The Urban Plantation

The Democrats have been shouting from the rooftops about their love for Mexicans. This is best reflected in the unabashed loyalty that top Democrats—and the Democratic Party platform—show toward illegal aliens. In the past, Democrats at least paid lip service to the necessity for immigration laws to be enforced, and for all people to obey those laws. The Democratic platform of 2016 subtly left out the term “illegal” or any variation thereof. Instead, it described America’s immigration system as a problem but not illegal immigration. Today, the Democrats are the party that sides with the illegals.

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Under the Obama administration, illegals became a sort of privileged lawbreaking class. Initially, Obama did not hesitate to deport illegals, essentially carrying out the law and continuing policies of the preceding Bush administration. Then Obama changed course and publicly announced that through an exercise of prosecutorial discretion immigration laws would only be enforced against certain types of illegals—namely violent criminals—while so-called “normal” illegals would be left alone. The problem with this arbitrary approach is it sets an informal and unpredictable position and tends to tie the hands of the next administration.

Under Trump, Democrats in blue states are fighting hard to protect illegal aliens from being deported. We’ve all heard about the sanctuary cities that now dot blue states across the country. Mayors of these cities have made their position quite clear: They have no intention of cooperating in the enforcement of immigration laws. On the contrary, they will give “sanctuary” to lawbreakers who seek to evade capture and deportation.

Sanctuary CIties Map

In a 93-page ruling released in early June 2018, a U.S. District judge sided with Philadelphia (in my home state) to retain its sanctuary city status. Philadelphia doesn’t officially label itself a “sanctuary city.” The term, which has no precise legal definition, generally refers to jurisdictions that put rules around or limits on cooperation with federal immigration officers. Per the Office of Immigration Affairs, City of Philadelphia, which believes the phrase has become too politically loaded, Philadelphia prefers to be known as a “Welcoming City.” Philadelphia’s “action guide” on its immigration policies, dated January 8, 2018, states the following under the heading “Get Informed:”

Philadelphia is a city of immigrants. America was founded on the belief that everyone is created equal—and every person means every person, no exceptions. Philadelphia treats immigrants as we would any other resident under our criminal justice system.

The action guide lists several “facts” regarding why immigrants are vital to the City of Philadelphia.

  • The economic impact of Philadelphia’s immigrant population helps the City grow revenue and create jobs. Since 2000, immigrants are responsible for 75% of the workforce growth. Of the nearly one billion dollars in earnings generated by small business owners in Philadelphia, immigrant entrepreneurs are responsible for $295 million of those earnings.
  • Immigrants have played an important role in Philadelphia’s population growth in recent years. Immigrants helped reverse fifty years of population loss, thereby strengthening the City in the eyes of government officials. In some Philadelphia neighborhoods, the influx of immigrants has supposedly prevented destabilizing blight, improved public schools, and help spur growth in neighborhood commercial corridors.
  • More undocumented immigrants live in Philadelphia than in any other large North American city. And many Philadelphia families live in mixed-status households, which means that some family members are documented, but their parents or siblings might not be.

Progressives in California and New York go even further. California Democrats recently passed a law forbidding law enforcement from asking anyone’s immigration status or holding them for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents—unless they have been convicted of a crime. California also passed a law making it a crime for landlords to report illegals to the federal government.

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In New York, even a criminal conviction is not enough to deny illegals the protection of the state. New York’s Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo recently pardoned eighteen alien criminals—no murders, mostly thieves and drug dealers—for the express purpose of saving them from deportation back to Mexico. “These actions,” Cuomo said, “take a critical step toward a more just, more fair and more compassionate New York.”

Okay. Reality check. Illegal aliens are not immigrants. An immigrant is someone who has emigrated legally to this country through a sanctioned immigration process that has been in place since Congress passed the first naturalization law in 1790. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 affected American perspectives on many issues, including immigration. A total of 20 foreign terrorists were involved, 19 of whom took part in the attacks that caused the deaths of 2,977 victims. The terrorists had entered the U.S. on student or tourist visas. Four of these individuals had violated the terms of their visas. The attack exposed long-standing weaknesses in the U.S. immigration system that included failures in visa processing, internal enforcement, and information sharing.

The point of combining illegals and immigrants, however, is to pretend that in resisting illegal immigration, Trump and the Republicans are against the immigrants themselves. The media is complicit with the Democrats in arguing that progressives are the partisans of the poor wretched masses that have poured into this country for nearly two centuries. Democrats point out that Latinos are voting for them over the Republicans two-to-one. In their minds, this proves they are friends and protectors of immigrants. I have just one question, though. How enthusiastic would Democrats be about fighting for illegal aliens and giving them a path to citizenship if, upon securing citizenship, they started wearing Make America Great Again hats and voting Republican? Progressive affinity for illegals seems contingent upon an implicit bargain—a quid pro quo—in which Democrats secure benefits for illegals and in exchange illegals agree to become Democrats.

THE URBAN MACHINE

The urban machine was a creation of the Northern Democrats in the Jacksonian era, and it reflected Democratic power in the cities of the North. The urban plantation was characterized by the fact that it produced nothing. No products. In this respect, it was very different from the rural slave plantations, which produced cotton, sugar cane, rice, tobacco, and so on. Rural slave plantations were designed to be productive. Urban plantations were not. They were both designed as mechanisms for stealing. Yet the thefts in the two cases were different kinds. On the rural slave plantation, the theft was fairly straightforward. One man steals from another man by making him a slave. The product stolen is the slave’s labor. Larceny is effectuated by force.

