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Isabel Wilkerson noted yesterday that 2022 is a year of significance in that it represents the point in our history where the time of emancipation of black people exceeds their time of enslavement.

What better way to honor the moment than to pass the voting rights legislation now before the Senate into law?

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The future of our democracy depends on the passage of the voting rights legislation and the cessation of the filibuster.

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CORRECT

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Twenty words that say it all!

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It’s a good start.

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Elaine F Lawson, may I quote you? With your name or anonymous?

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This fact should be a rallying cry for voting rights legislation. Time to finish the job.

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Herb, what a great idea.

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READ WILKERSON

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Great post and good question!

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... talk about a tipping point!!

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The only way that will happen is to get rid of the damned filibuster.

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I love that. Amen!

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Good morning Herb. Was this in an essay or interview that Ms. Wilkerson gave recently?

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It was a quote in her Facebook post yesterday. It’s in her book, “Caste.” She notes that slavery existed in the US from 1619 to until 1865, so on July 4, 2022 the US have been will be a country longer than slavery existed.

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Thank you Herb. Yes. I remember that from her book. I am grateful every day for writers such as her. Was and is my most significant read last year. I reread her experience that she writes of on pgs 52-53 frequently.

She ends with the statement “None of us are ourselves.”

When we firmly and adamantly refuse the process of ranking (which historically spurred the new concept of race), then we will not accept the casting of our assigned roles to meet needs of “production”.

The most brilliant remedies are many times simply to act abundantly and compassionately human as our Creator intended. It is the Original Download. And there is no opposite, hard as some may try.

Happy New Year!

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My limited math skills put the year at 2112, not 2022

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Upon re-reading the post, I think that what is being compared is 1619 to 1865 vs 1776 to 2022...which then makes sense.

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That would make the first year of enslavement 1705. Is that correct?

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Jan 3, 2022·edited Jan 3, 2022

Only from a legalistic standpoint. That's the year Virginia passed An act concerning Servants and Slaves, which codified slavery into law. (It's also known as the Virginia Slave Codes of 1705.)

We've had slaves in America since 1619, when the first slaves from Africa arrived in Virginia.

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Very significant indeed, thank you Isabel Wilkerson

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God writes straight using crooked lines. Antebellum Republicans wanted to curb slavery in the western territories in order to gain control of the US economy/government. It took a series of Union defeats to create conditions necessary to end slavery in Confederate controlled areas - not for moral reasons, but because slaves were seen as aiding the South's war effort. Lincoln's unparalleled breadth of vision and granular knowledge of the politics of his day put him in position to act.The effect was the Emancipation Proclamation. It is doubtful that would have come about without all the conditions leading up to it.

The parallels to today are astounding and scary - right down to the series of Democratic defeats. 1/6/21 was a gift in the sense that it showed who we are up against, what they are willing to do, and what their real motives are. How many more defeats is it going to take in order to galvanize Democrats and a few Republicans to act in order to save our republic (whatever the motive)?

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The truth told here of the emancipation proclamation story isn't pretty, poetic, or idealistic; as the myth-makers would have it, and as I had believed. Thanks, Heather, for sharpening the lens and revealing the political moves, etc. that led to this. Real and fascinating.

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Yes, Margaret, my knowledge of American history is weak, but reading Heather’s posts has highlighted the complexity and background of our history. She is so good at tying history to our present struggles and giving us a fuller picture.

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Don’t you wonder why WE were taught what I’d call a sanitized version of history? I always liked history but I never knew the details of the Civil War Heather has taught us (and I’m old). I guess manipulating teaching history has long been a thing; I thought it was recent.

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Because white people wrote the books about other white people being the best people. Because people like Laura Ingalls Wilder captivated the hearts and minds of generations of people with her sugar coated, struggling pioneer crap.

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That hagiographic drivel was what turned me off American history. I did end up with a history degree but specialised in medieval Europe. I've probably learned more about REAL American history from Heather than I did the whole time I was in school!

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Hear, hear!

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because that was what got published! I am sure there were other writers. I hope none of them were murdered.

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Well, that's another good point.

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I agree.

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“As I had believed” things that they sent the slaves back to the enslavers , that Lincoln wanted to compensate the slave holds for there lose. My comment to that is “No way! Really” After two years of reading your letters I find there are big piece I still don’t understand. Thank you again for being light and knowledge to “We the the people.”

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Great point Margaret!

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Roll up your sleeves, America. This fight will occupy every aspect of our lives for a decade or more... this is the ball game... and we are in the last of the ninth... far behind.

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But with an excellent batting order. This is how great wins are achieved.

Happy New Year, Sandy Lewis.

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The game will go on, setting a record for extra innings.

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I’d say we’re in the stretch half of the seventh, tied.

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And with a line up of what kind of batters?

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Jan 2, 2022·edited Jan 2, 2022

And here is an excellent piece from The Guardian on just how the Republicans plan to take back the Congress.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/01/republicans-sow-outrage-trump-style-2022-midterms-house-senate

Republicans aim to sow outrage, Trump-style, with an eye on 2022 midterms

Republicans embrace the culture war battles Trump waged, as a strategy for winning back control of the House and Senate

“Lean into the culture war,” was the title of a June memo from the leader of the House Republican Study Committee, Indiana congressman Jim Banks…

“We have a plan to give you a better country, and they have a ploy to win back power for themselves,” said New York congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “We are tackling the tough problems of the economy and the pandemic. They seek only to win power and will say or do anything to achieve that.”

The party controlling the White House typically loses seats in the first midterm elections of a new presidency. With Biden’s plunging poll numbers, uncertainty over the centerpiece of his legislative agenda and Republicans’ redistricting edge, Democrats are increasingly dour about their chances. In the House, Democrats can only afford to lose a handful of seats; in the Senate they cannot afford to lose a single one.

