Citizens as Pawns

I pray daily for the Ukrainian people. The heinous actions by their neighbor dictator are unspeakable and irrational. Who can explain the events leading up to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine? The rational side of my intelligence really wants to know the answer to this question because nothing I hear squares as truthful.

What do I know about Ukraine? Actually, very little. If I educate myself by going online, I hope that the sources are factual. We all know that the region has been through centuries of conflict. We all thought that agreements after WW2 would help stabilize the region and perhaps they did in many ways. But how can we stabilize a tyrannical neighbor? We can not unless we first acknowledge our lack of control over their destructive behavior toward their own citizens and the world community.

National sovereignty is at the forefront of this issue. This term emphasizes complete independence and self-government in a country. Each nation has the right to exercise their sovereignty which can be quite different from one to the other. Most agreements among nations cannot deny this sovereignty. There is quite a range of opinion concerning how nations implement their governance, but ultimately one’s opinion can remain only that. To force an opinion can lead to unforeseen consequences. I believe this is what Putin has done with Ukraine.

Rational thinking about the breach of Ukraine’s sovereignty by Putin would lead one to the conclusion that Putin is a terrorist. Any leader who completely controls their nation’s journalists also controls the nationalist message. We know this because this was why the Democratic Party in our country worked so hard to label Trump as a nationalist who was working to destroy the media and our democracy. Why would they push this narrative? For their own power play of course. This unfortunate power play put citizens in the position of being pawns. No one wants to be used by others for any purpose, let alone to have their own personal power diminished in any way by that “user”. We would call that user an abuser, and abusers can be found in any race or gender…It’s a human trait.

With the Trump example, the narrative in the main stream news consistently labeled him a nationalist, misogynistic, pawn of Putin and a Nazi. And it wasn’t long until his supporters were included in this label too, making them pawns also in the progressive’s play for power. How is this abusive take down of a duly elected President and his supporters any different from Putin’s power grab in Ukraine? It is not.

Canada’s elites aren’t the only globalist soldiers.

But there is more to the picture in Ukraine’s torment just as there was to the incessant take down of the last administration. Global hegemony is slowly breaking apart the cultural fabric of sovereign nations and it is the citizens of these nations who are pawns in their strategies. I don’t have any proof beyond what is written on such websites as the World Economic Forum, International Financing Corporation (part of the World Bank Group), Federal Reserve, IMF and the many NGOs associated with them. These organizations are working to connect us all, whether we want it or not, in a global framework of compliance which no nation, company or individual will be able to not obey. Do you think Putin wants Russia to obey this entity? Do you perhaps think that Trump’s America First agenda was to confront and remove the USA from this entity? If Ukraine became part of NATO but more importantly part of the EU would it be fair to think that they would have to comply with this Global plan hence Putin’s annexation to “save” them?

Only time will tell. Until that time we all must educate ourselves about what progressives and globalists are communicating to us through word and deed. When our southern border is wide open to unrestricted immigrant crossings, when the Biden administration is slow to place sanctions on Russia or provide lethal aid to Ukraine, when the EU is placing monetary sanctions on Poland and Hungary because they “violate” the agreed upon values even though these two countries have taken in the most Ukrainian refugees, then we have innocent lives used as pawns for power plays.

It’s time for citizens as individuals to take back their personal power and call out all abusers who aim to destroy civil liberties. Climate change is not our enemy. Evil bureaucrats are.

Is Less Really More?

Empty store shelves, back-ordered web purchases, higher food costs, increasing energy prices, slower services, and hours cut back at your favorite restaurant or coffee shop…How are you adjusting?

I remember several household habits from my childhood quite distinctly:

– Keeping lights off in a room that you were not using;

– Dad cleaning the dishes by hand;

– Mom giving the hair cuts;

– One bathroom for a household of seven people being do-able;

– Cans of vegetables being stored and rotated in the basement;

– Re-using or re-purposing plastic food containers, brown paper grocery bags, wrapping paper, news paper, milk jugs, etc…

I also remember as a family we would go out to eat on rare occasions, get along with one car just fine, and communicate with one home phone. I am a child of parents who grew up during the depression. The 1970’s weren’t the 1930’s, yet hard times did make their appearance none the less. Learning how to adapt to hard times is a skill not easily acquired if you have never been exposed to hard times. Our current inflation is a good reminder that hard times can make an appearance no matter what the circumstances.

