Danny Cardwell's picture

    America's Longest Conversation

    “To educate the masses politically does not mean, cannot mean, making a political speech. What it means is to try, relentlessly and passionately, to teach the masses that everything depends on them; that if we stagnate it is their responsibility, and that if we go forward it is due to them too, that there is no such thing as a demiurge, that there is no famous man who will take the responsibility for everything, but that the demiurge is the people themselves and the magic hands are finally only the hands of the people.” 
    ― Frantz Fanon

    Anyone who has spent time on crutches knows how good it feels to walk unaided. If, however, you were bedridden or in a wheel chair those crutches would be a major achievement. That's how civil rights function in America. The life of racial and ethnic minorities is leaps and bounds better than their ancestor's, but that can't be the only metric we use to judge progress. It's easy for someone in 2015 to question the motives of those who highlight racial disparities in our economic, educational, and legal systems, but how many of those critical of the shared struggle for equality can honestly say race and ethnicity don't factor into the lives of minorities? 

    I've written more about race in the last two years than I have at any point in my life. I've started a few dozen articles on religion, philosophy, politics, and economics only to have my writing taken hostage by the intractability of being a black man in the age of yellow journalism: conservative talk radio and Fox news. I'm tired of being a prisoner in this fight, yet if I don't attempt to refute the images of black life being sold to those who ingest the fear and hatred spread over our public airways I can't sleep. I spend hours writing blog posts and opinion pieces that hardly get read in order to keep myself from drowning a sea of anger and impotence. Fifty years ago Dick Gregory said the Negro has never been able to control his image; fifty years later his aphorism still rings true. I don't care what someone thinks of me, but I do care that there are people who actively project their worst fears onto my nieces and nephews. 

    It's almost impossible to advocate for equality and not make enemies. Race is touchy: so touchy that some of my closest relationships have become strained. If, people who've known me for thirty years are uncomfortable hearing about racial inequalities, is it worth it to engage segments of our society who have become racially exhausted or downright jingoistic as a response to the resurrection of black activism? For too many of the best and brightest in the black community the answer to that question is no. Everyone is entitled to live their lives the best way they see fit, so I won't indict those who choose to stand on the sidelines, but I hope their silence eats at them a little each day. Denying racism allows racism to persist.

    The inadequacies at the center of today's movements aren't a result of a collective delusion. Chronicling discrepancies has nothing to do with trying to make white people feel guilty. I don't know, specifically, what others want, but my motivation is to make it easier for someone to acknowledge racism, and ultimately find the courage to use their agency to help tear it down. Our focus should be on creating an atmosphere where even subtle racist, sexist, and homophobic attitudes and policies are so toxic and stigmatized that no one wants to be associated with them. We have the power to put pressure on the individuals who constitute the institutions that allow the inadequacies to continue. 

    This is America's longest conversation, because it requires all of us to admit painful truths. We have three or four national conversations about race a year. The tragedy is that most of the rational voices are stifled or shut out of the conversation. Instead of productive dialogue we get cable television scream fests full of ad hominem attacks. We're stuck in a perpetual cycle in which racial incidents lead to racial outrage- which leads to public demonstration and condemnation- followed by further segmentation.



    Thanks for a great post, Danny. 

    It is amazing that in 2015, we can have one political party with a candidate supporting a racist platform able to gain 25% or more of likely voters. Bigotry sill sells.

    "...but my motivation is to make it easier for someone to acknowledge racism, and ultimately find the courage to use their agency to help tear it down."

    Thanks. This is a brilliant frame. One way this might be done is to emphasize the role racism plays in dividing the working class along lines of racial and ethnic identity. As Tim Wise puts it, "race, in other words, has been a weapon with which elites have divided working people from one another and prevented white working folks from developing a strong identification with their counterparts of color." How great would it be, for instance, if BLM used this moment, with so many people paying attention, to pivot the movement and begin to articulate a broader, more inclusive economic message? 

    Danny. It doesn't seem many Liberals want to have even a Short Conversation about race for the reasons you mention.  They do seem eager to use the Race Card when it offers a political lever to attack the other Party who of course are all racists.

