Down in Durham

It was erected in 1924. Almost all Confederate veterans were dead by then. Durham County has always had a significant African American population so a statue supporting slavery standing in front of the courthouse has its own meaning.

Be careful out there.



Civil Wars, Trump Edition

Jack Ohman via GoComics.com)
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Salena Zito has been defending ‘President Trump’ since forever, so it’s not a big surprise he’d feel comfortable exposing his vast ignorance to her. The question remains: Shouldn’t someone on Trump’s staff, if not the reporter, thought twice about putting his comments out for all the world to see?

Yoni Appelbaum, in the Atlantic:

The entirely uncontroversial consensus among professional historians is that slavery caused the war, although this conclusion has not reached much of the general public. Leaders like Jackson, then, only postponed the inevitable reckoning. It’s still tempting, though, to believe that the Civil War might have been avoided, the loss of three-quarters-of-a-million lives averted, the bloodiest conflict in our history forestalled. And for a century, many of America’s political leaders did everything in their power to turn a blind eye to the carnage of slavery, staving off sectional crises.
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Tuesday Morning Open Thread: No Sooner Than Time

I first saw the story in the Washington Post, but here’s how one of the local papers covered it. From the New Orleans Advocate:

The removal of New Orleans’ monument to the Battle of Liberty Place under the cover of darkness early Monday morning marks a turning point in the nearly two-year-old debate over the fate of four Jim Crow-era statues.

Three other monuments targeted by Mayor Mitch Landrieu — memorializing Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard and Confederate President Jefferson Davis — also are scheduled to come down, though the timing and other details of the removal are closely guarded secrets.

The dismantling of the Liberty Place obelisk came hours before a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by groups seeking to keep the four monuments in place. The case had held up the removal for more than a year before judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled recently that the city could proceed with its plans.

Of the four, the Liberty Place monument was widely seen as the most objectionable, and Landrieu explicitly described it that way. The 1891 monument commemorated a violent 1874 uprising by a local militia known as the White League, which fought with members of New Orleans’ biracial police force as it ousted the state’s “carpetbagger” Reconstruction-era government for several days before President Ulysses S. Grant sent in federal troops…

City officials said they were keeping details about the removals under wraps in light of threats and harassment reported by contractors who had previously been hired or expressed interest in the job. The Police Department’s SWAT team watched over the removal, with sharpshooters posted in a nearby parking garage and K-9 units checking the scene…

At one point, Joey Cargol, an opponent of taking down the statues who had been loudly criticizing the police and demanding to see a permit for the work, walked up to Suber. Acknowledging that they were on opposing sides, Cargol said he hoped they could agree the removal itself should have been handled more transparently.

“I know we’ve disagreed on a lot of things, but this is not the ways things should be handled,” Cargol said.

“They could have done this, announced it and let people show their opinion,” Suber said. “This is the coward’s way.”

“It’s hard to handle a defeat like this and hard to celebrate a victory like this,” Cargol replied.

With all due respect for those more immediately impacted, given the temper of the times, I can see why the Mayor chose this path. We’ve got quite enough would-be “heroes” wandering around armed and dangerously stupid, and too many martyrs already.

Apart from ongoing civic improvements, what’s on the agenda for the day?



Open Thread: Mitch McConnell, Partnering with Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III

Addison Mitchell “Mitch” McConnell Jr. is generally regarded as a political opportunist whose only real loyalty is to the career of Mitch McConnell. But his latest maneuvers to steal a Supreme Court seat for the most retrograde elements of the Republican Party put him in cahoots with fellow flower-of-Southern-manhood, Attorney-General-by-grace-of-the-President-Asterisk, Jeff Sessions. Future historians — assuming there are any — will speak of these two and their GOP cronies as modern historians do of the antebellum Congressional cabal that was willing to tear the country apart rather than give up their “inherent privileges”…



Open Thread: Rep. Steve ‘Pigmuck’ King Will Not Be Out-Bigoted

CNN: [Warning: autoplay]

King, a Republican, was on the radio responding to a question about Univision anchor Jorge Ramos’ comment to Tucker Carlson on Fox News that whites would become a majority-minority demographic in America by 2044, a point Ramos used to make the argument that it is a multiracial country.