Sometimes habits or behaviors from one generation transfer to the next…Obviously all the above household habits are healthy habits and I have used the experiences at times in my own adulthood. Reduce, reuse, recycle therefor comes naturally to me as does planning for one trip to grocery shop for the week and minimizing the stuff I WANT to have as opposed to the stuff that I NEED to have. But I really don’t think that my example has been adopted by my children all that well. My children have not been spoiled, but I think the consumer-driven era that they have grown up with can really spoil the generations of its time.

It’s a Woolworth vs an Amazon mentality. Either you can walk about a mile or so to get your basics or you can sit and have many different boxes and bags delivered on your doorstep. It’s a Main Street vs a Corporate Monstrosity mentality. Either you want to be in person with your community or you want a socially distant social media pseudo relationship. When people need a web device to direct their day to day experiences, then I suppose there may be less aggravation and more time for other experiences. But when people must use a more “hands on” and in-person approach to daily life, then one might find that less consumerism is actually required perhaps because the physical sensations are more satisfying. Sure, there may be more frustrations when you can’t find exactly what you want, but that can happen at Woolworth or Amazon. Some of us are just that picky lol! The ability to curb frustration is a cornerstone of healthy character building.

I believe that the Covid19 pandemic has really shed some light on this topic. Locking people down in their homes has driven the web-based consumer appetite to higher levels. This is obvious given the billions of dollars that the owners of these platforms have amassed. Lock-downs have also reinforced the notion that physically distancing from others is a medical necessity to minimize the spread of germs, but is there more to maintaining a healthy immune system? Of course there is! The average physically fit person on zero medications is a virus’s worst nightmare. Being around people when you are a healthy, fit individual builds immunity for the whole environment…Immunologists have known this for decades if not centuries.

A society that emulates a place of scarcity is similar to putting healthy, fit individuals in hiding from a virus…Wealth (similar to immunity) is not allowed to spread. In fact, hoarding can happen. But when a society embraces abundance, it builds wealth (i.e. immunity) for everyone in the environment and is almost “contagious”, but in a good way…Wealth and giving among and between individuals spreads! An individual in the USA always has the choice in an abundant environment to cut back on their consumption either to save money for the things that they wish to redirect the money for or to maintain a perspective of “reduce, reuse, recycle” (less can become more). However an individual living in an environment of scarcity will never be able to improve the quality of their consumption (less is always less). We should never allow the elitists in government to control our marketplace by imposing their will on our choices and our freedom of movement.

I want my children to live in a country where there is limitless abundance and opportunity for all individuals. A country that uses the framework of God’s Laws to help guide their choices and the Rule of Law to help hold them responsible. LESS control imposed by government IS MORE freedom for we the people!

The Representative Power Play

Our government seems to be conditioning its citizens into believing that those who were elected to represent them are actually working on their behalf. I’m not talking about how the government “gets things done”. Those “things” are probably not at all needed by the citizens of a Liberty-minded nation. Every one of those “things” must be measured within the context of the Constitution and existing law…Capitol Hill’s charter. I’m talking about how the government enriches itself by using its power to manipulate legislation according to the demands of the corporate donor class.

Think about this, President Trump was very successful growing the economy and building workable treaties and agreements with and among nations. Most of his actions were challenged in the courts and this was fine…It’s one method of checks and balance in our system. When the economy grew, jobs were available, innovation was allowed to thrive, the tax base expanded and our CO2 emissions actually went down. https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/greenhouse-gas-emissions-continue-decline-american-economy-flourishes-under-trump-0 … And, try as hard as they might, Congress was unable to remove a President that understood the underbelly of the corporate donor class. Trump was elected by we the people to represent middle class America and the entrepreneurial spirit.