    I probably shouldn't be too harsh or expect too much from Liberals, they at lease try to put on a good front when faced with racial issues but it is telling how some of them quickly turn resentful and even bigoted when they feel threatened by any Black Empowerment movement or behavior outside what they deem acceptable.

    The only lesson that can be learned from recent incidents and reactions is that Black Americans are and have always been on their own unable to depend on anyone in the White power structure to dismantle institutional racism because even those who claim to care are dependent on that structure for their position.


    I probably shouldn't be too harsh or expect too much from Liberals

    You probably shouldn't be too harsh or expect too much from anybody.  But tell me. . .do you know any liberals?

    I lived with a Liberal for thirty years and most large families have at least one example including mine. They can be entertaining at family gatherings but are often insufferable and usually over-educated. I had a close friend who is a Liberal but he suffered a psychic break due to his joining the Sandernista Cult and slipping into the Dark Side, we don't talk anymore.

    During election season Liberal activists often  wander my neighborhood selling their snake-oil and promoting their parasitic candidates but closing the gates and releasing the hounds usually keeps them and the Jehovah's Witnesses at bay.

    The real problems begin when one of these Liberals move into your neighborhood and begin to transform it into a groupthink enclave, more soon follow and before you know it property values and taxes soar and the original residents are soon refugees searching for affordable housing.

    I'll take your advice and stop here not wanting to be too harsh or expecting too much.

    You forgot the Wicca ceremonies on your lawn.

    Peter, you could always start a liberal free enclave in Antarctica, someone here conjectured that with climate change it will become a very fertile place. With a collection of folks like yourself it is sure to be a very curious colony of characters.

    Wouldn't a group box people who offered only criticism and had no solutions be destined to failure in Antarctica?

    Of course not. It's unfair to say Peter has no solutions. The biggest problem all democratic societies face is that people vote. Peter solves that foundational problem by not voting. Since they would all be non voters there would be no government. I'm not sure if it would be a libertarian utopia or an anarchist utopia but it would be wonderful and everyone would be delightfully happy.

    I've never offered any solutions because there probably aren't any and not voting for the parasites who represent more powerful parasites who are feeding off of our bodies may be one of the last freedoms we have. If we ever had a 'democratic society' which is doubtful it doesn't exist now. I thought at one time that we could depend on enlightened Leaders to guide us to a safe, peaceful future but they never existed and never will, leaving us on our own to survive.

    Voting/politics have come to resemble the Ghost Dance the Indians performed to bring back the bison, a ritual illusion leaving people unprepared for the coming Collapse and subject to the whims of the Cult of the Leader.

    Some people are preparing for the coming harsh reality while most people still look to the government for security, who do you think will survive when the levee breaks?


    Peter, fortunately we have citizens like our current President who are well aware of how the nation has been misled by those in power, they know democracy can be subverted, our nation led into crimes or disaster or looted with the aid of a subservient corporate run MSM. They have seen elections that are bought with fallacious TV ads exploiting prejudice and other factors by politicians whose plans include only campaign schemes, not governance.

    Yet, they nevertheless run for office, engage and contend against the often fanatical well financed opposition, trying to move the nation forward.

    They do so even when persons like yourself don't care enough to vote, and pronounce the system so flawed there is no hope or use in even casting a ballot. When people like you lump them all together and call them 'parasites'.

    For those who forget what this nation went through under the last Republican administration, a look back, at what the GOP wrought, and the GOP in 2016 is trying to run a Bush again.

    Driftglass, pictures from his retrospective on 9/11 from 2006. George W. Bush:

    He stands tall today only among a hard core minority of hardwired acolytes and bigots and their panic-peddling media because only in the dark AntiAmerica of their imaginations does a creature like George Bush shine.

    Only in their nightmare vision of a nation kept intentionally terrified and on its knees can a man like George Bush have stature.

    He has -- in the space of five years -- lost American cities, treasure, credibility, armies and wars. Outside of Jefferson Davis in the last days of the Confederacy, how many American leaders can match a record of failure that spectacular?