Grievance politics is not a new strategy for Republicans. In 1968, Richard Nixon employed the “Southern Strategy” to exploit white racial grievances coded in language such as “law and order” and “states’ rights”. But as partisanship grows and the parties become increasingly hostile to one another, so too has the potential political benefit of cultural warfare that inflames division and energizes their base...

While Democrats agree they have a problem, they are at odds over how to fix it.

Some argue that the party has moved too far left on cultural issues, a shift that has alienated non-college educated white voters and, increasingly, working-class Latino and Black Americans. Another cohort believes that instead of trying to recapture the voters who have abandoned the party, Democrats should find a message that appeals to a diversifying electorate.“

On January 3, 2023 the new Congress will be sworn in. It’s my belief that for the Democrats agenda it’s now or never.

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" With Biden’s plunging poll numbers, uncertainty over the centerpiece of his legislative agenda and Republicans’ redistricting edge, ..."

Here is some data on Biden's poll numbers. The plunge occurred in August 2021 with the Afghanistan withdrawal. Since then Biden's poll numbers have remained relatively steady. See 538 poll for the trends.

"uncertainty over the centerpiece..." I assume you are referring to Build Back Better. It is difficult to say if the BBB is more of a centerpiece than the Recovery Act or the Child Care Tax Credit Act. I refer you to: "What Has Joe Biden Done As President? The Full List Of His Accomplishments November 16, 2021 by Oliver Willis. In addition there are a whole lot of credible articles on what is being called the Biden Boom in the economy. Apparently the BBB is not hurting Biden at this moment at all.

..."dour about their chances...." I haven't seen prominent Democrats saying this.

My point. Who do we believe? The media with their constant bell ringing about plunging poll numbers etc. or esteemed people like Dr. Richardson and Eric Boelhert?

Can we please begin the new year with a factual and positive message of our own? The media is painting the Democrats as huddling in a corner after a bad first year cowering in fear of the midterms. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Messaging is everything at this point. Let's do our part in that messaging and not repeat what the media is putting out there.

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Barbara You are spot on! In my lifetime only FDR assumed office with a more endangered ship of state than President Biden. FDR said that it was imperative that he act boldly and that a 70% success rate would be great with his shotgun approach. President Biden’s success rate has been even higher.

At his inaugural, FDR declared that “all we have to fear is fear itself.” The country swiftly took heart. In sharp contrast, the 1/6 Capitol Building insurrection preceded President Biden’s inauguration and Trumpites have been staccato fear mongers ever since.

President Biden has guided our American ship of state professionally through three pandemic hurricanes. When American citizens and companies urgently required cash in their jeans, the Democratic Congress provided this with not a single Republican vote. The American economy, during this horrific storm, is the envy of much of the world. Unemployment has fallen and employment has risen faster than in any time in recent American history.

The Biden team has turned around the Trumptanic on the environment, in supporting workers, in reestablishing our global stature (while dissing Trump’s authoritarian buddies), and in pursuing social infrastructure legislation that would enhance a 21st century America for a large majority of its citizens. By mid-late-2022 President Biden should confidently be able to declare IT’S MORNING AGAIN IN AMERICA.

BIG LIE, 1/6 Capitol Building insurrection, woke/Dr. Seuss, and white supremacy could sink our democratic ship of state. LET OUR POSITIVE MESSAGE OF HOPE AND SUCCESS RING OUT!

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FDR had a large majority in both houses in 1933. Biden has the slimmest possible majority in the senate and house. Unless the pandemic slows and inflation lessens, democrats will have to fight hard to maintain even these slim majorities. And with people like Manchin and Sinema, (who give cover to other “moderates”) it’s not assured that any part of Biden’s agenda will pass. I hope I’m wrong.

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Thank you for calling out the elephant in the room. I read the list of Biden's accomplishments and you are right, the mainstream media is painting a very different picture. It is so frustrating to hear the doom and gloom on a daily basis. I believe it has everything to do with ratings and a capitalistic society that continues to perpetuate the money machine.

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Jan 2, 2022·edited Jan 2, 2022

We must urge "the corporate media and public TV and radio" to stop putting tRump in the public eyes and ears of the nation and instead to begin writing and showing what the real people are doing, not just these two major party's that in different ways cow tow to corporations and the Pentagon. When other presidents won elections, how often in the next four years did we receive daily media using the previous president's name, image, and message?

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Agree. It is absolutely true that the media is addicted to trump and his drama.

Anyway. If repeating a lie often will result in it being believed then why not the same of a truth? We can't change the media really. Except. Cancelling subscriptions speaks volumes. Writing Congress speaks huge volumes.

I keep my subscription to the now right wing Washington Post so I can post the truth to their lies. I post the data facts, copy and paste from articles speaking the factual truths and provide links to articles. The New York Times won't post my comments anymore because I kept criticizing their trump addiction. (I had previously been a NYT pick for my comments.) Oh well.

And I spend what money I can on elections like Stacy Abrams and loud pro Democracy voices like The Lincoln Project.

We can live in the solutions instead of the problem.

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I, too, subscribe to WAPO. Last year(2021) the Post's new editor is a woman who used to edit NYT. I still tell folks here on HCR's great Letters that hey should watch Democracy Now! where they get real truths from real people.

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The number of allegedly factual articles and outrageously lying op eds in the Washington Post that are anti-Biden on any given week is staggering. I cite HCR frequently. Most people are too busy trolling to deal with even a bolded, italicized truncated version of what Dr. Richardson and others are writing but every now and then a discussion concerning the actual facts and a rebuttal of what the op ed author (Thiessen for example) ensues. It is a tedious process.

For example. I was an early member of the Lincoln Project and began quoting them and providing links for their very provocative political ads. Little bit by little bit people commenting began to cite them as well. I view the Lincoln Project as playing a pivotal role in helping to defeat trump. It is a fact their ads drove him crazy. They even spent money to focus on the deep blue DC market just so he would see them. And I still support them today.

I am one Democratic Party citizen of this Country tucked in a corner of a ruby red State. We will keep on keeping on with our message however small.

