JULIANNE MALVEAUX

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—Cheers to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, one of the first mayors to take Confederate statues down and to make the strong point that these statues represent nothing but oppression.  (Watch his May speech at http://www.marketwatch.com/story/watch-new-orleans-mayor-mitch-landrieu-defend-removal-of-monuments-to-heroes-of-a-four-year-historical-aberration-2017-08-15) More cheers to Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh who had statues removed in the dead of night to avoid Charlottesville-type confrontations between racist White supremacists (also known as “good people” according to 45) and those who oppose them.

And though he does little that I agree with, in the interest of equal praise, I must lift up Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who had the statue of Roger Taney removed from the Maryland state house.  Taney was an especially vile racist who authored the Dred Scott decision in 1857.  He wrote that Black people had no rights that Whites were bound to respect, and provided justification for enslavement even as many in the rest of the nation were clamoring against the unjust institution.

As the statues are falling, economic racism is not fading.  African Americans still earn just 60 percent of what Whites earn.  We have just 7 percent of the wealth that Whites have.  We have double the unemployment rates.  Even with equal incomes, we find it more challenging to get mortgages or other access to capital.  And our economic rights are being challenged every day.

It is important to note that these statues were not erected immediately after the Civil War.  Of course the South—a bunch of losers—was too broke to build statues.  They were still trying to recover from the devastation of the Civil War. How did they plan to recover? They needed a captive labor force to work their fields, just as enslaved people had before the war.  So they ensured quasi-captivity through intimidation. That need was partially responsible for the emergence of the KKK.  They inspired fear, suppressed resistance, and, through Black Codes and Jim Crow, engineered the near-re-enslavement of Black people.

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