    Critically on Obama, I think the harangues about Russia sending military aid to try to keep m being totally Syria from being overrun by ISIS and al  Nusra is a mistake or must be a joke.

    A NYT commenter: Hopefully Russia will help salvage the al-Assad regime and bring some level of stability back to Syria. The alternatives are madness...Isn't it in the U.S.'s best interest to defeat ISIS first and worry about Bashar Al-Assad second?

    I would speculate that Obama is 'compromising' or giving in to the Pentagon, who were recently caught faking intelligence evidence that our big bombing campaign was 'working' which there is no evidence of.

    That wouldn't be fair, i already promised Antarctica to the Israelis and even if people went there, to escape Liberals, they would send their operatives to check on their  welfare and try to start voter registration drives so the poor escapees wouldn't be denied their rights.

    I just saw an article that stated that Antarctica will become ice free if we burn all the oil and we are certainly planning to burn it all.


    I'm confused; is Peter attacking liberals from the Left or the Right? Or should I not be thinking in those terms?

    Those damn liberals!  I had no idea!  And here I thought I was one.  No way!

    Our focus should be on creating an atmosphere where even subtle racist, sexist, and homophobic attitudes and policies are so toxic and stigmatized that no one wants to be associated with them.

    It's hard to handle stigmata without associating some church function. Somehow I expect re-education camps whether Communist self-denouncements where you or your family pay for the bullet or auto-de-fey inquisitions.

    I'd suggest that "subtle" attitudes and policies aren't such a big deal as egregious attitudes and policies like killing unarmed unthreatening people in the street or denying people promotion or work or domicile simply because of their race/gender/sexual proclivities/religion/other non-threatening characteristic. After that, someone's "attitudes" are basically their business. Sure, put out some warm & fuzzy tolerance PSAs, but the world's nature has been pretty consistent over 10's of thousands of years. Good luck stamping out all hatred and unreasonable attitudes.

    While maybe it'd be great to have some dialog on all the fine details, it doesn't seem like we've got the basic big to-do items anywhere in focus. Yeah, we have all the accepting/out-in-the-light humor and college campus PC stuff down and a black president, possibly an upcoming female president along with gay marriage. Only the latter change seems likely to hold at this point - black relations & female equality are still far away from acceptable. Better luck next year or next decade.

    We're stuck in a perpetual cycle in which racial incidents lead to racial outrage- which leads to public demonstration and condemnation- followed by further segmentation.

    Well, the Civil Rights Struggle since the Civil War does not bear that out. After a terribly long time, the violence is not just about race. It is about some other things that we are taking a terribly long time to work on. That is the message from Martin Luther King Jr: It is all connected. Do a little better in one place then you get a chance to struggle even more. The racial divides do inhibit other stuff from even getting started so bigotry plays many different roles.

    We are stuck; on a much larger scale than racial differences. Having said that, I don't mean to belittle in any way the struggles against those differences. The conversation you are talking about is very old. But I resist the idea that we can figure out what is happening or do something about it by simply changing how we talk and treat each other without dealing with how we make and do things. It is all connected.

    MSNBC just allowed complete coverage of one of Trump's rambling stump speeches, this time in Dallas. Next we had snippets of Bernie Sanders' powerful speech at Liberty University. The MSM does not give us anything approaching balance. We will never have a discussion about race if it is left to the hands of MSM.



    MSNBC and CNN. TPM streamed Sanders speech live. It was this morning. MSNBC may have aired it. Still, you're right.

    TPM posted a story about Sanders' speech titled Sanders At Liberty U: Sorry, US Was Founded On ‘Racist Principles’. Cheap. The comment thread is pretty lively. "Well that's a sound bite that will sink him," from someone called Lestatdelc,is where a lot of the sentiment rests. I think that person is wrong. We'll see.

    I just read the transcript, but I don't see how the speech persuades a room full of young Conservative Christians - it seems wordy & not terribly enlightened and I'm sure folks have seen "Do Unto Others" a million times and still support conservatives.

