The Widdershins

MW: The Dark Side of Things

Posted on: December 21, 2010

Blessed Winter Solstice, Widdershins.  Today is the shortest day of the year, and we had a total lunar eclipse as well.  Astrologers are quite excited about the combination of events, and we can only guess the astrologic influences that this convergence will bring to bear upon us.

Let’s look at just a few things  that are smacking us in the face.  We discussed National I Told Ya So Day yesterday, and enumerated the strange and wonderous occurances of Barack Obama.  There are a few others ahead of us, though.

For example, Governor Haley Barbour.  Many pundits believed that Barbour was a front runner for the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential run.  Several weeks ago, Governor Barbour recalled that the era of segregation wasn’t all that bad.  Frankly, I don’t recall suffering under segregation in the South either:  like Governor Barbour, I am white.   If I were black, I’m certain that I would remember segregation quite differently.  Unlike Governor Barbour, my state was not infamous for events like Freedom Riders, murdered civil rights workers and Emmitt Till.  Georgia did not desegregate cheerfully by any means, but did so in relative peace.   Also unlike Governor Barbour I make no excuses for my state – it was as it was. 

I was in my junior year of high school when desegregation came in 1965.  Haley Barbour in just about a year older than I, so our recall is pretty well contemporaneous.  Private academies sprang up everywhere throughout the South, and many still exist today.  However, Haley would not have required one as Mississippi was one of the last to desegregate in 1970, followed only by Virginia.  Not that “official” desegregation meant much, either.  Maryland officially desegregated in the 1950’s, but my cousins in Havre de Grace all graduated from all-white high schools well into the 1970’s.

If this wasn’t good enough, Governor Barbour stepped into the Conservative Citizen’s Council morass, and this may well be his undoing.  He states that he is not a member, but he is fine with the CCC using his name and picture if they need to do so.  Now, the CCC is the latter day version of the old White Citizen’s Council.  The WCC was pretty public and was composed of many prominent citizens.   It should not be confused with the KuKluxKlan, as membership was known to all without the costuming.  Here’s an interesting quote from Governor Barbour:

This week Governor Barbour is quoted in The Weekly Standard saying this about Conservative Citizens Council (emphasis added):

“Because the business community wouldn’t stand for it,” he said. “You heard of the Citizens Councils? Up north they think it was like the KKK. Where I come from it was an organization of town leaders. In Yazoo City they passed a resolution that said anybody who started a chapter of the Klan would get their ass run out of town. If you had a job, you’d lose it. If you had a store, they’d see nobody shopped there. We didn’t have a problem with the Klan in Yazoo City.”

Okay, again here, I am not from Mississippi.  However, membership in the KKK was kept secret in Georgia and I’d have to believe that it was in Mississippi as well.   Let’s just say that the organization was and is very tight and very close-mouthed and this has historically made successful prosecutions of its members few and far between.  Therefore, while I would be not be surprised if such a resolution were to be passed by the WCC,  I would be stunned if they were able to enforce any such thing, as they may never be able to successfully identify the culprit.   Also, the local Klavern could well have been located two miles past the Yazoo City limits.  Let’s just say that I would be personally surprised if any part of the Delta had been sans Klan during the Sixties.  In fact, the only statement that Governor Barbour has made thus far with which I completely agree is that the WCC (and the modern version of the CCC) is not the Klan.  No, it wasn’t and isn’t.  However, it should not be confused with an organization that wished to foster interracial understanding either.  The CCC is a white nationalist movement, plain and simple.

At any rate, I would be surprised if Haley Barbour made a bid for the Presidential nomination at this point in time.  Not that he could not win the Republican nomination, as indeed he could, but the Independents votes could be a bit hard to attract.  I just don’t see a way out of this one.  I am not calling him a racist as I do not know his heart,  but I am calling him obtuse.

This is an open thread.

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35 Responses to "MW: The Dark Side of Things"

Yeah, obtuse. Barbour would not only lose the Independents, he’d lose most moderate Republican votes too. It really just boggles the mind that someone would say these things in this day and age. The man must have been born yesterday.

Where are the most strident voices of the GOP coming from? The South of course.

Jim Demint, Haley Barbour, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindahl, Marco Rubio, Newt Gingrich to name a few, all from states below the Mason/Dixon line. They loathe the idea of a black president and cloak their distaste in political rhetoric to mask their own bigotry. The South, IMHO, is still reeling from the advances of the black community they long held down and are anxious to bring back that sense of superiority with their constant referencing to a “Christian nation” chosen by God. Another code word for “white supremacy” if one considers that “slavery” wasn’t all that bad and South Carolina is able to celebrate the anniversary of the Confederacy as a badge of honor.

