SECTION THREE           


(Copyright 2000 Al Aronowitz)


(Photo by Myles Aronowitz)

A few years ago U&S published an article entitled  Tear Down The Confederate Flag.  First of all, it is not the state flag, but a confederate battle flag used in the Civil War. It is a flag that represents the armed attempt to maintain chattel slavery in the United States. It has never represented Anything else!

Secondly, it emphasizes the treachery of the reactionary blood hound of imperialism and the slavemaster undead, Andrew Johnson, who vetoed the Freedman's Bureau and removed the occupying Union Troops from the slave-holding states, allowing the counter revolutionary rise of what class and the full rise to power of the ex-overseers and backward Comprador southern petty bourgeoisie who then moved to rule the south under a racial fascism ensuring the post-slavery national oppression, that in essence, continues even today, despite the formal juridical  abolition of petty apartheid and overt segregation and discrimination by the laws that were passed as a result of the Civil Rights Movement.

The swine, Johnson, betrayed his own class of poor whites, who presumed he was to end their peonage, poverty, social degradation. Instead, Johnson, by blocking the redistribution of the great plantations of the south, the "40 acres & a mule," deprive both the ex-slaves and the poor southern whites, who were also held down to near slavery by the chattel slavery plantation system, of land and the chance to become small landowners as in the bourgeois revolutions in Europe.  So that both the Black ex-slaves and poor whites were forced into the hated Sharecropper system, a neo-feudal serfdom, tying the masses of  the population who worked the land to the vicious super exploitation of the big landlords and banks through usury, fraud,  denial of rights and  education and outright theft.

                                              LINCOLN WANTED CONFEDERATE
                                              STATES TO RE-SWEAR
                                                ALLEGIANCE TO U.S

Johnson became an outright tool of the new owners of the south, the rising Wall St. monopoly capitalists, allowing the  Confederate states to re-enter the Union without the re-swearing of  allegiance to the Federal government, which Lincoln had insisted upon. These are the conditions for the Confederate Battle Flag being allowed to remain, to signify the betrayal of Black People and poor southern whites, enforced "legally" by the so called "Black Codes" that themselves were unconstitutional because they violated the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution.

This re-imposition of racial neo-slavery on the south was called by this  empowered  southern bourgeois and petty bourgeois Comprador US proto-Nazi class, "The Redemption of The South".  It is a bitter irony that these "Black Codes" were the models for Hitler's later racial anti-Jewish laws. The Ku Klux Klan enforced this proto-fascist system with continuous murder, violence and intimidation. The Klans were the models for the Nazi storm troopers.  (See The Economics of Barbarism, Kucynski and Witt.)  Just imagine if some crypto-neo-Nazis in local or national government tried to fly the Nazi flag over U.S. government buildings. But who knows?  Buchanan, behind his last pro-Nazi book, might just try!

The Emancipation Proclamation states clearly that as of Jan 1, 1863 the only relationship the ex-slaves have is to the federal government, not to the Confederate states (which the flying of the battle flag of the Confederacy screams they still do!). This is why in the Civil Rights movement the Federal government again and again had to intervene to obtain any justice for Black people. The Rodney King case in LA a few years ago once again confirmed the continued and critical importance of this relationship; the police who had beaten King and who were shown on videotape doing it every hour were still acquitted.  So, once again, the federal government had to intervene. This will probably happen once more in the Amadou Diallo case, which was moved to Albany to enable the cops to escape conviction.

Bush2 and McCain saying "leave it to the state" of South Carolina raises once more the continuous attempt, not only by openly racist elements, but by the Republicans and many Democrats alike (including Bill Clinton, viz. his Welfare bill, for instance) to impose so-called "STATES RIGHTS" in the same fashion, but with different rhetoric, as Governor Wallace of Alabama or Ross Barnett of Mississippi or the infamous White Citizens Councils, during the Civil Rights Movement.

The democratic presidential candidates must speak on this issue and call clearly for the removal of this hated symbol of slavery. Particularly, Al Gore if he wants to be a champion of the oppressed and an enemy of racism and of all forms of racial, i.e., national oppression.  They must shout a loud and resonant "TEAR IT DOWN! if the great majority of democratic minded people is to have any faith in them.

The NAACP should lead a class action suit, based on violation of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, passed by congress as the legal enforcement for the Emancipation Proclamation.  If the flag of an armed enemy of the U.S. is allowed to fly over government buildings, then it implies that slavery, or at least the threat of slavery, is sanctioned by that government and can still legally exist.

In the last sense, this open intimidation by forces long ago ruled enemies of the United States so forcefully counter the laws and the Constitution of the country.  That they would make war on the United States and its people is not only in essence an act of Sedition, but also an assault by intimidation and a form of  "fighting words!"

                                                                LINCOLN URGED
                                                     EX-SLAVES TO
                                                    DEFEND SELVES

The flying of the Confederate flag, which openly opposes the equality before the law called for by the 14th amendment, makes the act of SELF-DEFENSE (which Lincoln urged the newly freed slaves to do to protect their freedom) completely Legal.

Further, the historic fact of Chattel Slavery, makes the Confederate Flag an object of Mental Anxiety, certainly for Black People, and as such is a form of unlawful assault, the same as "Nigger" is one term generally construed  to fit within the definition of "Fighting Words."  Provocation that makes Self-Defense constitutionally within a citizen's rights. (Certainly, we must begin by demanding that any of the programs in the public media eliminate portrayal of the Confederate Flag as some vapid comic object, such as in The Dukes of Hazzard &c!)

This controversy also opens the door for a campaign by the Afro-American people as well as all those historically affected in "The Black Belt" by Chattel Slavery, e.g., poor whites, the native peoples and other affected and democratic minded persons, for REPARATIONS. The assault on the Confederate Flag should be the opening bombardment for this clearly Revolutionary Democratic campaign.  ##  



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