    The 1% tag didn't ultimately succeed for OWS - why should it succeed for LIberty U? "struggling to feed their family" is a worn line, and "making $8 an hour" won't cut through to a college crowd - I don't think it brings any emotion to the table, unlike describing in more color what it means - say for the number of families living on $2 a day doubling to 1.5 million - roughly 1/20th of the population. What does it mean for everyone's grandparents to have senior care cost $6000-7000 a month if you can get in, or the long nights of someone (you?) wiping their bottom if they can't? Or for the athletic 30-year-olds who come down with ALS that the Ice Bucket Challenge touched on but didn't come close to covering - up to 10 years of $100,000 per year care to deal with a wheelchaired person who can barely swallow, whose muscular system is wasting away and the effects on everyone around them - multiply that by the young who get into car wrecks, get early cancer, have a child with a congenital disease like Muscular Dystrophy that destroys their career - all these unexpecteds.

    There's no pretty solution. Life is painful, and the Christian attitude is supposed to help people through the pain, not make fun of it and scoff. Even the woman giving childbirth - imagine Mother Mary having to be at work 2 weeks after Jesus was born - the miracle of birth indeed. We can say we celebrate life, but we don't - it would be great if we could say we were doing everything we can to make giving birth attractive - to provide the alternative to abortion that Christians say they want - but we don't. Adoption is a just a crap shoot - hoping some other family isn't struggling like yours, but after 2008 we saw that people who tucked away millions responsibly, owned their own homes, had provided for retirement, could see all their savings stolen by a greedy few on Wall Street who went unpunished. That is the state of our safety net - and the greedy say even that is too much.

    I don't see where Bernie addressed any of this with power - it was just another speech, a wasted opportunity. I guess iit checks the "Nixon goes to China" box, but just barely. A stronger speech might have persuaded 5% to listen, to re-evaluate. I doubt if this one managed 1%.

    Students at Liberty University are Conservative Evangelicals. Crime, poverty, etc. are problems related to sin for the majority of those in the audience. If you are poor, your relationship with God is flawed. If you turned away from sin, you would not die at the hands of police. If you die at the hands of police despite being innocent and are right with God, you have gone to a better place.That is the mentality of the Liberty University student. There was no way to craft a speech that would change that mindset. I doubt that  Sanders got to 1% of the audience outside of the supporters who came with him.

    The university pastor told Sanders that the problem was sin in a discussion after the speech.


    But Sanders should expect this - what's the point of going in unprepared?

    Recently an Indian (e.g. Delhi) engineer in Alabama brought his 57-year-old father to live with him. His father was simply walking the sidewalk in a typical suburb and some neighbor called the police saying he was looking in garages, which is extremely unlikely. Instead, a policeman showed up, got agitated that the grandfather didn't speak English or have ID ready a few doors from the house where he was staying, so flipped the guy on his face causing partial paralysis and hospitalization.

    The cop survived through his 3rd mistrial with the judge doing all she could to help him - saying an "immigrant" has to know English (he's not an immigrant, he's a guest), that he tried to escape (the videos show Indian doing no more than shuffling at any time),  that he might have had a gun (the cop had already patted him down).... 

    There is no sin there. There's 1) absurd paranoia and suspicion on the neighbor's part; 2) an overreaction, cruelty and inability to be a stalwart calm authority on the policeman's part; & 3) a structural counterlegal system of defending & excusing criminal police behavior in the courtroom. [the cop said he "slipped" and was "following procedure" - he might as well have said it was a simple mistake, he thought the Indian was black instead. a real brainiac - he couldn't even handle that someone didn't speak English without taking that as an affront to his "authority"] ***

    But how can we let the "sin" argument win so easily? the story of Job is about neighbors saying Job must have sinned - rather than suffering from the accidents and unfortunate circumstances of life. The beat up traveler in the Good Samaritan hadn't sinned - he was the victim, of criminals but would have perished if not for the proactive deed of a real Christian who had to first suspend doubts that the blood victim wasn't  a criminal and "sinner" and setting him up to be robbed. Jesus' parable about "he without sin, throw the first stone" is about not judging, about removing the beam in your own eye before the mite in your neighbors. I haven't been to church in 30+ years but this stuff should be extremely simple. How can a church-goer not know how to speak this language? "As you do to the least of my followers, you do to me"?

