Voices from Russia

Friday, 10 November 2017

The Civil War was About Slavery. Period. End of story. Deal With It.

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Slavery caused the Civil War. A failure to compromise had nothing to do with it. Yes, I know a thousand people have made that point in the days since White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s nonsensical assertion on Fox “News” that “the lack of ability to compromise” is what tore America apart. Allow me to be the thousand and first. There are things that need saying here, and I need to say them. It isn’t just that there is no “compromise” between slavery and freedom. It’s also that Kelly’s use of that word is painfully ironic in a nation that’s always been all too ready to bargain with the humanity of African-American people.

In 1776, in his first draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson condemned slavery. Southern states baulked, so he compromised. In 1820, North and South argued whether the new state of Missouri would permit slavery. Congress intervened, so they compromised. In 1877, there was a disputed election. Someone suggested giving the presidency to Rutherford B Hayes if he agreed to withdraw federal troops that protected former slaves in the South. The two sides compromised. In 1961, the Freedom Riders pulled into Mississippi. The federal government made a deal with the state that if Mississippi guaranteed no violence, it could arrest the riders, though they’d done nothing illegal. They compromised. And so on. Historically, America always seems to find a way to sell black people out.

Kelly is just the latest in a long line of those who lack the guts to face this straight-on. They hide out in textbooks where slaves become “settlers”; they flee from Roots because it’s “depressing”. Moreover, they insist on moral equivalence between people sellers and the people they sold, lynchers and the people they lynched, traitors who fought to destroy America and patriots who fought to preserve it. Kelly added in the Fox interview:

Robert E Lee was an honourable man.

That’s an interesting take for a military man on an enemy general in a war that killed more Americans than Hitler, Hirohito, and Bin Laden combined. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in defending Kelly:

All of our leaders have flaws.

As if Lee’s ordering two men and a woman stripped to the waist and whipped (he did say, “Lay it on well”) for the crime of seeking freedom was in the same moral universe as Barack Obama’s cigarette jones. I can anticipate how all this would land among certain people. They’d call it “racist”. They’d call it “divisive”. They’d call it everything but untrue. You see, they deeply invested in the myth that their struggles with poverty, mass incarceration, joblessness, and miseducation arise from something African-Americans chose or did, while the rest of the country, innocent as the dawn, did nothing to cause or benefit from any of it. They’ll be angry at the reminder that this is ridiculous… as if this was about them. As if we should give a damn about their anger.

This country stole from black people. It stole their bodies, their children, their names, their land, and their lives. Now, some of them seek to steal the very memory of the crime. Well, let them tell a thousand lies. Let them treat truth like the money card in a game of three-card monte. Let them salve history with the balm of false equivalence. However, let them know that some of us find strength for our own trials in knowing the trials of our mothers and fathers. We won’t be fooled and we won’t be robbed. We will remember… and demand they do the same.

No compromise.

3 November 2017

Leonard Pitts Jr

Miami Herald

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/article182630021.html

Saturday, 12 March 2016

12 March 2016. Why the Stars n’ Bars Aren’t Just “Southern Heritage”

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These are the sorts who fly the Confederate banner proudly… I need add nothing…

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Let’s keep it simple for the simple-minded… SLAVERY. The Confederate banner is a symbol of oppression and human degradation. After all, the CSA did instigate and fight a war to extend slavery’s existence and extent… Lord Palmerston told Slidell and Mason that if the CSA abolished slavery, Britain would break the blockade. Note well that human bondage was so important to the CSA that it chose national death as it couldn’t bear even the thought of abolishing it. Ergo, the CSA was objectively evil, and all those who praise it share in that evil.

BMD

Sunday, 15 June 2014

15 June 2014. War Isn’t Always Pointless… It’s Always a Tragedy… But It Isn’t Always Pointless

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Some have it that “all wars are pointless”… I’d disagree. Yes, all wars are tragic… all wars bring horror and evil in their wake… but not all wars are pointless. After the American Civil War, slavery was gone and the Union persisted, and the South had to rejoin it on the North’s terms. After World War II, Nazism was dead, and its particular form of racist hell died with it. No, not all wars are pointless. Yes, all wars DO bring suffering and innocent suffering at that. However, there are times when it’s the only tool that we have to halt a particular evil. In the present case, the USA and the Vatican (each for its own purposes) egged on the nationalist fanatics in the “Ukraine” to the point where the Russian people in Novorossiya and the Crimea no longer wanted to be part of the so-called “Ukrainian” state.

This present war WILL determine the future course of Novorossiya (at least)… shall it be free, Orthodox, and Russian, or shall it be subjugated in slavery, Uniate, and “Ukrainian?” That’s what’s at stake here… all Orthodox have to stand behind the Lugansk People’s Republic and the Donetsk People’s Republic. Oppose Uniate lies wherever they surface… yes, oppose, but do NOT hate. Our cause is right and just… let’s not besmirch it with vileness. We must stand like Pozharsky and Minin… we must ruthlessly crush the Uniate and American aggression against Holy Rus.