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I subscribe to WaPo & NYT. I work at not clicking on the right wing op-eds (Esp Thiessen & Henry Olsen) in the hopes that if the number of clicks falls, they will be dropped.

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I believe Thiessen and friends are fertile ground to counter their lies. I post counter arguments all the time there.

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Every time I read a story that tries to float on sloppy researchor non-existent back grounding, I write a letter pointing out the failures of the writer, the editor, and not infrequently, the headline writer. This is by no means my first letter here (I took some time off, but read both letters and comments almost every day). But I have written dozens of letters to various media calling out their failure to actually cover news. As have many others. We seem to have made some effect. Recently, several of those outlets began to shift, to my great relief. These are the leaders in responsible journalism. That gives me hope.

(Hello to all my friends and the new folks: I've missed you all.)

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Could you share those outlets? I mainly get my information here and the Guardian. Also, I'm guilty of watching mainstream media such as CNN and MSNBC.

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Oh, gosh, long ago I listed some of them, but read widely in general. I've cut some out to keep my inbox manageabl. The basic rule I have is that I do not read only those outlets I largely agree with: they range over a large area. Some I pay for, some I don't need to. I do check what you call the mainstream media on a regular basis. Nothing wrong with that, and often those are the people who need to hear from us. When we write, we need to maintain civility, express ourselves clearly & succinctly, avoid name-called and snide comments. I read letters who do that and cringe: it hurts what we need to do, which is shift the mainstream's perspective from the one-note journalism that so many of them get caught up on, and direct them to sources or concepts they are missing. This actually works.

I subscribe to or read regularly WaPo, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The Press Club, Brennan Center, The New Republic, High Country News, Aeon, Yes! magazine, and odds and ends that range from honestly conservative to deeply progressive. I still don't have a sub to The New Yorker and wish I did: the writing is exquisite and deep.

I have the time and inclination to do this. I'd suggest those with more on their table to pick a few and read closely, let them know when they've got it right so they'll pay attention when you point out where they've gone off-track. I often follow specific reporters and write them directly if comments aren't accepted online.

There are many outlets among those above who sponsor free streaming of panel discussions and interviews with fascinating players across the board. WaPo has excellent ones, and I think Brennon Center is a must both for articles and live/video discussions. Check major libraries and history associations for interesting and illuminating discussions, too. All free.

One more thing: get acquainted if you can with those media outlets that cover local and state matters in your area. See how they differ on their coverage. Know the issues and which politicians support what. Learn their tactics. Find a local activist group you feel comfortable with to join.

We need to do this perhaps even more than cramming ourselves with national stuff-- because elections are coming up at the state and local levels that will set the tone for at least a decade and could impact what happens nationally as local folks move into national positions. We need to pay attention to those folks NOW, this year, to help protect our democracy in the future.

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This is so valuable! Thank You for your work and for sharing what you are doing. Do you also write NPR? They are really abusing the both sides angle. I've heard them letting some people get away with saying outrageously false things.

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Excellent suggestions and advice; especially getting involved locally. Thank you!

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Oh, and one more thing: try every day to read one short poem that has nothing to do with politics! It's like looking out the window and refreshing one's view.

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Yes indeed. As a 2nd grade teacher, we do a poem every week. My favorite part of our week.

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My go to poets are Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry. You?

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Barbara, you write exactly as I believe; most of the media are doomsayers when it comes to Democrats... where are the stories of the Biden Boom, GDP, stock market gains, infrastructure, easing of the log jams at the ports!! Go Biden and go us! 2022 needs us desperately and we need to show up!

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Scream it from the rooftops, replace (or add) chump’s Big Lie with chump the BIGGEST LOSER. It would drive him nuts.

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Who can match Rupert’s bull horn of bull Schitt

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I could give you a dozen more "likes." That's how much I like your message.

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I remember well, chump was more of the same only worse. He is undoubtably the BIGGEST LOSER in the country and maybe the world. Wish those two words could go viral.

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Every day these ideologues show us how incompetent and unable to govern they are. The “voter fraud” team in Wisconsin just subpoenaed counties for documents related to Dominion machines which they don’t use.

They resent their responsibilities yet insist they won. Mind boggling.

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To paraphrase Paul Krugman, competence seems to have a liberal bent. Wish people knew that.

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Grace, are you aware that a group of Republicans actually went so far as to forge Electoral College results saying that TFG won? This was done on December 14th 2020 at the State House while the REAL Electors met on the same day and in a different location within the State House. Rachel Maddow covered that shortly after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on that situation on the same day, De. 14 2020. Rachel discussed the situation again on her 12/21/21 show.

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Jan 3, 2022·edited Jan 3, 2022

Oh, that was brilliant. Then they tried to get into the proceedings, but were turned away by security. Do you know if charges will be filed for that stunt?

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Grievance politics is certainly the correct characterization of Republican strategies at present. They have nothing to offer their voters but whining and complaining about what they see as travails and injustices. They offer not a single policy designed to improve the lives of their voters, strengthen our country, or make the world a better place for all. It is a shame that those who vote for them cannot see the truth of their irresponsibility of lack of concern for the general welfare. I suggest a remedial course of civics instruction for them all is essential.

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Jan 2, 2022·edited Jan 2, 2022

H.A., I was not so favorably disposed to the Guardian's article about the Republicans' plans to take back the House and Senate. It was jampacked with familiar Republican talking points providing little info to dispute them, which would not be difficult to do, and, importantly, repeated the false claim of the country's ' deep economic malaise'. For a more factual and economy oriented report, U.S. News' 'Will 2022 Be Naughty or Nice for the Economy…Or Both?' would be instructive. However, it is not about the Republicans' well known duplicity, which, unfortunately the Democrats have not yet learned how to counter or to provide a terrific story of their own. For an overall review on the economy you may be interested in the U.S.News article.

'The U.S. economy has been on a roller coaster ride the past two years, as coronavirus and the emergency government response to it brought on both the sharpest, shortest recession in history as well as the fastest growth in nearly 40 years.'

