Our democracy is in grave danger. More from within than without. If the post-WWII rise of American fascism is not stopped; our very way of life may be unalterably changed for the worse.
Our Founders warned against this: “A party agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one party against another, ferments occasionally riot and insurrection.” President George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address.
In perilous times like these, I draw inspiration — as should every one of us descended from immigrants — from those who risked all in search of freedom, opportunity and democracy.
We must never forget that we are who we were.
MAGAs confuse cruelty for strength as evidenced by how they disrespect legal asylum seekers from communist Venezuela dictatorship.
Anti-immigrant nativism is anathema to egalitarian democracy.
I wonder how many know that the largest single public lynching of innocent men in the USA by an angry mob was March 14, 1891, New Orleans, Louisiana….and the men who were lynched were considered outsiders, men to be wary of, men prone to criminal behavior, dark skinned men who were……Italians.
Today, they are Venezuelans.
We are who we were.
The south is what is has always been. They are who they were
As long ago as the early 1960’s (my earliest memories of such things), VA was most definitely different from MD. VA was “Confederate”, MD was “Yankee”. There were southerners in MD and northerners in VA in the mid-1960’s, but the cultural differences were stark. We do not read of dozens of confederate statutes being removed from public spaces in MD because they were never put there in the first place.
The slavery and the civil war was the symptom — not cause — of the diseases of racism and white supremacy. Those diseases are still rampant in the south and deep south today. The toxic “prosperity gospel” ideology that underlies so much of today’s Protestant Evangelical theology had its roots in the early 19th century — where it emerged to “explain” that God himself approved of racism, white supremacy, and southern-style slavery and therefore “blessed” the south with prosperity. Most of the Protestant denominations split during the 19th century over this issue. The first word of “Southern Baptist Convention” is not accidental. It is disingenuous to deny the deep ties between America’s Protestant Evangelical faith traditions and the cancer of White Supremacy and racism.
Lynching was a western (against Mexicans) and southern (against Blacks) thing. There are no recorded in lynchings in CT, NH, MA, and RI (https://www.statista.com/statistics/1175147/lynching-by-race-state-and-race/).
The GOP and its bought-and-paid-for media outlets have been pouring gasoline on the already smoldering fire since at least the late 1960s. It is no accident that the loudest and most racist voices in today’s GOP are from the south and deep south (Ron Johnson being the exception that proves the rule).
We are who we were, and they are who they were.
We are who we were, and they are who they were.
Hmmm. I recall back in the 70’s when my brother and I went to a Red Sox game and he asked me, “Did you notice something odd?” I did not. He replied, “The only blacks are on the field, none in the stands”.
Later, in the 80’s, I moved to Boston and went looking for a condo to buy in West Roxbury…and was told by my relator that “You know, this does not border Roxbury, so it’s a safe neighborhood” I did not know what he meant by that at first.
I’m afraid that I’m not as willing to throw stones at my neighbor’s house to the south.
It’s obvious you’ve never lived in the south.
There certainly are racists and racism here in MA — I’ve commented on it frequently. I moved here on Memorial Day of 1974. That September, the school busing crisis hit the city. I had NEVER EVER seen full-throated explicit racism — egged on by elected officials — like I saw that fall. So I agree with you that racism is alive and well here in MA.
That is not the point.
You started this thread about a lynching. Nobody has EVER been lynched in Massachusetts. That’s a southern thing, bless your heart.
Killing innocent people — by the thousands — is different from structuring ticket prices and culture so that blacks don’t come to Fenway Park.
You seem perfectly happy throw rocks at fellow Democrats right here at home.
Your neighbors to the south have been lynching, raping, torturing, buying, selling, breeding, and stepping all over blacks for centuries. Your neighbors to the south go to their all-white church on Sunday and listen to their white preacher preach to them about respectable they are — and about how evil YOU are, because you live in “the North”.
I’ll tell you this — your “neighbor” in the south will not hesitate even a moment to throw stones through each and every one of your windows and mine.
You really have no clue about the culture you’re opining about.
Correct. I have never lived in the South. Correct , racism is alive and well here in Massachusetts.
Not sure where the confusion is.
I’ve sometimes wondered whether your views of the South are themselves a bit dated and stereotypical.
Tell me about it after you’ve spent more than a few months anywhere in the deep south.
“a bit dated”? “stereotypical”?
What knowledge do you bring to the table?
Each of you sits in a lily-white town and shares views that are — as far as you’ve shared here — completely uninformed by any first-hand experience whatsoever.
Have either of you been to Ruston LA? How about Mobile? How about Macon? How about Rocky Neck, NC? New Orleans? Birmingham?
What Southern towns do either of you know?
From what knowledge — besides talk shows, movies, and TV shows — do either of you form your opinions about today’s south?
