Rebuilding the Plantation

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Abraham Lincoln expressed a concern (what some call his “nightmare”) that all of America would become a plantation. Let’s take a few minutes to discuss the concept of plantation politics. Use of the word plantation to describe the relationship between black Americans and their political patrons is an unfortunate staple of contemporary rhetoric. An article in The Nation dated July 24, 2013 states

The conservative plantation theory holds that African Americans support the Democratic party in exchange for welfare benefits and other handouts, that the Democratic party cultivates black welfare dependency in order to keep black voters firmly in their camp, and that the liberal establishment through either incompetence or cynical calculation frustrates the aspirations of black Americans in critical areas such as education, family life, crime, and economic mobility.

THE ORIGIN OF PLANTATION POLITICS

Black professionals in Chicago and Detroit have much to say about the liberal practice of plantation politics, which they claim led to many blacks in our inner cities being very poor and under-educated. Educated, upper-middle-class black professionals use the term plantation politics to describe ways in which they feel some black people hold themselves back socially and economically—as though they feel they are still living and working “down on the plantation.” For example, there is prevailing anti-intellectualism among poor black men, who view higher education and “white-collar” black professionals as being too white. Many black men have a tendency of confining themselves to being uneducated and holding down blue-collar jobs. Granted, the plantation system of the South was involuntary—it was based on forcibly confining slaves. Today, Democrats don’t have anyone penned up, and they aren’t forcing anyone to work. That’s not what this problem is about in the twenty-first century.

Housing Project in Baltimore

Not all inner city blacks purposely decide to remain poor. For many others, their fate is decided in a rigged game—a system of institutionalized racism promoted by the liberal policies of the federal government, who has adopted the role of caretaker or “plantation owner.” This socioeconomic ploy fosters low expectations for personal achievement and locks blacks out of good education, high-paying careers, and so on. Progressives use smoke-and-mirrors to conceal the truth of their agenda. The “party line” body of facts and evidence sets fixed parameters for debate and narrows the scope for big lies. While progressives are entitled to their own opinions, they are not entitled to their own facts.

The antebellum Democrats regarded the old plantation as a “good thing.” Democratic senator James Chestnut believed his slaves had it so good on his South Carolina plantation that they cost more than the work they produced. Asked if he ever had runaways, he replied, “Never! It’s pretty hard work to keep me from running away from them!” Chestnut’s wife, Mary, was convinced that the plantation had become not merely a prison of the body but also a prison of the mind. It held its slave population in debased psychological confinement even when there was the opportunity to get up and leave. I believe this insight into the mind of a slave helps drive the modern Democratic Party. It’s their “secret weapon.” Democrats realized that long after slavery ended they could create a new type of plantation—one that would degrade and imprison the minds of their inhabitants so that very few would want to leave.

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The old plantation was rural; today’s Democrats are largely urban. Slavery was not entirely a Southern institution. Today’s Democrats have their base in the North and on the coasts. The plantation was initially sustained through an ideology of states’ rights. Today’s Democrats are the Party of centralized government that opposes states’ rights. The urban machines were themselves based on the slave plantation. Historians correctly credit Martin Van Buren as the man who invented the Northern Democratic machine. Van Buren literally adopted the Democrats’ plantation model to urban conditions. It was easy to adopt this posture with black Americans. Their collective spirit was first crushed (during slavery), then elevated (at the announcement of their emancipation), and now disillusioned (under today’s New Jim Crow). Thankfully, more black Democrats are seeing the Party and its progressive agenda for what it is and they’re jumping ship.

The old plantation was destroyed by the Civil War. Prior to that, the plantation was the model of Democratic governance and Democratic political domination. Democrats had concocted a whole ideology to uphold and defend the plantation. This Democratic apologia for slavery as being a beneficial institution worthy of praise and expansion was radically different from the founders’ shared understanding of slavery as a necessary evil that should be curbed until it could be abolished. The founders hoped that slavery would disappear and they expected it to.  As early as 1782, Thomas Jefferson saw “…a change already perceptible… for a total emancipation.” Jefferson founded the Democratic-Republican Party, which formally became simply the Republican Party.