'Despite generally upbeat forecasts, albeit with growth slowing down from the rapid rate of the final months of 2021, there is considerable uncertainty at year-end. But if 2021 proved anything, it is this: Do not underestimate the resiliency of the American economy and consumers propensity to spend despite a plethora of roadblocks put in their way.'

'First, the good news:'

'The labor market continues to improve, with the unemployment rate down to 4.2% from 14.8% in the earliest days of the pandemic in April of 2020.

Consumer demand remains strong, with wallets and bank accounts flush with pandemic payouts, rising wages and a year of record housing prices and strong stock market performance.'

'Industrial production increased 0.5% in November after a 1.7% gain in October, while motor vehicle assemblies rose to a 9.35 million annual rate, the highest since May and possibly a sign that supply chain issues are abating. Meanwhile, a recent survey of corporate financial officers by Deloitte found 97% expect their spending on labor to increase in 2022, with the CFOs also raising their planned capital spending, hiring and compensation higher than in the previous quarter.'

'The recently released Wilmington Trust’s 2022 Business Owners Success Survey found “business owner optimism and confidence in the U.S. economy and their own businesses are almost back to pre-pandemic levels with 77% saying they are very optimistic about their business prospects – approaching the 81% who answered the same just before the pandemic.”

'Now, the bad news:'

'Omicron is highly transmissible, although those who become infected so far appear to be suffering mainly mild symptoms. But how people react to increasing caseloads – and how communities try to mitigate omicron's harm – could have a negative impact on the economy.'

'The Fed is ending the nation's love affair with easy money as it shifts away from accommodative monetary policies and raises interest rates to cool off inflation. The fear is that, as the Fed tries to engineer a soft landing, consumers could endure significant turbulence – or even worse' (USNews) Link for the full article is below.

https://www.usnews.com/news/the-report/articles/2021-12-23/will-2022-be-naughty-or-nice-for-the-economy-or-both

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Thank you for this. I just posted the following on a Hewitt article in WaPo.

It’s a Biden Boom—and No One Has Noticed Yet. If the current high levels of economic, job, and income growth continue, the 2022 midterms could look different than most are predicting.

by https://washingtonmonthly.com/people/robert-j-shapiro/

December 9, 2021

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That possibility was also noted in the US News article. We're on 'the nothing but the facts' team! Cheers, Barbara!

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My local paper has Hewitt and Thiessen op Ed’s. They lie with authority. I object every 30 days.

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Culture warriors lose more often than they win.

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The dilemma (and so hesitation and stagnation) for the Dems is that of changing the status quo - that of the rich ruling.

The people are screaming for it, but neither the Dems or the Repubs want it. - It means they lose out (since they were (almost) all elected by money. If those changes go through, they fear they will lose power (and many will, *cough* Manchin *cough*).

Hence the dilemma: how to stay in power while appeasing the people’s wish to limit moneyed power.

The R’s have a plan, but the D’s have no idea and that’s why they’re floundering.

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and I think, Ric, you have pinpointed why this country is what it is.

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A few of them are not floundering. Cannot stay now but hope we can continue this conversation another time.

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History is seldom as glorious and inspiring as sometimes told. However, it’s truths are what are instructive and help us best to understand the present and chart a better course for the future. This understanding of history is what should guide our study of it. We should seek not its falsehoods or vain glories to salve our guilt but seek its truths, however ugly they may be, to better instruct us.

Thank you Dr. Richardson both for serving us these lessons and helping us understand their significance.

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For the exact same reasons, I think statues of people should be banned unless they signify very specific event or action. People are complex and should not be held up above others because everyone has a dark side. We should applaud specific behaviors, not general attributions.

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I agree with you, Kim.

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I think Trump, all along, showed us where our hose is leaky. A lot more leaky than anyone knew! Certainly me anyways. However, who is listening, who is paying attention, who is noticing? And who is using the leaks and happily, angrily, selfishly, to stupidly make an ocean that will drown us at high tide on a full moon?

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Coincidentally, my garden hose has sprung a leak which I have repeatedly remedied with tape, but sooner or later, I will throw it out and purchase a brand new hose.

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I don't know if you have a product such as "Rescue Tape" in your area, but it is an amazing, waterproof, sticks to itself product that seals hose leaks better than my beloved duct tape, which eventually gives out.

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Ally, That sounds like a perfectly 'American' solution to what has grown to be an infested house - just pick up a role of 'Rescue Tape' at the hardware store or order it online from Amazon!

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You could buy a special garden hose that has holes in it to put in pathways along your crops. It only drips water beneath the hose so that the roots will grow. You can buy on at any garden supply store.

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Leaks stink! Is it in just one spot so that you can get one of those kits that cut out the leaky spot and then reattach the two ends together?

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I will certainly look into what Ally and Kim suggest. But more important is the allegorical meaning behind my hose's leak. Is there "Rescue Tape" or one of those patching kits to use on American democracy, which allows the forces aiming at its destruction to exist within it?

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We've been patching our democracy for years. Clearly, that doesn't work and now we require major surgery.

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Nancy, while I agree with the need for major surgery, I shudder at the thought of anything like a constitutional convention at this point in time. The "conservatives" would love a chance at changing the constitution.

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HOW RIGHT YOU ARE, STEVE ABBOTT

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I think the answer to that is in your very first line of your post, Steve. “God writes straight using crooked lines.” I believe that so truly in how Light works. With the pandemic, with climate, with politics, and on and on. With the darkness that is exposed….so many times by we the people embracing Truth, Light will fill those cracks.

There is nothing that I trust more than the Light. Such a gift.

United! 🌟

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Christine, We are hope....We are Light!

United 🧙‍♂️

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Yes! I agree wholeheartedly.

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I was struck by the almost casual ambivalence to "moral reasons" that seemed to permeate the thinking of that day in both spoken and written word, regardless of what side of the Mason Dixon line one might call home. And as HCR noted, this country seemed to be literally founded on the backs of slaves, with no apparent regard from white people that their Black brethren were even human beings. Sadly, that seems to be the modus operandi of today's (former GOP) Trumplican party.