    Useless, a wasted opportunity

    *** to be fair, the Police Chief wanted the cop fired and the governor apologized to India. But would they have done this if the man on the sidewalk were black? Unlikely - just another day in America, whether the suburbs or the 'hood.

    Bernie started with the original sin of slavery. Liberty University students will tell you that the Founders fought to abolish slavery. Slavery was forced on the U.S. by the British. They use a completely different playbook than you realize.

    If your life is screwed up,it's because of sin. Economic strife and hurricanes are due to Gay marriage.

    I simply said (at core) - be prepared for their playbook.

    I think he was prepared for their playbook. There was never going to be much agreement. Liberty University wants a Christian version of Sharia law.

    Think of this as the equivalent of trying to get Louie Gohmert, Michelle Bachmann, Ted Cruz, and Sarah Palin to agree to portions of a Progressive agenda. The likelihood of compromise is very low.

    I read the speech. Not that much off standard stump. No, they aren't looking for sharia. But with low expectations, he ticked a box.

    Bernie's attempt to find  'common ground' with the young Fundies at Liberty 'for me but not for thee' University seemed strange to the extreme but there may have been some method to his apparent madness.

    The only subject they could possibly agree on is foreign policy something Bernie avoids addressing but has made some recent statements about the WOT and killer drones that could sooth the Fundies fears about him being too soft on the heathens of the Muslim world. or that he might interfere with the End Timers work in the Holy Land.


    I was responding to rm's media observations, adding that TPM had taken a cheap shot with their headline. David Kurtz has doubled down by highlighting the article in the right column in the Editor's Blog section. The debate in the comments section rages on as to whether that line will "sink him." I maintain that is an odd takeaway from the event and am assuming it's an attempt to encourage flame war interest. I doubt it will work and so far I haven't noticed any other outlets picking up on TPM's "keen insights."

    I'm glad you read the speech. I watched it with interest considering the audience. I didn't have many expectations. Unsurprisingly, I don't agree with your analysis. I thought it was a decent speech, consistent with his approach in these early days. And  it has generated a bit of buzz to go along with some pretty shocking poll results over the past few days. I do agree with you that it wasn't--insert great moments in speechmaking. Not convinced that was at all possible. Moving 5% of an entrenched crowd seems wildly optimistic. 

    Just had a long, frustrating argument online as to whether Sanders was right about America being founded on racist premises. I doubt it, but it depends on what we consider a "premise". If we mean the social and economic foundation of the country, that was racist in 1776, and to a great extent still is. I was thinking more about the political principles embodied in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, which don't seem to me to be racist. Even the "three-fifths" clause in the Constitution wasn't about race, or it would have applied to free blacks too. But maybe I'm just quibbling, as my brother said; maybe the original source of the mess matters less than finding ways to fix it now. But if the problem is historic, might not a discussion of history be a necessary part of the solution?

    Wow! Just Wow.

    If the three-fifths clause was not about race, can you list the other ethnic groups disenfranchised by the clause?

    You must be completely unaware of blacks like Solomon Northrup, a free black kidnapped and sold into slavery. His story was told in "Twelve Years A Slave". The story is available in both book and video. Since you believe that the clause was not race-based, can you tell me what other ethnic group was at risk of going from the ability to cast a free vote to losing their vote?

    I read Twelve Years a Slave. That you had to have African blood to be a slave doesn't mean the clause was race based. Once again, it didn't apply to free blacks, and it would have to if it was race based.

    Only Africans could be slaves, but the three-fifths clause was not race based.

    Thanks for confirming that you are a troll.

    Because the clause didn't apply to everyone who was African.

    I have a home entertainment center under my bridge.

    Sloppy thinking. It was race based because it applied to the overwhelming majority of blacks at the time. The clause only applied to blacks. The fact that some blacks were free because of another race-based practice of manumission does not change the fact that only blacks were counted as property worth three-fifths of a human when it came to voting. You are not making a serious argument.

    In "Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South," , Ira Berlin notes that only 6.2% of Southern blacks were free in the years before the Civil War.


