Wilmington

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Wilmington

Postby dillon » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:01 pm

Most of you have seen me mention the City of Wilmington, NC, numerous times. While I love the place, and my wife and I will relocate there after her retirement in a couple years, it has a dark past. Happily, it is not the same place as it once was. In fact I'd call it a fantastic place and well-kept secret delight.

I am posting this for two reasons. First it is an interesting bit of American history that was swept under the rug for a century.

Second, I wanted to respond to Moon's opinion in a thread (forgive me for losing which thread) where he felt the KKK was no longer a serious element in American politics. My feelings differ. Moon is correct to imply that the KKK is no longer the ubiquitous pall that covered not just the South, but much of rural America for half a century, including the "Yankee" states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. But the mindset has essentially splintered into a thousand deadly shards, thanks to the internet. The US is not alone; Europe has their own threat of organized hate, especially visible in Poland, Hungary, Austria...even France and Belgium.

I am old enough to remember what we believed was the "last gasp" of the KKK here in NC as a cohesive organization, a reign that persisted well into the 1980s. But evil never seems to die. It persists, hopefully sans the same mob mentality that allowed horrendous crimes to be done in public and with impunity. But I fear it exists in even more insidious forms, shrouded by the veil of the internet. The hoods and cross-burnings have simply moved online, and men, in their fear and ignorance, have found new faces to hate; no longer just African American and Jewish, but now Latino and Muslim and LGBTQ.

Anyway, the first link is a story that is almost beyond belief, a bit of history almost completely unknown to Americans, and the second is a more current link to remind us what may yet persist:

https://www.whqr.org/post/understanding-1898-americas-only-coup-d-tat

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/05/us/louisiana-black-church-fires.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur&fbclid=IwAR1F4yf2bTAMlyuoMlGzV2VT9yr4dj-D9ifu6J48SaGzJFMsQwAjpH2VEq0
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Re: Wilmington

Postby stevelous » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:48 pm

Sadly there is a lot of hatred here in the UK over Muslims, Jewish persons, Asians ETC not to ,mention the polarisation over BREXIT. I have never felt so unsafe in my own country. It seems the far right have started to infect people with their brand of hatred and intolerance even here in my small town. I do try to talk to others about this but it can be difficult when people have been scared by 'stories and lies' about others because of differances.

I really feel for the congregations of those Churches burned down by, i suppose, bigots who will all to often call themselves Christians. I have to say that a lot of so called Christians in my community attend church on Sunday get 'absolved' of their sins then just carry on as before being the nasty pieces of work they always are. No amount of preaching will alter them so I just try to avoid them as much as I can.

Perhaps I was brought up the right way and have respect for all, have had many friends and acquaintances from all walks of life, numerous religious beliefs, genders and sexual orientations and enjoyed their company. I does seem that I am in a very small minority and I use my intelligence or possibly the lack to avoid indoctrination and learned hatred.

In the end we are all human beings, imperfect but we all have a story to tell. WE all have differences but we also have many similarities and from them we can and should build tolerance, love and community.
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Re: Wilmington

Postby dillon » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:10 pm

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Re: Wilmington

Postby crfriend » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:03 pm

stevelous wrote:Sadly there is a lot of hatred here in the UK over Muslims, Jewish persons, Asians ETC not to ,mention the polarisation over BREXIT. I have never felt so unsafe in my own country. It seems the far right have started to infect people with their brand of hatred and intolerance even here in my small town. I do try to talk to others about this but it can be difficult when people have been scared by 'stories and lies' about others because of differances.

In 2020, this will have been going on, worldwide, for forty years -- almost two human generations, and it shows no sign of slowing.

I still vividly recall, as a young computer technician -- still in my teens -- watching election coverage in the main conference room in the place I worked in early November, 1980. I'd been there about ten months and was having the time of my life as I was trying to establish my footing in a career I still pursue. Most of the folks there were watching it with a sense of seeming detachment; I watched in abject horror as the full magnitude of what was unfolding did -- and I was visibly shaken enough that one of the other guys noticed and asked if I was OK. Part of this was my age, part of it was the knowledge in the back of my young head that the previous president had re-enabled the draft system (but not put it into force), and part of it was a nagging feeling in my mind that the candidate that was "winning" wasn't entirely "right in the head". What I was watching was putting me at extreme threat, and possibly a lethal one -- and all I wanted to do was get a running start on what I hoped would be a worthwhile career.

The "winner" of that election was Ronald Reagan, and it was pretty obvious that he was going to declare war on somebody, likely either the world or on the United States. History points up that he took the latter path and military conflicts were largely avoided and the draft was never fully reinstated. I was able to continue on my chosen path. However, almost overnight the social atmosphere shifted; it got more hard-edged, more ominous, and a whole lot less tolerant. And this cancer spread overseas as well -- and it continues to spread and grow to this very day. It continues to bear very bitter and dangerous fruit as well.

The United States and the Soviet Union both imploded more or less simultaneously with the Soviets "blinking first". Both devolved into oligarchies with both being vastly more dangerous than ever before in history. Europe hardened to the point to where it is as intolerant and bigoted as the most hard-line southern bigot in backwoods Mississippi (in the USA). Exemplars in Europe included Margaret Thatcher in the UK and the LePen clan in France. What was a reasonably laid-back planet in the 1970s was torn asunder. And it's hardening still, with hatred, paranoia, and intolerance being whipped up by propaganda, editorial, and outright lies. Sure, the 1970s were a mess -- by 1970s standards -- what we've got now is orders of magnitude worse. The 1970s at least were a comparatively contained and manageable mess; what we have now is entirely uncontained and out of control.

Interestingly -- for the first time -- I heard the USA and Russia directly compared to one another this afternoon in a news broadcast, both cast as "popularist authoritarian regimes". It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who has noted the overt similarities between Vladimir Putin's Russia and Donald Trump's America -- and horrified at the same time that this comparison needed to be made in the first place. And I fear that Europe is headed down the same path.

Whither civility, tolerance, understanding, and compassion?
In the end we are all human beings, imperfect but we all have a story to tell. WE all have differences but we also have many similarities and from them we can and should build tolerance, love and community.

We actually have vastly more in common than we have differences, but we're instructed to focus on the differences instead of the commonalities.

I mourn for humanity.
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Re: Wilmington

Postby dillon » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:43 pm

crfriend wrote:I mourn for humanity.


Don't mourn. Vote.
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Re: Wilmington

Postby crfriend » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:45 pm

dillon wrote:
crfriend wrote:I mourn for humanity.

Don't mourn. Vote.

Meaningless in a game where all the candidates are pre-selected by the ruling class.

I still go through the motions nonetheless.
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