Our very Orthodox Civilisation is at the crossroads…

BMD

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

15 October 2013. Some Thoughts Provoked by Reading Dr Johnson

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  • A decent provision for the poor is the true test of civilisation.

Reflect on this. Traditionally, the American South, true to its slaving and sectarian roots, REFUSES to make a decent provision for the poor. This tells us much about the region… its history, its “faith”, its mores, and its society. The American Civil War didn’t happen for nought… slavery was only one of the causes. This is one reason why the contemporary Republican Party is evil… it panders to a group that has always treated the poor like dirt under their feet. Sectarianism teaches that only the “elect” will gain salvation and that one of the ways that one can tell the “elect” is that they’re well-off financially. To speak honestly, Jean Calvin would’ve been horrified at how his ideas turned out. Mistrust all who preach that we must “balance the budget” on the backs on the poor, aged, and unemployed. They usually have low motive…

  • To let friendship die away by negligence and silence is certainly not wise. It is voluntarily to throw away one of the greatest comforts of this weary pilgrimage.

THIS is why I value my Cabinet so. I’m always open to them, whenever they need me. I value my friends, whether I agree with them on this or that point. Love (agape) doesn’t require agreement… it requires respect, a very different and better thing.

  • I will be conquered; I will not capitulate.

That is, death does come for us all. This is at the bedrock of my belief. I will NOT succumb to fear or let the knowledge of my personal demise paralyse me. This is our common heritage… no matter what we believe in (and secularists ARE believers, they’re simply not theists). Life IS worth the candle, and there ARE things that one should fight for, even though all of us will face our personal end at one time or another (yes, I AM a religious believer… but I also realise that I must die and leave this life).

  • Sir, your levellers wish to level down as far as themselves; but they cannot bear levelling up to themselves.

Always beware those who push simplistic and enticing nostrums… probably, there’s a hook hidden somewhere. They want to level all of the rest of us to a low level… so that they can lead the pack. Always beware ambition… it lies behind most strident calls to “equality”.

  • I am a great friend to public amusements, for they keep people from vice.

I hate bluenoses and their censorious attitude to drink, cards, the theatre, the racetrack, and all the other innocent amusements that life has to offer. True, one can abuse all of the above. However, abuse is ABUSE… it isn’t use. Blue comedy isn’t sinful; it’s simply a violation of petite bourgeois decorum (Chubby Brown shouldn’t be on before the watershed… but he isn’t “sinful” in the strictest sense)… a very different thing, wot?

  • As I know more of mankind, I expect less of them, and am ready now to call a man a good man, upon easier terms than I was formerly.

One can more readily be tolerant to “sinners” the more one is aware of one’s own sinfulness! Life teaches us that we aren’t any great shakes, either, so, one learns that one’s fellows are worthy of forgiveness. Mind you, forgiveness doesn’t mean “forgetting” or “absence of consequence”. That comes as it will, and our attitude towards an action doesn’t change what it does nor does it transform the impression that it leaves. However, it does deliver us from judgementalism and hate… no small beer, that. Most of all, life teaches us that we commit actions that leave consequence and impression… and that we can’t change them, no matter what we do. The Pharisee or the Publican… whom do YOU prefer?

  • The law is the last result of human wisdom acting upon human experience for the benefit of the public.

One must always mistrust those who speak of “deregulation”. Life teaches us that people are in want of regulation, and that many run rampant if not checked in one way or another. Anyone who tells you that “deregulation” will lead to a paradisiacal nirvana has an agenda… one that doesn’t augur well for their fellow man. We don’t live in the Garden. Mistrust all who worship Ayn Rand.

  • Let us take a patriot, where we can meet him; and, that we may not flatter ourselves by false appearances, distinguish those marks which are certain, from those which may deceive; for a man may have the external appearance of a patriot, without the constituent qualities; as false coins have often lustre, though they want weight.

Look at how contemporary Republicans beat the war drums. Also, note how few of them served in the forces themselves. Richard Cheney said, “I had better things to do”. Mr Cheney was honest, but does “honesty” make one a “patriot?” I think that you see my point. Willard Romney refused to serve in the forces and had his rich daddy “buy” him a bogus clergy deferment (he was a “missionary” in darkest France). Pete Seeger was proud to serve; he served in the Pacific Theatre of World War II (“To tell you the truth, I’m not a pacifist. If an army invaded this country of mine, I’d be the first one up on the firing line”). Beware all those who wrap themselves up in the flag.

  • How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of Negroes?

Take this in its widest sense, not merely that of racial bias (bad as that is). Those screaming loudest for “freedom” are those who wish to deprive others of it for personal gain and profit. For instance, “economic freedom” means the “freedom” to abuse others for personal gain, with no government regulation to prevent it. They scream for “the right to keep and bear arms”, yet, when a black woman merely fires a gun in the air to scare off an abusive husband, they sentence her to twenty years in the slam (but they acquit a white man who killed someone in an incident that the shooter provoked). I’m not the only one to find that hypocritical… and evil. If you hear yelps for “freedom”, ask yourself, “Does this person benefit from a relaxation of the law?” If so, fight that hypocritical bastard with all your might. God expects that of you…

BMD

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