William Barr Blinked!


As willing as Attorney General William P. Barr has been to throw his body and the whole Justice Department in front of Donald Trump to protect him from investigation and/or prosecution for crimes he may have committed. A point has been found beyond which he at least initially will not go.

Threatened with a Contempt charge by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. Barr relented and has started giving the House Judiciary Committee at least some of the information they were entitled to. But he has previously refused to produce, even after receiving a subpoena.

The information being handed over initially includes the underlying data from the Mueller Report including FBI reports (302s) and transcripts from witnesses that voluntarily gave interviews to Mueller’s team. In anticipation of and in preparation for further resistance from Barr. The subcommittee moved forward to give Chairman Jerry Nadler, permission to go to the Grand Jury to seek the release of material contained in the Mueller Report obtained by the Grand Jury.

The thing we should learn from Barr now turning over information is that he does have concerns about his legacy. Despite his apparent belief if almost unlimited power of the President. He is willing to go just so far in defying Congressional subpoenas and Federal Judges. I won’t go as far as to claim he has a soul. But while he had recently been thought to be willing to do anything for Trump. When it came to being held in contempt. He won’t do that. Apologies to Meat Loaf.

Nice Things I Can Say About Sean Hannity


Nobody is all bad, not Sean Hannity, not Rudy Guliani, there may even be some redeeming value in Donald Trump although I’m not aware of it. As an exercise, I’m going to see how far I get saying only nice things about someone I pretty much only have contempt for. Here goes:

  1. Sean Hannity has demonstrated the capacity to be an excellent reporter. During Hurricane Katrina, at Fox News like every other network, it was all hands on deck when it came to hurricane coverage. Sean Hannity impressed me with his ability to do straight news. He processed information as he received it. He was concise and did as good a job as anyone in conveying the facts and updating the public as to what was going on.
  2. He is very good at what he does. He knows his audience and gives them what they want. He is an excellent provider of entertainment to those people that appreciate him.
  3. He’s a survivor. Despite the whirlwind of firings going around him at Fox. Hannity has not only survived but thrived.
  4. I tried for a fourth thing but I’ve got nothing.

I try to watch a little Hannity from time to time to keep up with what he’s doing. I usually can’t watch for long but next time I’ll try to remember these positive values and watch a little longer.

The Truth About American Slave Breeding Farms


Excerpted from Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South by Marie Jenkins Schwartz. Published by Harvard University Press.

“By the 1820s planters and would-be planters were moving in large numbers to places previously unavailable for settlement and growing the fiber for sale in Europe and New England, where a textile industry was beginning to thrive. The extension of the so-called Cotton Kingdom required new laborers. As of 1808, when Congress ended the nation’s participation in the international slave trade, planters could no longer import additional slaves from Africa or the West Indies; the only practical way of increasing the number of slave laborers was through new births. With so much at stake, black women’s reproductive role became politically, as well as economically, decisive. If enslaved mothers did not bear sufficient numbers of children to take the place of aged and dying workers, the South could not continue as a slave society.”

In this book and many other sources, it’s made to appear that America had little choice but to increase slave production to offset the altruistic end of the International Slave Trade which Congress Banned in 1808. Thomas Jefferson was President at the time, he had no problem with slavery. He literally loved his slaves, failing to free even Sally Hemmings children, all six of them believed to be his according to DNA evidence, until after his death. Jefferson was a Virginia farmer, knowing full well the value of slavery to the Southern economy. Congress at that time was controlled by the Party he created; the Democratic-Republican Party (not to be confused with either the Democrats or Republicans of today). They didn’t end the International Slave Trade to harm slavery, but to preserve it, domestic slavery, in particular. Congress wanted to decrease the external supply to keep prices up for the homebred slaves.

It’s worth noting that the Constitution of the United States, in addition to establishing the Electoral College to protect slave states, and valuing slaves at three-fifths of a person (while giving them no rights). Specifically, forbid banning the importation of slavery prior to 1808.

“ The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.”