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That thinking is rooted in cultish Christian theocracy and the Teutonic knights. All successful White Christians could sleep easy at night knowing that to worry about the needs, wants and lives of African Slaves was as concerning as one might be about cattle and farm machinery.

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It gets better.

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Indeed

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They had it all wrapped up with a bow on it....

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I was missing discussion of the Abolition movement and what was their influence.

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Congratulations.

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Jan 2, 2022·edited Jan 2, 2022

argh...tis a reminder how compromise works in a democracy and it is, as you said, a crooked with variable outcomes. Messy indeed.

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Yes, just look at how our country has handled the COVID19 pandemic.

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Jan 3, 2022·edited Jan 3, 2022

Richard- TFG's interference and outright lies were and continue to be a significant problem regarding how COVID had and has been handled, since his followers refuse to listen to facts, thanks to Faux Snooze and other RW outlets.)

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Here in Minnesota, we are in the midst of a deep cold snap-it is -15 below as I write this. Yesterday morning, I decided to take my big 65 lb short-haired dog to the dog park. It is better for her to be able to run fast to keep warm and, at 67, I don’t run much anymore. 😎

The dog park is big but Kiri and I particularly like to exit the gate on the opposite side and walk through the marsh and around the small lake that’s out beyond the fence. Lots more running space- and the occasional rabbit or squirrel to chase. She’s good on recall so I don’t worry too much that the area is not fenced.

The minute we exited the gate, Kiri’s head came up, she stopped and sniffed the air. With zero warning, she was suddenly running full tilt across the marsh towards the hill on the opposite side. There, in full view, was a coyote.

My last sighting of Kiri was of her powerful haunches hauling ass up and over the top of the hill 100 yards away where she disappeared from view.

This morning, reading this letter, I had a sudden thought- Trump’s face and the rest of the seditionists on that coyote and those of us who value democracy running alongside Kiri chasing them down. Made me smile.

Every time I read a poll that says that Biden isn’t doing a good job and that the Republicans will take back the House in 2022, I feel frightened- truly, deeply scared. I also feel scared at all the criticisms of the DOJ’s pace with indicting those responsible for January 6. I wish I knew why the pace is so slow there. But Kiri’s example - full tilt after the competition - is a good one.

I have made new commitments to get out the vote actions with Fair Fight 6. Since the Repubs are pushing hard to gerrymander neighboring Wisconsin, I’m working to register new voters there. I’m also committing to give more money to good candidates elsewhere-starting with Stacy Abrams in Georgia. I have strong family traditions of working on civil rights and I love the idea of a black woman governor in Georgia (or anywhere!) There is so much to do to defend democracy but that’s a good start for me at least.

Kiri was gone for about 20 minutes and then came trotting back with her tongue hanging out looking for treats for a job well done. No, I wasn’t worried. Coyotes are smart enough to avoid a fight with an animal bigger than they are. Trump and his minions are still out there lying about a stolen election. Let’s remember that we’re the big dog and act like it.

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Please do not malign the wise family oriented coyote with a comparison to the fat man of Maralago!

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Oh, Sheila, you had me with bated breath hoping that your dog wasn’t gone for good. Thank goodness Kiri returned to you!

I share your concern and fear about what is ahead. And my anger at the so called “main stream media” is growing. They were quick to point out all the horrible predictions of an awful Christmas because of the supply chain issues, and the dire economic news. Yet when things actually turned out well, they bury those stories. So my focus in 2022 is no longer to write to my elected officials who couldn’t care less or to try to write letters to the editors which never get published. Now I’m going to flood the inboxes of the newspaper CEOs or whoever is in charge and remind them of their responsibilities in clear and factual reporting.

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Right there with you Annette. Disgusted by NYT’s BS article on inflation- rather than focusing on improvements in unemployment, the rising stock market, the lifting of so many American children out of poverty, etc. The Fourth Estate is failing us and we need to kick them in the teeth. Hard!

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Do you know who to focus on at the MSM? The owner/CEO might not be the best target. Possibly the overall editor? Because I'm with you Annette. I'm tired of the fake news seeping into the mainstream.

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Thanks for the question. I am not totally sure who would be the best, but to start I am going with who I can find on the masthead. In the case of my local paper, The Tampa Bay Times, that would be Paul Tash who is the CEO and Chairman. His e-mail is timeschairman@tampabay.com As I discover others in the chain of command, I will include messages to them as well.

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Good plan, Annette !

US Rep Stephanie Murphy has decided not to run for a fourth term but says she’s “not done with public service”. Hmmm…maybe she’s pondering a run against It’s A War On Christmas(NOT!) DeSantis.

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Ooo, i just love your story today Sheila. Thank you for sharing Kiri with us and the unbridled enthusiasm that this story conveyed to me.

Cheers!

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And gently from me, Sheila….totally normal to be frightened. Just do not be scared. We’ve always got this. 🌈

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Sheila, you are Hope, You are Light.

You are hauling ass! Thanks for your help in Georgia. A black woman governor....the final insult to the confederacy.

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We see coyotes running across the road/highway here all the time. In Alaska they have come up to me as I was sitting high in alpine areas and they wanted part of my granola bar (probably wanted something more organic). They look for small defenseless animals to eat.

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I’m always amazed at stories like yours of how curious coyotes are. I see them all the time too but have never been approached closely. And no, granola bars probably aren’t high on their list of consumables. Might need raw rabbit or mouse in hand to really get their attention, lol.

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I have several stories about coyotes, and the grandchildren love them. And foxes. And a couple about wolves.

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Geez, I LOVE this analogy and call to action, Sheila B! Count me in!!!

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Counted! Thanks, SL.

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Thanks, as always, for your clear exegesis. You are an invaluable resource for people like me who have only a small grounding in history. To be frank, you are keeping me sane these days.

