Procrastinating on March 9, 2017

Should-Read: Frank Hyman: The Confederacy Was a Con Job on Whites. And Still Is.: "I’ve lived 55 years in the South, and I grew up liking the Confederate flag...

...I haven’t flown one for many decades, but for a reason that might surprise you.... As I grew up... I learned that for black folks the flutter of that flag felt like a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. And for the most prideful flag waivers, clearly that response was the point. I mean, come on. It’s a battle flag. What the flag symbolizes for blacks is enough reason to take it down. But there’s another reason.... The Confederacy =–and the slavery that spawned it–was also one big con job on the Southern, white, working class.... funded by some of the ante-bellum one-per-centers that continues today.... Forcing blacks–a third of the South’s laborers – to work without pay drove down wages for everyone else.... Thanks to the profitability of this no-wage/low-wage combination, a majority of American one-per-centers were southerners....

Most Southerners didn’t own slaves. But they were persuaded to risk their lives and limbs for the right of a few to get rich as Croesus from slavery. For their sacrifices and their votes, they earned two things before and after the Civil War. First, a very skinny slice of the immense Southern pie. And second... the shallow satisfaction of knowing that blacks had no slice at all....

The plantation owners... managed this con job partly with a propaganda technique... that falsely touted slave ownership as having benefits that would–in today’s lingo–trickle down to benefit non-slave owning whites and even blacks... [and the] notion that any gain by blacks in wages, schools or health care comes at the expense of the white working class. Today’s version of this con job... still works... the Cato Foundation, Reason magazine, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News... underwritten by pro trickle-down one-per-centers...

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