Well, what does an elected ruling class like Congress do when their perceived power is interrupted by a successful President? Everything in their power of course. We saw this play out in almost every format available to these corporate brown nosers when mainstream media colluded by disseminating misinformation, social media canceled opposing opinions and a multitude of “crises” overwhelmed traditional systems.

Representative influence…One heaping pile 💩

Build Back Better is nothing but a Biden Administration term for corporate cronyism. His decades of time spent on Capitol Hill makes him a certified corporate brown noser. His track record of helping credit card companies over consumers’ best interests shows how compassionate he is to corporate banks which now under the global economy will impose ESG scores on businesses that don’t comply with new global “norms”… https://www.alva-group.com/blog/what-is-an-esg-score-and-how-is-it-calculated/ Free markets will be demolished.

It’s time for voters to take a serious and honest look at how their representatives (Nationally and locally) have used their power, understand that both political parties have abused their power, look closely at their records and listen to how they answer tough questions. What do they consider a real crisis and how do they plan to fix it? Does the plan focus on actionable measures with clearly defined results? Is there precedence to learn from before enacting such measures? Voters must focus on policies and not personalities…Anyone can seem like a nice person or be rough around the edges, but what are their results?

A government that isn’t willing to self reflect on their own abuses is not a government of, by and for the people. The commander in chief must hold their justice department accountable to those who are not in power and investigate the federal agencies; agencies that spend more and more taxpayer dollars to undermine taxpayer rights.

I’m waiting patiently for Congress to get a grip on themselves. This will only come when we the people elect representation that respects the rights of the individual and the entrepreneur. Anything else is cronyism and self serving.

Critical Theory Can’t Compete With Our Diversity

In one of my previous blogs, https://shrewview.com/2021/04/17/critical-race-nonsense/, I wrote about how Critical Race Theory (CRT) was affecting the culture in the USA. Critical theory argues that societal structures and cultural assumptions influence social problems rather than individual and psychological effects. In the blog I point out among other things that CRT has no scientific research and evidentiary discovery behind it, instead the discovery is purely philosophical similar to a religious practice like Buddhism…beliefs and ideals describing behavior and thought. If this is the case, then shouldn’t it follow that teaching the deconstruction of the Constitution and cultural norms of the USA (as CRT does) would lead to a vacuum of serious thought (aka critical thinking) among our students and employers who are being fed this crap? And, once this vacuum is presented what then fills it? Tyranny of course.

No country other than the USA possesses a Constitution with a very thoughtful framework for governance intended to be by and for its citizens. Though far from perfect, our Constitution sets the table to uphold individual Liberty by a checks and balances system. Also, each state is allowed to possess its own constitution. I contend that what matters most is the local government experience which is typically the best barometer of Liberty’s success…Holding elected officials accountable is best done locally.

Now consider that the USA has the most ethnically diverse population of any other country. Granted, not all communities have a large amount of ethnic diversity, but those that do not will still have population diversity of another type be it socioeconomic, religious or even seasonal…There are numerous “melting pots “. Yet there is one thing that holds us all together, and that is our desire to understand our roots and educate each other about all the hard fought freedoms which were gained by extraordinary people in order to pass true Liberty on to each new generation no matter the race, creed or color of the people.

Critical Theory seeks to deconstruct systems without lighting a way toward unity. There can be no “United” States under this philosophy. Instead the action is toward chaos (aka disunity). For instance, the white supremacy mantra is a dog whistle used to create this chaos. We see it’s influence in some of our major cities that defund policing and push CRT in school curricula. But what is white supremacy? The term is used by Democrat leadership yet the definition is lacking. Does it mean a KKK style resurgence, a saturation of Caucasian culture or perhaps it means tyrannical behavior from the opposition political party? I believe that white supremacy is meant to mean whatever the person who hears it thinks it means to them, and the intention is to cause feelings of shame for some and feelings of anger for others. The intent is for driving destructive emotions, keeping some form of “Democrat” labeled political party in power, bringing solutions that only the federal government should administer, and reducing our great diversity to simple minded cogs in a wheel of slavery to the elite class.

