a concurring opinion that was joined only by Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
CNN notes that Kennedy
had foreshadowed his reluctance to accept that theory during the Bush v. Gore oral arguments. “It seems to me essential to the republican theory of government that the constitutions of the United States and the states are the basic charter, and to say that the legislature of the state is unmoored from its own constitution, and it can’t use its court … (is) it seems to me a holding which has grave implications for our republican theory of government.”
But then, 20 years later, it sure looked to a lot of Trump supporters like a terrific way to keep him in office while claiming that the actual election results in several Republican-controlled states won by Joe Biden were simply too unknowable to rely on, so it would be best if the legislators simply stepped in to save the election from the voters. Guess we know where the brain-eating worms from Neptune ended up!
We also learn that Antonin Scalia was really pissed off that the four dissenting Democratic appointees had each submitted their own dissents saying that the Court's decision would undermine its legitimacy, presumably because that idea wouldn't occur to anyone if the justices in the minority had simply stayed quiet.
“Going home after a long day,” Scalia wrote to fellow justices when it was all over on December 12, “I cannot help but observe that those of my colleagues who were protesting so vigorously that the Court’s judgment today will do it irreparable harm have spared no pains – in a veritable blizzard of separate dissents – to assist that result. Even to the point of footnote 4 in Ruth’s offering (I call it the Al Sharpton footnote), alleging on the basis of press reports ‘obstacles to voting disproportionately encountered by black voters.’”
Oh, and big surprise, Scalia comes across as a big ol' racist, too! Ruth, why are you sounding like that awful man Al Sharpton? Scalia wasn't finished tut-tutting, though:
“I am the last person to complain that dissents should not be thorough and hard-hitting (though it would be nice to have them somewhat consolidated). But before vigorously dissenting (or, come to think of it, at any other time) I have never urged the majority of my colleagues to alter their honest view of the case because of the potential ‘damage to the Court.’ I just thought I would observe the incongruity. Good night.” He signed it, “Sincerely, Nino.”
Kennedy similarly sent a memo around to let his liberal colleagues know just how disappointed he was, not personally, no, but just for what they had done to the Court by badmouthing the very nonpartisan decision to hand the election to the Republican:
“I do not usually respond to dissenting opinions, and will not do so for the per curiam in this case. I take the occasion in this memo, however, to say that the tone of the dissents is disturbing both on an institutional and personal level. I have agonized over this and made my best judgment. Some of the dissenters in fact agree on the equal protection point, but take great pains to conceal that agreement. The dissents, permit me to say, in effect try to coerce the majority by trashing the Court themselves, thereby making their dire, and I think unjustified, predictions a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
What a sad state of affairs! And here we are, all these years later, with Democrats once more trying to undermine the legitimacy of the Supreme Court after it very soberly and non-partisanly eliminated women's rights to bodily autonomy. How disappointed Antonin Scalia would be in all of you.
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Happy May Day! Let's Talk About Some Awesome Ladies Of The Labor Movement
Because it was not actually just a bunch of flannel-wearing white dudes.
This article was initially published on May 1, 2019
When we talk about the history of feminism, we tend to think about the causes and struggles of middle class white women. When we talk about labor history, we tend to think about the causes and struggles of white working class men.
And that is some absolute bullshit.
Working class women, very often women of color and immigrant women, were, are and always have been the backbone of the labor movement. They were working and organizing well before Second Wave Feminism "made it possible" for women to enter the workforce. They're the ones who first fought for equal pay, and they're the ones who were doing the bulk of feminist work and activism during the years in between getting the right to vote and The Feminine Mystique. They are still fighting today.
So, since it's May Day, AKA International Worker's Day, let's celebrate the hell out of them, starting with the woman who started it all.
Lucy Parsons"Governments never lead; they follow progress.When the prison, stake or scaffold can no longer silence the voice of the protesting minority, progress moves on a step, but not until then."