REBUILDING THE PLANTATION

Progressive Democrats, led by Woodrow Wilson, sought to rebuild a new type of plantation for the twentieth century. They were quite familiar with the old plantation, being just one generation removed from it. Contrary to the history books, which assiduously camouflage this fact, progressives are the ones who invented white nationalism and white supremacy in their modern and most virulent forms for the purpose of keeping poor whites in the grips of the Democratic Party. Progressives, in other words, were America’s original hate group, and their opponents, the conservative Republicans, were the original champions of the notion that “black lives matter.”

Big Government Strong Government

The progressives strongly support a centralized government (the “Big House”), and they rely on racial terrorism and eugenics for controlling the population of their new plantation and maintaining adequate quality control. Through progressivism, Wilson inaugurated the “birth of a nation” that departed significantly from that which was intended by the Founding Fathers—a new birth represented by the ominous symbol of the night-riding Ku Klux Klan, which served as the domestic terrorist arm of the Democratic Party. How much of this were you taught in high school history and government classes?

It was Franklin D. Roosevelt who institutionalized progressivism in the operations of government and thus created the foundation for the modern Democratic Party. FDR began by replacing the Democratic urban machines with the labor union movement and local Democratic Party bosses with a national boss—namely himself. FDR also instituted the 100 percent marginal tax rate. Tax and spend? Hmmm. Even his Democratic Congress balked and lowered the top rate to 90 percent, though it crept up to a high of 94 percent during World War II. FDR insisted that Americans who earned enough to live comfortably should not be allowed to keep any more income beyond that point. FDR was the first to seek to implement the Democratic vision of a national plantation.

By the 1930s, we can see in FDR’s version of the plantation the familiar outlines that define the Democratic Party today. Today’s Democrats have the same attachment to the centralized state (the new Big House) and they display a discernible fascist streak when, for example, they use the instruments of the state against their political opponents. But we cannot stop with FDR; the picture is incomplete without showing how Lyndon Johnson again modified the plantation in the 1960s, and how Bill Clinton and Barack Obama further expanded it in recent decades.

OBAMA AND PLANTATION POLITICS

Obama 01

According to Black Republican Blog, in order to acquire and maintain power, President Barack Obama adopted the Democratic Party’s strategy of keeping blacks poor, angry and voting for Democrats. Using the politics of poverty and race-baiting, Obama garnered nearly 96 percent of the black vote that helped propel him to the pinnacle of power. Obama then used that power to accomplish his liberal agenda, which included wrecking our economy and weakening our national defense, leaving us vulnerable to additional terrorist attacks. Prominent blacks have publicly stated that Obama tried to destroy the free enterprise system in America and change America into a socialist nation with growth-killing taxes, the take-over of private businesses through government bailouts, and trillions of dollars in irresponsible deficit spending on wasteful social programs.

While professing to care about the plight of the poor, Obama took numerous actions during his presidency that actually kept blacks impoverished, so he could use black grievances for partisan political gain. Take a look at an excerpt from “Grim Proving Ground for Obama’s Housing Policy” published June 27, 2008 on Boston.com:

The squat brick buildings of Grove Parc Plaza, in a dense neighborhood that Barack Obama represented for eight years as a state senator, hold 504 apartments subsidized by the federal government for people who can’t afford to live anywhere else. But it’s not safe to live here. About 99 of the units are vacant, many rendered uninhabitable by unfixed problems, such as collapsed roofs and fire damage. Mice scamper through the halls. Battered mailboxes hang open. Sewage backs up into kitchen sinks. In 2006, federal inspectors graded the condition of the complex at 11 out of 100. A score so bad the buildings had to be demolished… a Globe review found that thousands of apartments across Chicago that had been built with local, state and federal subsidies—including several hundred in Obama’s former district—deteriorated so completely that no one could live in them.