I have faith that our diverse population will ultimately see through the CRT re-education ruse and teach an honest education of history with all its flaws and accomplishments. We must start locally where the rescue effort is most effective. The BIG LIE is CRT. The BIG TRUTH is to love your neighbor, stay Liberty minded and keep the next generation FREE!

A Memorial Day Pledge

Which group is your group? To whom do you pledge allegiance? When your little world falls apart, where do you turn next?

These questions are easy for many people to answer, however there are just as many people who are unable to answer one or more of them. I for instance would rather not have one group be my group because I would find that my little world would not be very interesting. My God given curiosity would never allow for me to stop learning, questioning and voicing my opinion.

Imagine that I never left my family unit until I was forced to marry into a different family and that my entire education was formed by what society intended for my outcome. Imagine further that this outcome meant that my offspring would be bound by their roles, males bear all responsibility of ensuring their family remains a growing generational unit, females marry into a new family and nurture all members to fulfill their respective roles. It seems to me that this patriarchal system would effectively need to keep me in its allegiance because my limited education did not allow for my potential to grow beyond my usefulness as a nurturer. Also, males in the family unit would be limited in their education because their outcome and allegiance dictates that only they can control the established order. Education becomes a means to an end…The end of which is patriarchal control established in law, religion and governance. But isn’t this our system in the USA? Of course not!! Yet many groups forming in this country like Antifa, BLM, Democratic Socialists and the Poor People’s Campaign actually believe it is the system and they want to take it down, destroying the Constitution and all systems of law and order. I believe these groups are made up of nothing more than tyrannical Marxist revolutionaries working on behalf of fringe elements who hate life.

The diversity of people and thought in the USA is exceptional and therefore we must never allow Marxism to permanently take over this great country. Groups here are encouraged to form around a community purpose but not around hateful genocide. Individuals can belong to more than one group and have many facets to their beliefs and ideals. Educational standards are grounded in facts and are merit based because we know that ALL people are blessed intellectually in ways which are special to them. Our freedoms are based on natural rights and allow each one of us to discover our unique purpose in our own time. Our Constitutional protections allow each one of us to keep what we earn. It is our family of choice who we turn to when our little world falls apart, traditional or not traditional. Ultimately the rule of law offers us protection from patriarchy and interminable chaos. Ours is the only system of its kind and this means we must continually strive to keep our Liberty from falling into the hands of tyranny. God bless the men and women who died in battle to preserve this exceptional country!

Our Authentic Awakening

There has been a comical willingness for citizens to hand over to the government their inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

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The Enemies in Public Office

US Congress Oath of Office: I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

“…enemies, foreign and domestic…” Who are these “enemies” and how is this phrase applied to the work of our US Representatives?

I believe the first sentence of the oath is clear that Congress supports and defends the Constitution against these “enemies”. It does not say that Congress supports and defends democracy or even an ideology against these “enemies”.

Democracy is defined as control of an organization by the majority of its members.*

An ideology is a system of ideas that aspires both to explain the world and to change it.**

A constitution is a body of fundamental principles to which an organization is acknowledged to be governed.*

In the US Constitution the control is defined and enumerated among three distinct branches of government, and ideology is best left to the individual as a right of belief.

Given all the above definitions we can easily see that Congress today is leading from a perspective of CONTROL and IDEOLOGY. This is not their charge!! Congress has moved so far from their Constitutional powers that they have in fact become a domestic enemy. Their efforts to have a political party assume majority powers has made them believe that they can impose their political ideology AND that they have the moral authority to do this. Over the past twenty years I have seen the decay of Congressional leadership…No more compromise or negotiation toward bills that incorporate the best ideas from all sides of an issue. The best ideas are where we achieve the greatest form of diversity and move our country toward progress…A diversity NOT based on gender, race or ethnicity!

