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Thread: The irony of the New York Timesí 1619 Project...

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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teallaura View Post
    'Perfecters of democracy'? Oh please...



    Actually, many of the Founding Fathers DID believe that liberty applied to all men. And that included Washington and Jefferson - what she fails to realize is that there were laws that prevented manumission. That being the reason Washington freed his slaves at his death - that was what the law allowed.



    Women were fighting for suffrage before the Civil War - that would be an anachronism. Heck, there were suffrage movements after the Revolutionary War.


    There were abolitionists in the US before the Revolution - during and after as well. The chances of England declaring an end to slavery or the slave trade at that time were nil - and the American's knew it. This is nonsense. There's a reason England doesn't end slavery until 1833.
    Yep, this is was one of the areas that jumped out at me immediately upon my initial skim.

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    I'm reading the essays slowly, one per night. So far, I've read the first two and found nothing that is wrong (save that it was the Pilgrims, not the Puritans, who came in the 1620s). Nothing in the first two essays I saw was anachronistic -- so what did you see out of the first essays?

    Nothing Teal mentioned is anachronistic -- Hannah-Jones' argument that the founders intentionally codified slavery into the nation's founding documents and laws isn't rebutted by the fact that there were abolitionists in the emerging nation or even among the founders; those who were present did not or could not stop the majority from continuing (and even strengthening) the slave trade.

    That manumission laws existed before the creation of a new country with entirely new laws is obviously irrelevant -- the framers of the -constitution- could have, but did not, supersede or obsolete such laws -- even though the Constitution and new federal laws superseded or obsoleted other types of law.

    Britain ended its slave trade in 1807, not 1833; Teal chose the latter of two laws to make her maximum argument but gets the thrust wrong, anyhow: By the 1770s, the abolitionist movement (led by people like Samuel Johnson) in Britain had emerged and was gaining strength. By the 1780s, when the Constitution and other documents were being written, major court cases in Britain (e.g., Sommerset v Stewart) had won freedom for chattel slaves in Britain. The American colonists/revolutionaries/statesmen were not unaware that slavery in Britain was ending at home and threatened in the colonies. What you're calling an "anachronism" is simply history.

    --Sam

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    If you've read the essays then the anachronisms should have stood out pretty obviously. If they didn't, then I imagine dragging chunks of the essays over here, and pointing them out to you isn't going to make much difference. I'm not too interested in going into that sort of work only to have you handwave it away or something. If you'd like to discuss one of the essays here, I'd be more than happy to chime in if I have anything to add.
    "I wonder about the trees. / Why do we wish to bear / Forever the noise of these / More than another noise / So close to our dwelling place?" ó Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"


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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Exactly, the left keeps rubbing our face in it, opening old wounds. And the fact it lines up with their push to paint Trump as a racist, and by extension his supporters.
    The theme of Hannah-Jones' essay is that black Americans, through their massive contributions to American economy, structure, wealth, and democracy, have earned full purchase in all of these things but have systematically, and often cruelly, been denied -- denied not only their due but even an equal share. Still today, we find politicians, businesses, and other citizens denying black Americans access to democracy, fair representation, business opportunities. The wounds aren't old and black Americans aren't the ones rubbing peoples' faces in an injustice.

    But, any road, if you find that a basic and true retelling of American history is offensive, perhaps the problem is more that you prefer a mythology to open embrace of truth.

    --Sam
    "I wonder about the trees. / Why do we wish to bear / Forever the noise of these / More than another noise / So close to our dwelling place?" ó Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"


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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    I'm reading the essays slowly, one per night. So far, I've read the first two and found nothing that is wrong (save that it was the Pilgrims, not the Puritans, who came in the 1620s). Nothing in the first two essays I saw was anachronistic -- so what did you see out of the first essays?

    Nothing Teal mentioned is anachronistic -- Hannah-Jones' argument that the founders intentionally codified slavery into the nation's founding documents and laws isn't rebutted by the fact that there were abolitionists in the emerging nation or even among the founders; those who were present did not or could not stop the majority from continuing (and even strengthening) the slave trade.