I don’t believe you have lived there since 1974 and even that was Maryland. I’ve lived in Virginia within this century. Plus you see examples all the time of a new South. Just in the political realm you have those emerging from the South, usually with Ds after their names who are defying the stereotype. I just react as badly to your broad brush strokes on this as I would to every other stereotype. Yes, they often start with a grain of truth, but I always start with the premise that there are more good people than bad in any demographic. I find it hard to believe you have enough first hand experience either to make whole cities out to be evil. If you insist on this attitude, then back it up with some polling data or something.
The strength and character of pretty much any Florida or Georgia GOP candidate — and the GOP voters who clamor to support them — is more compelling than any polling data I might find.
Operative term being GOP, in which case I’d be more sympathetic to your generalizations.
Indeed — these stories about “the new South” have been a staple for as long as I’ve been alive. Somehow this “new South” always seems to behave like the old South.
I attended school in Pittsburgh from 1970 to 1974. When my school (CMU) was recruiting me, there were frequent mailers about “the new Pittsburgh” — the same was true all the time I was there. It was true that great strides had been made since the days when people had to change clothes multiple times a day to keep clean. I spent a brief stint there in 1982, and there was again lots of media attention about “the new Pittsburgh”. This was while the steel industry was collapsing and the entire region was depressed. The fundamental culture of Pittsburgh was not very different in 1974 than it was in 1930. It was not very different in 1982 than it was in 1974. I strongly suspect it is not very different today (I don’t know, I haven’t been there since 1982).
The cultural stances that this thread is about change very slowly. It is true that we have too many racists in Massachusetts today. It is also true that there has never been a lynching in this state. Not ever. Lynching really IS a Southern thing.
The underlying cultural attitudes that brought me here in 1974 and that continue to make Massachusetts be my home 50 years later have not changed. Yes, some neighborhoods have changed. Yes, some of the political boundaries have shifted. But the underlying social and economic — and therefore political — culture of Massachusetts is still largely what it was in 1974.
I’m not suggesting that “whole cities” are evil. I’m saying that the deep South has DIFFERENT attitudes, and those attitudes color the political decisions those regions make. It is neither accidental nor coincidental that the Jim Crow laws are a Southern thing. It neither accidental nor coincidental that Confederate monuments occupy prominent public places in southern — not northern — cities and towns.
The spread of the MAGA toxins to places like WI, PA, and MI is new — and originates in the deep south and the craven demagogues who pander to the deplorables in the deep south.
Listen to the voices of Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Marc Rubio, or Ted Cruz — those are not Northern accents you hear.
No doubt. That is why the primary agenda of today’s seditionist GOP for the upcoming election is to take over state-level election processes in order to suppress the actual public vote.
America has already been under minority rule for years. The last two Republican presidents, the Republican Senate, and the Supreme Court all represent a minority of the nation. The top priority of today’s GOP is to strengthen that minority rule even as that minority shrinks as a proportion of the overall nation. Today’s GOP strives to end representative democracy in America. Those who support today’s GOP seek that same goal. The clamor for minority rule is based in and driven by white supremacy (and, to a lesser extent, misogyny).
The editors of the New York Times — hardly a knee-jerk bunch of crazies — published a major op-ed piece on 17-Sep-2022 (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/17/us/american-democracy-threats.html) (emphasis mine).
“They also reflect cultural fears, especially among white people, that the United States is being transformed into a new country, more racially diverse and less religious, with rapidly changing attitudes toward gender, language and more”
This is a polite and oblique way of saying that White Supremacy threatens to destroy representative democracy.
It is not enough to have more good people than bad. We MUST take seriously the reality that the “bad” people — the deplorables — actively seek to silence the rest of us using whatever means they can.
I experienced this might-makes-right attitude FAR more frequently in the south and deep south than I did here in Massachusetts. It’s one of the reasons I live here. I do not assert that there no deplorables in MA, nor do I assert that every southerner is deplorable.
I DO assert this attitude is far more acceptable in the deep south than it is in New England. That is a matter of culture. It changes only very slowly. It explains why today’s seditionist GOP is so much stronger in the deep south than it is here in New England.
I don’t know what part of Virginia you lived in, nor for how long. If it was northern Virginia — near Washington DC and MD — then you lived in a very different culture than places like Richmond. Just as the culture of Salem NH or Nashua NH is heavily influenced by nearby Massachusetts, so too is the culture of places like Alexandria, Leesburg, Vienna, and so on.
The cultural divide I describe is neither dated nor stereotypical. I beg you not to simply dismiss it — the stakes are too high.
I agree that these attitudes were and are more common (or at least more overt) in the South, but it did sound to me like you were calling everyone from their irredeemable.