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Thread: The irony of the New York Times’ 1619 Project...

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    "Black people only have equal rights when it's to our political advantage", again, demonstrates a racist mentality; one that holds black enfranchisement subservient to the petty wants of a literal white ruling class.

    --Sam

    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Sam answer me this - if blacks voted overwhelmingly republican would the NC Republicans have done this? Of course not, so it doesn't have to do with race but political affiliation. Now give me a real example based on race.
    "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?" — Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"


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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    "Black people only have equal rights when it's to our political advantage", again, demonstrates a racist mentality; one that holds black enfranchisement subservient to the petty wants of a literal white ruling class.

    --Sam
    I have no idea what you point is.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    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.
    No. The abolitionist movement was an intellectual and political movement. By the very nature of the movement, most abolitionists were white. Slaves did not have a political voice. During the colonial period, the make up of the movement was mainly Quakers who believed in gradual emancipation, and by the mid-1800s it was largely made up of white evangelicals and a number of free and escaped blacks, with a shift towards immediate emancipation.

    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.
    I have no idea how this string of words counters my point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    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.
    No. The suffrage movement predated the end of slavery and the first Civil Rights Act. Most historians mark the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 and the National Woman's Rights Convention of 1850 as a couple of the earliest milestones of the movement.

    And as feminist journalist Elaine Weiss points out in her book The Woman's Hour,

    "The crusade for woman suffrage stands as one of the defining civil rights moments in the history of our country, and its organizing strategies, lobbying techniques, and nonviolent protest actions became the model for the civil rights campaigns to follow in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries."

    "The genius of the woman suffrage movement—its strategies, lobbying tactics, public education efforts, non-violent protest (demonstrations, marches, picketing, civil disobedience)—would prove to be a valuable template for later civil rights campaigns of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The African-American civil rights era, gay rights campaigns, and efforts to secure women's reproductive rights and marriage equality—all took a page from the suffragists, in both their public protests and their political maneuvers."

    Hannah-Jones argues that the black struggle paved the way for all rights movements. Weiss argues that it was the suffrage movement that paved the way for those same rights movements. Both Weiss and Hannah-Jones are pushing a narrative that aligns with the cause they're championing. It's much more accurate to say that the women and black rights movements shared similar goals, and often collaborated. And if we really want to push it, one might argue that preceding either of these were religious rights movements, or peasant vs. landowner rights movements, or that the American and French Revolutions with their focus on equal treatment and rights of free men, paved the way for all future rights movements. History is a lot more complicated than Hannah-Jones' essay is attempting to make it out to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    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.
    Maybe a poll needs to be taken, but I don't think this is as helpful as you think it is. For me at lesat, it has the affect of making your posts harder to comprehend (at least initially).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    No. The abolitionist movement was an intellectual and political movement. By the very nature of the movement, most abolitionists were white. Slaves did not have a political voice. During the colonial period, the make up of the movement was mainly Quakers who believed in gradual emancipation, and by the mid-1800s it was largely made up of white evangelicals and a number of free and escaped blacks, with a shift towards immediate emancipation.
    You don't find this highly dubious? The "abolitionist movement" wasn't some narrow intellectual enterprise; it was the top layer of an effort to free enslaved people. You're blotting out the active and majority participation of slaves and former slaves in favor of a much smaller group of people who were allowed, by their whiteness, to "have a political voice".

    That doesn't strike you as misguided?



    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    I have no idea how this string of words counters my point.
    Then I'd say one or both of us aren't being clear enough in what we're sayin!


    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    No. The suffrage movement predated the end of slavery and the first Civil Rights Act. Most historians mark the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 and the National Woman's Rights Convention of 1850 as a couple of the earliest milestones of the movement.

