Project August: Day 10 – Wherein I Condemn the Confederacy, Racism and Slavery

Racism is not something I talk about much, because addressing racism can make me angry to the point of being enraged. To be clear, I have little tolerance for racism. Those who harbor dislike of other people based on skin color are fools. Already I am having to force myself to breathe slowly to calm myself and focus. Racism makes me angry. There are few things in this world that I would genuinely say I hate, but racism is up at the top of that list. And right next to that on the list is slavery.

Hold on there, BDSM fans. I do not mean the sort of voluntary D/s relationship wherein the submissive takes the title of slave. I mean actual, involuntary, coerced, conscripted slavery. As in the kind of slavery that was practiced here in the U.S. prior to the Civil War.

Which brings me to the actual topic for today. I am once again cheating using the libertarianism.org blog. There can be found a post, by Jason Kuznicki, titled “Rand Paul, the Confederacy, and Liberty”. In response to the news of one of Senator Rand Paul’s staffers being a supporter of things Confederate, Kuzniki said, among other things,

Anyone who cares about human liberty—to whatever degree—ought to despise the Confederacy, ought to mock and desecrate its symbols, and ought never to let Confederate apologists pass unchallenged.

Those who make excuses for the Confederacy are at best ignorant, and even that ignorance is hard to fathom. Those who wave the Confederate flag just to make other people angry? Well, I get angry at them. It works every time, and I’m not even a little ashamed of it.

All friends of the Confederacy are my enemies. Wherever they appear. They’re your enemies too—they are the enemies of the entire human race—and the only remaining question is whether you face up to your responsibility as a human being and disown them.

Yeah, what he said.

Some libertarian folks have supported the Confederacy or least aspects of it. President Lincoln did this and Lincoln did that, and federalism and state’s rights… No. The Confederacy supported and wanted slavery of human beings entrenched and protected. Yes, Lincoln did bad things. Yes, the states should act as a check on the power of the federal government. No, that does not justify supporting the Confederacy. It really just does not.

Support for the Confederacy is one of those things that is rightly used to criticize libertarians. Because there is, sadly, far too much support for the Confederacy in libertarian circles. And I am disgusted with it. Slavery is wrong. Not just a once upon a time tragedy. Slavery is wrong, period. Racism is wrong, and government entrenched racism is worse. Using or attempting to use the power of government to enforce slavery or racism is evil. And when I say it is evil, I am not making artistic use of hyperbole. I mean exactly what I am saying. It is evil, and should be denounced as such by all rational people and fought against by all free human beings.

And libertarians ought to shun the shallow arguments made in defense of the Confederacy. Libertarianism is about liberty for all human beings. There is no valid defense of the Confederacy. None. Or of slavery or racism or Jim Crow laws or any other such malevolent iniquity.

And I am taking a pause right now to breathe and calm down.

Racism says the character and value of a person is determined by the color of his skin, by the “race” of his ancestors. That is wrong, and we, as a society, need to start owning up to the fact that we tolerate the many forms of racism far too much. Racism, in all its forms, is an enemy of humanity. Judging people by the color of their skin is wrong. Whether it is a white person judging a black person, or a black person judging a white person, it is wrong. Or a white person judging a white person or a back person judging a black person. Make no mistake, racism is not just when white folks discriminate against black folks. When the white person trusts another white person because that person is white, that is racism. When a black person decides this other black person isn’t “really” black because his politics are different, that is racism. Yeah, I just said that.

This does not mean we can go about throwing the label of racism at every bad encounter between people of pale skin and people of dark skin. George Zimmerman, for example, is, I am convinced, not racist at all. I am not arguing that we start looking for racism in every shadow or bad turn of events. What I am arguing is that we start being being honest about what racism truly is and how it finds expression in our society. Whether that is institutionalized racial discrimination or how we treat one another or libertarian fools who refuse to face the facts about the Confederacy.

Okay, I am going to stop there before I really get angry.

Possibly the post tomorrow will be theology related, if I can find an appropriate post to which I want to dedicate time and space on this blog. (Sadly, a lot of blogging out there about Christianity is saccharine shallowness.) If I cannot, then I will find some other topic. Come back tomorrow to find out what happens.

Until then, remember boys and girls, never cross the street in the middle of the block.

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