    That manumission laws existed before the creation of a new country with entirely new laws is obviously irrelevant -- the framers of the -constitution- could have, but did not, supersede or obsolete such laws -- even though the Constitution and new federal laws superseded or obsoleted other types of law.

    Britain ended its slave trade in 1807, not 1833; Teal chose the latter of two laws to make her maximum argument but gets the thrust wrong, anyhow: By the 1770s, the abolitionist movement (led by people like Samuel Johnson) in Britain had emerged and was gaining strength. By the 1780s, when the Constitution and other documents were being written, major court cases in Britain (e.g., Sommerset v Stewart) had won freedom for chattel slaves in Britain. The American colonists/revolutionaries/statesmen were not unaware that slavery in Britain was ending at home and threatened in the colonies. What you're calling an "anachronism" is simply history.

    --Sam
    Most abolitionists were, by necessity, white, so it's a bit anachronistic to make it seem like only black resistance and protest is what changed the plight of black people, and forced this nation to live up to it's ideals of "all men are created equal."

    And on the subject of equality, "all men are created equal," included women ("men" being synonymous with "humans"), and yet women didn't have the same rights as white men. So it's a bit selective to talk about how those words didn't apply to "hundreds of thousands of black people." Why not argue, "But the white men who drafted those words did not believe them to be true for over half the nation." That, of course, wouldn't work for purposes of the essay.

    The argument that "black rights struggles paved the way for every other rights struggle, including womenís and gay rights, immigrant and disability rights," is disingenuous and seriously downplays those other struggles. One could just as easily argue that the suffrage movement paved the way for black rights struggle if one were so inclined. It might be more accurate to say that they shared similar goals, and/or that suffragettes and abolitionists (for instance) often collaborated or were one in the same, but to assert that black rights struggles paved the way for every other rights struggle is saying too much.

    Teal can defend her own arguments, but it would seem to me that if someone is arguing for the legacy of black people in America since before the nation's founding (all the way back to 1619), referring back to manumission laws preceding the Constitution is relevant, especially when plenty of state laws and charters carried over and were still in effect well after Independence. Could the US Constitution have superseded or obsoleted such laws? I don't know. It seems to me that the framers of the Constitution were heavily in support of State rights, and did what they could to prevent federal government from superseding those rights.


    As an aside, why are you putting the quoted posts below your reply? It makes it harder to see who you're replying to when you do that. Also, it's unnecessary to postscript with your name, as we can all see your name on the top-left of your post.
    Last edited by Adrift; 08-22-2019 at 09:16 AM.

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    The theme of Hannah-Jones' essay is that black Americans, through their massive contributions to American economy, structure, wealth, and democracy, have earned full purchase in all of these things but have systematically, and often cruelly, been denied -- denied not only their due but even an equal share. Still today, we find politicians, businesses, and other citizens denying black Americans access to democracy, fair representation, business opportunities. The wounds aren't old and black Americans aren't the ones rubbing peoples' faces in an injustice.
    Nonsense Sam, I don't see anyone preventing blacks from doing anything. And I have no idea what you mean by equal share. The vast majority of this country's wealth and power was the result of the industrial revolution. And most of that generated in the north long after slavery.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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    What's that? lilpixieofterror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Nonsense Sam, I don't see anyone preventing blacks from doing anything. And I have no idea what you mean by equal share. The vast majority of this country's wealth and power was the result of the industrial revolution. And most of that generated in the north long after slavery.
    It is a good bit of historical revision really. Most contemporary accounts of America in the 18th century paint the picture of a backwards society, that was looked down upon by those living in Europe. Much of our economic and political clout is a post civil war, post industrial revolution, development.
    "The man from the yacht thought he was the first to find England; I thought I was the first to find Europe. I did try to found a heresy of my own; and when I had put the last touches to it, I discovered that it was orthodoxy."
    GK Chesterton; Orthodoxy

