Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Value of Slavery in the South During the Confederacy

"Confederacy Month", I thought it was Slavery Celebration Month."

It’s a good thing I was at home when I read this sentence, because I would have scared the shit out of the coffee shop crowd when I hollered out. Between that and the woman last night on Twitter who kept insisting to me that Obama has “failed”, even as the man on my TV recounted the number of nuclear non-proliferation deals the president got done this week, I am convinced that these Tea Baggers and militia men and and Governors Bob McConnell and Haley Barbour have fallen down a rabbit hole, and are now watching real life from behind a glass enclosure, where a mixture of laughing gas and goofer dust is being pumped into the air they breathe.

The headline I saw a couple of days ago over at Talking Points Memo read “VA Gov McDonnell Institutes Writing Test For Felons Seeking Voting Rights.” It won’t take USA TODAY 24 hours to come up with a color coded chart that shows in graphic detail how many of these felons are minorities. Bob McConnell is obviously trying to get his “Cracker Cred” up to snuff. Or maybe the dumb ass political consultant with the slicked back hair, the one the Virginia state GOP is paying waay, waay too much for this kind of advice, is smoking rufeys for breakfast before he jumps on the strategy conference call. But even if he were, BOB - cause you don’t deserve to be called “Governor” of shit right now – wouldn’t you realize, when someone threw this out there as an idea, that it is politically tone deaf? Do you think you only serve the people who voted for you, and not your entire state?

For those of you who have no idea what the Civil War was all about:
By 1860 there were approximately 4,000,000 slaves in the United States, the second largest slave society--slave population--in the world. The only one larger was Russian serfdom. Brazil was close. But in 1860 American slaves, as a financial asset, were worth approximately three and a half billion dollars--that's just as property. Three and a half billion dollars was the net worth, roughly, of slaves in 1860. In today's dollars that would be approximately seventy-five billion dollars. In 1860 slaves as an asset were worth more than all of America's manufacturing, all of the railroads, all of the productive capacity of the United States put together. Slaves were the single largest, by far, financial asset of property in the entire American economy. The only thing worth more than the slaves in the American economy of the 1850s was the land itself, and no one can really put a dollar value on all of the land of North America.

It was about the money - the same thing it's about now. But I bet you won't see this kind of stuff in your kid's history books. Not so long as Americans who long for the inequities of yesteryear insist on teaching "2+2=5", so that the bullshit they are trying to pass off as "authentic history" will pass the smell test.

As I used to tell my buddy years ago, when he asked why so many Southern whites were still mad about the confederacy, "Can you imagine waking up one morning to see all your money walking around free? Black people waving at you from across the street, telling you that you've got to PAY now for the labor you used to get for providing a few meals and a rickety roof to lay their heads under?"

This is really, in the grand scheme of things, irrelevant - black people are here to stay. And most of us - let me repeat that - THE MAJORITY OF US - are doing the right thing 24/7/365.

So if I were you, BOB, I'd take my pseudo-Nazi Confederate paraphernalia and pile it up with all the others who continue to insist on paying homage to the most treasonous act in the history of the United States, soak that shit in a few thousand gallons of gas, and burn every goddamn remnant until there's nothing left but a pile of ashes.

Robert E. Lee is not coming back, the Calvary will not ride again, and your great-great grandmother was, is, and will always be wrong about "the South will rise again", so long as you and Haley Barbour's Boss Hogg ass are the best you have to offer.

This is "America Has A Black President" month.

The next celebration will begin May 1st. The one after that will be June 1st. The one after that...

...I think you get the picture.

Is that "Hail To The Chief" I here

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