We are witnessing the birth pangs of a Third Reconstruction

Rev. William J. Barber, II writes: On election night I felt a great sadness for America — not a Democratic or Republican sadness, but a sadness for the heart and soul of the nation. It is impossible to react to the election of Donald Trump with anything less than moral outrage. Trump is, as David Remnick wrote for The New Yorker, “vulgarity unbounded,” and his election has not only struck fear in the hearts of the vulnerable but also given rise to hundreds of documented cases of harassment and intimidation.

Trump ran his campaign sensing the feeling of dispossession and anxiety among millions of voters  —  white voters, in the main. And many of those voters — not all, but many  —  followed Trump because he was willing to trumpet their fury and affirm their sense, deeply rooted in this nation’s history of race and class, that a new world had conspired against their interests. Trump offered no answers to their fears. He merely said, “You are right to be afraid and very afraid. Obama is the bogeyman of coming diversity that will undo the world you grew up knowing, and I alone can save you.”

While we do, indeed, face a dire situation, this is not new. Trumpism is as American as apple pie. There could be no Donald Trump without America’s first black president. Brother Van Jones got it right on election night: we experienced a “whitelash.” And we must be clear: every stride toward freedom in U.S. history has been met with this same backlash.

We faced it during Reconstruction, in the shadow of slavery and amid the wreckage of the Civil War. African Americans joined hands with whites in the North and in the South who were willing to see one another as allies. Within four years after the end of the Civil War, white and black alliances controlled every state house in the South. Together, they elected new leaders. Almost all of the southern legislatures were controlled by either a predominantly black alliance or a strong interracial fusion coalition. They hammered out new constitutions from a deeply moral perspective. [Continue reading…]

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3 thoughts on “We are witnessing the birth pangs of a Third Reconstruction

  1. Dieter Heymann

    The events of 1930-1933 in our nation and Germany show how the fear of sinking down of the working and middle class on the social ladder can have different outcomes. In our nation a savvy leader used the labor movement to bring about a social turnaround without establishing a personal dictatorship. In Germany a vicious demagogue destroyed the existing labor movement to establish perhaps the vilest personal dictatorships of modern times.
    The fear of our middle class of sliding down on the class ladder, a consequence of the 2008/09 depression, has greased the election of President Trump. Because of the man’s volatility it is virtually impossible to predict exactly what his revolution will bring. Judging from his cabinet appointments: a wild reactionary ride into social never-never land by Presidential decrees and Congressional revenge on Obama.
    The future begins with the next generations. Trump wants to place in charge of those generations a woman who has not only zero understanding of public education but who advocates the producing of “gleichgeschaltete” kid brains who will be lied to on issues of history and science. What history and science? That is all available in the scriptures.
    The Dutch philosopher Spinoza held that republics (he despised the kings and emperors of his time) are the superior form of states and governance provided that no laws are passed which restrict free speech in any manner. We will not be a Spinozean republic under Trump either.

  2. Kader Nahaboo

    Righteousness and Evil

    From time immemorial, Righteousness has always prevailed over Evil. Simply, the latter will never have its way, because THE CREATOR knows best. Patience and Wisdom are healthy, conducive to the mental health of oneself and society. Thus Man can be the best the best creature among all the earthly creatures in the pursuit of Righteousness. Indeed, The Environment will also flourish.

    Egocentrism, Greed, Perpetual Wars, Hatred,
    more Profits at any cost, wilful destruction of th Flora and the Fauna lead to Man’s barbarism, to Man’s endowed Intellect.

    THE ALMIGHTY – The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful, The Most Powerful – knows best. When HE decrees ” Be, It is.

    This era might be Man’s defining moment for
    Enlightenment.

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