    And as feminist journalist Elaine Weiss points out in her book The Woman's Hour,
    "The crusade for woman suffrage stands as one of the defining civil rights moments in the history of our country, and its organizing strategies, lobbying techniques, and nonviolent protest actions became the model for the civil rights campaigns to follow in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries."
    "The genius of the woman suffrage movement—its strategies, lobbying tactics, public education efforts, non-violent protest (demonstrations, marches, picketing, civil disobedience)—would prove to be a valuable template for later civil rights campaigns of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The African-American civil rights era, gay rights campaigns, and efforts to secure women's reproductive rights and marriage equality—all took a page from the suffragists, in both their public protests and their political maneuvers."

    Hannah-Jones argues that the black struggle paved the way for all rights movements. Weiss argues that it was the suffrage movement that paved the way for those same rights movements. Both Weiss and Hannah-Jones are pushing a narrative that aligns with the cause they're championing. It's much more accurate to say that the women and black rights movements shared similar goals, and often collaborated. And if we really want to push it, one might argue that preceding either of these were religious rights movements, or peasant vs. landowner rights movements, or that the American and French Revolutions with their focus on equal treatment and rights of free men, paved the way for all future rights movements. History is a lot more complicated than Hannah-Jones' essay is attempting to make it out to be.
    But this is like arguing that the nascent abolition movement predated the nascent suffrage movement and so we're right back to the original argument. What Hannah-Jones argues, and argues correctly, is that the legal victories won by former slaves formed the basis of many anti-discrimination victories that would follow, including women's suffrage. That both movements existed contemporaneously doesn't refute Hannah-Jones' thesis.

    But, again, we're now at some high-level disagreements dealing with academic history questions. To brush off the essay (after skimming!) as biased or anachronistic for some nuanced academic disagreements doesn't seem to me to be fair or appropriate.


    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    Maybe a poll needs to be taken, but I don't think this is as helpful as you think it is. For me at lesat, it has the affect of making your posts harder to comprehend (at least initially).
    Won't stay around long enough for it to matter much.

    --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?" — 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
    You don't find this highly dubious? The "abolitionist movement" wasn't some narrow intellectual enterprise; it was the top layer of an effort to free enslaved people. You're blotting out the active and majority participation of slaves and former slaves in favor of a much smaller group of people who were allowed, by their whiteness, to "have a political voice".

    That doesn't strike you as misguided?
    What an unusual counterargument. Of course it doesn't seem misguided to me. The abolitionist movement was accomplished by people who weren't bound by the strictures of slavery. That was the point. Slaves did not have a voice. Abolitionists (whites, free blacks, and escaped slaves) spoke for people who had no voice to convince the government (other white people) of the wrongs of slavery. I'm dumbfounded that this is news to you. There's no controversy or debate to be had about this. This is just what the abolitionist movement was.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    But this is like arguing that the nascent abolition movement predated the nascent suffrage movement and so we're right back to the original argument. What Hannah-Jones argues, and argues correctly, is that the legal victories won by former slaves formed the basis of many anti-discrimination victories that would follow, including women's suffrage. That both movements existed contemporaneously doesn't refute Hannah-Jones' thesis.
    You're merely restating your point. The black rights struggle did not pave the way for all other rights struggles as I've pointed out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    But, again, we're now at some high-level disagreements dealing with academic history questions. To brush off the essay (after skimming!) as biased or anachronistic for some nuanced academic disagreements doesn't seem to me to be fair or appropriate.
    I'm sorry it doesn't seem fair or appropriate to you. It is what it is I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    Won't stay around long enough for it to matter much.
    You keep telling people this, but I'm not sure why. This is the second time in the last month or so that I've seen you pop into a thread after a long absence, and tell people you're not going to stick around. What's motivating you to keep coming back? Why not just leave now and not say anything about it? I mean, I wouldn't mind if you stuck around. I like seeing your point of view on this forum occasionally, and I think you often make some constructive arguments. Even on this subject, I imagine there's more we agree on than disagree. Some of the essays I've reviewed contain some really fascinating material that I think the wider public ought to know, but overall the presentations appears to have a far left, postmodern, critical theory bent to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    What an unusual counterargument. Of course it doesn't seem misguided to me. The abolitionist movement was accomplished by people who weren't bound by the strictures of slavery. That was the point. Slaves did not have a voice. Abolitionists (whites, free blacks, and escaped slaves) spoke for people who had no voice to convince the government (other white people) of the wrongs of slavery. I'm dumbfounded that this is news to you. There's no controversy or debate to be had about this. This is just what the abolitionist movement was.
    But it's not just what the abolitionist movement was, not even close. It's the tip of the abolitionist movement; your depiction paints the abolitionist movement as an essentially legal argument when, in fact, it was a political effort that embodied far more than just the public speaking or legislative efforts of freemen. Free abolitionists may have spoke for enslaved abolitionists ... but those enslaved abolitionists were still active members of the movement! The Underground Railroad, to give one example, was primarily facilitated by slaves. Just as there wouldn't be freemen abolitionists to speak for the enslaved abolitionists without the enslaved abolitionists, the UR wouldn't have existed without the participation, organization, and effort of enslaved abolitionists.