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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Nonsense Sam, I don't see anyone preventing blacks from doing anything. And I have no idea what you mean by equal share. The vast majority of this country's wealth and power was the result of the industrial revolution. And most of that generated in the north long after slavery.
    Give me a break, seer, you only believe that because you're not buying into the left's attempts at revisionist history!
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    Most abolitionists were, by necessity, white, so it's a bit anachronistic to make it seem like only black resistance and protest is what changed the plight of black people, and forced this nation to live up to it's ideals of "all men are created equal."
    Most abolitionists were, in fact, black. That many were relatively invisible, being current or former slaves, seems less a problem for Hannah-Jones' thesis than for the rebuttal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    And on the subject of equality, "all men are created equal," included women ("men" being synonymous with "humans"), and yet women didn't have the same rights as white men. So it's a bit selective to talk about how those words didn't apply to "hundreds of thousands of black people." Why not argue, "But the white men who drafted those words did not believe them to be true for over half the nation." That, of course, wouldn't work for purposes of the essay.
    Actually, that fits explicitly into Hannah-Jones' argument; Hannah-Jones doesn't argue that white Americas solely excluded black Americans and black Americans won greater purchase, thereby making democracy -real-. Instead, Hannah-Jones argues correctly identifies slavery as the foundational American effort to dehumanize and disenfranchise others and that the abolition of slavery paved the way toward the abolition of other types of disenfranchisement and discrimination. This is non-controversial to anyone familiar with the use of the 14th Amendment in civil rights law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    The argument that "black rights struggles paved the way for every other rights struggle, including women’s and gay rights, immigrant and disability rights," is disingenuous and seriously downplays those other struggles. One could just as easily argue that the suffrage movement paved the way for black rights struggle if one were so inclined. It might be more accurate to say that they shared similar goals, and/or that suffragettes and abolitionists (for instance) often collaborated or were one in the same, but to assert that black rights struggles paved the way for every other rights struggle is saying too much.
    It would be quite hard to "just as easily argue that the suffrage movement paved the way for black rights struggle" since the suffrage movement came after both the end of slavery and the first Civil Rights Act and since suffragists explicitly used the language and the law of anti-slavery black civil rights. One can make an argument and dispute Hannah-Jones' account, sure, but that's a rather academic disagreement and not an obvious example of an anachronism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    Teal can defend her own arguments, but it would seem to me that if someone is arguing for the legacy of black people in America since before the nation's founding (all the way back to 1619), referring back to manumission laws preceding the Constitution is relevant, especially when plenty of state laws and charters carried over and were still in effect well after Independence. Could the US Constitution have superseded or obsoleted such laws? I don't know. It seems to me that the framers of the Constitution were heavily in support of State rights, and did what they could to prevent federal government from superseding those rights.
    You make the opposite point that Teal (and your endorsement of her analysis) needs: you're arguing here that you "don't know" if the Constitution could have superseded states' rights -- of course it could have, it's the Constitution! The Constitution superseded the Articles of Confederation and obsoleted plenty of former laws.

    You next move to the argument that the founders "did what they could to prevent federal government from superseding [state] rights." This is untrue (the Constitution created a much stronger federal government than the Articles of Confederation it replaced) and not exculpatory -- the framers explicitly fashioned the Constitution in a way that both continued and strengthened slavery; whether they did so because they had personal purchase in the institution of slavery or because they simply accepted slavery as the cost of "independence" is moot and irrelevant to Hannah-Jones' thesis. The founders knew that they were strengthening the institution of slavery and that's the relevant point.




    A matter of format: if I think the post includes something direct, specific, and substantive that should be read before my reply, the quote goes on top.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    As an aside, why are you putting the quoted posts below your reply? It makes it harder to see who you're replying to when you do that. Also, it's unnecessary to postscript with your name, as we can all see your name on the top-left of your post.

