Saturday, January 02, 2016

Rewritten a bit from 2012 (I've repeated it before); reposted last week
Arguments could be made that the original intent of the reconstruction amendments was "unconstitutional", inconsistent with previous understandings, or that the framers wrote amendments in race neutral terms but then while they could promoted discrimination based on race. A brilliant decision, to set their own policies on auto-destruct, only after they'd begun to do their work.

Constitutional consistency and Biblical inerrancy are related. Reading is interpretation, and saying with Scalia, "the constitution as I interpret it is a dead constitution" is oxymoronic [also hypocritical, see Jack Balkin]. To quote Karl Rove, "we invent our own reality".

From "A New Birth of Freedom: The Forgotten History of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments". J.J. Gass and Nathan Newman for the Brennan Center:
[I]n 1867 Congress passed a law providing relief for “freedmen or destitute colored people in the District of Columbia,” to be distributed under the auspices of the Freedmen’s Bureau. Of particular importance in the late 1860s was the Bureau’s operation of schools for blacks, to the point that black children in the South were often better educated than their white counterparts. Opponents, including Johnson, raised the same arguments that would be marshaled against affirmative action programs a century later, but well more than the necessary two-thirds of Congress concluded that the 13th and 14th Amendments authorized race-conscious legislation to ameliorate the social condition of blacks.
"to the point that black children in the South were often better educated than their white counterparts." How's that for a brilliant way to sow anger and mistrust among the poor white trash? Divide the poor, and conquer. The policy was blatantly unconstitutional, but it was the only call the white liberal elite were capable of making.

When Harold Washington won his first term as mayor of Chicago, after an election in which the white vote was split between two white candidates, one of the first things he did was tour white working class neighborhoods. He walked around and said "Hey, These streets are a mess! These garbage cans haven't been emptied for weeks! We'll have to do something about that!" And he did. The locals were shocked. They never thought a black mayor would give a damn about them. Washington won his second term running against only one significant opponent.

Elite liberalism is the philosophy of people slightly abashed by their own power, but not willing to give it up. It's noblesse oblige as opposed to winner take all; winner take all comes down to loser offspring of the winner inherits the spoils. Reconstruction and the New Deal preserved the republic of rulers and ruled. They made the world safe for capitalism. Conservatives left to their own devices would have given us a US as a third rate power made up of a bunch of constantly feuding mini-states.

If you want to understand politics and culture, remember that Derrick Bell, who disagreed with the Brown decision, and Harold Washington were black men in a white man's world. That gave them a perspective all of you lack.

And by the way, for all of you "liberal Zionists" who write for and read this blog. a headline from Haaretz "Israel Bans Novel Depicting Arab-Jewish Love Story From Schools Over Miscegenation Fears"

Palestinians know the Israel was founded on Jim Crow. They have a perspective that you lack.
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"40 acres and a mule for all" was never an option. Reconstruction was just that: re-construction. It was preservationist, not radical.
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You can't have a republic based on equality under law with millions of people opposed to equality in society. You can't resolve a conflict by denying contradiction. Reconstruction was like the affair that saves the marriage. 
Pedantry is for schoolmen; disastrous for politics
The New Deal and Reconstruction. The "new birth of freedom" and Wickard v Filburn. "Conservatives left to their own devices would have given us a US as a third rate power made up of a bunch of constantly feuding mini-states."

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