    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    You're merely restating your point. The black rights struggle did not pave the way for all other rights struggles as I've pointed out.
    This is not correct; we're saying two different things. You're saying that the contemporary existence of other civil rights struggles negates Hannah-Jones' claim that black civil rights victories laid the foundation for the success of those other struggles. I'm pointing out that Hannah-Jones' argument is that the legal victories won in emancipation and black civil rights laid the foundation for future victories. That's the core of her argument, not that black people alone suffered or struggled.


    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    I'm sorry it doesn't seem fair or appropriate to you. It is what it is I suppose.
    Your original complaint was that the articles were "HEAVILY anachronistic" and "essentially racist". I feel like that's a complaint that requires a higher burden of evidence than what's been argued so far, which is a nuanced and largely academic complaint about just how much credit black abolitionists should get for civil rights victories.



    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    You keep telling people this, but I'm not sure why. This is the second time in the last month or so that I've seen you pop into a thread after a long absence, and tell people you're not going to stick around. What's motivating you to keep coming back? Why not just leave now and not say anything about it? I mean, I wouldn't mind if you stuck around. I like seeing your point of view on this forum occasionally, and I think you often make some constructive arguments. Even on this subject, I imagine there's more we agree on than disagree. Some of the essays I've reviewed contain some really fascinating material that I think the wider public ought to know, but overall the presentations appears to have a far left, postmodern, critical theory bent to them.

    It's as much a reminder to myself as a declaration to others. There have been only two popular phenomena in the last few years that piqued my interest in how a subset of conservative Christian culture is responding. In both cases (Mueller Report, 1619 Project), I saw conservative Christians respond to fairly significant cultural and political moments by 1) not actually reading the content and 2) forming deep and antithetical opinions about that content, anyway. That fascinates me to a degree and, in both cases, drove a deeper probe.

    But, by necessity, there's not enough content there to last. Can't wring blood from a turnip or informed discussion from people who've never read (or read poorly) the source material. And online debate is a time sink, a misuse of the day, yada yada yada.

    So that's my apology and why I think I've pretty much tapped out this thread in the same way as the Mueller thread. I do appreciate this conversation, though, which was substantive and dealt with some actual content in Hannah-Jones article. I'm up to Essay 4 in my reading tonight; I've followed Jamelle Bouie on Twitter for a long time and I'm sure it's going to be a good read.

    --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?" — Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"