Article 1: Section 9 Constitution of the United States

Americans did not take up breeding slaves in response to Congressional action, that action was taken at the behest of slave breeders as a protectionist means to keep the price of their product up. Jefferson’s home state Virginia was the leading producer of slaves. Slavery eventually exceeded tobacco as their leading export. Maryland was second in slave production, followed by several other states.

Economist Richard Sutch did a study which found that in 1860, on farms that had at least one female slave the ratio of women to men was 2:1. In Virginia, female slaves exceeded males by over 300,000. They were used to breed. Robert Lumpkin ran what is mostly referred to as a “slave jail” with little recognition that he ran the nations largest breeding farm. He personally had five children with a slave Mary who he ultimately remembered in his will. While owners of the breeding farms and plantations in general fornicated at will with their property, they also utilized selective breeding. Maintaining their own large “bucks” and importing large male slaves for the purpose of breeding good workers for the fields.

Black female slaves were some of the first people in the country to receive free health care. Breeders took a great interest in fertility and expected multiple births from the women or their value would be diminished. Home medical journals were produced to help with difficult births that had previously been left to the slaves to deal with. The quote from the film Gone With The Wind, “I don’t know nothin’ about birthing babies,” was meant to be a thing of the past.

Many films have depicted boats arriving in New Orleans which became the largest slave market in the Antebellum South. Rarely is it shown those ships originated in Richmond and Baltimore. Slaves were also shipped by railroad packed in boxcars or sent by stagecoach. The slave breeding farms are mostly left out of the history books except those that deny their existence.

Many of the white slave owners felt they were doing their female slaves a favor when they mated with them. Granting them a respite from the brutish black slaves they would otherwise be subjected to. Generally speaking, it was the house slaves that got raped the most. Some mothers had to protect their offspring from the master’s wife if she had reason to believe her spouse was the father. We’re generally aware of that situation which we’ve been led to believe was the worst case scenario. Nobody talks about the 13-year-old girl on a breeding farm, forced to bear as many children as possible, only to have them ripped away and send down South to endure a lifetime of hardship, without a mother. On one breeding farm, the mother would be freed after birthing fifteen children. What would she have to look forward to?

America barely acknowledges that breeding farms existed, let alone document their role in creating the robust economy of the early South. There are the self-evident truths mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, and those truths so heinous they must perpetually be covered up and denied. Breeding farms fall into the second category. History books when they even mention it, suggest slave breeding didn’t begin until after the banning of the Atlantic slave trade. In truth, it began decades earlier on plantations and farms and only because America was prepared to produce the slaves it needed did it allow the end of the importation of slaves from Africa.

Lies About Slavery And The American Breeding Farms


Excerpted from Birthing a Slave: Motherhood and Medicine in the Antebellum South by Marie Jenkins Schwartz. Published by Harvard University Press.

“By the 1820s planters and would-be planters were moving in large numbers to places previously unavailable for settlement and growing the fiber for sale in Europe and New England, where a textile industry was beginning to thrive. The extension of the so-called Cotton Kingdom required new laborers. As of 1808, when Congress ended the nation’s participation in the international slave trade, planters could no longer import additional slaves from Africa or the West Indies; the only practical way of increasing the number of slave laborers was through new births. With so much at stake, black women’s reproductive role became politically, as well as economically, decisive. If enslaved mothers did not bear sufficient numbers of children to take the place of aged and dying workers, the South could not continue as a slave society.”

In this book and many other sources, it’s made to appear that America had little choice but to increase slave production to offset the altruistic end of the International Slave Trade which Congress Banned in 1808. Thomas Jefferson was President at the time, he had no problem with slavery. He literally loved his slaves, failing to free even Sally Hemmings children, all six of them believed to be his according to DNA evidence, until after his death. Jefferson was a Virginia farmer, knowing full well the value of slavery to the Southern economy. Congress at that time was controlled by the Party he created; the Democratic-Republican Party (not to be confused with either the Democrats or Republicans of today). They didn’t end the International Slave Trade to harm slavery, but to preserve it, domestic slavery, in particular. Congress wanted to decrease the external supply to keep prices up for the homebred slaves.

It’s worth noting that the Constitution of the United States, in addition to establishing the Electoral College to protect slave states, and valuing slaves at three-fifths of a person (while giving them no rights). Specifically, forbid banning the importation of slavery prior to 1808.