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Our lot of us are depending upon this column and Dr. Richardson to keep us sane these days.

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And sanity is becoming a rare commodity.

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Sally, me too! Sane, that is.....

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Sanity is abnormal and quite scarce. The normal are delusional. Afraid. In denial.

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I imagine many of us wish the end of slavery in the US had been prettier, with morality, respect, and human dignity as the main motivators of Lincoln, his administration, and Congress. Acknowledging its reality is uncomfortable, yet essential if this country's democracy is to stand. Thank you for this detailed history - Sally Camp's comment says it all.

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It's stunning to learn the politics of the process. Imagine how today's media might have covered the story.

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MSM IS AFRAID OF THE RACIST QUESTION - THE ONLY EXCEPTION IS MSNBC...

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Watch the ads playing on MSNBC.

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Then contribute to Pathways to College. We gave $100,000 and Oprah matched. Judith Berry Griffin, a 9th grade classmate in UHigh of UC founded this. Any amount.

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If you look at every advance made, the circumstances of its "birth" never had anything to do with all that - only with gaining the political power to do so, however it could be gathered. Which is why most idealists are failures when in governments.

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I have long understood that I cannot be in politics as I am an idealist. And too trusting. 🙁 I do appreciate realists! And cynics. I appreciate Biden and how he has grown into this moment.

Now hoping for Justice and Accountability as well as Voting Rights and Build Back Better part 2 in 2022.

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“Which is why most idealists are failures when in governments.”

With Bernie Sanders as Exhibit A.

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I see this differently. Idealists are the ice cutters, breaking through old fixed ideas while looking for new ones. They make progress possible, though they don’t often enjoy the victory themselves. Many of Bernie’s life long efforts are now guiding President Biden’s agenda.

"It is not always granted to the sower to live to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." Albert Schweitzer

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Fully agree with you, Diane. Idealists are the "troublemakers" who question the way things have always been done, who get criticized and ostracized for their troubles, but nonetheless put the questions out there. They almost never get to score the win, which takes (literally) generations to grow into the kind of general turmoil that a moral equivocator can take advantage of.

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Yes, much (most) of our Social Justice work is for our children, grandchildren and future generations. Civics lessons, history? How do we convince the public to care? I’ll keep working for the future as well as present, but it’s a challenge to hope and believe, knowing it’s an endless struggle. We are constantly writing a new chapter.

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Jan 2, 2022·edited Jan 2, 2022

Irene, very well put. Our best efforts are for future citizens. We may never see the results, but they will!

As a pastor for 34 years, I had to be satisfied to be a sower, almost never seeing the crop or the harvest. In all my previous jobs I could see immediate, tangible results of making or fixing things -- gratification! As a pastor the gratification was the process -- simply working with the Creator.

In social justice and climate work, we too must make the mental transition that we work for future harvesters. The First People's idea of the "seventh generation" I believe.

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Yes, Gus Koch, your response reminds me how closely aligned teaching and activism and spiritual work can be when we focus on how today’s lessons, if global, can be shared and possibly accepted if they speak to humanity.

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We need the ice cutters (or brain stormers) to get us thinking outside the status quo. I think that's what AOC has done. I was going to say that the right does this too, but it feels much more manipulative.

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Laurie, you are SO right. We have to stare at our sometimes awful history in all its brutal reality, before we can evolve as citizens, taking the country along with us.

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I recall a man arguing with me that the Civil War––you know, that War of Northern Aggression––was not about slavery, it was about economics(!). If the statement had not been so sad––so tragic, actually––it might have been humorous.

But it brings the uncomfortable glare of that spotlight of moral reality. It illuminates the heartbreaking condition of our nation’s collective consciousness. We find ourselves staring into this terrifying abyss, divided even on the question of whether the sun rises in the east or in the west!

Our existential impasse is founded on the “Tale of Two Countries”. Is the United States of America truly a paragon of virtue, only slightly flawed in its triumphal march through the nearly two-and-a-half centuries since its founding?

Or is it an all-too-human contrivance, established on the uneven terrain of unconscionable greed and cruelty, artfully camouflaged with pious words and noble images? Are we, in fact, reaping the noxious crop ignobly planted by our forebears on poor soil, fertilized with deceitful intentions?

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It's not either-or, but both-and. Moral reality and economic reality are two sides of the same coin, both with flaws and both with glints of brilliance. Tempered by economic realities, we strive to smooth the flaws and brighten the brilliance.

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I really think that moral and economic reality should be conjoined twins. That’s been the root of human depravity since we raised up on our hind legs.

We must––and I believe will, in time––infuse morality into every human action and transaction. We have words like trustworthiness, generosity, and the like; now is the time to begin making such values the every-day currency of our social and personal interactions.

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I really wish we could remove the assumption that morality = Christian faith. One does not have to bend a knee to a Christian God in order to have a set of values and morals consistent with the concepts of morality and goodness.

I paraphrase Mr. Scrooge when discussing the price of corn: "Is it right (to increase the cost of the corn by 10% because you did not accept my offer yesterday)? No, but it is business.

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Thank you Ally.

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Yes! Thanks for this, Ellie.

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Very well-stated. Thank you. ❤️🤍💙

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Yes but it is not that which makes America special...most countries can tell equally appalling stories about their "founding fathers" many centuries ago for which the existing population is not responsible. It's the hope, hospitality and freedom of the "little people" that makes you stand out.

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"Or is it an all-too-human contrivance, established on the uneven terrain of unconscionable greed and cruelty, artfully camouflaged with pious words and noble images?"

ummmm......Yes.

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True ...but it was normal at the time. Is now necessarily a different matter?

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I think he was right Bill, at least in large part. Northerners couldn't compete with the fat cat slave owning southerners who had slave labor. As our nation expanded west, were the states going to be free or slave? (Nevermind the poor savages).