In a video posted to YouTube in 2012 titled “Bishop E.W. Jackson Message to Black Christians,” Jackson said

It is time to end the slavish devotion to the Democratic Party. They have insulted us, used us and manipulated us. They have saturated the black community with ridiculous lies: “Unless we support the Democratic Party, we will be returned to slavery. We will be robbed of voting rights. The Martin Luther King holiday will be repealed.” They think we’re stupid and these lies will hold us captive while they violate everything we believe as Christians… shame on us for allowing ourselves to be sold to the highest bidder. We belong to God. Our ancestors were sold against their will centuries ago, but we’re going to be the slave market voluntarily today.

New York Times 01

In an online New York Times article published May 22, 2013, written by Charles M. Blow, the Democratic Plantation Nation theory goes something like this: Democrats use the government to addict and incapacitate blacks by giving them free things—welfare, food stamps, cell phones, and the like. This serves to render black families dependent on and beholden to said government programs and the Democratic Party. Here’s an aside: beholden to means “owing thanks or having a duty to someone in return for help.” Synonyms include indebted, in someone’s debt, or under obligation. In the instant example, indebtedness calls for blacks voting for the Party that keeps giving them free stuff. Hopefully, it is painfully obvious to at least some of you that the Democrats do not have the best interests of blacks in mind—nor Mexican-Americans, Chinese-Americans, Muslim-Americans. Rather, it’s about fueling the machine.

According to an online article at motherjones.com, dated September 19, 2010, Mitt Romney made the following comment during a fundraising speech in Florida:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for [Obama] no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what… These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect. And he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that’s what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people—I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not, what it looks like.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

When you think of the black community in America, what initial images come to mind? Do you think problems, poverty and pain? Do you see its people as inferior, uneducated, incapable, dependent? Do you envision its future as hopeless, helpless, and habitual? Progress for the black community as a whole is actually impeded by “it has always been this way” attitudes. Such a mindset creates a condition primed for plantation politics. It seems to me—and I admit I’m speaking as a white male who cannot begin to understand what blacks have been put through in this country—that black consciousness has always been defined by a sense of vulnerability. And so common political appeals to blacks have played on fears that the country is incorrigibly racist and that their only hope is to take their piece of the pie by any means necessary. Can’t say I blame them.

What I will say, however, is that we can best serve the black community by exposing the Democratic Party (the liberals and the progressives) as the plantation owners they’ve set themselves up to be. The ideology of the Republican Party is essentially the same as it was during the time of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln defined slavery as “you work, I eat,” and that is the core philosophy of today’s Democratic Party, no less than the Democratic Party of Lincoln’s day. By contrast, the core philosophy of today’s GOP is identical with that of Lincoln: “I always thought the man who made the corn should eat the corn.”

In his seminal book The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South, Kenneth M. Stamp (1956) wrote, “Prior to the civil war southern slavery was America’s most profound and vexatious social problem. More than any other problem, slavery nagged at the public conscience; offering no easy solution, it demanded statesmanship of uncommon vision, wisdom and boldness. This institution deserves close study if only because its impact upon the whole country was disastrous.” Stamp also notes that slavery cannot be attributed to some irresistible force in the economics of the South. The use of slaves in southern agriculture was a deliberate choice—one among many available to plantation owners—made by men who sought greater profits than what they could attain through their own blood, sweat and tears, and who found domestic labor prices to be too high to sustain maximum profitability. Slavery was, of course, a commercial success, and it was still flourishing as late as 1860. In its broad sense, however, slavery must be considered a complete failure.

When white liberals or progressives imply that any politically-aware black American who is not left-Democrat is either suicidal or insane, they are essentially “keeping the Blacks on the liberal plantation.” Blacks who are not left-Democrat are spoken of as having “bolted off the liberal plantation.” A not-so-endearing term for this type of black man is Uncle Tom. An important facet of this paradigm is that the “liberal plantation” is figuratively a “plantation” because it uses Black voters to serve mostly the interests of a white liberal establishment, not the interests of the Black American voters themselves. What this indicates to me is that Democrats care about maintaining the political machine they’ve created, which must include “enslaving” citizens to the Party as a sort-of quid pro quo. They’ve become so desperate that they’re willing to underwrite any policy that ensures dependency of blacks, immigrants, and other minority groups on the federal government. In essence, Washington has become the new Big House of the plantation.

 

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