"Governments never lead; they follow progress. When the prison, stake or scaffold can no longer silence the voice of the protesting minority, progress moves on a step, but not until then."assets.rebelmouse.io
"More dangerous than a thousand rioters," anarchist Lucy Eldine Gonzalez Parsons was a writer, orator, one of the founders of the Industrial Workers of the World and tireless campaigner for the rights of people of color, all women and all workers. Her husband, Albert Parsons, was one of the Haymarket martyrs.
We, the women of this country, have no ballot even if we wished to use it...but we have our labor. We are exploited more ruthlessly than men. Wherever wages are to be reduced, the capitalist class uses women to reduce them, and if there is anything that you men should do in the future, it is to organize the women.
Though Parsons and Emma Goldman were widely regarded as the most prominent female anarchists of the day, they, very notably, did not get along so well. Parsons believed that oppression based on gender and race was a function of capitalism and would be eliminated when capitalism was eliminated, whereas Goldman believed such oppression was inherent in all things. Parsons was all class struggle all the time, and felt that the "intellectual anarchists" like Goldman spent too much time bothering with appealing to the middle class.
One of her most important contributions to the labor movement was the concept of factory takeovers.
"My conception of the strike of the future is not to strike and go out and starve, but to strike and remain in, and take possession of the necessary property of production."
Parsons is best known for being the woman who really started the celebration of May Day as a day for workers' rights -- leading a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Haymarket Affair. Soon, nearly every other country in the world followed suit and proclaimed this day International Worker's Day. Alas, here in America, we go with the less radical and more picnic-y Labor Day, because Grover Cleveland thought a federal holiday commemorating the Haymarket Affair would encourage people to become anarchists and socialists, and no thank you, he did not want that.
Hearts starve as well as bodies, give us bread but give us roses too
Not much is known about Anna LoPizzo, other than that she was a 34-year-old mill worker who was murdered by police officer Oscar Benoit during the 1912 Lawrence Textile Strike -- also known as the Bread and Roses Strike. Initially, police tried to charge two IWW organizers who were miles away for her murder, even though literally everyone there had seen Benoit shoot her.
The reason for the strike in the first place was that the textile mills of Lawrence, Massachusetts, cut worker pay after the state cut the number of hours women could legally work from 56 down to 54. The Industrial Workers of the World, led by Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (we'll get to her in a minute), organized more than 20,000 workers of more than 40 different nationalities to demand they get their fair wages. One of the primary tactics used in the strike was sending the starving families of the mill workers on a tour to New York City so that people there could see for themselves what these low wages were doing to children. Between that and LoPizzo's death, sympathy was on the side of the workers. Congressional hearings into the conditions of the mills were held, and the mills themselves ended up settling the strike by giving all workers across New England a 20% raise.
"Human interest and passion for human progress break down barriers centuries old."assets.rebelmouse.io
Susan B. Anthony isn't the only important feminist buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery in my hometown of Rochester, New York. There is another. Her name was Lillian Wald, and she was a total fucking bad ass. She wasn't just a suffragist -- she was also an early advocate for healthcare for all people regardless of economic class or citizenship, a founding member of the NAACP, lobbied against child labor, advocated for the rights of immigrants, helped to found the Women's Trade Union League and was an anti-war activist. Wald also founded the Henry Street Settlement House in New York City, which provides -- to this day -- social services, education and health care to the impoverished. And she was active in the ACLU.
WHY THE HELL IS SHE NOT MORE FAMOUS? I am legitimately bothered by this and bring it up often.
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
"The IWW has been accused of pushing women to the front. This is not true. Rather, the women have not been kept in back, and so they have naturally moved to the front."assets.rebelmouse.io
"The IWW has been accused of pushing women to the front. This is not true. Rather, the women have not been kept in back, and so they have naturally moved to the front."
