Erick Erickson wins the prize for writing the dumbest article you will read this morning:
“What set our nation apart was that we were not tied to blood and soil, but to an idea and truth. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” …
We, as a nation not tied to blood and soil, could chart new paths through history. We had no aristocracy. The merit of men raised them up in society. The poor man with a good idea could best the rich man with a bad idea. The immigrant who came from nothing could die a wealthy American. Each generation then committed itself to our American covenant.
Something though has gone wrong. No longer are we a nation that looks to America the idea, but to America the blood and soil. If you don’t sound like us, don’t have the right skin tone, don’t have the right religion, or are from the wrong part of the world, some would say you cannot take part in our American covenant. The American dream is to be restricted. …
More importantly, we should again embrace the idea that we are better than other nations because we are not a nation rooted in blood and soil, but a nation rooted in an idea, a meritocracy, and an experiment in the advancement of individuals. When we make this nation about what it was and not what it can be, we break our founding covenant. When we make America about the collective or the mob and not the right of the individual to succeed or fail on his own in freedom, we break our covenant. …”
I’m reading this and I am like … wow, seriously? Does he really believe this? Does he think we on the Alt-Right are dumb enough to be mainstream conservatives?
How should we break the news to Erickson? Is this the Georgia that was a slave society from 1751 to 1865? Is this the Georgia which was lukewarm on the American Revolution, where Savannah fell with hardly any bloodshed, and which was occupied by the British army and which was actually restored to the British Empire and had a loyalist government through the rest of the war?
Is this the Georgia that caused President Andrew Jackson to defy the Supreme Court in Worcester vs. Georgia and dispossess the Cherokees from their lands? Was that Georgia rooted in a “founding covenant” that was “rooted in an idea” or rather than the rapid expansion of the Cotton Kingdom? Is this the Georgia of Howell Cobb, Alexander Stephens and Robert Toombs? Is this the Georgia of Thomas R.R. Cobb who believed that slavery was the foundation of civilization?
Is this the Georgia that offered the following rationale for seceding from the United States in 1861 and joining the Confederate States of America?
“The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees in its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers.
With these principles on their banners and these utterances on their lips the majority of the people of the North demand that we shall receive them as our rulers. …”
Is this the Georgia which produced Vice President Alexander Stephens who explained that the Confederacy was based on the cornerstone of racial inequality?
“The constitution, it is true, secured every essential guarantee to the institution while it should last, and hence no argument can be justly urged against the constitutional guarantees thus secured, because of the common sentiment of the day. Those ideas, however, were fundamentally wrong. They rested upon the assumption of the equality of races. This was an error. It was a sandy foundation, and the government built upon it fell when the “storm came and the wind blew.”
Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests upon the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition. [Applause.] This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth. …”
Is this the Georgia of Henry Grady and the Redemption? Is this the Georgia of Tom Watson? Is this the Georgia where Booker T. Washington gave the Atlanta Compromise Speech in 1895? Is this the Georgia of the Atlanta Race Riot of 1906? Is this Jim Crow Georgia where miscegenation was a felony and it was against the law to spread propaganda advocating the mixing of the races?
Is this the Georgia of Gov. Eugene Talmadge aka The Wild Man of Sugar Creek? Is it the Georgia of his son Gov. Herman Talmadge? Is this the Georgia of Sen. Richard Russell who filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Is this the Georgia that voted against the Voting Rights Act of 1965? Is this the Georgia that voted for George Wallace in the 1968 presidential election? Is it the Georgia of Gov. Lester Maddox?
We’re told by Erick Erickson that Georgia was based on an “idea.” The State of Georgia had nothing to do with blood and soil. It was an “experiment in the advancement of individuals.” How is it possible to live in a state with so many public monuments and so many places named after its most famous men – Tom Watson’s statue and General John Brown Gordon’s statue was placed in front of the Georgia State Capitol – and be completely ignorant of its history?