They have even gone so far as to rewrite history as evidenced by Texas and the textbooks used by students which has the opportunity to go nationwide if allowed by other school districts.

The ignorance is rampant when one considers that these voices are the ones creating news and are held out as possible contenders come 2012. I do not discount Haley Barbour’s possible run for the nomination. Obama may be seen as just weak enough to slide this racist into the slot and I see little difficulty in him carrying those southern states who believe as he does as evidenced by some of the rhetoric that passes for political discourse.

@2: Newt is actually a carpetbagger. He claims to be from Georgia but is actually from up in the North in Harrisburg, Pa. Bobby Jindal isn’t whiite by Southern standards, and black Repulicans are making their presence known in the South. No, this phenomena is interesting and bears watching down the road, and I believe is independent of Obama. The deepest parts of the South are electing non-White Republicans over White Democrats, so race as an overarching issue is just not as out there this time. That’s what’s so bizarre about Barbour’s statements – there’s just nothing in there that can help him at all.

@3; You can count former Texas Representative, FreedomWorks chairman, and Tea Party mastermind, Dick Armey, among the “carpetbaggers”. He is from North Dakota.

Indiana used to be a stronghold of the KKK. Yet the state went with Obama in 2008. Race is not the issue it once was here. I suspect that is true of the South as well.

Bright Solstice Blessings to everyone this morning. I saw the beginning of the eclipse last night. As it started, all the snow was pink and blue and white. The sky was a beautiful pink gray. It was snowing so could not see the moon. As the night went on the colors faded to gray and I fell asleep before the peak. It was a happy time with an inner excitement.

In my dreams Paula Revere came riding, the horse’s hoofs thundering, her cape flying, bent over low on the saddle, her head close to the horses head; calling, “The light is coming, The light is coming……..

Good morning, Green. May your vision be true.

Thankfully, we have reached the point in America where expressions of personal racism are now taboo. Barbour’s remarks have created a furor which he would find difficult to explain away should he run a national campaign.

It is institutionalized racism which is the larger problem now. The jailing of a huge proportion of young black men, for example, for the possession of tiny amounts of marijuana.

Absolutely so. The incarceration time for crack cocaine offenses are considerably longer than for powdered form alone would be reflective.

@7 & 8

Me too, the obvious racism of the drug war is so blatant I don’t understand how it is not struck down from embarrassment and not just in this country. The after effects of a police record — no chance of employment — lives ruined forever — no ability to get student loans to go to school — it is dragging down the whole country like prohibition — so what if we have to go through an adolescence of drug education – its not like people are drug free with all this oppression. How long? – Too long!

A book I read (“The New Jim Crow…”) also talked about those with a felony record cannot have public housing…..translating into many fatherless homes…but yet of “absent fathers,” AA men are THE MOST LIKELY to be involved in their children’s lives.

Yep, the concern for “family values” of the powers-that-be is astounding.

Green – that was a beautiful dream indeed.

Blue Lyon has some great eclipse pictures on her site. I have asked her if she will post them here later on.

@9: Excellent points, GC, about the aftereffects of drug offenses on the young AA community. How can someone hope to become rehabilitated when he / she can’t rent an apartment, get a student loan for an education, or find a job?

@10 – excellent point, Sharon. “Family values” in my view means keeping families together, not using a rigged “war on drugs” to tear them apart.

And even more than race, the drug war is a total class thing — war on poor and working class is more like it. Full employment for the legal profession. Just think how many of the middle and governing class make their income off the war on drugs (read poor people).

I honestly believe that classism is the new racism.

@15 – yes, classism seems to be completely acceptable, even desirable in a political candidate these days. “Progressives” cheered when Obama called white working-class voters xenophobic and bitter, clinging to their guns and Bibles. They said he was being vilified for telling the truth. How pathetic is that?

I also think sexism is the new racism – and it is not being fought on an institutional level either. There is no reason why a law directing Obama to make preventing child marriage a priority, should have had a single vote against it. Yet though the Senate passed it easily, House Dems and Repubs blocked it. Ditto the ERA and the Fair Pay Act.

Nothing good will ever pass out of any Congress until women demand that it happen NOW. As Uppity said in one of her posts, we need 20,000 women on the Capitol steps.

Precisely so.

Classism is just getting more airtime finally. More people are starting to see it as the Middle Class illusion fades. Some have held that classism is the culprit all along. Hence the cries of “Communist” against King. The CCC has always viewed the Frankfort School of thought as one of their prime enemies.

