This is some great stuff: Pitchfork Ben Tillman of South Carolina reminiscing on BRA, how it was created by the Yankees who infected African-Americans with the virus of equality, and how it was overthrown in the White Revolution of 1876.
South Carolina in the 1870s sounds like Stuff Black People Don’t Like on any given afternoon. This same absurd utopian experiment has been tried out before and produced similar results.
“Ben Tillman came to be known as “Pitchfork Ben” Tillman, and with his fierce one-eyed glower and plebian misshapen hats and profane speeches styled himself a populist. He said the Citadel in Charleston where the “aristocrats” sent their sons was nothing but a “military dude factory,” that the South Carolina College where most of the rest went turned out “helpless” good-for-nothings, “too proud to beg, too honest to steal, too lazy to work.” He cursed and ranted against the “Bourbons” and said he was for the little man.
He was elected governor and then United States senator, and for forty years he fought off attacks by the Bourbons and the real populists alike by reviving the horrors of “negro misrule” that he said the state had endured during Reconstruction. That was his ticket to power, and for forty years of political life he offered what he called “a solid front to all comers on the bond of white supremacy.” He stood on the floor of the United States Senate and jabbed his finger and said “we had to shoot negroes” and recounted again and again how the black man had “tasted blood,” had been infected by unscrupulous Northern carpetbaggers with “the virus of equality” back in those dark days, and that the only way to make sure it never happened again was for whites to remain united politically behind men like him who weren’t afraid to tell the truth about how they had to shoot niggers back then.
“The poor African became a fiend, a wild beast, seeking whom he may devour, filling our penitentiaries and our jails, lurking around to see if some helpless white woman can be murdered or brutalized,” Pitchfork Ben said on the floor of the United States Senate, and he always reprinted his best such efforts in pamphlets that he sent to everyone. “We realize what it means to allow ever so little a trickle of racial equality to break through the dam.”
In 1895 South Carolina called a convention to rewrite the state constitution to disenfranchise the last remaining colored voters who hadn’t already been cheated or beaten out of their ballots, and Pitchfork Ben came and again retold the story of the “infamy” of those dark days, and how at any moment that sleeping viper might be “warmed into life again and sting us whenever some more white rascals, native or foreign, come here and mobilize the ignorant blacks.”
The “hell hounds” who had masterminded it the last time, he explained, had hated the South and were seeking revenge. They had concocted the most perfect scheme for “degrading us to the lowest level possible” – giving the ballot to our own ex-slaves. “The most fertile imagination, if it had been given a thousand years to concoct a scheme of revenge, could not have surpassed it.”
And he continued: “How did we recover our liberty? By fraud and violence. We tried to overcome the thirty thousand majority by honest methods, which was a mathematical impossibility. After we had borne these indignities for eight years life became worthless under such conditions. Under the leadership and inspiration of Mart Gray – because he planned and brought about the Straight-out movement of ’76 – we won the fight. In 1878 we had to resort to more fraud and violence, and so again in 1880. Then the Registration Law and eight-box system was evolved from the superior intelligence of the white man to check and control this surging, muddy stream of ignorance.
“And this must be our justification, our vindication, and our excuse to the world that we are met int Convention openly, boldly, without any pretense of secrecy, to announce that it is our purpose, as far as we may, without coming into conflict with the United States Constitution, to put such safeguards around this ballot in future, to so restrict the suffrage and circumscribe it, that this infamy can never come about again.”
As Pitchfork Ben told it the moral inversion was now complete. That decent men were forced to fraud and violence only showed to what extremes they had been pushed. The more brutally they treated their victims the more it proved that they had been the true victims themselves. The more the Northerners had stood up for the rights of the Negroes the more it showed how full of hate and hypocrisy they were. The more the federal government tried to interfere the more the nation and the Negro would suffer. Until the South was left alone by the federal government to handle the Negro as it saw fit, Tillman threatened, white Southerners would have “no conception of the word ‘nation’ except that it is connected with the word ‘nigger.'”
Just as Ben Tillman had predicted, the “sleeping viper” was warmed back to life again in the 1960s, and the same people who hated the South and who created BRA the first time around brought it back in the Second Reconstruction to degrade us to the lowest level possible, and now South Carolina is under the thumb of Barack Hussein Obama and Eric “My People” Holder.