“ The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.”

Article 1: Section 9 Constitution of the United States

Americans did not take up breeding slaves in response to Congressional action, that action was taken at the behest of slave breeders as a protectionist means to keep the price of their product up. Jefferson’s home state Virginia was the leading producer of slaves. Slavery eventually exceeded tobacco as their leading export. Maryland was second in slave production, followed by several other states.

Economist Richard Sutch did a study which found that in 1860, on farms that had at least one female slave the ratio of women to men was 2:1. In Virginia, female slaves exceeded males by over 300,000. They were used to breed. Robert Lumpkin ran what is mostly referred to as a “slave jail” with little recognition that he ran the nations largest breeding farm. He personally had five children with a slave Mary who he ultimately remembered in his will. While owners of the breeding farms and plantations in general fornicated at will with their property, they also utilized selective breeding. Maintaining their own large “bucks” and importing large male slaves for the purpose of breeding good workers for the fields.

Black female slaves were some of the first people in the country to receive free health care. Breeders took a great interest in fertility and expected multiple births from the women or their value would be diminished. Home medical journals were produced to help with difficult births that had previously been left to the slaves to deal with. The quote from the film Gone With The Wind, “I don’t know nothin’ about birthing babies,” was meant to be a thing of the past.

Many films have depicted boats arriving in New Orleans which became the largest slave market in the Antebellum South. Rarely is it shown those ships originated in Richmond and Baltimore. Slaves were also shipped by railroad packed in boxcars or sent by stagecoach. The slave breeding farms are mostly left out of the history books except those that deny their existence.

Many of the white slave owners felt they were doing their female slaves a favor when they mated with them. Granting them a respite from the brutish black slaves they would otherwise be subjected to. Generally speaking, it was the house slaves that got raped the most. Some mothers had to protect their offspring from the master’s wife if she had reason to believe her spouse was the father. We’re generally aware of that situation which we’ve been led to believe was the worst case scenario. Nobody talks about the 13-year-old girl on a breeding farm, forced to bear as many children as possible, only to have them ripped away and send down South to endure a lifetime of hardship, without a mother. On one breeding farm, the mother would be freed after birthing fifteen children. What would she have to look forward to?

America barely acknowledges that breeding farms existed, let alone document their role in creating the robust economy of the early South. There are the self-evident truths mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, and those truths so heinous they must perpetually be covered up and denied. Breeding farms fall into the second category. History books when they even mention it, suggest slave breeding didn’t begin until after the banning of the Atlantic slave trade. In truth, it began decades earlier on plantations and farms and only because America was prepared to produce the slaves it needed did it allow the end of the importation of slaves from Africa.

What Your History Books Never Told You: Massacres on American Soil


Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of the massacre of thousands of young people in Tiananmen Square in Bejing, China. The protesters had been gathering daily to voice their disapproval of high inflation and rampant corruption, and for freedom of the press and free speech, among other issues. China eventually declared martial law, positioning tanks and troops throughout the city, eventually marching into Tiananmen Square. Soldiers fired at the students with assault rifles. Killing a still unknown number (estimated between several hundred and several thousand with thousands more injured. On this anniversary, the event is barely spoken of in China with the government accusing the outside press and US government officials of a “violation of International Law” for bringing it up. The US demands that China talk about its darkest moments which is quite hypocritical given the scant mention of numerous events on US soil, almost all perpetrated against minorities.

Here is a list and brief description of a limited number of events either not taught in schools, skimmed over, or totally distorted from their true nature:

  1. The Ocoee Massacre — I always name this first because it happened in the same County as Orlando, FL and 95% of the people that live here know nothing about it. Because two black men had the nerve to try to vote in the 1920 Presidential Election, white people from Orlando (including a former police chief), Winter Garden and surrounding communities, shot and killed random black people and burned out the rest. Ocoee had no black residents for the next 40 years. To their credit, the current leaders now mention it and are organizing a memorial. Depending on who you believe, the death toll for blacks was between 39 and 500. The headline the next day in the major newspaper read, “Two Whites Killed in Race Riot.”
  2. Black Wall Street — It started when a young black shoeshine boy was accused of raping a white elevator operator in a building he had permission to enter to get water and us the bathroom. She didn’t file a complaint and press charges but officials went ahead anyway and arrested Dick Rowland. White people formed a mob and demanded he be lynched. Black men stood outside the courthouse until a white man with a gun approached and confronted an unarmed black man. There was a struggle over the gun and the white man was shot. Black people retreated to the Greenwood District, probably the richest black township in America. Greenwood had black-owned banks, restaurants, hotels, and businesses. They formed a barrier and awaited the assault. White people outnumbered the black people greatly, including members of the National Guard who used planes to drop nitroglycerin bombs on the black citizens. When it was over, 35 blocks and over 600 homes had been destroyed. The official death toll was 26 black victims but estimates range as high as 500. Be on the lookout for the upcoming film, “Tulsa 1921.”
  3. The Colfax Massacre — Another election-related massacre in 1872 where the black citizens of Colfax, LA were under the misconception that Reconstruction was still ongoing and they could vote. Democrats and the Klan which were often one and the same. Using rifles and a cannon, they surrounded the black people in the local courthouse, killing some and taking dozens captive for several hours before ultimately killing them too. A few of the perpetrators were convicted but ultimately freed after the US Supreme Court declared the Fourteenth Amendment only applied to the government and not individuals, nullifying rights previously passed by Congress to protect the Civil Rights of black people.
  4. Opelousas Massacre — In the fall of 1968, several black men from Opelousas, LA attempted to join the local Democrat Party in nearby Washington. They were rejected and the local unit of the Knights of the White Camellia (Klan) gathered to oppose them. An 18-year-old white teacher wrote an article and invited blacks to become Republicans. He was beaten nearly to death and fled to the North. Thinking the teacher had been killed, blacks marched on the courthouse, some armed although they didn’t have the same right as white citizens to bear arms. After a confrontation; 29 black people were taken prisoner and put in jail. 27 of them were killed, touching off weeks of the Klan randomly killing black people in the area. When it was over, Republicans said 200–300 black people had been murdered, Democrats put the number between 25–30, presumably not including the original 27 removed from the jail and then killed.
  5. Hanapepe Massacre — Kaua’i, Hawaii was a paradise in 1924 unless you worked on the sugar plantations. The newest minorities on the block were from the Philippines, having less status than the Chinese and native Hawaiians. By 1922 the Filipinos had begun to organize and in 1924 a strike was called demanding $2 a day and limiting their workday to eight hours. Ultimately, strikers were assaulted by police with clubs and guns (the strikers were unarmed). Fourteen Filipinos and four policemen were killed. It goes without saying that the Courts sided with the companies in denying the workers a living wage. It has always been thus.
  6. Chinese Massacre of 1871 — It struck me as funny strange that this massacre broke out on Calle de los Negros (Street of the Negroes). Black and mulatto had been displaced by the Chinese in what could graciously be called a slum. Chinese residents had little protections from whites as laws had been passed prohibiting them from testifying against white people. An incident occurred and a white policeman was injured, blowing his whistle for reinforcements. When it was over, between 17–20 Chines had been hanged and displayed in multiple locations. They didn’t suffer as they’d been shot and killed first. Ten of the mob of over 500 were arrested and eight were convicted of manslaughter. The convictions were all later thrown out on technicalities. No justice, no justice, never any justice.

I apologize for not providing examples of the massacres of Native Americans. There were so many, Wounded Knee and the Trail of Tears are relatively known. There are so many examples that I got a little depressed trying to pick some and decided to let it go. Let’s just say that every treaty brokered between the US Government and Native Americans ended the way of the land crossed by the Keystone XL Pipeline. When the Government wanted what they’d bartered away, they took it back. In they met resistance, they used violence.

When I say these were limited examples I was underestimating. The history we’re not taught paints a far different picture than what we are. Legislators in Texas are trying to impose yet another history on us in which American Exceptionalism is to be highlighted and slavery was like summer camp. The next time we want to point out other nations failure to honestly discuss its history. We should take a closer look at our own.