I believe Congress’ domestic enemy status has perpetuated the unfortunate circumstance of allowing foreign enemies to invade our soil through a porous border and the relaxed policing standards within our states. One party rule has meant that our Republic is no longer functioning as it should. Our representatives in the Senate and the House must be sent a daily message that We the People will not stand for their tyrannical behavior. Call, email or write your representatives in Washington DC. Tell them that they do not honor their oath by not working across the isle with the minority…This is the way it has been in the past and must continue to be. God help us all!

*Google dictionary; **britannica.com

Shrewd Awakenings: Our Culture of Non-Conformity

The Covid 19 pandemic has helped the USA (AKA America) to discover its founding roots, and Liberty is stronger than ever!

I don’t know what some of these governors were thinking when they implemented controls on what could and could not be done to purchase specific items, worship in various socially distant ways, or enjoy the outdoors…But when those thoughts became actual rule, people rightly stood their ground to confront the tyranny.

This is exactly how the fight for civil rights began. Individuals must have dominion over there autonomy otherwise government actions will be encouraged to encroach on their personhood. Our Creator made us whole beings in order to experience a life rich with wonder, joy, risk and pain…This is the Love that is God, not the protection that is the mommy state.

In the USA the government can give certain rights, but the government itself does not have the civil right of a tyrant because our representatives are elected to make sure the balance of power leans on the side of the people, each of whom have the responsibility of their own actions. One, two or thousands of individuals can protest the government when their Constitutional rights are infringed upon, that’s why we have a Constitution to list these rights out specifically!!

This pandemic is quite a bit different than the pandemic of 1918. A century ago we had the radio and the press to inform the masses, yet very little was known about viruses and their transmission. A News of the World report from November 1918 lists the following as recommended precautions against contracting the flu: “Wash inside nose with soap and water each night and morning; force yourself to sneeze night and morning then breath deeply; do not wear a muffler; take sharp walks regularly and walk home from work; eat plenty of porridge.” Hygiene practices were much different with indoor plumbing and sanitation being mostly for the wealthy. And there were far fewer hospitals not to mention life saving technology.

Today’s pandemic is brought to you by the World Health Organization. The WHO’s primary role is to direct international health within the United Nations’ system and to lead partners in global health responses. This organization has been politicized because of various governmental influences and funding. It is very American to question the authority of the WHO. If America is basing it’s health informatics on information coming from this organization, and this organization recommends tracking the health of EVERYONE on the planet…would we do this? Of course not!! But then again, if a simple majority of our population in America is sufficiently frightened of what “could be” then perhaps the government would implement this authoritarian system, and if some of us “opt out” does this add to the polarization in our country? I think some of our government leaders would just love for this to happen because it would reinforce their need to be in charge and force compliance…Sound familiar? Isn’t this what is currently happening in various communities in regard to covid19?

I’m Shrewd… On The Unintended Consequences of Progressivism

Here’s a good Jeopardy question: What two words describe outcomes of a purposeful action that are not foreseen? Answer: Unintended consequences.

Unintended consequences are the polar opposite of progress, and many progressive actions lead to unintended consequences. My previous two blogs focused on defining the methods of progress and progressivism by giving historical reference and some results for each method. Both methods ultimately have a humanitarian goal, however only one of them uses higher consciousness to obtain the most compassionate outcome. Progress is achieved by people who are directly impacted by trauma to find healing and practical outcomes (i.e. solutions) for themselves. Progressivism is a forced outcome by “experts” on a broad spectrum of people…Although the intention of a progressive action is perceived by some as good, the outcome is minimally effective and invariably produces a new trauma.

In the USA it is each individual and their liberty that define the nation. Only the individual can feel and know their happiness, and only the individual can feel and know their bondage whether it is self imposed by the mind or forced on them by another. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the responsibility of the individual.

What is an unintended consequence of smoking? You are free to smoke and you may take happiness in it, but if you are addicted to it and are susceptible to physical ailments the unintended consequence could mean chronic health issues or death.

What is an unintended consequence of spending above your means? You can take a loan for a car or home with all the bells and whistles because it is what you have always wanted, but the payments could be a strain on being able to save for the unexpected.