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But slavery WAS economics pure (impure, really) and simple. That is my point. This poor deluded soul was seeking to “word-salad” his way out of facing the reality that this nation’s immense wealth, to a great extent, lay on the backs of those captured Africans and their descendants. He was engaged in the good old American two-step of: “We didn’t do anything REALLY bad!”

But we did.

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Now we've got corporations raping and pillaging our land AND getting tax cuts to boot! Age old struggle it seems. I will write my postcards, then go play pickleball.

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Yay for pickleball and postcards! Both are important, for sure

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Pickleball. The fastest growing sport in America:) With all the crazy going on...yet we find time to have fun. That is what keeps me sane.

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The word savages should be put into quotes...."savages" to indicate that this is a horrid, made-up name for a fine native people.

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I was thinking that's how the indigenous tribes were referenced by the "illustrious" politicians during that time in our history.

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Absolutely. Sorry

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Maybe we were always accidentally great. We can build on that.

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It is both countries, tied together while stumbling into a fraught future.

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Maybe the paranoid style of politics fits in here. Both Gordon Wood and Richard Hofstadter have written about it. The nature of social reality and the necessity or moral responsibility presumes a lot and we have inherited those presumptions. We see these events in history from our modern understanding and how to go back to what was really happening in those days and understand from the perspective of those characters?

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In the south it was only about economics...theirs. That was not the case in the north...the northern volunteers were anti slavery and anti succession. I'm sure some (the senators, representatives and cabinet - maybe the military officers) cared only about jobs for white men but I don't think it was the primary driver for most of the north. As a matter, white jobs, was a rather week reason, but it was persuasive for the timid who needed to be convinced that the giant ask of Lincoln's was worth the risk. Clearly, if Lincoln said he never felt he was doing more right than he had done in his entire life...he was at heart and soul...fighting to end slavery everywhere....not making job opportunities

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That last paragraph, oh my. I do fear it is the truth.

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Unfortunately for the most part, the latter.

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😳😮😵😮🙄

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I am enormously grateful for Heather's history lessons! How I wish they could be part of a much wider national discourse.

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We pay for the privilege while Fox blathers lies, slander, and seditious nonsense while raking in the money of cult fools and unsuspecting cable customers.

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These letters are posted on Facebook where they are free and freely shared with another huge following of commentators. It’s no doubt that, out there on social media, Heather has her widest, and most impactful, readership. I make it a point to share the letters every day. It was on FaceBook that I was first introduced to them.

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A was I, before FB and I parted company. Have shared them with several friends who weren’t in the cult. Still I regret that the reach is uneven as even the MSM no longer seems to have Rupert’s reach, or in some cases, follows Fox down the rabbit hole. One Repub sister (not a cultist) and the other sister (a Dem), will no longer engage with anything political. Both in VA, where it really matters. My gast is flabbered.

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You need to take good care of your gast, Jeri. Once one is flabbered it needs several days of quiet and a bland diet. Once your gast has recovered, you will want to help it regain its equilibrium by reminding it of the good times in the past and assure it of the happy times to come!

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Seeing good people bail on our country in crisis makes that difficult

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You're absolutely right Jeri. It's Bill's fault -- he started it....

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Jeez! Bill, another guy with warped humor!

My question is, how do you know so much about gasts? I thought only girls had them.

Maybe I had a gastectomy when they took the tonsils out....

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Jeri, Maybe you could take your gast to wherever it could be 're-furbished', or unflabbered. /s

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I now share them on Twitter. I think anyone who disagrees with me on Facebook has blocked or ghosted me. 😞. Which is sad as how do we reach each other and get back to civil discourse? I think I need to work on that. But I also was introduced to LFAA on fb by my older brother. So grateful.

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Jan 2, 2022·edited Jan 2, 2022

I dunno. I too started following LFAA on FB, joined here and repost each back to FB. Several people, otherwise not regularly engaged FB posters have told me they now follow HCR. Maybe your reach is more than you think.

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So wish she could go viral, and become the voice of truth trusted by all.

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HCR has grown 1.5 million followers on Facebook. But of course, the more, the better.

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I have had a few friends tell me they follow her because of my posts. So I’m glad about that!

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... may it be so ...!!

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Kathleen and Anna, I wouldn't mind sharing her. Somebody might learn a thing or two....

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Two thoughts. First, it is fascinating to read about how complex the road to emancipation was. I don't think most Americans are aware that if the Union had won enough decisive battles early on and had brought the South to it's knees quickly, slavery might have continued into the 20th century.

Second, while I wake up every morning hoping that the Senate will get it's act together and pass Voting Rights Laws, in some states it may come too late. It's the only thing to do in order to protect true democracy, of course. But it is going to be messy. Before and after.

But just as the dynamics of the Civil War and slavery are complex, so are the current times. Consider that the partisan redistricting that terrifies us may not be as clear cut a defeat as we fear. Making voting difficult for people can be color blind. Poor white folks also have jobs that they have to work on election day. TFG's base can also have transportation issues. Plus, here is a speculation: TFG's base may get cocky or apathetic and not vote in the numbers that we anticipate. And...the un-vaccinated who are dying off won't be voting. And...as they perish, ultimately some of they and theirs may realize they have been lied to about the virus. There is a scene in "Don't Look Up" where a guy in a crowd of "red shirts" looks up and sees...

All that and our powerful campaign to support key races could save the day. In a sense, the Civil War never ended. I, for one, am not ready to surrender. Are you?

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Not I.

Another thought that comes to mind with regard to all these efforts to limit, if not to end mail in ballots and drive in balloting and other voting rights that the (former GOP voters) trumplicans have enjoyed, is that older, white far righties might not be physically ABLE to stand in long lines for hours on end. Those that survive Covid might not even be able to breathe without assistance. Just as they are killing off their own voters with disinformation and lies about Covid, they could possibly be handicapping their own voters with these extreme measures to make voting more difficult. And since they are so busy promoting the Big Lie and telling their voters that ALL elections are "fraudulent," why would their voters even bother to show up?