Henry L. Benning, Georgia’s secession commissioner to Virginia, explained why Georgia seceded from the Union while urging the Old Dominion to do the same:
“My proposition, then, I insist, is true, that the North is acquiring this power. That being so, the only question is will she exercise it? Of course she will, for her whole course shows that she will. If things are allowed to go on as they are, it is certain that slavery is to be abolished except in Georgia and the other cotton States, and I doubt, ultimately in these States also. By the time the North shall have attained the power, the black race will be in a large majority, and then we will have black governors, black legislatures, black juries, black everything. [Laughter.] The majority according to the Northern idea, which will then be the all-pervading, all powerful one, have the right to control. It will be in keeping particularly with the principles of the abolitionists that the majority, no matter of what, shall rule. Is it to be supposed that the white race will stand that? It is not a supposable case. Although not half so numerous, we may readily assume that war will break out everywhere like hidden fire from the earth, and it is probable that the white race, being superior in every respect, may push the other back. They will then call upon the authorities at Washington, to aid them in putting down servile insurrection, and they will send a standing armv down upon us, and the volunteers and Wide-Awakes will come in thousands, and we will be overpowered and our men will be compelled to wander like vagabonds all over the earth; and as for our women, the horrors of their state we cannot contemplate in imagination. That is the fate which Abolition will bring upon the white race.
But that is not all of the Abolition war. We will be completely exterminated, and the land will be left in the possession of the blacks, and then it will go back into a wilderness and become another Africa or St. Domingo. The North will then say that the Lord made this earth for his Saints and not for Heathens, and we are his Saints, and the Yankees will come down and drive out the negro.
Sir, this is Abolition to the cotton States. Would you blame us if we sought a remedy to avert that condition of things? What must be the requisites of any remedy that can do it? It must be one which will have one of two qualities. It must be something that will change the unanimity of the North on the slavery question, or something that shall take from them the power over the subject. Any thing that does not contain one of these two requisites is not a remedy for the case; it does not come to the root of the disease. …”
Does Erickson know that Fort Benning in Columbus, GA was named in his honor? Does he know how retarded he sounds when he peddles the preposterous notion that America is an “idea” that had nothing to do with race? His own state passed dozens of segregation laws.
1865: Miscegenation [Statute]
Unlawful for officials to issue marriage licenses to persons of African descent and the other a white person. Penalty: A misdemeanor that carried a fine between $200 and $500, or confinement in jail for three months, or both. Ministers who married such persons also guilty of a misdemeanor, and fined between $500 and $1,000, or confined in jail for six months, or both.
1870: Barred railroad segregation [Statute]
Railroads required to furnish equal accommodations to all, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Penalty: Violators could be sued, and the injured party could collect as much as $10,000.
1872: Education [Statute]
Called for separate schools for white and black children. Penalty: Schools that admitted both races would receive no monies from the public school fund.
1877: Education [Constitution]
Schools shall be free to all children of the state, but separate schools shall be provided for white and black children.
1891: Railroad and streetcars [Statute]
All railroads to furnish equal accommodations, in separate cars, for white and black passengers. Law did not apply to sleeping-cars. Streetcar conductors to assign passengers to seats, separating the races as must as practicable. Penalty: Passengers who did not comply were guilty of a misdemeanor and could be ejected by a conductor.
1895: Education [State Code]
Black and white children not allowed to attend the same school. Penalty: Teachers who taught white and black pupils in the same school would not be compensated out of the public school fund.
1899: Railroads [Statute]
Railroad companies had the right to assign passengers to seats and berths, and would separate white and colored passengers in sleeping cars. White and colored passengers would not be allowed to occupy the same compartment. Companies were not compelled to carry blacks in sleeping cars or parlor cars.
1905: Public accommodations [Statute]
Any person could donate lands to a city for a park, with the condition that the use of a park be limited to the white race only, or to white women and children only, or to the colored race. Municipalities could accept such gifts for the “exclusive use of the class named.”
1908: Penal institutions [Statute]
Separate eating and sleeping accommodations were required for white and black prisoners, and while working.
1925: Business licenses [Statute]
No license would be issued to any person of “the white or Caucasian race to operate a billiard room to be used, frequented, or patronized by persons of the Negro race” and vice versa.
1926: Race classification [State Code]
Classified a “Negro” as any person with at least one quarter Negro blood.
