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Posts Tagged ‘Civil War’

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Cool Hand Luke

On Thanksgiving 2016, the Civil War is heavy on my mind.  You might ask “which civil war” and that would be a good question.  The purpose of this writing is to propose a new Great Triumvirate similar to the original one formed by statesman Henry Clay of Kentucky, Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina.

clay

Do we even have any statesmen around the current messy political/policy system?  Possible new triumvirate members include Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Governor John Kaisch, Senator Bernie Sanders, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Secretary Colin Powell, Michelle Obama, Secretary Condi Rice and Governor Jon Huntsman.   Personally, I feel these people love righteousness and compromise more than political parties and one-upsmanship.

When you live in a place with extremely opposing opinions, you need a Henry Clay, the Great Compromiser, who would seek reasonable solutions and avoid taking the nation over the cliff.  Yes, some folks have a “my way or the highway” mentality and actually love bickering, conflict and war.  Remember, Clay brokered compromises that settled disputes between free states and slave states…putting off the coming civil war.

With all of this current talk about people leaving the country, we should remember that Clay was president of the movement that created Liberia, an African colony for free American Blacks, because he was a slaveholder who knew the institution would be a problem for a young nation.  Dr. Condi Rice says today that racism is America’s birth defect.  I say we will learn to work together as brothers or perish as fools.

We can’t just say “Civil War” anymore because there are several in my mind.  The Civil War of 1864 still simmers in the blood of many southerners.  Those confederates wish the South won the war and wish Blacks were still slaves, all dead or sent back to Africa.  Arguing with them is a fool’s errand but make no mistakes about it…that war goes on today in hearts and minds.

In the Black community, we have an ongoing civil war over the role of government.  On one side, we have people who think the government will protect and promote them…government is my daddy.  If you think government cares about you, you should grow up and that liberal mentality stops us from becoming who we really should be.  On the other side, you have my friends who think Black improvement in this nation always started with a well-designed and well executed personal life which leads to economic power similar to the visions of Marcus Garvey and Malcom X.

Another serious civil war in my life is the cultural battle between traditionalists and the hip hop culture.  As I often write, hip hop is doing more inadvertently to destroy the Black community than the Klan.  While I support artistic freedom of expression, the glamorization of thugs, crime and street life is a cancer on the minds of our youth….it’s the inmates running the asylum.

Inside the Democrat Party, we see a battle between the real liberals who supported Bernie Sanders and the southern old school Blacks.  Remember, the South’s support of Hillary Clinton is the only reason she didn’t fall to Sanders in the primary.  I wonder who is left in the Dem Party since Dixiecrats are long gone, Rust Belt blue collar Whites just left and church-attending Black southerners are uncomfortable with some social issues.

The Republican Party is also in a civil war because the country club establishment has been overtaken by the fiery “my way or the highway” people.  Some of these people think the recent election results were the start of a second actual civil war.

I wish I knew what Henry Clay would say about our nation today.  For the record, some of those free Blacks who when to Liberia ended up oppressing the Africans they found there…the hell you say.

In 1991, the rock band Guns N’ Roses had a song called “Civil War” that started with a sound snippet from the movie Cool Hand Luke “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. I don’t like it any more than you men.”

We don’t have statesmen anymore.  The people who I think should be in a new Triumvirate should function outside of government because as President Reagan said “government is the problem.”  Failure to communicate has some Americans thinking they are more American than others, has some people thinking government has a blank check to support their weak behinds and has working people thinking that voting isn’t important.

Hell, America almost feels like Luke rolling down the hill in that movie.  But, America always gets back up.  Adversity made this great nation and we are still a work in progress.

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The aftermath of the Charleston church tragedy has some Americans flirting with crazy talk.  The killer wanted to spark a race war in this nation and he just might get his oxymoronic civil war.  The central theme of my day is often set by the scripture in my daily devotion and today Isaiah 1: 17-19 hit right on time.

Isaiah 1:17-19 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord…..If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land. 

“Let us reason together” has been on my mind since I started this blog with the influence of a Black Republican and a Black Independent.  We were just weary of those who favored fussing and fighting for political gains with little regard for the ultimate objective…a more perfect union.

If we reason together, we would calmly sit down and here from every point of view about the history of this nation as it relates to peaceably moving forward.  It’s silly to think that private citizens shouldn’t be able to displace the stars and bars flag or the red, black and green flag on their private vehicles and shirts when the flags represents themselves only and not the community or state as a whole.  It’s silly to discuss removing the figures from Stone Mountain in Georgia.  Really?  With all the jacked up things happening in the state and nation, this is your focus.  We shouldn’t remove all vestiges of racism because clearly we still have much racism–black and white racism.

During the civil rights movement, Atlanta was called the city too busy to hate.  Leaders in this southern city were about turning the corner faster and reaping the financial benefit of being cool, calm and collected.  You can trip all you want but when tripping starts costing you real money…hold your horses.

A friend pointed out a beautiful building in Savannah that was built to lure BMW to Georgia.  In the end, the German automaker went to South Carolina because in part that state addressed a confederate flag issues before Georgia.  The nation that has Hitler and the holocaust in their recent past was tripping because BMW was concerned about racial problems on their factory floor in the American South.  Again, when tripping cost you real money is time to sit down and come to some reasonable conclusions.

Reasonable people can say that someone fought hard for a cause that I don’t support..i.e. a Nazi combat flying ace or the military maneuvers of General Robert E. Lee.  But, if we insist on refighting the Civil War or addressing the stealing of this land from the Native Americans, we are going to open a big can of worms like the discussion of reparations…let’s not go there.

On my blog, I wrote the Best Interests Initiative to start a discussion about improving the South in a non-governmental way by having governmental leaders openly and honestly outline their limited roles.  It’s in our best interest to work together as brothers or perish as fools.

https://projectlogicga.com/best-interests-initiative/

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A recent PBS documentary on President Andrew Jackson fascinated me.  Jackson was a strong president who shaped this youth nation.  We know his views on slavery and his actions toward Native Americans make my head drop.  Who knew that his final words on his deathbed were “Oh do not cry. Be good children, and we shall all meet in Heaven..I want to meet you all, White and Black, in Heaven.”

A slave who was at Jackson bedside asked another slave if she thought he made it into heaven.  The slave responded that she could not imagine them keeping him out.  I wonder what position or role Jackson thought Blacks would play in heaven.  My homeboys would joke that Jackson assumed Blacks would be there since servants would be needed.  There is a song from my childhood called “If Heaven ain’t A lot Like Dixie..Then I Don’t Want To Go.”  Hank Williams Jr. got me thinking but I better leave that alone.   

On his deathbed, General Stonewall Jackson’s last words were “Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.”  After the battles of this life, rest can be sweet relief. 

One more Jackson comes to mind, Mrs. Mahalia Jackson’s classic “Trouble of the World” from the film Imitation of Life.  Mrs. Jackson is the Queen of Gospel music but some people don’t know that she prompted Dr. Martin Luther King to end his March on Washington speech with parts of a speech she had heard him give in the past.  She said, “Tell them about the dream, Martin” and the rest is history.

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