“Jorge Ramos’ stock in trade is identifying and trying to drive wedges between race,” King told Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson on 1040 WHO. “Race and ethnicity, I should say to be more correct. When you start accentuating the differences, then you start ending up with people that are at each other’s throats. And he’s adding up Hispanics and blacks into what he predicts will be in greater number than whites in America. I will predict that Hispanics and the blacks will be fighting each other before that happens.” …

In the interview on Iowa radio, King reiterated comments he made Monday to Chris Cuomo on CNN’s “New Day,” saying, “This isn’t about race.”…

But King argued that others, such as Ramos, were “celebrating” the success of a plan to make whites a majority-minority.

“Their effort here is to be celebrating because the United States is moving towards becoming, the whites becoming a minority, a majority-minority within the country according to what their plan is,” he said.

King concluded the interview by recommending that listeners read the novel, “The Camp of the Saints,” by French author Jean Raspail, a book about Europe being overcome by immigrants which has also frequently been referenced by top Trump adviser Steve Bannon….

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See, it’s only “about race” when it’s about Not White people…
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ETA:

(According to her twitter feed, Iowa does not have an impeachment or recall process — he’ll have to be voted out in 2018.)



Terrifying Read: “Department of Justification”

In case anybody’s still wondering whether it’s worth the trouble of evicting Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III from his current position, here’s Emily Bazelon in the NYTimes — “Stephen Bannon and Jeff Sessions, the new attorney general, have long shared a vision for remaking America. Now the nation’s top law-enforcement agency can serve as a tool for enacting it“:

One night in September 2014, when he was chief executive of Breitbart News, Stephen Bannon hosted cocktails and dinner at the Washington townhouse where he lived, a mansion near the Supreme Court that he liked to call the Breitbart Embassy. Beneath elaborate chandeliers and flanked by gold drapes and stately oil paintings, Jeff Sessions, then a senator from Alabama, sat next to the guest of honor: Nigel Farage, the insurgent British politician, who first met Sessions two years earlier when Bannon introduced them. Farage was building support for his right-wing party by complaining in the British press about “uncontrolled mass immigration.” Sessions, like other attendees, was celebrating the recent collapse in Congress of bipartisan immigration reform, which would have provided a path to citizenship for some undocumented people. At the dinner, Sessions told a writer for Vice, Reid Cherlin, that Bannon’s site was instrumental in defeating the measure. Sessions read Breitbart almost every day, he explained, because it was “putting out cutting-edge information.”

Bannon’s role in blocking the reform had gone beyond sympathetic coverage on his site. Over the previous year, he, Sessions and one of Sessions’s top aides, Stephen Miller, spent “an enormous amount of time” meeting in person, “developing plans and messaging and strategy,” as Miller later explained to Rosie Gray in The Atlantic. Breitbart writers also reportedly met with Sessions’s staff for a weekly happy hour at the Union Pub. For most Republicans in Washington, immigration was an issue they wished would go away, a persistent source of conflict between the party’s elites, who saw it as a straightforward economic good, and its middle-class voting base, who mistrusted the effects of immigration on employment. But for Bannon, Sessions and Miller, immigration was a galvanizing issue, lying at the center of their apparent vision for reshaping the United States by tethering it to its European and Christian origins. (None of them would comment for this article.) That September evening, as they celebrated the collapse of the reform effort — and the rise of Farage, whose own anti-immigration party in Britain represented the new brand of nativism — it felt like the beginning of something new. “I was privileged enough to be at it,” Miller said about the gathering last June, while a guest on Breitbart’s SiriusXM radio show. “It’s going to sound like a motivational speech, but it’s true. To all the voters out there: The only limits to what we can achieve is what we believe we can achieve.”

The answer to what they could achieve, of course, is now obvious: everything. Bannon and Miller are ensconced in the West Wing, as arguably the two most influential policy advisers to Donald J. Trump. And Jeff Sessions is now the attorney general of the United States. The genesis of their working relationship is crucial to understanding the far-reaching domestic goals of the Trump presidency and how the law may be used to attain them over the next four years. Bannon and Sessions have effectively presented the country’s changing demographics — the rising number of minority and foreign-born residents — as America’s chief internal threat. Sessions has long been an outlier in his party on this subject; in 2013, when his Republican colleagues were talking primarily about curbing illegal immigration, he offered a proposal to curb legal immigration. (It failed in committee, 17 to one.)…

At a time when other, more libertarian conservatives had begun to embrace critiques of the criminal-justice system, each man saw crime as yet another way that the fabric of society was deteriorating. Read more



Attorney-General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions Can Do Many Dirty Jobs At Once


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The Depraved Leprechaun, busy with the tasks Lord Smallgloves hired him for…

And he’s gonna use the Nixon Administration’s favorite shortcut to guarantee a full supply of “dangerous repeat offenders”…


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