    I stand by the contention that if  the clause was race based, it would have applied to free blacks. I don't think rm has answered that.

    I answered why the clause was race-based. You have a comprehension problem 

    You stand by your Black Confederates, so your stance on the three-fifths clause is no big surprise.

    You are either a troll, stupid, or something worse.

    Calling someone names won't change this deeply rooted conditioning and denial of the reality of our racist republic or its foundations. You're asking too much of some possibly many Liberals who will never deny the myths of our exceptional nation.

    The Declaration of Independence was a revolutionary document while our Constitution was the opposite, it was counter-revolutionary. All Men Are Created Equal had to be countered with Some Men Are Created Equal to maintain the wealth and living standard of the White population, the highest in the world at that time.

    The  posts speak to an individual's personal delusions. He is not staking out a Liberal position. I realize that I am not going to change his deeply held beliefs. If he sees no race-based pattern in a clause that effected 94% of blacks and 0% of whites, that is not a Liberal math problem, that is an isolated math comprehension problem.

    I don't believe in American exceptionalism.  I don't know if there were black  Confederates; I just don't think the evidence should be dismissed as quickly as rm dismisses it.

    I regret that I make rm angry; I don't mean to.

    If it was race based, it should have affected one hundred percent of African-Americans, not ninety-four percent. The distinction between the six percent(or whatever it was) and the others wasn't color; it was their condition. Madison said that the clause might mean that slaves were partly human, but I have doubts. It referred to "free persons" and "other persons", not "free persons" and "semi-persons". There was another  reason not to count the slaves: Congressmen didn't represent the slaves, so why should the number of slaves determine representation?  If anything, counting all the slaves would have been pro-slavery, as it would have given the slave states more representatives. Not counting any slaves would have made the slave states weaker.

    It is not anger. It is stating fact. You are either a troll, stupid, or something worse. The only people who could be counted as three-fifths were black. Race defined who was counted as less than a full vote. It was a race-based clause because the only ones impacted were blacks. You cannot escape the basic fact. It did not have to impact 100%, 94% having their votes cast by others is enough to declare the clause race-based. You can set up your ridiculous criteria as much as you want, but it is only a valid argument according to you. Thus your I stand by ( ridiculous statement) carries no impact. You will find few rational people who argue that a clause determining that property (black slaves) could be counted as voters, even though selves could not vote was not race-based.

    Thomas Jefferson notes on the discussions about the clause specify that the question was about the negroes how that property should be taken into account. Blacks were the only ones at issue. It was race-based. The South became more powerful politically. The South had a near lock on the Presidency.

    You believe that the three-fifths clause was not race-based even though only blacks could be three-fifths. You should note that it took a Constitutional amendment (15) to state that all free black men had the right to vote in the United States. You argument is silly.

    You remain amusing. Confused, but amusing.


    I think rm is saying things that I've already answered, but there is one more thing. Rm seems to be mixing up the three-fifths clause with the fact that slaves couldn't vote. How many slaves were counted had nothing to do with the slaves being deprived of their rights; they wouldn't have had rights if all of them had been counted or if none of them had been. Slavery was race based; the three-fifths clause distinguished between slaves and the free people of both colors. I think we've gone over this enough; there isn't a need to say any more.

    I'll rank this discussion with your black Confederates.

    Does Danny have anything to say about this? I won't plague him with a rebuttal; I'm just interested in his take.

    It seems you actually believe the nonsense you are posting.

    Do you feel that Stop and Frisk was not-race based because not all blacks were stopped by the police?

    On paper, Stop and Frisk wasn't about race. It was the police officers enforcing it who were singling out African-Americans and Hispanics. If the census people counting everyone in 1799 had started putting free blacks in the slave column, that would have been a race-based action. Slaves who their masters freed would be exempted from the three-fifths rule, although their race hadn't changed.

    I'm surprised your head doesn't explode.

    I'm not sure rm's vituperation is warranted, but these are touchy subjects.

    See below



    Stop and Frisk targeted blacks. Slavery targeted blacks.Not all blacks in NYC were stopped by the NYPD. Not all blacks were counted as three-fifths. Both laws were racially-biased in practice. 