  10. #67
    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    But it's not just what the abolitionist movement was, not even close.
    It is what the abolitionist movement was. I have no idea where you got this idea that the abolitionist movement was made up of slaves, but you're wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    It's the tip of the abolitionist movement; your depiction paints the abolitionist movement as an essentially legal argument when, in fact, it was a political effort that embodied far more than just the public speaking or legislative efforts of freemen.
    You're right, it was more than a political movement. It was also a social movement. It was a way of getting white people to think differently about slavery (or in the case of some racist abolitionists, it was a way of getting rid of black people). Slaves themselves largely did not have opportunity to make this case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    Free abolitionists may have spoke for enslaved abolitionists ... but those enslaved abolitionists were still active members of the movement! The Underground Railroad, to give one example, was primarily facilitated by slaves. Just as there wouldn't be freemen abolitionists to speak for the enslaved abolitionists without the enslaved abolitionists, the UR wouldn't have existed without the participation, organization, and effort of enslaved abolitionists.
    No. The Underground Railroad was not primarily facilitated by slaves. Who told you that? It was mainly made up of freed blacks (called conductors) with the help of white abolitionists (while sympathetic with the Underground Railroad most whites wanted to do things on the up and up). Most slaves (by the very nature of slavery) did not have the means, resources, or ability to work the Underground Railroad. Again, I'm completely bewildered how any of this is news to you. And besides all of this, the Underground Railroad is just one part of the greater abolitionist movement, which, again, was mainly comprised of white people.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    This is not correct; we're saying two different things. You're saying that the contemporary existence of other civil rights struggles negates Hannah-Jones' claim that black civil rights victories laid the foundation for the success of those other struggles.
    Not quite. I'm saying that the quote, "black rights struggles paved the way for every other rights struggle, including women’s and gay rights, immigrant and disability rights" is at best, an overreach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    I'm pointing out that Hannah-Jones' argument is that the legal victories won in emancipation and black civil rights laid the foundation for future victories. That's the core of her argument, not that black people alone suffered or struggled.
    And according to journalists like Elaine White, it was the suffragette movement, their "strategies, lobbying tactics, public education efforts, non-violent protest (demonstrations, marches, picketing, civil disobedience)" that laid the foundation for future victories. And while it's true that history is written by the victors, history is a lot more sloppy than "blacks paved the way for every other civil rights movement," or 'suffragettes paved the way for every other civil rights movement." It might be closer to the truth to say that they shared a burden, were both influential on one another, and were themselves the recipient of previous rights movements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    Your original complaint was that the articles were "HEAVILY anachronistic" and "essentially racist".
    Yes, I stand by the complaint.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    I feel like that's a complaint that requires a higher burden of evidence than what's been argued so far, which is a nuanced and largely academic complaint about just how much credit black abolitionists should get for civil rights victories.
    I thought it was clear that my observation wasn't based on this one essay alone, and nor had I intended to provide a high burden of evidence for my complaint. My complaint was a personal observation from my skimming of the essays. It wasn't exactly a challenge for a debate on the subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    It's as much a reminder to myself as a declaration to others. There have been only two popular phenomena in the last few years that piqued my interest in how a subset of conservative Christian culture is responding. In both cases (Mueller Report, 1619 Project), I saw conservative Christians respond to fairly significant cultural and political moments by 1) not actually reading the content and 2) forming deep and antithetical opinions about that content, anyway. That fascinates me to a degree and, in both cases, drove a deeper probe.

    But, by necessity, there's not enough content there to last. Can't wring blood from a turnip or informed discussion from people who've never read (or read poorly) the source material. And online debate is a time sink, a misuse of the day, yada yada yada.
    There's something about this, prodding fellow Christians of a different political flavor than your own, that doesn't sit right with me. It comes off... I don't know...sort of smug, or contemptuous or something. Maybe that's not what you're going for, but it's just a feeling I have. For the record, I'm not a Conservative, so it appears your time sink may have been deeper than you realized.

  11. #68
    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    It seems that Sam thinks that since virtually every black person, both free and enslaved, were opposed to slavery, that made them a part of the abolition movement.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" -- starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    It is what the abolitionist movement was. I have no idea where you got this idea that the abolitionist movement was made up of slaves, but you're wrong.


    You're right, it was more than a political movement. It was also a social movement. It was a way of getting white people to think differently about slavery (or in the case of some racist abolitionists, it was a way of getting rid of black people). Slaves themselves largely did not have opportunity to make this case.


