Civil rights, Ferguson

White America: WE are the Problem

arton1586

White people, especially white men, are the most dangerous people in the US to people of color, women, immigrants, children and LGBTQIA people. I say this as a white man. We must look in the mirror. See who we are and what we have wrought on this nation and on this world. WE are the problem. WE are the danger that our fellow citizens need to be protected from. It is our fear, our rancor, our privilege, our hate, our greed, our power, our arrogance, our stupidity, our lack of empathy, our closed ears and closed eyes and loud, brash, cruel voices that are the problem. We must correct ourselves before we tear what was once a great democracy to the ground. We must make sure that the efforts and struggles and heroism of men and women like MLK, Malcolm X, Emma Goldman, Abraham Lincoln, John Brown, Frederick Douglas, Cesar Chavez, Upton Sinclair, Harvey Milk, Eugene V. Debs, Susan B. Anthony, Ida B. Wells and  the countless educators, Civil Rights marchers, Reconstruction workers, Union Soldiers and labor rights activists were not in vain. There have been too many Mike Browns, too many black and brown bodies hanging from sturdy tree branches. We must look into our hearts and realize that this nation is dying, this democracy is being taken apart day by day and that we, the white men of this nation, are largely to blame. This is not meant as condemnatory screed, or a public shaming but as a CALL TO ACTION! We are better than this, we are human beings. We must start behaving like human beings and realize that the wealth and power we possess was purloined from the labor of countless millions of women and immigrants and laborers and slaves. We are making monsters of ourselves and plucking the wings off of the better angels of our nature, casting them down into a dark, endless abyss where only capital, power and narcissism remain. The US can only survive if we realize that we are the ones destroying it and making it uninhabitable unlivable, for the millions of our fellow human beings who do not share our gender or our skin tone. We must join our fellows in the streets and marches and teach-in and theaters of national conversation and raise our voices with those who have trod upon for too long with impunity. We are not the master race, no one race is or could be, but how could we even conceive of such a possibility be if we are not even the masters of our own baser instincts. The white man is the rotten core of this mess. We must purge ourselves of our hate and our prejudice. We must make our enemy the powerful, the entrenched interests, the corporations and the warmongers and the do-nothing leeching investor classes. We must make common cause with those who we have wronged. We must rejoin the family of humanity in good standing and atone for our crimes. Only then will we truly deserve a place in the American system.

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Uncategorized

The Fool (Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra?)

ted-cruz-smarmy

the fool, he slanders Cicero

to further shameful schemes

while gathered scoundrels beam

and all fancy themselves heros

 

Pontificate from Senate floor

Denounce the people’s choice

Does violence with his voice

Truth is an inconvenient chore

 

Punch drunk on his sound and fury

the fool blathers and blasts

ignorant of the past

a mockery of history

 

The fool “abuses our patience

We cannot help but think

Pretension is his drink

Though ‘tis not much of a defense

Little boys will play with their toys

picture books, rhetoric

Cruising from bile to dreck

Enamoured with their silly ploys

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history

Arguments From Idiots: Civil War Edition

civilwarmap

I am going to address, briefly, in a point by point manner, some of the more stupid arguments some idiots (cough cough southern sympathizers cough cough) make about the US Civil War.

1. The Civil War was “not about slavery”

Yes it was. Read The Scorpion’s Sting for a clear and concise analysis of why people who do not believe the war was over slavery should stop making that argument and start potty training. The South fought over the RIGHT of the state to protect its largest and most profitable institution, chattel slavery. This institution was also seen as integral to preserving the “southern way of life”, which amounted to a feudal patriarchal system where rich plantation slave owners controlled most of the economy and political structure and kept the poor masses in line with promises that they too could someday own another human being. Every state that broke away declared that it was over the right of the states to preserve slavery. The Vice President of the Confederacy declared that secession was over slavery. All the constitutions of the confederate states protected slavery as it existed and claimed a right to expand it or protect it by force. This was not about “tariffs” so get your head out of your ass. Which leads to

2. Most southern soldiers did not own slaves

Most members of the Nazi party did not personally gas Jews but that does not mean they were not fighting for a system that depended upon and allowed this sort of abuses. Southerners fought to “protect their way of life” and that way of life was a slave state that enriched even the poorest whites by making them inherently more human than any black person. They had a choice to fight for a Union that was opposed to the expansion of this way of life…they chose otherwise. These people knew what they were fighting for, and why.

