7 Ways Republicans Use Slavery Rhetoric to Scare White People

...the theme of slavery is a particularly potent one for the Republican right, where it's framed within the old Southern fear that blacks would seek retribution against whites for their centuries of bondage. That's why it's so important to Romney, and the right at large, that he  paint Obama  as the stereotypical "angry black man,"...

...Republican politicians -- including four of this year's former presidential candidates -- regularly incorporate the language of slavery in their everyday rhetoric. 

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This reminds me of Joe Biden making that "in chains" remark and all the uproar it got on the radio.

Projection is definitely the favorite tactic among Republicans.  I can't count the number of times I've heard, "the ones who bring up the subject of racism are the racists!" or "the ones who see racism in everything are the real racists!" or something along those lines.  It's so stupid, the way they try to shut down the conversation by saying that any mention of racism makes you an angry black person who wants to keep the white man down by guilt-tripping and playing the victim card.  No no no, only Republicans are allowed to guilt-trip and play the victim card, and when you call them out on it, they'll turn it around and pin that on you. 

All this crappy "I am rubber and you are glue" BS is so disheartening.  It's like being back in elementary school.

In Forget Red vs. Blue -- It's Slave States vs. Free States in 2012, Michael Lind argues that the Republican Party essentially represents contemporary slave states, insofar as slavery was about economics rather than race. It's obvious why the 1% find the South congenial to their interests.

The core of today’s Republican party consists of the states that seceded from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America. Don’t be misled by the contemporary red state-blue state map which makes the mostly-red Prairie/Mountain states look as important in the Republican coalition as the South.  A cartogram which shows states by population is far more accurate:

Red and blue states, 2008, with states proportional to their number of electoral votes

The cartogram provides a pretty good reflection of the situation perceived by conservative white  Southerners, by depicting a besieged South encircled and on the verge of being crushed by multiracial, polyglot, immigrant-friendly, secular humanist, progressive Blue America.

Notwithstanding slavery, segregation and today’s covert racism, the Southern system has always been based on economics, not race.  Its rulers have always seen the comparative advantage of the South as arising from the South’s character as a low-wage, low-tax, low-regulation site in the U.S. and world economy.

Anti-union right-to-work laws, state control of wages and workplace regulations, and an inadequate welfare state all make Southern workers more helpless, pliant and dependent on the mercy of their employers.  A weak welfare state also maximizes the dependence of ordinary Southerrners on the tax-favored clerical allies of the local Southern ruling class, the Protestant megachurches, whose own lucrative business model is to perform welfare functions that are performed by public agencies elsewhere, like child care.

White supremacy was never an end in itself, but a tactic used by the Southern oligarchs to divide white workers from nonwhite workers.

Southern conservatives ... afraid that national majorities will impose unwelcome reform on the South, at the expense of their profits and privileges, as national majorities did during Reconstruction, the New Deal and the Civil Rights revolution. [emphasis mine]


A nuance to the above map, from NPR. An arc of liberal counties cuts across the South, tracing a Cretaceous shoreline.

Why? Well, the best answer, says marine biologist Craig McClain, may be an old one, going back before the Civil War, before 1776, before Columbus, back more than 100 million years to the days when the Deep South was under water. Those counties, as he writes here, went for Obama because trillions and trillions and trillions of teeny sun-loving creatures died there. He's talking about plankton. That's why the Republicans can't carry those counties. Blame plankton.

The Deep South had a shoreline that curled through the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, and there, in the shallow waters just offshore, were immense populations of floating, single-celled creatures who drifted about, trapped sunshine, captured carbon, then died and sank to the sea bottom.

When sea levels dropped and North America took on its modern shape, those ancient beaches  ...  became a "black belt" of rich soil, running right through the South.

"The part of the country possessing this thick, dark and naturally rich soil was, of course, the part of the South where the slaves were most profitable, and consequently they were taken there in the largest numbers."

In this 2000 census, you can see that the counties with the biggest populations of African-Americans still trace that Cretaceous shoreline.



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