    The idea that free blacks were free to vote is a lie. Georgia and South Carolina banned free blacks from voting. North Carolina also banned free blacks from voting


    The three-fifths clause was racially biased because it was applied to only blacks. Southern states took actions to make sure that the voting rights of free blacks were limited,. Both practices were part and parcel of institutional racial-bias.

    Commenter Aaron Carine refuses to admit that race-bias was the norm regarding the right  to vote

    Edit to add:

    The racism in the clause is that human beings were counted as property. It was a political compromise to keep racist Southerners in the planned United States. Racial bias was the reason for the clause. The three-fifths "compromise" was to counter the Southern proposal that each slave be counted a one person. Counting only 3 out of 5 slaves was the compromise. This had the disastrous result of giving more power to the South. The South gained a near lock on the Presidency. 

    The South gained the political clout to have Missouri enter a slave state, as did Texas territory. The Fugitive Slave Act passed.Slavery was allowed in Utah and New Mexico. The Great Plains and Rocky Mountain territories were open for slavery. The result of the three-fifths compromise was more slavery. There is no way to avoid the conclusion that it had a racially-biased result.

    I think we've set out our positions pretty clearly. One thing: if a cop chose not to stop a black person, the law didn't require him to leave that black person alone. The law did require that free blacks be counted.

    I wasn't really talking about black voting rights. Some states let them vote; some didn't.

    At the end of the day the racial-bias in the three-fifths compromise opened the door to more slavery. The South benefited greatly and more blacks were enslaved.

    The idea that the three-fifths Compromise was not race-based is another example of attempts to sanitize the Antebellum period. We start with the idea that the war was about state's rights and not slavery. This requires that we ignore that state secession documents listed slavery as the main reason for severing ties with the Union. We next say that the Confederate flags were not racist symbols even though the soldiers fighting under their banners fought for the right of people to hold blacks in bondage. There are even attempts to create black Confederates.

    When we come to the three-fifths compromise, some argue that the compromise was not race-based even though the only group who would have only three out of five counted during a vote were black people. Slaves could not vote. The only ethnic group who could be slaves were blacks. The only reason that I can fathom for why this racial gymnastics occurs is that people who were against slavery agreed to the compromise.

    The South wanted all slaves counted. 30,000 people got you a Representative. The South would benefit greatly if this measure was accepted. The North did not want the South to gain the amount of power one slave, one vote cast by a white guy would yield. The North did not want the North to reject the Union. The three-fifths compromise was the result. Because the compromise was an "anti-slavery" measure, there is a reluctance to view it as a failure that gave power to the South and created an expansion of slavery.

    The three-fifths compromise was a mistake. It helped keep blacks in bondage. Blacks were mere pawns whether you consider the Southern position or the Northern rationale for compromise.

    As an observer of this discussion between you and Aaron, it seems to me that you are both speaking in cross purposes to the other.

    Whatever else Aaron was trying to prove, I take his point that the language of the 3/5 rd count was not based upon race because the language avoided that. It is also equally obvious that this fraction of a person talk referred only to black people because there were no white slaves.

    I don't mind you guys arguing about whatever you want to argue about but let it not be a repetition of the old logic school conundrum where Socrates turned out to be all people.


    The bottom line is that the compromise was race-based in practice. It was not race neutral.There is no other conclusion.

    Edit it add:

    It was disparate impact. It not not have to impact all blacks.

    i don't get your Socrates reference 


    The argument is that the three-fifths law was not racially biased because some blacks were counted as individuals. Do you agree that the clause was not racially biased?

    I was referring to the classic logical fallacy that goes like this:

    Socrates is a man.
    All men are mortal.
    Therefore all men are Socrates.

    Yeah, it is obvious that the compromise was not race neutral. There were no white slaves. Noticing that the language did not specifically refer to a race is not the same as denying who was being discussed. At least not for me.

    It all depends upon what one is to conclude from the wording. I am not agreeing or not not agreeing to an argument by simply observing that the language avoids referring to race per se.

    The matters of property the language dealt with certainly stand in sharp contrast to the cost of human suffering that was authorized by it.

    Got it


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