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Ellen, we can take some comfort in that probability. Especially in your state. You have my good thoughts, and soon some of my money.... Allred looks okay, but Fletcher and Gonzales need help.

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Bill: NO. NADA...NEGATIVE.

But I do like your thoughts on the possibilities. Either way, this is going to be a Very. Messy. Year.

Everybody tighten your seat belts, locate your barf bags, lay in your coffee and energy bars.

Engage!

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It strikes me that Lincoln would not have issued the Emancipation Proclamation except for the North's advantages in doing so over the South. I'm very grateful Lincoln made the right choice at the end of the day, but also grateful for Heather's coverage of the nuances.

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You might also watch the movie "Lincoln" which quite accurately tells the story of how the 13th Amendment was passed.

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Daniel Day Lewis was excellent in the role.

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I sucked in a few younger viewers by telling them Adam Driver and Joseph Gordon Levitt are in Lincoln. It’s a great cast.

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Was just thinking about that movie. I think I'll watch it again!

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It's interesting that the Northerners, including Abolitionists, didn't think the federal government had the power to abolish slavery, though the Southern enslavers believed from the very beginning that the North would abolish slavery the first chance it had, and that was why they decided to become the traitors they were.

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If the people in the North had been asked to vote......they were no keener than many in the South as they proved once many Blacks moved north thereafterwards.

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Exactly correct Stuart.

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Jan 2, 2022·edited Jan 2, 2022

"His goal, and that of the fledgling Republican Party he led, was only to keep it from spreading into the western territories where, they thought, enslaved labor would enable wealthy enslavers to dominate the region quickly, LIMITING OPPORTUNITIES FOR POORER WHITE MEN."

It is interesting that the birth of the anti-slavery movement was actually a focus on protecting white men.

Amazing really.

In your book, To Make Men Free:... you make it fairly clear that Lincoln identified with those "poorer white men" since he had once been one out West.

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WRONG. LINCOLN KNEW THAT HE COULD NOT WIN IF HE SAID WHAT HE BELIEVED. THEY WERE GOING TO KILL HIM WALKING FROM THE TRAIN TO HIS INAUGURATION.

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Please turn off your caplock.

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Any time.

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I could certainly be wrong. No doubt I am not a historian in the area like Dr. Richardson.

However, I do think her book and today's writing do support that the North was, initally, more interested in preventing slavery in the west than eliminating it in the south. Abe Lincoln was from the west and had been poor and worked his way to opportunity.

It is possible that his concerns about losing opportunity for white men in the west did play a role in Lincoln's overall thinking.

Dr. Richardson's book: To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party, expands on the history of that time.

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Correct. Prevention. Stopping. One step at a time. One. VIRTUE comes slowly to the minority, one by one. Slaves were appealing and sought. Bought in the North. Sought. Covered in estate plans. Endemic in the South, sought in the North. Emancipation was not an option for Abe Lincoln. But that is what he wanted and dreamt about. He felt their pain. The man was empathetic to his core. Contrast him to Americans today.

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Sort of. State by state, blocking expansion. But feeling? The log splitter knew his heart.

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So much history that we were never taught in schools and corporate textbooks, and so much we were taught that we should be unlearning.

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Yes, yes, yes. And the other truth is that many of us just didn’t care about history back then. It was just something to memorize for ‘the test’. Now, as we individually begin to care more about how our country functions and are able to ‘see’ facets of it we never noticed before, we find ourselves thirsty for the kind of knowledge that Heather possesses and is able to distill and present to us. I’m so grateful that she has come forward at this moment when we have all needed so much what she has to offer.

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Jan 2, 2022·edited Jan 2, 2022

Wow! The larger story surrounding the Emancipation Proclamation is really interesting. As we’re learning, the conclusion of the Civil War was far from decided early on. In many ways, it appears to remain undecided.

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What happens when you “turn the other cheek” on the “unpardonable.”

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Exactly! When you fail to hold people accountable for their behavior, do not be surprised to see that behavior continue.

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The Beatitudes warrant prayer and robust discussion. That said, Ally’s clarification is tried and true.

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'The Slaves Dread New Year's Day the Worst': The Grim History of January 1

BY OLIVIA B. WAXMAN

In the African-American community, New Year’s Day used to be widely known as “Hiring Day” — or “Heartbreak Day,” as the African-American abolitionist journalist William Cooper Nell described it — because enslaved people spent New Year’s Eve waiting, wondering if their owners were going to rent them out to someone else, thus potentially splitting up their families….

“That’s where that sayin’ comes from that what you do on New Year’s Day you’ll be doin’ all the rest of the year,” a former slave known as Sister Harrison said in an interview in 1937.

https://time.com/5750833/new-years-day-slavery-history/

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“That’s where that sayin’ comes from that what you do on New Year’s Day you’ll be doin’ all the rest of the year,” a former slave known as Sister Harrison said in an interview in 1937.

From childhood to the time I moved away from home, my white, privileged, Republican, quietly racist mother said that to this white, privileged, then-apolitical daughter every New Year's Day. Neither of us had an inkling of its origin. I thought she made it up.

If that is true, then based on yesterday, I will spend this year in my jammies, drinking coffee and reading HCR's letters, brooding about the unforeseeable future, watching bits of a plethora of football games in which I had zero interest, and cleaning my stove while still brooding about the unforeseeable future. Sometimes, I feel like Eeyore.

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I’d never heard that saying. But I spent the day with family buying gifts for the ones I didn’t get to be with due to covid. And eating delicious food! Not a bad way to spend the new year! Better than the last two years!

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It was actually a very good day. I would love to spend 2022 doing exactly what I did yesterday - oh, including the nap instead of football.

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What I did was respond to a few curve balls by being flexible and not letting the reason for the plans of fam gathering for famous New Years Day soup get lost by responding to events and switching location and times but not giving up the cooking and joy of sharing the day.

Got to be in the game in ‘22 and not forfeit any good to the likes of those intending to control us.

As Steve said in his post, “God writes straight using crooked lines.”

United!

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