Ugly New Years story is too real for white Republicans

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On this New Year’s Day, it’s a safe bet that Rhode Island State Representative Patricia Morgan and the only black person she knows won’t sit down to eat black-eyed peas and green cabbage together.

It’s an even safer bet that she and her fellow Republicans won’t spend any mental energy on the New Year’s story as a terrifying time for slaves in America.

Representative Morgan, as you may recall, tweeted a few days ago that she “had a black friend“- emphasis on the past – but this unnamed black token had recently become” unfriendly and obnoxious, “which the Rhode Island lawmaker concluded must be because of critical race theory, because it itself had done nothing to him “except being white.

The CRT, according to Morgan, is the problem that’s really “divided[ing] us because of the color of the skin.

It’s really quite the take at a time when Confederate flag-waving insurgents have passed the United States Capitol building, the FBI has identified white terrorists as the greatest threat to national security, members. openly aligned Congress with white nationalists self-identified and promoted their ideologies, hate crimes against Bthe shortage of people increased precipitously, and Rep. Morgan herself proposed an anti-CRT bill and blocked one that would incorporate the teaching of Black of history in Rhode Island schools.

It’s tempting to think that Morgan is simply misinformed about CRT – an esoteric legal concept for examining the systemic racism that no school in Rhode Island teaches, and that the far right has become obsessed with over the past year or so. . But in a subsequent appearance, Morgan unwittingly admitted that his problem was not with CRT, but the idea that history could be taught in a way that fully recognizes how anti-black racism has defined all aspects of the world. America, taking stock of the devastation caused by American white supremacy. That would be too disappointing, according to Morgan, who says that “with CRT there is no redemption” because it does not focus on “the good part of our story”.

It’s really just a way of saying that she opposes a story that is not filled with supremacist fables and other ahistoric nonsense. Not to mention that she is also not a fan of whites – after centuries of omitting blacks from historical records – who must share the historical spotlight.

“I’m really concerned that critical race theory – this centering of black experience, this race at the center of everything in our society – is really dangerous,” Morgan said in an interview. “And it erodes the things that unite us as Americans.”

Rhode Island lawmaker who sponsored anti-CRT bill complains black friend doesn’t like him anymore

This is what opponents of the CRT really fear, Morgan sums up. Perhaps because she would prefer schoolchildren in Rhode Island not to know that the “General Election Court” of their home state, that is, Morgan’s own legislative predecessors, has passed a law. in 1652 that ended life-long black slavery in two cities and would pass another law banning native slavery. in 1676, to completely ignore this legislation in favor of racial capitalism.

Laws reducing slavery would also be passed in the state in 1774, 1784, and 1787, although these also did not end the barbaric system. In fact, “nearly half of all slave trips to Rhode Island were after the trade ban,” as USA Today reports. At the start of the American Revolution in 1775, “Rhode Island was the largest slave trading colony in British America,” according to Leonardo Marques, author of The United States and the Transatlantic Slave Trade to the Americas. Newport, then Bristol, were major ports for the transatlantic import of humans from Africa to the colonies in the 18th century, and had more enslaved blacks per capita than any other New England state at the time. colonial.

The state would finally constitutionally abolish slavery in 1843.

Although now seen as a time of celebration across the United States, the end of the year was filled with trauma and apprehension for black people living under the yoke of slavery. Slavers settled their accounts at the end of the year, which meant that those they enslaved could be rented out to other slavers or sold on the first day of the year. Among black slaves, New Years Eve was spent fearful that they would be snatched from family and loved ones, auctioned off to the highest bidder to clear a slave’s debt.

And as such, New Years Day was known as the “day of hiring” or – more specifically to name the cruelty they endured – “day of sorrow.”

“Every day of the year slaves dread New Year’s Day the worst of all,” said Lewis Clarke, who fled slavery and became an outspoken abolitionist in 1842, a year before Rhode Island banned legalized racial servitude. “For people therefore come for their debts; and if someone wants to sell a slave, now is the time to do it; and if anyone is to give a slave, this is the time he does it; and the slave never knows where he will be sent. Oh, New Years is a heartbreaking time in Kentucky! “

Clarke’s account is American truth, as historically relevant as those stories that Morgan and many other Republicans might prefer that we continue to focus on, and every day. It is a story that Morgan wants to whitewash until it is erased from the collective American memory. But it’s critical that those stories – which tell us how we got to the present moment and why we never seem to get past the residual impact of a past Morgan would like to forget – are told.

There is an old black saying, born on hire day, that the New Year will define your year ahead.

“The slaves went to a place [on Hiring Day] called the hiring places to hire their workforce for the next year, “Sister Harrison, a former free slave, told an interviewer in 1937.” That’s where that saying came from this that you do on the day of the rest of the year. “

This likely means Morgan and other white Tories, who have used CRT as a bogeyman since last year, will continue to do so until 2022. But that’s even more white supremacist propaganda. Hopefully in the New Year there will be more push back against the racist campaign to legally ban the teaching of verifiable history. And that Morgan’s absurd efforts to block out those truths caused her to lose even more “friends” who barely tolerated her anyway.

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