    A matter of old habits,

    --Sam
    "I wonder about the trees. / Why do we wish to bear / Forever the noise of these / More than another noise / So close to our dwelling place?" ó Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"


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    tWebber
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    The second 1619 Project essay, by Matthew Desmond, does a very good job of summarizing just how dependent on slavery the American and British industrial revolutions were, and how that dependence and exploitation of black labor didn't end after the Civil War.

    Source: In order to understand the brutality of American capitalism, you have to start on the plantation. Matthew Desmond. The New York Times. 2019.08.14

    Slavery was undeniably a font of phenomenal wealth. By the eve of the Civil War, the Mississippi Valley was home to more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the United States. Cotton grown and picked by enslaved workers was the nationís most valuable export. The combined value of enslaved people exceeded that of all the railroads and factories in the nation. New Orleans boasted a denser concentration of banking capital than New York City. What made the cotton economy boom in the United States, and not in all the other far-flung parts of the world with climates and soil suitable to the crop, was our nationís unflinching willingness to use violence on nonwhite people and to exert its will on seemingly endless supplies of land and labor. Given the choice between modernity and barbarism, prosperity and poverty, lawfulness and cruelty, democracy and totalitarianism, America chose all of the above.

    Nearly two average American lifetimes (79 years) have passed since the end of slavery, only two. It is not surprising that we can still feel the looming presence of this institution, which helped turn a poor, fledgling nation into a financial colossus. The surprising bit has to do with the many eerily specific ways slavery can still be felt in our economic life. ďAmerican slavery is necessarily imprinted on the DNA of American capitalism,Ē write the historians Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman. The task now, they argue, is ďcataloging the dominant and recessive traitsĒ that have been passed down to us, tracing the unsettling and often unrecognized lines of descent by which Americaís national sin is now being visited upon the third and fourth generations.

    © Copyright Original Source



    It was only last year, I believe, that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found that white North Carolina politicians had targeted black voters "with almost surgical precision" in an effort to disenfranchise them. If you don't see anyone preventing black Americans from doing anything, I suggest adopting a clearer perspective.

    --Sam

    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Nonsense Sam, I don't see anyone preventing blacks from doing anything. And I have no idea what you mean by equal share. The vast majority of this country's wealth and power was the result of the industrial revolution. And most of that generated in the north long after slavery.
    "I wonder about the trees. / Why do we wish to bear / Forever the noise of these / More than another noise / So close to our dwelling place?" ó Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"


  16. #50
    tWebber Teallaura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    ...

    Actually, that fits explicitly into Hannah-Jones' argument; Hannah-Jones doesn't argue that white Americas solely excluded black Americans and black Americans won greater purchase, thereby making democracy -real-. Instead, Hannah-Jones argues correctly identifies slavery as the foundational American effort to dehumanize and disenfranchise others and that the abolition of slavery paved the way toward the abolition of other types of disenfranchisement and discrimination. This is non-controversial to anyone familiar with the use of the 14th Amendment in civil rights law.

    ...


    You make the opposite point that Teal (and your endorsement of her analysis) needs: you're arguing here that you "don't know" if the Constitution could have superseded states' rights -- of course it could have, it's the Constitution! The Constitution superseded the Articles of Confederation and obsoleted plenty of former laws.
    ...

    --Sam
    I'll help out here - the Fourteenth Amendment was passed AFTER the Civil War - not before. So, if you are familiar enough with the 14th, you should also know that prior to the 14th Amendment, the BoR DID NOT apply to the states! The Ninth Amendment STILL doesn't (also doesn't seem to matter). So NO, there was NO Constitutional basis to override state law prior to the Civil War.

    FYI: The Constitution replaced, not superseded, the Articles of Confederation. Superseded implies that the Articles are still 'on the books' - and they aren't.


    Adrift can tackle it if he wants, but the Constitution weakened, not strengthened, position of slavery. It does it in a backhanded way - but it does it.

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