    No. The Underground Railroad was not primarily facilitated by slaves. Who told you that? It was mainly made up of freed blacks (called conductors) with the help of white abolitionists (while sympathetic with the Underground Railroad most whites wanted to do things on the up and up). Most slaves (by the very nature of slavery) did not have the means, resources, or ability to work the Underground Railroad. Again, I'm completely bewildered how any of this is news to you. And besides all of this, the Underground Railroad is just one part of the greater abolitionist movement, which, again, was mainly comprised of white people.
    Yes, it was. I don't quite get why this is controversial but the Underground Railroad began with runaway slaves escaping and creating safe havens or "maroons", turning around and helping other slaves escape. Even later, before slaves could make it to the "official" UR, slave escapes were plotted, organized, and assisted by other slaves in the South. There's simply no way to consider the UR or the abolitionist movement without the great mass of work beginning and existing among enslaved black Americans — they were active participants in each other's freedom attempts.

    You're reducing the "abolitionist movement" to a very narrow sense that might be useful when talking about a specific aspect of it but is woefully inappropriate for discussing its sum.


    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    Not quite. I'm saying that the quote, "black rights struggles paved the way for every other rights struggle, including womenÂ’s and gay rights, immigrant and disability rights" is at best, an overreach.


    And according to journalists like Elaine White, it was the suffragette movement, their "strategies, lobbying tactics, public education efforts, non-violent protest (demonstrations, marches, picketing, civil disobedience)" that laid the foundation for future victories. And while it's true that history is written by the victors, history is a lot more sloppy than "blacks paved the way for every other civil rights movement," or 'suffragettes paved the way for every other civil rights movement." It might be closer to the truth to say that they shared a burden, were both influential on one another, and were themselves the recipient of previous rights movements.
    So you can make that argument, certainly, but it's not a particularly obvious argument to make and Hannah-Jones has a much greater weight of evidence, given the history of legal victories, for her argument. Regardless, it makes this:


    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    Yes, I stand by the complaint.

    I thought it was clear that my observation wasn't based on this one essay alone, and nor had I intended to provide a high burden of evidence for my complaint. My complaint was a personal observation from my skimming of the essays. It wasn't exactly a challenge for a debate on the subject.
    untenable from my perspective. If you're going to charge something as being highly anachronistic or essentially racist, it can't stand on what can only be seen as a matter of nuanced academic debate. If it's just a personal observation that's not going to be substantiated in a very thorough manner ... well, I'm not sure that's advisable for Christians.


    Quote Originally Posted by Adrift View Post
    There's something about this, prodding fellow Christians of a different political flavor than your own, that doesn't sit right with me. It comes off... I don't know...sort of smug, or contemptuous or something. Maybe that's not what you're going for, but it's just a feeling I have. For the record, I'm not a Conservative, so it appears your time sink may have been deeper than you realized.
    Condescending is how I'd imagine it coming off to folks ... but my counter-argument for that is there's a certain standard to public conduct, especially among Christians, to have at least some sense of what you're talking about before launching into strong opinion or accusation. This means dealing with the content of an issue, which means reading source documents. If it's condescending to say "Folks need to read and understand what they're reading before making strong factual or opinionated claims against others", I'll cop to that ... but only in the same sense that Augustine might have. I remember plenty of times folks on TWeb -- many of whom frequent Civics or have even posted on this thread -- dogpiled on some atheist or agnostic poster who opined on a matter of Christian doctrine without having familiarity with even some of its more nuanced premises or obscure documents. Expecting the same standard to be followed with basic source documents seems like it would be a priority for a forum ostensibly dedicated to serious debate.

    Wasn't trying to peg you as a conservative, for what that's worth -- I think there's little doubt that the majority of folks posting in this thread and forum are. Certainly nearly all the folks who posted before my first comment fit the bill.

    --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?" — Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"


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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    It seems that Sam thinks that since virtually every black person, both free and enslaved, were opposed to slavery, that made them a part of the abolition movement.
    That black slaves were active participants in the effort to free black slaves is the argument, and that these black slaves, though largely formless and nameless to history, represented the majority in the movement.

    To reduce or outright erase their contributions to their freedom efforts strikes me as foolish.
    "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?" — Robert Frost, "The Sound of Trees"


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