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Member since: Sun Jan 1, 2017, 06:42 PM
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Analysis of a Robert E Lee quote about slavery seems pertinent to today's conversation

By now, most of you should be aware of the protest in Charlottesville, VA against removing a statue of Robert E Lee. Of course, Spencer had to make an appearance and add his piece about how he is proud of his white heritage.

Link to WaPo article about protest: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/alt-rights-richard-spencer-leads-torch-bearing-protesters-defending-lee-statue/2017/05/14/766aaa56-38ac-11e7-9e48-c4f199710b69_story.html?utm_term=.b87f14d137f2

This got me thinking about what Robert E Lee represented and continues to represent for southerners. We know he detested slavery, but he seemed to tolerate it well enough. So how could someone like Robert E Lee hold such ambivalent feelings towards the institution of slavery and still be willing to fight to preserve it?

Here is the quote I want to analyze:

In this enlightened age, there are few I believe, but what will acknowledge, that slavery as an institution, is a moral & political evil in any Country. It is useless to expatiate on its disadvantages. I think it however a greater evil to the white man than to the black race, & while my feelings are strongly enlisted in behalf of the latter, my sympathies are more strong for the former. The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is known & ordered by a wise Merciful Providence.

I find it interesting that an educated man would fall back on such a weak argument to defend his rationale for allowing slavery to continue. I call it "weak", but that is probably not a fair assessment of his reasoning skills. Rather, it is indicative of the pervasive southern ideology wrapped up in its familiar religious trappings.

There are three items int this quote that are worth taking note of.
1. The insistence on slaves being better off under their masters in American than they would have been if they had been left in Africa. This is the old justification for colonialism, the idea that the colonizer is more advanced (here it is morally, physically, and socially) than the colonized. It amounts to cultural superiority over a people who are (though never fully understood) deemed primitive. Some of this cultural superiority stems from an infusion of religious beliefs, but I want to treat that separately.

2. The refrain of the white man's burden should be obvious here. Again, we are dealing with a colonial concept, but the sentiment fits easily with a discussion of slavery. It boils down to the culturally superior "race" being tasked with the responsibility of guiding the inferior "race" so that that inferior "race" can (at some yet to be determined future date) finally stand on equal ground with the superior "race". Oh, the white man has it so tough!

3. Finally, there is the religious aspect to consider, the "Merciful Providence". I think it is interesting that he avoids stating outright that it was God who ordered slavery. He is careful to word it in more secular terms that still maintain a religious underpinning. From what little I have read about Lee, this religious aspect is what he struggled with most. (For example, Why did American slaves not have a Jubilee year?) In the end, he seems to give up the struggle and hand himself over to "providence". It's with a sigh that he relieves his embattled reason and relinquishes control to a higher force. I believe this to be the most significant part of the quote as it demonstrates how someone who was certainly very intelligent is able to convince himself that the subject of slavery rests in divine hands. In other words, he convinces himself that it is not his place to question.

Keith Olbermann Agrees with Mensch and Taylor


I'm not going to wait a week for the MSM to catch up. Fuck the MSM.

Trump is the Greatest President Ever

With a few exceptions...

What Happens to AG Schneiderman Now W/O Comey?

He was going to coordinate RICO indictments with FBI. I wonder if that's still going to happen now with McCabe. And does he even need the FBI for that, or is it just a bonus? I'm not sure how RICO works.

Is This Bottom Up FBI Arrest Plan to Prevent Violence?

I keep thinking about this. On the one hand, tRump is the most dangerous man in America and needs to go ASAP, but taking him down now might lead his base to commit violent crimes. Who knows what they are capable of?! So, arresting from the bottom up allows two things: first, the real news spreads to counteract fake news; secondly, it allows congress some time to come to its senses and impeach.

Trump's Attorney is Named "Hacking"

You could not make up a better name.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="https://twitter.com/BuzzFeed">@BuzzFeed</a> 🔥According to court docs Trump lawyer Michael Cohen also goes by the name Michael D. Hacking.<br><br>What?<br><br>He goes by another name?<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/trumprussia?src=hash">#trumprussia</a> <a href="https://t.co/z1LmwTqflJ">pic.twitter.com/z1LmwTqflJ</a></p>— Scott Dworkin (@funder) <a href="https://twitter.com/funder/status/862487312957140992">May 11, 2017</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Where's Agnew...I mean Pence in all this?

Bopping little kids in the face: https://www.rawstory.com/2017/05/watch-adorable-grade-schooler-demands-justice-after-vice-president-pence-bopped-him-in-the-face/

Jezebel’s The Slot reported that during what would have been a regular speech and photo-op on National Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Vice President Mike Pence accidentally elbowed a kid in the face — and rather than turning the other cheek, that kid trailed the VP until he got an apology.

A video edited by HuffPost reveals that after getting the vice presidential elbow, the young boy followed Pence around saying “excuse me,” and at one point politely said “you owe me an apology” to the vice president who was busy posing for photos with less irked children.

The video reveals at the end that VP Pence eventually did apologize to the boy, saying “Oh I’m very sorry, I didn’t mean to bop you”.

Red Dawn isn't as scary as I thought it would be

Makes quite a difference when the military is out of the picture and we just have a cyber war.

And that, my friends, is how you normalize a coup.


Would Indictments Impact GOP's Power?

Honest question. I understand they can put stops on visas/passports and hold bank accounts. But supposing some of the indictments are against tRump or Ryan or McConnell. Would that affect their ability to legislate at all, or would that be too much and give away the secrecy of the investigations?

Maine's Congressional Delegates' Response Along Party Lines

I stumbled across this and found it interesting: http://www.wmtw.com/article/maines-congressional-delegation-reacts-to-comeys-firing/9628940

Republican Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, had this to say:

Any suggestion that today's announcement is somehow an effort to stop the FBI's investigation of Russia's attempt to influence the election last fall is misplaced. The President did not fire the entire FBI; he fired the director. I have every confidence that the FBI will continue to pursue its investigation. In addition, I am certain that the Senate Intelligence Committee, on which I serve, will continue its own bipartisan investigation and will follow the evidence wherever it leads.

Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, said, "Why is President Trump firing FBI Director Comey now? Why wasn't he asked to resign on January 20th? Was the FBI making progress on the Russia investigation?

For months I've called for an outside, special prosecutor who will give the American people the answers they deserve. 'You're fired' is not something you should be able to tell the person investigating you. This isn't a game show."


There is more, and it is just what you'd expect. It is really interesting how clear the division is and how completely undisturbed the GOP delegates are by the firing of Comey.
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