Hey! You know who was super freaking awesome? Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. As previously mentioned, she was an organizer with Industrial Workers of the World who helped organize the Lawrence Textile Strike. She also organized a hell of a lot of other strikes across the country, helped found the ACLU, and was known for the creative tactics she used to elicit sympathy and support for the American worker.
"Coming from Alabama, this seemed like the civil rights struggle…the labor movement and the civil rights movement, you cannot separate the two of them."assets.rebelmouse.io
When Hattie Canty's husband died in 1972, she found herself supporting eight children on her own. She found work as a maid at a Las Vegas hotel where she joined the Las Vegas Hotel and Culinary Workers Union Local 226. By 1990, she was president of that union, leading one of the longest strikes in American history -- a six year strike of hospitality workers which, happily, ended in victory.
The Women of The Atlanta Washerwomen's Strike
We mean business this week or no washing!
Back in the 1880s, only two decades after the Civil War ended, the most common occupation for black women was as laundresses -- this was largely because if poor white families were going to hire anyone to do chores for them at all, they were going to hire someone to do their laundry. These women were independent workers, often working from their own homes and making their own soap, and they only made about $4 a month. (Average non-black-woman laborers earned about $35 a month in 1880.)
One day in 1881, about 20 of them got together and decided that $4 a month was some bullshit for all the work they were doing and decided to go on strike and demand wages of $1 for every 12 pounds of washing. Three weeks later, 3,000 other women joined them. Unsurprisingly, the city freaked out. They fined any participants $25 -- which was a lot of money when you only made $4 a month -- and they offered tax breaks to any corporation that would come down there to start a commercial steam cleaning business. Still, the women did not back down.
Eventually, people got really sick of doing their own laundry, and the city decided to back down on the fines, and cede to their demands for fear that the unrest would spread to other industries.
"Every minute a chance to change the world."assets.rebelmouse.io
Dolores Huerta, along with Cesar Chavez, helped to organize the National Farmworkers Association, which later became United Farm Workers. She wasn't a farmworker herself -- rather, she was an elementary school teacher who was tired of seeing the children she taught living in poverty because their parents were not making enough money as farmworkers.
I couldn't tolerate seeing kids come to class hungry and needing shoes. I thought I could do more by organizing farm workers than by trying to teach their hungry children.
Together with Chavez, Huerta organized the successful Delano Grape Strike (or as your mom calls it, "that time we couldn't eat grapes for five years" or as Rebecca's mom calls it "serious people don't care if a boycott 'ends'"), which led to better wages and working conditions for farmworkers, and she has continued working as an activist and an organizer ever since.
Angela and Maria Bambace
Angela and Maria Bambaceassets.rebelmouse.io
Though she's not as well known as some of the other women on here, Angela Bambace, an organizer the International Ladies Garment Worker's Union who started unionizing her fellow shirtwaist factory workers at age 18, is a personal hero of mine, along with her sister Maria. Angela was known to punch strikebreakers in the nose, which was pretty freaking bad ass.
She also left her husband and a traditional marriage in which she was confined to "making tomato sauce and homemade gnocchi" --and lost her parental rights in doing so, because back then, women didn't have any -- to fight for workers' rights on the front lines. She was the first Italian-American woman elected Vice-President of the ILGWU, where she worked from 1936 until 1972.
"The Chinatown community then had more and more small garment factories and the Chinese employers thought they could play on ethnic loyalties to get the workers to turn away from the union. They were very, very badly mistaken."
May Chen, also of the International Ladies Garment Worker's Union, led the New York Chinatown strike of 1982 -- 20,000 workers strong and one of the largest strikes in American history. As a result of the strike, employers cut back on wage cuts, gave workers time off for holidays and hired bilingual interpreters in order to accommodate the needs of immigrant workers.
Lucy Randolph Mason
Lucy Randolph Masonassets.rebelmouse.io
Lucy Randolph Mason was a weird one. She was a well-off Southern lady from Virginia, related to George Mason (author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights), Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, and, uh, Robert E. Lee. So, you know, you might have an idea in your head about what her deal might be. And you would be so wrong. In a good way.
