From The Ramparts
Junious Ricardo Stanton
The Lessons of History
“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana
It is imperative we study and learn our history. History is the prologue to the present. We live in volatile times. Stay alert, keep your eyes and ears open, remain open minded yet skeptical (I know that sounds like a contradiction but it can be done and we should do it). Today’s unrest, angst and frustrations is very much like what was going on in this country during in the early part of the 19th century when the massive infusion of immigrants thrown into an already volatile mix of imported (and later domestically bred) and oppressed Africans created social tensions and animosity that resulted in race riots and open bloodshed which ultimately led to the War Between the States (there is no such thing as a “civil war”.)
This racial admixture altered the social landscape. The ruling elites had long contemplated what to do with the Africans (the “free” ones) hence the founding of the American Colonization Society in 1816. The notion of sending free Blacks back to Africa (or someplace in South or Central America) was kept alive until the War Between The States. In the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857 the US Supreme Court said, “Blacks were not citizens of this country and had no rights a white person was bound to respect.” The idea of gradually sending all Blacks (free and enslaved) away was actually floated by Abraham Lincoln who persuaded Congress to appropriate $ 500,000 for such a project. http://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jala/2629860.0014.204…
That plan died with Lincoln but the issues remained. The minions of the 1% asked “What are we going to do with the Blacks”? That question is still being asked and addressed (today by incarceration via the bogus Wars on Crime and Drugs, a tilted judicial system and genocide via abortion, police killings, environmental poisoning, menticide etc), now other non European immigrants are also being looked at askance.
The reality is Trump is not going to deport millions of immigrants (although Obama deported over two million!) any more than Abraham Lincoln or his successors were able to “colonize” (deport) all Blacks. They will probably deport a few, a million or so, for show purposes to keep up pretenses but they will not be able to lock up nor deport all illegal immigrants.
What will the ruling class do to the immigrants? Their ancestors weren’t able to deport all our ancestors, so what are they going to do with this crop of immigrants? A costly war was fought that inadvertently led to the freeing of our enslaved ancestors but the ruling class conspired to restore the former order and re-enslave our ancestors by taking away the protection of Northern troops. That deal returned political control back to the former slave owners and the aristocracy, which sealed our fate until the twentieth century’s the “Civil Rights movement”.
Prior to the War Between the States there was much contention, debate and wide scale violence that served as a precursor to the War Between the States (see http://www.civilwaronthewesternborder.org/essay/bleeding-kansas-kansas-nebraska-act-harpers-ferry). In many ways the class and racial divide is just as intense today as it was in 1854. Political actions based upon economic interests and ideas about race, eventually led to the violent conflict we call the War Between the States. The divide in this country today following the presidential election is just as extreme as it was in 1854!
Today there is a class war simmering in this nation: income inequality is at an all time high while opportunity, upward mobility and the prospects of prosperity are diminishing which is why there is so much angst and anger today. Time will tell whether we muster the will to resolve the burning issues of today in a way that reconciles the sins, divisions and wounds of the past and benefits all parties; or we repeat and relive the mistakes that led to division, violent war in 1861 and the reestablishment of quasi slavery and peonage twelve years later. If the election has anything to teach us it is we owe it to ourselves our ancestors and our progeny to drop our dependency on our enemies, develop and find ways to enhance our position throughout the world.