1926: Education [State Code]
Required schools to be racially segregated.Teachers who were guilty of receiving or teaching white and colored pupils in the same school would not be compensated.
1926: Miscegenation [State Code]
Colored clergyman can marry Negroes only. Also nullified interracial marriages if parties went to another jurisdiction where such marriages were legal.
1927: Miscegenation [Statute]
“Unlawful for a white person to marry anyone except a white person.” Another statute enacted the same year changed the law to read that all persons with any ascertainable trace of Negro blood must be classified as persons of color. Penalty: Both races would be imprisoned in the penitentiary for one to two years.
1927: Public accommodations [City Ordinance]
No Negro barber in Atlanta allowed to serve white children under fourteen years of age. Court later declared the ordinance unconstitutional.
1928: Miscegenation [State Code]
Miscegenation declared a felony. Also unlawful for Caucasian persons to marry Asians or Malays.
1928: Race classification [Statute]
Required all persons to fill out voter registration forms with information concerning their racial ancestry. If there was any admixture of Negro blood in the veins of any registrant, person would be considered a person of color.
1931: Public carriers [Statute]
Motor common carriers could confine themselves to carry either white or colored passengers.
1933: Education [State Code]
The board of education was responsible to provide instruction of black and white children in separate schools.
1935: Miscegenation [State Code]
Illegal for a white to marry anyone but a white. Penalty:Felony, one to two years imprisonment.
1935: Health Care [State Code]
Separate mental hospitals to be established for blacks.
1935: Public Carriers [Statute]
Required segregation on all public transportation.
1945: Education [Constitution]
Separate schools to be provided for the white and colored races.
1949: Voting rights [Statute]
Those persons registering to vote were required to correctly answer ten out of thirty questions. Many of the questions were quite difficult.
1955: Voting rights protected [State Code]
Repealed poll tax
1957: Public accommodations and recreation [State Code]
Political subdivisions may alienate parks, etc.
1957: Education [State Code]
No public funds to be allocated to non-segregated schools. Penalty: felony.
1958: Voting rights [Statute]
This statute made voter registration extremely tedious and difficult. Law was designated as “An act to effect a complete revision of the laws of this state relating to the qualification and registration of voters.” For example, one of the questions asked “Under what constitutional classification do you desire to make application for registration?”
1958: Public carriers [State Code]
Segregation on public carriers
1963: Public carrier segregation barred [City Ordinance]
The city of Albany, Ga, repealed the ordinances which had required segregation in transportation, ticket sales and
1963: Public accommodations segregation barred [City Ordinance]
The city of Atlanta passed an ordinance which repealed all city ordinances “which required the separation of persons because of race, color or creed in public transportation, recreation, entertainment and other facilities.
I could spend all day whacking Erickson:
“We, as a nation not tied to blood and soil, could chart new paths through history. We had no aristocracy. …”
What does he think slaveowners were who owned other human beings? Who were referred to as masters? Who had servants and feared servile insurrection?
DeBow’s Review had a very different take:
“We are the most aristocratic people in the world,” DeBow’s continued. “Pride of caste and color and privilege makes every white man an aristocrat in feeling. Aristocracy is the only safeguard of liberty, the only power watchful and strong enough to exclude monarchical despotism.” Another paper proclaimed, “the Norman Cavalier cannot brook into the vulgar familiarity of the Saxon Yankee, while the latter is continually devising some plan to bring down his aristocratic neighbor to his own detested level.”
No, Virginia was founded by gentlemen and had an aristocracy for hundreds of years. Virginia’s ruling class even had its own origin myth of being descended from the Normans:
BTW, South Carolina was named in honor King Charles II, the restored monarch after the fall of Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth of England.
Erickson’s take on immigration:
“Anyone could come here, and so long as they committed themselves to the idea of America, they could become American.”
If they were White, they could come here and become a naturalized citizen. Otherwise, American citizenship was restricted to “White persons” from the Naturalization Act of 1790 until the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952. We excluded the vast majority of the world’s population which is the reason why America was still 90% White until the 1960s. We also excluded anarchists, epileptics and the feebleminded. Most states passed eugenic sterilization laws.