So, despite being from this very fancy family, Lucy goes and gets a job as a secretary for the YWCA at 20. 1918, she gets into the whole suffragette thing. Women get the vote, but Lucy's not done. She starts organizing for labor rights and integration and ending white supremacy in the South. She organizes interfaith, integrated unions in the South, which you can imagine was a pretty big deal at that time. She does it through the YWCA. She writes a pamphlet telling consumers to boycott companies that don't treat their workers well. Eventually, she becomes the CIO's ambassador to the South and spends the next 16 years of her life going to all these small towns where bad things would happen to anyone who tried to unionize, and explaining worker's rights and why integration is good and racism is bad to pretty much anyone with any kind of power. Neat!
Ask for work, if they do not give you work, ask for bread, if they will not give you bread, steal breadassets.rebelmouse.io
Though not a union organizer by trade, anarcha-feminist Emma Goldman's advocacy for worker's rights and human dignity and freedom empowered workers and organizers throughout the country, and motivated them to stand up for their own rights. She was considered the most dangerous woman in America for a reason.
She was a feminist, an anti-racist, an atheist, an advocate of free love, an opposer of the institution of marriage and -- very unusually for the time (she pretty much started right after Haymarket, which was 1886, and continued until her death in 1940) was living in -- one of the first advocates of gay rights.
"It is a tragedy, I feel, that people of a different sexual type are caught in a world which shows so little understanding for homosexuals and is so crassly indifferent to the various gradations and variations of gender and their great significance in life."
I could probably go on about Emma Goldman forever, but I have to get to other people and also this is not my sophomore year in college.
"I looked him right in the eye and banged on his desk and told him I was not employed by the Pullman company and that my husband had nothing to do with any activity I was engaged in ... I said, 'I want you to take care of this situation or I will be back.' He must have been afraid ... because a black woman didn't speak to a white man in this manner. My husband was put back on his run."
Rosina Tucker is best known for helping to organize the first black labor union, The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, started by A. Philip Randolph in 1925. A Brotherhood? But she was a woman, you say! Well, the Pullman porters wanted to organize, but they were afraid of losing their jobs. With good reason, because their bosses kept trying to fire them for trying to unionize. So Rosina and other wives of the porters got together and started the Ladies Auxiliary of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in order to raise funds to start the union.
In 1963, along with A. Philip Randolph of the BSCP, she helped organize the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and continued to be active in civil rights and labor rights until she passed away in 1987, at the age of 105.
The women on this list, along with the many others who also fought for labor rights in this country and others, didn't only fight a fight for workers. They fought a feminist fight, they fought for civil rights, they fought for human rights -- they understood the interconnectedness of it all, they understood that without economic justice there is no social justice and without social justice there is no economic justice. They understood the way that the labor movement could be used as a catalyst for making social change possible at a time when they didn't have any political support or power -- and that's a thing we could all do well to remember ourselves.
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Really, CNN, This Is Why You Fired Past-His-Prime Don Lemon?
There were much better reasons.
CNN fired longtime anchor and New Year’s Eve boozer Don Lemon on the same day Rupert Murdoch cast Tucker Carlson out of the flaming pits of Fox News. This frees both men to star in a reality TV remake of The Odd Couple. Lemon was a mediocre journalist but not an existential threat to democracy and human decency, so while I’m not torn up over his departure, I have no reason to dance for joy.
We probably all saw this coming, even if Lemon claims he didn’t — as I mentioned, his journalistic instincts weren’t the best. A few months ago, he offended his female colleagues when he said, on air, that "Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry.” Here are his actual words that my wife couldn’t read without punctuating every sentence with “ugh!”:
A woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s. If you Google when is a woman in her prime, it'll say 20s, 30s, and 40s. I'm not saying I agree with that.
He later apologized for his Al Bundy moment.(Not surprisingly, Carlson defended him.)