3. Slavery would have/should have been allowed to expire “naturally”.

This isn’t even an argument. It is a pipe-dream, and a rather horrifying one at that. The South wanted to freedom to expand their “peculiar institution” to the territories, and many wanted to expand it even farther to Cuba and to Central and South America. This was a dream of the slavers of the south and the politicians who represented their interests. If slavery would have been allowed to die out “naturally” it could have taken another 5 years…or it could have taken another 100. Either way this would have left millions of people alive and yet to be born to a life of subhuman servitude, abuse, rape, and death. If this had been allowed to happen then the US would have been just as responsible for this crime against humanity as the south was. 4 million black people in slavery is not a “bargaining” chip…they are human and deserved to be freed at any cost.

4. The North Was Just As Racist As the South

This is obviously false as the North had abolished slavery and THE SOUTH HAD NOT. Sure, individual Northerners may have been as racist as any given individual Southerner but the North DID something about slavery by abolishing it and challenging it and by allowing an abolitionist movement to flourish, even if there was violence against it at times. This was impossible in the south because of institutionalized racism. The North was a society with many racists in it, but the South was a society that COULD NOT EXIST as it did without racism as a foundation.

5. Blacks were “happier” under slavery:

I am not even going to dignify this un-intellectual racist bilge with a response. If you truly believe this then you need to take yourself out of the gene pool, ASAP, and spare future generations of humanity your genetic lineage’s stupidity

6. The South Was Attacked First

No. The South had spent 100 years manipulating the political process to preserve its own perverse racist economic and cultural system and when Lincoln was elected on a weak abolitionist platform they took this as an “attack” and like the ultimate sore losers choose to give up on democracy in order to create their own quasi-feudal republic. They occupied US fortresses and threatened violence against the democratically elected Federal government. They fired upon a US base in US territory. If this is “Northern Aggression” then the democratic republican nature of the Constitution itself was “violence” against the southern cause.

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Just some thoughts. If you disagree with me on any of these points see the response to argument 5.

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Philosophy

A Thought on Sentience (Contra Veganism)

Is that REALLY all that matters?

Is that REALLY all that matters?

I have been debating some radical vegans lately and I have noticed that many of their arguments depend upon assumptions about sentience and its agency i.e. how sentient beings should behave towards other sentient, or supposedly sentient, lifeforms. First, sentience is only ever defined by vegans in a way that bolsters their arguments or makes their moral beliefs seems inevitable Secondly, sentience as a value is taken as an a priori fact and is never really explored beyond just “sentient life is superior to non-sentient life”.

This seems strange to me coming from a supposedly life affirming and philosophy. if sentience is the standard by which we judge the value of life and human beings are expected to reject the exploitation of other sentient beings, then why do other sentient beings not need to change their behavior towards other sentient beings? By saying this is a human prerogative are we not saying that humans have a sentient agency beyond other sentient beings? Are humans to deny their evolutionary heritage but other animals are not? and if not why not? because they can’t, in which case there sentience is not on par with humanity, or they should not be expected to in which case humans are held to arbitrarily higher standard than other sentient beings. Just some ideas that I think I will explore further with time and more thought.

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Activism, Election 2014

Election Day 2014: I voted, did you?

Vote-Counts1

Just voted in Illinois! Voted Scott Summers of the Green Party for Governor of Illinois, voted against the “Victims Rights” state constitutional Amendment, voted yes for the “Voting Protection” state constitutional Amendment. Reluctantly voted for Dick Durbin for Senate and AGAINST my idiot Representative Randy Hultgren and FOR Dennis Anderson his Democratic opponent. I know that the GOP is making it harder to vote in many states and localities but it is worth it to try and vote. Make a nuisance of yourself! Be THAT person who demands to be heard! Go out and vote your conscience!

VOTE!!!

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