Mark Stevens Vs Kyle Lowry, WTF?


Mark Stevens, the minority investor in the Golden State Warriors who assaulted Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of the NBA Finals isn’t a small man. At about 6’1″ and 175 lbs. He’s relatively fit for a man in his late fifties. He probably works out, maybe does a little Pilates, surely gets in some golf from time to time. He is a rich man, a billionaire who along with his wife donated $50 Million to his alma mater USC. In college, he was known to get a little rowdy with his frat brothers at the Trojan football games but never had a reputation for violence.

Kyle Lowry is not a big man for a professional basketball player, also 6’1″. He’s a bit heavier than Stevens at 196 lbs but appears slimmer because his weight is mostly muscle and he gets a whole lot more exercise. Not a billionaire like Stevens, he is in the middle of a 3-year, $90 Million contract so he isn’t doing badly.

When Lowry went crashing into the stands chasing a loose ball during Game 3, one wonders what possessed Mark Stevens to push Kyle Lowry, a younger, stronger man who odds are could whip Stevens ass? When you sit if the expensive front row seats as Stevens did, you assume some risk because players end up in the stands relatively often. You want to be close to the action, there’s a chance the action will come to you. The tickets fan purchase have a disclaimer waiving liability. As part owner of the team, Stevens of all people should know that. So what made Stevens think he was within his right to push Lowry, who landed a couple of people away, Stevens had to cross over people to get to Lowry. In what world does an older, less fit man, physically go after a professional athlete in his prime?

Let’s consider what would happen if Kyle Lowry were the one who assaulted a fan, who just happened to be part owner of the opposing team. When Stephen Jackson of the Indiana Pacers went into the stands after a fan who threw and hit one of his teammates with a beer. He was suspended for thirty games and fined $3 Million. Kyle Lowry at a minimum would have been ejected from the remainder of The Finals, been fined millions of dollars and been suspended (without pay) well into the next season. He might well have faced criminal assault charges to boot, not to mention fierce tweeting from the Commander-In-Chief who wouldn’t miss the opportunity. Stevens was banned from attending Warriors games for a year (he’ll have to watch them at home on the big screen, the horror) and fined $500K. That was 1/100th of the amount he gave away to USC.

Back to what Stevens was thinking, surely he was certain there would be no retaliation. Was it because he was rich? Because the security forces in the Oracle Arena worked for him? Because he had gotten used to power having been rich since he was in his thirties? Or just maybe because of the race of the people involved, even being rich in his own right didn’t keep Kyle Lowry from being assaulted in public view on national television.

I don’t claim to know what was in Mark Stevens mind. I do know that the penalty wasn’t severe for him. As time goes by he may even brag about the incident at cocktail parties, how he went after a professional athlete who didn’t dare do anything in return. Stevens did eventually issue a written apology. Among other things he said, “I hope that Mr. Lowry and others impacted by this lapse in judgment understand that the behavior I demonstrated last night does not reflect the person I am or have been throughout my life.” Without knowing for certain his motivation, his behavior reflects exactly who he is.

Joe Biden: His “Do No Harm” Approach To Campaigning


Joe Biden is sort of running for President. In his announcement video, he clung to the coattails of former President Barack Obama. Reminding us of the days when compared to the current occupant of the Oval Office, things were calm. Normalcy will be restored.

Biden’s announced strategy was to wait as long as possible to enter the race; watching as Sanders, Warren, Harris and over a dozen others announced their candidacy with some raising huge amounts of money and staking out their corners of the electorate. When Biden finally announced his entry, he took a commanding lead in the polls. His goal now seems to be to do nothing that will hurt that lead, take no strong positions, make few campaign appearances, stay above the fray.

In full disclosure, I’ve always liked Joe Biden. If he’s the ultimate nominee of the Democrat Party, I’ll vote for him in a heartbeat. He has some issues in his past like the Clarence Thomas Senate Confirmation Hearings and his support of the 1994 Crime Bill. He just made news with his half-hearted support of the Hyde Amendment which almost every other Democrat candidate has opposed. His position seemed to be, “I’m for it unless too many people are against it.” A politicians answer to a serious question.