Lemon also complained that his co-host Kaitlin Collins interrupted him too often. (This was statistically improbable.) Some potential guests had said they didn’t want to appear on air with Lemon, whose popularity with viewers had plummeted.
Those were all good reasons to fire Lemon, but according to the New York Times, Lemon's fate was sealed after his fractious interview with former libertarian rapper and current Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.
\u201caccording to the NYT this interview that Don Lemon conducted last week with Vivek Ramaswamy played a role in his firing. Note co-host Poppy Harlow sitting silently while Lemon goes after Vivek.\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1682359906
Lemon’s co-host Poppy Harlow had asked Ramaswamy about his absurd speech at the recent NRA fest where he claimed racist Democrats wants to put Black people back in chains and suggested that the Second Amendment is how Black people secured their freedoms. This history is so skewed he might as well have said John Shaft fought at Gettysburg.
Mediaite has the full transcript, but I’ll include the more insulting nonsense below:
LEMON: I don’t really see what one has to do with the other, especially considering and using the Civil War to talk about Black Americans. That war was not fought for Black people to have guns.
RAMASWAMY: That war was fought for Black people to have freedoms in this country. Yeah, actually, that’s why the Civil War was fought. The sad thing is…
LEMON: The Civil War wasn’t fought for poor Black people to have guns.
RAMASWAMY: Actually, you know, funny fact is, Black people did not get to enjoy the other freedoms until their Second Amendment rights were secured. And I think that that’s one of the lessons that.
Noted black-people-ologist Ramaswamy lectured Lemon for a bit about how good Black people have it now compared to 1865 and 1964, when there was no Internet.
LEMON: For you to compare it to 1865 and 1964 is actually… I think it’s insulting to Black people. It’s insulting to me as an African-American, I don’t want to sit here and argue with you because it’s infuriating for you to put that to put those things together. It’s not right. Your telling of history is wrong. Your…
RAMASWAMY: What part of the history was wrong.
LEMON: The Civil War was fought. You’re making people think that the Civil War was fought for Black people, only for Black people to get guns. And for Black people to.
RAMASWAMY: A civil war was fought for Black people in this country to get freedoms, a noble mission. And I think that even after we succeeded, we had to actually secure those freedoms.
LEMON: To reduce it, in a speech at the NRA, to say, you’re making people think, you’re trying to say that Black people to get guns, that was that was the reason that you’re there at the NRA. That was a reason for the Civil War. I think that’s reductive…
RAMASWAMY: It’s a fact! It’s not reductive, Don.
It’s not fact, and it’s too stupid to even be reductive. Right-wing dolts made this silly point back when President Joe Biden made Juneteenth a national holiday. A post circulated on social media with the image of a Black woman holding a gun, and the text read: “Juneteenth is the day Republicans freed the Slaves from Democrat slave owners. Shortly after the NRA was formed to help Black people defend themselves against the Democrats’ KKK.”
This was obviously not true, as Joseph Lowndes, a professor of political science at the University of Oregon, explained.
“The KKK was a guerrilla terrorist organization. So to talk about the KKK in terms of open party affiliation doesn’t make a lot of sense because we’re talking about a different kind of entity all together,” he said. “There were Democrats in the South who were supportive of the KKK. And there are Democrats who weren’t."
Frank Smyth, author of The NRA: The Unauthorized History, also had to explain that the NRA was not in fact formed to protect Black people from the Klan. (Although, I confess I'd probably have seen a film with this premise in the mid-1990s if it had starred Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman.)
“The National Rifle Association was formed in New York City in 1871, by a group of former Union Army officers and veterans. They formed the NRA in order to improve marksmanship skills among the New York National Guard in anticipation of future wars,” Smyth said, probably speaking very slowly. “They had nothing to do with the KKK or freed slaves.”
Suggesting that Black people packing heat was the key to our post-Civil War salvation isn't just ahistorical. It's grotesque. Black men, women, and children were lynched for looking the wrong way at white people. There is no scenario where Emmett Till avoids his fate if he or his loved ones point a rifle at an angry white mob.