The USA should not be defined by its government or its corporations. Neither of these entities should be trusted to always act in a manner that can ensure a guaranteed positive outcome for people’s best interests. The government’s responsibility is to defend the nation and enact laws. Corporations and businesses help to create wealth for a nation to thrive.

What is an unintended consequence of a corporation employing unqualified or corrupt managers? The corporation has a great product or service and employs many staff who enjoy their jobs and incomes, but risky actions taken by senior management could mean harm to consumers or staff as well as layoffs or closing.

What is an unintended consequence of the government imposing a month long mandatory stay at home order on the vast majority of its population during a pandemic? Certain communities might gain time to prepare for increased hospitalizations of some people, but many more people run the risk of losing their incomes, depression and suicide, rising domestic abuse and the deterioration of individual liberties.

If you take the time to notice them, governments and corporations take progressive actions all the time with perceived moral goals, but the outcomes are not necessarily moral for everyone and inevitably lead to unintended consequences. Only individuals can use their mind and heart to judge what is right and wrong for themselves, form the basis for what is needed, and make progress in society. Governments and corporations are influenced by the individual constituent/consumer need and act in relationship to them, thereby ensuring their welfare (not giving welfare).

Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead, American cultural anthropologist

“…establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty…” – From the Constitution Preamble and the direct responsibility of elected officers.

The Shrew View on Progress vs Progressivism

I am not a big fan of what is currently called “identity politics” which seems to be infiltrating many discussions (political or not) these days. I think the focus on marginalized people only adds to the struggle our country has to free itself from the scourge of “ism’s” that should not define people. I’ve heard it argued that it is because of our whiteness in the United States that people of color have little success in our culture. In this case the “whiteness” means that white people who hold all the privileges unconsciously exclude people of color (POC) in hiring practices and/or promotion choices and if they consciously exclude POC then this practice is biased and racist, and that without exception white people are all racist as well as the U.S. culture itself including its science and curricula.

I have also heard it said that it takes three generations to get past a traumatic experience…This makes some sense. As Erich Fromm puts it, “…something life defining and deeply intimate is over.” The child recognizes how the former generation as shaped their own experiences and how they have been charged through the stories and experiences to carry the trauma into the future. One helps to heal future generations by rising above the remnants of these past injuries. This is the very definition of the word progress. AND I believe this progress works within cultural traumas as well.

Our most recent example of a cultural trauma is 9/11. My generation bore witness to a tragic man made event which killed thousands of people on American soil on September 11, 2001. My children are growing up with the stories about the event which include stories that affected my family who were traveling by plane from Boston on that morning. Now, every time my children travel they must listen to my admonition to be safe and stay aware of their surroundings, look for exits and never let down their guard. They were in elementary school at the time of 9/11 so these stories have been transferred to them in ways that I might not totally comprehend, yet they live their lives with less attachment to this event as will their children who will hopefully not even need to experience the left-over wars against terrorism that still exist today. My grandchildren will live with the televised memorial ceremonies, but they will be far removed from the actual trauma. This progress toward healing is culturally significant and forever part of U.S. history because we must never forget in order to not repeat these actions. Experience is felt on an individual basis…My experience isn’t the same as your experience.

With identity politics the marginalized groups will never experience the progress of healing if their stories are not allowed to have generational closure. When no closure occurs, then Progressivism is allowed to rear its ugly head. Progressivism advocates social reform with goals that are politically motivated. It demands radical change in current cultural systems in order to “improve” society. The people who push for progressive methods care little for historical context. Instead, the leap forward must be made based on current thought, expert advise and/or empathetic emotion.

If we take a look at the historical context of the Emancipation Proclamation, we can learn a lot about progress vs Progressivism:

The Civil War started in 1861 because the Confederate southern slave states did not want to be part of the United States if they could not keep slavery in tact. It wasn’t until the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 that the slaves were finally freed…Many of these freed slaves fought in the Civil War against the Confederacy, and the addition of these men to the Union effort helped to win the Civil War against the Confederacy. There were many proud acts of heroism by Negro soldiers during that time.

