Raised impoverished and fatherless in Memphis, TN...I am on a vision quest to ensure fewer and fewer young people share that difficult experience!
Searching for truth and seeking justice for the victimized!
Councilman Strickland, if you read this addendum to my earlier comment, I ask that you and your colleagues on the City Council join me at the corner of Riverside Drive and W Carolina Avenue tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. to get a first-hand glimpse of the proverbial "5 Ton Elelphant in the Room" with regard to Memphis' future economic vitality. If you do so, you will see a main artery to Downtown Memphis completely shut down by rowdy, reckless citizens who are bent on showing those of us who care that they own the streets when they choose to!
And to my PC friends, if these individuals were white and violating the city ordinances and criminal codes at will like those who happen to share my hue do every Sunday when the temperature is above 60 degrees, I would want it stopped equally as much. However, something tells me that if that was the case, it would have already been dealt with by now. By the way, the crowds that come for Memphis in May are far less disruptive.
I have a solution to the number one problem facing Memphis, of the "Big Three" you mentioned. It will take a little magic, but other than that slight challenge, it's a very doable approach to this very incalcitrant problem. Let's switch the hue of all the actual and wanna be criminals in Memphis from white to black or from black to white, depending on their current racial identity. As a result, the hoards of white criminals in the suburbs will be arrested more swiftly and the hoards of black criminals inside the I-240 loop will then be instantly seen as the real threats to the stability and economic vitality of the Memphis area.
I truly love the fact that this park-naming debate has forced us to honestly face what the great WEB DuBois called the problem of the color line in America. On one side of the debate we have individuals like @Broadhead. He has the audacity to try to compare one of the most, if not the most, violent, degrading, and dehumanizing instances of slavery in world history to the hardscrabble life of an immigrant in early America. Are you blanking kidding me?
On the other side of the debate, we have a few people like myself, OTP, and others who honestly can't believe that individuals are allowed to take small bits of historical facts and create a sweeping narrative that attempts to whitewash the abject horror of 388 years (1619 to 1968) of slavery, racial violence, government-enforced second class citizenship, and legal discrimination. Yet, as I said, I love the debate. However, one thing has been somewhat surprising. The small number of people willing to loudly call BS to the blatantly weak core arguments that are wrapped in a thick layer of facts is a shock to me.
While I vehemently disagree with those I will call "Lost Cause Historians", they make two very valid points that bare repeating. The horror of slavery in America cannot be placed solely on white Southerners. The second point is that many descendants of American bondsmen need to stop blaming the "white man" and start living up to the blood and sacrifices of those who have gone before us!
You say the South suffered after the war. Because the people who they fought in this so-called brother vs brother conflict looked like them, I suggest to you that the North took it easy on them. Just imagine if the secessionist were all people of color. Do you think there would have been such a rush to reconciliation and reunion? It's called tribalism! And it also is alive and kicking when African Americans in this city do not aggressively go after the criminal element of color that has been destroying neighborhoods, futures, and lives for decades! Just imagine if these individuals were white. There would be calls for military intervention.
You are absolutely right, slavery was the LAW of the land in this great nation from its inception until 1865.
However, you are wrong when you assert that I hang my hat on one speech. I hang it on every single article of secession that was ever written and most speeches from pro-slavery politicos during the lead-up to the war.
Now, if your Southern heritage tells you that this war was faught because the CSA was attacked, I would ask you to remeber why it was attacked? Without getting into a longer history lesson, let's cut to the chase. The rich planter class was completely unwilling to give an inch on the slavery question. A. Lincoln was willing to let it stay in the South, but he did not want it to expand to the western territories. So, the rich planter class and their henchmen in Congress said "screw you Abe, it's on!" Badda Bing, Fort Sumter is attacked and we have our second revolution.
I also disagree with you that slavery would have faded away on its own. Without the abolitionist porttion of the Civil War (1863-1865), slavery would have continued for many decades because of its profitability.
Finally, let me be crystal clear. I do not need big government or the memory of slavery to keep prosperous. All I need is capitalism and the opportunity to make it happen for myself and my family.
Great article and extremely revealing comments...especially in light of the fact that it is 2013 and not 1913 or 1883.
Lost Cause Fans (Bluegoose & Broadhead), please know that the undisputed, undeniably main "cause" for which the "War of Northern Aggression" was fought was slavery...period! And, don't take my inferior, "African" word for it, read the articles of secession for each state of the doomed former confederacy and hear it from their superior, white mouths!
One more thing. If the Vice-President of the CSA can speak truth to power in his infamous "Cornerstone Speech"' why can't you?
It appears that Mr. Banner has figured it out. The Mayor of Memphis should give him the key to the city to counteract the ridiculousness of Triple Six Mafia getting it years ago!
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By Richard Alley
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