Harlow looked bored and embarrassed during the whole scene with Ramaswamy. At one point, she started scrolling on her phone. CNN apparently agreed with Harlow, and internal sources said, “The incident left several CNN leaders exasperated." It’s unclear how they would’ve preferred Lemon handle this. Maybe he should’ve kept his cool and cut away. Or maybe CNN should’ve just fired Lemon after he made gross, sexist comments about Nikki Haley. The network could've taken a firm stand against public expressions of misogyny rather than implying that a Black anchor should’ve just sat there while an entitled fool pissed on his racial history.
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Ohio Republican Demands Reparations For White People
Because white people 'died to save Black people in the Civil War.' Cute
Announcing his candidacy for US Senate this week, Trump-affiliated Ohio businessman Bernie Moreno gave a great big speech about how white people should get reparations because they died in a war to "save Black people."
This is probably a good move for the luxury car dealership owner and aspiring politician, given that his fellow Ohio Republicans might be a little wigged out by his last name and the fact that he's an immigrant. Showing fealty by claiming white people deserve reparations is certainly one way to put them at ease. Unless, of course, they take offense to saying the Civil War was about slavery in the first place instead of state's rights — specifically a state's rights to allow people to own slaves.
\u201cOhio GOP Senate candidate Bernie Moreno proposes reparations for white people: "You know, they talk about reparations. Where are the reparations for the people in the North who died to save the lives of Black people?"\u201d— Heartland Signal (@Heartland Signal) 1682098230
We stand on the shoulders of giants, don’t we? We stand on the shoulders of people like John Adams and James Madison and Alexander Hamilton and George Washington. This group of people that took on the largest empire in history. That said “No! We will not stand for this!” And won.
That same group of people, later — white people — died for Black people.
It’s never happened in human history before, but it happened here in America. That’s not talked about in schools very much, is it? They make it sound like America is a racist, broken country. Name another country that did that, that freed slaves, that died to do that. You know, they talk about reparations, where are the reparations for the people in the North who died to save the lives of Black people? I know it’s not politically correct to say that, but we gotta stop being politically correct. We gotta call it how it is.
The rule if you are a Republican is that you can say any stupid thing and then just say "I know it's not politically correct to say that" and people will agree with you.
Actually, white people have been given reparations before. In 1892, year after a bunch of xenophobic lunatics lynched 11 Italian immigrants who were acquitted of the murder of New Orleans Police Chief David Hennessy (who were largely chosen at random after Hennessey whispered with his dying breath that "dagos" killed him), President Benjamin Harrison gave the families of those victims were given $2,211. That would be about $73,336 today.
It wasn't because anyone felt badly about it, mind you. The city outright refused to arrest those responsible, and Teddy Roosevelt famously called it "a rather good thing" in a letter to his sister. It's more that Italy was pissed to the point that they were considering declaring war on the United States over it and Harrison didn't want to deal with it anymore. But whatever the intentions were behind it, surely if the US had to dole out the equivalent of $73K to the family of every Black person who was lynched, things might be a lot different for a lot of people today.
Reparations are meant to be given to correct an injustice, not as a "thank you for your service." The people who fought in the Civil War were paid for their service. It was also an almost all volunteer army — only two percent were conscripted. Slaves, on the other hand, were not paid and were forced to serve against their will. This would be why it makes sense to pay reparations to the descendents of slaves but not to the descendents of Union soldiers. Duh.
Alas, it does not seem as though his argument set the room on fire. It probably would have been more effective if he got up there and whipped himself and apologized for moving here from Columbia at five but not officially becoming an American citizen until he was 18 like some kind of Dreamer.
Moreno will be fighting Ohio state Sen. Matt Dolan in the GOP primary for the privilege of losing to Sen. Sherrod Brown in the 2024 Ohio Senate election.
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