When the Civil War ended in 1865, Congress enacted the Freedman’s Bureau and passed the Civil Rights Bill in 1866 after Lincoln’s death because the southern states which were majority Democrat began to pass their own “black codes” to hinder the progress of Negroes in their states. Congress at that time was majority Republican. Andrew Johnson (Lincoln’s Vice President and now President after Lincoln’s assassination) did not want to force reconstruction of the south because he was determined to respect states’ rights, however the Congress over-rode his veto of The Reconstruction Act of 1867 and both the 14th and 15th Amendments. For ten years Negroes enjoyed the freedoms of all free male citizens and held many state and Congressional leadership roles. During this time the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) targeted many Republicans, whites and blacks who were sympathetic to the reconstruction.

Even though great strides were being made toward civil freedoms at this time, uncontrollable events happened to cause an economic depression during 1874. The financial panic of 1873 was a result of over-expansion in industry and railroads, a drop in European demand for American farm products, and a drop off of European investment. To compound matters, the U.S. Congress (which had long held its Republican majority) was pushed to pass the Compromise of 1876 which resulted in the U.S. federal government pulling the last troops out of the South ending the Reconstruction era. After this happened the southern states reverted many Negro owned lands back to whites, enacted segregation laws and worked to disenfranchise the negro. These regressive conditions would remain in place for a century until the 1965 Civil Rights Movement.

What can we learn from these historical events? Here are my thoughts:

1) The country was divided philosophically. There were slave states where slavery was legal and “free” states where slavery was illegal. Abolition of slavery was being thought about since about 1830, one generation before the Civil War.

2) “Rights” were understood as property rights and state’s rights, therefore the Confederacy of southern states saw Lincoln’s actions as tyrannical. We should keep in mind that at this time “civil rights” were not a concept, for instance during this time women could only own inherited property and their rights were limited to state enacted laws.

3) Slaves were “property”. The Civil War happened because the southern slave states wanted their autonomy as slave states, but Lincoln and the Republican controlled Congress did not want a “divided” country.

4) The Emancipation Proclamation was finally given almost two years after the war started because the Confederacy’s strength needed to be crippled. Freed slaves signed up for the fight against the Confederacy even though they had no guarantee of a sure outcome. Their heroism needs to be recognized in our history books and with more statues since these stories and their context in history help future generations heal from the trauma of slavery.

5) The Civil Rights Bill of 1866 was the first federal law to define citizenship and affirm that all citizens are equally protected by the law without regard to race, color, or previous condition. We must remember that a law does not necessarily change hearts and minds…The southern states still had the autonomy to pass laws to curb the conduct of Negroes therefore Congress passed the 14th amendment (no state shall enact laws that abridge the privileges or immunities of U.S. citizens) and 15th amendment (the right of citizens to vote can not be abridged by the U.S. or any state on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude). Also, Congress passed the Reconstruction Act to enforce compliance by the southern states after the Civil War.

6) The Republican Congress at that time was in a struggle with President Andrew Johnson over Presidential powers…Johnson wanted to be more lenient with Reconstruction. What does his impeachment teach us about the balance of power during that time?

7) Reconstruction enforcement remained for only ten years…Economic uncertainty and politics unfortunately did not allow for the new conditions under military enforcement to remain for longer because if they had remained for at least ten more years, I believe the next generation would have been closer to healing the trauma of slavery. Instead, southern Democrat leaders began to implement “progressive” laws to deal with “improving” society in their states, and the KKK was allowed to run rampant.

8) The actions from 1830 to 1876 were progress for the anti-slavery movement and the future “civil rights” that we think of today…REMEMBER that only white men with property could vote during much of this time AND reason prevailed. “Whiteness” could not necessarily be equated to being “Racist”.

The Preamble ratified June 21, 1788:

WE THE PEOPLE of the United States of America, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America...This Preamble sets the tone for progress!

My next blog will focus on the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement and the progress that was made during that time toward civil justice.