History is always written in the blood of the powerless. Famously written by the “victors,” it casts the suffering and deaths of those who wound up on the short end of things as somehow necessary, a historical necessity for a greater good. “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs,” some winners are prone to saying, by way of expressing minor regret about the inevitable — that some “eggs” had to be “broken” so we could enjoy what we have on the table in front of us now.
We watched the public lynching of an American man recently, under the knee of a cop who kneeled on him for 8 minutes and 46 seconds — the last almost 3:00 of which the dying man was already unconscious. We know the exact time frame because of an uninterrupted video of the slow-motion murder by suffocation.
The video, taken by a high school girl who filmed the entire 8:46 without flinching, left no doubt that we were watching a lynching, a brutal murder committed with, at minimum, depraved indifference to human life. The man who was killed was handcuffed, subdued, lying face down on the ground begging for his life, in the end calling for his mother.
George Floyd’s public murder woke people up. With a serial scofflaw as president, condemning those who took to the streets to protest this lynching as “antifa” extremists (being anti-fascist was until recently a mainstream American value), invoking police violence against peaceful protesters as “law and order,” the time was past due for an accounting. America has never had a reckoning of any kind with our murderous history of enforced inequality at law.
That’s an uncomfortable thought for the powerful (and even more so for the powerless, I dare say). You cannot have forgiveness without some kind of process of reconciliation, some remorseful acknowledgement by the perpetrator that it was wrong to — say, tolerate lynching for hundreds of years. The symbols of American racism are all around us. The Edmund Pettus Bridge, where the recently departed John Lewis had his head split open by police while peacefully protesting, in fact, kneeling to pray, in 1965, was named for a Confederate officer, US Senator and Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Very uncomfortable!!!
Mike Pompeo, to the rescue. The Koch Brothers’ former personal congressman from Witchita, one of America’s most powerful religious Evangelical Christians, did a little history writing of his own the other day. With supreme confidence, he made the following remarks at a recent meeting of the Commission on Unalienable Rights. Note the several sleights of hands Mr. Pompeo employs to make history right.
“These days, even saying that America’s fundamentally good has become controversial… They want you to believe that America’s institutions continue to reflect the country’s acceptance of slavery at our founding. This is a dark vision of America’s birth. I reject it.”
“They want you to believe…”– how ominous! Pompeo, Trump’s Secretary of State, went on to single out and flay a favorite right-wing whipping girl, the New York Times.
“The New York Times’s 1619 Project, so named for the year that the first slaves were transported to America, wants you to believe that our country was founded FOR human bondage. They want you to believe that America’s institutions continue to reflect the country’s acceptance of slavery at our founding. They want you to believe that Marxist ideology that America is only the oppressors and the oppressed.”
You understand the logic here: only a Marxist (godless Commie) could see any connection between our centuries of race-based chattel slavery, a bloody Civil War followed by a hundred years of unchecked, violent Ku Klux Klan rule in the former Confederacy, racist laws nationwide well into the twentieth century , a punitive criminal justice system singling out people of color for incarceration and destroying countless lives for non-violent “drug crimes”, the murder by police, without legal consequences, of unarmed civilians, mostly people of color. This is clearly a strictly Communist-only reading of our great history. Only a godless Marxist could see it in that hateful way, real Americans understand that, says Pompeo.
“The Chinese Communist Party must be gleeful when they see the NYT spout this ideology. Some people have taken these false doctrines to heart. The rioters pulling down statues thus see nothing wrong with desecrating monuments to those who fought for our unalienable rights, from our founding to the present day. This is a dark vision of America’s birth. I reject it.”
Reject away, sir. Historical facts, documented and recited, equal Communist-approved “ideology,” nicely done legerdemain, Mike. Great men, including men who took up arms against our nation, heroes like Edmund Pettus and Nathaniel Forrest Bedford, daring Confederate general and founder of the Ku Klux Klan (photo below) must be remembered in monuments to their greatness, whatever lawless, godless, Marxist, America-hating rioters might feel about it.
“It’s a disturbed reading of our history, it is a slander on our great people. Nothing could be further from the truth of our founding.”
That the first slaves arrived on these shores before the Mayflower brought the families of our founding fathers here, false! A disturbed reading, a slander. Nothing could be further from the truth!
What the hell do you actually mean by these fighting words, Mike?
I’m tempted to simply say “fuck that fucking pig-faced puto,” but that will change no hearts or minds. Assuming hearts and minds are still involved, once this kind of angry, determined erasure of history is forcefully undertaken by powerful men.
Do you have a duty to forgive someone who has badly hurt you and then tells you to just fucking get over it, asshole? Kneeling on your neck until you’re dead — your problem, jerkoff, not mine. Critical “history” — a bunch of deliberate Commie slanders, NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. Who are you going to believe, the lying New York Times or my unidentified riot-geared federal troopers and their tear gas, truncheons and blanket immunity from prosecution for breaking your head?
Ah, fuck that fucking pig-faced puto. America is better than his ilk.
 Bill Moyers: Let me read to you. Here’s a quote from a Maryland statute in 1957 — 1957! — that you include in the book:
All marriages between a white person and a Negro, or between a white person and a person of Negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive, or between a white person and a member of the Malay race or between a Negro and a member of the Malay race, or between a person of Negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive, and a member of the Malay race, or between a person of Negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive, and a member of the Malay race or between a Negro and member of the Malay race, or between a person of Negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive, are forever prohibited and shall be void; and and any person violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of an infamous crime and be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for not less than eighteen months or more than 10 years.
That was Maryland law.
[not ruled unconstitutional until 1967]
Moyers: Bilbo [powerful racist Senator from Mississippi, Theodore Bilbo] said, “One drop of Negro blood placed in the veins of the purest Caucasian destroys the inventive genius of his mind and palsies his creative faculty.” Is it true that the Nazis thought the one-drop rule too extreme?
Whitman: They did indeed. They never proposed anything nearly as extreme as the one-drop rule.
Of course, as every real American knows, Bill Moyers, long time PBS talk show host (PBS… yo), who, as a young man, worked for and applauded LBJ for his Civil Rights legislation, is a freedom hating old Marxist who spreads slanders against our great, white, Christian nation.