The rural and urban plantations were connected closely enough that the practices of the former could be drawn upon to describe the practices of the latter. Both operated on a principle that has defined the Democratic Party since its founding: the principle of dependency.

In the urban plantation, the theft is more sophisticated, although no less profitable. The thieves on the urban plantation have a much bigger prey. Here they steal from a much larger group, one made up of the entire body of productive citizens. The target of the urban plantation is taxpayers of all income levels—anyone who contributes to the public treasury. In this scenario, Democrats promise nameless immigrants meager favors—a job reference, a place to stay, money for food—in exchange for something that doesn’t cost the immigrants anything. Their vote. Democrats then use these votes to accumulate enough political power to get their hands on as much of the public treasury as possible. Sadly, taxpayers who have paid into the system have no idea what is being done with their money. This all started in the mid-nineteenth century through the model of the urban plantation—the urban political machine—which was also an ethnic machine.

MARTIN VAN BUREN AND THE DEMOCRATIC MACHINE

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Contemporary  and modern accounts agree that Van Buren virtually singlehandedly created the urban political machine, and he also helped forge the winning alliance that not only propelled Andrew Jackson and then Van Buren himself to the presidency, but also sustained the Democratic Party as the majority party for forty years. Incredibly, Van Buren did all this before he became president.

We may say of Van Buren what we might say of the younger Democrat Stephen Douglas, who would rise to prominence in the 1850s: neither of them actually cared whether slavery was voted up or down. What Lincoln later said of Douglas—that he had “no very vivid impression that the Negro is a human”—would also apply to Van Buren. He was an unscrupulous man in the process of creating an unscrupulous party who would stop at nothing to take America hostage and attempt to recreate her in their own image. Van Buren’s interest in the planter class was merely political.

Starting in the mid-nineteenth century and continuing through the early twentieth, America experienced one of the largest immigrations in human history—the uprooted from Europe. Some thirty-five million people left their homelands in Europe and moved to the United States. They were running for their lives. Six million came from the region that fell to the Germans, four and a half million from Ireland, four million from Great Britain, almost five million from Italy, two million from the Scandinavian countries, three million from Greece, Macedonia and Armenia, and eight million or so more from the east: namely Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Ukraine. We say these individuals were immigrants, but most of them in fact were refugees. They all were fleeing something. So these were the people who washed up on the shores of the United States after permanently cutting their ties with the past.

Post WW2 Immigrants

These immigrants  faced the immediate, pressing need of finding a livelihood and of adjusting to conditions that were completely unfamiliar. In their misery, Van Buren saw a political opportunity. He knew these people well, having been a first-generation American of Dutch immigrant parents.  And seeing the starving hordes—lost souls if there ever were such people—wandering aimlessly in cities like New York, Van Buren noticed that they resembled a group that he had become quite familiar with in his travels through the South: American slaves. So Van Buren said, “Why not re-create the Democratic model of the rural plantation in the Northern cities?” In other words, why not make the new immigrants just as dependent on the Democratic Party in the North as the slaves were dependent on the Democratic planters of the South?

Obviously, the immigrants and refugees were not slaves; they could not be held by force. Also, the new immigrants were white. But the deeper point is that both groups—the immigrants and the slaves—were wretched, impoverished, helpless. Their whiteness didn’t even matter to Van Buren. He saw only a clannish solidarity—people huddled together looking for solace and assistance from fellow countrymen. Van Buren saw that the slaves, in a parallel if not similar situation, had created precisely this sort of communal solidarity to survive on the plantation. From the immigrant yearning for survival and security that he well understood, and from their collective ethnic identity that he carefully observed, Van Buren realized the possibility for creating the same type of enduring dependency he had witnessed on the slave plantation, but this time in the Northern cities. The Democratic machine demanded complete allegiance. The machine’s agenda became the immigrants’ agenda. The machine told them how to vote and required them to campaign for its entire slate during elections. Its currency wasn’t patriotism; it was party loyalty.

Piles of Cash

For Van Buren, the treasury was not a fund of tax money accumulated to finance and promote the common good; rather, it was a prize to be distributed to those who enabled politicians like Van Buren to dip their hands into the treasury. It’s as though Van Buren’s mantra was To the victor go the spoils! Politics wasn’t a vocation; it was a business. While progressives admit that the Democratic urban machines were a for-profit enterprise, thoroughly imbued with corruption and election-rigging, they insist that the bosses gave immigrants a “voice.” Yet this “voice” was nothing more than the ventriloquist preferences of the bosses themselves. Plain and simple.

Much has changed. The Democrats gave up their system of ethnic mobilization under Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s, then took it up once again under Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s. Today, Democrats don’t bother to mobilize white ethnics anymore; they have moved on to other groups: blacks, Latinos, feminists, homosexuals. The old Tammany Hall regime is gone now, but what Tammany represents—the dehumanizing system of Democratic ethnic exploitation that Van Buren created—is still very much with us today.

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.

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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.”

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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

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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.

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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.