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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/21/22

Can America Pull Off a Second Reconstruction?

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Reprinted from hartmannreport.com

Barack Obama's election in 2008 was the tipping point for millions of racist Republicans trying to maintain over 200 years of legal white supremacy"

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breaking the chains
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America today is in the midst of our second attempt at creating a truly pluralistic, multiracial democracy. The GOP is doing everything they can to sabotage the effort: can we pull it off despite their treachery?

Kali Hollaway is reporting at the DailyBeast:

"A Southern Poverty Law Center poll from April found nearly 70 percent of Republican voters believe in the Great Replacement Theory, and the Cato Institute finds that more than 7 in 10 Trump supporters think that "discrimination against whites has become as big a problem as discrimination against Blacks and other minorities." The GOP has led on the white racist CRT-social panic, with Republican legislatures in at least 24 states successfully passing anti-CRT measures."

Racism is now the single most powerful force in the Republican Party, and the tipping point was the election in 2008 of America's first Black president.

Republicans on the Supreme Court, the white supremacist GOP base, and a broad and well-funded international campaign to replace liberal democracies around the world with racial ethnostates are all working to block efforts to make our Founding promise available to all Americans.

It's a cliche' to note that the American ideal of "all men are created equal" really meant all white men, but cliche's are cliche's because they're usually grounded in self-evident truths. While America was founded on radical and egalitarian democratic principles, almost all of the Founders were quite clear that equality and the right to self-governance were strictly limited to one racial group.

That changed for the first time in American history immediately following the Civil war: we tried a multiracial democracy for about 12 years during a period referred to as Reconstruction.

South Carolina legislature, 1868 (photo Library of Congress)

But when over 1500 African American men achieved elective office during that 1866-1876 decade "- over 600 of them in state legislatures and 17 in the US House and Senate "- white backlash ripped across the nation.

It was so intense it led straight to the "compromise" of 1877, giving the White House to Rutherford B. Hayes, who lost both the popular and the Electoral College vote, ending the entire multiracial democracy experiment, and legally relegating Black Americans back to second-class status.

Lincoln was long dead when the Supreme Court nailed white supremacy back into law in 1896 with their Plessy v Ferguson "separate but equal doctrine," blocking African Americans from holding any meaningful elective or appointed office or judicial positions.

This rigid racial hierarchy only started to crack again a century after Reconstruction, in the 1960s, after the Brown v Board decision overturned Plessy and LBJ pushed through the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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