Update: Joe Biden just changed his position on the Hyde Amendment. One can only wonder how strongly he believes in anything? Besides his desire to become President.

Whether or not you like Elizabeth Warren. She’s making clear, concise statements outlining her positions. She answers questions with a yes or no and then explains why she feels as she does. Other candidates are giving clear answers about Impeachment, health care for all. abortion laws, and more. Biden is speaking little and saying less.

In less than three weeks the debates begin in Miami. It’s likely that the other 19 candidates eligible for the debate stage will be coming for Joe. They’ll do it because they have to chip away at his lead and frankly, the more Joe speaks, the less popular he’ll become. He’ll be on the defense, trying to explain away his support of a bill that increased mass incarceration, his lack of support of Anita Hill and the witnesses he didn’t call in her support while Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. His answers thus far aren’t convincing and photo’s of him and Barack Obama (who hasn’t endorsed him) just won’t cut it.

Joe Biden has name recognition, he’ll have more money than any other Democrat, and he’s genuinely likable. What he’s not doing is taking firm positions, clearly enunciating his policies, or giving anyone a reason to vote for him other than his closeness to Obama (who hasn’t endorsed him).

What Joe has been able to count on up to this point is the overwhelming support of black voters and women. Among the dozens of candidates running against him are a couple of black candidates and several women. Hillary Clinton had a grasp on the black vote when running against Barack Obama until she didn’t. Black voters supported Hillary because they didn’t believe Obama could win. Once they got the idea he actually could, her loss of support was dramatic. If Kamala Harris wins her home state of California (which had 475 delegates in 2016). That may well be enough to convince voters of her viability. White women who voted for Trump in 2016, may finally be ready to support a woman, given what they got last time.

I don’t see a scenario where discontented Biden supporters flock to Bernie. Biden is a centrist and is betting that the majority of the Party is also. He’s ignoring the signs the PArty has moved to the left and is looking for a Progressive candidate to lead them. As a hedge, Biden is taking almost no positions at all, apparently believing that suggesting he’s with Obama (who hasn’t endorsed him) and not being Trump will be enough.

It would be nice if Biden didn’t back his way into the Democrat Nomination. The public should know what he believes and how strongly. The Republicans have been serious about installing their judges, obstructing votes, Gerrymandering, obliterating women’s rights, and supporting a racist immigration policy. Voters deserve to have someone willing to stand up to all of this, which begins by taking a stand on anything.

My Rules of Engagement for the 2020 Election


I’m a political junkie! I study politics, write about politics, and inevitably get into discussions about politics. Political discussions have a tendency to get heated. The deeper you get into the discussion, the likelier to be fact free. I’ve decided to establish some rules that will govern my interactions. These will apply to my blog posts, discussions, and most of all the comments section for articles I write. If I’m commenting on your blog, feel free to establish your own rules. Here we go:

  1. Use your words! For clarity, memes are not words, links to someone else’s site are not your words. If you can’t express yourself in your own words, your opinion is not required.
  2. Be civil. In the words of the late Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?” I know that losing an argument is frustrating but refrain from personal attacks, especially on other commenters on my blog. I don’t believe in censorship but bad behavior will get you booted. It won’t be your “conservative views” but asshole tendencies.
  3. I won’t argue with my friends. I don’t mean the Internet only friends that I have no interaction with outside of social media. If you’re a real friend and our views are diametrically opposed. I’ll grant you the right to your opinion, I won’t even insist you grant that right to me. My friendships don’t require agreement.
  4. Be prepared to document your beliefs. We all process a lot of information and unfortunately a lot of what we see/hear/feel isn’t true. You (or even me) repeating something you heard doesn’t make it true. I have no problem documenting what I say, as long as it’s a reasonable request and you ask nice. You should be prepared to do the same.
  5. I won’t debate someone without a prerequisite level of knowledge. If you have no sense of history. If you don’t understand our election system or the Constitution. If you can’t use your own words (See Rule #1). We don’t have any business conversing. Go read some books.
  6. Stay calm. It’s still just a discussion. If you can’t keep from devolving into personal insults, you’re doing something wrong. It’s okay to be wrong and admit it. I’m wrong sometimes and try to learn from the experience. If you have no desire to learn anything, what’s the point in engaging?