@16
Right the frick on! But hey, everyone is angry – everyone is paying attention — it is like the solstice — it has been building and building and now everything is standing still, like the sun today — not in stagnation but in expectation and soon it will burst into the wild hunt — for now let the darkness cover us as we watch and wait – practice invisibility for the time we will need to be chameleons.

I don’t know. I’ll believe the popular rage when I see it. And I think the only thing to convince me “the people” are paying attention are riots in the streets.

“Class warfare” is only bad when it’s against the rich. Politicians keeps gutting the poor and the middle class – and this is considered normal in political circles. But if you try to take something from the rich it’s “class warfare.” But I’m yet to see the poor really fight that war.

@20: The poor are too tired to fight. Trudging through the ice and snow to get to the community kitchen and the free health clinic is exhausting.

It will take middle class rage against the rich to turn things around. Right now, the middle class seems more angry at the poor. You know, all those lazy people living it up on food stamps and unemployment benefits. Yeah, right.

Oh man they did not have time to get the 9/11 responders medical care but the congress just voted to regulate the internet — hold on to your wallet

@21 – That was the evil genius of Ronald Raygun, adopted from the evil geniuses of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman: to allow the poor to be blamed for their poverty, to spread these racist stereotypes of “welfare queens” in Cadillacs, disinterestedly pumping out child after child to get YOUR money in HER pocket!!!111!!!

When the middle class feels no empathy for the poor, the poor have no one to fight for them. The oligarchy/patriarchy is then free to pillage their bank accounts at will.

And the Middle Class typically won’t fight. And I really don’t see them taking it to the streets this time around either. The 15% Upper Middle Class will make sure of that. They could not be in the top 15% in American if there were not a 30% lower middle class under them. The income discrepancy of what we call “Middle Class” is ridiculous. The Upper Middle Class is a great tool to keep the other 84% down. People who are called the Lower Middle Class should really stop calling themselves that. It would better indicate the class divide which better indicates the race and gender divide.

@23: Don’t forget the influence of the Horatio Alger myth. Methinks Reagan spent more time reading Alger than Rand.

The lifestyles of the Upper and Lower Middle Class have nothing in common hence why “Lower Middle Class” is just some made up term in American to keep them segregated from the 55% below them.

I wish Wikileaks would hurry up and publish the B of A documents.

@20

you are correct and that is what I think might be changing –now there is an acceptance that we need some class warfare push back against the elites. You may not see it but here, where GM left a whole city of workers unemployed when they closed, there is real anger – they are thinking globally about treaties and what they call scabs — these are former union members – losing their homes — maybe i am wrong but these people know about being organized and their world view has been ripped apart. They know how to make things. I think after the depression will come the anger But that will make no difference if there is no structure to give them a voice.

Something Uppity told me is that it is State medical panels that are allowing the health insurance premiums to go up 50%. State Commissions are supposed to be regulating these insurance companies. No feds regulate premiums. Uppity had to drop her health insurance because she cannot afford the premiums anymore. Don’t get sick or they will take your house. Predators all around us. The corporations, the mortgage holders, the medical insurance industry.

uppity says it was not congress just the FTC regulating the internet

http://www.aolnews.com/2010/12/21/fcc-adopts-net-neutrality-rules/

@29 – Green, that was what I was going to say.

And, it is not clear that they have the right to do so. The courts have struck these attempts down before.

New post up – GREAT pictures of the eclipse!

Here’s an article from the Jackson (MS) Clarion Ledger about Guv. Barbour’s statement:

http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20101221/NEWS/12210332/1001/RSS01

Here’s a quote from the article:

The white Citizens Council was “the uptown KKK,” Dittmer said, citing the former Delta Democrat Times editor Hodding Carter. Bankers and businessmen were members, Dittmer said.

“They had the power. They didn’t have to go kill people to keep from desegregating the schools. They could get them fired from their jobs,” Dittmer said.

That’s what happened in Yazoo City in 1955, after 53 black parents had signed a petition to desegregate public schools, Dittmer said.

(snip)

Most of those who had signed the petition were forced to leave the city because they lost their jobs and couldn’t find other work, he said.

Sorry the wax didn’t work out Fredster.

I spoke with someone about the tax bill passage and he said the last time unemployment payments lapsed for 6 weeks it was in July and people didn’t have to pay heat bills. He said if they hadn’t passed it and people’s unemployment payments stopped in January, “well, lots of people have their gun…..”

I said I thought it wouldn’t be too long before they’d get a chance to use ‘em….

gunS

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