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chriscan64

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Member since: Wed Nov 13, 2019, 03:42 PM
Number of posts: 1,787

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Just finished watching the rebroadcast of Freedom Summer on PBS

I was born in New Orleans at the end of 1964, so I was in the womb during these events happening a short distance away. As I gained awareness of race and race relations in the early 70's, I received a different education on the subject than other whites from the 60's and before. The two main reasons for this were that my parents never did buy into the prevailing white supremacy of the south, and secondly that the freshly earned achievements of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act gave me the sense that I was born into a new world finally free from the long icy shadow of slavery and jim crow. It did not take long to realize that I was naive, but it took longer to realize that I was still naive and why.

However insidious you think racism is, double it. It no longer needs to actively create economic disparity, educational inequality and segregated communities, it has these already built in from centuries past and simply has to use these conditions as a base of operations to halt further change and reverse it where it can. This reversal which I never thought I would see is beginning to take shape in the form of voting restrictions. These restrictions are not the direct brutal kind seen in Mississippi in the 60's. They take a more devious form, one that seeks to reduce the black vote by creating a bottle neck on the times and number of places where voting occurs for black voters and white voters who would vote beside them for the same candidates. A few technical hurdles like voter ID and citations for giving slices of pizza to voters in line are thrown in for good measure. They are not taking your vote away, they are attempting to create the conditions whereupon you take your own vote away to avoid inconvenience.

If that was the only problem, it could be overcome with numbers, but a more sinister issue is the machinations to control the counting of the votes giving rise to the once unthinkable scenario of the will of the people being overturned in legislatures. This might still be in the pipe dream stage but be wary.

What gives rise to all this bullshit? Abolitionist newspaper offices were burned, a war was fought to keep slavery and the descendants of slaves were terrorized for a century and more after that: why does racism have such staying power and viciousness? I think that for too many, equality is a concept that does not compute. Race is zero sum, "we're over them or they're over us". This is passed down to children generation after generation. Education is the key here, so here come the book bans and restrictions on teaching actual history. The only thing that gives me hope is that they have to work harder and harder for diminishing returns, so maybe the pendulum of history really is moving.
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