That’s it. Six simple rules to abide by and we’re good. Be sure to vote as well, talking and not voting is time wasted.

When America Truly Lost Its Way: The Compromise of 1877


You can certainly make the case that America lost its way many times throughout its history and I won’t disagree. From the moment they broke their first pact with the Native Americans to their prospering from the work of slaves, the declaration of Manifest Destiny saying that God intended for it to have every piece of land from sea to sea with all the people in-between be damned. The shaping of its borders, not desirous of Mexico because it, “had too many Mexicans,” and Japanese Internment.

John C. Calhoun, the South Carolinian legislative forefather of Lindsay Graham said, “ I know further, sir, that we have never dreamt of incorporating into our Union any but the Caucasian race — the free white race. To incorporate Mexico, would be the very first instance of the kind of incorporating an Indian race; for more than half of the Mexicans are Indians, and the other is composed chiefly of mixed tribes. I protest against such a union as that! Ours, sir, is the Government of a white race. The greatest misfortunes of Spanish America are to be traced to the fatal error of placing these colored races on an equality with the white race. That error destroyed the social arrangement which formed the basis of society. The Portuguese and ourselves have escaped — the Portuguese at least to some extent — and we are the only people on this continent which have made revolutions without being followed by anarchy. And yet it is professed and talked about to erect these Mexicans into a Territorial Government, and place them on an equality with the people of the United States. I protest utterly against such a project.”

But there was a moment when America had a chance to do better… and chose not. The Civil War was ended and the slaves had been freed; some took a little longer to get the word (Texas) until the cotton crop was harvested that was a minor missed opportunity compared to The Compromise of 1877.

The freedmen were still being discriminated against. They couldn’t attend white schools but did have their own. Before the end of the Civil War; Black institutions of higher learning rose up beginning with The Institute of Higher Learning in Cheney, PA followed by Lincoln University and Wilberforce University. Not really colleges but a beginning. After the war, often with the aid of white religious societies, black colleges rose up including Fisk, Morehouse, and Howard. The freed slaves began to vote, and in the deepest part of the South began to send elected black representatives to Congress and sit in State Legislatures. Led by Mississippi and Florida, Reconstruction was flourishing to a degree and America seemed to be on a path which might one day resemble equality.

That didn’t mean the newfound prosperity of black folk (relative to slavery anything was prosperous) wasn’t upsetting to the Southern whites who’d seen their entire way of life upended. The only thing that allowed black people to vote, farm on their own lands, and worship in their own churches, was the unwanted presence of Federal Troops protecting the new status quo.

In 1876, a disputed Presidential Election left Republicans and Democrats trying to determine which Party would seat the next President. In what seems like a role reversal for those not up on their history, The Republicans, formed partly with the goal of abolishing slavery, appeared to have lost. Short just one Electoral Vote short of victory with two states votes in dispute and winners of the Popular Vote. It seemed a foregone conclusion they would ultimately prevail. The Democrats, strongest in the South and the Party the Klan called home; allowed the Republicans to claim victory on one condition. The removal of Federal Troops from the South.

This ushered in the era of Jim Crow and all the previous gains of black people were immediately wiped out. In 1878, that Republican President, Rutherford B. Hayes, signed into law the Posse Comitatus Act, ensuring Federal Troops could never again be used in that manner on U.S. soil, protecting black citizens. With its adoption of The Compromise of 1877, followed up by Posse Comitatus slamming the door. America consciously and irrevocably declared its lack of conscience and choice down the path of white supremacy. Democrats began a reign of terror which included voter suppression enforced by lynchings, Jim Crow, segregation (which was always part of the program) and more. Republicans, who still call themselves, “The Party of Lincoln,” looked the other way at best. Cheerfully enacting some of the same programs of voter suppression and gerrymandering which they continue to this day.

Perhaps America will find itself back on track one day? With the recent implementation of Muslim Bans, separation of families at the border, Census questions designed to hurt minorities, and an uptick in segregated schools. It doesn’t look like it will be soon.