Heavenly ordained whites??

Thinking on a lazy Sunday…

There’s not much that I enjoy more than having time to just think about whatever comes to mind. For better or worse, the Internet abets this ADD behavior of my mind. A thought leads to a search, which leads to a myriad of reading options…and lo and behold, those can lead to many other thoughts and searches until one really captures me.

Today it’s this: Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution of the Confederacy states, “In all such territory the institution of negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be recognized and protected by Congress and by the Territorial government.”

And William Thompson, the designer of the Confederate Flag, declared, “As a people, we are fighting to maintain the heavenly ordained supremacy of the white man over the inferior or colored race.” (1.) Emphasis added.

Did I ever read the Constitution of the Confederacy? I don’t know. I know I read the U.S. Constitution over and over in my 10 or more American History classes, but I swear I did not know (or do not remember) there was such blatant language from the history of the Confederacy. I guess that’s because I figured that the South lost. It was over for me. 

But clearly it’s NOT over for the many people who believe that white is right and better than everyone. It’s not over for anyone that is Black. It’s not over for this nation.

1947 for Answers

I decided to go back to books on my shelves, the favorites that have survived moves from one place to another over my lifetime. John Gunther’s, Inside U.S.A. (1947) explains the South in ways that are alive in 2020. The title of the Chapter on the South is, “The Problem Child of the Nation.”

In the next chapter, “The Negro in the Woodpile,” Gunther writes about “An American Dilemma” by Gunnar Myrdal in which that author states, “The American Negro problem is a problem in the heart of the American.” Myrdal conducted extensive research on the condition of Blacks and wrote “1,483 large, full, tight-packed pages,” according to Gunther.

Gunther quotes Myrdal saying that his “major hypothesis at the outset – (was) that the Negro problem is above all one of morals, heart and conscience.” He argues that Blacks are not inferior but… “The real point is something else.”

“The issue is that, no matter how ‘inferior’ he may or may not be, he is still entitled to civil liberties, equality of treatment, and the ordinary privileges of American democracy. The status of imputed inferiority is no excuse for the prejudices that make him a third-class citizen,” according to Myrdal.

Now don’t get distracted by the “inferiority” claim – Myrdal didn’t buy it and neither do I. What he is saying is that the argument is nothing but bull, because even if it were the case…it makes no difference!

That’s it in a nutshell.

He, she, they are all entitled to the “ordinary privileges of American democracy.” Black lives matter – simple statement not an endorsement of the organization. It’s been true all along.

But we are allowing the conversation to get entangled in the weeds of details. We try to debate each and every argument, each and every point, hauling forth studies and experts, anecdotes and tall tales. We are picking at bones that have no meat all, and so we distract everyone from the fundamental fact – Blacks are entitled to the same privileges as whites. Period.

The longer we dither the less likely we will change anything. All we have to do is make our federal government reflect that. 

(1.) Instrumentofmercy.com, “The Moral Insanity of Defending Confederate Statues,” June 21, 2020.

3 responses to “Heavenly ordained whites??”

  1. Steve Curley says:

    “Blacks are entitled to the same privileges as whites. Period.” That says it all Mary, no discussion! Great article Mary.

  2. Susan Bergeron-West says:

    Great post and wonderful interview. It was very generous of Cecil to share his experiences with you.

    Best,
    Susan

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